How to Wash a Car

Car with soap
Riding around in a freshly washed car can make you feel great, but did you also know it helps protect your vehicle? Car washes, when done correctly, help protect the exterior paint and control imperfections you can’t see, such as tiny kicks or scratches. At Tamaroff Honda, we want drivers to keep their new Honda vehicles looking their best. That’s why we’ve put together the following car washing guide. Learn how to wash a car below!

Plan Ahead

Trying to decide if your car needs a quick wash or the full package? Most of the time, a brand new or recently waxed and polished cars need just a wash and wax. If your vehicle has been exposed to the elements for a period of time, frequents dirt roads, or is taken off-road, you may need a more detailed cleaning.

Rinse and Wash

The first step in any car wash is to rinse your car to remove loose dirt and debris. You can then use car washing mitts and drying cloths to clean your car’s surface more thoroughly. After you have washed the car’s body, clean the windows with an ammonia-free solution that’s intended for use on cars only. For the wheels and tires, you want to switch to a low-strength, acid-free pH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner.

Remove Bumps and Apply Compound

Next, gently buff away tree sap and other contaminants attached to your car’s surface using a clay bar. You can also apply compound with a dual-action polisher to smooth tiny scratches beneath the surface. Normally, compounds need 2-4 coats.

Apply Polish (If Needed)

Dual-action polishers work best. Thanks to the oils in the polish, they give your car a sleek, glossy look. You can use a soft towel or orbital buffer to apply it. Orbital buffers are faster but give you less control over the finished look. You can end up scratching your car if debris comes between the pad and your car while it’s in motion.

Wax Your Car

Car wax does more than improve the appearance of your vehicle; helps it retain its sheen and it protects the paint from UV rays. The two most common types of car wax are Carnauba and polymer. Polymer wax costs a bit more than carnauba, however, it doesn’t haze and doesn’t need to set for long periods.

How Often to Wash a Car

How often you should wash your car depends on how you drive. Do you just run errands or are you frequently taking longer trips for work or adventure? If you’re only commuting from Troy to Farmington Hills, for example, aim to wash your car every two weeks and wax it every six months. If you’re taking your Honda Ridgeline off the beaten path for some off-roading, clean it as soon as you can afterward.


How to Wash a Car: Tips

  • Cleaning Supplies: Avoid hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner, and instead use solutions that are designed to protect your car’s paint. Use a natural sponge or wool mitt to wash.
  • Washing: Lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
    Drying: Use a chamois or terry towel to hand-dry the surface, as air drying can leave swirl marks.
Drying a car

Get More Car Care Tips from Tamaroff Honda!

Do you have additional questions about how to wash a car properly, or would you rather just leave the job to the professionals? Contact the team at Tamaroff Honda. We can answer your car wash questions, or tell you more about our auto detail packages and how we can get your car sparkling clean!

Saved Vehicles ×


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us ×

(248) 965-1049

Call Now

28585 Telegraph Rd. • Southfield, MI 48034

Get Directions

Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 9am-6pm

Open Today! Service: 7am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-6pm

[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="" name="Tamaroff Honda" description="" street="28585 Telegraph Rd." city="Southfield" state="MI" postalcode="48034" country="United States" email="" phone="(248) 965-1049" logo=""]
Tamaroff Honda
Tamaroff Honda
28585 Telegraph Rd.
Southfield, MI, 48034 United States
(248) 965-1049
Tamaroff Honda 42.497881, -83.2865974.