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10 Car Washing Mistakes Men Make (And How to Avoid Them)

When was the last time you washed your car? If you’re like most men, chances are it’s been too long. Although washing your vehicle may seem like an easy skill, there is a right way and many wrong ways to go about it. Here are 10 common mistakes men make when washing their cars:

Washing in direct sunlight.

Washing Your Car In The Sun

One of the biggest mistakes men make when washing their cars is to wash them in direct sunlight. Doing so will cause many problems that may end up costing you a lot of money.

First, it can heat up your water significantly, which will raise its PH balance and strip off any wax protection currently on the paint surface.

Second, it heats up (and thus softens) your vehicle’s top layer (paint), allowing dirt and grime to sink into the paint’s pores. That means when you wipe off your car’s top layer, all that dirt and grime is dragged around, scratching the paint in the process.

NOTE: If you insist on washing in direct sunlight (and there are summer days like that!), make sure you clean your vehicle with a clay bar first.

Using the wrong type of soap.

Believe it or not, not all soaps are created equal. Using dishwashing detergent to wash your car is one of the worst things you can do.

Dishwashing detergent has harsh chemicals that will strip away any wax protection on your car’s paint surface and will also etch into the paint, creating a rough texture that dirt and grime will cling to.

Instead, use a car wash soap specifically designed for this purpose. It won’t strip away any wax protection, and it’ll help keep your car’s paint looking glossy and new.

Some guys make the mistake of using dishwashing detergent or bleach to clean their cars. This is not advisable as these products are too harsh and can damage your car’s paintwork.

It is best to use a pH-neutral soap that is designed for cleaning cars. This will not damage your car’s paint, and it will also leave a protective layer that will help to prevent dirt and dust from sticking to your car’s surface.

Not cleaning the wheels.

Many men neglect to clean the wheels of their cars. This is a common mistake that can lead to your car’s paint being exposed to brake dust and other harmful contaminants.

Washing Your Wheels

Brake dust is a corrosive compound that is created when brake pads come into contact with the rotors. It is made up of metal particles, copper, and other alloys, which can be very damaging to your car’s paintwork.

If left unchecked, brake dust will cause the paint on your wheels to chip and peel away. It can also lead to rust spots forming on your wheels.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you clean your car’s wheels regularly using a wheel brush and some soapy water.

The wheels on your car can get very dirty, especially if you drive on gravel roads or through the mud. Tires can also collect dirt and dust, so it is essential to clean them regularly.

For the best results, use a wheels & tires cleaning set containing a tire and a rim brush to remove the dirt and dust from the tires. Try to avoid using a brush that has metal bristles, as these can damage the tires.

Not cleaning the windows.

Cleaning your car’s glass surfaces is just as important as cleaning its paintwork. It should be the first thing you do when washing your vehicle.

The windows on your car can also get filthy, especially if you drive in a dusty or polluted area.

If you neglect to clean your vehicle’s windows, dirt and dust will stick to them and block your vision while driving. This can lead to an accident if you cannot see what is happening on the road around you.

To keep the interior of your car free from dirt and grime, wash all of its glass surfaces before moving on to other parts. To prevent damage to the windows, use a microfiber towel to wipe them dry.

It is essential to clean the windows regularly to keep them clear and safe to see through.

For the best results, use a window cleaner and a squeegee. This will remove all the dirt and dust from the windows. The squeegee will also leave a streak-free finish.

Try not to use newspaper or paper towels, as these will leave behind fibers that may block the washer jet.

Don’t forget to clean the windows both inside and out!

Not cleaning the interior.

The interior of your car can also get very dirty, especially if you have children or pets. It is important to clean the interior regularly to keep it looking and smelling fresh. 

To keep the interior of your car clean and tidy:

  • Make sure you vacuum it regularly.
  • Use a brush attachment to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  • If there are any spills or messes, use a damp cloth to clean them up.

The interior of your car can also get dirty quickly, especially if you eat and drink in it regularly. If you neglect to clean the seats, fabric surfaces, and carpets, dirt will stick to them and make the interior look grimy.

This is why cleaning all these areas regularly is so important.

Car-care products.

It is also a good idea to keep a few car-care products in your car, such as a vacuum cleaner, a brush, and some carpet cleaner, so that you can deal with any spills or messes quickly and easily.

The dashboard of your car can also be cleaned using a product specifically designed for this purpose. Dust and dirt can accumulate on the dashboard over time, and it can be difficult to remove them using just a cloth. 

For best results, use a special cleaner designed for cleaning dashboards. This will remove all of the dirt and dust, and it will also leave a protective layer that will help to prevent future dirt and dust from accumulating.

Not drying the car properly.

After you have cleaned your car, it is essential to dry it properly.

If you leave the car wet, the water will evaporate, and it will leave behind water spots that are difficult to remove.


For the best results, use a chamois or a synthetic cloth to dry the car. Make sure to wipe in the direction of the paintwork to avoid leaving behind streaks.

If you want to avoid using a cloth, you can also consider using a waterless car wash. This is a product that you spray onto the car, and it will instantly remove any dirt or dust. It also leaves a protective layer that will help to prevent future dirt and dust from accumulating.

Drying your car correctly is essential, as it will help to keep it looking its best.

One common mistake many guys make when drying their cars is not folding the towel after each wipe-down. If there are still bits of dirt in the towel’s fibers, you are bound to transfer these bits of dirt to the paintwork when you go in for the next wipe-down.

Make sure your towels are clean before using them. It is advisable to use a new towel (or more than one) each time you dry your car. If possible, try not to use the same towel over and over again. Even if you wash the towel, bits of dirt can remain in the fibers.

Using the wrong brush.

When selecting a brush, always read the labels carefully to ensure that you are using the right one for the job.

When cleaning your car’s exterior, you should use a soft sponge or cloth instead of a brush. Some brushes might cause damage to the paintwork. For the best results, use a soft sponge to clean the surface.

There are also brushes designed specifically for cleaning cars. These have soft bristles that will not damage the paint, and they are also effective at removing dirt and dust.

If you want to use a brush, make sure to use one that has soft bristles and is designed for cleaning cars. This will help to prevent damage to the paintwork.

Not using wax or sealant.

After you have cleaned your car, it is vital to apply a protective layer that will help to keep dirt and dust from accumulating on the surface.

There are many different products designed for this purpose. Some of these are in the form of sprays, while others are in the form of waxes or sealants.

It is important to read the instructions carefully before applying any product. Make sure to test a small area first to check that the product is compatible with the paintwork.

If you want to protect your car’s paintwork, it is important to use a product designed specifically for this purpose. Using the wrong product can damage the paintwork over time.

Applying a protective layer is essential, as it will help to keep the car looking its best.

Leaving bird droppings on your car.

Bird droppings contain acids that can damage your car’s paintwork if they are not cleaned up quickly. It is important to clean these droppings as soon as possible before they cause any permanent damage.


For best results, use a strong commercial cleaner to remove the bird droppings. If you don’t have any available at home, you can also use an ammonia-based window cleaner or simple baking soda mixed with warm water.

You should then dry the car properly after cleaning to prevent water spots from forming and to give it a shine.

If you have a bird feeder in your garden, it is vital to keep it clean to prevent bird droppings from landing on your car.

The same happens with bugs that accumulate on the front of your car. Cleaning them off as soon as possible helps to prevent any damage.

Not using a car cover.

This is more of a preventive measure, but it is also a mistake that many men make. A car cover will help to keep your car’s paintwork clean and free from dust and dirt, as well as other contaminants such as sap or bird droppings.

A car cover is an important accessory for any car. It will help to protect the vehicle from the elements, including sun, rain, and snow.

It is important to select the right cover for your car. There are many different types available, including waterproof and UV-resistant covers.

If you live in a particularly wet or sunny climate, investing in a good quality car cover is important. This will help to protect your car from the elements and keep it looking its best.

Not using a car cover can lead to damage to the paintwork over time. It is, therefore, essential to use one if you want to protect your car’s exterior.


Now that you know how to clean your car properly, it will be easier to keep it looking its best. Make sure to clean it regularly and use a product designed to protect the paintwork. This will help to keep your car looking good for many years to come.

What are your tips for keeping a car clean? Let us know in the comments below.