7 ESSENTIAL products to safely wash your car

7 ESSENTIAL products to safely wash your car

HOW TO: Safely & effectively wash your car with 7 basic products. Avoid damaging your vehicle's paint and keep it protected! Advice on techniques & application.
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Washing your car is a vital part of regular vehicle maintenance. Keeping your vehicle's paintwork clean, free of contaminants & protected will protect its finish & prevent corrosion. It's not just about vanity and having something shiny.

How often should I wash my car?

This depends on the amount you drive and the weather conditions in your area, however, we recommend once or twice per month to keep your car's exterior in optimum condition. Leaving long periods between washes will allow contaminants such as iron, tar, bird lime, salt, and general filth to become embedded in your vehicle's paintwork, damaging its finish and potentially causing corrosion.

Why avoid automatic car washes?

Why Automatic Car Washes Are Bad

Automatic car washes, although convenient, use heavily abrasive techniques and strong chemicals to remove dirt as quickly as possible without any care for the condition of your paintwork and trim. Abrasive bristles used in automatic car washes cause scratching and pitting, making paintwork look dull and flat over time and causing lacquer peel.

Why avoid the hand car wash?

When taking your vehicle to a hand car wash, you have no control over the washing techniques or chemicals used. Hand car washes prioritise speed and volume over quality which often results in abrasive techniques where dirt is rubbed into the paintwork, causing swirling and marring - also known as 'love marks'. You're trying to do the right thing by cleaning your car, but it's actually causing damage.

Swirl Marks On Black Paint

Washing your car yourself

If you're not a detailing expert, it's likely you may not know the correct products and techniques to wash your vehicle. If you are experienced in car cleaning, our R44 Detailing ESSENTIALS Full Wash Kit is still relevant to you. The kit includes the basic products you'll need to complete a full regular maintenance wash of your vehicle's exterior. Below will explain how to use each product in each stage of the wash process. Our kit may still be discounted at the time of reading so be sure to check it out here.

What's included in the R44 Detailing ESSENTIALS Full Wash Kit?

R44 Detailing ESSENTIALS Full Wash Kit

Our detailing team has hand-picked these 7 products with each being one of its class leaders.

How to wash your car with our ESSENTIALS Full Wash Kit

Step 1: PRE WASH

Stjarnagloss Först Citrus Pre Cleaner is renowned for being one of the most powerful pre-cleaners on the market. Removing as much dirt and grime as possible without contact is vital for a paint-safe wash. We recommend a minimum 2-stage contactless wash before shampooing a car to avoid scratching or marring exterior paintwork. Simply spray Först on, leave to dwell and rinse off.


Carbon Collective Ultimus Snow Foam On BMW G80 M3 | R44 Performance

The 2nd stage of the contactless wash is using a high-quality snow foam. Ultimus by Carbon Collective is very thick an clingy meaning it can be left to dwell for a long time without drying on the paint. Snow foam is essential for loosening embedded dirt before rinsing off.


As for the shampoo, we selected Q2M Bathe by Gyeon. Bathe is tried and tested and we use it on many of our cars here at R44 Detailing. Bathe is nice and slick, cutting through dirt easily whilst offering excellent lubrication to ensure no swirling of the paintwork.

Step 4: WHEELS

Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Iron Fallout Wheel Cleaner On Custom Wheels | R44 Performance

To remove grime and brake dust from wheels, we love to use Bilt Hamber's Auto Wheel. Containing a strong iron remover, this wheel cleaner removes heavily embedded brake dust with ease, displaying that lovely pink bleeding effect.


After washing a vehicle, adding protection is ESSENTIAL. Always keeping a layer of protection applied will make maintenance washing a breeze as filth and contaminants will find it more difficult to cling to exterior panels. Gtechniq C2 Ceramic Sealant is a quick and easy spray-on protection with great hydrophobic and dirt-repelling properties.

Gtechniq C2 Ceramic Sealant On Paintwork | R44 Performance


Also included are two basic ESSENTIALS you'll need for a full wash. The ValetPRO Advanced Microfibre Wash Mitt is a great-value, paint-safe wash mitt that removed dirt without scratching. ValetPRO's Grey Drying Towel will allow you to thoroughly and safely wipe down the wet panels before applying protection.

Additional accessories may include a high-quality clean bucket (or two), soft exterior brushes for gently agitating dirt in tight crevasses, and a wheel brush for cleaning inside wheel barrels and arches.

Detailing Brush On BMW G80 M3 | R44 Performance


When performing the contact wash, make sure to start at the top of the vehicle and work downwards. Perform slow vertical motions with your wash mitt with plenty of product lubricating the surface. We even recommend adding a 2nd layer of snow foam mixed with shampoo to ensure maximum lubrication.

It is advised to follow the two-bucket method. One 'wash' bucket and one 'rinse' bucket. After each panel or when dirty, rinse your wash mitt in one bucket before dipping it back in the clean wash bucket to remove dirt. We also advise using a bucket with a grit guard to separate the dirt from the upper section of shampoo.

DO NOT work the wash mitt quickly in circular motions, putting on lots of pressure. This is what causes swirl marks and scratches. Be patient and aim to remove as much dirt as possible using contactless techniques.


So there it is! We hope you found this helpful & insightful. Don't worry if you're not ready to commit to buying a big 7-product bundle. R44 Detailing has a huge range of in-stock products with next-day UK delivery. We also have a 3-product Basic Wash Set at a much lower price point.

Don't forget to check out our Instagram for daily detailing content. Happy detailing!

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