2012-10-08

Working Funerals - Cleaning the car

    Most people might not find this post helpful, or even that interesting.  But for others this should make cleaning the car faster and result in a better job.  It took me 20 minutes to completely clean the exterior of my car.  There wasn't a spot of dirt on it by the time I finished.

    Cleaning cars is a big part of the morning routine and the job in general.


1. First you need the equipment.  It is better to get everything at once and have it ready when you need it.  You will need:
- 1x Bucket.
- 1x Sponge.
- Car washing liquid.
- 1x Shammy.
- A hose.

2. Rinse the shammy and sponge, no point cleaning a car with dirty tools.  Next put some car wash in the bucket, a nice glob or two.  Then fill the bucket with water and put the spong in to soak.

    This should only take 5 minutes at most to collect and rinse everything.

Soapy bucket ready to go.
3. Hose the car down.  You want to get it completely wet, and to push off as much dirt and dust as possible.  I tend to spray the car with a pointed water jet, something with good pressure to it.  This gets most of the surface stuff off.  Make sure you hose a bit extra in the wheel arches and other under areas. These are the dirtiest places.

- Hosing off the large bits of dirt and dust makes the job easier and stopps you scratching the paint later.

- Lift the wipers before you hose, quickly hose off the wiper blade to clean it.

    This should take about another 2-5 minutes to completely and properly hose the car.

Click to enlarge.
Nice and wet.
4. Get the sponge, now soaked and start to clean.  Always start at the top and work down.  Properly soaping the car should take 5-10 minutes depending on how much work is needed.

- Dip the sponge in the bucket and squeeze regularly.  This keeps the sponge clean and prevents scratching the paint.

Starting at the top.

- Get into the 'under' areas as you go.  Such as underneath the wing mirror, underneath the doors, the wheel arch and so on.  These areas tend to be the dirtiest, so dip the sponge in the bucket more often when cleaning these areas.  More soap and a clean sponge prevents scratches.

Getting under the mirror.
5. Soap the wheels, make sure you get underneath areas on the wheels.  Use extra soapy water on these parts.  Each wheel should only take about 1-2 minutes.

- Do NOT use the sponge on the tire wall.  Clean the metal rims, the wheel arch and the mud flaps.  But don't clean the actual tire.



Click to enlarge. 

6. The details.  Cleaning little things like the muffler takes at most 5 minutes and makes a big difference.  The muffler in particular is often overlooked.  But it's usually chrome, or at least shiny.  Cleaning this makes the whole car more impressive.

Nice and clean, soon to be shiny.  Cleaned inside and outside.
7. Rinse the car, get all the sopa off.  Again, start at the top and move down.  It is important to get into all the gaps and crevices.  These are places soapy water will build up, and you want to get it all off.

- The petrol flap and door joins are particularly important.  They hide soapy water and dirt, so make sure you hose them well.

- Do not open any doors when hosing.  If the water can't get to that area while the door is shut then something is wrong.

Extra hosing the gaps in the doors.
Soapy water still leaking out of the petrol flap.
Nice and shiny.

8. Time to dry it off.  Make sure the shammy is rinsed off and squeezed out before you start.

- Start at the top just above the windscreen, open the shammy completely and hold each corner.  Then 'throw' the shammy over the roof of the car as far as you can comfortably reach.  Pull it back towards you and done.  Doing this is the most effective way to clean the roof and top areas.  This method can be used on the bonnet and other large areas.

Shammy 'thrown' over the roof.
- After cleaning the roof do the side windows and sides.  Use large circular motions, or straight motions depending on the section.  Really, either method will work and comes down to personal preference more than anything else.


- Clean half the car at a time, focus on just that panel on that side and dry it before moving on.

Half dry.

9. Once the main bodywork is dry it's time to dry the detailed areas.  The small and underneath areas need to be dried, otherwise they leak on the car.

- Fold the wing mirrors in, they have water in the joints.  you might have to 'flip' the mirrors a few times.  This involves pushing them in and out quickly a few times.  So all the water behind the glass can get out.  Otherwise when you drive it'll get the car wet.

- Open and dry the petrol flap, inside and around the sides.

- Focus on the door joints, chrome and other areas where things are fixed to the car.  Water will collect under these areas and they are tricky to dry.  Step 10. should dry most of these areas on the doors, but not on the main body.

Mirrors folded in.
10. Open all the passenger doors on the side you are cleaning.

- Dry the door pillar first.

A dry door pillar. 
- Dry the bottom of the door, near the seats.


- Dry the sides of the doors, even underneath.


- Shut the doors with a bit of force a few times.  You do not need to slam them, but shot them forcefully and quickly.  This is to get the water out of little gaps you can't reach with the shammy.

11. The boot is another area that needs attention.  Open the boot, water will drip out.

Boot open, a line of water at the join.
- Start at the top, as always, and work down.  Get into all the little places, poking the shammy in where required.  Avoid any areas that have grease, such as joints, hinges and arms.


12. Shammy the wheels.  Many avoid using the shammy on the wheels, but if you cleaned them properly with the sponge there is nothing to worry about.

- As when soaping the wheels, do not use the shammy on the tire or mud flaps!  Use it only on the wheel arch and the metal rim of the wheel.  The tire and mud flap should be clean, but might have grease and dirt that will get on the shammy.

- Use a rag to dry the tire and mud flaps.

12. Final step is to 'pain' the tire.  Use a tire shine product, most are silicon based.  Whatever the product it will only work properly if the tire is completely dry!

- Using a brush method is the best.  Dip the brush in the tire shine, and in one constant sweeping motion pain the tire.  Then do it again the in opposite direction.

- Spray methods work well enough and are the more common for home car care.  Simply spray the tire shine around the wheel.  Then get a rag and wipe around the wheel to make sure it is evenly spread.

    Done!
Nice and clean.
    The car is clean dry on the outside.  In total I took  25 minutes to do this, with stopping to take photos.  But my car was already relatively clean and I work fast.  While this is a fast and efficient method that has a quality result everyone is different.  So it will take a different amount of time and be to a different quality depending on the person.

    Also I use to clean the interior of my car after I used it.  This means I didn't need to clean it in the mornings.  Which saved a lot of time.

The interior, already clean.
An~~

1 comment:

  1. Great looking site and congrats on the new blog. I'm adding it to my reading list.

    ReplyDelete

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