Clean Your Car Like a Pro

Keeping your car clean can feel like yet another tricky task to add to your to-do list. We’ve created this helpful driver’s guide to teach you how to clean your lease car at home like a pro.

Some drivers prefer using a professional valet service or a garage car wash machine. Both are great choices but not all valet and car wash services clean the inside of a vehicle, so steps 2 to 4 of our guide may still come in handy. We hope our guide will inspire confidence in cleaning your lease car yourself, if you choose to.

1. Get Equipment Ready

Having the right equipment to get the job done is really important for drivers looking to clean their lease car at home for the first time. There are different products for each stage of the process.

Essentials for cleaning the exterior:

  • Specialised wash wax or car cleaning soap
  • A wash mitt or sponge
  • A micro-fibre cloth
  • A bucket, garden hose or pressure washer

While a pressure washer or garden hose will make your car cleaning endeavours easier, you can use a bucket if they aren’t available to you.

Additional products geared towards a high-quality finish include:

  • Car polish or wax
  • Special wheel brush
  • Glass spray

Essentials for cleaning the car interior:

  • A hoover
  • Leather or interior cleaning fluid
  • Cleaning rag or cloth
  • Micro-fibre cloths

 

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2. Clear the Debris

Before you begin cleaning your lease car, you’ll need to prepare the inside and outside, to make the job easier and more effective. Brush off dry dirt and leaves, and ensure all windows and doors are securely closed to prevent water from getting inside.

Have a plastic bag handy to clear any rubbish from inside your lease car and remove any belongings temporarily, to give you plenty of room to move and clean the area.

3. Clean Inside Out

Start cleaning the inside first, in case you bring dirt in from cleaning the outside, or water accidentally gets in. It can dry naturally while you’re cleaning the interior. Throw away any larger stones or debris you may have in the vehicle by hand before using the hoover to clean the remainder. Hoover the floor and floormats, cloth seats, door storage pockets and any other areas that the thin head attachment fits into.

4. Organise Your Car

We all have essential items we like to keep in our cars, so after you have finished cleaning the inside you’ll want to put these back in your vehicle.

Secure smaller items in the glovebox, seat or door pockets, as well as in the boot to reduce the risk of them moving and distracting you while driving.  A car organiser or even a plastic bucket can be useful to store these items securely in one location.

5. Get Rinsing

Once the interior is finished, you can move on to the exterior. Rinse the vehicle off before applying any kind of cleaning solution, using your hose or jet washer to drench the car from top to bottom. Or pour from top to bottom if using a bucket, allowing the water to flow downward. You’ll need to refill your bucket several times to cover the entire vehicle and should rinse the dirt from the wheels separately to tackle the dirt build-up there.

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6. Soap and Scrub  

Fill a fresh bucket with warm water and car shampoo. Car shampoos and soaps need different concentrations so read the instructions carefully, grab a sponge and then you can get to work! Some dirt will be harder to remove so you may need to work on those areas a little longer or use a soft bristled brush especially designed for paintwork. You can also use a specialist brush for the wheel alloys if desired but don’t use this on your paintwork, it could cause damage.

7. Second Rinse

Rinse off the soapy water by repeating the same steps you used to rinse the vehicle originally and make sure that there is no dirt or soap left on the vehicle.

8. Dry with Care

Use an absorbent micro-fibre cloth to dry to a streak-free finish. Either pat or use small sideways motions to dry the paintwork as this will help you combat smears and achieve the best finish.

9. Clean Glasswork 

If you own any specialist glass cleaner, then now is the time to use it. Spray half of the windscreen and then rub in circular motions using a clean micro-fibre cloth across the area. Move across to the other side of the vehicle and repeat the process on the other half of the windscreen. Repeat the process on your side and rear windows.

10. Wax and Polish

Either use all-in-one polish which acts as a wax and polish combined, or separate wax and polish. An all-in -one polish is quick and provides about a month’s worth of protection while separate products will need to dry for a little longer but also offer longer protection.

Apply the polish with a clean micro-fibre cloth or foam applicator using straight lines on small areas. Once each panel is complete, use a fresh micro-fibre cloth to remove the polish. Repeat this process across all panels until the whole vehicle has been polished. If using a separate wax then repeat the wax process for an extra layer of protection.

Lease Car Cleaning FAQS

How Long will it Take to Wash My Lease Car?

This all depends on the standard you’re looking to achieve. Simply washing your car should take around an hour. To include polishing it afterwards you should set aside a few hours to get the job done.

What Do I Need to Wash My Lease Car?

All you need to successfully wash your car is:

  • A water supply
  • A bucket
  • Car shampoo or soap
  • A sponge
  • Micro-fibre cloths

Can I Wash My Lease Car Without a Hose?

You can still clean your car at home without a pressure washer or garden hose. All you’ll need is a bucket, plenty of refills - and a little patience!

 

How Often Should I Wash My Lease Car?

 If you drive a lot or in particularly muddy areas then you might want to wash it every month or so. For the majority of drivers however, every six to eight weeks should suffice.

If you’d like to learn more about looking after your car, then head back to our maintenance guides for more relevant content.

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Check out one of our helpful guides or our explaination of leasing to get all your questions answered.

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