Ready? Let's start with something easy -- something so simple that you're probably going to roll your eyes at me. When I was waxing my car this weekend, however, my neighbor pulled up in front of my driveway, rolled down his window, and said, "Hey, can you teach my wife how to do that?"
So here I am, doing my civic duty.
First, grab the essentials. You will need the following materials:
- 1 hose or water access (when I lived in an apartment, I took my car to a DIY car wash, and then waxed the car back at home)
- 1 bucket
- 1 car sponge
- 1/4 cup car wash soap
- Car wax (Turtle Wax, by far, is the best brand)
- 1 terry cloth wax applicator pad
- 1 pack of three cheap terry cloth hand towels
- Any other car care products you wish to use (anything by Armor All is great)
The best time of the day to wash and wax your car is in the early evening. Otherwise, the hot sun will bake the soap and wax into your paint. If you must do it in the afternoon, try to get under some shade at least. Then, begin with your dirty car...
... and hose it down. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of car wash soap into a bucket and and fill it with water. Dunk the sponge into the bucket and start scrubbing your car in sections. Rinse. Scrub some more if you missed a few spots.
Pay close attention to your wheels. Your front ones, especially, will be covered with brake dust. Really reach into all of the nooks and crannies of your rims or hubcaps. There's a lot of filth in there. I usually finish any car wash with some tire spray, which will enhance the black tires and give them a glossy look.
Once you are done washing your car, either dry it with a large bath towel or take it for a spin around the block. You want all of the water gone before you wax.
Now, waxing is something that should be done at least twice a year. I tend to go overboard and wax my car after every single time I wash it. The benefit to waxing it so often is that the wax protects your car's paint and clear coat from seasonal elements, nicks, and scrapes, as well as give your car a brilliant mirror-like finish.
Let's begin! Once the car is dry, take a terry cloth wax applicator pad and pour some wax onto it. The glob presented below is way too much; in my defense, I got distracted by puppies.
Then, wax a small section of the car, moving the pad constantly in a circular motion. Avoid all plastic, rubber, and glass parts of your car, as the wax is difficult to remove from those areas.
As you wax, a film will build up on the paint. Work in small sections. The longer the wax is left on the car (especially if it's during a muggy afternoon), the harder it will be to rub it off.
After waxing a section, take a terry cloth rag and wipe the surface of the car to get rid of all remnants of the wax. Then, move on to a different part of the car, wax, and buff again. Repeat until every inch of the car has been covered.
Don't forget your headlights or taillights. They, too, can benefit from a good waxing!
Boom, done. In less than two hours, your car will look clean, polished, and the wax will keep it protected.
Here's my car again a few days later. Still looks great!
So have I convinced you yet? Go wash your car! Your husband will thank you for it! :)
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