Although no one has ever complained about going broke from car washes, it can’t hurt to save a few dollars here and there by washing your own car. Washing your car is not a difficult task, however, there are some strategies that will help you get from start to finish with good results. Whether you just want the car to look nicer or you need to wash it after collision repairs, simple steps will help you get the job done without taking a long time or over working yourself.

Clean the Wheels First

Get your wheels out of the way first. Start by preparing a bucket of soapy water. Use soap designed for washing your car because many dish detergents and other soaps not designated for cars can wreak havoc on your cars paint job. Scrub your wheels and tires and rinse well.

Wash from Top to Bottom

Get a fresh bucket of soapy water and a bucket of plain water. Make sure that you use a fabric or material that will not scratch your car like chenille. Rinse your car first to dislodge any debris or particles. This will make the cleaning process much easier. Start scrubbing at the top of your car and work your way down. Clean everything from the top of your car all the way down to the bottom panels. Rinse your sponge frequently and wring it out in your extra bucket of water to avoid spreading dirt.

Pre-treat Stubborn Spots

Pretreat stubborn spots with a spot treatment suitable for cars and moisten your sponge. Gently scrub the spots to loosen the debris. However, make sure your sponge is wet enough to prevent scratches from forming on your car.


It doesn’t take a high-pressure rinse to get all the soap off your car. Free flowing water from a bucket does a great job. You can rinse from the top down. The water will sheet off your car easily removing the soap. However, rinse thoroughly until the car is soap free.


Drying your car is essential. Use a microfiber towel or a non-abrasive material to dry your car after you have finished rinsing it. Leather chamois are very absorbent as well. However, there are many different things that you can use to dry your car that will not be damaging to your paint job.

Although washing your car doesn’t take rocket science, there are strategies that you can use to make the job more efficient and easier to accomplish. Plus, you’ll get your car ultra clean. Do yourself a favor and save a few dollars by washing your own car.