Auto Body | Collision Repair
Quick Links

Car Cleaning Tips

For many vehicle owners the task of washing a car by hand is therapeutic and an act of pride. Many owners take great pride in the appearance of their vehicles, which in-turn may extend the lifespan of their vehicle. By washing a vehicle frequently it maintains the new-car finish for a longer period of time. While washing a vehicle may seem like a simple task, vacuum, wash with soap and rinse it off, it’s best to start from the inside and work your way out. The following are some tips so that you don’t accidentally scratch or ruin the finish of your vehicle.



Be sure to give your carpets and upholstery a good vacuuming to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. If you want to clean the carpets more aggressively, you can scrub them with a stiff brush (but don’t scrub too hard, because it could damage the carpet) then give the carpet one final vacuum.

Before you start wiping the interior of your vehicle, it’s important to do a patch test of cleaners first to ensure that your vehicle’s interior doesn’t react poorly to the cleaners that you will be using. Start off by wiping a little bit of the product in a difficult to see spot and wait to see if there is a reaction. If nothing happens, then that is a safe indicator that your cleaners are good and you may begin cleaning the interior of your vehicle. It’s important to note that you should only be using a cleaner that is approved for your car’s interior.

The interior of the vehicle builds up dust very quickly, especially in the heating and air conditioning systems and in the air ducts. By simply using an air compressor, you can blow out all the dust and debris from the ducts, which will allow your vehicle to smell fresh and keep the dust down for a longer period of time.

When cleaning the dashboard of your vehicle, be sure to use a damp cloth and a diluted cleaner. It’s important to clean the rest of the interior of the vehicle including the doors, seat belts and the headrests. If there is a residual smell in your vehicle after you clean it, spray Febreze, vinegar diluted with water or a commercial deodorizing product.


Be sure not to wash your vehicle when the body of the car is hot, or if your vehicle was in direct sunlight for a long period of time.  The more hot the body of the vehicle is, the faster the soap and water will dry up, which will make the process of cleaning the vehicle more difficult and a higher chance of spots

  • The exterior of your vehicle should begin at the top of the vehicle and work your way down

  • Do not use dish soap to clean your vehicle as it can remove wax coatings and make your car more susceptible to scratches and blemishes. Do use a proper car wash soap.

  • If possible, your vehicle should be washed by hand. Yes, it does take longer to do than going through an automatic car wash, but car washes tend to leave patches of dirt on the vehicle. If washing your vehicle at home, be sure to use a soft sponge or cleaning mitt. By washing your vehicle yourself, you can ensure that your vehicle is free from any spots

  • Before washing your vehicle with soap, be sure to pre-soak the car. This will help loosen any dirt left on your vehicle

  • If your sponge is dirty,rinse it really well before dipping it again into the soapy bucket of water

  • When cleaning the tires of your vehicle, use a separate cloth or sponge in combination with a non-acid base cleaner and degreaser on your wheels

  • If you still see dirty spots on your vehicle after you finish cleaning it, spot clean it using a cleaner or using your fingers if that helps

  • Your almost done! Now is the time to clean the exterior windows using an ammonia-free glass cleaner. A microfiber cloth should be used to buff the windows. Don’t forget to roll the windows down a bit so the top of the windows can be cleaned as well

  • Lastly, it’s time to wax your vehicle. Over a period of time, the original wax application from your vehicle will wear off. Wax is crucial to protect your vehicle from bumps and scratches, stains and the sun. You should either use a liquid or paste wax and apply two coats for a professional finish. You should wax your vehicle every season for optimal protection

How to properly dry your vehicle

Be sure your vehicle does not air dry as this will leave water marks. It is best to hand dry your vehicle after you finish rinsing it.

After all of your hard work, your vehicle is now beautiful and shiny and ready to be shown off. If you discover dents or bumps on your vehicle while washing it, bring it to Boyd Autobody & Glass. We're here to repair your vehicle and get you back on your way as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

DISCLAIMER: This article is presented for informational purposes only and should not be seen as any kind of advice. The information provided herein or linked to via this article is 'as is' with no guarantee of accuracy or completeness. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.

Additional Articles

Boyd Offers

Boyd Offers!

Valuable savings and special offers on our auto body and auto glass services. Take advantage of these valuable savings exclusively available at Boyd Autobody & Glass.


Lifetime Guarantee

We proudly stand behind our repair work for as long as you own your vehicle. Learn more about our Lifetime Guarantee.