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      11-03-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
SF Space Grey
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Drives: 2009 335i sedan
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA

Posts: 64
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Advise a newbie on basic detailing regimen!

Hey guys,

Looking for some basic advice from the experts. I've always enjoyed washing my cars and generally know what I'm doing, but I have a new one now, so I'm revamping my methods to make sure I'm taking care of it as well as possible.

Just bought my car CPO from a local dealership. I have no idea what the previous owner did to maintain the paint and interior, so I found a good local guy to do a basic exterior detail for $300 or so. He'll hand wash, clay, polish, and apply a sealant that will give me 6 months to a year of protection. I'm just trying to work out a good maintenance routine that I can do a couple times a month as needed. The big limitation is that I live in an apartment, where storage space is limited (so I need to minimize my total amount of supplies), and with no good place to wash a car (no access to a hose or outlet).

What do you think of the following process? Let me know if I should use different products or methods:

EXTERIOR
* coin-op spray wash first if very dirty (no brushing or sponging here)
* pre-soak with Optimum Instant Detailer (right product to use?)
* wash panel by panel with ONR, using two bucket method
* blot dry panel by panel with waffle weave microfiber towel
* apply Dodo Juice Red Mist Tropical (should this be applied during the drying step to assist drying, or just come after the car is totally dry? should i treat glass and headlights too?)
* clean wheels with ONR and separate sponge / soft brush (I think I need to do this last so I don't have to change out my wash and rinse buckets half way through the whole process... I guess I'll just be careful not to splash dirty water on the paint?)

INTERIOR
* dust with damp cloth / spray compressed air where needed
* go over plastic, wood trim, and screens with Meg's Quik Interior Detailer
* use Meg's Rich Leather spray on seats (or is Leatherique Pristine Clean better?)
* clean glass with Stoner's Invisible Glass
* vacuum floor mats (is there something in between vacuuming and a full wet clean?)

I'd really appreciate any thoughts you might have.

Thanks!
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