I was curious to know what tips and products some of you might use to keep your car looking sweet. I know us guys value our cars alot, and perhaps some of you can recommend some advice beyond the already known information on what keeps your ride looking shiny and new.
Armor-All is a must.
I use an anti-fog window cleaner (got it from home-depot), which works rather well.
Clay bar it at least once per year.
use 100% cotton cloths
Formula 113 is the best wax I've ever used, but not available commercially.
Meguiar's Gold Class or NXT is the best commerical available wax I've used.
Lol @ Armor-All being used in the same thread as auto detailing.
I used mother's claybar and wax with a buffer drill bit that fits into my makita. My car is really shiny, even when dirty.
Use google and do your research before you fool around with your car.
Armor-all is only good for interior plastics and maybe tire shine... Otherwise I'd stick to either Meguire's and Mother's brands.
303 aerospace protectant is great on black interiors.
Autozone had a bucket full of terry cloths the entire Meguiars line of cleaners and two waxes, a thingy of Armor all, and some tire shine for 40 bucks. Thats what I use, but my rig is so fucking big I only get half of it done in 4 hours.
Meguiars wash soap.
some kind of Sham-Wow to dry...these things are AWESOME !
NXT Wax...lives up to the hype. Great wax for everyday cause it's super fast/easy to use. You can do the whole car @ once with this stuff...The shine is really Modern and science fictiony though and the neighbors kids make fun of me because the car is just ridiculously shiny.
Meguiar's quick detailer every few days with micro fiber and to remove bird shit or whatever.
Stoner or SprayWay glass cleaner
I have seen the Mother's brand around but I didn't know how good it was. I was told it's what alot of collectors use for the show room kinda shine.
Rain-X is great, take the time to apply it now and it may save your life later. Or at least make shitty-ass thunderstorms easier to drive thru.
Check your owners manual, some newer car interiors are made with a breathable plastic and aromor-all like protectants might be damaging to it in the long run.
A damp towel or shammy is the greatest tool to counter a spotty mess after washing.
armor all is shitty, greasy, it smells weird.
also in the sun like we have here it will actually cause your dash to crack faster than if using nothing at all.
I use Meguiar's gold class dash and trim foam.
stuff smells great too.
for the outside I wash with a decent soap,polish using a cleaner wax what kind depends on the amount of swirls and defects.seal it using a sealer and top off using a coat or 2 of liquid nxt tech wax.
I do this once every couple weeks but in between I can run it through a car wash no problem and then on weekends use a spray on quik detailer.
but I use all Meguiar's stuff.
I'm a huge fan of Meguiar's products, although Mother's clay bar is great too.
I usually clay bar, then use Meguiar's 3 step detailing process (last step is wax). Use foam applicator to apply each of the 3 products. Then every now and then use a car duster and dust it off. Wash it with water every now and then. Probably reapply the wax every 3-4 months. Detail again completely + claybar once a year.
Also depends what your doing it for. If its just to keep it nice and shiny, then that should be fine. I used my car for marketing, and had to look absolutely spotless 24/7, so needed to reapply products much sooner.
Also, wd40 works great for rims. tire foam and glass cleaner (forget the brand, but its a black can with yellow top, works perfectly). Make sure you use a glass cleaning specific microfiber cloth for best results.
The usual terry cloths and microfiber when needed. My way might be slightly more expensive for ya (~80 bucks), but probably can be used for a years time, maybe more depending how much you want to detail.
on windows I like using invisible glass, its a foam and it has that black can yellow top.
I will stop and get the free newspapers like the newtimes or whatever and use the crumpled news paper with that window cleaner
simple green works well for engines and I use it for the inside of my car to get the bad grease spots that I get in there.
I work on cars and trucks for a living and I get grease and heavy dirt all over on my kick panels and stuff so simple green gets it all out before I use the good cleaners and protectants in there.
Products aside, what keeps my car looking better than most is quick but frequent detailing. Once the car is waxed and rain-xed just hit it for 2 minutes everyday. Don't do the whole car everytime. Just do a door or the roof or whatever and then do another part tomorrow.
Keep cloths and quick detailer in the back... I don't mind Armor all... you just can't put too much on and take care to even it out. Those pre-packaged wipes work really well for that. Otherwise spray it on to the cloth and apply thin and even. DO NOT spray it directly onto anything and try to wipe it from there.