A Beginner's Guide: The Basic Hand Wash

A Beginner's Guide: The Basic Hand Wash

Washing your car is essential to not only keeping it looking its best, but also can help remove contaminants that will damage your clearcoat, paint, windows and plastics. The grime, dirt, chemicals and debris that are thrown all over your can on a day to day basis destroy the vehicle over time, stripping it’s coatings and rusting it right onto the bed of the junkyard’s tow truck. Washing doesn’t have to be an overly complicated and expensive process of pressure washers, hoses, and foaming cannons. You can get the job done (and done well) with a few simple tools and chemicals.


You will want to use two buckets, one for the wash water and one for the rinse water, to help minimize the amount of contaminants floating in the wash water that can scratch the surface of your vehicle if the wash mitt picks them up. Microfiber cloths are superior to other fabrics for car washing due to their high GSM (grams per square meter). GSM is a measurement of how dense the fabric is, and in turn, how much water the fabric can hold because of the density.


You can pick up everything you need in two kits we offer, ourStarter Wash Kit and our 2 Bucket Wash + Rinse Combo.


What you will need:

  • Microfiber Drying Towel
  • Microfiber Wash Mitt
  • Good quality pH balanced soap
  • Two wash buckets
  • Bucket Dirt Trap

The Steps:


Make sure your car is cool to the touch and out of direct sunlight. This can help minimize or prevent water spots from forming from soapy water drying up on the surface.


Put your bucket dirt trap into the bottom of one bucket, and put 2 to 4 ounces of your soap into the other bucket without the dirt trap. The Dirt Trap bucket is now your rinse bucket, and the bucket with soap is your wash bucket. Fill both buckets about 3/4 with water, ensuring to mix the soap into the wash bucket water.


Use a hose to thoroughly spray your vehicle down, soaking every part that will be washed. This is the pre-rinse, and can help knock large chunks of dirt off the vehicle to make it easier to wash with soap.


Once the car is wet, put your microfiber mitt on your hand and dunk it into the Wash bucket, making sure to soak it thoroughly with soapy water. Start cleaning your vehicle one panel at a time, working from top to bottom. This is because the lower part of the vehicle is often far dirtier than the upper part, and to make sure dirty water isn’t running all over freshly cleaned areas of the vehicle. Work in straight line motions, and avoid circular motions. Circular motions can increase the likelihood of swirl marks and scratches in the finish.


Once a panel has been completely wiped down with the wash mitt, stick the wash mitt into the Rinse bucket. Rub the dirty side of the wash mitt against the bucket dirt trap to remove any debris that might have been picked up by the wash mitt off the vehicle. Once you work the dirt out of the mitt, wring it out thoroughly and start on the next panel using the same process as above.


After you have cleaned every panel with your wash mitt, take your hose and rinse the car clean, again working from top to bottom for the best results. Once all the soap is rinsed off, you can move on to drying the vehicle. Take your drying towel and unfold it completely. Lay it on the surface of the vehicle and pull it across the surface in straight lines to avoid swirls and scratches (just like with the wash mitt). A single ExoForma Double Sided Microfiber Drying Towel can dry a whole vehicle completely. If you notice any streaking occurring, simply flip the towel over and continue drying.


When the vehicle is dry, congratulations! You just successfully hand washed your vehicle! That wasn’t so bad now was it?


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