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1. You should never buff any part of your car unless completely necessary. Click here for why.
2. Picking a good car wash fluid is key. You need one that cleans without much effort so you aren’t tempted to scrub. Pick one with great lubricants so the dirt you are removing won’t scratch your paint. (the more slippery it feels the better) NEVER use ANY soap that is not meant for car paint. (no laundry detergent or dish soap)
3. Keep a small bottle of quick detailer, bug and tar remover and a microfiber cloth in your car at all times. Clean off sap, bugs and bird droppings as soon as you see them. All will cause chemical damage which will etch your paint deeply. Chemical damage does not touch up well and is not easily repaired so avoid it at all costs.
4. Do not use anything to dry your car except a natural shammy or microfiber towel. The super absorbing synthetic shammys do not have enough texture to safely tuck away harmful contaminants that are removed as you dry. Always use a fresh shammy or towel.
5. Do not wash your shammy or towel with fabric softener.
6. You should wax your car every time you wash it, or at least every other time, if you are using a low tech, inexpensive wax. (the more expensive stuff tends to protect longer. Use a fresh/clean applicator each time. They collect dirt as you use them.
7. Clean your windows with nothing but water. Residues from detergents will encourage fogging and give dirt something to cling to. If you need a detergent to cut through some contaminant make sure you rinse very well after.
8. Use a spray liquid wax that does not haze to condition your trim each time you wash to avoid sun damage/fading.
9. Do not use wheel cleaners. The chemicals are harsh and stripping. They are also terrible for you when you inhale the fumes. Just use a little elbow grease and keep them clean so the brake dust doesn’t stain your wheels. That way you won’t need a powerful stripping wheel cleaner. If you take your car to a car wash ask them to clean the wheels well each time. It’s the old dirt that is stubborn.
10. Spray wax your wheels. They see more stubborn and harmful contaminants than any other part of your car, such as road tar and super fine brake dust. They are the most intricate part of your car in most cases consuming the most time and effort when cleaning. Waxing makes it so much easier. We don’t know anyone who likes to clean wheels.
11. If you can afford it we highly recommend having a clear bra/ clear armor installed on all the surfaces you can afford. The less impact your car takes the better. Keep in mind these clear coat sealants and reinforcers do not protect against rock impact and, once buffed or clay barred, are completely gone.