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How to Clean Your Own Car – Exterior

Many people regularly clean their cars, both inside and out. However, in the realm of car detailing and maintenance, there’s clean, and then there’s clean, and that’s where valeting comes into play.

Valeting surpasses the simple act of washing a car. It caters to enthusiasts who take pleasure in meticulously cleaning and detailing their vehicles, as well as those who aspire to restore their cars to a like-new condition. It goes beyond using a bucket and sponge for a basic shampoo and involves employing various products and tools to thoroughly clean and protect every aspect of the vehicle, inside and out.

Although car valeting may sound like a professional service, you can achieve the same results at home with the appropriate products. This guide will walk you through the process.

Exterior Car Valeting

If you’re eager to enhance the appearance of your car to its original splendour, these exterior valeting tips will help you clean, protect, and achieve a stunning shine in no time.

What You’ll Need to Valet the Outside of Your Car:


Tips for Valeting Your Car’s Exterior

Cleaning and Drying the Paintwork Like a Pro:

Start at the top and work your way down using a pressure washer to remove as much dirt and debris from the wheels as possible. To properly clean alloy wheels and remove stubborn brake dust, use a dedicated wheel cleaner like our Evolution Wheel Cleaner, which can also be used on the bodywork. After the pre-wash, thoroughly clean your car using the two-bucket wash method (one bucket for shampoo, another for the sponge). For cleaning alloy wheels, a microfiber wheel brush is ideal for reaching difficult areas and ensuring a thorough clean to prevent corrosion over time. Dry your car using soft microfiber towels followed by a chamois leather for a final touch.

Polishing, Waxing, and Detailing:

Once the paintwork is dry, it’s time for polishing. Car polish removes swirl marks and light scratches, giving the paint a uniform appearance. Apply polish on one panel at a time using a dry microfiber cloth, working in smooth circular motions. Allow the product to dry to a haze before buffing each panel for a high shine. After polishing, apply wax to restore the protective layer of the paintwork. Car wax seals and protects against dirt and deposits while providing a deep, showroom-like shine. Apply wax panel by panel, using a circular motion. Buff off the wax to achieve a high shine, preventing it from setting hard on the paintwork and leaving residue.

Complete the detailing process by addressing the following:

  • Trim: Restore the colour of faded plastic trim with Axis Tyre and Trim Dressing, specifically designed for rejuvenating plastic and rubber surfaces.
  • Tyres: Give your tyres an instant shine and long-lasting protection using the same product.
  • Glass: Clean the windows with a dedicated glass cleaner like Aurora to ensure maximum visibility, removing grease, grime, and streaks left behind after washing