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How To Wash Your BMW – Guide

When giving your BMW a car wash, remember the wheels need a separate wash. Especially when you have upgraded rims and performance brakes such as the BMW M Carbon Ceramic Brakes or the M Compound Brakes, you will need to pay more attention to how the wheels are washed along with the brake discs and calipers.

Here is our complete guide on the best way to clean BMW wheels.

Option 1: You can use a foam cannon or foam gun to quickly wash your BMW
bmw car wash soap

Option 2: You can use the traditional wash bucket method.

bmw car wash shampoo

How to Wash Your BMW in 5 Steps

  • Step 0: Wash the wheels and tires first – View our wheel wash guide here
  • Step 1: Rinse the car well, making sure to use high pressure
  • Step 2: Wipe down with car soap and rinse off
  • Step 3: Dry the car from top to bottom (Left to right motion, no swirling motions)
  • Step 4: Use window cleaner to finish off the windows
  • Step 5: Apply sealant / wax / ceramic spray for gloss

Here are some car washing kits we can recommend from first hand experience:

Chemical Guys HOL126 14-Piece Arsenal Builder Car Wash Kit with Foam Gun, Bucket and (5) 16 oz Car Care Cleaning Chemicals (Works w/Garden Hose) Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit, Car Kit for Car Detailing, Great Holiday Gift, Perfect for Car Lovers – 12 Count (1 Pack)
bmw car wash products

Step 1: Rinse Car Well with High Pressure

You’ll want to start your car wash by rinsing down your BMW, try washing your car in the morning or in the evening. You’ll want to avoid washing your car in direct sunlight to minimize water spots.

You can use a pressure washer or garden hose with a high-volume nozzle to rinse down your BMW. You can focus the stream on any bird droppings, bugs, and other icky things your car may have picked up while driving.

Bonus: You can rinse off your BMW and apply car soap at the same time with foam guns! They attach to your garden hose and help speed things up 😀


Greenworks 1600 PSI 1.2 GPM Pressure Washer (Upright Hand-Carry) PWMA Certified RESTMO Garden Hose Nozzle, Heavy Duty Metal Water Hose Nozzle with 7 Adjustable Spray Patterns, High Pressure Hand Sprayer with Flow Control
chemical guys car wash foam gun
washing black bmw wheels
chemical guys foam gun
car wash foam gun

Step 2: Wipe Down with a Wash Mitt and Rinse Off

Please do not use a brush to scrub your BMW down, those can be abrasive and ultimately scratch your premium paint. Use a wash mitt, bucket and soap to wipe your car down. Ensure that the bucket is clean and pour 1 – 2 ounces of your preferred car wash soap.

Fill the bucket up with water! The more foam the better! The foam helps lubricate the mitt and minimizes to chances of introducing swirls.

Note: Make sure to periodically dunk your wash mitt in your wash bucket after wiping down a panel.


Chenille Premium Scratch-Free Microfiber Wash Mitt Green (2 Pack) Adam’s Microfiber Car Wash Mitt, Car Sponge Wrapped In Soft, Plush Fiber Cloth Material, Safe Washing With Any Car Soap, Bucket, Foam Gun, Foam Cannon, Other Cleaning Supplies


washing bmw m2 with car wash mitt
car wash bucket with soap
car wash mitt
car wash soap in bucket
foam in car wash bucket soap

Step 3: Dry Car From Top To Bottom

If you’re working in direct sunlight, it is important to quickly dry off your BMW to avoid getting water spots on your paint. Take your preferred microfiber towel and start by wiping down the roof and the top of the car.

Note: If you drop your microfiber on the ground DO NOT use it on the paint again. Save that towel for your wheels and tires now.

Here are a few microfiber towels we can recommend:


Chemical Guys MIC_506_12 Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towels, Gold (16 Inch x 16 Inch) (Pack of 12) – Safe for Car Wash, Home Cleaning & Pet Drying Cloths Chemical Guys MIC35303 Workhorse Professional Grade Microfiber Towel, Black, 16″ x 16″, Pack of 3

Step 4: Use Window Cleaner

Cleaning your windows is also a key part of completing a wash. Take your preferred glass cleaner and do 1-2 sprays per glass, fold your microfiber towel into a square, wipe left to right motion followed by an up and down motion. Don’t forget about the inside of the glass as well!

Please avoid using ammonia glass cleaners on your BMW, here are a few ammonia-free glass cleaners & glass cleaning kits we recommend:


Invisible Glass 99031 Reach and Clean Tool Combo Kit with Windshield Wand Cleaning Tool for Those Hard-to-Reach Places and Invisible Glass Premium Glass and Window Cleaner for Auto and Home Chemical Guys CLD_202_16 Signature Series Glass Cleaner (Works on Glass, Windows, Mirrors, Navigation Screens & More; Car, Truck, SUV and Home Use), Ammonia Free & Safe on Tinted Windows, 16 fl oz
how to dry your car bmw
wiping down bmw m2 with quick detailer spray
cleaning bmw m2 windows with glass cleaner
cleaning bmw glass window with window cleaner

Step 5: Apply Sealant / Wax / Ceramic Spray

After drying your BMW, you may have noticed a few streaks or water spots. This is where a final detailer, ceramic spray, and wax come into play. Do a quick walk around and take note of the blemishes, grab your preferred quick detailer/ceramic spray and microfiber towel and wipe those imperfections away!


Our Recommended Quick Detailers

Griot’s Garage 11146 Speed Shine (Quick Detailer) 35oz Chemical Guys WAC_202_16 Speed Wipe Quick Detailer, Safe for Cars, Trucks, SUVs, Motorcycles, RVs & More, 16 fl oz, Cherry Scent

Our Recommended Ceramic Sprays

Meguiar’s G200532SP Hybrid Ceramic Detailer, 32 oz SHINE ARMOR Ceramic Coating Fortify Quick Coat Car Wax Polish Spray Waterless Wash & Wax Hydrophobic Top Coat Polish & Polymer Paint Sealant Detail Protection 8 Fl Oz

Our Recommended Car Wax

Chemical Guys WAC_201_16 Butter Wet Wax, Deep Wet Shine for Cars, Trucks, SUVs, RVs & More, 16 fl oz Meguiar’s G210516 Ultimate Liquid Wax, 16 oz, Black
car wax on bmw
quick detailer spray on bmw m2
wiping down bmw m2 with quick detailer and microfiber towel

Additional cleaning guides:

How To Clean BMW Leather

How To Wash BMW Wheels & Tires


Keeping your BMW in pristine condition is something essential to keep the value of your investment. When washing and detailing your BMW, there are a few steps you can take to thoroughly clean the car while protecting the paint, rims, tires, and brakes. Follow our step-by-step guide below on the best way to give your BMW a car wash.

Tip: Start the Car Wash from Bottom to Top

Many experts advise washing the car from the bottom to the top because cleaning the wheels before the car wash saves you more time by avoiding washing and drying the vehicle’s body twice. When you wash the body of the car first, wet spots can dry up while you are working on the wheels and can create unsightly watermarks. If you dry the car body before moving onto the wheels, you may need to wash or dry the body again due to the inevitable splashing while cleaning the wheels.

How to Choose a Good Car Wax

Make sure to choose a wax brand that is safe for your BMW’s paint. Always check with the vendor if you are not sure. A Hybrid wax sealant can be used interchangeably as car wax, although they are not entirely the same in their properties. Sealant usually requires less frequent application than wax and is described as more robust and has higher wear resistance. Most reputable brands of hybrid wax sealant with UV protection can effectively prevent harmful buildup and corrosion. Many of these wax sealant products can be used throughout the car body, including paint work and car wheels. If you are using a wax and a sealant product together, experts advise applying sealant first since it takes longer to break down than wax. Always check the product descriptions to make sure that the sealant and wax you are using can be safely used together.

How to Apply Car Wax

During application, park your BMW in the shade to avoid direct sun exposure, so the wax does not dry off quickly and make buffing difficult. Use a soft microfiber cloth to apply a thin coat of the car wax or sealant thoroughly onto the paint. Pick up another clean microfiber towel to buff away the residue and make your car shiny. Each wax or sealant works differently, so read the instructions carefully to check how long the product will last before re-applying.

Also, see our complete guide on How to Repair Paint Chip with BMW Touch-Up Paint.

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