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Best Products for Keeping New Car Looking New

I have a white vehicle which I use as a daily driver. I’m looking for the best products for paint protection and shine. Specifically, I need recommendations for a car wash solution, a recommendation for wax (specifically one that will help protect paint from bug build up, as I commute with highway driving), bug remover, quick detailer spray, and interior cleaner/detailer. Thanks for your recommendations and advice!

Water (lots), a sponge, a car wash, elbow grease, and any brand name car wax. I like Maguire’s with carnauba wax, but in truth any brand name wax will work wonders IF it’s used occasionally. Three times a year is sufficient. I also use Maguire’s Gold to wash it with. I use bucket, the Gold, and a soft car wash brush on a long handle that I clean thoroughly after every use.

One of the keys is keeping the car washed and clean, as well as your driving environment will allow. The key to a good wash is lots and lots of water. Car wash products are only surfactants, it’s the water that gets the dirt off, and the water that lets it slide off without creating microscratches. This has worked beautifully for me for many decades.

Unfortunately for my son, water use where he lives is extremely restricted. I know of no way around that problem.

This is almost to simple of a question. The silly internet will have all kinds of videos showing how to take care of your vehicle.
The auto section of Wally World (WalMart) will have as good of selection of products any retail place will have.
The autogeek web site has articles on waterless cleaning products.

Just go to as @VOLVO V70 suggests. The whole site is dedicated to stuff to clean, polish and protect plus vids to teach you how to do everything. Yeah the site sells stuff but there is lots of good info to help you.

I’ve commuted with white and black cars, They get bug hits and rock chips. Clean the bugs off often so they won’t eat thru the paint and touch up any rock chips as often as you clean for bugs. Its the best you can do this side of spraying the peel-off clear bra that 3M sells.

I pretty much use Meguires products, including the car wash, wax, glaze, and polish (twice a year). I do use Turtle Wax bug and tar remover because it doesn’t take the wax off like the more effective NAPA stuff. Although I was reading at the barber shop today that wet dryer sheets are supposed to work good for bugs. Haven’t tried it yet.

Clean, waxed, and you can protect the nose of the car from rock and bug chips with the application of some Scotch protection film on the nose. The film will leave a little line where it stops but it’s better than the alternative and is removeable.

Keeping the car out of the sun as much as possible also helps. I do not know where you live but here in OK the sun can do a number on paint, interior, and tires.

I like the Meguires Ultimate Wax, but you have to use the Ultimate polish first. The wax is easy to use but the polish is a bit of work. Great shine and it lasted a full year. Getting ready to use it again.

Oh yeah and don’t forget to use the clay treatment before waxing. It makes a world of difference in the smoothness of the paint. I use Mothers Clay kit.

Use a leaf blower to dry the car after the final rinse.

I really like the leather chamois for drying off the car after a wash to prevent water spots.

Another Meguires fan here. You can’t go wrong with their products.

There is less chance of scratching the paint if the blower is used.

I have an electric blower but have not been able to use it successfully to dry the car. It is hot around here and we have hard water and by the time I am done with the hood, I have water spots on the doors. My best bet is to dry with one of the waffle weave drying clothes and then wax. Yes, as cheap as I am, I have to pay for special drying cloth.

Everyone has their favorite products and techniques. Frankly, with modern automotive finishes, unless you do something to damage the finish, pretty much any of these will work. My own technique: the truck gets “washed” when it rains, and I wash off salt from the undercarriage during the winter. If it gets particularly grungy, I go to a self-serve car wash. I haven’t used wax or polish in many years.

I don’t use a blower but I do have one of those squeegees from Walmart for under $10. I just keep the car wet as I scrub it using a pail with car wash. Then rinse it all off and use the squeegee a section at a time to get most of the water off, then finish with the chamois. Saves a lot of time and if you do it section by section, you won’t have water spots.

Almost inspired to wash my car this year, maybe next weekend.

“Almost inspired to wash my car this year, maybe next weekend.”

@ Barkydog
I enjoy your reasoning…
Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Tomorrow?
Free Beer Tomorrow! :wink:

I just haven’t opened the driveway car wash yet this year due to lack of energy. I did have two car washes left on my card though so drove one through the automatic. I cringe doing that though.


Where in the US do you live . . . ?!

Your approach would not work very well in the long run, if you live in the Southwest

The sun would DESTROY the paint over the years, unless you regularly washed and waxed

I regularly see cars far less than 10 years old with the clear coat obviously coming off

Since you mentioned road salt, I’m guessing you don’t live in a hot, sunny and dry climate

Don’t put of till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it enough today you can always do it again tomorrow!

Worked this am, picked up our stuff from buds garage sale that was left over, got to go back in the am and get more stuff, nice shelves and stuff we bought, bud is moving so got 6 milk crates of grolsch bottles for home brew, probably going tomorrow to pick old pavers from a sewer repair that got dug up and saved for me, got the tomatoes and basil planted today, thinking about peppers, will probably buy and plant tomorrow, got 4 basil and 6 tomatoes at walgreens fpr $13, and they were indoors and I am not sure they are even getting watered, just came in yesterday, but some peppers and squash plants could be worth a shot. so probably will not get to the wash the car, but dang too much stuff going on to play golf.