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Here are some tips to help you get started cleaning the outside of your car.

Before You Begin

  • Choose a shaded or indoor area that is relatively dust free

  • Close all doors and windows

  • Use proper vehicle cleaning soap to lather the vehicle

  • Use steel wool to scrub exterior windows

  • Rinse off as much dirt as possible by hosing down the entire vehicle from top to bottom first

Washing Vehicle

  • Lather a clean sponge (terry cloth) in soapy water

  • Gently wipe vehicle with sponge to loosen dirt

  • Start by cleaning the:

• roof, windshield, hood, rear window and trunk • right/left side (top then bottom) • back and front bumper • wheels and undercarriage

  • Rinse each section completely before moving to next section

  • Give the vehicle one final rinse (mist) with the hose

  • Wet and ring out the chamois cloth (shammy) or towel and dry the vehicle thoroughly (start at the roof and work your way down)

  • Give any metal or chrome an extra rubdown (after vehicle is dry) with steel wool to get rid of water spots


  • Wax your vehicle in a shaded area to prevent damage to finish

  • Look for vehicle wax which contains imported vegetable wax, which is safe for your vehicle’s finish

  • Mask off all parts that should not be waxed (textured moldings, bumper parts, etc...)

  • Three forms of wax: liquid, paste and spray (liquid wax is easier, doesn’t last as long as paste products)

  • Choose wax with a high Carnauba content

  • Spray waxes are very thin to be of any real use

  • Apply a single application of wax (too much results in hard to remove residue)

  • A damp rectangular kitchen sponge makes a good applicator

  • Apply second application on the nose and hood

  • Remove residue using only a very soft cloth (microfiber towels)

  • Use orbital buffer to speed up application process

  • Wax vehicle every two– three months (water should be bead on the car)


  • Pre-rinse the tires with water

  • Scrub the tires briskly with car soap and soft brush

  • Rinse the tires with water

  • Dry the tires with a soft towel.

  • Spray on a tire dressing to protect tires


  • Avoid the sun and trees (sap and leaves)

  • Use proper vehicle wash soap (household items may ruin vehicle’s finish)

  • After driving in salty conditions, wash your vehicle to prevent corrosion, fading and rust

  • Detail your vehicle once a year

  • Immediately rinse gasoline, oil, anti-freeze, transmission fluid and windshield solvent spills off your finish, but do not wipe

  • Be sure to wash the inside bottom edge of doors, lift gate, hood and trunk to eliminate the trapped dirt and moisture that can cause premature rusting

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