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How to Quick Wash a Car in Record Time (ULTIMATE GUIDE)

Washing your car is an essential part of maintaining a vehicle. Life can get busy, though, and things like car washing tend to fall to the wayside first. 

Luckily, there are alternatives to a traditional car wash that are both quick and effective so you can take care of your car without taking too much time out of a busy schedule. 

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Purpose of a Quick Car Wash

A quick car wash doesn’t replace a traditional car wash.

However, it does buy you time before you have to break out all the supplies and spend an afternoon getting every last bit of dirt and grime off. It can be a great way to get rid of a light layer of dust or dirt, but you shouldn’t use it for anything more than that. 

There are several ways to wash your car quickly, and some are better than others. For each, you still need to use the right equipment and take care to avoid using methods that will create scratches and swirl marks. 

Method 1: Waterless Car Wash

Waterless detailers are a great way to quickly touch up and clean off a light layer of dirt and grime.

They’re all-in-one solutions that combine cleaning agents, lubricants, and anti-streak compounds together. That means you can clean your car quickly and effectively. It’s also perfect for spot-cleaning bird droppings and bug guts that accumulate on your car almost after you’re done washing it. 

Waterless car washes repel dirt and rain, keeping your car cleaner for longer. They offer a high-gloss shine and can be used on trim and windows as well as paint. Of course, you should always check the instructions on your preferred water detailer, but there are some general steps to follow. 

Step 1: Apply the Waterless Detailer

washing car with quick wash waterless detailer for car washes

The first step is to apply your waterless detailer, working on one panel at a time from top to bottom. Next, allow the detailer to sit on the panel for several seconds to minutes, depending on the specific instructions on your product. This allows the detailer to work into any dirt and grime to loosen it completely. 

Step 2: Wipe Away the Detailer

Fold a microfiber cloth into a square and wipe away the detailer with gentle pressure, as excess pressure can drag the grit across your car and create scratches. Flip the towel to a fresh surface and wipe off the next section, switching to a fresh, clean towel when all surfaces on the first one have been used.

Step 3: Buff It In

Once you’ve wiped off all the detailers, grab a fresh towel and give the panel a quick buff to bring out the shine. Again, it doesn’t take much; just a few passes, and you’ve got a clean, shiny car.

If you have any other areas to clean besides the paint, simply repeat these steps for them.

Method 2: Pressure Washer Rinse

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Pressure washers (See best prices) are incredibly powerful tools that can quickly eliminate dirt and grime on almost any surface. You do need to be careful, though, because improper use of a pressure washer can damage your finish, even stripping the paint off your car in extreme cases. 

If the dirt doesn’t easily wash away, don’t try increasing the pressure or moving the nozzle closer, as this can damage your finish. 

Step 1: Power Away the Dirt 

Start up your power washer and aim the nozzle at your car. Then, spray down your car using a moderately heavy pressure setting, focusing on the dirtiest areas. Ensure you thoroughly soak your vehicle from top to bottom to get all the dirt off. 

Step 2: Dry Your Car

Using a soft microfiber towel, dry off your car and work quickly to avoid leaving behind water spots. If your towel gets too wet, or if you see any dirt on it, swap it out for a clean, dry towel to get your car as dry as possible and avoid dragging any dirt along its surface. 

Step 3: Protect Your Paint

After you wash your car, you want to be sure to protect your freshly cleaned paint, which will help repel dirt and grime and make it easier to clean your car the next time around. This is typically some paint lubricant that will create a protective coating that can repel new dirt and grime. 

Simply apply a small amount to a clean microfiber cloth and use it on your car. Work on small sections and move in straight lines, adding more lubricant between each section. If your towel starts to show any dirt or grime, fold the towel to a new surface or swap it out for a clean one. 

What to Remember When Washing Your Car

No matter what kind of wash you do, there are a few things to remember.

First, always wash your car in a cool shady area to prevent any products from drying on your car. Wash wheels and tires first with a separate cloth or wash mitt to avoid moving dirt and grime from your wheels and tires to your freshly cleaned car. 

Also, you should always start from the top and work your way down to keep dirt and used water from rolling down into sections that have already been cleaned.

Finally, when it comes to drying or applying waxes or waterless shampoos, always use soft microfiber towels that won’t scratch or damage your paint. 

Instant Shine, Enhanced Protection

DETAIL YOUR CAR IN 15 MINUTES OR LESS

★★★★★ 

Works On All Exterior Surfaces!

Turbo is a ceramic waterless detailer with shine boosting nanotech that cleans while enhancing your current wax or ceramic coating. Wash And Shine Your Car Anywhere & Anytime. No Hose Needed: Just spray on and wipe off!

When to Deep Clean Your Car

Because quick car washes can’t get every bit of dirt and grime, you still need to deep clean your car every now and then. This is especially true if you have a particularly dirty car caked in dirt and mud. 

You should base when you wash your car on how much you drive and the environment you drive in. Generally speaking, your car needs a wash every one to two weeks and a full, deep clean once a month.

  • Published on Nov 11, 2023