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A guide to cleaning your car exterior.

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  • [All Models] A guide to cleaning your car exterior.

    This guide was put together for
    Neither myself or is responsible for anything contained in this guide, it is here purely for reference.

    Here is a shopping list, it's basically a step by step, including materials, that should seriously improve your paint and give it a proper shine. However, some of the products does depend on the colour and type of paint, but it shouldnt make masses of difference.

    Ok, first off, you need a lambswool washmit - [] - as sponges are useless, all they do is drag the dirt over the paint, and causes swirls, a washmit lifts the dirt and traps it deep in the waffle. Id also use two buckets, and do it panel by panel, and rinse the washmit after each panel in the clean water bucket.
    I recommend meguiars gold class shampoo, it seems pretty effective at lifting dirt, and also the paint never streaks as much with it - you'll get that from most places, halfords etc.

    Then, rinse the car off, letting the water just fall onto the car, no pressure, as this helps the water run off the car easier, and so reduces the time it takes to dry it.
    To dry it, dont use a chamois, again for the same reason as a sponge - and it also doesnt hold as much water as a drying towel - carwashnwax, I use the large waffle weave one.

    Once it's dry, and assuming how old your car is, you probably want to clay it - this reduces everything from tar spots which you will probably have a lot of, to bug remains etc. And is really necessary, unless your paint is pretty new. Theres no point polishing over tar etc.
    To clay it, you need quick detailer - which acts as a lubricant for the clay bar (basically a small round lump of stuff that feels like plasticine) - both of these are available from carwashnwax, and I'd recommend their clay, but for detailer, the Meguiars quik detailer is also fine, and probably a little bit cheaper. Read the package instructions or a tutorial before claying.

    Once you have clayed, the cars paint is stripped of all polishes, waxes, anything - its down to the lacquer, and you can start to work on those scratches and swirl marks that are caused by using a dreaded sponge or even worse, an automated car wash.
    To remove scratches and swirls, you need an abrasive compound, that is going to cut through the lacquer the tiniest amount, to smooth out the marks... Apparently meguiars scratch X is a good thing to use, never used it myself though, I'd also try Poorboys SSR1 - as it can be applied by hand, and is a light abrasive, so it is easier to apply and wont haze like you risk with a medium or strong abrasive, which is hard to break down using only your manpower! - available through [].

    Once you are happy that you have removed the vast majority of the marks on your paint, and it's pretty well swirl free, you need to replace the protection you removed with the clay bar...

    This is where a lot of it comes down to personal taste, preference in what you use, and what kind of look you want, and how long you want it to last... you can sacrifice shine for longevity, or an increased shine in return for a shorter period of it!

    There is a huge range on both polishedbliss, poorboys, and carwashnwax, but personally for me, I like things I can apply easily, and give the maximum shine, as I dont mind working on my car a lot to keep it maintained.
    Jeffs Werkstatt Prime sounds good, on polishedbliss, as a basecoat, if you want to go down the waxing route - as it contains carnauba wax to start with, and will be easily applied. Also, Chemicalguys Final Polish on carwashnwax can be recommended!

    After this stage is complete, you can really go wherever you want...
    A good polish to use is Autoglym Super Resin Polish, and also Meguiars NXT generation wax creates an amazingly deep shine on a properly prepared surface - both available from most places. This is what I use personally.

    Next, I would go with Chemicalguys Instawax - Im using that just now, and wow, the results are amazing, when applied to a polished surface. I also use JEFFS Werkstatt Acrylic Jett Trigger , which produces a similar effect, and has a high paint protection ability as it's an acrylic sealant.

    Once all this is done, your paint should be PERFECT. If its not, or you dont think you have the shine you should for this amount of work, try something else, shop around, see what works for you. I can only suggest things I have used, or that are similar.

    READ THE POLISHEDBLISS tutorials, it's full of excellent advice and explains things better than I probably can.

    In terms of wheels and trims... I use RIMWAX, but all those poorboys and chem guys products will do exactly the same job, however make sure you buy a heat resistant product, otherwise the wax will simply not stay very long.

    For my interior I use chemical guys Natural Look New Shine dressing - but use loads of it, more than youd expect, to get the proper results. It smells like cherries aswell, which is nice!

    And for your tyres, use anything you want, but get something that actually lifts the dirt, doesnt just add an acrylic shine, as it just lies on top of the dirt, doesnt actually do anything. I use Chem guys liquid extreme oil shine dressing.

    IN TERMS OF APPLICATION AND REMOVAL OF ALL THESE PRODUCTS... you can't just use an old duster for max results... you need applicator pads, you will see them for sale on both carwashnwax and polishedbliss, and millions of other places - I use the microfiber ones, instead of the sponge ones, but thats just my preference.

    And to remove all these products, you need plush microfiber towels, nice and thick, with a deep waffle, that will really allow you to buff hard and just makes it a lot easier!
    Do not save on these two things by using old rags it wont help.

    Hope that helps. Buy all that stuff once, and you'll never have to do it again, as after that you can maintain the shine, rather than create it. And all the hard work is really done.

    PS How bored are you after reading all that? oh well, think how shiny your car could be now!

    It could be like this...

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  • #2
    please feel free to delete my reply, id just like to notify the staff that i feel this post could do with updating to be in line with value for money as well as newer products on the market that are tried and tested, and not just down to personal opinion :-)

    being an OCD 'hobbiest' detailer, and not a 'get rich quick scheme' detailer, i feel i could help in this area

    (having had a 4 page magazine feature on this subject backs up my knowledge)

    i make this post with sincerity

    thanks moochly


    • #3
      You're more than welcome to post up your own way of doing it.
      Originally posted by Vegas
      When I hit boost me fuel runs out