How to Wash Your Car To Avoid Paint Damage

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When washing your car, it’s important to know how to wash it correctly to avoid any damage to the paintwork.

To avoid any damage, it’s better to hand wash your car. Any dirt and debris including gravel can get stuck in the brush of an automatic car wash, causing damage. However, when hand washing your car, make sure your microfibre cloth, brushes etc. are completely clean to avoid any sharp debris which can scratch the paintwork.

Here are our tips & tricks when washing your car to avoid paint damage. 


Not only can the way you clean your car avoid damage, so can the products you use. We recommend you use these products when washing your car:

  • Pressure Washer or a hose a nozzle attachment
  • Microfibre cloths/towel
  • Car Shampoo
  • Car Wax
  • Hard and soft bristle brushes 


1. Begin By Washing The Wheels 
Cleaning the wheels first can help to prevent water spots on the paintwork. Always ensure that the brakes and wheels are cool before washing. 

2. Pre-Wash Your Car 
Pre-washes are a great way to remove any debris including dead insects and bird deposits before a full clean. If your car is protected with paint protection film, it’s important to wash these ASAP to avoid any staining. 

3. Clean From The Top Down
Using car shampoo, fully clean your car from the top down. This is important because the panels at the bottom of the car tend to become dirtier quicker. It’s important not to heavily scrub the vehicle.Do not use washing up liquid or bleach. Rinse off the shampoo using a wet microfibre cloth or a pressure washer.

When cleaning the windscreen, hot water should be enough.  It’s not usually recommended to use the same product to clean the windows using the same product as on the paintwork. Always check the label before using.  

If you have used a shampoo/wax, you may notice water droplets left on the paintwork, this can lead to water stains. Remove the nozzle of the hose & allow the water to run down.

4. Dry 
Dry using a microfibre cloth with a side to side motion. Do not use circular motion. Side to side motion can also prevent the paintwork looking streaky. Also, if for any reason you do scratch your car, straight lines are easier to correct. 

To Keep In Mind

Following those steps will keep your car damage free. Here are a few extra things to keep in mind when washing your car:

  • It’s best not to clean your car in hot heat or direct sunlight. This causes water and products to dry faster leaving water or mineral sports.
  • It’s recommended to clean your car once every few weeks. 
    Only use products intended for paintwork. Using products such as ‘tyre cleaning tools’ can scratch the paintwork
  • If you choose an automatic car wash, pick one with cloth bristles. 

And there you have it, our tips and tricks for washing your car to avoid paint damage. For more car tips and advice, check out our blog page or follow us on or follow us on Instagram or Facebook