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Expert Shopper Automotive

Products that make washing your own car ridiculously easy

What you need to wash your car


Everyone who owns a vehicle knows that there are certain things you must do to keep it operating in peak condition so it lasts longer. These tasks include monitoring the tire pressure, changing the oil, getting a tune-up, rotating the tires and more. However, many people are not aware that regular washing should be on that maintenance list as well.

Washing your car as often as experts recommend — at least twice each month — can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. To help ensure you don’t become lax in your duties, it helps to have the best supplies available to make the task as easy as possible.

Why it is important to wash your car regularly

If you don’t regularly bathe or shower, sweat, dirt and more can accumulate on your skin. This can create an unhealthy environment that may trigger acne and cause dermatitis or even change the color of your skin due to a buildup of dead skin cells. You may even require medical attention to treat the problems that arise.

While your car is not alive, it can suffer the same fate. Paint serves many of the same functions as your skin. It protects your vehicle. Regularly washing removes buildup that can damage the paint, allowing moisture to create rust on any underlying metal parts. Washing your car regularly also helps keep it looking new and increases its value. Even more important, dirt on the windshield can obscure visibility and create a safety hazard.

Doesn’t rain wash my car for me?

It would seem that a good torrential downpour would do wonders for your car. In truth, there are some benefits to letting nature wash your car. However, the downsides make this an unreliable and potentially damaging approach.

The pros of letting the rain wash your car

Rain is free. It falls from the sky, and you do not have to pay for it. Even better, the rain does all the work for you as it falls. You do not have to apply any elbow grease. If it is a downpour, the rain may even remove unpleasantries, such as bird droppings, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. To some extent, rain does help keep your car clean.

The cons of letting the rain wash your car

The bad part about the weather is it is not something you can control. If your car is dirty, you can’t make it rain on demand. Even worse, rainwater is not very clean. Anything it picks up in the atmosphere can remain on your vehicle after the rain has ended, creating water spots and other imperfections. This means precipitation that picks up sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from burning fossil fuels can form sulfuric or nitric acids, which can damage your car’s paint. Even after the rain dries, the acid can remain and be catalyzed to cause more damage every time it gets wet. As counterintuitive as it sounds, sometimes the best time to wash your car is after it rains.

Car washing tips

  • Start from the top. Water and dirt flow down. If you don’t start at the top, you create twice as much work for yourself because you will have to clean the bottom again.
  • Use the right soap. If you use anything other than soap formulated for your car’s finish, you could damage your paint.
  • Rinse the car first. Any grime that isn’t rinsed off will become abrasive and scratch your paint when you start cleaning.
  • Use two buckets. One bucket should be designated for rinsing, and the other should have soap for cleaning. Never rinse your dirty sponge in the cleaning bucket.
  • Use a microfiber towel for drying. Other fabrics are too abrasive. A microfiber towel gives you the best chance to dry without damaging the paint.

Products you need to wash your car

Chemical Guys Best Car Wash Bucket Kit

One of the biggest frustrations with washing your car isn’t the task. It’s making sure you have everything on hand that you need. With the Chemical Guys comprehensive car wash kit, you get everything you need from the bucket and mitt to soap and after wash.

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Premium Car Care Kit by Armor All

This car care kit from Armor All goes beyond mere washing. You get everything you need to keep your vehicle in pristine condition, from the wheels and windshield to the interior. And, as a bonus, you also get a microfiber wash pad.

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Chemical Guys EcoSmart-RU Ready-to-Use Waterless Car Wash and Wax

Did you know you can wash your car, even if you don’t have any water? This eco-based product from Chemical Guys is designed to wash, wax and protect your car with just a squirt and a wipe down. One bottle is all you need to clean your entire car. It is safe to use on paint, windows and tires.

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Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash and Wax Kit

Another waterless wash and wax alternative is Aero Cosmetics’ car wash and wax kit. The large 144-ounce container is enough to wash up to 28 cars and can be used on interior surfaces. It is made with a biodegradable, plant-based eco-friendly formula and comes with microfiber towels and a mini bug scrubber.

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Anngrowy 62-Inch Microfiber Car Wash/Brush/Mop/Mitt

This versatile car cleaning tool has an anti-slip, rugged, aluminum alloy handle that extends up to 62 inches. The scratch-free microfiber brush head can be removed for washing, drying, waxing, dusting or polishing for up-close, detail cleaning without the pole.

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Bucket Boss Five-Gallon Bucket Car Accessory Organizer

With this clever storage accessory, you can keep everything neatly organized, so when it’s time to clean your car, you just grab the handle of your bucket and have everything you need. It is important to note that the bucket is not included, but the organizer is designed to fit most five-gallon buckets.

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Sun Joe Portable Spray Washer Kit

Dragging out the hose can be a hassle. Walking it around your car can also be frustrating because it keeps getting caught under the wheels. The Sun Joe portable spray washer kit is a portable battery-powered washer that you can use for quick rinsing tasks. The maximum pressure is 116 psi at 1.5 GPM.

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Motor Trend SafeKeeper All Weather Car Cover

The best defense is not exposing your car to elements in the first place. While this may not be a practical solution for cars that are driven several times a day, it will help protect vehicles that sit for a period of time or are at increased risk of sun damage, bird droppings and dust. This cover is approved for use in all seasons.

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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