In most cases, washing your car once a month is sufficient, though once every two weeks is recommended if it's subjected to harsh environmental conditions. But, we know there are those of you with a passion for auto detailing. You're out there every weekend, scrubbing, polishing and buffing until the gleam on your finish is visible from space. You've taken the car vacuum to your floorboards so many times, the carpeting stands up like the hair on one of those demented troll dolls. So, to make your job easier, we offer the following product recommendations.
First, the primary rule of auto maintenance: anything that comes into contact with your paint job should be soft. Scratches are the number one enemy of a car's finish because they collect dirt, dust and other loose particles, creating a surface akin to sandpaper when something rubs against them. Hear that sound? It's the sound of your resale value taking a dive … into an empty swimming pool.
Car wax is an essential item to protect your car from the elements, both from rain and shine and from bugs to bird droppings. Its main function is to preserve your paint, providing gloss and depth by helping the finish retain certain oils, reducing oxidation. In addition, it provides a barrier against other corrosive environmental factors like tree sap, acid rain and ultraviolet rays. For the smoothest application, you might consider an orbital buffer. One of the handiest auto detailing tools, it's the safest, easiest way to remove swirl marks, buff out fine scratches and apply a protective coating to your finish.
Car polish is another useful item that acts to restore gloss by removing contaminants and replacing valuable oils while smoothing the paint surface. Most polish is actually a mild abrasive and some even use a chemical reaction. So, use them in small amounts and polish carefully! And of course, remember to use non-abrasive polishing pads.
There are two types of wheels: painted and non-painted. While each requires a separate product for cleaning, both have one thing in common: brake dust. Brake dust is the grayish-black grime that coats the exterior of a wheel and makes them look dull and dirty. You can scrub all day with soap and water and never get them clean. But, with a wheel cleaner, the job is as simple as spraying it on and wiping it off. They're designed for both painted and non-painted wheels and most are formulated from biodegradable ingredients, making them environmentally safe.
Finally, if there's one name the OCD auto enthusiast should know, it's Simoniz. Since 1935, Simoniz has been providing streak and lint-free all-purpose microfiber towels, guaranteed safe for all paint surfaces and finishes.