How To Correctly Wash and Dry a Car?

Why Should You Wash Your Car?

Washing and drying is the foundation of any detail, whether it’s simply maintaining your vehicle with a wash and dry or the start of a long detailing process. It’s often overlooked that properly washing and drying your vehicle is the single most important step in any detailing process. 

This is due to the fact that most imperfections (swirls, scratches, water spots, etc.) are added to your paint during the washing and drying phase. With the proper tools, products, and technique, you can easily minimize adding imperfections to your paint. There are various methods you can use to properly wash, which will be explained below in detail.

How Often you should Wash Your Car?

We recommend a car be washed once every week or 2 weeks.

Pre-wash Setup

There are a few things you want to do to get set up prior to any wash using a hose as your source of water. Properly preparing everything before you start your wash process will help things go smoother, which can help cut down on the time it takes to wash your vehicle. 

Recommended Setup Procedure Prior to Washing

λ Step 1: Attach your hose to your water source

λ Step 2: Unwind the hose and walk it around your vehicle and ensure you can easily spray and rinse every panel

λ Step 3: Attach the high-pressure water jet spray to the end of your hose (make sure the valve is closed)

λ Step 4: Turn on your water source

λ Step 5: Attach your spray nozzle to the shut-off valve couplet

λ Step 6: Place the Scratch Shield Bucket Filter System into your designated rinse bucket

λ Step 7: Turn your shut-off valve to open

λ Step 8: Fill each bucket up about halfway up with water

λ Step 9: Soak you’re Car Care Centre Blue Microfiber Wash Mitt in the clean rinse bucket until you are ready to wash

Being able to properly & quickly wash your vehicle will cut down the chances of water spots formation on your vehicle, which can require a lot of time and effort to remove, that is why it is essential to have set-up everything you need first. To further eliminate any possibility of adding water spots to your paint, you can invest in a water purifier system, which removes any minerals from your water making it nearly impossible for water spots to form.

Pre-Wash Degreasing

When heavy contamination has built up over time, you may want to utilize a stronger cleaner than just you IGL Wash, such as an IGL Multi diluted to 5:1, to help break up and loosen dirt, tar, sap, bird droppings, and other stubborn forms of contamination. 

It’s usually best to de-grease prior to shampooing your vehicle, so that as you shampoo your vehicle, it ensures there is no degreaser remaining on your vehicle. It’s important to note that most degreasers will usually remove protective layers of sealant or wax, so use as needed. It’s important that you know you’ll need to re-apply your coat(s) of protection.

Step By Step Degreasing Procedure

 Step 1: Choose your desired strength of the degreaser, many products can be diluted, while maintaining effectiveness – we recommend IGL Multi Diluted 5:1

Step 2: Starting with the lower portion of your vehicle working upwards, mist the IGL Multi onto your vehicle

Step 3: Let the product dwell on your vehicle (usually 30 seconds – 5 minutes) as it works to break up and loosen the contamination from your vehicle

Step 4: Take your Halford’s Bug Shifter Pad and soak it in the clean water for a few seconds

Step 5: Working in small areas, wipe the area you are de-greasing with the wash media, using as little pressure as possible

Step 6: Rinse the wash media in a separate rinse bucket, running your mitt or sponge over Scratch Shield Bucket Filter System to release as much contamination as possible

 Step 7: Repeat steps 2 through 6 until each area on your vehicle you degreased has been agitated with the wash media and water

Step 8: When finished degreasing, clean out your two buckets and fill them up with fresh water

Step 9: Proceed to wash and dry your vehicle

How to wash

Traditional Two Bucket Wash

Using the two bucket wash method is one of the safest ways to maintain your vehicle while minimizing the possibility of adding imperfections to the paint. It’s very beneficial to master this technique as it can be used in conjunction with various other washing methods, such as washing with a foam gun and using a rinse-less shampoo.

Step 1: Follow the Pre-wash Setup Procedure

Step 2: Pour roughly an ounce (or as directed on the bottle) of IGL Ecoclean WASH into your non-rinse bucket

Step 3: Spray the bucket with shampoo to generate some lather and suds

Step 4: Take your Car Care Centre Blue Microfiber washing mitt or sponge from the rinse bucket, and dunk it into the bucket full of suds

Step 5: Starting from the top of your vehicle, gently glide your wash mitt across a section of your vehicle, using little to no added pressure

Step 6: Clean your wash mitt in your rinse bucket, running your mitt or sponge over the Scratch Shield Bucket Filter System to release as much contamination as possible

Step 7: Repeat steps 4 through 6 until your entire vehicle has been washed

Step 8: Thoroughly rinse off the suds from your vehicle

Step 9: Turn the Jet Spray Machine to the off position and remove your spray nozzle

 Step 10: Proceed to dry your vehicle

Using a Foam Gun In Your Process

Using a Foam Gun in conjunction with your two bucket wash method can further minimize adding imperfections to your paint, as well as add some fun to your wash process. The main benefit is that you can pre-soak your vehicle with shampoo without the need to touch your paint. 

This allows the surfactants in IGL Ecoclean WASH to start lifting the contamination from the surface of your vehicle, which can also speed up the wash process.

Step 1: Follow the Pre-wash Setup Procedure, making sure you use the Foam Gun nozzle and container attached to jet spray nozzle

Step 2: Pour roughly an ounce (or as directed on the bottle) of Ecoclean WASH into your non-rinse bucket

Step 3: Spray the bucket with shampoo to generate some lather and suds

Step 4: Pour the appropriate amount of Ecoclean WASH into the foam gun reservoir and add water if desired (we like 4 – 6 ounces of Ecoclean WASH with 4 – 6 ounces of water)

Step 5: Adjust the dial to the appropriate dilution setting 

Step 6: Shake the foam gun tank to mix the shampoo and water, which helps  generate more suds

Step 7: Attach the foam gun tank to the foam gun nozzle

Step 8: Starting from the top of your vehicle, cover your entire vehicle in suds with the foam gun  

Step 9: Take your Car Care Centre Blue Microfiber Wash Mitt from the rinse bucket, and dunk it into the bucket full of suds

Step 10: Starting from the top of your vehicle, gently glide your wash mitt across a section of your vehicle, using little to no added pressure

Step 11: Clean your Blue Microfiber Wash Mitt in your rinse bucket, running your mitt over the Scratch Shield Bucket Filter System to release as much contamination as possible

Step 12: Repeat steps 7 through 9 until your entire vehicle has been washed

Step 13: Remove the foam gun and thoroughly rinse off the suds from your vehicle

Step 14: Turn the Jet Spray Machine Knob to the off position and remove your spray nozzle  

Step 15: Turn the shut-off valve back on and use the free-flowing water to perform the sheeting method 

Step 16: Proceed to dry your vehicle

Car detailing

How To Dry A Car Properly

One of the most common mistakes people make when detailing is improperly drying their vehicle. This is often a major cause of adding imperfections to your paint. Before putting a towel to your paint, if you have access to a blower, we recommend blowing out panel gaps, trim pieces, and lug nuts, between mirrors and glass, and lights. This helps prevent the continuous drip from these common areas which can be a pain when you are performing other detailing steps.

For a drying towel, we highly recommend using a Car Care Centre Microfiber waffle weave drying towel for removing any water left behind (after performing the sheeting method of course). Microfiber waffle weave towels are textured so that it can help pull remaining contamination away from the surface. 

It’s also much softer than a cotton bath towel, and can hold more than 5 times its weight of water.

Step 1: If you haven’t already, be sure to perform the sheeting technique to remove a majority of the water

Step 2: If you have access to an Air Compressor, blow out panel gaps, trim pieces, lug nuts, between mirrors and glass, and lights to stop any dripping

Step 3: Starting from the top of your vehicle working down, blot dry (avoid dragging as much as possible) any remaining drops of water with your Car Care Centre Microfiber waffle weave drying towel.

Note: If you are performing maintenance wash and don’t plan on doing any steps afterward, we recommend going over your paint with IGL Ecoshine Enhancer Hybrid Quick detailer and a Car Care Centre Ordinary Microfiber towel to remove any tiny droplets of water and to enhance your paints finish.

If you are moving on to claying or Polish, a few tiny drops remaining on your vehicle are OK, as the next steps will remove them.

FACTS AND TIPS

Use as little pressure as possible with your Car Care Centre Blue Microfiber Wash Mitt

Allow the IGL Ecoclean WASH Exterior Shampoo to do most of the cleaning, not your force

Using a foam gun to pre-soak your vehicle can help minimize adding imperfections

It’s always best practice to wash and dry in the shade, out of direct sunlight

Always use two wash buckets, one with shampoo and water, and one with rinse water

Using a Scratch Guard Bucket Filter System helps release contamination from your wash mitt

Use a separate Blue Microfiber Wash Mitt for your wheels and tires, heavily contaminated areas, and lightly contaminated areas

Pre-treat heavily contaminated areas of your vehicle with IGL Ecoclean MULTI all-purpose cleaner as a degreaser

Rinse your Wash Mitt or Detailing Brush as frequently as possible (every panel or so)

The more contaminated your vehicle is, the more often you should rinse your mitt or brush

It’s good practice to wash weekly or every two weeks

You can use a second Scratch Guard Bucket Filter System in each bucket with shampoo and water

Some shampoos can be used to strip off previous coats of protection when used in high concentration

Using a Scratch Guard Bucket Filter System helps trap contamination on the bottom of the bucket

Car Care Centre Microfiber Waffle weave drying towel is the safest product to use to dry your vehicle

Instead of wiping with your drying towel, blot the paint to minimize adding imperfections

Using a Compressed Air can help remove water between panels, mirrors, gaps, lug nuts and other hard to reach areas

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