What you will need:
1. Car wash soap. Don’t use dish soap! Dish soap is hard on rubber components, plus it can remove your car’s wax coat. We used Mothers California Gold Car Wash, which sells for around $5-6 for a 16 oz. bottle (compare prices).
2. A wash mitt made of sheepskin or microfiber cloth. Both materials are designed to pick up and hold dirt. Sponges work too, but a wash mitt makes the job easier and is kinder to your car’s finish. Don’t use towels; they merely push the dirt around rather than pick it up.
3. Two buckets.
4. A drying cloth. Chamois (natural or synthetic) is the traditional choice, but it can scratch your car’s paint. An absorbent waffle-weave drying towel makes the job faster and easier. You’ll also need a few extra microfiber detail towels.
5. A shady location. (Direct sunlight will dry the car prematurely and leave spots.)
6. AÂ dirty car.
If your car has bird droppings, dead bugs, sap, or other hard-to-clean stains on the paintwork, apply car wash soap directly to these stains. The guys at Mothers use a spray bottle filled with undiluted car wash soap.