Most of the major brands are good. I've used Megauiars and Adams detail spray on my dark green 66 and they both work very well. The key IMO is the towels you use. I spend a little more on the microfiber towels at Adams and have been very happy. Don't use the one you get in the large bag at Costco or Autozone. I like the Meguairs tire shine and yellow wax as well.
Why not use the ones you get in the bag at Costco?
Mothers products are cheap to buy and get the job done, but there are better products out there, you always get what you pay for, generally.
Car care is MORE than just what products you use, but HOW you use them. My favorite comparison to car cleaning and care is a game of golf. It's not that you're actually playing the game, it's how you make your swing that matters.
If you want the best wax, buy Zaino. It's all mail order, but trust me, it's the schmee. Once you try Zaino, you will never buy anything else.
And for metal polish, Wizards metal polish (formerly Ouator) is good too.
If you just want to go to a local automotive store and buy some products, go to crappy tire, and spend the $ 40.00 and buy the Meguiares Ultimate wax. I have a black car, it does a nice job. I've also used the Meg's NXT 2.0 paste. I tried the 2.0 liquid but it streaked whereas the paste was on off no streak shine. My friend has an old black transam and he uses the liquid with no issues. Go figure, but the Meg's Ultimate liquid wax went on nice and came off better. It didn't streak at all. Meguiares products are generally better than Mothers, but also cost more. Zaino will outshine them all. I buy the bag of microfibre towels at crappy tire for 14.99 for the bag of 25, and they sometimes go on sale for 9.99, and that would be the time to stock up, even during the winter, for next year.
A microfibre towel is a microfibre towel. Actually, I shouldn't say that entirely. There are different types, some absorb, some don't. Costco sells the blue and yellow ones in a bag, the yellow ones are superb for drying the car. I love 'em. I use the blue and white ones for waxing, from Canadian Tire. They are useless for drying but ideal for waxing and polishing.
But if you have a black car you have to learn or already know how to look after the paint to keep it swirl free. It isn't hard to do it just takes a bit of care in doing it right. IE: don't touch it unless you're drying or waxing, never use a washmitt, or soap, just use warm-hot water and keep it clean to start with. haha. good luck.
I think the detail spray on a black car is a no-no. Other people can do what they like, but for those who think it's spray on wipe off, no fuss, no muss, they are lying. If you have any other color than black, it could be worth using. I stay clear of the stuff.
I attached a pic of my camaro, I know it's no Ford, but the paint on my car is at least 6 years old. It sits in a dusty gravel parking lot all summer, it's been washed A LOT and it still looks good. I used the Ultimate wax on the car about a month before I took the picture and I can wash the car in about 10 minutes. Rinse with water only, dry with microfibre towel, (in a toss flat and pull motion, no circular motion at all), dry the wheels and I'm off to the races. (I sit on the benches, or course, )
A good idea is don't let water sit stagnant on the paint either. If it's outside and it rains, dry the car immediately after it stops raining. If you've got a garage, you're golden. Keep it clean and only use elbow grease when you're waxing, when you wash the car, let the water do the work sorta like how a dishwater works. Cold water sucks to wash a car with so if you can use warm to hot, do so. I've read elsewhere not to, but they can kiss it. haha
Keep the car clean to begin with and it will add years to the life of the paint and also be low maintenance.
So I should add because people ask me how I wash the car and get the film off the paint without touching it? Well, that's why I love the yellow microfibre towels. It shows where the dirt is. I touch the paint after it's already been washed. After you rinse the car, you wet the towel, and dry the car with it, again with the toss flat and pull motion. Then for the sides I fold it in half, (moving with the grain of the cloth) and slide it lightly across the side of the car, doing the known or obvious dirty area in sections. Then just look at the towel and if it's black or has a noticeable film, flip to a clean side or just rinse it out entirely. It's almost like a reverse wash if you think about it, but it works well. I almost cry when I see a guy wash a nice car and he's going at it like he's window washing. Loser. lol I want to tell him to stop and lecture the guy. haha.
But the wet microfibre towel will pick up any film and residue on the car and when you do it gently and constantly switch to a clean area of the cloth or rinse regularly it's 1,000 times better than just going at it with a wash mitt. You lift the dirt off the paint instead of smearing it in.
I speak from experience on a dark green color-sanded finish on my 66. The cheaper microfibers are OK for wheels and engine bay clean-up but I steer clear of them on the finish. Reason is that the edges are not microfiber and can (and do) scratch your finish. That and they are so thin that you end up using a lot of them to get the whole car done. The higher quality towels are thicker, more absorbent and have microfiber edges. In fact my favorite is an Adams towel that is two plush towels sewn together. By folding in fourths and rotating as you go, you can get the whole car done with one towel. Don't know about the use of detail on black cars. I think dark green is just as difficult to keep looking nice and I use detail spray all the time. The thing is, you can't use it when the car is dirty or dusty enough to need washing. It is only good for in-between washing clean ups and light dust. You will have to try different things on your own car and see what works for you. I learned a lot of lessons on my own car.
Another tip. Don't bother with a California Duster either. Despite what they say, it WILL scratch your finish, especially a dark finish! The only thing I use one of those for is dusting the interior and dusting the car cover before I take it off.
+1 for Meguiar's products. I have no complaints about Mother's, and I think their stuff is pretty good. Just a personal opinion. Consider Meguiar's Ultimate line, in the black bottles. And check out meguiarsonline.com or autogeek.net for much, much more info on this topic. Very good chance you'll end up spending as much time on those forums as you do here soon enough....
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