How do I clean my car without scratching it?

How do I wash my car without scratching it? I didn’t realize the way I washed my car made tiny scratches in the paintwork. I want to prevent further scratches from happening the next time I wash it. What is the correct way to wash my vehicle?

This is a great question!
To clean your car without scratching it, you must remember to use soft cleaning tools and apply gentle pressure. Applying more force than necessary can scratch the delicate protective clear coat.
Some cleaning materials are better for protecting your car’s paint, such as:
  • Car shampoo (never dish soap or bleach)
  • Microfiber wash mitts (not sponges)
  • Snow foam cannon
  • A hose with a nozzle attachment
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Hard bristle brush
  • Large, clean microfiber towels
To preserve your car’s paint when you wash your car, be sure to:
  • Rinse the car thoroughly with a hose to remove any loose mud and dirt. Rinse from the top to bottom to push the dirt downwards. Be careful to not point the hose to the ground and cause the water to spray dirt up onto the car. Remember to rinse the wheels as well.
  • Pre-wash the car using a snow foam cannon. Let the foam sit on the car for two to five minutes. If the temperature is hot outside, rinse the foam sooner to prevent it from drying onto the surface.
  • Rinse off the pre-wash. Once again, rinse from the top to bottom, and avoid pointing the hose onto the ground.
  • Wash the wheels first. Assign a wash mitt and bucket just for washing the alloys and tires. Use a soft-bristle brush to clean difficult-to-reach areas. Use a hard-bristle brush to scrub the tires.
  • Wash the body of the car with a clean microfiber wash mitt. Remember to use a fresh wash bucket. Wash the vehicle from top to bottom. Always keep the paint and wash mitt well lubricated with car shampoo and water. If the wash mitt is dirty from collecting dirt, rinse it with a hose or swap it for a fresh one and continue to apply car shampoo on the car.
  • Rinse the car down with the hose.
  • Dry the car using a large microfiber towel. Rather than applying a wiping motion, press the microfiber towel very lightly onto the paintwork. Remember to use a separate microfiber towel to dry the wheels. Never use bath towels or squeegees to dry your car, or you risk causing scratches.
  • Clean the glass. There may be some streaks leftover on your car window or windshield from the wash process. Spray a glass cleaner designed for cars on the glass. Use a fresh microfiber towel to wipe off the product.
Voila! Your car looks so shiny and clean, you can see your reflection.
It is clear you care for your car, so why not protect it from any eventuality? Make sure you have the coverage you want for the best price. Try using the number one rated car insurance app, Jerry, to ensure you’re getting the best deals. Jerry compares personalized rates from the top 50 plus providers and delivers the best deals to your phone in minutes for free. The average Jerry driver saves $879 a year on car insurance!
Phoebe Mah
Answered on Nov 05, 2021

Did this answer help you?

Ask us a question by email and we will respond within a few days.

Have a different question?

You can meet us at our office and discuss the details of your question.
Let Jerry’s experts help you find savings on your car insurance!
No long forms or spam · Get quotes from 40+ carriers
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free