Yes, an entire article on washing a car. Believe it or not, very few people know how to do it correctly! Here are a few things to know:
1) Wash your car when it’s cooler outside – Heat will cause the soap and water to dry quickly which will leave streaks on the paint. If the weather is going to be a scorcher, first thing in the morning is a good time to do it, or when the car is parked in the shade, the sheet metal will be much cooler and your car will look better.
2) Wash your car soon after stuff has be depositied on the paint – Do a full wash as soon as you see things like bird droppings, dead bugs, etc. Bird droppings, in particular, have a high acidity that if left on the paint for any length of time can eat into the clear coat.
3) Use a special automotive cleaner – This is one of the most common mistakes. Dish soap, laundry soap, and household cleaners are often too harsh to use on a car’s paint. They can strip off the protective wax coating. A dedicated carwash formula, on the other hand, is formulated with a milder soap that doesn’t affect the protective coating.
4) Don’t use abrasive cloths or sponges when washing – Whether washing or drying, never use a rough cloth or other material with a surface that can leave scratches. A large soft sponge works well, or many professional detailers prefer to use a lamb’s-wool mitt. The reason for this: The thick nap of the lamb’s wool allows loose particles to be worked up into the wool rather than remaining on the surface.
5) Use a bug-and-tar remover when needed. Mild car wash formulas often aren’t strong enough to remove road tar, grease, or similar residues. For this, don’t just scrub harder, use a strong bug-and-tar remover is a good idea. It is specifically formulated to be kind to your paint finish.
6) Use a chamois or terry towel to dry the vehicle – Many professional detailing shops use terry towels. A natural chamois works well too but requires more maintenance. It can’t be stored wet and becomes stiff when dry, needing to be remoistened before use.
Information Source: Reedman Toll Chevrolet