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How to clean, detail and wax your car's exterior

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Do a professional car detailing job at home
How to detail a car - Dirty car

A worst-case scenario: Loaded with dirt and a neglected finish

Photo © Aaron Gold

Regular washing is important, but to keep your car looking good, you should detail and wax it regularly. Even if you've neglected your car's finish, making it look almost-new isn't really all that difficult. The folks at Mothers showed me how to use their products to bring that new-car shine back to my filthy Mitsubishi with impressive results.

What you will need:

What you'll need depends on the condition of your car's finish. If your car has been regularly washed and waxed, you will probably only need a few detailing products:

1. Microfiber towels (the more, the merrier!)
2. Black-trim treatment
3. Spray-on detailer
4. One-step polish/wax
5. Wax applicators or orbital polisher

If your car hasn't been waxed recently or has a neglected finish, you might need to call in the heavy artillery:

5. Clay bar
6. Mild polish or pre-wax cleaner
7. Wax

NEXT: Wash and dry

See More About
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