Your car is exposed to the extremes of Mother Nature through rain, ice, snow, wind and sunshine. It also has to deal with manmade pollutants present on the roads and in the atmosphere. These factors combine to create a punishing environment for your car’s paint and metal work. So, it’s important that you clean your car regularly and also to do it in the right order to maximise your cleaning routine.

We've put together a simple, four step routine that will help you clean your car like a pro:

Four step car cleaning programme

Step one: Preparation

Park your car out of direct sunlight. Before you start scrubbing with soap you need to rinse your car down to remove any grit, and to loosen dirt from the paintwork. Start at the top of the car (the roof) and work your way down to the wheels. Use the funnel setting on your hose rather than the jet setting to avoid forcing sharp grit across your paintwork.

Tip: you can remove stubborn dirt by adding a small amount of detergent / shampoo to a bucket of water and throw it over the car. Leave for a minute and repeat the hose down.

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Step two: Washing

Now that you've prepared your car it's time to wash it. Use a quality car shampoo in warm water, then start cleaning from top to bottom, rinsing your sponge or wash mitt regularly.

Use a good quality sponge or wash mitt to clean all the exterior surfaces of your car - including the windows, lights and number plates. A noodle wash mitt is great for removing stubborn marks.

Spray wheel cleaner on your wheels and leave for a few minutes to loosen up the dirt. Now use a wheel brush to agitate the cleaning solution and get into all areas of the wheel.

Use a pressure washer or hose pipe to thoroughly rinse your car - again work from top to bottom.

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Step three: Drying

You now need to thoroughly dry your car to prevent streaks and water marks from forming on the paint and windows.

Use a drying blade to squeegee off excess water, then use a Chamois leather or microfiber cloth to dry and buff.

Run your hands over the paint work - does if feel smooth or sandy? If it feels sandy then use a clay bar to remove any built-up residue.

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Step four: Polish & finish

Now your car is clean you need to finish the job with a wax & polish to create a beautiful shine, and to protect your car's paintwork.

Thinly apply the wax using an applicator pad or cloth; starting at the top and working down. Follow the instructions on your product for guidance on how long to leave the product to set (usually about half an hour). Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe of the residue and buff to a shine. Expect to use some elbow grease for this part to create great finish.

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Your car's exterior is now clean, protected and looks great!

No access to a hose or water supply?

If you live in a flat, or area where you can’t easily access water then waterless cleaning products are for you. These products use environmentally friendly ingredients to lift dirt from the paint, and wipe off to leave a clean, shining surface. Just spray and wipe.

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Don’t want to use chemicals?

If you don’t want to use chemicals to clean your car there is an alternative. E-Auto car cleaning kits used advanced materials that clean your car with just plain water. Once you’re finished just pop them in the wash and they are ready to use again. Good for 300 washes!

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