Basic equipment for car hand washing

Washing systems are practical, but expensive and damage the paintwork. Although self-service washing stations are much cheaper, they often damage the paintwork due to dirty washing brushes. The best for the paint is to wash the car by hand. Important: All the information shown here does not refer to the “equipment” that you know from the past: the days of washing with a sponge and drying with leather are long gone! It should be for a car wash microfiber cloths / textiles and high-quality detergent and wax concentrates are always used.

What do I need to wash the car by hand? – Shopping tips

Here we have put together a few products that are inexpensive but of good quality and therefore ideal for beginners. Incidentally, the items are suitable for all cars – regardless of the paint finish. Here we have compiled some of the cheapest professional products:


are most suitable 2 bright (so you can see the dirt better) bucket in 10 liter size. In the hardware store from 1-2 EUR.
(Amazon has a “professional bucket” with a grid guard insert for a good 30 EUR, which prevents dirt from being stirred up in the water)


A good shampoo loosens the dirt from the paint surface so that it can be “transported away” with the wash mitt. High-quality shampoos also usually have a gloss effect and also contain a wax in the mixture to seal the paintwork. A cheap and economical shampoo is the Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax (approx. 18 €) – it protects the wax layer in normal doses, but can also remove the wax layer in high doses. You should never use dishwashing liquid instead of shampoo!!!

microfiber towels

Narrow areas, for example on the radiator grille, which are difficult to reach with a large washing mitt, are best cleaned with it small microfiber towels. In many hardware stores you get 5 cloths for 5 EUR. If it is to be of particularly high quality, for example to polish after waxing, the Meguiar’s Ultimate Wipe is the right choice.

wash mitt

The wash mitt is the opposite of a dirty self-service wash brush: It is soft, does not scratch and protects the paintworkby transporting the dirt particles to the inside during washing so that they cannot scratch the paintwork. A very good wash mitt is, for example, the “Alclear Premium wash mitt” (12 EUR).

drying towel

In the past, leather was used to “skin off” the vehicle after washing. But here, too, there is a great risk of scratching the paintwork! Nowadays you need a large, absorbent microfiber cloth. With the Meguiar’s Water Magnet Trying Towel (approx. 18 EUR) you can easily absorb the water on your entire vehicle in just one cloth – the result is a spot and streak-free shine!

As a next step:

Follow our guide: Proper Car Hand Washing Technique.

The shopping result could then look something like this (dry towel is different):

IMG 3413


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