Detailing is such a big word, but the objective is simple. How do maintain your car to its pristine conditions. Simply put, you want it to looks like exactly when it was bought. No doubt there will be battle scars along the way but believe it or not – those minor scars are not as obvious as your overall paint job glitter as most of the time, people will be looking from afar.


I’m gonna start with a simple but cost effective way to do it. You don’t need to spend big bucks if the method is correct. You may have hear about coating and so forth. And YES, they do work, to a certain extent. How to maintain it is similar – you need a correct method to prolong the coating likewise on what you did to your paint.



One of the major problem I can see generally, is that people tend to use only 1 cloth to wipe the whole car. Believe me, you don’t want to wipe your face with the toilet paper you use in the toilet and hence the same for your car. I saw my neighbours newly painted car turn old within 6 months, as his maid is doing the cleaning daily with 1 cloth technique.



What u need to start, simplest was of starting:



1. At least 3 cleaning mitts is required – why 3: 1 for the top half of the car, 1 for bottom half of the car and the last 1 for the wheels. You don’t have to spend big bucks, just get those off the shelf. The method is more important.



2. At least 2 microfiber towel for drying: 1 to dry the top portion of the car, another for the bottom half

3.  2 buckets (mid size) ones will do. If you have a long water pipe and can afford to use running water, you can even skip the bucket.


 4. Car shampoo – again, contrary to the believe you don’t need to spend big bucks. After using quite a few, I find that most are the same. The difference is only in dilution, strength, smoothness and probably environmental friendliness and also to your hands. You may want to experiment, the cheapest is the shower gel you use to bath – it is gentle to our skin also and quite cheap and smells good. However this will only apply if you maintained correctly from day 1 and a strong wash or claying once a while is unavoidable.


Ultimately if you have your own garage and water hose long enough to have it hosing water to your car – that will be an advantage as you can use it to wet your car as the first step to soften all the dirt.

 Two Bucket Method: 1. Like the name implies, you will need 2 buckets. Fill up the first bucket with the shampoo. You can follow the shampoo’s recommendation on the packing. Estimate the shampoo just enough to wash your car..2. Fill up the other bucket with just water. This bucket is utilise to clean your cleaning mitts..


3. First step is too soak all your mitts in the bucket of shampoo. This is too soften the cloth. Hard mitts may induce micro scratch that terms as swirls (the one that will be obvious especially at night).


 4. The overall goal of washing is simple. We try to clean while inducing the most minimal damage to the paint. The shampoo in this area is the medium to provide lubricant to minimize the scratch that will occur as well as surfactant to loosen up the dirt. So to clean, just bear in mind we would just like the cleaning mitt to glide on the surfaces, applying minimal force all the time to get the job done.



5. To start, clean off the top portion of the car first as this is probably the least dirt to start with. Use the first mitt. In between cleaning, make sure you clean your mitt in the water of the other bucket.


 6. Then use the 2nd cleaning mitt for the lower portion of the car. Reason to separate this is from the other cleaning mitt is due to the dirt level that is substantially higher than the top portion of the car, hence the higher risk to create the swirls.\


 7. The last mitt is reserve only for the wheels. This is probably the dirtiest area of the whole car. Once a while, you may require to buy some specialize wheel cleaner and tar remover to take care of this portion however most of the time a general wash will be sufficient. One of the cheapest and most effective tar remover you can get is the WD40, but do take note that you do not apply it on the plastic parts and after applying, you have to rinse it off before it dries off.


8. Then  comes the equally important step. Drying the car. Similar to during washing, i would separatethe towel for upper portion of the car and lower portion. Similarly, you will have risk of inducing swirls upon dirt retained during the cleaning process – hence the separation is vital to prevent minimal swirls created. Also proper drying ensures that you don’t induce watermarks on the paint, this can be particularly obvious for dark color cars roofs.



There you have it. If you follow this guideline, you could probably induced minimal damage and hence if you are not particularly picky – you might only see slight swirls during nighttime at petrol kiosks and would only need some minor polishing every 3-5 years once.




 Writer: behcw loves fast cars & music, photography, cycling and sports. An avid detailer due to the love of cars. Favorite past times are Japanese Anime and Kamen Riders – was and still the Old Boy that never grew up.





Follow kensomuse in Twitter @


Follow kensomuse in Facebook @

Previous post

kensomuse welcomes its Car Detailing columnist - behcw

Next post

The Volkswagen Polo Sport - Are you Polo enough?


Though working in a field completely unrelated to the automotive industry, kenso has always had an interest in dabbling into the automotive industry, particularly business related aspects such as sales, marketing, strategic planning, blah blah blah. You can probably find better sources of technical specifications elsewhere if you dig long enough in the internet as this blog talks about the real life ramifications of who, what, where, when and why of the automotive world and focuses on relevant information to potential buyers.

Do like the facebook page "" to receive updates on new articles or drop by every once in a while and share your rant here. You're always welcome


  1. pickup driver
    August 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    thx for sharing this useful tips..

    • August 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm — Reply

      You’re most welcome and also we are extremely grateful for Beh’s agreement to join us in sharing what we know.

  2. gp
    August 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm — Reply

    great inclusion to your blog…

    • August 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm — Reply

      Thank you. More detailing tips to come!

  3. Raymond
    December 6, 2012 at 2:15 am — Reply

    Thanks for the sharing.
    seriously this is very useful tips for newbie, i just realised how noob i’m in take care ride after i read this..

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *