How to Clean the Outside of Your Car | The Range
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How to Clean the Outside of Your Car

Unless you’re an exceptionally keen motorist, cleaning the outside of your car is probably a task that leaves you full of dread. If you’re guilty of leaving dirt, grime, bird mess and insects over the body of your car because you don’t know where to begin cleaning, then you’re not alone. But we’re here to help you get that gleaming finish in almost no time!

Move Your Car

Start by moving your car out of the sun, or if you’ve just driven it, leaving it to cool for half an hour. Washing a hot car can make the water and cleaner dry faster, leaving the body of your car with water and soap stains that you’ll have to remove with a second cleaning. It’s best to ensure your car is as cool as possible when you begin.

exterior car

Hose It Down

Get most of the dirt and grime off your car by rinsing it with the garden hose, a few buckets of water, or a pressure washer. This will mean most of the dust and filth will have been loosened or removed when you add some elbow grease to the tougher areas. If you don’t have a hose or pressure washer, throw a few buckets of water over the top of your car, and let gravity do the rest.

Get Scrubbing

Fill two buckets with water and add car cleaner or car shampoo according to the bottle instructions. With a soft sponge or microfibre cloth, dip it into the bucket with the cleaning solution and start scrubbing the body of your car. Move your cleaning cloth up and down or side to side rather than in circles, as you could end up with swirly streaks.

When you’re ready to rinse your cloth or sponge, do so in the bucket of plain water. Putting your dirty sponge back into the bucket of cleaning solution will have you washing your car with contaminated water from the grime you’ve just removed. If you drop your sponge, rinse it in the plain water bucket to eliminate any debris that might end up scratching your paintwork.

Once you’ve scrubbed your car, rinse well to prevent soap spots and streaks from drying onto your freshly cleaned bodywork.

exterior car

Concentrate on the Wheels

Wheels tend to collect more dirt than the rest of your car since they’re closest to the ground and have brake dust thrown up at them too. You can ensure your alloys look fresh and clean using a pressure washer or by cleaning them with an alloy cleaner using the two-bucket method above or using the alloy cleaner’s instructions. Use a soft-bristled brush to help you get into all the nooks and crannies.


Work on the Glass

Clean the windows of your car using speciality car glass cleaner rather than your household glass cleaner to ensure your car windows remain damage-free, as the ammonia in some glass cleaners can harm tints and coatings. Spray or apply your glass cleaner straight to your microfibre cloth to prevent the excess cleaner from streaking your windows, and keep applying to the fabric as necessary until your windows are sparkling clean. Roll down your windows to help you get that stubborn strip that’s usually hidden.

Dry Your Car

Leaving your car to air dry can leave you with water streaks. Instead, use a dry microfibre cloth to remove water from your car by wiping or blotting. If you want to give your car the complete valet treatment, consider waxing your car and cleaning the interior too.

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