I love polishing and keeping my cars shining just as much as I love driving them. In fact, I like polishing so much that I’d voluntarily detail a friend’s car when I’m done with my own. You may not believe me but advising fellow car nuts on how to go about washing and polishing their cars can pan out to an in-depth conversation. Also, no overseas trip of mine is complete without visiting a car care product shop.
A shining car always stands out. That aside, for me, a well-detailed set of wheels is like being well groomed at an awards night dinner and is as important as personal hygiene.
You may wonder what products I use and brands I recommend, but honestly, most products from known manufacturers like Armor All, Turtle Wax, Formula 1 and the entire 3M range are all equally good. If you want to pamper your car and have deep pockets, try products from Autoglym, Griot’s Garage or other premium brands.
However, it’s not just great products that make your car look great but rather how thoroughly and methodically you do the cleaning and polishing work is what matters the most. At times, I use many household products on my cars like Mr Muscle kitchen cleaner to remove grime and tar from door trims and wheel rims, Silvo metal polish on chrome, or even Vaseline petroleum jelly to protect chrome in the monsoons.
Clothes-washing brushes are excellent to clean the tyres before polishing them and if your headlamps look a bit dull. And if you really can’t get your hands on a restoration kit, use toothpaste! As much as I love glossy paint, any car polish job would be incomplete without polished interiors. They look great, especially the veneer or faux wood in older cars when applied with furniture wood polish.
Of course, if you suffer from OCD like me, you wouldn’t want to make any compromises on your pride and joy and will use the very best products available for specific jobs. They undoubtedly make a difference over makeshift ones. I follow self-made rules, like allowing only a washer trained by me to wash my cars after a sort of induction period. Besides using only micro-fibre fabric, I like to have dedicated pieces of cloth to wash wheels, bodywork and glass.
I’ve always been tempted to buy a car wash system but never ended up buying one. Lately, I have been excited about waterless car wash technology. Not only does it save water, but also time. Best of all, it saves your car from the threat of rusting, especially older cars, as there is no risk of water being retained in cavities.
All this would mean nothing if you don’t maintain your car between polishes; it’s best to avoid parking under a tree or keeping your paint exposed to the sun. Or even further, protect your car from people wearing jeans standing against it – those buttons can scratch your paint. I’ve been doing this from the time I’ve attended college lectures!
Image credit: Clinton Pereira