There is nothing that looks or smells as good as when your car has been detailed. All the nooks and crannies filled with dust, debris and crumbs are now immaculate. The body has a gleaming shine, and it almost looks like new! 


Even a standard clean done by a professional is high quality and leaves your car looking fabulous. However, when it comes to getting that same standard at home – it can be pretty tricky! 


Here are some of the most common car washing mistakes to help you avoid ending up with a car that looks worse than when you started. 


Not The Dish Soap

Millions of people add a few drops of regular washing-up liquid or hand soap into a bucket of warm water and get to work. The problem with this is that these soaps aren’t designed to be used on cars, and they can be harsh on paintwork and strip away waxes and protective areas too. 


Only use soap that is designed for cars – it’s the best thing for the job. 



Do you wait until the sun is shining so you can get out there and give your vehicle a good scrub? Well, unfortunately, washing your car in direct sunlight can make your car look cloudy or leave water marks. 


The heat of the sun will dry up the water and the soap much faster than you can rinse it off properly and move on to the next step. A warm, bright, and slightly cloudy day is a better bet. 

car in sundown

Two Buckets, Not One

Have two buckets of water, one filled with car soap and one for rinsing. If you are rinsing your wash mitt or sponge in the same bucket, you pick that dirt back up and rub it all over the car. 


Two buckets mean you are rinsing and squeezing the dirt into only using clean water on the car. 


Wheels First – Never Last

Always clean the dirtiest part of the car first, starting with the tyres, wheels and lower body. This allows time for the dirt here to hit the ground and be away from the rest of the car. 


If you are using a bucket and sponge, refresh the water and clean the sponge after the dirtiest bits are done. Doing it this way prevents dirt and grim making their way back onto the car – and they can be the most time-consuming. Get them out the way first – never last. 


Don’t Dry Wipe

You’ve got to the end, and as you dry the car, you notice you’ve missed a spot. Don’t ever be tempted to give it a quick rub with the towel. This is one of the fastest ways to micro-scratch your paintwork and embed dirt into the paint. Instead, get the cleaning stuff out and spot-clean it. 


No Wax On The Body

If you pour wax or polish straight onto the car’s surface, you will end up with dark spots and an uneven streaky finish. Always use the applicator to get that smooth, even finish.