Pro tips on car cleaning please!

Pro tips on car cleaning please!



Original Poster:

1 posts

12 months

Friday 12th November 2021
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Hi all - I've got a new car and I want to really look after it.

My prior car ended up with swirl marks, which I understand is from using a sponge or brush with grit/dirt already on it, and now I have something worth looking after I really want to do things properly and keep the car looking great.

I asked a bodywork repair man for his thoughts and I would really value any comments or additions you PH experts have to his suggested car cleaning process (as it sounds like it wastes a lot of microfibre cloths!):

- Use "two bucket method" when washing car exterior:

- One bucket of clean water for rinsing used cloths usesd for polish only.

- One bucket of car wash soap (Maguires, Autoglym etc - something of quality that will really glide that costs about £8, not the £2 stuff). Once microfibre cloths have cleaned the car they never go back in this bucket or touch the bodywork again.

Then specifically for external bodywork:

1) Pre wash, jet wash rinse.

2) Then soapy wash with brands mentioned above.

3) Then jet wash rinse again. Supermarket jet washes are fine, just don't use their brush.

4) Then apply a spray-on wax coat twice a year. Should only need one spray per panel, spread on panel with microfibre cloth and then allow to dry. Some brands can be applied while car is still wet which is ideal. Use this instead of a wax or polish as he thinks gives an even better finish and dirt should slide off.

Don't do this when it's hot and sunny as car will dry too quickly.

Then for interior cleaning only:

1) Vacuum everything first

2) Use upholstery cleaner on any stains.

3) Then wet one of those Flash white cleaning blocks and clean interior with that. His detailer friends use these and they get great results.

4) Then dry with a microfibre cloth.


735 posts

38 months

Friday 12th November 2021
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In addition to he above, I wax my car at least once every two months and apply a detail spray about every 2-3 washes. Having the paintwork nice and slick helps dirt/grit removal in the snow foam/pre-wash cleaning stage. I gave my car a machine polish in March this year and have very few swirls in the paint at present.


168 posts

120 months

Friday 12th November 2021
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Depends how into it you want to get.

There are a few good channels on YouTube to go through the basics. The Detailing World channel is as good a place as any.


5,631 posts

216 months

Sunday 14th November 2021
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Everyone has their preferences but this is mine

Twice a year - usually before and after winter.

1. Jet wash with clean water
2. Snow foam
3. Gently agitate
4. Towel dry
5. Clay (takes all contaminant out the paint)
6. Autoglym SRP
7. Microfibre clean
8. Meguiars hybrid ceramic wax.
9. Towel dry

Takes about three hours

Then every couple of weeks steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9. Take less than an hour.

My 14 year old BMW still looks really good, although the stone chips and slight scrape (very minor) on O/S wheel arch do annoy me.

Various products on the wheels too, although I don't have a settled method for them.


2,890 posts

58 months

Tuesday 16th November 2021
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YouTube is the best teacher here. Check out channels such as Forensic Detailing and Car Cleaning Guru. Be prepared to end up a detailing obsessive though!

Dolf Stoppard

1,146 posts

95 months

Tuesday 16th November 2021
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Include some snow foam in your routine and clean the wheels first.