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How to Wash Your Car Exterior at Home – A Step by Step Guide

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How to Wash Your Car Exterior at Home – A Step by Step Guide

Posted on: January 11th, 2021



Washing your car can be satisfying for both car enthusiasts and beginners alike. By using the right products, washing your car at home may not be as hard as you think and can be just as rewarding as getting a professional wash. Here is a step by step guide on how to get the most out of washing your car at home.

Pick the Right Day

Pick a mid-morning, evening or cloudy day for your car washing adventure. You want to make sure the temperature is moderate and that your vehicle is not positioned directly under the sunlight to avoid water evaporating while you wash. You can wash on sunny days but try to keep in the shade as much as possible. You can also check the weather forecast just to be sure there are no rainy days on the horizon.

Wear the Right Clothes

Precaution is necessary when you are cleaning your car and water is involved. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and wet. To take it a step further, you can even get a pair of gloves for grip and to keep your hands nice and dry.

Wash Tires and Wheels First

When washing your car, it best to tackle the wheels and tires first. This is because they are typically the dirtiest part of your car and you want to avoid grime and dirt getting on parts of the car that are already clean. Make sure to choose a wheel cleaner that is designed for your wheel type to prevent any damage.

Take Care of Your Headlights

Now you can move on to your headlights. Overtime, your headlights can get dull and become yellow and hazy due to scratches and oxidization. If this is happening to yours, use a headlight restoration kit to restore its clarity before you move on to the next step. If not, feel free to wipe them down with a cleaning solution safe for headlights.

Wash Your Car

Now it’s time to wash the body of the car. Use a soap or car wash foam like Rain-X High Foaming Car Wash or our Heavy Duty Car Wash for larger vehicles, to rid your car of any dirt, grime or residue. Our car washes are designed to remove even the most stubborn stains and dirt patches. Start by hosing off heavy dirt and debris from the vehicle. Next, start at the top of the vehicle and apply soapy water to a portion of the vehicle’s surface. You can apply the soap using a sponge, but to get the best results we recommend using a foam cannon gun. Not only does it save you time, but you get the best coverage. Next step would be to thoroughly rinse off your car using just a hose or with a hose nozzle sprayer for easier rinsing. If you don’t have easy access to water or want a quicker wash, our Waterless Car Wash is a good option. Once you’re done rinsing, make sure to use a chamois or microfiber cloth to dry and buff out your car. These towels absorb water easily and help make the car look more spotless.

Clean the Windows

Now we can move on to cleaning your car windows. Our 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner with Rain Repellent will not only give you a streak-free shine, but it also applies our water beading technology which prevents and removes sleet, snow, ice and bugs from sticking to glass as it repels rain. Apply it to all your car windows to enhance your driving visibility in wet weather. If you notice any chips or cracks in your windshield, try a windshield repair kit to minimize its appearance and stop it from spreading.

Spot Treat

After your car is full washed, you can spot-treat areas that need a bit more loving. Use an effective spot treatment to remove tougher blemishes on your vehicle.


For many, your car wash is complete. However, for those who want to add an extra layer of shine and protection to their vehicle, you can apply a wax that provides a protective barrier between your car paint and outdoor elements. The Rain-X Water Repelling Fast Wax formula is easier to use than conventional paste wax and can be applied to wet or dry surfaces, so you can wax and dry in one step.


Once you’re done with washing your car, all that’s left to do is maintain it. You can use a detailer spray to keep it clean between washes and for easy touch-ups. Now that your ride is looking good, it’s time to take it for a spin!