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Make your car look brand new with a home car wash


So recently I got a brand new midnight blue 2013 (ooh, from the future) Hyundai Elantra. It is probably one of the nicest things I’ve ever received in my life. When my older brother graduated from college, he got the hand-me-down family car that was at least 7 years old. It still had bite marks on the interior from when I was a child. Needless to say, it was not the ideal vehicle to be going on long commutes with or taking from Washington D.C. to the Carolinas. My parents decided it would be more fair to let me start my new life with a more reliable car rather than something that was falling apart (my last car utilized a lot of duct tape in the interior – nuff said).

I was ecstatic that I was finally getting my dream car. I am not a person with extremely high expectations, I just want something that is in a color I like, gets good gas mileage and can preferably sync to my iPod. So far, my Elantra has been getting around 30 average mpg. The highest it goes is 40 mpg highway, and city is usually 25-28. It also has free satellite radio (for a few months) and seat warmers, which I just used for the first time yesterday!

Unfortunately, there is a tree at my boyfriend’s house that constantly drops crabapples on my car which melt and are a pain to get rid of. And I HAVE to park there, otherwise he can’t pull his car out.

So does the car look the same brand new off the lot in August compared to now? That’s what we’re going for!

So here was my car, complete with the melted crabapple attack:

So off I go, on a car cleaning adventure.

The basic steps to washing your own car:

First rinse it off thoroughly with a hose. Also make sure it’s parked close enough to your hose before you begin! It will already look a bit better and maybe even kind of sexy from afar, but the melted crabapples and junk are still all there.

Next get a bucket of soapy water and a washcloth and sud it up! This is your chance to gently scrape off bird droppings, melted crabapples, etc. Some of the dirt would just not budge with water alone. As for the water temperature of the bucket, I would recommend making it the temperature you WISH it was outside. If it’s really hot outside, make it cool and refreshing. If it’s frigid outside (unfortunately people have to wash their cars in winter, too), make it nice and warm for your exposed hands.

Tip: Lay the washcloth flat and open to cover a large surface area; fold it to tackle a tougher area.

Once nice and soapy, wash the car off with the hose again.

Dry with a towel. Some people use a towel to absorb most of the water, then something more lint-free to touch up, such as a paper towel for the windows. When it dries, it will probably look nicer than you think, but using a towel was a bit linty. I haven’t tried at home waxing, maybe another time!

And we’re done! Looks just as nice as when I got it! Not bad for an amateur DIY car wash. Stay tuned for epic interior car vacuuming.