Doesn't your car look great when you get it cleaned at the car wash? Of course it does, but the problem is that a lot of people can't get the same look when they wash the car at home. And how can you keep the paintjob looks as fresh as the day you picked your car up from the car lot, brand new and shiny?

It is generally recommended that you wash your car every week, and wax the car three times a year. Seems like a lot of work, especially with waxing, but remember that waxing helps to protect your paintjob from fading, and actually makes washing the car easier!!!

Quick Tips

  • Wash your car in a shady area; this will make sure that the water doesn't dry too quickly so you won't have to worry about water spots that leave your washed car looking dirty.
  • Use an automotive shampoo (a fancy name for car wash). You can use dish detergent, but remember that these are designed to strip grease and fat from ceramic. They will get rid of the dirt, but they will also attack the wax coating on your car. If you use an automotive shampoo you can wash the car without having to worry about re-applying the wax every week. A lot of time and money has gone into developing these products to make sure they do best for your car.
  • Work top to bottom – just think, why do you want to drag dirt UP the car
  • Rinse before washing – this will make sure that any large dirt deposits was away before you start wiping down with the sponge and shampoo, meaning that they wont scratch the paint as you drag the sponge along.
  • Use a separate sponge for the body and the wheels as break dust can also scratch up the paintjob.
  • Clean off any bird droppings, tree sap, bugs, eggs etc as quickly as possible. These can actually eat away the paint in the same way paint stripper would so it pays to clean them of as soon as you can.

Common Questions

What is the difference between Wax and Polish?

Polish is used to remove small scratches and blemishes from your paint and give it a nice finish, whereas wax gives the paint a clear, hard coating to "protect" the paint. As a simple rule, wax is the protection, polish is the shine.

Why not go through the carwash at the service station?

Although these are getting pretty advanced now days, it does pay to remember that these are still machines and use mechanical brushes that can damage your paint, as well as rip off the antenna and loose mouldings. Some also use recycled water which means that your car is being washed with the dirt that came off the car before you. Nothing beats washing your car by hand for the best job!!

How often should I wash my car?

The general recommendation is that you wash your car weekly as this will make sure that the surface is always clean and will prevent dirt and grime damaging your paint (not to mention bird droppings etc. that can eat away at your paint). Although weekly is recommended it really does vary depending on your cars use and storage conditions, for example a car that is garaged for 6 days a week will need to be washed far less regularly then a car that is used for a daily commute and then left in the elements all day.


Although it may seem like a lot of work to wash the car, the benefits really do make up for the time spent. A respray can cost up to a few thousand dollars so taking care of your cars paintwork is a great preventative measure. And for a car enthusiast there is nothing better than finishing a good clean of their pride and joy and standing back to admire.

And after all….. you would do the same for your house……