How to Get a Showroom Shine - The Best Way to Wash Your Car
With summertime around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get your car in top shape and looking great for cruisin’ around and of course for car shows. If you’re a Car Guy you probably already know what to do to get the showroom shine for your car. But if you’re new to it or just want some quick links to get the stuff you need, read on. Of course, Car Guys already know the best stuff for your car is Meguiar’s because their passion for cars has shaped every product they make and Barry Meguiar is the epitome of that passion for cars.
While everyone may have their own methods for giving their cars a showroom shine, Meguiar’s has their own recommendations as to how to get the best results from their car care products. They have a 5-step method that is pretty much guaranteed to bring out the best in your car. Their UK office has a few different recommendations in terms of other products to use and their video is tailored to black cars specifically so both videos will help provide great tips. It’s also important to make sure you’re using the correct product for the finish of your car, so make sure to watch the linked videos as Meguiar’s puts some helpful hints in there and it’s important to read and understand the directions on the product for best results.
The first step to cleaning up your car is of course to wash it. As surprising as that might be to some, this first step gets rid of the majority of contaminants. Meguiar’s also stresses that it’s important to use a properly formulated car wash and not dish soap, chiefly because dish soap will actually strip your wax finish. Instead of dish soap, Meguiar’s recommends using the Gold Class car wash, although in the UK video they start out with Meguiar’s Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner, wash that off after 2-4 minutes and then apply Ultimate Snow Foam. Once the Snow Foam has been applied, they let it marinate for a few minutes then power wash that off. While both detergents are effective, the Snow Foam probably is a little more fulfilling to use and wash off. If you want your car to look nice, it’s recommended that you wash your car once a week when possible.
After the wash, it’s time for the cleaning and prepping step. Most people don’t do this after a car wash, but then again, Car Guys are not most people. There are quite a few things that can and should be done at this stage. Meguiar’s recommends using the Smooth Surface Clay Kit which comes with a bottle of Quik Detailer and several bars of detailing clay. If appropriate for your car, you might also try the Hybrid Ceramic Quik Clay Kit. You can also buy the detailing clay separately and it comes in one of several varieties from mild to aggressive. Detailing clay isn’t actually clay, but rather clay-like resin which pulls dust and other stuff out of the pores in your car’s paint job which of course prolongs the life of your car’s paint. The Meguiar’s UK video gives a great demonstration of how to use this, basically get a good amount of Quik Detailer on the surface, then apply the clay and move it with lite, “fingertip pressure.” Once you’re done, you’ll likely see a lot of gross stuff.
The cleaning and prepping stage can also include some attention to removing swirls and scratches. This can be done with either Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound or Meguiar’s Swirl Remover. The Ultimate Compound can be applied by hand with polishing pads or the pads can be used with a polisher like this one and then wiped away with a Supreme Shine Microfiber towel. The results at this stage are rather incredible.
After cleaning the car of any defects, or if it didn’t have any to start with (because you obviously care for your car meticulously) you can move on to the polishing step. The originally linked video recommends the Deepcrystal Polish, however that is an old video, so you can instead use Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish. The polish stage helps remove a lot of subtle imperfections and really helps get you to a point where, once you apply wax, your car will look amazing. Our friends in the UK come through again with a great demonstration of how to use this as well as the helpful hint that you need to wax your car after polishing to add a layer of protection because polishing involves abrasives that strip out the surface coat and it needs to be rebuilt with wax.
When you’re ready to wax your car you have a lot of options. Meguiar’s initial video recommends Gold Carnauba Wax or the NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0, but you can make it even easier by using Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax. For maximum protection, it’s recommended to wax your car three to four times per year. The wax stage really helps add that shine back to your paint job, but most importantly helps protect your car’s paint from the elements and environmental contaminants.
Once your car is washed, cleaned and protected and you want to keep your car looking nice throughout the year you should use some Ultimate Quik Detailer to do some spot cleaning on dust, fingerprints, bird poop and other light imperfections. You can get one of the two versions. This step should be done periodically, maybe between washes and should only take a few minutes.
After all of that work, and once you’ve cleaned your wheels in Step 1, you don’t want your tires to feel left out. Once they’re clean and dried, it’s time spruce up your tires with Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel. It’s pretty simple to use, small amounts on the applicator can do a lot of work. Apply it to the tire, wipe off any excess and allow it to dry for about a half an hour before driving and your tires will be as shiny as the rest of your car.
By following these general guidelines you can give your car the car show treatment and have it looking like a million bucks at an incredibly low price with Meguiar’s car care products. Whether you have a normal car that you just want to look nice or you’re a dedicated Car Guy bringing your hot rod to shows, you’ll get great results with Meguiar’s!