As many of you may know by now there are tricks to everything, a proper way to do and execute a just about any task – properly washing your car is no exception. We will walk you through the steps after doing hours of research to ensure the finish of your autos and motos remains pristine and impeccable …
First thing first – our supplies:
Stoner – Invisible Glass
Turtle Wax – Bug and Tar Remover
Lexol – Ultimate Leather Conditioner (if there is any leather trim)
Meguiars – Ultimate Wash and Wax
Meguiars – Ultimate Paste Wax
Meguiars – Hot Shine Tire Syrup
Meguiars – Smooth Surface Clay Kit
Meguiars – Interior Detailer
Meguiars – Mirror Glaze #2
Touch up Paint Kit – Look up your paint code online and order from your local dealer.
Microfiber Towels – Small Towels to wash and large towel dry.
Dirty Car ^^^ o_o
This is a bit long of an article so here are some short-cuts.
Bi-weekly wash: Step 1 and Step 5 – Approx 3 Hours
Monthly wash: Step 1, Step 4 Waxing, and Step 5 – Approx 4 hours
Yearly wash: Step 1-6 – Approx 9-12 hours
Times based off of the FR-S 2700 lb Coupe.
Now that that’s out of the way let us go through the steps.
Step 1.) Wash – Supplies needed will be: Meguiars Ultimate Wash and wax, bug and tar remover, bucket 1 filled 3/4 full of water and a 10 oz of Meguiars wash and wax and with the grit guard located at the bottom. Bucket 2 filled with nothing but water, 2 microfiber towels one for each bucket, a bristle brush for your rims and water based tire dressing (Water based dressing is better for your tire and won’t rot your tires like some other cheap stuff on the market does.)
So let’s get to it, the reason we are using two buckets are so that all the heavy grime and dirt that we are trying to get off of your baby doesn’t end up in our clean bucket and possibly on your microfiber towel. Dirt in your wash bucket can cause swirls and scratches on your clear coat. Start by locating all the bugs, tar, and bird droppings that are splattered on the vehicle. Bugs you’ll find on most any front facing part of the car – Grill, A pillars, side view mirrors, headlights, etc… Tar you will find on the lower part of your fenders and right behind your tires. As you see these spray them with your bug and tar remover. This will start breaking down the really thick crusty stuff; sometimes those things sit for days if not weeks, they can be really hard to remove using only soap and water. Once you have done that grab your old bucket filled with only water.
Start by wiping off your car with 1 1/2′ strokes, one on each side of the towel. After each stroke you must wash your towel in your water bucket in order to remove all the dirt. Repeat this until you have finished your entire vehicle. You will have to replace the water at least twice before you finish as you’ll notice that the water soon starts to turn brown with dirt. If you continue using the filthy water it will defeat the purpose of the 2nd bucket, so use good judgment and replace the water when the time is right.
Once done with the first bucket and your car is dirt, bug, bird poo, and tar free, then grab your second bucket with the recommended grit guard placed at the bottom filled with water and Meguiars soap and a clean microfiber towel. The reason we choose to use Meguiars ultimate wash and wax is because it enhances your previous wax job (which shouldn’t be confused with “replaces”)
Back to the car wash – now you can peacefully wash your car without having to worry too much about the heavy stuff and concentrate on the smaller details. Once you’ve done the 2 bucket method you won’t ever want to go back to 1 bucket. The feeling of the soft towel sailing oh so smoothly over the not quite perfectly clean clear coat… yeah it’s nice.
The main goal with the second bucket is to remove oils and anything that requires extra attention. Concentrate on rubbing out the stains and ensuring that you go over every inch of the exterior. Including door jams, any painted surface under the hood, under your gas cap cover, trunk jams, and any painted surfaces on the inside of your doors, except the wheels and rims.
Once done you can give your engine bay a little more time and wipe down the plastics and any other dusty or dirty areas in the engine bay. When doing so you want to wring out your towel, so there is a small amount of soap and water on it, you don’t want it soaking wet.
Once done cleaning the exterior with bucket 2, grab your bristle brush and scrub down the rims using bucket two with the Meguiars soap. It’s best to use a brush because the brake pad dust sticks to your wheels pretty harshly. It is relatively difficult to remove the dust using only a microfiber towel. Once done scrubbing down the rims, use the same microfiber you used with bucket two to wipe down any excess soap and dirt on your rims. Depending on how dirty the towel is afterward you may have to dispose of it or throw it in the wash.
Step 2.) For this next step, you’re going to need some quick detailer, (not shown in pics) fresh microfiber towel, and a new clay bar; The Meguiars Clay Bar kit that is in our supplies photo comes with all of these necessities.
After you have completed step one, run your hand over the surface of your vehicle, lightly. If your car hasn’t been clayed in a while, you will most likely feel a rough, bumpy, gritty surface. This is where the clay bar comes in handy it. The clay bar picks up all of these invisible contaminants.
The process is simple: Spray the quick detailer over the surface that you’re going to clay, then rub the clay over the sprayed area until the bar runs smooth. You will have to remold the clay various times in order to have a new clean area to rub over the surface of your car. Once done take a look at the clay, notice all the contaminants. Now, run your hand over the surface that you just cleaned, you will feel an enormous difference. Continue to clay the rest your car, only painted surfaces, no rims or plastics.
Step 3.) Polishing…..why so many periods you might ask yourself, well it’s because a polisher can be a very useful tool in experienced hands, but If it happened to land in the wrong unexperienced hands you can burn through your clear coat and make your car into a swirly mess (don’t say we didn’t warn you). But we all have to start somewhere, as we did. Of course, if you’re reading this post you’re taking a step in the right direction, researching and educating yourself. I recommend you watch this video by Ammo NYC. Thanks to Larry Kosilla an extremely experienced detailer who has blessed us with his knowledge. In the above video, he explains the basics of polishing and gives us a little look at its effects. This info is not specified in the video, but you will need different pads for your polisher to get different effects as well as different glaze/polishing compounds.
Here are the two pads, compound, and polisher we use most frequently.
Griots Garage – 6″ Random Orbital Polisher – this polisher is best for noobs, because it’s designed to prevent you from burning through your clear coat, and best of all it has a moderate price tag so that it won’t break your wallet.
The Compound – Meguiars Mirror Glaze #2 – best used to remove light to medium swirls or scratches, water spots, and light oxidation.
The Pad you will need for this step – Chemical Guys Hex-Logic Quantum Light-Medium Polishing Pad – as per the description this pad is recommended for light to medium polishing, and for the following step Chemical Guys Hex-Logic Quantum Finishing pad, black 6.5″ – again as per the description this pad is recommended for applying sealants and wax, wich we will get to in the next step.
Once you have the right and necessary tools the rest is quite simple, set your polisher to the 4-5 speed, apply the compound to your polishing pad, in a swirling fashion, the compound should be covering approx 10 – 15% of the pad, then place the pad on the area of your car that you’ll be polishing first, rub the polishing pad over a 2′ x 2′ area. Pull the trigger and let her rip applying medium to medium hard pressure in the 2′ x 2′ area determined prior.
Repeat until you have done the entire painted surface. After wipe down your car with a clean dry microfiber towel to ensure you pick up any leftover compound residue. Your paint should be left shiny with super-light marks/ scratches with little to no contaminants.
Step 4.) Sealant and waxing – applying the sealant and the wax are very similar to polishing in the way you apply to a 2′ x 2′ area at a time, using the appropriate pads and speed settings for your polisher.
Sealant) Chemical Guys – Jet Seal – (chemical guys sealant application video) Set your polisher speed to 3, grab your black chemical guys finishing pad place it to your polisher, apply the sealant in a swirling fashion it should be covering 10-15% of your pad surface. Apply using light pressure, you do not need to work the sealant in; you want it to sit on top of your paint and adhere to your paints surface. once you have covered the entire car in the sealant, let it sit for approx 20 min for the sealant to work into the paint. Once 20 min goes by, remove the sealant with a clean microfiber towel you may need to use multiple towels.
Waxing) Use preferred brand and type of wax, we’ve grown fond of Meguiars Ultimate Paste Wax, it can be found at your local auto parts store.
Set your polisher to speed 3, using your black finishing pad, make sure the pad is clean. Rub the pad in the paste wax so that 30% of the pads surface is covered with a thin layer of wax. Place the pad on the area of your car that you’ll be waxing first. Rub the pad over a 2′ x 2′ area and pull the trigger putting light to medium pressure on the polisher. Repeat until you have done the entire painted surface. Once done start wiping off the wax where you initially began waxing. By the time you get to the last area you waxed it will have worked into the paint the right amount of time. Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to ensure you pick up all leftover residue. When all residue is removed continue to clean the exterior of your windows. We recommend Invisible glass, its worked wonders for us. You may rejoice, the exterior processes are complete..
Step 5.) Next is the interior, dont forget to vacuum your trunk, carpet, under the mats, and cleaning the door panels. We prefer a dull matte finish like the Meguiars interior detailer provides, rather than a greasy oily finish that some products might advertise. One important factor to any interior is sun shade! No tint or sprayed on products will protect your dash like a sunshade. If your car sits in the sun the majority of the day it will do some slow but sure damage to your dashboard. We wouldn’t want your dash to be discolored and cracked in a few years, we highly recommend them. One made especially for your car too so that it covers the most area possible.
Where the interior does get a bit tricky is if there is a lot of leather or vinyl. You need to apply the right cleaners and conditioners in order to keep the leather/ vinyl malleable. If not, they will crack and become hard which will make damaging the material even easier. We recommend Lexol for Leather and Vinyl, they specialize in this area.
Step 6.) Touching up the paint (rock chips </3) Larry from Ammo NYC can explain it a hell-of-a-lot better than we can. Check out his video on how to touch up rock chips.
We consider these procedures to be right in the middle of detail nut and casual weekend warrior. So far it has worked perfectly for us.
Well, thanks for reading, we hope you get all the info you needed!
Let us know if what you think in the comment section below.