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Here is how you should be washing your BMW

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Nothing compares to the look of a brand-new BMW. Under the showroom lights, the paint and glossy wax finish are as pristine as they’ll ever be, so how can that type of finish be maintained? In reality, maintaining that new-car shine is simpler than you might think – all it takes is adherence to a proper routine. So, let’s just dive straight into how to wash your BMW without beating around the bush! 

washing your BMW

Experts recommend washing the car from bottom to top because cleaning the wheels before the car wash saves time by avoiding having to wash and dry the vehicle’s body twice. So, always start with the wheels. 

How to wash BMW wheels 

When washing your BMW, keep in mind that the wheels require a separate wash. 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 special attention to how the wheels, as well as the brake discs and calipers, are washed. 

Spray your tire with your preferred all-purpose cleaner  

Spray your tire with your preferred all-purpose cleaner on one wheel at a time and let it sit for 10 seconds. 

Scrub your tire with a medium/firm bristle brush  

If your BMW has M Carbon Ceramic Brakes or M Compound Brakes, avoid spraying wheel cleaner / all-purpose cleaner on your brake discs and calipers. If you have a pressure washer, simply rinse the M carbon-ceramic or M compound brakes. This prevents the formation of encrustations or salt crystal deposits when the car is parked after cleaning. 

Apply wheel cleaner to rims 

Use an acid-free and pH-balanced wheel cleaner that is safe on BMW standard alloy and aluminum rims as well as high-end aftermarket wheels. Do not allow the wheel cleaner to dry on the wheel, so if you’re washing in direct sunlight, work quickly. 

Using a soft-bristle brush or a wheel wand, scrub the rims

Spray the cleaner evenly over the rims. The wheel cleaner will begin to turn purple as it begins to loosen the brake dust from the rim, but you can lightly agitate it with a soft bristle brush to ensure that all brake dust is loosened. 

Rinse off the wheels  

After you’ve scrubbed the wheels, rinse the dirt off with a pressure washer or a garden hose with a high-pressure attachment. 

Dry off the wheels  

We recommend using microfiber towels that are designed exclusively for drying off your wheels. 

Apply tire shine to wheels and wax to the rims 

After you’ve washed your wheels, tires, and the rest of your BMW, finish with this step. Apply tire shine to your applicator; if you don’t have an applicator, you can apply the tire shine with a clean microfiber towel. Wheel wax and sealant should be applied to the rims after that. Also, give them a good polish with a layer of sealant for protection. 

Read: A foolproof guide to how to wash a black car

How to wash your BMW 

Rinse the car thoroughly with water at high pressure 

You should begin your car wash by rinsing it down. Try washing your BMW in the early morning or in the evening. To minimize water spots, avoid washing your car in direct sunlight. 

To wash your BMW, use a pressure washer or a garden hose with a high-volume nozzle. You can direct the stream at any bird droppings, bugs, or other icky things that have accumulated in your vehicle while driving. If you are using foam guns to rinse, it will help to apply car soap at the same time. You can connect it to your garden hose and help to speed up the process. 

Rinse and wipe down with a car wash mitt 

Do not scrub your car’s exterior with a brush, as these can be abrasive and eventually scratch your premium paint. Wipe down your car with a wash mitt, bucket, and soap. Ensure the bucket is clean, and then add 1 – 2 ounces of your preferred car wash soap. 

Fill the bucket to the brim with water. Because the more foam there is, the better! The foam lubricates the mitt and reduces the likelihood of introducing swirls. After wiping down a panel, make sure to dunk your wash mitt in your wash bucket regularly. 

Thoroughly dry the vehicle from top to bottom 

If you’re working in direct sunlight, it’s critical to dry off your car quickly to avoid water spots on the paint. Begin by wiping down the roof and top your BMW with your preferred microfiber towel.  If you drop your microfiber on the ground, DO NOT USE IT AGAIN ON THE PAINT. It will only make your efforts go in vain.

Wipe off the windows clean 

Cleaning your windows is also an important part of finishing a wash. Apply 1-2 sprays of your preferred glass cleaner to each glass, use a microfiber towel and wipe in a left-to-right motion followed by an up-and-down motion. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the glass! Avoid using ammonia glass cleaners on your BMW; instead, we recommend using ammonia-free glass cleaners and glass cleaning kits. 

Use sealant, wax, or ceramic spray

You may have noticed a few streaks or water spots after drying your BMW. Here’s where a final detailer, ceramic spray, and wax come in handy. Take a quick walk around the vehicle and note any blemishes. Then, grab your preferred ceramic spray and use a microfiber towel to wipe those imperfections away! 

Read: Convertible through a carwash: A foolproof guide

BMW interior

How to clean the interior and seats of BMW 

The first step in maintaining your BMW’s leather seats in good condition is to clean them on a regular basis. 

Cleaning the BMW leather seats  

  • Use a cordless handheld vacuum to remove any visible debris from the seats, paying special attention to the gaps. 
  • Gently wipe clean all the leather surfaces with a soft, lint-free, non-scratch microfiber cloth and a mild, non-toxic BMW leather cleaner that is bleach-free and ammonia-free.  
  • Finally, using a clean, dry microfiber cloth, thoroughly dry the seats. 

Conditioning the BMW Leather Seats 

  • After cleaning the leather seats, apply a conditioner that protects and revitalizes the leather surface to restore its luster. Choose a BMW leather conditioner that is safe for high-end leather and, ideally, repellent to water. A good leather conditioner should rehydrate the leather and give it a shiny, supple, and soft appearance.  
  • Apply the leather conditioner to the leather seats in small, circular motions with a soft microfiber cloth. Open the windows in your BMW to allow the conditioner to fully absorb into the leather and keep the interior well ventilated. Depending on the amount of use and sun exposure to the car interior, repeat the cleaning and conditioning steps every three to six months. 

Preventive maintenance is critical for extending the life of your BMW’s leather interior. Sunshade and car seat cover are two simple things that can help protect the leather interior from damage. 

Hand washing your BMW is a cost-effective way to keep it maintained, but it’s important to know how to do it correctly before undertaking the task. Read BMW Color System expert Martin Jaworski’s tips for paint care and washing your BMW. If you follow these instructions to the T, your car will look brand new! 


Going circles in search of the best car wash for your car in your location? We recommend you to visit Way.com or download the Way app (available on iOS and Android). Just scan and drive away with a spotless car, and no worries about how to dry it! Enjoy a safe and contactless car wash experience with Way. 

Read our blogs for information on the best airport parking and hourly parking spots near you and the most affordable insurance for your car.


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