Need Advice / Suggestions For Washing, Maintaining Appearance Of Car

After coming across some deals here, in the last month or so
(eg. Meguairs, Bowden's Own, etc.), I started to think more about cleaning/washing my car "properly"
I have a nice, shiny black car, which is being neglected
and i just need to start looking after it, in this hot summer sun
( as well as think about reselling this car, in 1 years' time )

So, I just want to find out what methods and products, other OzBargainers use ?

I don't mind detailing, but that's not my purpose.
For now, it's about getting the process and products 'right',
so that I have a good foundation to work, in case I need to obsess about the the little details later on :-)

I already have:
- pressure washer
- Meguiars Gold Class
- Meguiars Wash & Wax
- Bowden's Own Wheely Clean
- some small micro-fibre clothes
- RainX for windows

According to:
MasterScythe here

the basic steps are:

  • strip.
  • claybar.
  • correct.
  • seal

anyone have any other tips?

what products do you use, for each step ?
what about bug / tar removal from the car ?
tyre shine?

I just want to get an understanding and hear different recommendations,
from the esteemed OzB community.
e.g. when should I claybar? should I snow cannon or use dishwashing liquid?


    • thanks heaps for these links!

      the first video, is already winning for me,
      and i understand everything better now,
      because that guy summarized my pockets of information, into the video.

      do you have any recommendations for claybars, micro-fibre gloves/towels, etc. ?

      what about bug removal ?
      (plenty of bug splat on the car, after long country drives )

  • If you did nothing and just cleaned it up before you sold it you'd save a lot of money and time.

    • Ha.

      ….but if I learn more about cleaning/maintenance,
      then the next few cars that I own, will benefit from my knowledge gained now.

      I'm not a car-proud person and I don't want the car to be too shiny,
      but I realized that regular maintenance, saves a lot of time later.

    • This ^^^

      Especially with a black car. Every time you wash it you will introduce obvious swirl marks. If you don't want to correct the paint and still have it looking decent in a year to sell then do nothing. Just wash it before you list it to sell.

      • I don't understand such terms as "paint correction",
        so this is why I wrote this Forum post, ie.
        assume I know nothing and give me a brief summary what to do and the products to use.

        I will then decide, if it's worth my time or effort, or not :-D

        I can also then, use this knowledge to wash, care for parents' cars, etc.

        I am trying to gather different opinions, approaches to car maintenance,
        and hearing what product works for the OzB community, eg. everyone likes Turtle Wax Seal n Shine.

      • what does 'paint correction' involve?

        • Paint correction is polishing. It's the process which removes swirls and minor scratches etc. It's an abrasive process. You're removing paint in order to smooth it out. It's not something you should be doing often as paint only has so much thickness to it and modern cars the paint is extremely thin.

  • How old is the car and how's the paintwork?

    Is it parked outside or inside? Coz if it's parked outside, honestly with a black car all of that will be pointless and will last about a day…

    • Car is 4+ years old
      and 'paint work' is fine…well, to my untrained eye.
      No scratches, but I had taken it regularly to Coles/Shell car-washes,
      until someone told me "why do you do that? those rollers put fine scratches on your panels!"

      Car is always parked inside, under car-port (not garage)
      and inside a garage at the work-place.

      However, when I go out, e.g. shops, beaches, etc…the car is exposed to the elements.

      I try not to park under trees, due to bird droppings.

      • I would just be using a power washer and chamois dry afterwards maybe once a week.

        • This is actually bad advice. Power washer won't remove all of the dirt and the chamois will just turn into a piece of sandpaper swirling the sh!t out of the clear coat.

  • You have everything you need for washing. You should claybar, polish and wax every 3-6 months if you want to maintain a flawless finish. I would recommend picking up a bottle of Turtle Wax Seal and Shine and Autoglym Polar Seal (applied by pressure washer) which are quick and easy to apply and give stunning results and beading. I use the Polar Seal every 3 washes for a top up, and the Seal and Shine just adds even more depth and gloss.

    • thank you for your reply.
      i understand everything you said.

      i just don't know if i should get Claybar from eBay
      or Claybar from Bowden's (Repco sale on now).

      as for Turtle Wax, i'm waiting for a sale on them,
      because I can't find it cheap and i missed the 2020 October & November sales on them, specifically.
      ( i was not 'car-care aware' 2 months ago! Isolation has taught me many other skills, which I was avoiding )

      what about bug removal ?
      (plenty of bug splat on the car, after long country drives )

    • so, if i wash the car first like this:
      - foam/snow cannon with Meguiars Gold Class / Wash & Wax
      - let the suds rest for some moments, before washing off
      - afterwards claybar
      - next polish & wax ?

      if i read this:
      First time detailing car

      someone wrote " The clay bar should, but best not use a wash and wax before polishing."

      so, if i used 'Meguiars Wash & Wax', then according to that comment, i should not clay bar afterwards ?

      • Yes snow cannon should be your first step to minimize the risk of inflicting swirls. It loosens up all the dirt and dusty water spots so you don't start swirling your paint up with the wash mitt. You can use the same stuff as you use for bucket washing, the Meguiars gold class or wash and wax should do a good job for both purposes.
        Let the snow sit for 5 minutes, pressure wash off, then commence 2 bucket wash. Make sure your buckets have grit guards too.
        Then you can claybar with a decent lube, even a bit of car wash will do or something like Auto Glym rapid detailer.
        Then polish it all up with Meguiars ultime compound (if the paintwork is badly swirled or has a lot of defects), otherwise go straight for Auto Glym Super Resin Polish. Then seal it all in with Turtle Wax Seal n Shine.
        As for your last question, the clay bar will strip some wax off yes, but the car wash products don't contain enough wax to really do much at all. So wouldn't worry about it.

  • A basic process to get your car looking better then maintaining it would be:

    • Wash - don't need a foam cannon just use the meguiars you have with a sponge and bucket
    • Dry
    • Clay (meguiars is fine - use car wash and water mixture in spray bottle for lubricant)
    • Wash
    • Dry
    • Polish by hand (meguiars ultimate polish with hand applicators)
    • Wax by hand (any liquid wax is fine - eg. SCA homebrand)

    Use about 10-15 quality microfibre cloths to remove polish and wax and remove the tags .

    This will last you 6 months before repeating.

    Wash on a semi regular basis
    Spray a finishing wax after this wash.

    • if your wash is "wash & wax", do you still need to wax post polish?

      if so spray wax are just as good as paste? thnks

    • i recommend what MS Paint has said but at the same time , after years of doing it on multiple cars (especially black cars) it has taken the life out of me and i can't be (profanity) doing it anymore.

      i get a yearly ceramic coat done on the whole car at a professional workshop, and just give it a wash every 2 weeks with a 2 bucket method to prevent build-up and its basically almost-like showroom condition after a wash and dry.

      The initial application on most cars is expensive if done right $800+ , but the yearly buff and re-coat is generally only $100-200.

      I can definitely confirm not only have i saved time and money (plus time is money) , my car is still looking AS-NEW from the showroom and always turns heads.

      Plus if i ever have to sell the car i just throw in the "car comes ceramic coated" and show them the receipt and like magic my cars value instantly goes up , once they see the car in person they can tell the difference.

    • Thank you for replying and outlining the basic process in that way.

  • +1 vote

    Feast eyes on pretty great as is slightly rough paint Commodore.

  • Have you tried The Last Coat? It is the best that I have used…. Best result with minimum input. Best shine. Best beading of water. Easy application.

    • this one?

      It's the first time I'm hearing about this, and it looks interesting…

      …but is it "better" than Turtle Wax Seal n Shine ?

      • IMHO absolutely yes. I have used the Turtle Wax, Ceramic coating and others and they failed pretty quickly in that it required another time intensive reapplication. With the last coat when the car gets dusty it is a quick rinse which due to beading the water runs off then a drive around the block to remove most of the surface water then in the garage for a 5minute wipe down with a quick spray of last coat and done. Awesome result.

        • I am now, curious about "The Last Coat" now.
          i like how it's advertised as a 'scratch remover'.

          ( i just noticed today, some scratches on the car bonnet.
          i'm disappointed by this, because it looks like someone keyed the bonnet deliberately,
          or it could be some possum or cat or other animal )

          The Last Coat ( )

          AU$ 47 | 0.473 litre spray [16 fl. oz]

          AU$ 399 | 3.78 litre liquid botle [1 gallon]

          1 x (3.78 litre bottle) = 8 x (0.473 litre spray bottles)

          8 x spray bottles = AU$ 376

          1 x gallon bottle = AU$ 399

          • @whyisave:

            i like how it's advertised as a 'scratch remove

            It'll be a scratch concealer at best. It'll try and fill the scratch to optically hide it. All sounds like marketing BS to me.

          • @whyisave: I buy directly from the last coat website. They had 30% discount during black friday sales. I get emails from them with discount coupons regularly between 10 to 30% off. The stuff arrived within a week. I still have heaps left as I don't apply that much to get a great result. When I bought the ceramic coating, I used around half a bottle or so rather quickly due to the application and reapplication and thought that something is not quite 'ceramic' about it. So i researched and watched the Youtube comparison of this stuff to others and was pleasantly surprised to get the same awesome result for the quick wipe down. If you were in Brisbane I would get you to drop in and do an application on the bonnet for you.. then you would see for yourself.

            • @Logical: Sorry, I'm in Sydney and not in Brisbane.

              I'm more intrigued by "The Last Coat" now,
              and willing to take a chance on them,
              instead of trying out Turtle Wax Seal n Shine, etc.

              It's just that the item is expensive and more so, because I have to buy from the U.S.

              I'm going to see if I can bulk-buy the 1 gallon (3.7 litre) bottle,
              and share the cost amongst friends :-D