Spring Clean Your Car: A Guide For Beginners

Give your car a showroom finish in only 9 simple steps

Friday 24th of February 2023 14:00 GMT

6 minute read

By following our simple 9 step guide to car detailing, you can give your car that showroom finish.

Spring Clean Your Car

Spring is here! With the nicer weather and longer days, it's the perfect opportunity to do some deep cleaning and decluttering of your car.

Whether you want to tackle a full detail or just do some basic tidying up, this beginner's guide will give you our 9 step cleaning process on how to give your car that showroom Finnish.

Step 1 - Wheels

Are you ready to spruce up your car? Cleaning your wheels is an obvious place to start, being the dirtiest part of the car! To get started, you’ll need a few basic items: a wash mitt, wheel brush and bucket - all of which can be found at most auto stores.

Before you start scrubbing, Apply your choice of wheel cleaner to help remove any baked on brake dust then begin to rinse the wheels with water to remove any loose dirt and debris. Dip the wash mitt into the bucket filled with your choice of shampoo and water before running it across each wheel. After washing away all of the dirt, use the wheel brush to get into hard-to reach areas like behind alloy spokes.

Once you’ve finished scrubbing, rinse off any soapy residue with water for a streak-free finish. Now your wheels are looking as good as new!

Step 2 - Pre-Wash

Firstly, by giving your car an initial rinse before lathering up, you’ll be able to rid the surface of any large chunks of dirt, grime & bird muck that can scratch or damage the paintwork whilst scrubbing.

Make sure to use a specially formulated cleaner specifically designed for cars; since regular dish soap can strip away any wax protection you may have applied on the exterior. Luckily pre-washing isn't too difficult, as all it requires is some specialist spray and a source of water - easy!

Step 3 - Snow Foam

If you’re looking to get that perfect car wash, then step three of the process is snow foam. Snow foam is an important part of the car wash process, as it helps to eliminate stubborn dirt and debris from your vehicle’s exterior. It also helps to reduce the risk of any swirl marks appearing after drying. Plus, it's a lot of fun!

To get started with snow foaming your car, you'll need a pressure washer with a foam lance attachment and some specialist snow foam solution. Simply mix the solution in with water in your pressure washer and apply liberally onto your vehicle. Allow the solution to soak into all areas of your car for around 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off with water at a lower pressure setting.

Step 4 - Two Bucket Method

Two Bucket Method is an easy and efficient contact wash method for washing your car by hand. This method requires two buckets, a Grit Guard, a wash mitt and your desired shampoo. By using the grit guard It helps to prevent dirt from being transferred back onto the surface of your vehicle during the washing process.

To begin, fill one bucket with water and your soap solution. Make sure to use quality car shampoo for this step as it will make removing dirt much easier later on. With the second bucket you should place a grit guard at the bottom of the bucket. Now you're all set! you can now begin to gently massage the soapy mixture into your precious paintwork.

But remember, try to avoid circular motion, Clean one panel at a time and lastly, you must always utilise your grit guard between panels to ensure you minimuse the risk of damaging your paint.

Step 5 - Drying

Now that the exterior is squeaky clean, it’s time to get rid of all that excess moisture. The best way to do this is with a microfibre drying Towel. Working in straight lines, you should aim to dry 1 panel at a time.

Be careful not to drag the cloth across any dirt or debris you have missed as this may cause scratches. Simply remove any spots you may have missed and resume the drying process.

Step 6 - Windows & Glass

One of the most annoying yet essential parts of car maintenance is keeping your windows and glass clean. It’s never fun to drive with a thick layer of dirt on your windscreen, especially when the sunlight hits it. But it’s surprisingly easy to buff your windows back to thier former glory! All you need are two microfibre cloths, a buffing solution and a bit of determination.

Start by ensuring that your car’s windows are completely dry before tackling any dirt or grime. Next, take one of the microfibre cloths and spray it with your chosen cleaning solution before gently rubbing it over the window in circular motions. Once the area is covered, begin to buff using your second microfibre cloth. Repeat this process for crystal clear windows & glass.

Step 7 - Remove Rubbish

Collecting together all the water bottles and snack wrappers you’ve accumulated in your car is a surprisingly easy task.

To start, collect any rubbish lying around in your car. Empty out any debris from cup holders, door pockets, glove compartments and anywhere else it might have hidden away over time. Once you’ve collected everything up, simply tie off the black bag and dispose of it.

Don't forget to take extra care if there are any liquids involved - always avoid spills when possible! When everything has been disposed of properly, pat yourself on the back for completing another step in returning your vehicle to its spotless state.

Step 8 - Hoovering

Step 8 of car cleaning is often the most dreaded. Vacuuming your car can be a long, tedious process, but it’s necessary to get an interior that looks its best. Before you pull out the vacuum cleaner though, there are some general tips and tricks that will make this chore much easier.

To begin, remove all loose items from the car including floor mats which should be cleaned separately. If possible it’s best to use a vacuum designed for cars as they tend to have smaller hoses which can access tight areas better than regular vacuums. After connecting up your vacuum, start at one end of the seats and work your way towards the other side using slow back-and-forth motions over each surface area.

Step 9 - Clean the interior

Cleaning and treating the interior of your vehicle is necessary to maintain its lifespan and keep it looking and smelling good. To make sure you’re doing this right, start by giving all surfaces a thorough shampoo with an appropriate cleaner, then move on to polishing any leather parts or vinyl trim with a good quality product.

A fabric protector can help prevent future dirt build-up on seats and carpets, so don’t forget to treat those areas as well! Once everything has been cleaned and treated, use a duster or microfibre cloth to get rid of any remaining dust particles.

Finnish it off with your favourite air freshener and you're good to go!

With this car cleaning guide, you’re well-equipped to keep your car in top condition. Keep these tips in mind to make sure your car looks and feels as good as new for years to come.

Recent Customer Reviews

4.79 Average
1931 Reviews
Read more

Scott Sturrock

Although I travelled from Scotland to collect a car I had not driven, I found Direct Cars very helpful with videos and pictures. Communication was quick and efficient, as was the whole process of purchasing ...

Posted 1 week ago

Kenneth Vernon

No problems at all with the part exchange and purchase of our new car. Tom Breeze very helpful throughout.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Zoe Keightley

first of all great site where cara are displayed,, lots of room around vehicles to look around ,, no pressure sales like most garages,, sean the salesnab was brilliant,,, also from being seventeen i ...

Posted 2 weeks ago

Julie Heptinstall

Couldn't fault Luke very professional

Posted 2 weeks ago

Debra Thew

Excellent service they were there to answer any questions. Very friendly staff.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Shaun Weldrick

Really enjoyed buying from direct cars…no hard sell, they let an excellent array of used cars do their talking… thanks to Tom for simple and straightforward advice and relaxing easy going selling.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Christopher James

Daniel was really helpful and we never felt under pressure. He was polite, friendly and did all he could to help. The showroom was very welcoming for children as well with Lego etc which made it an easier ...

Posted 3 weeks ago


Relaxed atmosphere no pressure. Easy to understand t&c format. Care and attention to detail.

Posted 3 weeks ago


Impressed with the service,no hard sell ,sorted a couple of minor issues with vehicle .
Tbh i was just about done looking at cars having been worked over by various salesmen (which I have very little ...

Posted 3 weeks ago


I purchased my new car from yourselves, Shaun was very helpful and the transaction was very smooth. I had to take it for a repair after 2 days due to a slow puncture but the process was really good ...

Posted 1 month ago

Jill Wallace

Genuinely nice staff. Very helpful.

Posted 1 month ago

James Hardy

Very helpful,thorough and efficient.

Posted 1 month ago

Gary Greenhoff

We purchased a car recently and again we were satisfied with the entire buying process.
Shaun the sales person once again was very professional and funny.
Me and my wife have purchased many vehicles ...

Posted 1 month ago

John Wallbanks

Excellent customer service from our first telephone contact through to our final on line purchase.Your sales adviser Mr Ian Whiting is a credit to your organisation and you are lucky to have such a professional ...

Posted 1 month ago

Julie Marcus

Saw the car online and made an appointment to view. Really lovely friendly helpful staff who listened to what I wanted. Would highly recommend

Posted 1 month ago


Fast efficient service with no hassle

Posted 1 month ago

Jason Mark Holland

Ian the salesman was very helpful. Buying me new car was easy and straightforward with Direct Car. I would recommend them to anyone wishing to purchase a used car from them

Posted 1 month ago


& really friendly staff. Excellent customer care myself & my family have had several cars from Direct Cars & also back to when it was Eckington motor company. I would highly recommend to anyone

Posted 1 month ago

Pauline Hurt

I went to purchase a vehicle but decided to choose another car which I am very happy with.
The salesman let us look at our leisure no pressure at all, but when I found a car I was interested in we felt ...

Posted 1 month ago

Jayne Dawson

Polite and helpful

Posted 1 month ago