Many car owners fear when visiting one car wash later to find scratches in the vehicle and therefore prefer classic hand washing. Understandable!!! In fact, such a car wash has extremely aggressive cleaning agents and the brushes in the system are not cleaned after every wash - this means that the old dirt from other cars is often in the brushes and can scratch your paintwork and your rims as well. Of course, exceptions confirm the rule, but in principle a conventional car wash is not the best way to maintain the vehicle paintwork. Another aspect that speaks against the use of a car wash is the ecological one. Sometimes an unbelievable 600 liters of water are needed to clean a single car. Some systems recycle the water, but this is not always the case! On the other hand, if you choose the conventional, thorough hand wash, only about 150 liters of water are used and you also protect the paintwork and the expensive rims.
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- Washing the car at home: what is allowed?
- What is allowed at home?
- Is it allowed to wash your car on the street?
- How is hand washing done correctly?
1st step: preparation
2nd step: pre-wash
3rd step: cleaning the rims
4th step: paint
5th step: rinsing the vehicle
6th step: Leather off the vehicle
- Car wax at the end
- What should be considered when buying car wax?
- How do I apply car wax correctly?
- Alternatives to car wax?
Can I actually wash my car at home? This is only permitted under special circumstances. It depends on the rules that apply at your place of residence. There is no general ban. But the nationwide Water Management Act applies. It is intended to prevent contamination of the groundwater. The municipalities have their own statutes for this. It almost always explains more about car washing on private property. In a water protection area, washing your car at home is generally prohibited. The problem is the often aggressive cleaning agents that get into the groundwater. But oil residues and dirt such as tar are also a problem. Back to overview
- What is allowed at home?
- everything that does not bring harmful substances into the groundwater (interior cleaning or polishing of the car)
- In some localities you can rinse the car with clear water at home
- If the washing area meets certain requirements and chemicals or dirt cannot get into the groundwater, then you can wash the car at home. (Sealed subsurface, possibly separate connection or drain with oil separator) Back to overview
- Is it allowed to wash your car on the street?
- you can't just wash the car on the street or in public places
- Municipalities have special regulations for preventing “misappropriation” of the public infrastructure
- Fines from 25 euros to 100.000 euros Back to overview
There are different views here and everyone is of the opinion that they know the "perfect" method to clean the car gently and effectively. However, there are also some mistakes that can be made here. In the following, we would like to show you how it is done correctly in our opinion. What you need:
- two water buckets with a capacity of 10 liters each
- Detergent / car sponge / washing glove
- any car shampoo
- a leather rag
- a rim cleaner / insect cleaner and if possible a rim brush
Back to overview
Find a self-service washing box that has a high-pressure cleaner. In such a box, however, you should definitely refrain from using the brushes there, as this can have the same disadvantages as the car wash. Make absolutely sure that all doors and the sunroof / convertible top of the car are closed! Back to overview
First you should rinse the car with the clear water of the pressure washer - the associated program is Rinse. Also with spray foam, if allowed! The reason for this is that you should remove all of the coarse dirt so that it is not pulled over the paint later during washing, which can lead to scratches. Alternatively, of course, the private high-pressure cleaner can also be used or, if not otherwise possible, a water hose with a nozzle at the front end. However, please inquire in advance whether and to what extent private vehicle cleaning is allowed to take place at all. Back to overview
Now clean the rims, which should still have a certain amount of residual moisture. Now use the rim cleaner and clean the rim with the rim brush or sponge. If you use a sponge, it is very important to ensure that you are not using the same sponge that you use to clean the paintwork of the car. It is also important to note that you work your way from side to side. For example, first the rims on the left-hand side and then the rims on the right-hand side to prevent damage caused by the rim cleaner drying out. Use one if possible Wheel cleaner without acid. After you have sprayed the rims with the cleaner, let it work for about 1-2 minutes. Now use the brush or sponge to remove the dust and let the cleaner foam up. Finally, grab the pressure washer again and use it to rinse the rim cleaner off the rims. Back to overview
PS: By the way, there are also options for using the rims home remedies to clean. Which, you can find out here.
After you've finished cleaning the rims, it's time to focus on the rest of the vehicle. To do this, fill the car shampoo together with water in one of the two buckets. Make sure that you rinse the sponge in the bucket after each component. In addition, not too much pressure should be applied to avoid scratching the paint. Always wash the vehicle off whenever possible up down. So start on the roof! Back to overview
You can now rinse the car thoroughly from top to bottom. This is done again with the clear water of the high-pressure cleaner. With that high-pressure cleaner you should always keep a distance of approx. 20 centimeters from the paintwork in order not to damage this or the tires. Back to overview
The vehicle is now cleaned, but not yet dry. To avoid water marks or streaks, it is essential that you operate the vehicle properly dry. To do this, moisten the leather rag and gradually pull the water on the lacquer from top to bottom. You should avoid wiping. If you have followed all the steps correctly, the result is very likely to be even better than washing in a conventional car wash - and at the same time you have saved your paintwork and, in all likelihood, saved money. Back to overview
Finally, you can now apply car wax to the vehicle. Among the waxes there are on the one hand the so-called natural waxes and on the other hand the synthetic waxes, which depends on the respective production. There are also mixtures of both types: so-called hybrid wax. There are also hard waxes and spray waxes. Hard waxes are applied by hand, spray waxes are - as the name suggests - sprayed on. However, it should be noted that spray waxes are not as durable as hard waxes. But they are upset faster. So you can apply a layer of wax more often. Back to overview
Among other things, you should note how well the wax protects. Make sure to buy a wax that also protects your paintwork from UV radiation. Furthermore, attention should be paid to the gloss factor, as the effect can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The ingredients are also relevant if you want an ecologically clean product. A natural wax is particularly suitable here, although it usually contains solvents and emulsifiers. As for the price, the range here is wide. There are products whose 100 milliliters are around one euro, while other products can easily cost 10 euros per 100 milliliters and more. Back to overview
Gloves should be worn during application as some products contain ingredients that can cause damage to your skin. The wax is first applied to a so-called foam applicator and then spread tightly and in a circle on the paintwork of the car. Make sure to mask rubber and plastic parts beforehand, as these must not come into contact with the wax. If you can still see residues of the wax immediately after the procedure, there is no need to worry. It takes a few hours for the seal to dry completely. If you wipe the varnish with your finger and it leaves a shiny surface, you can wipe the varnish with a damp cloth, which will result in a perfect end result. DO NOT apply the wax in the sun or on particularly hot days. Back to overview
An alternative to conventional car wax is, for example, a ceramic lacquer seal, which literally combines with the lacquer. Such seals are, however, much more expensive than conventional waxes and also more difficult to apply. The process of applying a ceramic sealant is described by us in a comprehensive tutorial on paint preparation (click here for the article) DO NOT apply the sealant in the sun or on particularly hot days. There is even more information on this topic in our article "Impregnating the car - useful or a waste of money?". Back to overview
PS: In case it turns out to be the car wash. Can you also use this in winter? Our contribution "Car wash in winter: Here are a few tips!“Has the answer. And if the car foiled then there is the right information on care in our post "How to maintain the foiling / partial foiling on the vehicle".
Of course that had not happened yet!
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