How to Pressure Wash Your Car Properly

How to Pressure Wash Your Car Properly


Using a pressure washer to clean your car can be much more beneficial than trying to tackle the same job with just a bucket and sponge.

There’s less chance of you getting drenched through, it’s much quicker, it prevents scratches on the paintwork and the end result is usually much better.

What you will need


To get started, you should first setup your pressure washer, so everything is ready to go when you need it. Whilst it is recommended that you wash your car out of the direct sunlight, it isn’t always possible, so having the equipment ready will mean the solution isn’t sat on the paintwork under the sun.

Step 1 – Wash the excess dirt off your car

Using the standard pressure washer hose (no lancer or foam at this stage), spray down your car using a medium setting around 1-2 feet away from your car, moving further away to do the glass areas.

Step 2 – Add the foam

Using the lancer attachment, you will add the foam that you have already prepped using the solution suggestions on the bottle.

The foam should be quite thick when applied to the car, allowing it to lift up the dirt from the paintwork and from the nooks and crannies. Some people prefer to clean the wheels first before putting the foam across the rest of the car, simple because the wheels need more attention.

Leave the foam to dwell for around 5 minutes so it has chance to lift the majority of the dirt.

Step 3 – Work the foam in

You can work the foam into the areas that are hard to reach or are dirtier such as the wheels and wheel arches.

Using your detailing brush and wash mitt, you can work the foam into the gaps, giving more work to the areas where brake dust settles. You may need to move your vehicle so you can reach every part of the wheel during the clean.

If you have wheel cleaner to hand, you can add this during this stage and work in accordingly.

Step 4 – Wash the solution off

After you have worked the solution into the wheel areas and let the foam sit on the paintwork for around 5 minutes, you can start to wash the solution off using your standard pressure washer hose (no lancer).

Step 5 – Handwash the car (optional)

If your car is particularly dirty or it has been a while since you washed it, it may need a handwash after the foam lancer, to ensure every bit of dirt is removed.

You can either use the lancer to spray the car with foam again or opt for a bucket and shampoo along with your wash mitt.

There should be little effort needed as the first covering of foam should have removed the majority of the dirt.

Step 6 – Drying the car

Depending on the type of finish you prefer or the time you have available, you can either opt for a microfibre cloth (they come in various sizes) or an air dryer which blows the moisture off the car, leaving no streaks.

You can then add any finishing products you like, such as tyre shine or glass cleaner for a complete finish.

These products will provide the best return on investment, rather than taking your car to the local hand car wash which can become time consuming and costly.

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