Before you start taking a sponge or a microfiber towel to the exterior of your car, you want to make sure you lift any dirt or debris off of the paint.
If you start rubbing a towel on the exterior of your car with all of that debris, you’re going to end up causing damage to the clearcoat.
All of that dirt and debris will get worked into the clearcoat, and can create scratches and swirl marks.
So, before we get to washing the car, at the very least rinse the car off thoroughly with water to remove any dirt or grime sitting on top of the paint.
As a bonus, if you have a foam cannon that you can use when detailing your car, you can apply foam to the exterior of your car and it will help lift the dirt and debris off of your paint.
Once you’ve at least rinsed the exterior of your vehicle off, use a quality car soap that doesn’t contain any wax.
That will help to remove a majority of the debris on your car, and prepare it for the next step.