Wow, its 2019 already.  The next few TMI articles will be on how to properly wash and detail your car or truck. Some of these tips are obvious to any car buff, but, even those like me, who love cars but hate washing them can learn some time saving tips.  I’ll talk about what not to do when you get in a hurry and just run it through the 3 minute car wash. Sometimes we make it harder than it has to be, ruining the finish or trim by using the wrong process or products.  Here are 11 tips from the car detailing pros. We will look at tips for the outside of the car this month, and take up tips for the inside in February.


Rinse Before Washing

If you hit your dry paint with soapy water, you’ll just grind the surface dust and road grit into your paint finish. Professional detailers always start with a clear water rinse.

Use the Right Soap

Dishwashing liquid is the go-to choice for most DIYers. But it shouldn’t be, it is simply too harsh. A car detailer and most car washes use a car specific soap. We’ll get into the types later.

Forget the Sponge, Use a Microfiber Mitt

Sponges capture and hold dirt and grit in their large pores. Once grit is embedded, you may as well wash your car with sandpaper. The professionals use microfiber towels or strips.

Use Two Buckets

Yes, two buckets, one for clean soapy water and one for rinse water. After each wipe, dunk your dirty wash mitt in the rinse water bucket and swirl it around to dislodge the dirt and grit. Then dunk it in the soapy water and pick up where you left off. Dump the dirty rinse water and refill with clean water before you move to the other side of the car. You must keep the soapy water clean as possible.

Forget the Chamois, Dry With a Microfiber Towel

Chamois and cotton towels soak up water, but they don’t pick up any grit that’s left after rinsing. Instead, they just grind those particles into your paint. A microfiber towel, on the other hand, collects the particles. Rinse the towel in clean water to remove the grit; then wring and keep drying.

Use A Synthetic Wax

Old style paste waxes look great on older cars. But they don’t produce the same “wet look” as modern synthetic wax and they don’t last as long. Apply synthetic wax in small sections using a wax applicator sponge.

Remove Wax Haze With a Microfiber Towel

You guessed it, microfiber towels are the heroes of car detailers everywhere. Wipe off the wax haze using circular motions. As the towel loads with wax, refold it to a cleaner section. Use a second towel when the first one is fully loaded.

Well that is the information for keeping your car’s paint looking good for a long time.  Check back next month for the tips to keep the inside of your cars looking like new