10 White Car Cleaning Tips


Few things are as satisfying as a meticulously clean car – more so, a white one. Despite how fresh a white car looks, sitting there in the lot, many people are put off of purchasing them because they assume they’ll be a lot harder to keep clean compared to their dark-colored counterparts.

Truth is, dark-colored cars are tougher to clean, and while white cars do come with their difficulties, but with some white car cleaning tips, you can maintain your car’s appearance in the long-run. More importantly, you are less likely to discolor your paint job following these tips for cleaning white cars..

Here are 10 tips to white car cleaning that’ll help you wash your car like a pro in your driveway, and even if you don’t own a white do stick around as some of these washing tips and techniques aren’t just reserved for use on lighter colored cars. A similar plan of attack albeit approached in the opposite manner can work wonders for dark-colored cars too.

Evaluate the Condition of Your Vehicle

10 White Car Cleaning Tips

This seems like a no-brainer, right? I mean, who walks up to a car and starts washing without assessing what they’re up against? Not you because this is a crucial step. You need to determine how dirty your car is before hauling out the buckets, hoses, microfiber towels, and cleaning supplies. Is the car covered in fine dust, mud caked on the rockers, are there tree sap spots, or bird droppings on the paint?

How To Drive Safely In Bad Weather

Depending on how much and how tough the grime you have to handle, you may need an entire arsenal of car cleaning products for a quick touchup wash. Also, examine the car itself. An older car might need a whole cleaning regimen with polishes, clays, and waxes to protect the paint, while a new car may still have its robust clear, protective coat intact.

Read the Label on the Product

10 White Car Cleaning Tips

Ensure to read the label before applying anything to your vehicle. It’s really easy to pick a product, smear some on your car to see ‘how good’ it is, but not all automotive cleaning products are all-purpose. Some could clear coat and other finishes, or, in the worst-case scenario, damage the paint of your car.

Reading the instructions on the label will help save your paint, time, and money, by ensuring that you’re using the recommended amount of product for the task at hand.

Use the ‘Three-Bucket’ System

10 White Car Cleaning Tips

The goal of deep-cleaning a vehicle is to remove most of the contaminants from the surface of the vehicle. The last thing you want to do is wash or rinse the car with dirty water as it defeats the purpose of cleaning and ends up reintroducing those same contaminants you were trying to get rid of.

8 Tips to Increase Your Car Battery Life

This is where the three-bucket cleaning system comes in handy. What you’ll do is fill one bucket with clean soapy water and another bucket with plain water. The second water bucket with clean water is for rinsing your cleaning mitt before dipping it back into the bucket of soapy water. The third bucket is specially reserved for the wheels, tires, and the underside of the car directly beneath the doors, as these often accumulate much dirt and sand.

Wash the Wheels

10 White Car Cleaning Tips

One simple piece of advice when cleaning a white-colored car or any color for that matter is to wash the wheels before washing the body. I know it goes against ‘common sense,’ but it’s important you wash the tire first because the dark brake dust froth generated by washing the tires is far more visible and unsightly on their surface.

Washing the wheels first before the body of the vehicle means that any overspray coming into contact with the surrounding paintwork can easily be removed when you move on to the contact washing rather than dirty the paint again if the tires were to be washed last.

It’s very important that you use a cleaning product that’s designed for your brand of tire and type of wheel. If unsure, use the least potent cleaner.

How to Remove Stickers from Windshield

Washing Your Car

10 White Car Cleaning Tips

You were probably thinking the washing part would come later in the process, but in actuality, washing the car is where your DIY adventure to a clean car starts. This step will help you get rid of loose contaminants such as dirt, dust, and mud, from the surface of your car.

But before you go ahead and start attacking the paint with a wash mitt, wet the car first to soften some dirt and remove larger pieces of dirt. Then you can apply soapy water designed for car washing to the exterior of the car. Avoid dish cleaners and liquid detergents as they contain ingredients that can strip away the wax and damage the paint.

One fun and effective white car cleaning tip you need to observe centers around using a colored washing product. The idea behind using a colored cleaning solution instead of a standard one is to provide some contrast with the paintwork. It’s easier to distinguish, say, a blue or pink-colored foam on white-colored paintwork. This way you are more likely to give the surface of the car a thorough wash.

You might also want to consider using a colored mitt to clean your car because a white car even with colored cleaning products can be quite boring to the eye. Though the colored mitt doesn’t make a huge difference to the overall level of cleanliness, it does give the eye something to focus on. Combined with the colored cleaning product, you are likely to give the car a more thorough cleaning than you would if you were to use a colorless solution and a white mitt.

How To Choose A Car Battery

The same can be said of the towels you use to dry the car with. Instead of wiping the car with a bit of subconscious blur as to which part you’ve covered, which could result in some areas being overlooked, using a contrasting color will aid your mind in tracking the areas that have been covered. The colored mitt and towels don’t add much, but if you’re looking to achieve the best result on a white car, it is worth considering.

Prepare the Surface

Now that you’re done with washing the car, it’ll be easier to spot deep-seated blemishes such as scratches, swirls, and oxidation in the paint. Now, run your hand over the surface of the car to feel if there are bonded contaminants that didn’t come off while you were washing. If you find any, simply use a clay bar to remove these tougher blemishes along with any wax previously applied to the vehicle.

Scratches are a little tougher to handle, and the process will require you to use a compound, though it may take more than one application to hide a scratch. You might need a paint touchup to conceal deeper scratches.

Polishing for Extra Gloss

Once you are done washing the car and the surface is ready, you can go ahead and polish the vehicle for an extra high-gloss appearance that can give the paintwork a mirror-like finish. This step is optional and can be skipped without any long term damage to the paint, but if you choose to, you can apply polish by hand or with a dual-action polisher.

How Can I Boost My Car Battery?

Wax to Protect

10 White Car Cleaning Tips

whether you’re using a product specifically designed for a white car or not, waxing is a very important technique for protecting the paintwork of your car. It provides shine and a silky smooth protected finish that helps repel dirt, traffic film, and protect the paintwork from UV rays, bird poop, tree sap, or anything corrosive that may land on the vehicle.

It is unrealistic to think a freshly polished and waxed car will maintain the clean look forever, but at least you know that any dirt that comes in contact with the car is resting on the layer of protection, not the paint itself. This means you can easily remove such contaminants with a snow foam, detail spray, or proper contact wash.

The point here is that the unsightly soiling on the car surface will be simple to get rid of next time. Though it will still get dirty, it is worth putting the extra effort to ensure a quick and hassle-free cleaning in the future. It’s worth mentioning that to increase the gloss when waxing, you should layer up the product several times, this way you are more likely to revisit areas you might have missed.

Wash the Windows

The car’s glasses and windows should be given a good cleaning once you are done lavishing your white paintwork with much attention as you deem fit. This is another area where using the right product matters. Ensure to use a window cleaner specifically made for car window as some window cleaners contain ammonia that can cause damage to a car’s window tint.

How to Clean a Spark Plug

It’ll be difficult to see reflections on your white paintwork, but freshly cleaned or polished windows and glass will reflect nicely, especially if it’s tinted. Therefore, it is important that you try to get them as reflective as possible to make the most of these darker looking areas.

Maintain a Shine and Protection

10 White Car Cleaning Tips

At this point, your car is already looking fresh from the thorough washing, cleaning, and the protective layer of wax you applied. The next step in your DIY car maintenance adventure is to maintain the shine and protection. Having a spray detailer and clean microfiber cloth in the trunk of your car can be handy for removing dust, overspray, and bird droppings in a pinch.

Protecting your car will be easier if you give it a light wash at least twice a week, and wax the surface every 3-5 months’ time depending on where you live and the driving conditions.

There’ll be variations to the tips offered above depending on factors such as the environment the car is used, the condition of the road you use, and of course you. For instance, you’ll need to perform these white car cleaning tips more often if it is summer or you drive through dusting conditions compared to someone caring for a car during the winter season. Try out these 10 white car cleaning tips for yourself to see the difference they can make whether that be on a white or colored car.

Rate article
( No ratings yet )