Before you attempt to apply soap to your vehicle and scrub, you need to thoroughly rinse it off. This is best done with a pressure washer, but if you do not have one on hand, you will need to use a high pressure stream nozzle on your garden hose. You will want to start at the top of your vehicle and rinse down to the rims and tires. The reason this is a necessary step before you wash is because if you jump right in with a wash rag or scrubber and you have dirt on your vehicle, you risk scratching the paint. Not only that, but it will leave marks that are hard to eliminate, even if you wax your car after washing.
This is why many people choose to use a pressure washer foam cannon with at least 1300psi. They can rinse their vehicle and eliminate all of the dirt that may be on it, before they wash. It works even better if they have a foamer and a good detergent. The foamer allows them to watch as dirt and mud is picked up by the soap and runs down from the top of the vehicle. It is a kind of visual proof that you are doing the right thing for your car.
After you have rinsed off any of the loose dirt, you must then wash your car using a rag. Again, wash from the top to the bottom, because the bottom of your vehicle is always going to be the dirtiest area. Rinse off your scrubber and your vehicle often so that you do not end up with a lot of soap residue that has dried onto your paint job. Again, letting it dry will be difficult to remove later, even with waxing. The point of using a scrubber, after you have already eliminated most of the dirt, is to get the remaining dust and other stuff off of your vehicle.
If you have a darker colored car, especially a black one, it is important that you dry it, before the sun has the chance, if you are not planning to wax. If water dries on your vehicle, you will end up with water spots all over your car. To dry you will simply use a soft cloth and rub down the entire car body.
After your vehicle is dry, you will want to apply wax to it. Wax is a pain in the rear end for most people, and a lot of people do neglect it, but it does make a car shine like a new penny. If you are using wax, keep in mind that you do not need to get it on chrome or plastic pieces that may be on your car. If you get it there, especially on the plastic, you will have a very hard time getting it off. Let the wax dry thoroughly, because otherwise, you will be adding more work to yourself.
Now that your vehicle is clean and shiny, you will want to take care of your tires by putting oil on them to make them shine. There are a lot of products available for you to choose from and they are available at any auto store. The purpose is to protect them and make them look great. If you want, now is also the time you will want to treat your windows with RainX type stuff.
If you do all of these things, it may take you a little time, but in the end, your results will be amazing and you will once again be glad that you are not one of those people who drive around with a dirty car. Can you imagine being happy to drive your car again?