Washing the car by hand: how do I do it right?

carwashWashing 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 always use microfiber cloths / textiles and high-quality washing and wax concentrates. After we already recommended good shampoos and utensils in Part 1: Basic equipment for car hand washing, we explain the right technique here.

What is the correct way to wash my hands?

Pre-clean the vehicle with high pressure. (See below)
Be sure to take advantage of the 2 bucket method. Best are 2 buckets with about 10 liters capacity. In one bucket is clear water (this will later become the dirt bucket), in the other is water with shampoo. Important: take it never cold water, always at least lukewarm.
In the first bucket, add the shampoo to the water and make sure it dissolves well. Soak the wash mitt in the shampoo bucket and start from now top to bottom to wash the car. That means: first the roof, then all the windows, then the tailgate and bonnet, and finally the sides and the rims. The advantage of this method is that from the least pollute to most pollute place of the vehicle to go.

For example, after washing the roof, dip the dirty wash mitt in the bucket of clear water and rinse thoroughly. Then dip it back into the shampoo bucket and continue.

When washing, remember that the shampoo should not dry on the areas that have already been washed. Therefore, always rinse the vehicle with clear water.

Which setting in the self-service car wash for hand washing?

The programs in the self-service car washes are almost identical everywhere. You only need 2 programs if you hand wash your vehicle there:

  • Pre-clean – pre-clean the vehicle with high pressure. Use the program of the car wash, which is called “Rinse” or “Rinse”.
  • rinse off – After hand washing, the vehicle must be freed from the shampoo. Only if you bring the vehicle with you osmotized water rinse, it is stain-free afterwards! Osmotized water is decalcified and purified water. At the self-service stations, it is usually labeled “Glanzspülen”.

Hand washing technique explained in the video


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