Car Detailing Instructions:
You're not an idiot, you just want simple!

Trust me, I get it! You know your car needs some basic cosmetic cleaning and maintenance, but you don't want to make a career out of it.

You just want simple and straightforward. And likely, you don't want to spend an entire day researching and reading the endless opinions and reviews from all the so-called experts out in the world.

Car Detailing Made Simple

I know there are many car crazy enthusiasts who actually look forward to spending an entire day washing and detailing their car, but your not one of them.

"Darren, I can appreciate a clean car as much as the next guy, but I don't feel like sifting through the endless information trying to come up with a plan on my own. My head spins with anxiety every time I think about it. But I know I gotta do something to keep my car looking presentable."

car detailing instructions on polishing car

Never mind the fact that the industry would have you think you need an entire garage full of detailing products just to keep a single car washed, cleaned, and respectable looking.

Meguiar's Car Detailing kit

Meguiar's Complete Car Care Kit

  • From the trusted name of Meguiar's. (this kit would be from Meguiar's line of retail grade products)
  • Everything needed for the essential requirements of car washing and detailing
  • Complete; but not completely "complete".
  • This kit is unique in that it contains the Meguiar's plastic polish as well as scratch remover
  • You can spend an entire afternoon sourcing all the best of everything. Or you can accept that you need to just get started and add along the way.
  • Perfectly suited for the beginner to enthusiast

Adam's Car Detailing Kit

Adam's Pro Arsenal Builder 21 Piece Kit - Wash & Wax Mega Foam Soap, Detail Spray, VRT, Interior & Leather, Microfiber Towels, Tire Foam Block - Cleaning Supplies for Car, Boat, RV & Motorcycle

  • Very comprehensive kit for all your car washing and detailing needs
  • Adam's is more of what industry professionals would label as enthusiast grade products. (Adam's is considered enthusiast grade products versus retail grade products)
  • Excellent reviews from beginners to enthusiasts.
  • You can't go wrong with any of these kits; only you can decide at this point which kit looks like the better "win" for you.

Chemical Guy's Car Detailing Kit

Chemical Guys HOL148 16-Piece Arsenal Builder Wash Kit with TORQ Blaster Foam Gun, Bucket and (6) 16 oz Care Products (Gift for Car & Truck Lovers, Dads and DIYers)

  • Comprehensive kit for all your car washing and detailing needs
  • Another great kit for all your car washing and detailing needs
  • Not everything you will need for your car, but covers the basic essentials of cosmetic car care

Darren's Tips: If you take the time to look at all three kits I am recommending here, you will notice the differences in what they offer. It seems that no kit exists that contains everything possibly needed for your car. One kit may have something needed that the other kits don't include.

With that said, it is a hard decision in picking the perfect kit for you and your world. What I can say is this; pick a kit you think has the winning combination of products and at least it will get you started in the right direction.

Many people may think it better to source all the individual products separately. I have found this to get overwhelming for most people very quickly and it also adds additional expense to the equation. One of the reasons I love kits or bundles is the cost savings that you can achieve through buying one of these car care kits.

Car Detailing Instructions:

car detailing instructions

In the spirit of keeping this simple, let me bullet point the essentials of what you need to know first:

  • You have likely been sitting on the fence for awhile knowing you need to start taking better care of your car.
  • Just know that doing the same thing today that you did yesterday, will deliver the same results. Time to make a change!
  • Accept that this is simply a starting point. You will either realize that either kit is all you ever require moving forward, or you decide to test more and more products. But you have got to start somewhere!
  • Either kit will not only get you started, raise the health and beauty of your car, but give you a new found sense of accomplishment.

Now let me bullet point the specific requirements of your car to enhance and retain its beauty and value:

  • Dirt and sun are the worst enemies of your cars paint.
  • Dirt is the worst enemy of your cars interior. (and any UV rays that filter through the windows...window tinting anyone?)
  • Your car should be washed every week under ideal conditions. (I get it; most of us don't live under ideal conditions and this thing called life keeps getting in the way of good intentions)
  • Follow the labeling instructions on each item.
  • Wax should be applied every 3-6 months. (there is no hard line rule, as you will hear endless opinions on this one question alone. And each manufacturer will advise different rules)
  • Using the clay bar to decontaminate the paint will be required initially after washing, but prior to any polishing and/or waxing. it will need to be repeated only as often as your paint starts to feel gritty after you have washed it. (Every area is different and the air contains different pollutants. Your area may require you to remove these pollutants more often than if you lived some where else. You might be required to use the clay bar every few months, or as little as once a year)

Proper Steps of Cosmetic Car Care:

auto detailing instructions
  • Wash car as frequently as once a week.
  • Never, ever hose your car down and then allow it to drip-dry thinking that this is better than nothing. (hard water spots will result from doing this, and hard water spots are far worse than simply allowing your car to remain dirty)
  • Using the squeegee at the local gas station to wash your car does not count as a car wash. These are for the front windshield only. ( I know you know better)
  • Preferably wash your car in a shaded area. You can do it in direct sunlight, but don't allow water or products to dry. (this means you will have to hustle to manage the water and products)
  • Use the clay bar after washing your car. (you want the "superficial" dirt to be removed first)
  • After you have clayed your paint, then you can polish the paint if you are going to polish your car prior to waxing your car.
  • Use any supplied all-purpose cleaners to clean interior of your car after you have vacuumed up any loose dirt/debris first.

Car Detailing Instructions Summary:

automotive detailing instructions

Because I still have people ask; here are the exact sequence of steps:

  1. Wash car.
  2. Clay bar car. (decontamination process)
  3. Polish car (this renews/restores gloss and shine)
  4. Wax car. (this creates added depth and gloss, while adding protection)
  5. You may wash and wax your car only. Using the clay bar and polishing are optional. But if you decide to incorporate them into your detailing schedule, follow this exact sequence.

Like many areas of life, prevention is always better and easier than a cure. basic efforts of car care, done consistently will pay off greatly for you over the long term.

My goal has been to simply the basics and essentials of the cosmetic car care needs of your car with these car detailing instructions so you can not only preserve the beauty of your car, but help retain the resale value of your car.

I wish you much success!


Darren Priest

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