Washing a car when living in an apartment can be challenging due to the lack of a garage. You also may not be able to use a water hose to rinse the car.
Nevertheless, there are other options, such as asking for permission to use the building’s water supply, going to a carwash, or using waterless products.
This article highlights those different methods to help make it easy to wash and keep your car clean when living in an apartment.
How to Wash Your Car When You Live in an Apartment and Have a Water Supply
Some apartment buildings have water supply outlets that residents can use. Gain permission from the management, and then follow these steps to wash your car.
It’s important to note that these steps focus only on cleaning the vehicle’s exterior.
Interior detailing requires just as much effort and attention as exterior cleaning, so that will require a separate guide.
Step 1. Gather the Necessary Supplies
If you’ve never washed your car before, you should first get the supplies you’ll need.
These supplies include the following.
- Microfiber towels (at least one for washing and another for drying)
- A microfiber sponge (optional) — it will help make cleaning easier
- Two buckets
- Dedicated car shampoo (don’t use dishwasher solution, as it will damage your paint)
- A brush to clean the tires
Step 2. Hose Down Your Vehicle
Connect a hose to the building’s water supply. Next, adjust the pressure to anywhere between 1200 and 1600 PSI. Using very high pressure could damage the paint on the car.
Hose down the entire car, starting from the top and making your way down.
The purpose of this process is to remove any loose dirt or debris from the car. Make sure to clean the tires well too.
Step 3. Prepare the Shampoo
Fill water in both buckets and take them to your car. In one bucket, squirt a bit of the car shampoo.
Mix the shampoo well in the water to create a soapy solution. Leave the second bucket with just water.
Step 4. Wash the Car
Soak your microfiber towel or microfiber sponge in the shampoo water bucket.
Next, place the sponge at the back corner of the car’s roof and move in a straight motion toward the front.
When you’re out of foam, rinse the sponge in the second bucket to remove any dirt. Squeeze it, and then soak it in the shampoo bucket and continue.
Don’t wash the car in circles, as it will cause swirl marks.
Continue doing this, starting from the top and ending at the tires. Use the brush to clean the tires.
Step 5. Rinse the car
Use your hose to rinse your car completely when you’re done.
Step 6. Dry the Car
Use a clean microfiber cloth (designed for drying) to dry your car. Leaving it wet could cause it to attract dust and dirt.
It’s in your best interest to apply car wax on the body when you’re done.
How to Wash Your Car When You Live in an Apartment and Have No Water Supply
If you don’t have access to a water supply, here are some options to consider.
Take Your Car to Your Nearest Car Wash
One simple solution is to take your car to your nearest car wash. At a relatively affordable price, you can have it cleaned for you.
It can only be quicker without much of a hassle.
However, one problem with this method is that car washes could lead to scratches or swirl marks on the paint.
Many car owners who are concerned about their vehicles don’t visit car washes for this reason.
While swirl marks can be removed, they require extra effort and may end up damaging the finish. As a result, your vehicle could lose some of its value if you plan to resell it.
Another complication is that washing a car at a car wash won’t give you the chance to apply wax over the body.
Applying wax after a wash is important because it protects the paint and prevents water and dirt from staying on the body.
You could drive your car back home to apply the wax. However, you may cause dirt build-up on the drive back. Therefore, you’ll completely have to wipe the car again before waxing it.
Consider a Car Washing Station to Ensure It’s Cleaned to Your Liking
What you can do is take it to car washes that allow you to wash your car yourself.
There, you can use your own cleaning products like a car shampoo and just use the water hose to rinse it.
You may be given a specific water limit or time frame for cleaning your vehicle. So, be sure to use your resources smartly. Also, go there at a time when you expect the least rush.
Use Products That Don’t Require Water
Many manufacturers of car cleaning products have tried to prioritize convenience for most consumers.
Therefore, there are several types of car products that don’t require water.
Some of them are as simple as spraying a solution onto the body. The results are also fantastic for some of them.
So, you have no real reason to consider washing your car if you cannot manage to do so.
Waterless products can also come in the form of wipes. So, you may not need to use dedicated microfibers to clean the exterior.
On the other hand, there are products that don’t need rinsing. So, you can use the products with buckets of water from your apartment, but you don’t have to rinse it off.
As a result, you won’t need to wet and dirty the parking space in the apartment building.
Last Few Words
You could also consider going into any open space to wash your car.
However, you must make sure that you have permission to be there and that you have access to water.
You should also clean up after yourself. If possible, ask a friend to give you their garage for a day to wash your car.
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