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Vacuum before washing your car so you're not blowing dirt over
a freshly cleaned car, and you're not pulling the vacuum cord
through puddles and aren't vacuuming mud you've created.

Make sure you clean the engine before you wash the rest
of the car.

This will ensure that any dirt and grease that lands on your
car during engine compartment cleaning will be washed off during
the initial rinsing and car washing.

Spectators will want to have a look at the engine and undercarriage
of your car, so make sure you give them a thorough clean.

Cover your ignition wires so they don't get wet.
Warm up the engine.
Before cleaning, wet everything down, including fenders
adjacent to the compartment.

Don't get hood insulation wet if your car has one.

If your car doesn't have a hood insulation, degrease and wash underside
of hood last to keep the degreaser from dripping on you while you
are working under the hood.

Spray the engine compartment with Degreaser.
But be careful of the sensors and other electrical components.
Include the engine block, fire walls, fender wells, hood hinges
and latches.

Wait a few minutes for the degreaser to work.

While you are waiting, degrease the door hinges.
Simply, open the door, spray one hinge with degreaser and carefully
flush off with water.
Be careful not to get the interior of the car wet.
Repeat the procedure on each door.

Now back to the engine.
It should be ready to be flushed off with water by using a hose.
First start with the underside of the hood, then move on to the
block, the fire wall and fender wells.
Inspect area for any remaining grease.
Apply degreaser and flush again if needed.

Blow dry if you have an air compressor.
And last, spray compartment with a water based dressing.

Countless classic car owners open their hoods to show off their show
quality chrome, mirrors, and perfect sparkle, unaware that spectators
and judges alike are turned off by rusty manifolds.

Buy some manifold dressing to easily make an engine of difference.

Hood latches discolor and impair the appearance.
Spray clean, dry, and then apply your manifold dressing.

While you have the touch ups out, see how many other nuts, bolts,
and latches you can restore to a new look.

Next examine the fan blades for discoloration or spots missing paint.
Grab your paint pen and touch them up.
Or if you have time, spray paint the blades.
Don't forget to check out the radiator from the engine side.
Those pesky bugs sometimes heat pressure themselves, and you need to
squirt them heavily with your cleaner to gently remove them.

All the wire and hoses need to be cleaned, and a fresh "brand new"
look obtained.
The tire spray stuff (black magic) applied onto a rag, might remove
a lot of dullness is a hurry.

Whitewalls and wheels:

Wash your wheels first to prevent contamination from cleaners,
brake dust, and dirt from being spattered back onto the body
around the wheel opening areas as you rinse.

After washing your wheels / tires, then empty your water bucket.
The buildup of dirt on the wheels will collect grit that can
cause scratches if this water is used on the paintwork.

With your hose at a fairly high pressure, spray down the wheel
Often they have turned a bit gray from road wear and tear.

Flush wheels with water to remove loose dust.

Spray a wheel cleaner on the wheel.
(Don't spray on dry, hot wheels with product.)
Let stand according to the directions on the product.

Flush with lots of water.
Repeat if necessary.

Do not apply any foam tire cleaner, where you "Spray and walk away".
All you are doing is putting a shiny, temporary coating on dirt and

To help clean wheels, and especially lug nuts, use a soft-bristle
paint brush.
But put electrical tape on the metal of the brush to prevent scratching.

Spray Whitewall Cleaner on tires.
Brush with a Nylon or Brass Whitewall Brush.
Next, flush with water and flush out the fender well.
Move to next wheel, repeat the process if necessary.

 To protect wheels from over-spray when applying protectants to
the rubber,
make a "wheel mask" out of cardboard.
Cut a circle of corrugated cardboard to the diameter of your wheel
rim so
it fits snugly.
Cut two 5-inch clots about 1 - 1 1/2 in. apart in the center of the
to serve as a handle.
Cover the cardboard with duct tape to make it waterproof and durable.

After cleaning your tires, let them dry completely
before applying a dressing.

The rest of the car is next.

Hose off the entire car before you begin washing the exterior.

Spray down the car for about 2 minutes, take a short break and
spray your car with water again.
 This helps cool off warm metal and softens up and rinses away
any lose debris that could scratch the paint.

Don't wash your car in direct sunlight, especially on a hot day
and sunny day.
Hot metal will cause water droplets to dry much faster, which
can leave water spots on the paint.
Choose a cool and shady place. If this is not possible, try washing
in the early morning or late afternoon.

Always start washing and rinsing from the top down.

If you're using a car wash shampoo that contains natural oils, remember
to rinse frequently and well so those oils aren't allowed to dry on the
car causing hazing.

It's also a good idea for your final rinse to be done without the
use of a spray nozzle; let the rinse water flow freely and sheet off
the finish.

Wet down the entire car to avoid staining of painted surfaces.
Spray All Purpose Cleaner and scrub with Wheel brush and
Detail brush.
Rinse with plenty of water.
Again, wet down the entire painted surface.
Repeat process and rinse.
Some areas may need repeated cleaning.

Don't use too much car-wash concentrate in your bucket of water
or it will leave a filmy residue on the glass.

Clean the chrome:

Find a quality chrome polish and use it every time you wash
your car.

Before you attempt to remove any rust on the chrome, clean dirt
and debris from the metal using the car wash soap.
This helps you locate and access rusty areas more easily.

Use a chrome polish for removing rust, this will make removal quick
and easy.

Chrome will fail if not polished.
Even the oil from a fingerprint is enough to cause a blemish if
left long enough.

Apply a coat of polish or wax on the chrome to prevent rust from
forming in the future.


Always polish/wax your car in the shade.
Sunlight can make removing your polish/wax very difficult and can
even result in additional damage to your car's finish.

And high surface temperatures
will cause waxes to dry too fast
causing hazing and streaking.

Apply wax in as thin a coating as possible, and use a Microfiber
towel as a final wipe.

Wash your waxing pads and towels with a liquid fabric softener to
reduce the chance of scratching body panels during the next wax
or polish.

Hard water spots often can be removed with a soft terry-cloth towel
dampened with white vinegar.

When removing wax or polish, use a soft towel and shake it out frequently
to shed dried wax.
It is better to use more speed than pressure because excessive
pressure can cause abrasion and scratches in the paint.

 In drying your car, use a non-abrasive material such as a 100% cotton towel
or chamois.

It must be a real deluxe chamois, not the one from the dollar store that
feels like sandpaper.

Drying includes lifting the hood and deck lid, and opening the doors to
get the interior surfaces where water is trapped.
Then take your vehicle once around the block to air-dry.

After you car is cool and dry, look to for swirl marks, scratches and
any other imperfections.
For a dull and neglected finish, use a Clear-Coat Body Scrub.
Apply the body scrub at one section at a time.
After is has hazed over (about 5-8 minutes depending on humidity and
temperature ) wipe of in circular motions with a high quality 100%
cotton towels.

Remember to always be turning over the towel and using a clean side
at all times.
This is a good time to gently rub the finish with your hand to see
if it smooth as silk.
If you are not satisfied with the finish you can reapply the body scrub to
get the desired result.

If you have light swirl marks and light scratches, use a Professional
Swirl Remover.
Apply it in the same manner that you applied the Body Scrub.
Do one section at a time and completely remove all residues of the swirl
before continuing.

Next, apply the polish, this creates a deep gloss.
Use either a Show Car Glaze or a Deep Crystal Polish.
Apply the polish while working it into the finish.
The more you work polish into a
finish, the more of a shine you get.
Take your time, and work one section at a time.

Use a clean 100% Cotton Towel at all times so not to scratch the surface
you worked hard to achieve.
Apply 2-3 coats of polish to get the “show car” quality finish.

Wax is applied to the surface to protect your work.
The best way to apply wax is in thin coats.
Apply 2 or 3 coats and wiping off with a 100% Cotton Towel.

If you get wax around the car's name badge, lettering or in crevices your
soft towel won't reach, remove it with a soft bristle toothbrush or

If your car has a clear-coat finish, waxes and polished won't increase
color richness or depth because that top coat has no color.
But you can improve surface gloss by filling in the swirls and
hairline scratches with wax or polish.

 Don't use a professional-type electric buffer with two handles at
90-degree angles because they spin at 2600 rpm or more and can burn
through the paint.

Rub cream leather conditioner into the seats
with your hands, like a skin lotion, because cloth
soaks up the conditioner and wastes too much.


Paint oxidizes with time and will eventually dull and dissipate
all of which can be avoided with a little care.

All paints contain ‘oils’ that are necessary.
These oils are depleted by sunlight, oxygen, air borne pollutants and
incorrect care.

Wash your car on a regular basis with any commercial, liquid car
wash product.
Never use household detergents, as they will strip the necessary oils
from your paint.

Replenish your paint by using a quality polish and/or wax.
If selecting a product for a clear coated finish, it is essential that
the product be free of all abrasives which will quickly dull the
gloss effect of the clear topcoat.

Generally applying a good product to your car’s finish every 2 to 3
months is enough to keep it in excellent condition.

Find everything you missed:

Open up the gas bay door.
Clean it well, and throw the rag away.
Then, clean the license plate.

Third, check all emblem areas, and shoot some spray cleaner
on your paint brush (or q-tip) to touch up edges and crevices.

Fourth, Spiff up behind the mirrors, under the chrome bumpers,
around the window trim, inside the hood grooves,
and elsewhere as needed.

Now what about all the rusty and discolored bolts you may have
Too late now to remove and replace.
Pick up some "point saving" black and silver paint pens at the
hobby shop.
A couple dabs here and there will make nuts and bolts look like new.

Last step is back to the grill area. Sit down and stare at the radiator.
How did all those bugs get there?
Use cleaning spray, a small taped handle paint brush, and a couple
toothpicks to very carefully dislodge
all those nasty bugs.

Your car can still accumulate dust and dirt even at the show, so bring
a couple of soft cleaning cloths to wipe your car with in between visits.

Buff the surface every now and then to bring out that mirror-like shine
and impress onlookers and judges even more.

Remember upon arrival at the show, to brush off any pebbles that may
have accumulated on the bottom edge of the wheel wells.

Always Carry a Detail Spray to the car show so that you can
quickly and easily get your car looking fresh.