deep clean car wash

Deep Clean Car Wash Step-by-Step

We already discussed the right way of waxing a car by hand, and we find out that prep is a crucial part of waxing a car. In this post, we will discuss the proper way to make a deep clean car wash at home. You should understand that washing your car this way fits best before waxing, polishing, ceramic coating, or anything that involves working on the car’s paint surface.

Why deep clean car wash is necessary?

car paint under microscope
car paint under a microscope

I’m a car enthusiast, and I’m sure that every car owner, as much as I want their car to be clean and shiny. The fastest way to make car paint shine is to apply car wax. The wax coating creates a protective layer on the paint, covering little imperfections and boosting shine.

When you don’t make a deep clean of car paint, it collects a lot of heavy contaminants that you cannot remove with a car wash. For example, you can remove tar, iron, and water spots only with specialized cleaners. When you wash your car and after you apply the wax coating, all these contaminants are left under the wax coating. It means that your wax protects your car paint and has heavy contaminants on your paint as well. It can cause paint damage because iron can get deep into car paint and start the corrosion process. I hope we all want to avoid this. That is the reason we apply protective coatings.

When you apply wax on clean car paint, the wax coating will last much longer than on dirty car paint. If you will take a look at car paint under a microscope, you will see kinds of craters. Before paint cleaning, these craters are filled with dirt, and wax coating will not have a place to stick.

Do not neglect car paint cleaning if you want your car surface to be safe and wax coatings to last as long as possible. Making a deep clean car wash is an essential part to prepare a car for winter!

deep clean car wash Step-by-step

1. Make a two-step Car Wash

deep clean car wash
  1. If you are usually washing your car at home, use suitable Pre Wash. Usually, we recommend using pH-balanced shampoo to protect your wax, but now we need to remove all old waxes and dirt. The acid or alkaline shampoo will make it better. If you are using a self-service car wash, there will be alkaline shampoo already.
  2. Now you can wash your car with a wash mitt (two bucket wash method). Be aware of using any shampoos with waxes cause you don’t need them at this point.

2. Remove Tar

deep clean car wash remove  tar

We believe that you were running your car for several months before preparing it now, and more likely, you were doing it on the roads. It means that you will find tar marks on your paint.

Wear nitrile gloves and take your tar remover if you don’t have it yet, we share with you our top list of tar removers. There is no need to apply remover on the whole car. Majority tar removers are harmful to plastic, so be careful with them and apply only where needed. Commonly you will find it around your wheel (fenders, doors, bumpers).

Once you apply it, let it work. Then wait for a time written in the instructions for your tar remover, then rinse it with water.

3. Remove Iron

deep clean car wash remove iron

You might notice white cars having small dots of rust in different places, and if you thought that the problem was only in the car or color, you were wrong. That is how iron destroys your paint, no matter which color and a car you own. Brake dust from your car and other cars sticks to your car paint and gets deeper and deeper until this place starts rusting. That is why it’s so important to remove it.

Removing iron from paint must be the most fun part of preparing your car for wax. You spray iron remover and then watch how the violet indicator shows you that it’s melting iron. Rinse with water once you finish removing the iron.

Check out our list of best iron removers for car paint by clicking on the highlighted text.

4. Clay the car

deep clean car wash with clay bar

If you touch your car paint through a polyester bag, you might feel the surface is not perfectly smooth. It means that there are bonded contaminants that haven’t been removed with touchless wash. When the surface is not smooth, it’s time for claying.

Take a clay bar and a lubricant (in the worst case, distilled soapy water). You need to flatten a small piece of a clay bar into a flat oval, spray the surface with a lubricant and start cleaning the whole car, part by part, without applying extra pressure on the clay bar. Once you hear a scratching noise or see that the clay bar is dirty, fold the clay bar in half and flatten it again, and you will get a clean clay bar again.

Some Quick Detailers contain isopropyl alcohol, which will allow you to degrease the surface of the car and skip Step 5.

5. Final wash and rinse

car paint prep

Once we finished removing all the dirt, we should rinse all the removers from our car. Foam your car and wash it with a wash mitt. Rinse and dry the car. To finish our preparation for wax, use silicon removers on every car panel before applying the wax.

Now you know how to prepare a car for wax, so your vehicle is ready for coatings that will last longer and bring you incredible shine, gloss, and hydrophobe.


Deep Clean Car Wash is a mandatory step if you want to avoid paint destruction and get the maximum out of car waxing. I recommend making it 1-2 times per year. If you use high-quality wax coatings that can work for six months or more, prepare your car before applying it. Otherwise, it will not last as it should.

I know that such prep takes a long time, and not everyone can make it every time you apply wax. If you wax your car often, as I do, you don’t need to make such a deep prep every time. Even if your car body has contaminants after a car wash, applying some wax for 1-2 weeks will not harm it. Any wax coating, even on a not prepared car, is better than no coating. In this case, make deep car paint cleaning once in the summer and winter seasons to be sure your car paint is clean.

If you have never made prep on your car, go and make it right now!

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