Month: January 2023 (Page 2 of 2)


We will describe the risks of mold exposure and the importance of preventing mold growth, while also providing a step-by-step guide on how to remove mold from your car. If you’re unlucky enough to already have developed this major problem, don’t worry!

While it may seem like an insurmountable challenge, in fact with the right supplies and with some elbow grease you can restore your car to the safe, clean, comfortable vehicle you deserve.

I. What is mold, and Why is it Dangerous?

Mold is a type of fungus that typically forms in the presence of higher temperatures and high levels of moisture. Exposure to mold can cause major health issues, especially in those who are sensitive to it.

Those who are most susceptible to the effects of mold include those with lung diseases, allergy sufferers, and those with compromised immune systems (e.g. those receiving treatment for cancer, who have had an organ transplant, or who are taking immunosuppressive medications).

The presence of mold can lead to respiratory and skin irritation, lung infections, asthma, and other health challenges. Symptoms can include nasal congestion, wheezing, eye and skin irritation, fever, and shortness of breath. That’s why it’s extremely important to avoid exposing yourself to mold, especially somewhere you’re likely to spend as much time as your car. (And to make sure you never leave your car out in the open if the top is down!)

What is mold, and why is it dangerous?

Luckily, if you notice mold—typically noticeable due to a strong odor, but also potentially visible patches of mold—there are steps you can take to fix the problem. Keep reading to learn how to protect yourself from mold in your automobile.

II. How to Remove Mold

There are, of course, numerous methods to eradicate mold from your car, and everyone will recommend something different. But here’s what we think is the best way to do it.

1. Protect yourself

protect yourself from mold

Always make SURE that you are wearing a surgical face mask or particle mask as well as strong, non-porous household cleaning gloves (make sure they’re solid enough not to break). This will decrease the likelihood of harmful, excessive exposure to mold and its possible toxins.

2. Air out your car in a sunny spot

Sunlight and fresh air are pretty powerful tools in the fight against mold. Like virtually all types of fungi, mold grows in moist areas, so the combination of sun and fresh air dries things out and makes it impossible for mold to survive.

Ideally, on a clear day, move your car to a sunny parking spot and open up the doors and windows (and sunroof, if there is one). Give it a few hours and let any dampness dry out. (Just be sure to keep an eye on the weather—you’ll be giving yourself even more of a problem if a sudden shower appears and your car’s interior is exposed to the elements!)

3. Inspect your car

It’s a good idea to look all throughout your car to get a sense of where the mold is an issue, so you can focus on particular areas in the later steps. Make sure to look at the following: surface of the seats, underneath seats, steering wheel, floor, seat belts, and seat side seams.

Mold can vary in color, so just look for (typically circular) areas of black, green, white, gray, or brown. That’s how you’ll know where you need to focus your cleaning efforts.

4. Prepare before disinfecting

disinfecting mold

Try to break up patches of mold by gently brushing them with a toothbrush. Then, if you’re lucky enough to have access to one, use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the mold you’ve just brushed up. (If you can’t get your hands on a wet-dry vacuum, that’s OK—this step is helpful but not essential).

5. Spray with disinfectant solutions

Take out your car’s seat covers and carpets. Before you wash them, you can use any of the following mixtures to kill mold in these sections of fabric:

  • 4 parts white vinegar and 1 part water
  • 1 quart of water, ½ cup of white vinegar, ¼ teaspoon of clove oil, and 1 tbsp of baking soda (note: avoid exposing skin directly to clove oil—it can cause dermatitis and irritate skin and mucous membranes)

Pour either of these mixtures into a spray bottle and spray it on your car’s seat covers and carpets. They should sit on the material for at least 20 minutes—or even longer—in order to ensure that the potent ingredients are able to fully kill the mold and prevent its regrowth.

You may also want to spray other parts of your car where mold has been able to infiltrate and cause odor (including as the dashboard, air vent, steering wheel, and seats).

Stains on the seats, seat covers, and carpets can be removed by sprinkling good old Borax powder on them (yes, it’s useful for so many purposes!), waiting at least 10 minutes, and then sweeping or vacuuming the powder away.

6. Remove the leftover residue

Once the mold has been killed, you can use a wet-dry vacuum to vacuum up the liquid solution. Otherwise, you can wait for the areas to dry and then use a regular vacuum to vacuum up the dried-up mold residue. If you use a regular vacuum, make sure you use one with a bag and then throw the bag away afterward. Otherwise, you’ll be spreading mold spores when you bring it inside to clean your home.

7. Wash your car’s seat covers and carpets

Wash your car’s seat covers and carpets

Now that you’ve thoroughly disinfected them, you can use standard detergent to wash your car’s seat covers and carpets. If possible, add Borax powder when you wash them and allow them to dry in the sun if it’s a sunny day (as we said, the sun is incredibly helpful for this process).

If for whatever reason you can’t wash them with detergent, an alternative is to spray them thoroughly (really all over, so that the mold spores are killed) with a solution of water and non-iodized salt. Then allow them to dry in the sun, and wait for the salt to form a crust on the surface, which you can brush or vacuum off.

Salt does a great job getting rid of mold—it dries it out thoroughly and kills it.

8. Optional: use an air freshener spray to remove leftover odors

If you’re bothered by the residual smell of vinegar (which will disappear as the liquid completely evaporates), you can use an air freshener spray to ensure everything smells fine.

Most important is to air everything out—that’s what will leave everything smelling good.

9. Replace the seat covers and carpets, and keep the mold from coming back

Once you’ve washed and dried the seat covers and carpets, it’s time to put them back in your car.

And here’s a key takeaway: since mold requires a wet environment to grow, you can prevent its return by ensuring your car is dry and that it remains totally dry. This is the most important part of preventing mold re-growth.

You can use a dehumidifier to lower the overall moisture levels in your car.

III. Best Car Air Fresheners

Best Car Air Fresheners

If, after cleaning, you decide you’d like to use an air freshener to ensure your car smells absolutely perfect, here are some of the best commercial products to use:

1. Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag

Here’s one all natural option—a linen bag full of pure bamboo charcoal! Activated charcoal is amazing for absorbing moisture and odor. In order to keep it functioning, all you have to do is leave it in the sun to dry (with all the moisture having been absorbed).

It lasts for two years, and then you can open up the bag and use the charcoal as fertilizer for plants. So it’s eco-friendly from start to finish, and won’t expose you to any toxic chemicals whatsoever.

2. Turtle Wax 50819 Power Out! Odor-X Kinetic Whole Car Blast

This is a high-powered canister deodorizer that “seeks and destroys odors at the molecular level”—and does so for up to a month. It can be used underneath seats, on the inside of air vents, and in carpet fibers.

It’s also a pretty great value.

Customer reviews report it’s incredibly effective and easy to use. Note that the initial smell of the product is strong, but the chemical smell will dissipate over time leaving no odor in its wake.

3. Ozium Smoke and Odor Eliminator Gel

This is a gel deodorizer that’s not designated specifically for cars, but also for home and office. It comes with a twist top that allows you to choose the level of odor control.

The product itself has a slight citrusy odor but nothing too strong. It’s a solid product that’s easy to use and very affordable.

4. Chemical Guys New Car Smell Premium Air Freshener and Odor Eliminator

Love the smell of a new car?

This product is engineered not only to eliminate odor from your vehicle but also to add that amazing new car smell (thankfully without the associated toxic chemicals that are part of the real new car smell).

It’s also so concentrated that it can be diluted with distilled water and still work.

And amazingly, all you need for your entire car is one spray.

5. Meguiar’s G2316 Odor Eliminator

Here’s another super-effective spray that gets high customer ratings. It’s a great choice for cars and trucks as well as in the home.

The effects are immediate with a spray as opposed to a gel (which works more gradually over time). That means use of this spray means pretty much instant odor elimination.

Nothing fancy, no frills—just a really effective product for odor removal.

Now you know that as worrisome or even scary as the prospect of a mold-infested vehicle can be, there are options to address the problem. All it takes is some time and effort, with attention to safety (wear a mask and gloves!) and your vehicle can be good as new.

You can even use natural products like vinegar and clove oil solutions to do the work for you, if that’s a priority. And once you’re done, of course, it’s important to keep your car dry, so that you don’t have to go through the trouble of cleaning out the mold again in the future.

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In the process of reading this article, you’ll learn why tree sap can damage to your car, and—if you’re already dealing with this issue—you will be provided with a step-by-step guide how to remove tree sap from the surface of your vehicle.

We will cover the best methods for tree sap removal, and discuss the best products on the market that you can use to remove this often infuriating substance yourself if you do decide to go the DIY route.

Although this process may seem very challenging, rest assured that selecting the right products and following our thorough guide will have your car absolutely shiny in no time.


I. What is Tree Sap?

II. How can Tree Sap Damage your Car’s Paint Job?

III. Best Tree Sap Removal Products

IV. How to Remove Tree Sap From Your Car

I. What is Tree Sap?

Tree sap is equivalent to the “blood” of trees. It contains myriad minerals and nutrients necessary for the tree’s survival, as well as the energy that supports trees’ growth and functioning. (You may be most familiar with tree sap in the form of maple syrup, which made from the sap of maple trees—drilled from the trees and then boiled down into a concentrated and very sweet liquid.)

There are two different liquids found within trees that are referred to as “sap.” The first is xylem, which moves water, hormones, and minerals through the tree from bottom to top. The second is phloem, which is the sticky substance that contains sugars generated by the tree’s photosynthesis (used by the tree to fuel growth)—the conversion of sunlight to energy.

There are two different liquids found within trees that are referred to as “sap.” The first is xylem, which moves water, hormones, and minerals through the tree from bottom to top. The second is phloem, which is the sticky substance that contains sugars generated by the tree’s photosynthesis (used by the tree to fuel growth)—the conversion of sunlight to energy.

Phloem is the kind of sap that will cause significant frustration when it gets on your car—all that sugar means it’s basically like glue. (In fact, people have used sap as glue in the past for that very reason.)

Tree sap leaking on the outside of a tree is often a sign of disease, damage or pest infestation; this is because trees extrude sap from any wounds on their surfaces, as it functions as a kind of “scab.”

It’s incredibly easy to recognize the presence of sap on your car—it’s very visually apparent in most cases.

You’ll see transparent or red-tinted bumps on the surface of your car. And once you’ve recognized the problem, there are ways to resolve it.

Keep reading to learn how.

II. How can Tree Sap Damage your Car’s Paint Job?

Tree sap really is one of the worst things that can happen to a vehicle’s paint. It’s extremely difficult to remove and can cause more damage than just about any other contaminant.

How can tree sap damage your car’s paint job?

People often park their cars under trees to benefit from the shade they offer, but the potential effects of the sap that can drip from trees make this a bad idea all around.

Pine sap is exceptionally sticky and problematic. Sap drips onto the car, then “bakes” in the sun to solidify into a resin-like substance. It then eats away at the car’s clear coat and paint, so that every bit of sap has an area of damage around it. It’s almost impossible to wash off using standard car washing techniques, and cleaner waxes, and spray cleaners, and even solvents may be unable to remove this dried-on sap.

The damage that can accrue can be very costly, so it’s important to nip the problem in the bud before it becomes too overwhelming. The longer you leave sap on your car, the worse the paint damage will get.

III. What is the difference between Car Wax and Car Polish?

Before we go any further, let’s make sure that it’s understood that car polish and car wax are two very different things.

Car polish is used as a remedy. Polish removes the dirt, grime, grease, and scratches that are left behind after a good washing. Solvents within the polish allow it to remove, or at least reduce, impurities on the paint surface and will bring out the shine.

Car polish should be used in a multistage process of caring for your vehicle’s paint because, while it can make your car look great when finished, it does not seal or protect the paint. Waxing is the only true way to protect your car’s paint and should be completed after the polishing step.

III. Best Tree Sap Removal Products

These are some of the most powerful, effective products on the market for removing tree sap from your automobile and protecting its paint job:

1. Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover

This spray-on foam clings thoroughly to wide areas and works beautifully to dissolve not only sap but also tar and bugs. It functions as a pre-wash or spot cleaner and is formulated to be entirely streak-free. It can be used on paint, glass, metal, and plastic. It sprays as a foam, then becomes a liquid, which can be wiped or washed off leaving a sparkling clean surface with no residue.

2. Stoner Car Care Tarminator Bug, Tar, Sap, and Grease Remover

This spray uses MicroActive cleaning technology to quickly dissolve and break down sap (in less than 30 seconds) as well as bugs, tar, and grease on the surface of your car. It’s also specially designed to work on chrome and paint surfaces without damaging the finish of either material.

3. Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99 Percent

Some people say that high concentrations of isopropyl alcohol work better than any other substance to dissolve stuck-on sap. Better yet, it’s easy to find and has many different uses. If you’re thrifty and prefer a straightforward, versatile product, this is a great choice.

IV. How to Remove Tree Sap From Your Car

People will recommend plenty of methods to clean tree sap off of your car. But read on, because we’re offering you what we believe is the absolute best method for doing so.

1. Gather your supplies

You’ll need the following supplies, so make sure you have them all before you begin:

You’ll need the following supplies, so make sure you have them all before you begin:

  • Clean, soft towels or terry cloths
  • A box cutter blade (for use on glass only—use this if you have sap on your car windows)
  • Sap remover solution (such as Bug and Tar Remover) or rubbing alcohol
  • Bucket of water
  • Sponge/wash mitt
  • Spray wax/quick detailer polish

2. Wash and dry your vehicle as usual

Use soap and hot water to clean your car, then dry it all off. By washing and drying your vehicle, you ensure that the steps that follow are as practical as they can possibly be.

If you get fortunate, you might even be able to remove the sap with this step, assuming it’s not terribly stuck on.

Additionally, washing your car before removing the sap means you’ll be able to see where all the sap is, and you’ll derive a lot more satisfaction from having a spotless car when you’re done with this process.

3. Locate the spots of sap

As we mentioned, the sap spots will be visible as typically hardened, clear or reddish raised areas. If they’ve been there for a while, they may have begun to eat into your car’s paint job and may also be surrounded by the areas of deterioration that are typical of the long-term presence of hardened sap.

4. Apply sap remover solution (or rubbing alcohol) to the sap spots

Apply sap remover solution (or rubbing alcohol) to the sap spots

Now that you know where the sap is located, you can get into the nitty-gritty of removing it. Pour several drops of sap remover solution (such as Bug and Tar Remover) onto a clean washcloth or terrycloth.

If you don’t want to purchase this product, you can also try using rubbing alcohol, although it’s not designed for this purpose. Place the cloth on the sap and press it onto the area for a minimum of 30 seconds to one minute (the pressure will help the remover to soak into the sap).

After allowing the solution to work, you can begin to use some elbow grease to rub the sap away. Make sure you do so gently because otherwise, you can spread the sap around on the surface of your car, creating a more significant problem.

If the sap is really hardened on and isn’t coming off, you can repeatedly soak the area with more solution or rubbing alcohol, then manually rub it away, until you’ve gotten rid of it all.

5. Remove sap from your windshield/windows

If the sap got on your windshield or windows, first thing’s first: do not use your windshield wipers on fresh sap! It will just spread it around and leave you with messy streaks that are difficult to remove. Instead, you can follow the same steps above.

You can also use a box cutter blade to remove the most hardened pieces of sap from the glass. Just be careful, as these blades are quite sharp.

And be sure to keep the blade flat along the surface of the glass so that you don’t create scratches, which are quite unattractive and can impede visibility over time.

6. Finishing touches

Finishing touches tree sap removal

Once you’ve gotten all the sap off of your car’s paint job and windows, spray quick wax onto the paint and clean it off with a detailing cloth. This will leave your car looking good as new with a beautiful finish.

The wax will make sure that the paint and clear coat are thoroughly protected, and that future damage is less likely.


Now that you’re aware of why sap is such a common problem—and one that can potentially ruin your car’s paint job if left too long—it’s a good thing you also know that it’s completely possible to fix.

Your car won’t be permanently stuck with patches of dried on resin; all you need is some essential products, time, and elbow grease, and you can save your car’s paint job and windows from the effects of sap.

And in the future, be sure to avoid parking under trees, and keep an eye out for any new patches of sap, since the longer they sit there, the harder they’ll be to remove.

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Engine bay detailing refers to the process of removing perhaps thousands of miles’ worth of dust, dirt and grime from the space inside your car where the engine is held.

Although this may seem like a daunting or delicate process, it’s possible to do yourself with a little planning, thought and effort. The result is a clean, beautiful engine bay that looks just like new—as well as a vehicle that functions more reliably and has a higher resale value.


I. The Importance of Cleaning your Engine Bay

II. Our Step-by-Step Guide to Detailing your Engine Bay

III. The 4 Best Degreasers for Detailing your Engine Bay

IV. How Often to Clean your Engine Bay

I. The Importance of Cleaning your Engine Bay

People often miss the importance of cleaning the engine bay of their cars, in part because it’s not the first thing you see when you look at a vehicle. In fact, most people never see it at all—so undoubtedly there are plenty of beautifully cleaned, polished and waxed cars on the road that are hiding terribly grimy engine bays. However, the engine bay gets dirty really fast.

Cleaning it makes sure that grease and dirt don’t accumulate within or surrounding components that are essential to the function of your car. Dirt tends to cause degradation of components over time—the pulleys and bearings especially are damaged by grit and grease accumulation.

The other benefit of cleaning your engine bay is that it allows you to get a better understanding of what’s there and keep an eye on any problems that may arise over time, which dirt and grime can hide. If you catch any leaks, corrosion, etc. early, you might be able to save lots of money by preventing worsening issues later on.

Additionally, a clean engine bay helps maintain your vehicle’s resale value, as it is indicative of a well-maintained automobile overall.

Note: Although this process is generally quite straightforward, you will definitely want to take extra precautions if your car is from the 1990s or any older. The particular concern is that although most of the time, electrical components are protected if they’re hit with a high-pressure flow of water it can get inside and cause problems.

So it’s a good idea to cover parts like your car’s alternator, fuse box, air intake, electrical connections/plugs, and battery terminals—plastic shrink wrap/cling film is a great choice for this kind of protection.

Note that this is not an exhaustive list of precautions you should take when detailing your engine bay. And when in doubt, ALWAYS seek the guidance of a professional for your own safety and that of your beloved vehicle!

II. Our Step-by-Step Guide to Detailing your Engine Bay

Ready to get started?

Here’s our list of 10 straightforward steps to keeping your engine bay spotless and beautiful:

1. Gather your materials

These will include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Engine degreaser
  • Water hose
  • Plastic bags/plastic shrink wrap
  • Bucket
  • Drip pan
  • Car wash mitt
  • Wash brush
  • Car wash soap
  • Absorbent pads
  • Terry and microfiber cloth towels
  • Plastic cleaner
  • Metal cleaner/polish

2. Give the engine bay an initial hose-down

This is an important step just to get rid of a lot of the dirt that’s on there and help the degreaser spread further.

Be sure to do this once the engine is cool—it doesn’t have to be entirely cold, but you should leave the hood up for at least an hour before you start the process.

While you’re waiting, put down some drip pans and absorbent pads so that the chemicals you’re using don’t get everywhere.

3. Protect parts from water

Cover the battery with plastic (a bag or shrink wrap). You may also want to cover the alternator, carburetor, and distributor. This will depend on what kind of car you have—whether it’s a classic or modern car, for one.

Make sure you don’t spray too much water around the fuse box and coil packs if you’ve got a modern car.

4. Add the degreaser

Add the degreaser

You’ll want to use degreaser rather than standard soap because it cuts through the oil (hence the name “degreaser”).

Apply liberally in the oiliest areas such as the oil pan and starter. Typically you will want to allow the degreaser to sit for several minutes so that it acts on the grease effectively.

A wash brush will also help get things clean, and the soft bristles won’t create any worrisome scratches.

5. Rinse again and perhaps repeat

Using low water pressure, give it all another rinse. If your engine bay hasn’t been detailed in a very long time, you may have to repeat step 4.

6. Clean again with automotive soap

Fill the bucket with soapy water and, using your car wash mitt, get everything really clean now that the degreaser has removed the worst of the oil.

7. Rinse again

Once again, use low pressure to rinse everything. Then remove the plastic bags or cling wrap from the components you were protecting, since there won’t be any more big splashes of water.

8. Polish plastic and metal parts

Polish plastic and metal parts

Polish plastic parts with plastic cleaner, applying the cleaner with your terry cloths and then removing it with the microfiber cloth. This will help to remove small scratches. And then use metal polish as the particular product’s instructions describe (they may all be different).

9. Dry things out

Use a leaf blower or pressurized air to blow out the extra water in your engine bay. Then start your engine until it reaches the typical temperature of operation.

If you turn on your car’s AC, the compressor will run as well. Do this for about five minutes so that all the now-clean components dry.

10. Optional: apply your engine dressing

This isn’t strictly required, but a spray-on engine dressing once the engine has cooled can make it look especially great. It adds shine and will round out the process of making your engine bay look absolutely as good as new.

Enjoy a car that’s now beautiful on the inside as well as the outside!

III. The 4 Best Degreasers for Detailing your Engine Bay

The 4 best degreasers for detailing your engine bay

Choosing the right product can make this whole process a lot easier and more effective. Here are some of the best degreasers on the market:

1. Gunk EB1 Engine Degreaser

This product has been produced by a family-owned company in Charlotte, NC for 55 years. There’s a reason it’s been out there for such a long time—it’s extremely effective. It’s also cheap, but bear in mind that it smells pretty bad!

2. Meguiar’s D10801 Super Degreaser

Looking for something that doesn’t stink and—dare I say—even offers a pleasant herbal aroma? This is your pick! It’s also very effective and is super easy to use. It leaves no unsightly white residue, either, which is a major positive for this kind of product.

3. Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser

This citrus-based formula works well on engines as well as tires, rims, tools, machinery, and other items—so it’s definitely multipurpose. It’s highly concentrated, and quickly and easily emulsifies grease, oil, dirt and grime.

4. Simple Green 19128 Crystal Industrial Cleaner/Degreaser

This is a non-toxic product that’s also unscented, fragrance-free and biodegradable. It’s a more eco-friendly option than most others, which will appeal to many. It’s all-purpose so works great for a multitude of applications. No added colors or fragrance mean it’s especially rinsable and leaves a clean, fresh finish.

IV. How Often to Clean your Engine Bay

It really depends on your circumstances—where you live, what the weather’s like, and so forth.

In general, for those who live in locations with low snowfall and low dust levels, cleaning just one or two times per year will suffice. However, drivers living in areas with harsher weather conditions (particularly locations with lots of rain, snow, and dust exposure) will want to clean their engine bay as often as every two or three months in the winter.

Otherwise, if you’re not sure how often to wash it, just check every now and then and clean it whenever it seems like the engine bay is getting dirty.


Now you know that the process of detailing your engine bay is not only possible, but even pretty easy, and certainly a good idea to do on a regular basis.

It will keep your car in top-notch condition, allowing it to cool more efficiently and preventing damage to components while also letting you get to know and keep an eye on your engine bay in case any issues arise.

Plus, should you ever decide to sell your vehicle, the resale value will be improved by a clean engine bay, which tells buyers the car has been extremely well-cared for.

Don’t be that person whose car looks spotless on the outside while it’s a total mess inside.

Buy a high-quality degreaser, gather up the rest of your needed materials and make sure your car is spotless inside and out.

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In the process of cleaning cars, people tend to focus on the body and windows of the vehicle, since these are the closest to eye level. Frequently, certain parts of the car get overlooked in the washing process. And one of those often-overlooked areas is the car’s wheels.

Perhaps people think because they’re so close to the ground, no one’s going to look at them, and there’s no point bothering in cleaning them since they’ll get dirty again so soon. But have you ever seen a car fresh off the lot, with new wheels? Clean aluminum wheels make all the difference, and cleaning them could even make you feel like you’ve got a new car all over again. It’s not a terribly difficult task, either, as this article will describe—just a straightforward, step-by-step process that virtually anyone can do.

With this in mind, are you looking to take your car’s aluminum wheels from grimy and blah back to gleaming perfection? Keep reading to learn more about how to do so.


I. Why Should You Clean your Car’s Wheels?

II. What’s the Difference between Aluminum and Steel Wheels?

II. Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning your Car’s Aluminum Wheels

IV. The 3 Best Wheel Cleaners & Polishes on the Market

V. How Often to Clean your Wheels

VI. Conclusion


I. Why Should You Clean your Car’s Wheels?

If you’re still skeptical that this is a necessary part of auto maintenance, here are a few key reasons.

First off: cleaning your car’s wheels is the only real way to deal with the notable issue of brake dust. This is the dust created when a mixture of adhesive and carbon fibers come off of the brake pad and metal shavings are ground off of the rotor. Particularly because it’s coming off hot, it’s a highly corrosive material that can lead to pitting and corrosion on your wheels. Brake dust is generated every time you drive, so it’s a constant problem that necessitates regular cleaning. Generalized road grime is similarly an issue.

Why should you clean your car's aluminum wheels?

Also, if you’re planning on washing the rest of your vehicle as usual, it’s a good idea to clean your car’s wheels first. Otherwise, both brake dust and dirty water might end up spattering back onto the car, undoing much of your hard work.

And that’s not to mention the fact that aluminum wheels look incredible when they’ve been cleaned and polished. Because aluminum is fairly soft (as metals go), when it’s been polished it can actually look a great deal like chrome. You’ll feel a great deal of satisfaction when you thoroughly clean and polish your wheels.

II. What’s the Difference between Aluminum and Steel Wheels?

Wheels are made with different metal blends (alloys)—the two most common materials are aluminum and steel. They have different pros and cons, and create varying effects on the driving experience, as well as requiring different methods of upkeep.

What’s the difference between aluminum and steel wheels?

Aluminum wheels, also known as “alloy wheels,” are made up of an alloy of aluminum and nickel. Typically, these will be cast—created by putting liquid aluminum in a mold. They’re usually nicer-looking than steel wheels, and they are fairly strong while still being lightweight (so that they help with fuel efficiency). Since they’re molded, they’re able to come in a variety of designs. Both chrome-plated and bare polished aluminum wheels tend to be vulnerable to scratches and the negative effects of oxidation.

Steel wheels are made up of a mixture of carbon and iron. A con is that they’re heavier, so they may reduce acceleration and fuel efficiency. However, they’re also stronger: they are less likely to be cracked by impact, and won’t be as easily damaged by gravel, de-icers, and brake dust (thus they’re more common in winter driving situations). They’re also often easier to repair. Rather than being molded, they’re generally cut out on a press, then welded together. They offer fewer design choices, so they’re less about the aesthetics of the car’s wheel, and more about the function.

III. Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning your Car’s Aluminum Wheels

1. Rinse the wheels

Rinse the wheels in order to remove as much grime and dust as possible as a first step. Use as high a water pressure as you can and be sure to get in every nook and cranny that you can reach—this step will save you time and effort later on, so it’s worth being extremely thorough.

2. Apply wheel cleaner

Spray wheel cleaner product to each wheel one at a time. See the list below for advice on which product to choose.

Apply wheel cleaner

3. Add elbow grease

Using a soft brush, scrub gently to remove any stuck-on grime. As you’re doing this, make sure to keep the whole area coated with water so that the wheel doesn’t get scratched, and make sure wheel cleaner doesn’t dry on the wheel (it could leave unattractive spots).

Get in between the spokes with the brush and clean the barrel, and use a lug nut brush to clean in and around the lug nut holes. It’s important not to use an overly stiff brush, because if you scratch the wheel now it will take more time to polish those scratches away.

4. Clean the wheel wells

Use an all-purpose cleaner and a stiffer brush with a long handle to clean the wheel wells, which tend especially to accumulate dirt.

5. Rinse again and dry them off

Rinse everything you’ve cleaned so far, and dry everything using a soft towel such as a microfiber towel. If you don’t dry the wheel, you’ll end up getting water spots.

6. Clay the wheels

Detailing clay is a good tool to use to clean your car’s wheels very thoroughly, so if you’d like, use detailing clay at this point in the process, although it’s not a requirement.

Clay the wheels

7. Polish the wheels

Apply aluminum polish with a clean rag in small sections (this will keep the polish from drying before you’re able to rub it in). Start with the wheel surface and then move to the lug nuts, and rub along the grain of the wheel. You can use a toothbrush wrapped in a cloth for any crevices you can’t otherwise reach. When you’re done, wipe it clean with a clean, soft towel.

8. Seal with wax

Put wax onto a clean cloth and rub it onto the surface of the wheel. You can also use a metal sealant rather than a standard wax; whatever you use, make sure it’s OK to use on aluminum wheels specifically.

Then let the wax dry for roughly 10-15 minutes. Once you’ve let it dry, wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Your wheels should look shiny and be perfectly protected.

IV. The 3 Best Wheel Cleaners & Polishes on the Market

best wheel cleaners & polishes on the market

1. Sonax Wheel Cleaner Full Effect

This pH-balanced wheel cleaner has an interesting, user-friendly feature—the formulation turns red as it attacks dirt and grime. It’s acid-free, and is designed to be safe for use on painted, anodized and clear coated wheels. Reviewers report that it has an ideal effect on high-quality aluminum wheels.

2. Meguiar’s Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner

One of the most annoying things about cleaning wheels is that the surface is vertical, meaning that many cleaners slide or drip off before they can penetrate the many nooks and crannies that make cleaning wheels such a challenge at times. That’s why it’s so useful that this cleaner’s Xtreme Cling foam holds it in place long enough to truly dissolve any dirt and grime that’s present.

3. Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish

We can’t forget the polish on this list—once you’ve cleaned your car’s wheels you’ll definitely want to make sure they’re shining as much as possible. This is a high-quality, easy-to-use aluminum polish that gets great reviews and is also completely affordable.

V. How Often to Clean your Wheels

It’s generally recommended that you wash your wheels with soap, water and a wash mitt every time you wash your car (perhaps twice a month).

More thorough cleanings, plus adding a layer of protective substances, can happen with less frequency—something like 4-6 times per year.

However, these are just very general guidelines. It’s up to you to look at your wheels and decide whether they’re dirty.

If, say, you’ve been driving on muddy dirt roads, you’ll have more need to wash your wheels than when you’ve been driving on regular old pavement. It’s up to you to use your judgment and decide when you feel the wheels need to be cleaned (and if aesthetics is a concern for you, it’ll of course be every time they start looking less attractive due to dirt and grime accumulation).


Want to make sure your wheels are maintained in good condition, and your car looks as clean and attractive as possible?

Be sure to clean your wheels on a regular basis. As you now know, it’s not an overwhelmingly challenging task by any means.

Simply use the right products and follow the steps above and you’ll be able to keep your vehicle in top condition, potentially for years to come.

A little effort now means your car will have greater longevity (you may even save money in the long run), and in the meantime it will be a pleasure to drive.


Bonus video

Done in partnership with

washos cta 2


Microfiber towels (sometimes called microfiber cloths) are one of the most important tools used by car detailing experts. If you want to clean your car at home, this is one item you simply cannot do without. They are perfect for interior detailing, wiping glass or even a complete auto detail.


Simply because of how effective and versatile under wet and dry conditions. They also last forever if taken care of properly.

However, there is some confusion over how to use microfiber towels, how to wash and dry them.

Want to know the best part?

Today, with the help of our expert car detailers, we are going to cover everything you need to know about microfiber towels and how to effectively use them without scratching your body paint.

I. What are Microfibers?

A microfiber is an extremely tiny synthetic fiber. It is approximately 1/100th the diameter of a human hair. The fiber is made from a blend of two materials: polyester and polyamide.

What are Microfiber Towels?

types of microfiber cloth

Polyester and polyamide is blended at different ratios to create different types of microfibers. This results in a wider range of microfiber towels for unique applications. You can note the blend ratio of towel by looking at the product description. The ratio is often stated as 90/10 or 75/25 which signifies the ratio of polyester to polyamide.

Another major differentiator of different microfiber towels is the density. The more dense the microfibers, the more it can absorb and is generally more expensive. The density of a microfiber cloth is denoted in grams per square meter (GSM). This creates uniformity which you can use to compare different towels. For example, a if a 16×16 cloth is 500 GSM, this means it a square meter of the cloth weighs 500 grams, not the 16×16 cloth itself.

This is crazy!

Microfibers are:

  • Two times thinner than silk.
  • Three times thinner than wool.
  • Eight times thinner than cotton.
  • 100 times finer than a hair. Some dense microfibers are 200 times thinner than a human hair.

What are the benefits of Microfiber Towels?

microfiber vs cotton

The biggest benefit of microfibers are their effectiveness at attracting dirt and absorbing liquid. Microfibers have a star shaped structure on each strand which is perfect for cleaning. On the other hand, cotton has an inconsistent tube shape.

It gets better…

Since microfiber towels are ultra soft, non abrasive, they can be used in waterless car washes.

II. Types of Microfiber Towels

There are many types of microfiber towels available today. It is important to use the right towel for the right job, read our microfiber buying tips to gain the best results and save money. You should definitely consider using different towels for different purposes. Keep in mind that the higher the GSM, the higher the cost of the towel.

1. The General Use Towel

microfiber towel 220 gsm

This towel is 80/20 220 GSM. It is best used for inner parts of doors, car interiors, wheels, exhausts and windows.

2. The Safe Towel

microfiber cloth auto detail

This towel is 75/25 360 GSM. It is generally safe to use on all surfaces. You can use this towel to apply wax and remove wax, polish and buff.

3. The Delicate Towel

car wash towel

This towel is the 75/25 600 GSM. We call this the delicate towel because it is best for more delicate surfaces. Since it is softer than the Safe Towel, we also recommend this for applying and removing wax, polish and buffing.

4. The Safer Towel

auto detailing towel

This towel is the 75/25 400 GSM. It is a little softer than the Safe Towel and can be used for a wide variety of surfaces.

5. The Safest Towel

microfiber towel wax

This towel is the 70/30 GSM 600 GSM. It is one of the softest towels on the market and is safe to use on all surfaces.

6. The Glass Towel

waffle weave towel

This weave towel is the 80/20 GSM 350 GSM. This is called the Glass Towel because it is perfect for drying and cleaning glass due to its superior absorbency.

2. The Absorbent Towel

microfiber mitt

This towel is the 75/25 GSM 360 GSM. It is called the absorbent because of its unparalleled ability to absorb. If you have a job that requires a lot of water, we recommend this.

III. How to Wash Microfiber Towels

Follow along our guide to learn how to wash and maintain your microfiber towels.

Step 1: Separate Your Towels

clean microfiber towels

If you use different towels for different purposes, like one for windows, one for rims and one for the body of the car then it is ideal that you wash them separately. Washing them separately will prevent cross-contamination. However, this isn’t always practical so if you are going to wash them together, you should pre-soak your towels in a bucket of warm water.

Step 2: Put microfiber towels into washing machine

Place the towels into the machine and add liquid detergent. Otherwise, you can use a microfiber wash solution that is designed specifically to wash microfiber towels.

wash microfiber towels

Some people also suggest to wash the microfiber cloth with regular detergent but add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The white vinegar will remove the wax, while the detergent will get rid of the vinegar smell.

You must avoid using fabric softener. A fabric softener coats the fibers of the towel with a substance to soften them, but it results in the towels losing its static charge.

Step 3: Check the wash setting

Use the warm or hot water option. The hot water helps remove the dirt from the towels. Wait for the washing machine to complete its cycle.

IV. How to Dry Microfiber Towels

After you’re done washing your microfiber towels, it is now time to dry them. You can air dry them if you like, but if you have many towels, our step by step guide to drying microfiber towels will give you all the information you need.

Step 1: Put the Microfiber Towels in the Dryer

Do not dry microfiber goods on high heat. Use the lowest heat setting possible. Remove from machine when the cycle is completed and place towels into storage.

how to dry microfiber towels

You should never iron your microfiber towels. The high heat causes the polyester to melt. This will damage your towel, reduce its effectiveness and could damage your car.

V. Microfiber Towel Storage

microfiber towels storage

It is generally a good idea to fold your towels after you’re done drying them. Then you should place them in a plastic storage container until your next use. This will prevent any contamination in between uses.

PRO TIP: If you microfiber towels falls to the ground, it is better to put it in the wash. The microfiber’s powerful charge attracts dirt and often this dirt can cling to the towel. This can later scratch or damage your car.

VI. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I wash microfiber towels with detergent?

Yes, you can use a detergent but do not use fabric softener. Avoid using powdered laundry detergent because they tend to leave a residue. See more here

2. Do microfiber towels scratch plastic?

No, they shouldn’t scratch plastic. Plastic is less prone to scratches than your clear body paint. However, we always recommend that people check their cloth for any pieces of debris or dirt that could scratch.

3. What are the best microfiber towels for auto detailing?

Some of the best and most premium microfiber cloths brands are AutoGeek, Chemical Guys, The Rag Company and Amazon Basics.

4. Should I wash a new microfiber towel before using it for the first time?

We’re split on this. We recommend that if your cloth is going to lint then it is better to pre-wash before using. However, high quality towels don’t require pre-wash.

5. Do microfiber towels scratch cars?

No, if used correctly, then it should not scratch your car. Look out for small foreign particles in your cloth before applying it to your car.

6. How long do microfiber towels last?

If cared for properly then they will last for a long time. Many companies have noted that towels can last up to 500 washes.

7. What are the basic care instructions for microfiber towels?

microfiber towels care

  • No Bleach
  • No Powdered Laundry Detergent
  • No Fabric Softener
  • No Dryer Sheets
  • No Hot Dryer

8. Are microfibers bad for the environment?

No, in fact the EPA has conducted a study on microfiber towels. It has noted that they “reduce exposure to chemicals in the ECE environment and reduce pollution from cleaning chemicals.” Furthermore, microfiber is made from “synthetic fibers, usually polyester and nylon, which are not treated with chemicals.”

9. How can I remove car wax from a microfiber towel?

When you wash the microfiber cloth, use your regular detergent but add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The white vinegar will remove the wax, while the detergent will get rid of the vinegar smell.

10. Can I wash my microfiber towel by hand?

Yes you can! All you need to do is soak the towel in warm or cold water and use your hands to wring the dirt particles out.


There you have it! Our complete guide to cleaning and maintaining microfiber towels.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.


Many of us have been in this situation where no matter how hard we try, we just can’t remove smoke smell from our cars. This is especially true when the car interior has been exposed to cigarette smoke for years.

Whether you used to smoke or you bought a used car or you got the car due to the passing of a relative, the smell of cigarette smoke is driving you insane.

We’re going to let you in on our best secrets..

In this post, we will go over in detail, how you can effectively get rid of smoke smell from your car.

Follow along as we go step-by-step from the simpler techniques to the more complicated ones.

General Steps To Remove Smoke Smell

These are what we consider to be first steps you need to take before getting into applying one of the techniques. You will want to take appropriate steps to remove cigarette smell from interior surfaces like carpet and upholstery, and from your heater and air conditioner system.

Pro Tip: Before applying any cleaning agent to any surface inside your car, it’s important to read the warning label and ingredients to make sure that’s safe to use on that surface.

Items you will need for basic cleaning

  • Vacuum cleaner. If you’re shopping for a great cordless vacuum cleaner, we recommend you check the Dyson V7 Car + Boat.
  • Steam cleaner
  • Odor neutralizer (like Ozium)
  • Vinegar
  • Plenty of rags

Begin cleaning in a ventilated location

Roll down your windows and preferably clean your car in a well-ventilated area (like your driveway or a parking lot). This will allow your car to breathe and take out some of the smoke smell.

Take out the trash

Remove any signs of cigarettes or tobacco-like ash, cigarette butts, cigars, trash or related litter.

Thoroughly clean the interiors of your car

If you can remove your car seat covers or floor mats, take them out and complete a deep vacuum of every nook and cranny. You will want to vacuum the floor carpets and the floor mats separately. Let the floor mats air out in the sun for some time.

Since each type of leather is unique, it is important to follow specific guidelines while cleaning leather. Follow our detailed guide here to clean leather surfaces.

Use a steam cleaner on the upholstery. Wipe down the steering wheel, dashboard, and any other exposed interiors.

If you’re looking for a homemade remedy, you can use a combination of half water and half white vinegar to clean the steering wheel. Alternatively, Simple Green is an environmentally safe all-purpose cleaner. It is often the area of most cigarette smell since smokers tend to blow into the direction of the steering wheel.

Use Windex or other glass cleaning products to wipe down layers of tar on interior glass surfaces.

Consider replacing the upholstery, headliner and carpets and floor mats if you feel the cigarette smell is impossible to get out.

Air out the duct system

Start the engine and put the car in park. Turn the fan and air conditioner on maximum cool settings (full fan and the lowest temperature). Make sure you have the air recirculation turned off. Roll the windows down and let the air conditioner blow out the smoke smell.

While the air conditioner is on full blast, look for the air intake of your car. The vents are usually located by the wiper blades. Spray the odor neutralizer directly into the vent of the air intake system. This will help combat the cigarette smoke smell coming out of the air conditioner. Continue until the smoke smell reduces.

Neutralize the car’s heating system

A step that many people miss out on! You will want to turn your heating system on to maximum heat and like the previous step, spray the odor neutralizer into the intake system while the heat is on. This will eliminate the smell of smoke from the interior ducts and air condition vents.

Follow our next steps to eliminate smoke smell from your car

Have you completed the steps outlined above and are yet smelling smoke?

Don’t worry; this is a common problem. The above steps serve as a foundation to eliminate the fundamental causes of smoke smell.

Home Remedies to Remove Cigarette Smell from Your Car

White Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent defense against cigarette smoke. Simply pour vinegar into a cup or bowl and leave it overnight in your car.

Use Baking Soda to Remove Tobacco Smell from Car

Baking soda is commonly used to remove many odors and can be used against smoke smell too. Simply sprinkle some baking soda on carpet and floor mat and vacuum it off.

Eliminate Cigarette Smell From Car Interior with Charcoal

Another common method is using a bowl of charcoal in your car for a couple of days to absorb the cigarette odor. This method eliminates smoke smell rather than masking it.

Absorb Car Smoke Smell Using Citrus Fruits

Leave peels of freshly cut lemons, limes or oranges in your car for a few days and watch as the smoke odor disappears. This is an effective and natural solution to remove any cigarette smell.

Clear Cigar Smell with Coffee Grounds

Another highly effective method to remove smoke smell is place coffee grounds in your car. This fast acting technique is more likely to mask the smell than completely eliminate it.

Remove Smoke Smell From Car Seats With Dryer Sheets

If you have cloth seats then you can wipe down your seats with dryer sheets. This powerful method will deodorize your car instantly but is unlikely to eliminate the cause of the smoke smell.

Use Cat Litter to Destroy Cigarette Odor

Last but not least on our home remedies list is using cat litter is absorb cigarette smoke odor. Simply leave a bowl of cat litter in your car for a couple of days and let the cat litter do its magic.

best ways to remove smoke smell from your carbest ways to remove smoke smell from your car

The Best Ways to Remove Smoke Smell From Your Car

We’ve saved our best kept secrets for last. These techniques require to use products generally not found at home but are usually simple enough to follow. All of these methods are designed to remove smoke smell and not just mask it.

Follow along!

Ozium is the Best Product to Remove Smoke Smell

Ozium is an on the spot air cleanser. It kills any cigarette or cigar smoke smell as well as disinfects against bacteria. This spray is a lot more efficient than Febreeze.

Spray Ozium in your car overnight and leave the windows closed. Repeat this process until the smoke smell disappears.

An Odor Bomb will Wipe Out Cigarette Smells

An odor bomb like Dakota Odor Bomb Car Odor Eliminator will quickly eliminate any smell in your car including smoke and cigarettes.

The best part?

The odor bomb won’t merely mask the smell but will destroy it.

Ozone Treatment is the Best Way to Remove Smoke Smell from Your Car

An ozone treatment or ozone shock treatment is the best way to remove smoke smell from your car, but it should be your last resort since it is hazardous if not used correctly.

We highly recommend going to a professional for this than trying it at home. However, you can rent an ozone generator and try it out for yourself.

Note: You will want to use an ozone generator in an open space. The EPA has stated that “ozone has little potential to remove indoor air contaminants.” However, “high concentrations of ozone in air, when people are not present, are sometimes used to help decontaminate an unoccupied space from certain chemical or biological contaminants or odors (e.g., fire restoration).”

An ozone generator uses ultraviolet radiation to break O2 particles into oxygen atoms. These atoms then fuze with O2 to form O3 (Ozone). Since Ozone is unstable, the extra Oxygen atom will break off and join another molecule. This process creates O2 again while breaking down bad odors since the extra O atom has fused with the molecule of cigarette smoke or other odors.

How to Use an Ozone Generator to Remove Smoke Smell:

Step 1: Clean out your car as described in the general steps above.

Step 2: Place the ozone generator in your car or connect it to a hose.

Step 3: Start the ozone generator until the entire car is filled with ozone.

Step 4: Turn on your car’s fan (through the air conditioner) to circulate the ozone through the ducts.

Step 5: Air out your car by driving around.


Those are best techniques to remove smoke smell from your car.

If you’re still having trouble with cigarette smells, you can also take your car wash professional for a complete detail.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.


At Washos, we know all about the ongoing drought in California and restrictions placed on water usage. We take pride in offering a waterless car wash as our default option. Not only is it good for the environment but it also produces the same results as a water based wash.

Here’s the deal…

You’ve probably heard about a waterless car wash or a spray on car wash or a dry car wash, but you have absolutely no idea what it is! In this post, we will cover the basics of a waterless car wash, the results you can achieve and how you can wash your car at home with minimal water use.

Follow along!

I. What is a Waterless Car Wash?

A waterless car wash is an eco-friendly and efficient car wash that uses little or no water. Sometimes it is also known as a spray on car wash or no water car wash.

This is the best part
It also allows the car detailer to service your car in narrow spaces while saving surprising amounts of water.

Waterless products are more advanced than regular soap used for a mobile car wash as they need to compensate for the lack of water. Thus, the efficiency of the waterless car wash is usually better than using water-based methods. Plus, when doing a waterless car detailing, you only need a bucket of water to rinse your towels instead of using between 50 to 100 gallons of clean water when using a pressure washer or a hose.

II. How does a Waterless Car Wash work?

A waterless car wash uses high lubricity sprays to polish and wash the vehicle’s bodywork. The spray’s high lubricity chemicals encapsulate dirt and dust particles. This process is similar to how water removes dirt, but the chemical combination of a waterless car wash product is more efficient.

You have to simply spray the surface of the car and then wipe it off. This process removes any light dirt or stains from the car’s surface. It works ideally for cars that don’t have thick dried mud to clean. A waterless car wash is only recommended for cars with light dirt.

Wiping down your car with a waterless car wash spray is advised by any auto detailer as water can sometimes hurt your bodywork and leave marks if you go about it the wrong way. However, you have to have a good soft microfiber towels to wipe the car.

A microfiber towel is used because of high absorbency and softness, which helps to scoop up these dirt particles.

If the waterless car wash product is used correctly, it will not damage or scratch your car’s paint.

III. Environmental Impact of a Waterless Car Wash

Most corner car washes use vast quantities of water as they drown the bodywork in water and soap to remove as much dirt as possible (and as fast as possible!).

This is how much water is used to wash a sedan:

A commercial car wash

Most commercial car washes use up to 45 gallons of water per wash. However, car washers reclaim most of that water.

A Waterless car wash

Want to know the best part?

A waterless car wash just requires 4 – 6 oz of waterless car wash formula used per car and a couple of buckets of water. In the cases where the car is caked in mud, you require an additional gallon of water.

IV. Waterless Car Wash Products

Most professional mobile detailers use homemade products by mixing different type of high lubricity sprays. We strongly advise you not to do so unless you are a car detailing expert.

You are better off buying a gallon of waterless car cleaner. The waterless car cleaner product will cost you approximately $30 and will allow you to wash your car 5 or 6 times. There are many popular car care brands like Meguiar’s, Chemical Guys and 3D Auto Detailing Products that sell high-quality ready to use waterless car wash products.

While at Washos, we use a proprietary waterless car wash formula, our research has concluded that Meguiar’s Behind Wash & Wax Anywhere is one of the best premium waterless car wash sprays around. For a less expensive waterless car wash product, we recommend the Triplewax Waterless Wash & Shine.

V. Waterless Car Wash Review

If you’re looking for a simple car wash to remove the visible dirt, a waterless car wash works perfectly fine. However, if you get thick embedded dirt on your vehicle, it might sometimes be better to apply a small quantity of water on those areas so that you don’t use too much cleaner to soften the dirt. If you follow the steps correctly, then you will not damage the paint of your car.

If you want to use wax or to go up to the clay bar treatment, preparing your car with waterless car wash solution is better. If you use water, you would have to dry the car very well using specific equipment or let the vehicle dry under a hot sun. Residues of water on your can be harmful when applying car wax or polish.

Tip: If you’re still going for a water-based car wash, then do it on some grass! That way spilled water will at least be useful for something.

VI. How to do a Waterless Car Wash Yourself [Step-by-Step Guide]

To do a waterless car wash yourself at home, you will need many clean microfiber towels and a ready to use waterless car wash product. We recommend using microfiber towels with a minimum weight of 300 GSM (grams per square meter). A low quality or dirty towel can damage your car.

If your car has excessive mud, we recommend a rinse. A waterless car wash solution will not be effective against caked mud.

Follow our step-by-step guide to getting your car shiny in no time!

Step 1

Start by taking a microfiber towel and folding it twice in half to create eight useable sides. Remember that we use a microfiber towel because it offers high absorbency and softness, which helps to scoop up these dirt particles.

Note: We highly recommend making sure the towels are clean before using them. You can read our Microfiber Towel guide on how to clean your microfiber cloth.

Step 2

Mentally split up your car into different sections that you can work on at a time.

  • The side glass
  • The roof
  • The hood and trunk
  • The side doors (upper half)
  • The front bumper
  • The rear bumper
  • The lower half of the side doors
  • The wheels

You will want to use different microfiber clothes for different sections of the car. Stop using a cloth if it becomes too dirty or accumulates particles. Incorrectly using a microfiber towel can cause scratches on your vehicle. Never reuse a dirty microfiber without washing it first.

Step 3

Usually, car detailers start at the top of the car to avoid spilling when using products on the roof.

Simply spray the waterless car wash product onto one folded cloth and onto a panel of the vehicle, gently wipe with leading cloth. And quickly buff using a second clean and dry microfiber cloth.

Step 4

Wipe lightly in one direction. Wipe the bodywork gently without applying too much pressure. Don’t go circles or you’ll just end up keeping the dirt on the car. We recommend wiping linearly in the direction of the wind.

Step 5

When the towel gets too dirty, use one of the other clean sides. The idea of using a clean side every time is not to reintroduce the dirt on the car. Repeat this process as you clean the other parts of your vehicle. We recommend using a separate microfiber towel for the brakes since the brake pads may contain chemical fluids.


We believe that waterless car washes are the future. Encourage your local washer and detailer to wash your car without water and see the incredible results for yourself!

We are committed to being eco-friendly, and for that reason, all of our car detailers do a waterless car wash and waterless car detailing by default.

Whether you need an interior detailing, a full exterior detailing, a tree sap removal or a water spots treatment, our waterless mobile detailing will restore your car to its original condition.

Try Washos


Here at Washos, we get asked a lot of questions. There is one question that keeps popping up, however: “What is the difference between car detailing and car washing?”

We realize that for most non-car enthusiasts, the difference probably isn’t very significant. However, all car owners, enthusiasts or not, should look at getting their car fully detailed every so often, and should also perform smaller details regularly to have their car looking at its best all the time.

So, to help our customers understand the many benefits of car detailing, also known as auto-detailing, we are going to outline what you can expect when you choose to have your car detailed. Trust us when we say that you’ll never go back to normal washing!

I. What is Car Detailing?

Simply put, getting your car detailed means a top-to-bottom thorough cleaning of your vehicle using specialized tools and products. Normally, a detailer will also perform some light cosmetic touch-ups, but the process does not include paintwork or body repairs.

Car detailing involves cleaning and reconditioning the interior and exterior of the car. The aim of this is to restore the paintwork by eliminating scratches or swirl marks to make the car look almost brand new like it did when you first drove it out of the shop.

A simple car wash gets rid of dirt on the outside of your car, and if you clean the interior you might catch some of the grime with a vacuum, but car detailing takes this process much further. Every car we detail has every last imperfection buffed, polished, or vacuumed out, leaving it fit for display in any showroom.

Since there are no set guidelines, you will see a great variety in terms of the services included in a complete detail. At Washos, our complete detail package consists of an exterior detailing using clay treatment and high-end wax, an advanced interior cleaning with stain removal and leather treatment as well as dressing on all the plastics.

II. What is the difference between a Car Wash and an Auto Detail?

Now that you know what car detailing is, we are going to quickly outline the differences between a car wash and auto detailing, before going on to talk some more about why car detailing is a seriously good idea.

Aside from cost, which ranges from $10 to $40, a typical car wash only covers a fraction of the cleaning that you can get from a detail, and so only achieves a fraction of the result.

So what does a car wash include?

Most car washes take between ten and twenty minutes to go from washing to drying. A car wash can be done by hand or by machines (a drive thru car wash) that run bristles, soap, and water to clean your car’s exterior.

A car wash tends to be a superficial cleanse while an auto detail is more thorough and restorative.

III. What are the steps in Auto Detailing

A thorough car detailing consists of two main phases: interior detailing and exterior detailing. We are going to break down each phase so you know exactly what to expect when you get your vehicle detailed. Feel free to ask your technician if you have any questions about the process, as most of them love to share their art of detailing with others.

Exterior Car Detailing

We begin with an exhaustive exterior wash to remove as much dirt as possible. By allowing the soap to foam, dirt and mud are softened and lifted off the surface.

Next, using special brushes and wheel cleaning products, the detailer takes off all the dust and filth from the wheels; brake calipers, lug nuts, etc. The wheels are usually the dirtiest parts of the car!

After the wheels have been cleaned, the paintwork is washed and dried from top to bottom using washing mitts and soft microfiber towels. The paintwork is then clayed using automotive clay bar that removes the tightly bonded dirt of the surface of the car, which is your car’s clear coat.

If required, the paint is polished to eliminate any light scratches, oxidation, and swirl marks. The paint can be polished by hand or by a polishing machine. This can be the most time-consuming part of the detailing service depending on the car and the state of its paintwork.

Finally, the paint is waxed to give it an additional protective layer using high-quality carnauba based paste wax. This added protection results in a noticeable shine too, the kind that you saw when you first bought it!

The remaining exterior parts, like the windows and other rubber parts, are then polished and methodically cleaned, adding the finishing touches in all the corners of the car’s body and exterior trim to make the entire car sparkle.

Interior Car Detailing

All of the upholstery inside the car is thoroughly vacuumed and shampooed to remove stains and dirt. If the car has leatherwork, this is often conditioned and scrubbed to remove dirt that is deeply ingrained. Plastics and vinyl are also properly cleaned and dressed.

Lastly, the interior glass is also cleaned and polished.

An Important Optional Step

Cleaning the engine bay is an important step but a lot of people simply don’t do it. The reason for this is probably that some people don’t care what their car looks like under the hood, or that they think only mechanics should venture to clean anywhere under there.

Having the engine bay cleaned can make identifying any engine problems easier and faster. Mechanics love working in a clean engine bay, and if the car owner is having the car detailed before selling, a clean engine bay can make a big impression on how well maintained a car is. Anyone that purchases a used vehicle will likely glance under the hood, and a clean engine bay can only raise the value

However, there are steps you can take when you have your car detailed to protect some components from wear and tear. The detailer cleans the engine bay by lightly spraying it with water, and then wiping it down with a degreaser before rinsing everything clean. Once properly dried, all silicone, plastic and rubber components should be properly dressed to protect them from cracking. This is a simple process that ultimately serves to protect the car from everyday problems of wear on rubber and silicone.

IV. What are the benefits of getting your car detailed?

A complete car detail will bring your car to its best condition. You can then perform mini details to keep your car looking as good as new.

Car Value

Keeping your car in good condition will help maintain or restore the value of your car. This is particularly true of older or classic cars, especially if you’re looking to sell your car in the future. You simply cannot get the same results from car washes. A good detailer will bring your car to its original beauty and increase its resale value.


Another benefit of auto detailing is the added protection against the elements. When a wax coat is routinely applied to the exterior painted surface, it protects the finish from contamination and oxidation (rust).

Attention to Detail

Since detailing is an incredibly thorough process, you can expect the detailer to meticulously assess every crevice of your car to suggest customized solutions. You will not get this kind of personalized service at a car wash.

V. How much does a car detail cost?

You’re probably thinking ‘Alright, I’m sold… but I don’t know how much this is going to cost me’. Well, according to this article, the size of your vehicle is a major factor in determining car detailing prices. So, a Humvee won’t cost the same as a Prius – but the difference isn’t as huge as you might think.

A basic car detailing package ranges from $50 to $125 for an average sized vehicle, while an SUV or van tends to cost between $75 and $100. However, additional services like clay bar treatment, leather conditioning, and pet hair removal, as well as the quality of these products, can increase the cost (so keep those dogs under control!).

VI. How to Choose a Car Detailing Service?

Now that you’ve decided to get your car detailed, and you know roughly how much it’s going to cost you, you will need to do some research to figure out where to take your car. The quality and experience of the detailer makes all the difference here.

You will also want to study the different packages offered and whether they provide services your car needs. The whole idea of detailing is centered on its bespoke nature. If it doesn’t work for you – your car, your needs, your vision – it doesn’t work at all. Be picky! That’s the point! So, we are going to give away our best-kept secrets to help you find the perfect detailer for your car.

  1. Services Offered

Start by looking for a detailer that offers exactly the kind of services you’re looking for. If you’re looking to get rid of all that dog hair in your car but the company doesn’t offer pet hair removal then you’re not going to get the best results.

  1. Pricing

Car details can become very expensive quite quickly due to their use of high-quality cleaning products, and you will want to find someone that provides the best bang for your buck. Keep in mind though that a complete detail is worth the short-term investment, because of the long-term value it provides!

  1. Reviews

These days it is impossible to not look for reviews before making a decision, and it’s always a good idea to search on Yelp or Google to see what other customers have had to say about their experiences.

At Washos, we take pride in our customer satisfaction and we work hard to maintain our five-star rating on Yelp. There will be times when things don’t go right but our responsiveness in fixing any mistakes goes a long way to proving our commitment to the highest quality service.

  1. Mobility

We understand that modern life can be incredibly busy and that taking your car to a washer is something that some people simply don’t have time to do. If that’s you, you should keep an eye out for mobile car detailing services. These detailers will come to your location, at home or at work, and provide the same high-quality service you would get by driving to a detailing shop.


While we have only scratched the surface of detailing, the world of auto detailing is very exciting and highly detailed. There are tons of forums where you can find in-depth guides for all of the different parts of the detailing process, or you can ask other car enthusiasts about car detailing.

If you have any questions about auto detailing that you’d like to put to us after reading this, please write them in the comments section and we will help you out.

Try Washos!


I know what you are thinking. You are surprised that the question “How to remove the bad odors of my car?” is a common one. Don’t worry, you are not the only one that typed this on Google. Let us tell you more on a few tricks you can use to solve that problem without having to book a mobile car detailing or to go to the corner car wash!

Whether it is because you spilled coffee, eat McDonald, have dirty shoes or because the wet fabric of your car after a heavy rains smells, car odors are really uncomfortable. However, you tend not to care about it until your beloved one, your friends, or worst, your boss that tags along for an important meeting notices it. Here are 10 tips you can use to remove those odors.

1. Regularly wipe down your car’s surfaces

Even if it is not that obvious, the most common source of car smells is the dust embedded in your car, especially if you have fabric seats. Wood, plastic, and metallic surfaces need to be cleaned with detergent once in a while in order not to stack bad odors. People usually don’t have their interior cleaned or detailed when having a car wash. You may want to think about it twice the next time! The dust will infect the material of your interior and deteriorate it. Leather car seats are also very fragile and need to be maintained regularly.

2. Thoroughly clean your car

We tend to leave small trash on the carpet of our car. Plastic bags, empty cans, used papers or worse, food garbages like small pizza boxes (we all had one on the back seats at some point!). Those objects, when left abandoned too long under your leather car seats tend to leave a bad smell, dirty your fabric and bring more bacterias. You do not need a car detailing to remove those. Just do it at the end of each day or when going to the car wash or gas station.

3. Brush and Vacuum the carpets

Even invisible dirt can leave a smell especially when they attack the differents fabrics of your vehicle. You want to avoid rot as much as possible, notably on leather car seats. At some point, you might have to change completely the carpet or to recondition your leather completely if it becomes too embedded. Any good car wash or mobile detailer will start detailing your car by removing the superficial dirt. Interior vacuum and wipe-down are the first things you want to do when detailing your car.

4. Use steam or waterless products to wash your interior

Steam wash is very efficient against bad car smells. The heat will instantly kill all the bacterias and prevent your interior from rotting. I advise you to do so in case you have food or liquid spills deteriorating your interior.

You can also have recourse to a waterless car wash or waterless detailing. Indeed, waterless products are highly concentrated and leave a nice smell in the car. Few detailers provide carwash with steam. However, a lot of them do waterless carwash and interior detailing.

5. Don’t use too much water when cleaning your interior!

Some people often drown their interior in water that is a very bad idea! Too much water on your fabric will take days to dry especially if you leave in a cold area. This will grow a musty smell in the car. When you spill water on your seats, and the water remains clear, it means that there is no dirt left on your seats.

6. Remove cigarette odors

This one if for smoking people! A good tip to completely remove smoke odors is to place a bowl of vinegar on your front and back seats. Put two towels in those bowls. The towels will release a strong perfume that will snuff out the cigarette smell. However, the smell of vinegar is not what you should aim for. However, this one vanishes with time whereas cigarette odor can really embed in your car for long.

7. Use deodorizer in a smart way

Don’t just spray deodorizer all over your interior. Start your engine put the fan on full power and turn on the AC. Set up the fresh air setting of the car so that the air comes from the outside. Then, spray the deodorizer in the intakes of the car.

That way, the deodorizer will be mixed up with fresh air and spread all over your interior. This method will also clean the air circuit of the car that could have been affected by bad odors. Turn on the heat of your car and redo the operation.


8. Clean/change the air filter

If bacterias or rot have been growing on your air filters, bad odors are automatically spread in your interior each time you turn your fan/AC on. If you leave your air filter dirty, the seven previous tips will become useless! Ask your detailer or car service provider if you do not know how to do so. Brand new air filters cost approximately $50 and bring a comfort you will not regret if you use your AC a lot!

9. Condition your leather and shampoo the fabrics

If you absolutely want to remove all odors of the car, having your interior fully detailed is an excellent way to start. Shampooing the carpet will release a clean smell in your car. Reconditioning your leather will protect your seats from being affected by future dirt or bacterias and reinvigorate the leather. And of course, the natural smell of leather is certainly what you want for your car!

However, this part requires some skills. Before doing it yourself, have a professional detailer show you how they do. If you do not want to waste time finding a detailer on your own, Washos can definitely help you.

10. Clean the spills in your car as soon as possible

A common mistake people make is to wait until their car is really dirty to clean everything at once. There is no better way to deteriorate your car and have lingering odors grow in your interior. Rot is the worst source of odors for your vehicle, and it comes from lasting stains or spills. If you have pets, do never wait more than a day if they urinate or vomit in your car or you might embed the odor for good.

3 myths about odors removal

1. Using an air-freshener is enough

Absolutely not! The air-freshener will make you feel that the car smells good, but bad odors will still keep on growing in your interior. As soon as you don’t use those products anymore, the smells of your car will re-appear. By that time, of course, those odors would have embedded in your fabric and leather and will be way harder to remove.

2. Driving with the window open

Isn’t that obvious that this method does not remove bad odors? Doing so will simply have you used to the odor of the car while you’re driving. Close all the windows, step out of the car for 10 minutes and go back in. You’ll have the demonstration that this method is nothing but a myth.

3. You need very good supplies to remove bad car odors

You don’t! Just follow our guide and you’ll see the result. The most important is to clean and vacuum the car. Then wipe-down all the surfaces to remove the dirt. As for shampooing the carpet or cleaning the seats, you can even use a good brush with baking soda and then wipe-down all the surfaces with a clean towel.

And if you feel like having a professional detailer pave the way to odor removal for you. Simply book a Washos car wash and our detailer will be more than happy to guide you through all those steps.


You love your car. The two of you spend a lot of time together. All you really want to do is to keep your car brand new as those cars glinting in the lights of the showroom or the day you bought it off the lot.

Okay, we both know that is not maintainable, but you can keep your car looking magnificent while still actually taking it out on the streets.

Are you confused by conflicting advice on when and how to detail your car? Don’t let your car deteriorate due to inaction.

We’ve got good news: Washos has distilled all the information you need right here. After you read this, you’ll be ready to give your car the TLC it deserves.

How often should you wash your car?

Let’s face it; most of us don’t wash our cars as often as we should.

Splattered with what used to be bugs? Splattered with bird droppings? Splattered with tree sap? Dirty from a long commute and the polluted air that comes with it? Sticky from heat or stained from rain or salty from the coastal air?

Does this sound like your car?

If that’s your car, it needs to be washed weekly.

If your car doesn’t have much contact with bugs or birds or trees, if you live in an area with mild weather, or if you keep your car in a closed garage, then every other week should do it.

If you’re really lucky, then you can stretch it to once a month. But to be this lucky, you probably don’t actually drive your car very much.

How often should you wax your car?

In general, you should wax your car once every three months.

But maybe the first question you have is why you should wax your car at all.

Once every three months sounds doable. But that’s an average. How do you know if your car needs waxing right now?

The Bead Test

The easiest way is the bead test. Anyone can do it. Simply throw some water on your car and see if the water beads up. If it does, you’re still good . . . for now. If it doesn’t, it’s time to get your wax on.

Speaking of wax, what kind of wax should you use?

Carnauba wax will give your car a fabulous shine—but only for about four to six weeks, so get ready to pay for that sheen with some extra elbow grease. If you’re not as fussy, then polymer sealant will work just fine and last the full three months.

Now, if you live in an environment that’s tough on your car’s exterior—salt, smog, cold temperatures, exposure to tree sap, all those elements that mean you need to wash more often—you will also have to wax more frequently.

If your car’s new (lucky you!), you might not have to wax as often as the rest of us with models that have seen a bit of the world.

Consistent waxing protects your car’s finish long-term so make it a routine that you keep up.

How often should you condition your leather seats?

How often should you condition your leather seats?

As a general rule, you should also condition your leather seats every three months.

However, is this the car you use every day? Do you frequently have passengers? Do you have children? Do the seats spend a lot of time exposed to the sun? If so, every two months is a safer bet to keep the leather in top shape.

If you use your car more infrequently and more gently, you may be able to extend the timetable up to six months.

How often should you clean your engine bay?

How often should you clean your engine bay?

If you’ve never thought about cleaning your engine bay as part of your regular detailing routine, it’s time to start.

If your environment has a lot of dust, pollen, snow, or dirt (starting to sound familiar?), then you should be cleaning your engine bay every three months to remove the build-up.

If your environment is more forgiving, then once or twice a year is adequate.

When you pop the hood, look for build-up in the PCV valve, which can create leaks. Whenever any valves or gaskets are replaced, you should have the engine bay steam cleaned.

However tempting it might be to do it yourself, do not pick up that water hose. You could cause a great deal of damage.

How often should you clay your car?

How often should you clay your car?

If you haven’t heard of claying your car, you’re not alone.

Because clay bars have only recently been made available to the general public, most people don’t know about this great alternative to polishing or buffing.

Why is it so much better? Claying actually removes particles that have become trapped in the paint. Using a clay bar will make your car feel as smooth as glass, but don’t forget to wax after each claying.

At Washos, we recommend claying twice a year, but you can do it as often as you want.

It’s easy to determine whether you should clay right now. Rub your hand along your car. Do you feel roughness? If so, it’s time to clay and draw those particles out of the paint.

Flat areas like the roof, hood, and trunk attract more grit since it’s easier for it to settle there.

How often should you detail your car?

How often should you detail your car?

The good news is that how often you should have your car detailed is mostly personal preference. Many people prefer to do it every four months.

Our recommendation is to do a full and thorough detail twice a year. This includes claying, polishing, sealing—the works.

However, once every three months you should do a refresher detail, including sealant and wax as well as treat any leather.

interior detailing

You should thoroughly clean the interior of your car once a month. It’s time-consuming, but clean out any trash and wipe all the interior surfaces free of dust and grime.

And of course, don’t forget the weekly or bi-weekly wash!

Washos’ Quick Guide to Keeping your Car Brand New

Washos' Quick Guide to Keeping your Car Brand New

Now you know how to keep your car looking its best. Here’s a quick guide (remember to take into account the harshness of your environment):

1-2 Weeks Car Wash
3 MonthsWax, Condition Leather seats, Clean engine bay, Mini Detail
6 MonthsClay treatment
1 YearFull detail

When you care for your car, it’ll care for you. Keep your car looking its best while protecting your investment.

Do you have any car cleaning maintenance tips? Share in the comments below.

Try Washos!

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