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Soapy sponge washing black car

Tips for Washing a New Car for the First Time

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If you have recently purchased a new car, you are probably excited and want it to stay in that “fresh off the dealership” condition. To ensure it stays in great condition, you will need to pay attention to the required maintenance, any small things that come up along the way, and of course, wash any road grime or dirt off the car at every chance. Washing a new car for the first time can sometimes present a few challenges when compared to a car you’ve had for a while. Read below to learn some tips on how best to go about washing your new car for the first time and ensure no scratches or unforeseen accidents occur along the way.

Wash by Hand

Using a pressure washer can be a superb method to quickly wash your car and get a nice and shiny clean. However, with regards to washing your vehicle for the first time, you might consider putting the pressure washer aside and washing it by hand. Doing the washing in person guarantees you achieve the perfect results. It also provides a better chance for you to scrutinize the car and learn about all the nooks and crannies that you may not normally notice. Ensure you have a couple of hours to spare and that there is ample space available in the washing area. You will also need to be aware of any objects that could be damaged by water, soap, or other cleaning products.

While using a pressure washer is not advisable for the first wash, using one after the initial stages of owning your new car is an excellent method to save time. You can find our pressure washer reviews here.

Find a Shade for Relaxing Cleaning Time

Trees, structures, or anything else that provides solid shade while washing your car is a good place for a first wash. Washing your car in the sun could lead to problems with the cleaning products drying too quickly and leaving an unsightly residue or film on the vehicle. Furthermore, who wants to stand in the hot sun for hours at a time? A shade gives you a cool and relaxing wash that allows you to take your time and get your car to that perfect shine without melting (figuratively).

Choose the Proper Cleaning Products

The best places to find car care products is to see what those who already have that model of automobile are using. Some vehicles require more elaborate or stronger cleaning products to ensure a deep down clean. Car forums are one of the best places to find out what others are using to clean their car. Or, you can simply Google the name and model of your car with cleaning products in the search. Another option would be to ask the dealer what are the recommended car cleaning guidelines. They should be able to provide guidance on the best way to go about finding car care products. Beware any pushy sales tactics though. They may just be trying to sell you on more of their products that you don’t really need. It is usually best to hear from other owners of that kind of vehicle.

Car Shampoo to Spoil your Baby

Car shampoos are excellent at producing thick and luxurious suds that help you wash without damaging the paint. These are usually ph neutral to ensure your wax job is unharmed and your hands are pampered as you wash. Furthermore, shampoo usually does a great job at reducing the inevitable water spots that occur after a wash. One of the more popular brands of car wash shampoo is made by Adams. Many car owners swear by the entire line of Adams products.

Washing car with soap

Keep a Wash Mitt Handy

Washing your new vehicle using a soft sponge is okay but using a wash mitt produces better results. It can be worn similarly to a mitten. Ensure you scrub the car surface in parallel lines and not in circular movements which can cause smudges and swirls.

Use New Microfiber Towels

Being the first time to wash your car, you will need a new microfiber towel to quickly absorb water and ensure the vehicle dries up a bit faster without water spots or swirls. The towels are designed specifically to soak up as much water as possible without leaving streaks. You can find these at any local automotive store, Walmart, or Amazon. They are usually fairly cheap and come with multiple towels per pack.

Two Washing Buckets = Twice the Fun

Washing a new vehicle requires you to have two distinct wash buckets. One wash bucket can be used for washing the wheels and the lower parts of the vehicle, where tough dirt and grime normally collect, while the other can be used for cleaning the upper surface. The base areas are generally muddy (with soil particles) or dirty, and you would not wish to spread it to the top surfaces and end up leaving it with scratches. You can consider getting plastic meshes to be placed in every bucket’s bottom to ensure that particles and dirt settle to the bottom and are separated from the cleaner water.

Clean from Top to Bottom

Regardless of whether the automobile is brand new or of old age, you should always start at the top of the vehicle and work your way down. As most of the dirt will be at the base of the vehicle, starting at the top reduces the chance for scratching the paint and spreading the dirt. Likewise, your mitts are guaranteed to remain clean for a more extended period. Starting to wash from the base just ensures the drippings dirty the area once you begin washing the upper parts.

Wax the Vehicle for Ultra-Shine

When your vehicle is entirely clean and dry, make an extra effort of waxing it with the correct type of wax. Again, ensure you are using what is recommended as not all waxes are the same. A good waxing will keep the car clean for longer periods of time and protect your paint from the elements.

Shiny new volkswagen waxed and washed

Protect Your Investment

Keeping your new car protected is very important in extending its life. While not all of us have garages, there are other areas in which you can focus to ensure your car impresses for a long time. Keeping your car in a garage is best to protect from the elements such as sun, rain, or hail. If you don’t have a garage, you can purchase a car cover to protect the paint when not in use. This can sometimes be a pain constantly removing replacing it. Additionally, dashboard protectors can help to protect the vehicles interior from the damaging rays of the sun if the vehicle is in direct sunlight. Another less known method of protecting the interior is to get your front windshield tinted (depending on the state you live in). This is a thin layer of film placed over the windshield that is usually either metallic or ceramic to shield the interior from UV rays. While this can be costly, the protection and heat protection are very nice.


Washing your new car for the first time can be a bit challenging, but with a little care, you can ensure your car will look just like the day you bought it. Once you have washed it a few times, you can begin using tools such as a pressure washer to help speed up the process. But, for the first time you should take your time and learn the layout of your vehicle while taking care to spot any issues. You need to have the proper supplies and always wash from top to bottom. Caring for your car means it will care for you in return. Maintain the good looks of your car while safeguarding your investment.