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Cleaning The Car


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A few people have asked me to write this up properly so here goes:


1* Meguiar's 1908ml NXT car wash

1* Meguiar's 532 ml NXT Tech Wax

1* Meguiar's ultra plush Gold Wash mitt

1* Meguiar's 710 ml NXT Glass cleaner

1* Meguiar's 710ml NXT Speed Detailer

2* Meguiar's Gold applicator pads

1* Meguiar's purple/green applicator pad

1* Meguiar's 207ml Scratch X

1* Meguiar's 800grams of polishing cloth

3* Meguiar's terry cloths

2* Meguiar's microfibre cloths

1* Meguiar's Clay detailing system

1* Meguiar's Deep Crystal 1 Paint Cleaner

1* Step 2 Polish care


OR the equivilant of the poorboys range, you can replace the shampoo with the Sonax yellow if you wish but I find it not as foamy


Firstly, get 2 buckets.

Fill one with cold water and wet the car (repeat as required) this will always be your clean bucket which you will then fill will your shampoo solution. Once the car is wet enough, continue.


Add your shampoo to one bucket and then fill them both with warm (not hot) water. We'll call one the shampoo bucket and one the dirty bucket...

While your shampoo bucket is filling up, use your hand to create as much foam as possible. Ideally you would use a foamer on your jetwash or hose (for those not in a hosepipe ban area).


Use the mitt to wash your car, the mitt should be placed into the shampoo bucket, the surface of the car cleaned and then placed in the dirty bucket to rinse off any dirt particles before being placed back into the shampoo bucket. Repeat this on each panel until clean.


While cleaning the car, use straight line hand motions. For the roof, bonnet and flat tailgate area use horizontal motions, for the panels, doors and bumpers use a vertical (up and down) motion. Start at the top of the vehicle and work your way down.

The reason for this is that you can never prevent adding tiny scratches and blemishes to pain while you wash. Washing can be abrasive and we don't want to make the car look bad. Scratches and swirl marks are visible more when circular because instead of the light having to hit it at a cetain angle to be visible, being a circle, the light source can be anywhere for it to be visible. This should not be required when it comes to waxing unless you were lazy with the shampooing.


Dealing with paint defects:

To start to deal with scratches and also to remove any paint contaminants apply a blob of the Deep Crystal 1 paint cleaner to an applicator pad and firmly work it into your paint where damage has occured. Deep Crystal 1 is a chemical paint cleaner, and the chemicals in it will gently and safely remove any further contaminant. I will also lessen the extent of any scratches. After two or three applications of the Deep Crystal 1 to the damage, remove any excess while it is still wet.

(Also see the claying section)


Scratch Removal

To remove the etching and scratches, apply a blob of ScratchX onto a clean applicator. You want to work in small circles over the area of the damage, using a firm amount of pressure. The abrasives in ScratchX break down to a fine powder very quickly, so you will have to repeat the ScratchX stage 4 or 5 times if not more. This product promises NEVER to add more scratches when it removes and in my experience that is correct so get your elbow going and really give it some hassle.



Paint attracts pollution, tree sap and other contaminants which can adhere to the paint work and 'soak'. Clay coupled with a lubricant (speed detail spray) removes these imperfections and smooths your paint for a mirror finish and that wet look you see in shows.

Mold the clay to form a flat surface, using detail spray to lubricate, wipe the clay over the panel, you should feel the diffeerence using the back of your hand. If it still feels uneven then keep going. Make sure you keep the clay lubricated. Wipe dry with a terry/microfibre cloth. Do not allow the clay or solution to dry naturally on the car.



Wax the car using an applicator pad to apply and a terry cloth to remove (no need for microfibre yet).

Before removing the wax though read the next bit:



Apply your trim detailing products while wax is still on the panel surrounded by the trim. The reason for this is that you have just washed, cleaned and now waxed the car, do you want overspray, drips etc on your paint? No, so do it now and that way, if you do overrun then it comes off with the wax.


End Wax:

Now remove the wax using a terry cloth.


2-3 coats of wax is a good base, if you have never waxed your car then you should add a layer of wax every 12-24 hours to form a good base. This will also help to smooth any imperfections and make waxing a 30min job instead of a 3 hour job.


Wheels and tyres:

As you would any other wheel cleaner, spray on the hot rims product (safe for chrome and polished rims), work it in (I use a sponge and not my mitt) and then hose off. If you are in the hosepipe ban areas then use your dirty bucket but rinse it first or use a third bucket if you have one. DO NOT contaminate your clean/shampoo bucket. You should not use the shampoo bucket for any othe purpose.


Using the meguiars tyre spray, simply spray it on and leave it. Job Done.

It lasts for weeks as well, not days.




Now, I am sure I have missed half of what I do when I do my car as it has just become second nature. I will update this and tidy it up, I just wanted to get it written down for people.


Feel free to ask questions.



NB: these instructions are based on the meguiars range. I have found it to be the best and longest-lasting. By all means use other products if you think they suit you more. I have about 3-4 ranges which I have used to find the right one. The only thing I would STRESS is to avoid mixing manufacturers. It may seem silly but there are all sorts of chemicals in some car care products. When mixed, they could give of unpleasant fumes or skin irritants.




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great write up :)


I do most of those stages but rarely on the whole care at once at it just takes me too long and I never get that much spare time in a go.


One thing. I use gold class wax, also I have gold class polish. I don't seem to get on with the polish at all (leaves a streaky finish) - have you used it at all - I notice it is not in your list (nor are any regular 'polishes'), do you find it is not required?


Oh: any you are not supposed to clay too often as it is abrasive - every 6 months to a year? same with any compounds like scratch-x etc?


any I can really recommend the gold class car shampoo a lot, works really well but I've not tried NXT stuff to compare with...

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I do most of those stages but rarely on the whole care at once at it just takes me too long and I never get that much spare time in a go.

Makes my fingers ache.


Don't sell MerTOC - you're looking after him so well!

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Thanks Lewis, great write up right there. I have been clay-curious for a while now, and that pretty much answers every question I had to hold me back.


Now if only there weren't 134,220 white paint roller speckles all over it :angry:


:lol: Mine's covered in stone chips :D

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wow, loads of questions etc:


"No probs" to everyone who said thanks


Jason M : If you pay me :)


Chilli: I didn't have time to do the polish part, the biggest mistake here is that people do it before wax, do it AFTER. I'll add a polishing section to it later. I'll add frequecy for each item too.


Daman: Yes, totally safe, as always - check the instructions first.


Andrew7: No I havent (to both questions lol) will try to look at the website tomorrow for you, no time today. Thanks


Ben-San: I can talk you through removal of the paint if you get stuck


Kopite: same with your chips (sore finger?)



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Thanks Lewis.


It's been a slow process so far. I'm shifting them one-by-one and it's driving me nuts. The only consolation is that the car was polished and became dirty before that happened, so 95% of the droplets have not keyed into the surface. A fingernail and a lot of patience seems to do the trick. Once that's done I can go through the entire process as outlined by you.:thumbs:

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nice find, quite an art to it isn't there. Find on a black car more than ever swirls and marks show and drive me mad, could lead to OCD lol


PS: the other day I used some bodyshop quality ultrafine polishing compound (autoglym product) to take out a bunch of scratches and swirls on a panel and was really pleased with the results (waxed it straight after of course). Did this by hand (safer that way anyway) and it's amazing what a difference it makes. Would say that any abrasive stuff like this should be used as infrequently as you can, since you are removing a layer of paint (top coat)...

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