Between youtubers, bloggers, reddit posts, and facebook groups, there are thousands of tutorials on how to wash your car the "proper" way. My problem with them, is that a majority make definitive claims that their way is the best way. This is understandable though, as it's human nature to assume the way we do things is the best way. I want to use this blog post to explain how there are multiple ways of washing your car properly.
First off, lets talk about the premise of washing your car. The goal is to remove dirt, road grime, traffic film, and other contaminates, right? So the first thought is to wash the car the way you probably did growing up: grab a bucket, sponge, and some soap then start scrubbing. This method is absolutely fine for most people who drive their cars daily, and aren't concerned with the marring and scratching that may be occurring. Is this method the healthiest for your vehicle? No, it is not. Does that matter to most people? No, it does not.
To a more extreme extent, car washes can be extremely harmful to your vehicle's paint. Does that mean that it isn't a good option for some people? No it doesn't. When I have clients who talk about how they love running their cars through the car wash, I don't try to talk them out of it anymore. I simply give them information on what better options may be, and leave the ball in their court.
These are not methods I have used as a detailer, nor are they things I encourage. My point with it is that different things work for different people, and that is fine.
Moving on to viable solutions for washing your car.
Personally, I've always felt it was a scam when companies told me to buy 3 of their buckets, 3 grit guards, multiple wash mitts, and whatever else. What they are wanting you to do is excessive, though it does produce good results. So if you have money to spend, this might be the way for you. Still, this is not a cost effective way to washing your vehicle.
Next up is my personal approach to washing vehicles safely, and effectively. What you need? 2 or 3 wash mitts, a bucket (2 if you really want to), and soap. Personally I use superior products dirt buster which can be found at O'Reilly's. Here's a link for it if you want to give it a shot. DIRT BUSTER. I also do use a foam cannon that I got off amazon, and does a fantastic job. I use 1 side of each mitt per panel, then when I run out of clean sides of a mitt, I pressure wash the mitt off, apply more soap, and keep working. This method has worked well for me and my clientele, but I'm sure people out there (including some of you reading this) think I'm an idiot.
There are plenty of other methods. Larry from AMMO NYC uses microfiber towels, folds them into 4's and utilizes all 8 sides. There's also things like rinseless washing that many people who don't have easy access to running water use. If you're looking for something like that, check out PH Detail Supply's Ceramic Quick Coat. It provides tons of lubrication, and even leaves behind a ceramic sealant.
At the end of the day, what is your goal? Do you care about marring/scratching your paint? How much do you want to spend on products to get results? I would encourage you to research any methods that sound good, then test and alter them so that it works well for you. Think for yourself, and don't rely solely on what random people from the internet tell you. There is a lot of wisdom online, but also a lot of marketing manipulation, misinformation, and lying.
Remember to keep it simple, and thanks for reading.