The Playbook For The Modern Man

Professional Car Detailer Reveals The Common Car Wash Mistakes We All Make

Hose her down.

Keeping your set of wheels sparkling clean isn’t always an easy task. You may use it on a daily basis – granted, maybe not at the moment given the current pandemic – so just finding the time to head outside armed with a hose, pressure washer and bucket may prove tricky. Or you can take the easy route and drive it into a hand carwash or detailers and let the professionals do the job. But where’s the fun in that?

Spending a couple of hours with your pride and joy, caressing its curves with a cloth and cleaning out the nooks and crannies will provide you with a huge sense of satisfaction and achievement. Just trust us on that one.

But there is a right way and a wrong way when cleaning your car, and there’s a good chance you’ve been doing it the wrong way for some time. Just take a look at the body at an angle and you’ll probably see a series of scratches, caused incorrect washing. Porsche is aware of the common issues faced by many a car washer, and so has enlisted the services of Richard Tipper, a professional car valet to give us the tips we need for a spotless motor.

Tipper often spends a couple of days cleaning and detailing his cars – don’t worry, we don’t expect you to do the same – as not only will he clean the areas you can see, he’ll go deeper into the car to clean the areas you can’t. He’ll often take the seats out of cars to get any fallen crumbs or McDonald’s chips. We’re pretty sure everyone will have at least one chip lurking somewhere in their car.

Once you’ve dedicated a good few hours to washing your car, Richard says it’s best to start with the wheels, since they’re the dirtiest. You should have a bucket specifically for wheel cleaning, as it will hold onto dirt and grease over time, which you wouldn’t want to lather over the bodywork. You’ll also need some soft-bristle wheel brushes and a deionising decon gel – Richard says to steer clear of acidic wheel cleaners – which you should spray onto a cold wheel, avoiding the brake disc as much as possible. Work the gel into the wheel with the brushes, making sure to get behind the spokes if you can.


Wash off with a gentle rinse, never blast them with a power washer up close. Oh, and if you have to apply tyre shine for that showroom look, don’t put a cover over it after as the shine will transfer on to it from the wheels.


Once they’re done it’s on to the main event. Keep your car out of direct sunlight when washing to avoid smears and arm yourself with two buckets, a soft wash mitt and some microfibre cloths. Apply a pre-rinse agent to the whole body and then take the two buckets, one with soapy water, one with plain water. Dip the mitt into the soap, apply it to an area of the body (starting with the roof first) dunk it into the plain water to rinse off any dirt and grease, back into the soap and repeat.

Hose her down and grab a microfibre cloth – Richard doesn’t bother with a chamois leather, so neither should you – lay it on an area of the bodywork, let it soak up water and pull it off. Repeat around the whole body for a streak-free shine. Finally, Richard recommends getting an automotive dryer to blow the water out of the hard to reach areas such as around hinges.

And voila, you can now enjoy a clean car, on the outside at least. The interior is a whole different ball game, so to find out Richard’s top tips for cleaning the seats, steering wheel and even the engine, head to Porsche’s website. 

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