How To Wash Your Car Properly

Oneshift Editorial Team
22 Oct 2019

Yes, this has been covered literally a gazillion times. 

But this time, we’ll contextualise it to something closer to home, because most washing techniques you see on YouTube tend to be in a garage setting or some sort of landed property which ahem we can’t really afford now can we?

It must be explained clearly why washing your car properly is important. Because we couldn’t tell you just how many people we encounter who trivialise it. 

Cars in Singapore are so expensive – if you're spending upwards of what is now a round sixty grand for what is arguably a simple, “entry-level” sedan or hatchback, please spend also some time to care for it.

After all, you’ve just paid four times what the car’s really worth (check your OMV) so you might as well pay four times more attention to it. 

Anyhow, money aside, caring for your car is actually more therapeutic than most people realise. It may be a chore to most, but when you set time to do it regularly you realise that it’s a break from all the gadgets in your life and as you watch how the car turns from dirty to clean as you lovingly restore it to showroom condition, you’d actually feel a sense of accomplishment. 

But anyway, first things first. 

Step one is to rinse, rinse, rinse.  
Now pre-soaking is an option if your car is especially filthy, but you won’t have the time or space to do this in the HDB wash bay, so don’t leave your car unwashed for too long. 

No hose how to rinse?
Use a bucket to pour water from the roof down. This helps the water to cascade down to the lower areas so instead of pointlessly splashing bucket after bucket from the wheels to the boot to everywhere else, start from the top and work your way to the wheels. 

This is important because you’ll wash off loose dirt such as small stones which will scratch your paint if you went right ahead to wipe the car. 

Step two, get a lambswool mitt.

Yes there’s such a thing!

Lambswool is able to trap dirt and small particles within its fibres causing them to be lifted off instead of rubbed around on the paint.

So choose your weapon of wash wisely. 

If you can’t find a lambswool mitt, use a high quality microfiber towel. One that’s plush preferably, for the same dirt lifting and trapping effect. 

With your mitt or microfiber, apply shampoo generously to the surface of the car, which will act as lubricant and also surfactant to get rid of the nasties. Do this liberally, using a bucket of soapy water. 

Many will advocate the two bucket technique, but a on properly rinsed car, a good mitt and shampoo will actually be alright. Change the water in the bucket about halfway and remember to move your mitt or microfiber in one direction rather than in circles – this is key to minimising swirl marks. 

Use another mitt or microfiber towel to wipe down the wheels too, after spraying on some wheel cleaner such as the one from Sonax, which detailers swear by. 

Finally, rinse off the gunk and dry your car with another set of clean microfiber towels and you’re good. Again, wiping in one direction and not in circles will do wonders. 

So there, it’s not so difficult, just three broad steps for a cleaner car and a good time to unwind from technology while also being able to look your car over so you’re always aware of the condition that it’s in and not get caught off guard when something is wrong with your car. 

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