How To Wash
Updated: Oct 5
The aftercare process is one of the most important things you can do for the exterior of your vehicle. Improper care and techniques can destroy everything you've worked so hard to make look beautiful. If you follow the steps we've laid out below it will help keep your vehicle looking incredible.
How to properly wash
-Three 5-gallon buckets
-Car wash soap
All these items can be found in our Store and purchased through Detailed Image. If you use the code DetailedImage9769 you'll receive 10% off.
Washing your vehicle is a simple process once you get the steps down. I am going to lay out how to use the 2 Bucket Wash Method.
1. Start by cleaning wheels and tires with wheel woolies (for tight spots and barrels) and wheel brush. There are so many products out there for cleaning wheels and tires, so picking the right product all depends on the condition of your rims and what you are trying to accomplish with the rubber on your tires. For a general cleaning we use an all purpose cleaner on both the wheel and tire. Spray your product directly on the rubber, wheel, and wheel well. I start by scrubbing the wheel well, then the tire, and move onto the rim, starting with the inner barrel and working out to the face. If that doesn’t do the trick look into cleaners that remove iron, rust, or whatever element is stuck to the rim. The reason for starting with wheels and tires first is because they are usually the dirtiest part of your vehicle. There’s no reason for getting your vehicle clean then slinging all sorts of dirt, grime, and who knows what else all over the clean paint.
2. Thoroughly rinse your vehicle. You never want to rub on a dry vehicle. It is going to mar the paint and cause you more work. Rinsing will also get some of the junk off the paint making washing easier and a little safer.
3. This is where the 2 Bucket Method really starts. You will have 2 buckets handy, one with a soap/water mixture and the other with only water (and the grit guard). Soak your wash mitt in a soap/water bucket and start at the top of the car and work your way down; roof, front and back windows, side windows, front hood, the sides, trunk, then the front and rear. Start with the top of the vehicle because the bottom of the car is the dirtiest and you want to minimize the possibility of dirt contaminating your wash mitt from the start. As you are washing and need more soap, dump your wash mitt in the water bucket rubbing it against the grit guard cleaning off anything you might have picked up along the way as you were washing, then put it in the soap bucket and continue washing. After you have completed washing, rinse the vehicle to get all the soap off. Pay attention to crevices, they will hold good amounts of water and soap. It will be worth your while to soak them a few times. When you finish washing your vehicle rinse and hang your wash mitt to ensure it is clean as well as keeping the longevity of the mitt.
4. Once the entire vehicle has been washed and rinsed, it is time to dry using a microfiber towel. Keep in mind your objective when drying, you are trying to remove the water from the car to avoid water spotting. You DO NOT need to apply a great deal of pressure to achieve this. Start at the top and work yourself down and around. Depending on the amount of water on the car, you might have to periodically ring out your towel or even get a fresh one. Pay attention to regions where water tends to sit and hide – side view mirrors, fuel door, door guards, bumper crevices, etc. You can use compressed air on these areas if you want to get all the water out.
Once you’re done drying, you can start on finishing out your detail. This is when you can apply a paint protection product, such as Bead Maker “for non-ceramic coated vehicles”, clean your windows, and apply a tire dressing. A little tip for cleaning your windows, use two microfiber towels, one for applying the window cleaner and one for drying. Start by rolling your windows down a little bit, that way you can clean the edges. After doing all the edges roll the windows back up and finish cleaning. If you wipe the inside and outside of the windows in different directions, you can tell which side the smears are on if you have any. For example, clean the outside of the windshield with up and down strokes and the inside with side to side strokes. When you check it and see smears side to side you know you have to reclean the inside.
Tyler’s Product Ramblings: Foam Cannons are amazing tools. Not only do they make washing your vehicle look extremely cool, they actually make it safer while washing. The purpose of the foam cannon is to help remove the dirt from the paint. Spay your vehicle and let the soap sit for a few minutes and rinse it off. The soap sitting on the paint will help soften the dirt and grime and allow it to slide off when rinsed. You will still have to wash using the two bucket method after you rinse, but there will be less debris on the paint. There are few things to know before getting a Foam Cannon. You must have a pressure washer to use one, electric or gas is fine, and you also must mix your soap in the right way to produce the foam.