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I've been a serious detailer for over 20 years. When I was in college I used to detail cars for cash.

Here are a few tips that I've found useful over the years:

Wash With Car Wash Solution - And Less is More
Don't use dish liquid; it strips wax and is harsh on your car's surface. Use a high quality car wash soap (preferably Zaino's) and use a very small amount. Your goal is not to make giant piles of suds, it's to put just enough soap in there to break the bond between the dirt and your car.

Keep it Wet
Do not allow the car to dry, ever. I am constantly wetting and re-rewetting the car until I am ready to dry it.

Dry With The Hose
Before you dry the car, remove your spray nozzle and run a stream of water from top to bottom using the end of the hose, no pressure. This allows the natural cohesive properties of water to pull the water off your car in "sheets." You'll be able to dry with a single towel!

Big Fluffy Towels
Buy very high quality plain white towels and never use them for anything but your car. When you wash them, don't use any dryer sheet or other kind of thing that adds gunk to the towels.

Use Zaino
Yes, Zaino is expensive. Yes, when you read the website it looks complicated. I resisted it for many years, using other wax/polish products. But I swear to you, nothing comes close to the surface of a Zaino'd car. Trust me, if you try it you will love it. Once I finally caved and tried it, I was stunned. It is easy to apply, easy to remove, and lasts for months (seriously.)

Anyone else have good detailing tips to share?
 

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One section at a time, use the two bucket method. If your just washing the car always finish up with a detail sprayer and a quality microfiber towel.
 

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2 bucket method:
- Lather wash mit in bucket with soap and scrub car
- rinse wash mit in 2nd bucket with water

... as to leave dirt and grime from getting into your soapy water. Should be done no less than 10 times Id think.
 
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