Car Valeting Tips From The Experts

26th Jun 2023

By Kenny Longdon

Car Valeting Tips

Cleaning or valeting a car has evolved considerably over the years. It's all about the two-bucket method and a wash mitt at the very least these days, rather than the old fashioned bucket and sponge.

In this blog we will list some simple tips which could make caring for your car that little bit easier, whilst keeping it looking its best for longer; and don't worry we will explain the two-bucket method, if you were wondering.

Some of the tips are simple, some more complex but sometimes it can be the simple things that make the biggest difference in keeping your car looking its best.

Pressure Washer Usage

Jet Wash

There is a great selection of quality pressure washers specifically designed for cleaning cars. However, no matter which pressure washer you use, a degree of common sense is all that is really needed when using them on a car, being careful not to use the strong jets to damage certain areas of the car.

Check the settings before you start, as some pressure washers have special modes on them to make life a little easier. Always be careful around trim and fabric hoods, as these are not the most robust parts of a car, and are therefore easier to damage with pressure washers.

A pressure washer will always make washing a car easier though, as the high pressure can help move some of the stubborn dirt or road salt which is harder to shift with a regular hosepipe.

The Two-Bucket Method

Two Bucket Method

A bucket and sponge is often the stereotypical image of the necessary kit needed to wash a car. Add a few suds from some cheap car shampoo and away you go. But stop; put the sponge down. By using a sponge there is more chance of scratching the paint as you rub it all over the car as grit and dirt have a habit of staying on the surface of the sponge.

With a wash mitt, the grit and dirt lodges deep into the mitt so is less likely to make contact with the car's paintwork. A two-bucket method complements this:

  • One bucket being full of car shampoo
  • Another bucket is used with clean fresh water

After each going over, the mitt can be rinsed in the clean water - getting rid of any dirt before plunging it into the shampoo bucket again, helping reduce dirt and debris on the wash mitt.

Always dry after washing

Microfibre Detail

No matter how you wash your car, it's important to dry the car after you've rinsed it. This prevents water marks drying onto the paintwork and glass. Straight forward advice, but it's surprising how many people don't do this and are left with marks.

A microfibre cloth is perfect for the job. It's always good to have a few cloths in your cleaning arsenal, as they come in handy for all aspects of keeping a car spotless. You can usually buy them in bulk and it's good practice to use separate microfibres for the bodywork and wheels.

You could even look into car dryers, which are electric blow dryers that help get water out of the harder to reach areas.

Protecting paint with wax


If you care about your car's paintwork, waxing the paint after washing is going to protect it from the elements, while also giving a lovely finish and deep shine.

It does this by giving the paintwork a protective layer on top of the existing finish. Quick detailing sprays can also be used to enhance shine, as well as promote water beading.

This is more evident when it rains, as the beading not only looks great but it shows how the wax has created a protective barrier on your paintwork. It also makes the car easier to clean, too.

Make Hoovering Easier


Using floor mats in a car is a simple and effective way to keep dirt under control, if almost an obvious tip. Any loose dirt from outside can simply be shaken away when removing the mats, leaving minimal hoovering required for the carpets.

Carpet floor mats look more premium and make a car feel more plush, whilst rubber floor mats can be a great alternative if your vehicle is more of a work horse and is therefore more likely to get dirty quicker. The rubber mats can then be removed and rinsed with a pressure washer, whereas if they were carpet mats, they would be much harder to get clean again.

Boot mats will also make hoovering easier and collect all the mess and dust that usually comes with throwing stuff in the back.

Shine Those Sidewalls

Tyre Shine

Clean wheels and tyres really set off a car. But lots of people neglect the tyres when they've cleaned the bodywork and wheels. Tyre sidewalls can fade over time on the from dirt, salt, dust etc., so once the car has been cleaned, if the tyre sidewalls are missed, the car looks a little odd.

A good tyre gel or foam can really set off all your hard work, and give your car that showroom fresh look. Special applicators can be purchased to make application easier, which shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes. It really is a short and simple job which makes a massive difference.

Marks on dash or plastic areas

Interior Clean

Again, use of a microfibre cloth makes life a whole lot easier when cleaning both the exterior and interior of a car. A good interior detailing spray and microfibre can have the interior looking brand-new effortlessly, with some good old fashioned elbow grease of course.

Along with a hoovered interior, getting marks and general dirt off the interior parts can have your car feeling much more pleasant to drive and will finish the interior off nicely without too much outlay.

Minor Scratches


Unfortunately, cars are prone to getting scratches. After washing, scratches in the paintwork can often become more visable. Car parks, weather and poor car washing methods can all cause these imperfections, but fortunately, they can be fixed.

A machine polisher can get minor scratches out, with the right polish. But if you don't have one handy, a professional can get the scratches out with ease for a reasonable charge.

It's worth having a chat with your local Evans Halshaw retailer regarding problem scratches, as some may be able to be sorted via our bodyshop centres.

Evans Halshaw at your service

When your car comes into an Evans Halshaw dealer for service work, your car will receive a complementary valet so it feels nice and fresh.

We also have a fantastic portfolio of new and used cars deals available if you are in the market for a change of vehicle.

Contact your local Evans Halshaw today for help with any sales or service questions.