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Washing & Drying


If there is a single maintenance activity that offers the biggest benefit to your vehicles appearance, it is keeping your vehicle clean through frequent washing. Washing is the process that removes loose dirt and road film from your cars paintwork.


A proper wash starts with the right equipment. The choice of wash mitt, shampoo and drying towels is vast and very important. Inferior products will clean your vehicle but they won't keep your vehicles paintwork in pristine condition, over a period of time poor quality products will create more than usual swirl marks and could even oxidise (dull) your paint.

Washing your car regularly can be good and bad, as even the mildest shampoo will gradually remove the protection applied from your vehicles paint surface. Use a high quality car wash shampoo specially formulated for today's clear coat paint finishes, with special cleaners and conditioners to enhance the gloss of painted surfaces and maintain the shine. High quality shampoos also contain water-based lubricants to prevent scratches and prolong swirls marks. If vehicle has been detailed ask your detailer to advise you on a good quality car wash shampoo.


Even choosing the right bucket is an essential item to keeping your vehicle clean and swirl free. Your bucket should be able to hold plenty of soapy water, the more it holds, the more soapy water you can get in your vehicle. This is very important for lubrication, the lubrication created by the soapy water is what prevents grit and dirt from scratching your paintwork. I would highly recommend the using the Grit Guard® washing system. This is designed to fit in the bottom of any 3.5 to 7 gallon bucket and cleans your wash mitt. This is to protect your paintwork from getting scratched and prevent swirl marks caused by improper washing, as it separates the grit from your wash mitt, the surface of the Grit Guard® extracts dirt and grit from your wash mitt providing a clean scratch free wash mitt every time you go back to your bucket for water.

Nearly all detailers and enthusiasts will use a system called the two bucket method. The first of the buckets will hold your soapy water (containing your choice of shampoo), and the second holds just plain water (rinse water). The purpose of having a rinse bucket is to rinse your wash mitt before putting it back into the bucket of soapy water. This method will keep grit and dirt out of your bucket of soapy water and prevent causing damage to your vehicles paintwork.


Wash mitts are the way forward in my opinion, they may not last as long as a sponge but they prevent swirl marks. With a wash mitt the grit tends to lift its way up into the long fibres of the mitt preventing scratches and swirl marks. Most wash mitts are also machine washable, this will 'fluff up' your mitt – you cannot do that with a sponge. For the ultimate finish use an ultra-soft mitt, these are the most gentle on your vehicles paint finish. The flat surface of a sponge can sometimes catch dirt and act like sandpaper, grit and dirt get trapped between the sponge and your paintwork. So when you wipe your sponge across the paint it will cause micro scratches and overtime will create swirlmarks. These scratches are visible in bright light and you lose the high gloss finish of your paintwork.

Natural chamois are now a thing of the past, now we have 'waffle weave' drying towels. These are much more effective, easier to use and cut your drying time dramatically. They are the ultimate towel for drying your vehicle. The waffle weave construction traps water, as the towel travels across the surface the ridges of the waffle trap the water and give the microfibre more time to absorb the water. It can absorb over 7 times its weight in water. The higher quality drying towels have a microfibre silk edging making them 100% scratch free.

Snow Foam

A high quality car wash used to remove excess dirt or grime from your vehicle and minimise contact with the paintwork reducing the risk of swirl marks. A must have.

Some of the high quality washing/drying products used by KDS.

  • Zaino Z7 (shampoo)
  • Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss (shampoo)
  • Meguiars - NXT Shampoo
  • Sonus Sheepskin Washmitt
  • Mequiars Microfibre Washmitt
  • Sonus Microfibre Drying Towels
  • Super Snow Foam
  • Snow Foaming Lance

The above products are available to purchase through KDS.

Below is a guide on how to make washing your vehicle easier

Rule 1
Rule 2
Rule 3
Rule 4
Never use a sponge
Use a wash mitt
Wash bucket
Your vehicle will unavoidably have grit and dirt particles on the paint surface, when you begin to clean your vehicle using a sponge these particles can become trapped between the sponge and paintwork. This will cause very fine scratches and over time will create swirl marks.
Wash mitts are extremely soft and plush with gentle fibres that absorb the grit and dirt particles safely away from the paintwork.
A bucket with a Grit Guard is a good investment. It contains a plastic grid that rests in the base of your bucket and stabilises the water. Contamination and particles settle in the base of the bucket and the clean wash water remains on top, reducing contra-actions.
It is vital to use a shampoo rich in lubricants. The purpose of the shampoo is to remove and lubricate particles to eliminate scratches on the paintwork. Shampoo choice is of personal preference.

Now you're ready to wash!

Rule 1
Rule 2
Rule 3
Rule 4
Rule 5
Rule 6
The final touches
Use a wheel brush and wheel cleaner (ensuring the cleaner is safe for your wheels) or a shampoo solution and a wash mitt( a separate wash mitt as recommended for particularly soiled vehicles). NB: If you splash or spray wheel cleaner over the paintwork you can wash it off when you wash the rest of your vehicle.
Remember to rinse your vehicle thoroughly before washing, this will remove loose debris. It is advisable to use free flowing water (from a hose), this allows water to "sheet off" your vehicle for a superior rinse. Frequent rinses will be required in hot weather.
This stage is paramount, owing to the fact that tiny scratches will appear when careless. Dropped wash mitts must be rinsed thoroughly before resuming . Always use a fresh shampoo solution (not the one you washed your wheels with!). For more stubborn marks a stronger cleaner (depending on the contamination) may be needed. Always begin your washing at the top of the vehicle. Remember the lower half of your vehicle will be the dirtiest, you should clean the windows and the upper panels before cleaning the lower areas to prevent dirt transfer. When washing your vehicle on a hot day, keep the whole car wet to prevent water spotting.
The next stage is to rinsing the shampoo suds. In the same way as the pre-rinse using a hose with free flowing water will provide a sheeting effect, this will give better results on waxed paintwork.
Never skip drying! Drying your vehicle after washing is necessary to prevent water spotting. A drying towel is most effective and safer than a chamois leather, aiding the prevention of scratching. Once again, starting from the top and working down (not forgetting the door shuts).
You may want to use a quick detail spray to enhance and give you that