This article is made for those with a good understanding or background in automotive detailing and car care. If you already have your two-bucket wash method down pat, take great care of your precious microfiber towels, and likely have a wife, girlfriend, or significant other that isn’t sure if your obsession with your car is healthy (but I bet they enjoy riding around in your clean better-than-new car!), then you will likely benefit the most from this article.
1. Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner: 5L / P21S Wheel Cleaner Gel: 5L. By now, you likely have discovered one of these if not both of them, and likely favor one or the other. The important thing isn’t which one you prefer, but in purchasing a larger quantity in order to save money in the long run. Half liter bottles are fine for trying things out or for those new to detailing, but once you find a product you like that is effective, it’s time to make a larger investment so that you can save money over time. Purchasing a five liter jug will allow you to save between $20-50 (20-50%!) over the course of the next year while making sure you’re never in a situation in which you have the perfect opportunity to clean your wheels, but have run out of your product of choice. In addition, the wheel cleaner WILL get used; you will clean your wheels numerous times over the next year and a half. Buying a year’s supply of 2% milk upfront isn’t such a good idea, buying a year’s supply of wheel cleaner makes sense and is more financially responsible in the long run.
2. Dodo Juice Supernatural Shampoo. Newbies or those without much experience with car soap won’t see much of a difference in the various brands / choices on the market. For those with plenty of experience looking for the best stuff to use, I offer my suggestion of Dodo Juice Supernatural Shampoo. While the majority of car soaps dilute 128:1 (one ounce of shampoo per gallon of water), Supernatural Shampoo dilutes 1500:1 and works better. Simply use one pump per gallon of water, and you still get a lot of suds, cleaning power, and lubricity, but you use a small fraction of the volume. As with all products in the Dodo Juice “Supernatural” line-up, this shampoo contains no added colors or fragrance as it is meant to be as pure as possible; nothing is added that doesn’t actually help it do it’s job better. While this means that this shampoo won’t be the best smelling on the market, I have personally found that my wash mitt seems to wash off cleaner and much easier in my rinse bucket while I’m doing a maintenance wash. Add in the anti-static properties and limescale inhibitors in the Supernatural Shampoo, and you have what I believe is truly the best maintenance shampoo on the market today.
3.1 Sealant Sultans. Chemical Guy’s EZ Creme Glaze. By now you’ve likely found and love your slick and highly durable sealant of choice already, and you’re already wondering if your finish could potentially get any more slick or glossy. Allow me to introduce you to the world of EZ Creme Glaze, a favorite of many detailers across the nation for being able to heighten the already outstanding properties of many of the sealants on the market today. One of the most popular and nationally recognized detailers that has made EZ Creme Glaze well known is DJ Mayo of northern Virginia who had this to say of the product:
It takes the paint to the next level. It preps the paint for sealant better than IPA or other prep-products. If a product is already slick, EZ Creme Glaze will provide a better look and additional slickness, while helping to extend durability.
So if you’re a Sealant Sultan looking to increase the affect of your favorite sealant, you may want to look into Chemical Guy’s EZ Creme Glaze.
3.2 Carnuaba Heads. Dodo Juice Lime Prime Lite. If you’re a ‘Nuba Head that enjoys the sensual experience of applying a layer of your favorite wax onto your baby’s beautiful paintwork for a deep wet look, I’d recommend grabbing a bottle of Lime Prime Lite pre-wax cleanser. Adding additional gloss and slickness to the paint prior to your application of wax means the wax goes on even easier in a thinner layer which equates to better results. For those that haven’t gotten around to making sure their paint is fully polished out for maximum gloss, use Dodo Juice Lime Prime instead, which has micro-abrasives to help even out your finish and minimalize swirls. For a more in-depth article on Lime Prime Lite, check out my full article and review on this product here.
4. Boar’s Hair Detailing Brush. Great things come in small packages, and the Detail Image Boar’s Hair Detailing Brush is proof. Longer bristles mean a softer feel at the tip while being able to agitate hard to reach areas. Your wheel faces, engine bay, interior air vents, water channels surrounding the trunk, lug nut housings, and calipers can all benefit from having this tool in your line-up. When your car is looking great, it’s the small things that’ll set it over the top. Just make sure to thoroughly clean and rinse the brush after each and every use.
5. Meguiar’s DA Professional Backing Plate. On the market from the release of the Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Correction System, this backing plate is a must for anyone that uses a PC7424XP or equivalent dual-action polisher for a lot of polishing. The backing plate is flexible enough to help apply force at the needed angle of attack, but the biggest importance is it’s ability to keep your polishing pads cooler, longer. This helps to preserve your expensive foam pads for a longer period of time, which ends up paying for itself the longer you use it. Whether you’re using the Meguiar’s microfiber system, Surbuf pads, or just applying a thin layer of your favorite sealant (or EZ Creme Perhaps?), this is the best backing plate on the market for your dual action polisher.
With your advanced knowledge of car care combined with better products and techniques, you’ll be on your way to transforming your vehicle to truly better-than-new condition that turns heads everywhere it goes. The Mustang “Terminator” Cobra above has been professionally prepped by yours truly, but if you follow the Ask-A-Pro advice, you’ll notice your results will start to mimic the pro’s!