How to Wash and Clean Your Car in the UK Summer Heat

Summer in the UK is a cherished time, filled with sunshine, warmth, and outdoor activities. However, the season also brings its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining your car. Washing and cleaning your car during the summer heat requires some special considerations to ensure it remains in pristine condition without causing damage. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through the process.

1. Choose the Right Time

Timing is crucial when washing your car in the summer. It’s best to avoid the peak heat of the day, typically between 11 am and 3 pm. Washing your car during these hours can cause the water and cleaning products to evaporate quickly, leading to water spots and streaks. Early morning or late afternoon is ideal, as the temperatures are cooler and the sun is less intense.

2. Gather Your Supplies

Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary supplies:

  • A bucket
  • Car shampoo
  • A hose with a spray nozzle
  • Microfibre wash mitts or sponges
  • Microfibre drying towels
  • Wheel cleaner
  • Wheel brushes
  • Glass cleaner
  • Interior cleaner and protectant

3. Pre-Rinse Your Car

Begin by giving your car a thorough rinse with water. This helps to remove loose dirt and debris, preventing scratches during the washing process. Use a hose with a spray nozzle to ensure even coverage. Pay special attention to the wheels and undercarriage, as they tend to accumulate the most dirt.

4. Wash Your Car in Sections

To prevent soap from drying on the car’s surface and causing streaks, it’s best to wash your car in sections. Use a bucket filled with water and car shampoo, and a separate bucket of clean water to rinse your wash mitt. Start with the top of the car and work your way down, washing one section at a time. After washing each section, rinse it thoroughly with clean water.

5. Clean the Wheels

Your car’s wheels can be the dirtiest part, often coated with brake dust and road grime. Use a dedicated wheel cleaner and a brush to scrub the wheels. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly after cleaning to remove all the cleaner.

6. Rinse and Dry

After you’ve washed the entire car, give it a final rinse to remove any remaining soap. Drying your car properly is essential to prevent water spots. Use a microfibre drying towel, which is highly absorbent and gentle on the car’s surface. Pat the car dry rather than dragging the towel across the surface to avoid scratches.

7. Clean the Windows

Use a high-quality glass cleaner to clean the windows, both inside and out. Spray the cleaner on the windows and wipe with a clean microfibre cloth. For best results, wipe in a circular motion to avoid streaks.

8. Interior Cleaning

Summer heat can cause the interior of your car to become dusty and grimy. Use an interior cleaner suitable for your car’s materials (plastic, vinyl, leather, etc.) and a microfibre cloth to wipe down surfaces. Don’t forget to vacuum the carpets and seats to remove any dirt and debris.

9. Protect Your Car

After cleaning, it’s a good idea to apply a layer of wax or sealant to protect your car’s paint from the harsh summer sun. This not only enhances the shine but also provides a protective barrier against UV rays and environmental contaminants.

10. Regular Maintenance

Keeping your car clean during the summer requires regular maintenance. Wash your car every two weeks to prevent dirt buildup and protect the paint. Regular cleaning of the interior will also keep it looking fresh and prevent long-term damage from sun exposure.


Washing and cleaning your car in the UK summer heat doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these steps, you can ensure your car remains in top condition, looking as good as new. Remember, the key is to avoid the peak heat of the day, use the right products, and take your time to ensure a thorough clean. Happy washing!