How to Wash a Car

Car Wash

Every season in Minnesota has its challenges for your car. From winter road salt to springtime pollen, it’s hard to keep it sparkling clean. When you’re presented with a nice day in St Cloud, you may want to take advantage and give your car a bath. Learn how to wash a car below! 

Plan Ahead 

Just how dirty is your car? If there’s only surface dirt, you may just need to give it a quick wash. If it’s been several months, you’ll probably want to be more thorough with a full wash and wax. Gather everything you need to wash your car at home in Albertville, including: 

  • Cleaning Supplies: Instead of hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner, use automotive cleaning solutions designed to protect your car’s paint and prevent streaky windows. Use a natural sponge or washing mitt to wash. There are also special wheel cleaning solutions to wash your wheels and protect the aluminum.
  • Drying Supplies: Don’t air-dry your car, as this can cause swirl marks. Use a chamois or terry towel to hand dry the surface after washing it.

Basic Rinse & Wash for Minor Dirt

First, rinse your car with plain water to remove surface dirt and debris and help prevent micro scratches. 

When washing the car with soap, use a washing mitt or sponge. Work from top to bottom, washing the roof first, then the front, sides, and rear end. Rinse your mitt or sponge and re-soak it in the soapy water each time you move onto a different section of your car. After you’ve washed the entire car, dry it thoroughly using a clean chamois or terry towel. 

Once you’re done with your car’s body, you can clean the windows with an ammonia-free solution made for car glass. Finish up by cleaning the wheels with a low-strength, acid-free pH-balanced aluminum wheel cleaner.

Extra Steps for a More Thorough Wash & Wax

If your car hasn’t been cleaned in some time, you may want to follow up the basic rinse and wash with extra steps like polishing and waxing. Learn more below.

Optional: Remove Bumps & Apply Compound 

If your car has stubborn things like tree sap or bugs that won’t come off with a basic rinse and wash, use a clay bar to gently buff them away. For minor scratches, try using a compound with a dual-action polisher; you may need two to four coats to see results.

Optional: Apply Polish

Dual-action polishers are your best bet. They contain oils that give your car’s paint that fresh-from-the-lot glossy appearance. You can use an orbital buffer or a clean, soft towel to apply the polish. Buffers are faster but offer less control. Be careful not to let any debris get between the buffer pad or towel and your car, as the motion can cause scratches.

Optional: Wax Your Car

Car wax isn’t just about looking good; it actually protects your car paint from UV rays. Many Rogers car owners use carnauba or polymer wax; the polymer is pricier but prevents the hazy appearance you can get from waxing. 

How Often to Wash a Car? 

Now you know how to wash a car, from just the basics to a full wash and wax. But, what about how often to wash a car? The answer depends on your driving habits. If you commute to work every day, try to wash your car once every two weeks and wax it every six months.

Learn More at Morrie's Auto Connection!

From how often to wash a car to how to jump-start a car battery, we’re always happy to offer car ownership tips at Morrie's Auto Connection! If you’re in the market for an affordable new ride, check out our used vehicle inventory and value your trade


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