Car Washing Tips

Car Washing Tips
Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles”;

At the car wash, Whoa whoa whoa-oh, At the car wash, yeah…

Sorry, that’s all we could think about the whole time we wrote this post. Now it’s probably stuck in your head. Oops.

From what we can tell, it seems there are three types of drivers in Orange County:

1) those who care about their cars and/or image and treat their cars like a member of their own family, scheduling weekly car washes and monthly details. Perhaps you find car washing a therapeutic exercise and enjoy doing it yourself.

2) those whose cars are actually white but no one can tell because they are so caked with dirt that the driver has a hard time seeing through his windshield, and he’s only motivated to drive through the car wash when someone has shamed him by writing “Wash Me” with their finger on the back window (or he is going on a first date); and

3) those of us who fall in the middle. We like a clean car, but we’re not going to obsess about it, and if something else comes up and we can’t get a wash, we’re not going to cancel our weekend plans to get it done.

Which one are you?

Car Washing Tips

Car Washing Tips
Image courtesy of “debspoons”;

Ones, you overachievers are doing great. Keep up the good work and represent OC well with your squeaky clean, sparkly cars with the “new car smell” still inside. You make us proud!

Twos and Threes, here are some thoughts and tips that might help you become a better/more regular car washer:

1. Remember: A clean car really does portray a nice image of who you are as a person. It shows you are conscientious and care about your appearance. As Grandma used to say, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” We live in a society that values cleanliness. Let’s keep up.

2. Sorry Twos, Consumer Reports warns against waiting until you can’t see through your windshield anymore, as it can actually damage your car’s exterior (not to mention it’s a safety hazard):

Dead bugs, bird droppings, and chemicals from the atmosphere all leach acids that can strip away wax and eventually eat into your car’s paint. If left too long, they can cause damage that requires sanding and repainting the area to correct.”

Instead, wash (or at least rinse) off the crud as soon as possible. A weekly car wash is ideal to keep your car’s finish in tip top shape. 

3. Clean your windshield every time you fill up your car with gasoline. It’s a good habit to get into – and I’m sure we can all agree, the better visibility you can have while driving, the safer you’ll be.

4. Don’t use your cup holders or passenger side floor as a trash can. When you arrive at home at the end of the day, gather up whatever trash has accumulated, take it inside, and dispose of it properly. (See #1 above, image is important.)

Dos and Don’ts of Car Washing


  • Use a car wash solution that is actually for car washing.
  • Rinse the car thoroughly before washing to remove any dirt or debris that could scratch the car while scrubbing.
  • Get a super good lather with the soap so there’s lots of lubrication on the surface of the car.
  • Rinse your sponge often while washing – especially if you drop it on the ground.
  • Use a hose without a nozzle to rinse and let the water flow over the car from top to bottom.


  • Wash your car when it’s hot (such as just after driving or sitting in the sun).
  • Use dishwashing detergent or anything other than dedicated car wash solution.
  • Move the sponge in circles. Instead scrub lengthwise across the hood and sides of the car.
  • Let the car air dry. Instead, use a chamois or soft terry cloth towels.