Basic car care

Hi guys,

Like most, I came from the old school approach of washing with one bucket and a sponge and then polishing after.

I’ve done some research and now know how damaging this can be. I’m not going to get into the full detailing stuff, that’s a bit too much for me. I do want to look after my car, better than what I’d get taking it to the local car wash.

Here’s what I’m planning to do:

For the outside:

Washing the car regularly - I’ve bought some car shampoo, 2 buckets, a micro fibre sponge. Micro fibre cloths for drying.

Clay the car after washing, every 6 months

Apply a traditional car wax every 6 months, probably after I’ve clayed it. 

Polish with a non or very low abrasive polish when necessary, at the most once a year? should I only polish areas that need polishing or polish the whole car?

For the inside:

I don’t like the smell of all those cleaning and dash products. I don’t even like air freshener, I can’t understand why people use them.

I’ll probably vac the interior when needed.

Wipe down the plastics and seats with a soapy cloth. 

Use a window cleaner spray and micro fibre cloth to clean the windows on the inside.


What are your thoughts on the above? any key steps I’ve missed out?

Realistically, I’ll probably wash my cars every few  weeks in the warmer months, I’ll clay and wax at the beginning of spring and at the end of summer. During the colder months, I’ll take it to the local car wash once a month.


My answers in red. If you need more help, let me know

Have aread of these GUIDES… They are superb:


Sounds good to me but I would clay less and wax more. 6 monthly claying sounds like overkill to me. 3 monthly wax should reduce the need to clay as things don’t get stuck in as easily.

For the love of all that’s shiny don’t take it the local car wash. Better to not wash it all than subject it to the normal practices of most car washes


Edit: Ignore anything I say that contradicts someone who really knows what they are talking about!

Thanks Chris. Are you in Bingley? I’m in Leeds, I am looking for a place to take my cars every few months. PM me your business details and prices. If you do remote work that would be even better.

Can you recommend a non abrasive polish and a good wax?

What do people do when they take their car on road trips? Surely they must use a car wash. 


Rob’s advice sounds bang on, I was going to add the wheels!

Just to throw a spanner in the works and to partially answer your question about road trips and cleaning…

I personally use a quick detailer and a bunch of micro fibre between washes or at events. For example, planning a trip to Holland for Miatas at Sevenum in a couple of weeks. My boot will certainly consist of cleaning equipment, though I’m definitely no show and Shine exhibitor, I like it to look presentable with the staple tool being the quick detailer! 

I try anything on recommendation from a few select friends. At the moment, I’m using Power Max quick detailer and with no complaints. It even results in beading when wet after use. Heres a quick link to feed your curiosity

Power Maxed PMQD1000P1 Quick Detailer


And for what it’s worth, Super Resin Polish by Auto Glym is super easy to use, low abrasion and gives great results with low effort :slight_smile:


Hi Claire your inbox is full and you can’t get any messages

cheers Gordon

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It seems Which? has taken on the good advice seen here and let the rest of the UK know about it too. Which? members will have seen this link in their latest newsletter.

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