If there’s one simple thing you can do to extend the life of your car or truck, it’s keeping it clean. Yet for many people, cleaning your car is often looked at as a time-wasting chore that you put off and put off until it’s so dirty your friends are writing messages like “Clean me” in the accumulated exterior layer of dust and dirt.

But expert detailers will tell you that thoroughly can take less than 15 minutes if you have the right tools like a , a professional grade scrub brush, and a foam gun. But even if your car is relatively clean with just a little bit of dust covering it, you can still get just-like-new clean in only a few minutes time, without having to break out the all buckets of water and sponges.

No matter what your car’s situation, here are some tips on cleaning it that will, at the same time, extend its life.

Apply Pressure

One tried and true technique is to allow hot water pressure to do most of the dirty work (pun intended). If the car is extremely dirty, heavy agitation from a water pressure washer will be required to remove the grime and dirt. If your water pressure washer is good enough, it could remove the dirt without your having to scrub the car, saving you precious time and sweat.
How do you go about applying pressure to clean your car? You should start from the top, utilizing a steady but heavy stream of hot water. Then, wet a new microfiber towel until it’s soaked. Wring it out and start folding it.

Get Out the Lube

Once your microfiber towel is folded into quarters, take some paint lubricant and squirt some onto your towel. Paint lubricant is a thick substance, so you need to work it thoroughly into the microfiber towel. You should now begin wiping the car down using a straight line method. Every so often, you must wring the towel out, and apply more lubricant to it, as needed.

Toss in the Towel

Once the towel is beginning to appear filthy and stained with dirt and other pollutants, you must fold it to one of its clean quarters. But if the entire clothe is filthy, toss it in the trash and grab a new one. This maneuver might seem obvious to some, but many people would rather use the same filthy towel just to save a few pennies.

But since this is not only about cleaning your car but extending its life, you should grab a brand new towel so you don’t start scratching its surface. The more of the car you clean, the dirtier your towel will get and the more towels you need. And paying for microfiber towels is a lot cheaper than paying a monthly car payment.

Dealing with Sharp Brake Dust

Said to be extremely sharp by detailing experts, brake dust is made up of very sharp shards of metal that will scratch your car’s surface if you use the same towel you cleaned the wheels with to clean the hood or the doors. Make sure to use one set of towels for the painted car surface and a separate set for the wheels and rims.

Last Minute Touch Ups

You should always have a bottle of spray wax handy in the trunk of your car, along with a carton of microfiber towels. You can also store these essential cleaning tools behind your seat. They come in handy when you want to touch up any small spots or stains that appear on the interior prior to heading out onto the long and winding road.

While water pressure is essential when cleaning a car, one of the key components to a quick and easy cleaning experience is lubrication. When you take the first step of rinsing your car with a hot water pressure washer, you must wipe it dry with a paint lubricant soaked microfiber towel. This method will safely remove all the dust and dirt in less than fifteen minutes without your having to shell out good money to an expensive car wash.

That New Car Smell

There’s nothing like having a clean car, no matter how old it is. If you learn how to clean your car the right way, you might always achieve that “new car smell.” But more importantly, cleaning your car thoroughly on a regular basis will free it from contaminants like salt, grime, and dirt that can cause rust and other problems down the road. A car can last a long, long time if you treat it well. Because in the end, a clean car is a pleasure to drive.