How to Clean BMW Cars

Updated November 21, 2016

BMW vehicles are known for their stylish design, reliable construction and solid performance. Cleaning a BMW regularly not only keeps it looking shiny and new, it helps protect the exterior paint. While cleaning a BMW is easy to accomplish, following an incorrect method can scratch and damage your car.

Choose cleaning products that are appropriate for BMW vehicles. Purchase a 100-percent cotton waffle-weave or microfiber towel, a sheepskin or microfiber washing mitt, a plastic bucket and a high-quality car washing shampoo. While some people find great success washing their BMW with Ivory dishwashing detergent, it should not be used by frequent car washers. Choose high-quality car mild cleansers--such as Sonax Gloss Shampoo or Diamond Professional Wash 'N Wax--that deep-clean and polish BMW cars.

Park your BMW in a shaded location. Cleaning a car in the hot sun will cause water and cleaner evaporation. Choose a shaded spot for cleaning, if possible. Added tip: Park your BMW car on a gradual incline (like a driveway) to facilitate water run-off from the vehicle during cleaning.

Rinse your BMW with cool water. Adjust your hose to spray water with gentle force. Complete an initial wash of the car in sections--beginning at the top--to help break apart debris, dirt and oils on your BMW's paint.

Clean your BMW. Create a cleaning solvent in a plastic bucket with high-quality car shampoo and cool water. Use a microfiber towel to spot-clean surface dirt. Rinse with clean water to remove soap suds and repeat steps, as needed. Finally, apply a final glossing product--like Diamond Professional Blue Mist Final Wipe--to your BMW's surface to promote shine. Using window cleaner, clean all of the exterior windows and apply a sealant (like Rain-X) to the glass, if desired.

Dry your BMW with care. After washing your car, start the drying process immediately to avoid a spotted, foggy exterior. Begin with wiping away moisture from the tires and rims, using a durable detailing towel. Then, take a clean microfiber (or similar) towel to dry off the vehicle. Moving from top to bottom, dry the car in long, straight lines. Use firm but gentle pressure.

Detail the interior of your BMW car. Vacuum the car and boot space. Wipe down the dash, instrument panel, console area and interior windows. Condition leather (or leatherette) seat fabrics. Shampoo floor mats regularly.


Cleaning your BMW in sections will ensure that each area receives a deep cleaning. Read all product ingredients and directions before purchasing. Ask your BMW dealership or service centre for cleaning product recommendations.


Do not use towels or mitts made from a cotton/polyester blend, as they can scratch your BMW's paint. Some cleaning products contain harsh chemicals. Do not use powdered car shampoos, as granules can grind and scratch car paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Microfiber (or similar quality) towel
  • Gentle washing mitt
  • Plastic bucket
  • Hose
  • Cool water
  • Quality car-washing shampoo
  • Window cleaner
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