I will keep Windex, Meguire's Quick Detailer, Meguire's Quick Wax, Meguire's Carnuba Paste Wax, a good carwash soap or cheap mild liquid dish washing soap, a high quality natural sponge, a natural chamois and/or artificial chamois, terry cloth/ cotton bath towels that match the car color, Westly's Bleach White, SOS pads and cold beer close at hand whenever I wash the outside of any of my cars. On one of the other threads it was mentioned about using compressed air for cleaning/drying all of the nooks and crannys. I find that it works great for keeping dirt and such from collecting around the taillights, bumpers, etc. I haven't tried the 303 product for UV protection on rubber/plastic parts yet, but will be trying it out soon. Currently I use a product called Clear Guard and have had no problems with it. For the softtop (I have two other cars with fabric softtops) I use a vacume first then cold water and let it dry while up. (drying is not a problem in Texas) Do not scrub the fabric top. There are fabric top cleaners available, if it needs more than vacumed and rinsed. Make sure your softtop is clean before it is put away for any length of time. Dirt is an abrasive!!
There are several excellent waxes and soaps on the market, but the main trick to keeping a car shiny is to use soft fabric for drying and keep water spots off. Don't wipe the car with swirling motions, use long straight motions front to rear and back. Keep good wax on the car and try to wax it at least twice a year. I try to wax twice a year with liberal uses of quick detailer and quick wax in between. I do one or the other everytime I wash the car.
anyway, this is probably more than you really wanted to know, but I felt like typing a lot. The brand of cleaning product isn't as important as how you use it and how often.
When traveling I will sometimes just use the Windex and quick wax to give the car a quick perk up.
I use most all the cleaning products you use. But on the quick detailer you should give The Wax Shop's "Slick Stuff" a try. It's basically the same as Meguires Quick Detailer, but I feel it is easier to work with. It does a great job. Don't take me wrong, Meguires works good also. But if you haven't tried "Slick Stuff" give it a try once and I think you'll like it.
Yellow/Yellow Prem. 02 Bird w/full accent
1999 F150 Super Cab 4x4 Off Road
1998 Taurus SE Sport 24V
Do I understand this right? That you use mild dishwasher soap just if you want to take the wax off? I think I remember that I read that somewhere. And I also use Zymol car wash, on my cars and bike. Most of all I like the idea of Chryslernut's "and a beer"
The Chevy - fanatics in Houston
(daily driver to show cars)
told me most use ZAINO BROTHERS.
So do I, now. After Zaino the car does not show water spots after a rain, but it never goes out in the rain. Would have to put the top up and that would not be right on this car..
Best of all Zaino has an anti-static spray
that reduces the amount of dust the paint
picks up. Really works Þ on our black bird.
Best tip for car washing I ever received is add two tablespoons of baking soda to the wash water. Keeps water spots from forming. Also the California water blade is outstanding for starting the drying process.
Just went out to Zaino Bros and read about their products. I had a question about the buff marks left by the factory paint shop, so I emailed them about use of their clay bar, if it would remove the marks and the answer is no. However, I was really impressed with the timeliness of their reply, less than two hours.
I think I'm going to try their stuff, the write ups sound good and there have been several recommendations here.
I live on a red clay road in North Florida and have found that the Zaino system is the only way to go. Applied according to directions the red clay just rinses off with a hose and leaves no residue. Recommend it highly!
Looks like I will have to try the Zaino products. I didn't see anyone metion Dry-Wash. My boss uses it on his Motorhome and swears by it. I've always thought it was overpriced since it is just about the same as a quick detailer.
I wanted to mention that the dishwashing soap is for washing the wheel wells and engine compartment as well as any suspension parts the I can reach. It also will remove any heavy road oils, etc from the paint, you just need to rewax with good wax when finished. When Dot's daily driver was newer we used to put it up on jackstands twice a year, take the wheels off and clean all of the suspension but it hasn't been done in a while. We/I do it to the '57 Bird and my TC's but not as often. Only when they start to look a little ragged underneath.