There are a lot of different ways to wash your car however if you want to
avoid scratches and swirl marks than this is the guide for you. In automotive detailing, using the proper tools and washing methods will ensure your car comes out clean as well as ensure you are mitigating the chance of putting in annoying swirls and scratches in the finish of your paint.
Before we can get into the steps to follow when washing your car, you are going to need some tools that will help you a long the way:
1. Pressure Washer: The first investment you want to make is in a high-pressure
washer. This will help with rinsing the car taking most dirt and grim off before
soaping the car.
2. Foam Gun: Investing in a foam gun extension is important when trying to
mitigate swirls. Foaming the car pre-wash helps break dirt down before soaping
thus leaving less particles on the paint to be dragged around when soaping which
3. Clean Proper Wash Mitts: The need for a soft clean mitt is obvious. This is to
ensure there are no particles on the mitt that might be dragged across the paint thus creating swirls and scratches.
4. Two Wash Buckets: You want to use two wash buckets, one for water and the
other for your soapy water. The reason for this is to rinse out your wash mitt in the
water bucket before putting it into your soapy water thus reducing the amount of
dirt and particles contaminating your clean soap water.
5. Car-Wash Soap: You want to use soap specifically for cars as they are formulated to not damage the finish with aggressive chemicals and are thus safe for using on your paint that has wax or even ceramic coatings.
6. Clean Drying Towels: Clean soft drying towels are needed to safely dry the paint after you are finished rinsing the soap off. Air-drying will only leave water
marks/deposits on the paint so a proper drying towel is a must have.
7. Blower: A high power blower isn’t necessary however investing in one would
help reduce the amount of drying with a towel and reduce the risk of generating
swirl marks on the paint.
Now that you have the proper tools to wash your car, you will want to follow this
process in order to get the best results. Remember to have your soap bucket made and all your tools at your disposal before you start!
Fill up your foam gun with a mixture of soap. Your first step is to foam the car
completely and let it sit for a minute. Doing this first will allow the foam gun soap
solution to start breaking down dirt and grim that is on your car. You then want to
give the car a good rinse with your power washer before you start soaping.
Use your clean wash mitt and soap bucket to start soaping your vehicle. Wring out the mitt in your water bucket before putting back into the soap bucket when
needed. It’s ideal to soap the car from the top to the bottom because most of the car will be dirty at the lower parts of the car. You do not want to be soaping the lower parts of the car first as the mitt is more likely to get dirty and carry dirt particles on the paint which would more than likely swirl the paint!
Give the car a good rinse using your pressure washer again. Make sure you rinse off all the soap, as this is the last time you will be rinsing the vehicle!
Step #4 (If you have a blower):
Use your blower to blow water out of the cracks and on the majority of the paint.
This step is good to blow off most of the water and reduce the amount of drying with the towel thus reducing the risk of generating swirl marks.
Finally use your dry towel to dry up any left over water on the paint be careful not
to push hard on the paint or do circle motions. If you have a really good dry towel,
you won’t have to wring it out much or rub the paint. Just letting the towel soak up
water and pulling it off the paint is safe to do.
Finally you are left with a clean car. There are other minor things you can do such as putting on tire shine, wiping down the glass with a glass cleaner, etc. However for the process of properly washing your car without putting in swirls, this is all you would need to follow!