How to clean your car at home

20 July 2018

Whether you’re trying to save money or water, or just want to give your car some TLC with a great at-home valet service, here’s how to wash your car like a pro.


How to clean your car at home

Whether you’re trying to save money or water, or just want to give your car some TLC with a great at-home valet service, here’s how to wash your car like a pro.

The interior

Firstly, take out all the rubbish, and any items that has accumulated, but which you don’t need. With a car-cleaning wipe or a cloth and some household cleaner, wipe down the dashboard, steering wheel, inside-door pockets, door handles, cup holders, mirror gear and brake lever and indicators. Use an earbud or toothbrush to clean any hard-to-reach places such as knobs and in between switches.

Using a microfibre cloth and window cleaner, clean the inside windows. Take out the floor mats and if they’re plastic, hose them down. Vacuum the indoor from top to bottom - if you have them, make use of different-sized nozzles in order to reach everywhere. Don’t forget to move your seats in order to get underneath them. If you have leather seats, rub them with a cloth and an appropriate leather cleaner. Spray your car with air freshener, or put in an air-freshening product that will last a few weeks.

The exterior

Rinse the car with a bucket or hose, and work from the top to the bottom. With a car sponge, apply a mixture of car soap and water, and start cleaning. Dip the dirty sponge into a bucket of water to rinse, and then dip it into the soap bucket before repeating the cleaning process. Once the entire car has been washed (don’t forget the windows and tyres), do a final rinse.

Take a good-quality car wax and dab some onto a microfibre cloth or sponge. Apply a thin coat to the car exterior in a small and smooth circular motion. Allow the wax to dry and then buff it with a clean microfibre cloth. Keep polishing until you have a smooth finish.

Some do’s to remember

  • • Wash your car in a place with enough room to move around
  • • Always rub in a circular motion. This protects the paint layer and prevents streaks
  • • Clean the car on a free day when you don’t need the car immediately
  • • Use two separate buckets or containers - one for the soapy solution and one with clean water for rinsing
  • • Start from the top and move down when cleaning
  • • Ensure the fuel cap is closed properly

Some don’ts

  • • Don’t allow any water or liquid to seep into any of the electrical components
  • • Stay away from the battery terminals as you can get a shock
  • • Avoid using harsh chemicals
  • • Don’t use excessive force when scrubbing

Sometimes there’s only so much washing and polishing you can do, and you aren’t able to get rid of those tiny scratches. MotorHappy offers a Scratch and Dent Cover that will protect you from those unwanted and inevitable scratches. It will even cover you for minor interior damages. For more information on this scratch and dent cover, click here.


This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information in this article is strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of the information contained in this article.

More Articles