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A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Car Washing

Posted in Car Accessories, Car Tech, Maintenance, Pop Culture, Tips by Alex Kierstein | May 21st, 2009 | 3 Responses |


Your Hummer H2 is bathed in dust from a weekend spent crushing Burning Man attendees for sport. What do you do? These 10 easy steps will help you make your unnecessarily expensive, superfluous, and impractical vehicle represent who you are as a person: shallow and self-important. Oh, and clean.

Setting Up

Everyone knows you don’t wash your car in the hot sun, but do they know the additional benefits of washing a car when it’s 30 below?


Your clear-coat will be harder than a rugby player’s callused temples, and you could scrub it with a deli slicer and it would come out smooth as a baby’s bottom. Plus, allowing your feet to freeze to the driveway will give you extra leverage.

Initial Rinse

Now you’re ready to rinse off the dirt and get ready for some soap! Before you pick up that hose though, you need to think: “What am I spraying on my car exactly? Will I give it vehicular herpes?” You might, so choose your rinsing substance carefully.

<i>Perfect! Just grab a bucket!</i>

Perfect! Just grab a bucket!

Use only water that is triple-distilled, reverse-osmosis, dechlorinated, and stolen from the font of the Vatican to prevent that beading effect. When you look into the T-tops to tousle your mullet, you don’t want it to look like you’re staring into a murky pond. You want shine, baby.

Get Spongin’

Time to scrub. This is usually the best part, when you get to be intimate with your car, washing all of its bits and pieces. You love your car in a way that’s almost illegal, so you better not touch it with just ANYTHING.

<i>Hand plucked from Bikini Atoll - only $99!</i>

Hand plucked from Bikini Atoll - only $99!

Get a $52.99 sponge. If you vigorously scrub with a kitchen sponge or that heinous brush down at the coin-op washing stall, your hand might slip and then you’re going to have a Titanic-like situation, the pressure of the glancing blow causing your hull plates to buckle. Trust me, when the cold water from the wash hits your red-hot boilers, there’s going to be an explosion that your coal-shovellers won’t appreciate. The RMS Titanic ended up in 12,000 feet of cold Atlantic water … don’t let this happen to you!

Soap: Very Important

The soap, perhaps unsurprisingly, gives a carwash its bubbly appeal. The girls that will be flocking to your car don’t want to get cheap soap on their bikinis … they’ll get a rash!

<i>Belgian Saffron-Plutonium Car Wash Soap</i>

Belgian Saffron-Plutonium Car Wash Soap

Your soap must be so highly refined it’s incomprehensibly good. Not just everyday car soap, which has the proper pH balance to prevent softening your car’s paint. We’re talking about something from Europe. It needs to be the result of colonial domination for hundreds of years – only the purest Ceylon tea and Javan nutmeg should be allowed to grace the sudsy froth. Lichtenstein may have several options to suit your fancy.

Use a Clay Bar!

This one is absolutely essential. A proper clay bar treatment is par for the course. Anyone with a kindergarten education could do this, so don’t be intimidated!

<i>Mommy, I made a Ford Flex!!!</i>

Mommy, I made a Ford Flex!!!

Here’s the best part – since most people don’t know what they’re for or how to use them, you can amaze your friends by pretending to have the perfect technique. When you carefully remove it from the packaging, read the instructions carefully, soften the clay in your hand, and then mold it into a tiny replica of a Porsche 917, they’ll be highly impressed. If you use a discarded Play-Doh container, you can reuse it over and over to make little sculptures. Awesome!

Drying Made Simple

So you’re clean but still wet. Whatcha gonna do? Drip drying is for suckers – but drop that dirty towel and listen up!

<i>Antlers are good for hard to reach places.</i>

Antlers are good for hard to reach places.

Most professional detailers know that immediately after you rinse off the car, you have to dry it – with a chamois. If you pull out a Sham-Wow, you’ll be laughed out of the truck stop. The best source for chamois is deer hide. Instead of buying a new one every wash, just grab your lever-action Winchester and head into the hills. Hell, if you’re squeamish, just rub the entire carcass on your car. No need for field dressing!

Wax On, Wax Off

I bet she’s really sparkling by now, so you want to keep it that way until your next wash. You could seal it into a bomb-proof underground bunker, or you could wax it.

<i>Paraguayan wax - lemur dandruff sold separately.</i>

Paraguayan wax - lemur dandruff sold separately.

Wax. There’s a bewildering number of options and application techniques. Why make things complicated? Go down to the local Pep Boys and buy one of each. Use each one for a different coat, and when one of your buddies claims that Paraguayan blue carnauba wax applied with a lemur-dandruff-dusted silk scarf is the best, you can honestly say, “I use that too!”


What about all those stick-on chrome fender vents you’ve haphazardly applied all over your Monte Carlo? You can’t leave ‘em out, they need attention too!

<i>This only took 72 years to look this good.</i>

This only took 72 years to look this good.

You simply mustn’t neglect your bright trim. If you pull out some generic metal polish it surely would corrode, fall off the vehicle, and give you tetanus to boot. Our suggestion is to clip some hair from your neighbor’s horse, attach it securely to a small piece of solid aged oak, coat it with the tears of the oppressed, and gently caress the metal until it gleams. This should be in 3-4 years time. Take breaks.

Wheels and Tires Need Attention Too!

We’re so close now, all that’s left is the most important part of many cars – the impractical and comically oversized rims.



Brake dust is an awful bother if your bubble is rolling on 48s. You want to floss, but that dusty detritus is fronting on your game. The best technique is to get the spinners going by coming to a stop, and then to simply hold a soap-covered brush in a stationary position. We do not suggest rinsing with Cristal, as this has a tendency to leave residue.

Pride in a Job Well Done

<i>Just be glad your underaged passenger is OK.</i>

Just be glad your underaged passenger is OK.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor by racing another exotic car in the middle of the night and wrapping it around a telephone pole. You’ll sacrifice your expendable Koenigsegg while gaining real credibility as a vapid pseudo-celebrity. As your agent has said, any publicity is good publicity.

Remember – we’re kidding. Please do NOT wash your car with a deli slicer. That would end badly.

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3 Responses

  1. Adam Kierstein says:

    So basically your not offering any real tips, just highlighting the potentially “erotic” experience of washing and drying. I do have to say that truckers much like the sham wow, or thats what Billy Mayes has me to believe.

  2. Uncle B says:

    It is well past time humans gave up their fascination with the motor-car, and it is past due time we fall in love with modern commuter trains, and small electric shuttle cars made of plastic, built to last, and to serve us well, no depreciation, no planned obsolescence, no fancy show-rooms, special soaps and waxes, special oils, fuels, lotions or greases! They must be a commodity of convenience, not an item of worship, a means of getting from A to B in cheapest, most convenient fashion, not a fashion themselves, and mostly they must be publicly owned, to relive the common man from the huge debt obligation for transportation he now suffers! We have been suckers at the hands of our corporate masters long enough! We have been propagandized and advertised into poverty paying for a foolish industry that has raped our national coffers! Hummers, be damned! We need better government financed train services and little plastic and battery convenience commuters for the very short hauls, and no personal debt or liability for a motor-car!

  3. Lightnup says:

    Turned down for a car loan again Uncle B?