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How to Jet Wash a Car

Jet washing your car can be fun and immensely satisfying. Do it right, and your car will be gleaming like it’s brand new. But do it wrong, and you could damage your glass and paintwork.

In this post we’ll explain how to jet wash a car to get the best results with no risk of damage.

Where To Find a Jet Wash

If you want to jet wash your car, you have three options:

  1. Find a petrol station, garage or car wash in your area offering jet wash facilities.
  2. Hire a jet wash. Some places let you rent a power washer for as little as £22 a day.
  3. Buy your own jet wash. They can be pricey, but you can use them to clean much besides your car, so they’re certainly worth buying.

To use your jet wash, you’ll need a hose long enough to connect it to a tap. Places that rent power washes also tend to stock the accessories you need.

What Type of Jet Washer Should I Get?

If you’re looking to rent or buy a jet wash, you should make sure to get one with:

  • A long hose as this will make your task considerably quicker and easier.
  • Different pressure settings as you’ll need to switch to a lower pressure jet when tackling the more delicate parts of your car.

If you cannot get a power washer with adjustable settings, you can vary the pressure yourself by standing farther back from your car. A distance of three feet should be enough for you to safely clean the more fragile parts of your car.

Some jet washers include attachable foamer bottles. These are good, but not essential, as you can always apply foam yourself if need be. You’ll find a good range of soaps specifically designed for cars at Halfords.

The Best Weather in Which to Jet Wash a Car

There’s no point washing your car when it’s raining. But don’t bother waiting for a sunny day. Yes, when it’s sunny, there’s less risk of rain. But the sun can make your cleaning product less effective. It can also dry your car too quickly between washes, which may leave water marks.

Ideally, you want a cloudy day when there’s little risk of rain. And ideally, you need to find a shaded area to work in. You could also aim to jet wash your car early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sunlight isn’t too strong.

Stay Safe!

Never let the jet wash spray come into contact with your skin. Power washers can strip away even the most stubborn dirt and grime, so imagine what it could do to you! Also, your jet wash may cause loose dirt and stones to scatter. So to stay extra safe, consider wearing goggles while jet washing your car. If you can, jet wash your car on a stable concrete surface, to reduce the risk of stones or gravel scattering.

Jet washers are pretty fun to use. But you should never let children use your jet washer. They could easily lose control, causing an accident. It’s just not worth the risk.

How to Jet Wash a Car: Step by Step

Here are some general tips for jet washing your car:

  • Turn on the jet wash – When you first turn on the jet washer, make sure it’s pointing away from your car, your face, or anything else fragile. The initial burst can be unexpectedly strong.
  • Bodywork – Start with the bodywork of your car and use a spray that’s about two inches wide. This will be powerful enough to break up that top layer of grime, but not so powerful that it’ll strip the paintwork.
  • Windows, lights & wingmirrors – Use a less powerful setting for the more delicate parts of your car – the windows, lights, and wingmirrors. Or again, if you cannot vary the water pressure, just stand about three feet farther back when working on the fragile parts of your car.
  • Add foam – After you’ve first jet washed your car, you need to add a layer of foam. The initial jet wash will have removed the dirt and grime. But the foam will make it shine! If your jet washer doesn’t have an attachable foamer, you can add the layer of foam yourself using a sponge and warm water. Leave the foam on your car for a short while, so it can do its work. But don’t let it dry, or it will leave stains.
  • Rinse – Now you just need to rinse off the foam with the pressure washer. Once more, use a higher pressure jet for the bodywork, and a lower pressure jet for those delicate areas.

And that’s it! Once your car’s dry, it should be gleaming like new.

Want to give your wheels a bit of TLC? We also have a guide to cleaning alloy wheels.

Want to show your car you really care? Get some comprehensive car insurance, and you can rest assured that you have the best cover in place if you’re involved in an accident.