The Ultimate Car Wash Guide

So, you've just had your car detailed by us, and it's looking a little grubby after a few weeks of use. You've got a spare hour or two to give the car a freshen up, but you don't know where to begin when it comes to maintaining a car that's been detailed and coated.

Fear not, we'll show you how!

Before we start.. we advise your detail was longer than 7 days ago to allow for any coatings to have fully cured. If so, lets go:

Step 1 - Wheels

Making sure our wheels are cool - if you've just arrived on the driveway, let them cool a little first.

Working with one wheel at a time, spray some Rotation wheel cleaner on the wheel face & barrel and leave to dwell for a few moments before rinsing off.

Reapply the wheel cleaner and agitate with one or two of our Boar Hair Brushes that best suit the style of your wheels. Once the entire face and spokes have been cleaned, using our Long Reach Soft Wheel Brush Set, agitate the barrels working from top to bottom. Once complete, rinse off with the pressure washer and move into the next wheel. If your tyres need a good scrub, Spray a bit of Versatile All Purpose Cleaner onto the rubber, and agitate with a brush before rinsing.

Repeat on all wheels before moving onto the next stage.

Step 2 - Pre Wash

With the wheels now clean, its now time to tackle the bodywork. Working from the top down, rinse the bodywork thoroughly to remove any loose muck and debris. Don't worry if it doesn't remove all the bonded dirt as we'll be tackling this shortly.

Next up is Zest, our Bug and Grime Remover. It's safe to use on all surfaces, but pay particular attention to the lower sections of the car, front grille and rear bumper, which tend to get the most dirty with grime and bug splats. Leave to soak for a few moments before thoroughly rinsing off.

Step 3 - Snow Foam

The bit we all look forward to, getting foamy. Grab your bottle of White-Out and your snow foam lance. Add around 250ml of White-Out and fill the remainder up with water (warm, if available).

Starting from the bottom to top, apply a consistent layer of foam to the entire car. Bottom to top means the lower sections get more dwell time, as they tend to get more grimy. Leave to dwell for a maximum of 15 minutes before rinsing completely off the car.

Stage 4 - Contact Wash

This is the bit where nerves sometimes get involved as we're worried that we might swirl up the paintwork now we're physically touching it. But, in reality, we've removed majority of dirt in the 2 previous stages, and the fine layer that remains will be removed safety during the contact wash stage.

Fill up 2 buckets with grit guards about 75% full with fresh, clean water. Keep one completely fresh and this will become your 'Rinse' bucket. And in the other, squirt a bit of Bathe shampoo and foam up with the pressure washer, this will be your 'Wash' bucket. Grab your Plush Microfibre wash mitt, and plop it in your wash bucket. You're ready to roll.

Starting things off on the roof we work our way down, treating small areas at a time, and returning to our buckets to rinse the wash mitt off first in the rinse bucket, before going back to our wash bucket and taking the fresh wash solution to the car. Work your way around the car, in this order:

  • Roof

  • Windscreen

  • Bonnet

  • Upper Sides (to waistline)

  • Front Bumper

  • Back

  • Lower Sides

Once complete, completely rinse down the car. Making sure to flush gaps, grills, wheels and barrels properly.

Stage 5 - Drying

Grab our Plush Drying towel, and methodically dry the vehicle. We advise starting with the windscreen, flipping the towel halfway to 'prime' itself as a dry towel can induce marring.

A quick spritz of Precise Quick Detailer on the wet panels can add a little lubrication should you feel its necessary. With the bulk of the exterior dry, spray a little bit of Precise sparingly onto your wheel faces and dry with our Black Microfibre cloths.

Open all the doors, boot & bonnet, and same as the wheels, spritz a little bit of Precise, and dry anywhere that is wet. Our Versatile All Purpose Cleaner can be introduced here to clean any textured plastics under the hood if required.

With the entire car as dry as we can get it, lets do the finishing touches!

Step 6 - Glass

The bits we look through need to be the cleanest we can get them. Dirty windows not only let a wash down, but has a huge impact on driver awareness and safety, especially at night.

Anyhow, grab your bottle of Optic Glass Cleaner and spray a light misting across the glass surface. The key here is not to soak the glass, less is more!

With your microfibre cloth, work the cleaner into the glass in a left to right motion. Flip the cloth off and buff to a crystal clear finish. When working on the opposing side of the glass, work top to bottom, any streaks can now be identified to which side they are present on!

Repeat on all windows, don't forget the rear view & side mirrors!

Step 7 - Tyres

Nothing sets a car off better than tyres that are dressed. Get your bottle of Jelly, and spray it into a Tyre Applicator. Apply evenly to the sidewall of the tyre, overlapping onto the treat slightly (but not too far). If you've got 'rim protectors' built into your tyre, use the corner of the applicator to dress this bit.

For complete coverage, roll the car back a few inches to reach the bit you couldn't get to. With the exterior now complete, lets give the interior a spruce.

Step 8 - Interior

First up, remove the mats and any loose objects that will get in the way. Fire up the vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool attached and with one of our Ultra Soft Interior Brushes, start dusting the dashboard, centre console, infotainment systems, steering wheel and door cards working top down. You're aiming to flick any dust into the vacuum cleaner. Once complete, vacuum the seats and carpets, floor mats and boot space.

Grab your bottle of Versatile, and give the floor mats a quick mist of the product, agitate with a microfibre cloth before either vacuuming away the excess, or wiping with a clean microfibre. The same can be done with fabric seats and also the carpet. For more stubborn marks, an upholstery brush can be deployed to agitate harsher.

With Versatile still out, spray into a clean microfibre cloth and wipe over all plastic and leather surfaces. Work in small sections, and flip the cloth to remove any excess and dirt during the process. If the surfaces aren't overly dirty, use Precise Quick Detailer instead. Precise can also be used to dress the surfaces after cleaning with Versatile.

Refit the mats, and give them a light misting of Mood Air Freshener, to conclude our Maintenance Wash looking and smelling, like a boss.

Step 9 - Show us!

We love seeing our products in action, out in the real world by our most valued customers. Grab your phone, snap a few photos and upload them to Instagram and tag us with @THDetailing and we'll share it to our feed!

Don't forget, we're always on hand to answer any questions or offer advice on how to maintain your car, so please don't hesitate to ask!

All products and accessories are available online at

Photography by Luke Dillon Photography -

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