The Right Way To Detail Your Car

Keeping your car clean is an important preventive maintenance step. This video from Drive may go over the top for those of you used to a hose and sponge, but it's packed with tips to make sure your car is well taken care of.

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All of the tips in the video are useful, but I'm a big fan of number 7 (around 2:30), since I've seen a lot of people washing their car with horribly dirty rags dipped in soapy water. Tip number 5 (around 3:35) is useful for those of us who hate cleaning the inside of the windshield; it suggests you lay over the passenger seat (not the driver's seat) and never spray the windshield with cleaner — instead, spray your cleaning cloth and apply that to the windshield. The video also explains the best way to get bird poop off your car — namely, with spray wax and a microfibre cloth (taking paper towel or a napkin to your car will inevitably result in scratches).

Not too long ago, I told a friend and coworker about how I just took my car through the auto-wash and didn't care much about what happened — he explained the sheer amount of damage I was doing to my car's paint and clearcoat. He pointed out that if you want your car to retain its shine and avoid scratches, dings and criss-crossing scuffs in the clearcoat, you should wash it by hand (or have it detailed). The video above is long, but you'll know the best way to keep your car clean, the right way, by the end.

Top 10 Detailing Mistakes - /Drive Clean [YouTube]


    I've been watching Larry Kosilla's videos for a long time now, I find his "ride-along" videos really really helpful for picking up little tips and tricks when detailing.

    Always remember lots and lots of water when washing your car, it's free* and adds TONS of lubrication. I always dry my own car with a leaf blower and compressed air then follow up with a damp microfibre towel folded into four after cleaning with the tow bucket method and a lambswool mitt.

    You want to get the car clean by touching the paint as little as possible with the least aggressive methods.

    If you want to get started on taking a little extra care for your car, this is a damn good place to start, just add a lambswool mitt and a big microfibre towel and you're set.

    p.s. Larry's channel is here:

    If you wash your car at a commercial car wash, here's the following tip.
    Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the foaming brush on paintwork.

    The colour of the water in that bucket should be an indication. You don't know if the previous user has just come back from a weekend of four wheel driving caked in dirt.

      Or do what I do, blast the foaming brush with lots of water to clean it out before you use it.

    I also hate that bloody foaming brush! It's also terrible for washing too as you move back and fourth the hose continually slaps into the side of your car!

    Hmm, North Americanisms
    Tip number 5 ... is useful for those of us who hate cleaning the inside of the windshield; it suggests you lay over the passenger seat (not the driver’s seat) .
    I think the point was to use your right hand (for non-lefties), so for Aussies that means laying over the driver's seat and muttering at the steering wheel.

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