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I have read a lot of cool tips within other threads and it is gettin hard to remember all of them. In the spirit of comradierie, please share yours again, here are two of mine:

I wedge a piece of posterboard or cardboard against the windshield when I am detailing with Armour-al protectant so that I avoid the mess on the windshield. I throw the board when I am done.

I also have a small piece of claybar to polish the outside glass and remove any hard deposits that are difficult to remove otherwise. I have not seen any scratches on the glass.
 

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Ok, here goes... My exterior washing/detailing routine:

1. Rinse entire car, including the wheel wells.
2. Clean top with Raggtop cleaner using soft bristle brush.
3. Clean tires with Michelin Wheel and Tire Cleaner and soft bristle brush.
4. Soap entire car, including the top, wheels, tires, and wheel wells.
5. Soap engine compartment and rinse.
6. Rinse entire car.
7. Rinse entire car once again.
9. Drag out air compressor and blow water off of entire engine compartment, front upper and lower grills, headlamp assemblies, sideview mirrors, ducktail spoiler, honeycomb taillight panel, taillamp assemblies, and wheels.
10. Dry entire car using super soft lint-free towels.
11. Apply Raggtop protectant to terry cloth towel and apply to top.
12. Apply Michelin Brake Dust Repellent to wheels and polish with micro-fiber towels.
13. Apply Michelin Tire Shine to terry cloth towel and apply to tires. Repeat.
14. Apply Meguiar's nxt Speed Detailer and polish with micro-fiber towels.
15. Apply Turtlewax Protectant to exterior trim.
16. Clean glass surfaces with Sprayway Glass Cleaner.
17. Apply Rain-X to glass surfaces.
18. Put car in garage.
19. Put car cover on car.
20. Go inside, grab a beer, sit in front of TV, and RELAX.
21. Think about how I am getting too old to do this all the time!
22. Take a nap.

Sorry. You asked! :laughlitt :wavey
 

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top secert tip.......

I let my wife clean it.......:laughlitt
 

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nghtrnnr said:
my tip is do everything yourself...and never...never...never...ever...go to an automated car wash
That's not a bad suggestion, however, I live in Seattle where as you may know it rains a bit. (Today is our 25th consectutive day of steady, hard rain). I like to have my Pony clean and shiny whenever the roads are dry but I'm not always in a place where I can hand wash my car. Subsequently, I use automated car washes. In fact, I've been through them probably 200 times.

Recently I was giving my Stang a really good Winter cleaning and I noticed the extensive damage the automated car washes had done to my clear coat. For example, the creases in the hood mad so many microscratches they were almost comletely dull. I was so mad at myself for putting my baby through that torture. But there is a happy ending...

I bought the full ZAINO BROS show car polish kit. After a couple coats of Z-5 polish the microscratches were almost completely gone and those hood creases and the rest of the car looked showroom once again. I was so amazed at how well the ZAINO products worked. I didn't even have enough time to complete all the steps in the ZAINO kit and it still looks great. If I completed ALL the steps it would be showcar finish.

ZAINO ROCKS!!

Pictures say a thousand words.
 

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That's a great point about the auto carwashes. Now during the winter is killing me that I can't detail my car. Too freaking cold to wash by hand. About twice a week I go to the car wash and clean it as best as possible with the spray hose. I also do my best to spray underneath to get the salt off the undercarriage. But still...it doesn't completely wash the car. I do detail the tires, wheels, engine bay and windows once a week. I'm so close to taking her through an auto carwash to just get her clean at least once...but I've held back. If it gets to at least 50 degrees F at least once, I'm going to wash her. What are you guys and gals in the cold parts doing to wash your car?
 

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i use foaming carpet cleaner and a tooth brush to lift dirt out of the grain on the door panels and console
 

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Great detailed information, Nino. I have just one question:

"You say "First an foremost clean your car in order of dirtiest to cleanest." I always start with the roof and go down the car in from cleanest to dirtiest. I do this, reasoning that as I work, the soap runs down and gets a little of the dirt loosened before I get down to it. Is this a bad idea?
 

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I use "Mothers Protectant for Rubber, Vinyl & Plastic" for the outside black trim, which is the black trim on the door plus the weather strips, the place where the wipers are, the side view mirror and the front grill, keeps it nice an black for days, and the black part that holds the door sills
 

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I use compressed air to blow out the carpet,then I vac up whatever surfaces. On my older street machines I would use a super fine steel wool to clean/polish the inside glass and then follow up with some window cleaner.And after washing the car I only use towels to dry the car with so the water spots don't show.My wife washes my car towels and never uses dryer sheets,the fabric softner in the sheets will smeer an oil all over your car.
One thing I do save are my "quiters",you know the white cotten socks that don't stand up any longer,flip them inside out and they make a great wax applicator,when your finished just pitch the sock.
 

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I wash from top to bottom also, always have. sheepskin washmits seem to be the best. I use a different wash mit for the wheels, under lower rocker panel, and wheel well lips. Which I do last. Both sets of my wheels are easily cleaned with the wash mit, no nooks or cranies to clean. Westlys bleach white with a scrub brush is good every other wash on the tires to get the brake dust, and goo that has stuck to tire gloss/shine whatever you use.

I tired lexol, didnt like it. Zainos stuff is good, leaves a nice smell afterwords too.

Always wipe down inside of doors, trunk and hood. Also check that both door drain plugs have been removed. A few people I know have had one in each door still there. Mine included.

microfiber waffle weave towels seem to be the best for drying. I made a mistake of using cheap stolen hotel towels on my black tbird. Ugh that was one big swirl.

And to replace armorall, I highly recommend 303 aerospace protectant
http://www.303products.com/main.php?infopage=protectant

Waaaay better than armorall. the plastics around the radio is where I really noticed how better it was. No smearing, greasy feeling, and alot less dust sticks to this stuff. Get a small bottle, give it a try.



some great tips given here. Cant go wrong with any. Which reminds me i need to claybar the windsheild the next wash, good idea!
 

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5twenty said:
Subsequently, I use automated car washes. In fact, I've been through them probably 200 times.
automated with brushes or no-brush high pressure water?

but anyways, I use the trim detailer before waxing so that I don't accidently remove new wax. Then mask the edges of the trim so I don't get wax on the trim. Especially the textured trim around the doors. I got wax on it once and it just doesn't come off. It can be hidden with trim detailer, but it never seems to really go away. great site for tips is the forums at Meguiars.com
 

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Discussion Starter #15
nonsensez9 said:
automated with brushes or no-brush high pressure water?

but anyways, I use the trim detailer before waxing so that I don't accidently remove new wax. Then mask the edges of the trim so I don't get wax on the trim. Especially the textured trim around the doors. I got wax on it once and it just doesn't come off. It can be hidden with trim detailer, but it never seems to really go away. great site for tips is the forums at Meguiars.com
I've read that a pink eraser will remove wax deposits from the trim.
 

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+1 for zaino. Get it on the trim and it barley shows, and wipes away easily.
I hated this on my other cars until i discovered zaino. Other waxes were horrible if you got them on the trim.
 

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J&D said:
I've read that a pink eraser will remove wax deposits from the trim.
I've read that peanut butter does to. But how the hell do you get the peanut butter out??? :happyhapp
 

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scramblr said:
I've read that peanut butter does to. But how the hell do you get the peanut butter out??? :happyhapp
Leave it outside, the squirels will take care of it.
 

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pcfrisch said:
Leave it outside, the squirels will take care of it.
Actually, we could leave it for Stoenr. Help him out with the munchies!!:smoke:
 

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<laughing as hes grabbing for a cookie>
 
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