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Deets for deets

Deets for deets
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If you use your car a lot (and are often transporting food, kids, and pets) your car can get pretty dirty. If you like your vehicle nice and tidy you shouldn’t have to pay a lot of money for it. The only solution: DIY with these secrets from car detailers.

Rinse before washing

Rinse before washing
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If you hit your dry paint with soapy water, you’ll just grind the surface dust and road grit into your paint finish. Professional detailers always start with a clear water rinse to remove as much dust and dirt as possible.

On the other hand, here are 14 things you should never clean with water. 

Use the right soap

Use the right soap
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Dishwashing liquid is the go-to choice for most DIYers. But it shouldn’t be. Dishwashing detergent is simply too harsh. It sucks important oils out of your car’s finish and can actually shorten the life of your paint. Any industry car washer would tell you that! So make sure you’re using a cleaning product specifically made for cars.

Forget the sponge, use a microfibre mitt

Forget the sponge, use a microfibre mitt
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Sponges capture and hold dirt and grit in their large pores. You can wring it out, but the grit will stay put. Once grit is embedded, you may as well wash your car with sandpaper. Detailers use a microfibre car wash mitt because the grit falls out when you rinse.

Learn which 9 things you should never keep in your car’s glove box. 

Use two buckets

Use two buckets
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One for clean soapy water and one for rinse water. After each wipe, dunk your dirty wash mitt in the rinse water bucket and swirl it around to dislodge the dirt and grit. Then dunk it in the soapy water and pick up where you left off. Dump the dirty rinse water and refill with clean water before you move to the other side of the car. That’ll keep the soapy water clean.

Forget the chamois, dry with a microfibre towel

Forget the chamois, dry with a microfibre towel
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Chamois soak up water, but they don’t pick up any grit that’s left after rinsing. Instead, they just grind those particles into your paint. A microfibre towel, on the other hand, collects the particles. Rinse the towel in clean water to remove the grit. Then wring and keep drying. Microfibre cloths are not only an awesome cleaning product, but they’re also reusable (just don’t toss them in the dryer).

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Remove minor scratches before polishing

Remove minor scratches before polishing
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This step is what separates the DIYers from the professional detailers. Polishing increases the shine, but it doesn’t remove scratches. However, if you remove the scratches first with a scratch removal kit and then polish, you’ll get even more shine. At-home scratch repairs are one of the easiest ways to save cash on car care.

Discover 13 ways you’re shortening the life of your car. 

Buy a dual-action polisher

Buy a dual-action polisher
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Detailers wouldn’t be caught dead without a dual-action polisher. Don’t confuse this incredible tool with a high-speed buffer! Buffers run at much higher speeds and can burn the paint right off your car if you stay in one place too long or press too hard. Polishers are different. They run at lower speeds and oscillate as they rotate. Any DIYer can get the hang of polishing in just a few minutes. Polishing before waxing makes a huge difference, so your investment really pays off.

One more polishing tip from professional detailers – apply the polish to the machine’s pad. Then wipe the pad across your paint. That’ll prevent all the polish from flinging off the pad as soon as you hit the trigger.

Use synthetic wax

Use synthetic wax
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Old style paste waxes look great on antique cars. But they don’t produce the same “wet look” as modern synthetic wax, and they don’t last as long. When car dealers sell paint sealant, they’re really just applying a high-quality synthetic wax, which is something you can do yourself for a fraction of the price. Apply synthetic wax in small sections using a wax applicator sponge. This is much gentler than a car wash that may hurt your vehicle’s finish.

Here are 30 things you should be cleaning in the next 30 days. 

Remove wax haze with a microfibre towel

Remove wax haze with a microfibre towel
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You guessed it, microfibre towels are the heroes of car detailers everywhere. Wipe off the wax haze using circular motions. As the towel loads with wax, refold it to a cleaner section. Use a second towel when the first one is fully loaded. Cars are almost always dirtier than you think, and after this step, it shows.

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