Where to Find Us:

Email: tooeasyautosalon@gmail.com

Phone:    253.964.1040

Fax:        253-466-1664

Address: Too Easy Auto Salon

               Bldg 4081 West Way

               Ft. Lewis, WA 98433

Hours:    9AM to 5PM Mon-Fri

      during rainy season

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How to Wash a Car by Hand

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Washing your car yourself can be a relaxing and satisfying respite from the concerns of life, and an activity the kids can help you with. You only need soap, a bucket, and some rags. Then go have some fun!


  1. Park the car out of direct sunlight. This prevents premature drying which can leave splotches on the paint.
  2. Set everything you will need near the car.
  3. Fill a bucket with water and add car wash soap in the quantity directed on its bottle.
  4. Fill another bucket with plain water.
  5. Check that all windows are closed and retract the antenna.
  6. Hose off the car to loosen the dirt and soften the poop. Don't use a strong jet, as this can rub grit over the paint and scratch it. Try to aim the jet downwards on all surfaces. Aiming upwards around windows may cause water to dribble into the car if there are flaws in the rubber seals.
  7. Pull the windshield wipers away from the windshield until they click into their propped position, away from the glass.
  8. Soak a large wash mitt or sponge in the soapy water, being certain to wash out any dirt in it, and begin applying it to the car. Do not use a brush on the car body -- this will leave little scratches.
  9. Wash the car section by section, starting at the top. Circle around the car several times, washing lower areas with each round.
  10. Rinse the dirt out of the wash mitt or sponge in the bucket with plain water frequently.
  11. After one section is washed, rinse it with the hose before moving on. You don't want the soap to dry on the paint and stain it.
  12. As you progress, keep the entire car wet, as this will prevent droplets from drying on the paint and leaving water-spots. You want to be able to dry the car with towels before it air-dries.
  13. Scrub the lower body and the wheels last, as these are the dirtiest, grittiest parts. It's a good idea to use a separate wash mitt or sponge on the bottom.
  14. Use a long, skinny wheel-brush for cleaning the openings of the wheels. If the wheels are very glossy, instead use a sponge or a mitt to clean them just as you would the car body after hosing off as much of the extra dirt.
  15. Clean the tire sidewalls with a plastic brush.
  16. At some point rinse the bottom of the car, from various angles, with a spray nozzle. This is particularly important when the car has been exposed to salt.
  17. Dry the vehicle with fresh towels.


  • Don't keep the water running while you wash your car. The average home wash would use between 80 and 140 gallons of fresh water. Buy a hose sprayer with a lever that shuts off the water when you let go.
  • Never wash your car with dish soap. It'll strip off the wax.
  • For super-clean windows, rub glass inside and outside with a ball of crumpled newspaper that's been dipped in methylated spirit.
  • Let gravity help you. Start from the top of the car and work your way to the bottom, from the least to the most dirty areas.
  • Stick things such as touch-up paint or stick-on accessories to car before waxing it.
  • "Rust converter" (not rust remover) is a convenient, much more durable, and easier to apply substitute for touch-up paint. It is applied with a tiny brush or toothpicks to a rust spot or not yet rusty gouge in the paint and chemically reacts with it to leave a tough black coating. This barely shows on a relatively dark or metallic colored car. It is a firm foundation for touch-up paint so there will not be rusting underneath; does not require sanding or scraping that can enlarge the damaged area. Pour out a very small amount in a little paper cup, use it, and throw away the excess--it is important not to contaminate the main bottle.
  • If the car is very, very dirty, let the soap and water do the work. Make multiple passes. Work in the early morning or late evening so soap doesn't dry on the car (still moisten the entire car frequently). Use "bug and tar remover" where needed. Do not scrape hard or use a brush. That will scrape the car. Ultimately, a few stubborn bits of dirt will look better than scrapes from trying too hard to remove them.
  • Wax (or one of the newer polymer products) protects the paint from the sun so it doesn't fade or deteriorate, and from the flying grit being kicked up by the vehicles in front of yours on the highway. Polymer products wear longer than wax. The ones purchased at auto supply stores are just as durable as the ones the car dealers sell you for hundreds of dollars.
  • A polymer wax-like product such as "Nu Finish" can be much easier to buff off the excess of than real wax, even if it is allowed to dry longer than necessary first.
  • Don't forget to shut all the doors and windows before washing.
  • Glass cleaner can get the windows a little clearer than can just car wash soap and water, but drying them with microfiber towels after washing the car can make them sparkle just as much. Clean both the insides and outsides of the windows.
  • Don't wash (or wax) your car in direct sunlight. This would evaporate the water too quickly and bake on the soap (or wax), leaving a dull residue that would be difficult to remove.
  • Use vinyl/rubber/plastic conditioner for dark-colored plastic parts and for tires.
  • Microfiber towels work the best on all of a car's surfaces. When you're finished using them, toss them in the washing machine. But don't use fabric softener. It can leach out of the towels and leave a residue on the surface.
  • Mitts, unlike sponges, can also be washed well in washing machines to remove all the grit.
  • Mitts with long dangling strands on them do not push grit onto the car as hard. They are less likely to scratch. They should still be rinsed and re-dipped into the soapy water often.
  • Bird droppings and bugs can damage the car's paint. Get them off as soon as possible with a damp rag or when washing the car. Soften bugs by dabbing with a sponge that's loaded with warm water.
  • If after washing the car, you can feel particles embedded in the paint when you run your hand over it, you can use a clay bar system to remove the contaminants before waxing. Just follow the directions.
  • Be prepared to get wet by wearing the appropriate work-clothes and shoes, shorts and rubber sandals when the weather permits, long pants and rubber boots when it doesn't.


  • Use dedicated cleaning tools for the wheels and tires. They pick up a lot of road grit and abrasive particles from your brakes, which could scratch your paint.
  • Do NOT use Windex or any window cleaner containing ammonia on the insides of color tinted windows, as it will discolor the tint and cause it to peel. A better option is a tint-safe window cleaner.

Things You'll Need

  • Shady work-area
  • Hose
  • 2 Large buckets
  • 2 Thick wash mitts or sponges
  • Wheel brush
  • Steel-wool soap pads
  • Towels, cotton or (ideally) microfiber
    • Optional:
  • Glass cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner( If interior is dirty)ALWAYS vacuum before making the area wet to avoid electric shock
  • Pledge or wax
  • scrubber or towel

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