How to wash a car like a pro

Here's how to clean your car so amazingly that even the pigeons will take notice. Before they, you know...

How To Wash A Car

Achieving that professional clean will not only make you look like a pro behind the wheel, but car cleaning at home is also a surprisingly good source of fun ¬for friends and family – especially when the weather’s nice.

If you have been putting off that deep clean because you’re not sure where to start, this comprehensive guide on how to wash a car will help you get that shine back in no time.

How to wash your car inside and out 

What you’ll need

  • Bucket and sponge
  • Car shampoo 
  • Wheel cleaner 
  • Brush
  • Microfibre cloth or chamois leather cloth
  • Car polish and pad
  • Window cleaner
  • Plenty paper towels

One of the most important car-cleaning tips is to make sure that any cleaner you apply to your car’s surface is suited to your car’s finish and wheels. And why not shop around for an eco-friendly version? A non-toxic, low-chemical variety of cleaner will keep both your car and the environment happy.

Car-cleaning tips: How to clean a car exterior

  1. Blast the dirt off the car with the hose
    This is a fun step – be prepared to get a bit damp and messy.

  2. Shampoo your car with a bucket and sponge
    Mix your car shampoo with warm water in a bucket, following the instructions at the back of the bottle. Starting from top to bottom, use a sponge to shampoo the car using an up-down motion.

  3. How to clean a car’s wheels
    Create a soap mixture using the specialist wheel cleaner of your choice. Use a brush to remove brake dust from between the wheels and to scrub tough mud stains from around the wheels.

  4. Hose off the car for a second time
    Rinse the whole car exterior with the hose until the outside is clear of soap bubbles.

  5. Dry the car
    Sluice off excess water from the outside of the car with a squeegee, and then use a couple of Plenty paper towels to finish drying it off and avoid water stains.

  6. Polish the car
    Apply a small amount of polish to your pad and use an up-down motion to coat the surface of the car’s body. After you’ve applied several thin coats, buff the surface with a fresh paper towel using an up-down motion.

  7. Clean the windows
    Spray the windows with window cleaner (or a solution of 50% distilled white vinegar and water) and wipe with a piece of paper towel for a streak-free finish.


Plenty paper towels hold together even when they’re wet, so they’ll wipe car windows clean without leaving behind traces of tissue.

 How to clean the car interior

What you’ll need

Car-care tips for inside car cleaning 

  1. Open the car doors
    This will improve ventilation.

  2. Remove floor mats
    Take out your floor mats and beat them outside to remove dust. Keep them outside until you’ve finished.

  3. Pick up litter from the seats
    You’ll be amazed at what you find. Crisp packets and old receipts can accumulate without you noticing, but the car will feel instantly tidier when they’re gone.

  4. Clean hard surfaces inside your car
    Use a paper towel moistened with car cleaner to wipe the dashboard, wheel and any other hard surfaces.

  5. Vacuum floors and seats
    If you want to know how to clean car interiors thoroughly, try using different nozzles on your hand vacuum to reach the most remote parts.

  6. Use a carpet cleaner
    Apply a carpet cleaner and brush to clean away any stains, but try not to pour on too much, as the carpets will need to dry fully.

  7. The best way to clean inside car windows
    Following the same method as with the exterior of the windows, use a paper towel to wipe away the window cleaner or vinegar solution. You can follow our guide on how to clean windows properly to find out how to avoid streaks.

  8. Don't forget to clean inside your windscreen 
    This part of the car is often neglected, but can be cleaned in the same way as your other windows! Don't forget to tackle the area at the bottom where other dashboard meets your windscreen, which can get greasy and trap dust

With these car-care tips, car cleaning at home is quick and fun – especially with a bit of help from family and friends.

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