We all love that brilliant shine of a new car in the dealer’s showroom or at an auto show. There are hundreds of car care products and treatments available. The question is what works best and how do you do it?
First, you must properly clean and wash your car. Polishing and waxing a unclean car is sure to leave hairline scratches from dirt and debris on the car. Proper car washing and cleaning should be a main staple of any car care regimen or treatment. It is a proven fact that cars that receive routine car washes will last longer (as evidenced in a recent Popular Mechanics magazine). To properly wash your car, first rinse it off. Get the whole car wet and try to spray off any loose dirt and debris. Then use specific car wash soap (regular household items and chemicals are usually too harsh and can strip the wax or sealant right off) and a soft sponge or towel. Wash one panel or area at a time and rinse when done so the suds and soap won’t dry on the paint. When done dry off the car with clean terry towels or microfiber towels (a chamois works great also).
Next, examine your car. Look at the bumpers, behind the tires, the roof, etc… Are there any contaminants like bug splatter, bird droppings, tree sap, etc… that are still there after washing? You can try and rewash these areas with a little more pressure to try and loosen them up. If they still don’t come off, you will need a contaminant remover. This is a spray and each has their own unique formula and set of directions. Some are similar to foaming glass cleaners and others are a thick emulsion that will sit right on the problem area and not drip off. These contaminant sprays will remove most stuck on road debris and there are formulas specifically for road tar and tree sap as they can be more difficult. Follow the directions and then rinse and dry.
To smooth out any imperfections in the paint we recommend a cleaner wax. According to a study by Consumer Reports of every wax currently produced it was found that Turtle Wax was the best for value, durability and shine. So, there is no need to waste your money on expensive treatments that will not deliver a finish as well as a $2 bottle of Turtle Wax. Apply the cleaner wax in small circular motions and do one panel at a time, same as you did with car washing. Let the cleaner wax dry to a white haze and then buff with a clean terry cloth. Repeat as necessary.
Next, what we recommend is that you use a polymer car polish (again, there is no need for expensive treatments – you are just wasting your money). A good polymer car polish can be obtained at Walmart for between $2 and $5. They always come as a liquid and are very easy to apply and really do last longer than any car wax (up to 1 year and 50 car washes as some labels state). Apply to the whole car and buff dry. Apply 2-3 coats for maximum protection.
After the car polish we recommend a high class carnauba wax (again there is no need for expensive treatments). Turtle wax platinum car wax is around $5-$7 and so are some Meguiars and Mothers top waxes. This will give you a better than new deep and wet looking shine. Apply 2 coats in similar fashion to the cleaner wax. Wait until you see the resultant shine from wax on top of polish. It is unbelievable and gives your car the best shine possible and also the maximum protection available. This is how they get that extra deep shine on cars at the auto shows – it works and you will be amazed.