When washing your car by hand and by yourself, you should first set everything you need near the car. This will save you a lot of trouble reaching for materials like microfiber towels or cloths, hose, three buckets: one for rinsing, two for washing.
You also need a large supply of water. It could be the tap connected to your hose, or just get more buckets of water. You also need the carwash detergent or shampoo you'll be using like KevianClean Car Wash Shampoo.
Expectations and Realities
- Wet and Soapy: It's unrealistic to expect that you won't get wet and soapy when cleaning your car, no matter how careful you are. No, you won't necessarily end up as soaked as your car, but you should nevertheless expect to at least get a little wet. Therefore, you should have the right work cloths like rubber sandals, shorts, and shoes. If the weather is a bit chilly, then you should also wear rubber boots and long pants.
- Car-Specific Detergent: There are actually detergents specifically designed for cars. This is because it's discouraged for you to use laundry or dish detergent on your vehicle because their formulation can actually make your car worse instead of better. An all-around car shampoo like KevianClean Car Wash Shampoo, for example, is designed to take care of your car's finish by removing yet lubricating the contaminants on your car body, which keeps them from scratching your car's surface.
- Follow Manufacturer Recommendations: Usually, you have to fill up a cup of your carwash product over a bucket of water then use the sudsy soap water over your vehicle, applying it with a microfiber towel or cotton washcloth. The water-to-detergent ratio of your carwash bucket should follow manufacturer recommendations though so that you can prevent yourself from wasting water and using too much or too little of the product.
- Washing Bucket Over a Dirty Car: It's wise to have a separate washing bucket for the car body and another for your wheel wells. This is because you want to avoid cross-contamination between body and wells in the first place, especially in light of how corrosive brake dust is on your car's finish. Having a third bucket full of plain water for rinsing is also called for since using the same bucket for everything can lead to you recontaminating your car after having just washed it.
Make sure to have on hand a stiff scrubbing brush, a softer brush, a large sponge, and wash mitts. Get a separate brush for your tires and wheels to prevent cross-contamination.
The brush is for agitating the really hard-to-remove biological gunk like splattered insects, bird poop, or small fruit stains from nearby trees. You may need to purchase a biological gunk remover as well.