How to wash your car

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This guide is designed to show a novice how to clean their car quickly yet thoroughly. Your equipment requirements are very basic - a bucket, a sponge, car wash detergent and a chamois.  A quick search here should help - http://search.ebay.com.au/search/search.dll?sofocus=bs&sbrftog=1&from=R10&satitle=car+wash+kit&sacat=-1%26catref%3DC6&bs=Search&fsop=1%26fsoo%3D1&coaction=compare&copagenum=1&coentrypage=search&fgtp=&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D2&sadis=200&fpos=3144&ga10244=10425&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi.

Washing your car is very important for two reasons - the aesthetic pleasure you derive from your car will be increased and the resale value will be higher if your car is well maintained.

The first step in cleaning your car is to thoroughly hose it down.  This enables the water pressure to remove all the excess surface dirt that may scratch your car's paintwork if caught between the sponge and the paintwork.

Put a generous but not excessive amount of detergent in a bucket and a small amount of detergent on your sponge.  Use a good quality car wash detergent - the finish you will get is worth it.  Use an open Swiss cheese type sponge as the holes in the sponge give any grit remaining on your paintwork somewhere to go when being washed, rather than just being rubbed against the paintwork itself, like sandpaper.

Fill your bucket about halfway, ensuring there are lots of bubbles.  The bubbles lubricate the sponge to ensure it slides over your car.

Starting from the roof, move the sponge across the car in straight lines.  Do not use a circular motion.  You will move your arm 2 1/2 times less and you will not risk missing any part of the paintwork.

Working down the car, clean the windows and sides of the car up to the half way mark where the door protector strip is.  next gently lifting the windscreen wipers clean underneath them, clean the hood/bonnet and then the boot.

At this stage, hose the soap from the vehicle.  Next, wash the paintwork under the door protector strip.  This is left until last as it usually has the biggest build up of dirt and it is best to keep this dirt off your sponge until last. Re hose the vehicle.

Next, use your sponge to clean the wheels and an old toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies.  Hose each wheel as you clean it.  Make sure you run your sponge around just inside the wheel arch.

The final step is to dry your car.  Remove the excess water by running your chamois over the paintwork until it is dry, wringing out the chamois as required.

And now your ready to cruise the streets... or just put your pride and joy back in the garage!

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