Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
Most car wash products and waxes do an acceptable job.
Two things that help are:
- Costco MicroFiber towels. Clean and polish better than any old terrycloth towel.
- A leaf blower to dry all the nooks and crannies, even the mirrors. And to stop water from dripping out for hours.
I agree with Mike. Microfiber towels are boon to auto detailing. Best thing since sliced bread!
I have been doing detailing as part-time side work for several years now.
Just thought I might put my .02 in.
Most off-the-shelf products you find in your favorite auto parts store will handle any paint cleaning chore. I have used several consumer grade products and think that Mequiar's probably has some of the better polishes and waxes....as well as Mother's. 3M makes awesome products as well.
There are some key things to remember...anything that is a detergent will strip protective waxes or sealants you have applied to your paint. You may want to strip everything from the paint surface before claying, buffing etc. But, if not, always use a good quality car wash soap
If you have tinted windows....NEVER apply any product that contains ammonia on them. You will ruin the tint. You may not see the damage right away, but it will rear its ugly head down the road.
Any wax or sealant you apply on your paint will eventually wear off over weeks or months...especially in the hot summer sun. You want to maintain that sacrificial layer of wax or sealant as long as possible. After all, you put a lot of time and elbow grease into applying it. I recommend you apply a quick detailer product with a micro fiber towel after every washing (I recommend trying Black Magic Quick Detailer Spray). This will prolong the life of that wax or sealant....and it helps to repel dust and makes it easier to hose off and wipe down.
Silicone vs. Siloxane for rubber trim and tires: most all new automotive products for treating your rubber, plastic and vinyl trim contain Siloxane as part of its "poly" synthetic makeup. Back in the days of the original Armor All formula (which had a silicone base-its not anymore), people would slather on the crap and think it was protecting the interior vinyl and plastic of their vehicle when actually it was accelerating its chemical breakdown. Good quality, pure silicone products have their place...in fact, in bone-chilling cold weather, it works wonders for keeping your doors from freezing shut. Apply it on your rubber seal around your door...and in the door locks to prevent that.
For hard plastic surfaces, I have found the best product on the market (my opinion). The company is called Stoner
(all right you California folks, I ain't stumping for legalzing mary jane ;-) Try their Trim Shine product on your exterior hard plastic surfaces. After a thorough wash, just spray the product on and it will dry to a hard, shiny coat. Works great on plastic bumper trim, mirror shells, or whatever. You will find that you need to apply two or three times over the course of washing your vehicle, but it starts to stick around on the plastics surfaces longer the more you apply it. Also, I think they have the best window cleaner on the market called Invisible Glass (usually found at Walmart, Target, auto stores).
One of my favorite places to purchase "boutique" detailer products is at Detail King
. They have a foam pad glaze that is one of the best paint glazing products I have used. Also, try out their Final Touch express wax spray(quick detailer spray)...it is really good...smells good too!
Finally, I want to plug a really good polish product called Optimum Polish
. The best, easiest to apply polish for paint that I have used. It will not sling all over the place and can be used in multiple stages instead of using a different polishing/buffing product for each stage.
Anyway, I do not claim to be an expert....just seasoned ;-)