How do Car Care Professionals Wash Cars?

How do Car Care Professionals Wash Cars?

In a previous post, we discussed the differences between a professional carwash and washing at home. While the post was mainly about the advantages of choosing to wash your cars in a professional carwash shop, we will generally discuss how car wash professionals properly handle vehicles in this article.

The specific techniques and equipment professionals use to wash cars can vary depending on the type of car wash and the particular services offered. However, here are some general steps and tools that are commonly used in professional car washing:


Professionals typically use a pressure washer or a hose with a high-pressure nozzle to pre-rinse a car. The high-pressure water stream helps to loosen and remove dirt, dust, and other contaminants from the car's surface.

When pre-rinsing a car, they typically start at the top and work their way down. It helps to prevent dirt and grime from being dragged over clean areas of the vehicle. They pay special attention to particularly dirty areas, such as the wheels, grille, and lower car parts.

Apply Car Shampoo

Professionals typically use a foam cannon or a specialized hand-held foam gun to apply car shampoo. These tools are designed to create a thick, even layer of foam that helps lubricate the car's surface and lift dirt and grime away from the paint.

To apply car shampoo using a foam cannon or foam gun, professionals typically follow these steps:

1. Fill the foam cannon or gun with the appropriate car shampoo according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2. Adjust the foam cannon or gun settings to create a thick, even foam layer.

3. Start at the top of the car and work your way down, applying the foam in small sections. Cover the entire car surface, including the wheels and other hard-to-reach areas.

4. Allow the foam to sit on the car for a few minutes.

5. Rinse the car thoroughly with a pressure washer or hose, starting at the top and working down.

6. Repeat the process if necessary to ensure that all dirt and grime have been removed.


When washing a car with brushes and mitts, professionals typically follow a few essential steps to ensure that the vehicle is thoroughly cleaned without causing any damage to the paint or other surfaces. Here is an overview of the process:

1. Fill a bucket with water and add car shampoo according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2. Dip a soft-bristled brush or microfiber wash mitt into the soapy water and begin washing the car at the top and working your way down. Be sure to cover all areas of the vehicle, including the wheels and other hard-to-reach areas.

3. Rinse the brush or mitt frequently in the bucket of soapy water to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated.

4. Use a separate brush or mitt for the wheels and other heavily soiled areas to avoid transferring dirt and grime to other areas of the car.


Once the car has been thoroughly washed, it is rinsed with a high-pressure washer or hose to remove all shampoo and suds.

1. After allowing the soap to sit for a few minutes, professionals use a high-pressure washer or a hose to rinse the car thoroughly. They start at the top of the car and work their way down, ensuring to rinse every section thoroughly.

2. Professionals use a unique technique called the "sheeting" method to remove the soap from the car's surface effectively. They hold the high-pressure washer at a 45-degree angle and aim it at the top of the car. They then move the nozzle sweepingly from side to side, allowing the water to flow over the car's surface, creating sheets of water that carry the soap away.

3. After completing the sheeting method, they use a low-pressure setting to rinse any remaining soap suds from the car's surface, ensuring to rinse every section.


Professionals typically use a combination of air dryers and microfiber towels to dry the car, making sure to remove all water spots and streaks.

1. They use a towel or chamois to remove any excess water from the car's surface, paying extra attention to areas that tend to hold water, such as the door handles and side mirrors.

2. They then use an air dryer to blow any remaining water droplets from the car's surface. They start at the top of the car and work their way down, using the air dryer to blow the water off it in a sweeping motion.

3. Professionals use a high-quality air dryer that produces warm air to speed up the drying process and prevent any water spots from forming on the car's surface.

4. They also use special attachments and nozzles that allow them to focus the airflow on specific car areas, such as the wheels, tires, and crevices, to ensure that all car areas are arid.

5. Finally, they use a microfiber towel or detailing brush to remove any remaining water droplets from the car's surface, paying close attention to areas around the car's emblems, badges, and other features.


Besides washing and drying the car, professionals may also offer auto detailing services such as waxing, polishing, and clay bar treatments to protect and enhance the car's finish.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Identify a High-Quality Carwash Shop?

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