Lesson Plan Industry Sector

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Robin Coyne

**Car Wash Procedures (updated) by Robin Coyne

Part of Unit: Vehicle Maintenance Procedures and Documentation

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

Every car needs to be regularly washed as part of the maintenance program for that vehicle. This lesson is designed to allow anyone to learn the industry level skills required to professionally wash a vehicle.

Lesson Time

1 Period
55 Minutes

Objectives and Goals

Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to clean the outside of a vehicle professionally.

Activities in this Lesson

  • When students come to class, they are given a car wash handout where all activities are listed and the assessment is at the bottom for students to complete.

    Resources and Materials

    • Car wash handout [ Download ] Instructions and formative assessment
  • Check off when completed. If you have any questions during the duration of this activity, stop and ask the instructor for assistance.

    _ If the vehicle is in the sun, move to a shady area and let it cool. Never wash a hot car.

    _Bring the detail cart out of the shop, hook up the short hose to the water supply.

    _Two people are required to unreel the hose and two people reel it in after washing.

    _Make sure the hose ends are tight at the faucet and the spray nozzle is attached.

    _Insert the water key into the faucet and turn on the faucet.

    _ Rinse out the wash bucket, the wheel bucket and the rinse bucket.

    _Fill the rinse bucket with water.

    _ Rinse off the wash mitt thoroughly and place in the bottom of the wash bucket.

    _Put about 1/4 cup of car wash soap into the bucket and fill with the spray nozzle at the    bottom of the bucket to avoid sudsing up the soap.

    _Check the soap ratio: stick your hand in the bucket. If the suds cling, it’s good.

    _Rinse the tire brush, wheel brush and torn wash mitt and put them in the wheel bucket.

    _Fill the wheel bucket halfway with soapy water.

    _Move the buckets by the car. Wheel bucket by the right side front tire.

  • Wash Process Lab / Shop

     _Clean the wheel well area first. Spray with water, spray with cleaner and let it sit for one minute before scrubbing. Spray the other wheel wells at this time, and then return to the right front. Scrub the entire wheel well with the yellow brush. Rinse with the hose.

    _ Spray all 4 rims and the tires with water and then cleaner. Use the wheel bucket with the torn wash mitt, the tire brush and the wheel brush. Scrub the tires (yellow brush) then the rims (torn wash mitt and wheel brush). Repeat on the rims.

    _Rinse and spray underside of the hood, inner fender areas and lower windshield.


    _Do not spray the engine unless you have been instructed to clean it and understand how!

     _Let sit for one minute the use rim brush along with torn wash mitt. And scrub dirty areas.

    _Rinse the area, rinse the hood and fenders to remove cleaner from painted areas. This part is really messy. Repeat if not clean enough.

    _Use the car wash mitt on the painted areas. Scrub the hood and fenders.

    _Rinse all of the soap bubbles off the painted areas.       

    _ Open the vehicle doors, trunk tailgate or rear hatch. Carefully rinse and spray with cleaner. Don’t get the interior wet or spray cleaner inside the car-just the painted area.

    _Clean with the torn wash mitt and the rim brush in the door jambs inside edge of doors and around the other panels. Carefully rinse with LOW pressure! Don’t get the interior wet. Dry immediately with clean towels. Close all doors, hatches, etc.

    _ Some problem areas are the rockers below the doors and the front of the vehicle (grille, bumper, hood edge, lights. Rinse and spray with cleaner, let sit one minute if “buggy”, then scrub with good wash mitt. Rinse mitt after this, each time. If there is road tar, ask for road tar remover. Use gloves when using this product. Read the instructions!

    _Rinse the vehicle thoroughly from top to bottom. Get off as much loose dirt as possible before scrubbing with a wash mitt.

    _ Wash the vehicle one section at a time, scrubbing with a wash mitt. Work your way from the top to the bottom. Periodically rinse off the section that you just scrubbed. The key is to make sure the car wash soap doesn’t begin to dry while you’re still washing.

    _ Rinse the wash mitt thoroughly and frequently.

    _ Give the whole vehicle a final rinse. Dry the vehicle with a squeegee. Also use a chamois. Wet the chamois before using it to make it soft. Wring out as needed.

    _ Use a clean shop rag to dry the inside of the doorjambs, hood and trunk areas.

    _ Always read the labels on the products that you use.

    _ Use a squeegee to dry off the windows.

    _ Pop the hood and trunk and dry the surrounding lip with a shop rag.

  • _CHECK the vehicle one last time for clean windows, water spots and any dirt.  Remedy as necessary. Do a quality job.

    _Clean and put away all tools and supplies (buckets on cart)

    Turn off the water-put the water key on the top shelf of the detail cart.

    _Drain excess water from the hose and reel in the hose with two people, carefully.

    _Disconnect the short hose from the faucet. Drain excess water before storing cart.

    _All rags and the chamois go on the top shelf of the detail cart after wringing them out.


Assessment Types:
Teacher-Made Test,

Quiz Questions-Car wash activity

Directions Write three to seven sentences for clarity.

                      Be specific with your answers

1. Why do you think you should rinse the vehicle thoroughly before scrubbing?

2. What water to soap ratio was recommended?

3. Why should you wash one section of the vehicle at a time?

4. Why should you continue to rinse the vehicle regularly while washing?

5. Why should you wet the chamois before using it?


Set up and string all materials used could be another assessment based on observation and easily noted as a such. It's hard to get students to put things away.