Time to Wash the Vehicle- Use the KISS Method

Today is a rainy, nasty day in Tennessee. Its a great day to reflect and think about something I really like to do. Wash vehicles using the KISS Method (Keep it Simple Silly)

Its March 9th, 2019 and basically all there is to do is stay inside and do some prep work getting ready for spring.

Something I like to do is preventive maintenance so I spent most of the day in the garage getting my lawn mower ready for spring. I was able to sharpen the blades, change the belts, pack the wheel bearings, charge the battery, and basically get ready for the mowing season.

I said all that to say this, while I was rummaging through my tools and things in the garage I came across my equipment to wash the vehicles.

Normally, this would have lead me to start pulling out the hoses and getting ready to wash the vehicles, but alas, I was tied up with the other spring maintenance and prep work with the lawn mower.

So, if I can’t wash my vehicles right now, I might as well write about how I like to wash them.

Prep Work

I like to get all of my tools and equipment ready first. This is the first part of the KISS method (Keep It Simple Silly) I must say, before we get to far into this, I am not much of an expert on washing cars, I just know how I like to do it, which, is how my Dad taught me to wash cars when I was a kid.

Prep work is key to success. Many times we need our tools and we need them now. Anybody who has ever washed a car knows that you need to move pretty quickly. Go ahead and get your tools ready before you start to wash your car.

Step 1- The Interior

  1. Clean out the vehicle interior FIRST
    • This includes any trash, miscellaneous items that make their way to the vehicle
  2. Pull out the floor mats and shake them off and lay them on the Garage floor.
  3. Take a clean cloth like these Xpose terry cloth’s and wet it down a little with clean water. Just dampen it.
    • Wipe the entire interior down with the damp cloth.
    • Rinse the wrag and repeat as needed.
  4. Use an Armor-All type product to protect all the rubber and plastic pieces on my interior.
    • I like to use the Armor-All wipes. It makes it super convenient to use.
    • Here is a link to the Armor All wipes I use – Armor All Protectant Wipes
  5. The final step is vacuum out your interior. I use a Shop-Vac style vacuum and it works great.
    • Here is a picture of the vacuum that I use

Step 2- The Tools to Wash Your Car

Here are the following tools that I use to wash my car. You can really go crazy on how much you spend on your detailing equipment. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to this stuff.

I use the KISS method when choosing tools to wash my vehicles.

  • Soap- I don’t go too crazy on soap but I do use a CAR specific soap. I tend to use Turtle Wax Max Power car wash. Its cheap (but not to cheap) and does a great job!
  • Bucket- I use just your standard 5 gallon bucket that only cost a few bucks- Here is a link to one on Amazon but this is for reference only, go to Lowes or Wal-Mart and buy one for about $3.00

  • WaterBlade Squeegee – These things make drying your car a SNAP! Basically, after your finish washing your car, just use this squeegee to clean the water right off. Works Great!

  • Glass Cleaner- For my glass cleaner, I like to use a product called Invisible Glass and I like to use the aerosol can. You just spray it on and then clean it off. I use Scot Shop Towels to wipe off the glass.
  • For my tire dressing I use Armor All Extreme Tire Shine. VERY easy to use. Just don’t forget to back up 6 inches or so and get the part that was sitting on the ground.

That is basically it for my tools. I don’t use too much. You can add as much or as little as you want. I like SIMPLE, thats why the KISS method works so well!

Step 3- Washing the Car

  • Don’t forget, this is the KISS method, this is just basic logic
  • Start by filling your bucket with water and soap and make sure your sponge is in the bucket
  • Then start spraying my car down. I usually spray the whole car down but tend to wash the “Shadow” side of my car first. One side always seems to be facing the sun so I wash the side that has the shadow first.
    • I do this because the shadow side will not dry as fast. I don’t like water spots on my car so I wash the side facing the sun last.
    • For those of you lucky enough to have a nice shaded place to wash your car, that is a great perk to have!
  • Next wash the car.
    • Start the car wash wash at the top of the car first and rinse the soap off, I start on the roof, then move to the windshield and the back window and then to the hood an the trunk/tailgate/bed.
    • Then start to wash the shadow side of the car
    • Rinse as you go to ensure that the car doesn’t get too dry and get those bad water spots
    • Then wash the sun side of the vehicle, rinsing as you go.
  • Wash the tires and wheels next and use your tire and wheel brushes and your sponge to do this. Don’t forget the wheel wells.
  • Use your Waterblade Squeegee to do a pretty decent job drying the car off.
  • Then apply the tire dressing and move on to washing the windows with the invisible glass.
  • If you want to wax your car, now is the time. (Although I like to wax my car either early in the morning or later in the evening when its not so hot.

Optional Items

  • Leather Cleaner- My dad was a FANATIC about his leather seats. He made sure that his seats were conditioned, buffed, and polished (Yes buffed and polished) at least once a month. There are a ton of conditioners and polishes out there. Try some and see what your results are
  • Car Freshener- I like to use Febreze for cars
  • Polishing compound, wax, bug remover and tons of other stuff to make your head spin… Just walk into the automotive section at Wal-Mart and take a look at all the cleaning supplies… Its crazy!

Wrapping Up

Rise off your equipment and put your tools away.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment to wash your vehicle. Washing your car is not that difficult, it saves you money over going to an automatic car wash, and it reduces the risk that you will hurt your cars finish. Getting outside in the fresh air is a GOOD thing. Plus clean cars always seem to run better!

So, when the weather breaks, go get your tools and your water hose and get to cleaning!

Trust me you will feel better after you do it!