Exterior Car Detailing

Exterior Car Detailing: What You Need to Know to Give Your Car a New Glow

The recognisable smell, the shiny, eye-catching paintwork, and the spotless tyres are all reasons why we love new cars fresh off the showrooms. Once you pick your favourite and take it to the road day after day, it’s natural for all these amazing properties to start fading away. It’s also natural to wish to preserve them to get that showroom look all over again. But a simple wash-up just won’t do.

How Do I Take Care of the Outside of My Car?

Exterior Car Detailing

This is a question many of us have right after the purchase. While it’s recommended to get into the habit of regularly maintaining your precious vehicle with a nice sponge work, hose splash, or carwash refreshment, the secret to keeping it in top condition the same as the day you first got it is in the exterior detailing.

It’s one part of the general car detailing, the other being the interior one, which consists of cleaning and vacuuming the components (e.g., seats, steering wheel, dashboard, gear shift, air vents, storage compartment, floor mats, mirror, window glass), and removing odours. Now, focusing on the exterior part, in particular, it’s important to remember that you need a set of exterior car care products to be able to properly handle the task.

You’d come across a variety of products for this responsible task, from wash mitts and brushes to foam and wheel cleaners, cloths, and wax items. Getting a little confused with the whole process due to the extensive range of options is expected, but don’t think you should overcomplicate things to get the desired outcome. Simplify the maintenance and cleaning challenges ahead by dividing the products, as well as the steps, into three basic categories: cleaning, preparing, and protecting.


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This step is essential to give your vehicle a nice wash and get rid of fingerprints as well as stubborn dust, dirt, and debris that are prone to sticking to the surface if you go off-road or leave the car parked outside. Not only this, – it helps let you identify areas where there might be some scratches, more serious issues like rust, or even imperfections or damage to the paint that need attention.

For this step, you’re going to need exterior car care essentials like an adequate and gentle pre-wash, a pH-neutral shampoo specialised for car wash, and contamination removers in the likes of bug cleaners that can come in handy with removing those unsightly bird droppings too. Start with a nice rinse to prepare the surface and loosen the dust, dirt, and debris a bit, then prepare to wash up with the specialised pre-wash and shampoo that can clean the surface gently without damaging the wax, sealant, or paint.

To do so, consider also acquiring a specialised soft microfibre mitt and drying towel, or if you feel like investing a bit more, and preventing further scratching of the paint from dust or dirt trapped in the towel fibres, you can opt for a car blower dryer. At this stage, it’s also important not to forget to tend to the wheels and tyres which can get dirty and stained on their own.

Brake dust and grime are issues you could focus on, and make sure you do so with the proper wheel and tyre car exterior detailing cleaner formula, like the one that can also help you tackle metallic particles from brake pads; when aerosolised, they can attach to the wheels and bodywork, leading to bonding with the paint and even resulting in rust.

Remember to follow the products’ instructions to get the desired result and avoid any damage. Last but not least, check the rest of the details, like the door handles, glass, and trim detailing since they need some TLC too. Moreover, fail to clean them, and you won’t get that lovely fresh look you aim for. Although not all too necessary, getting a separate cleaner and cloth for the glass can be of help with making it spotless with a lot less effort.


Sometimes, there are such difficult stains to remove that the first step isn’t enough to get a spotless outcome. This is where the prep work with clay bars, polishing, and one of the best car cleaner exterior residue products can come in handy. These are essential to get that showroom smoothness and finish you’re after, as they can work on those especially embedded contaminants that the cleaning step can’t handle.

First, remember to use the clay bar, and pair it with a detailer spray to get that dream finish. This is crucial for removing harmful contaminations, as well as to preserve the paint, and prep it for the waxing, making the gloss last longer. Next up, you have the polishing. Don’t think you can avoid this step because it’s necessary to eliminate those minor imperfections, as well as bring back that showroom gloss you fell for in the first place.


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There’s no point in doing all the hard work, spending all the physical effort, only to have it ruined again by contaminants and weather elements. To make sure you finish off the step properly, consider boosting your car cleaning kit for exterior detailing with a wax or sealant.

Nowadays there are advanced products that are easy to use, like the spray-based options, and in addition to this they’re also great for adding a layer of protection for your hard work, as well as a nice deep shine. Don’t forget the tyres could do with some sealing and gloss too, so look into getting tyre dressing also. Lastly, inspect the result to ensure there’s no residue or a spot you forgot to cover.

What Are the Benefits of Car Detailing?

To a beginner, it may seem like a great deal of work and a lot of investment in exterior car care essentials, but it’s all worth it. The various benefits that this chore provides are proof the effort pays off. Maintaining your vehicle in pristine condition isn’t just beneficial in terms of aesthetics, and keeping it looking its best same as when you took it out of the showroom.

It’s a way to preserve its value as tending to the exterior as much as the interior surfaces and the paintwork are steps towards ensuring the overall condition is optimal. Regularly doing car detailing (how regular that would be for you depends on where you park, and where you drive) is a solution to consider if you care about retaining the car’s resale value.

It’s just as significant for improving the driving experience, making for safe and comfortable rides by keeping everything spotless. On the plus side, it’s a strategy that lets you protect the vehicle from the elements. Exposure to weather and temperature changes, UV rays, winds, and rain all take their toll on your car, leading to environmental damage. In the worst case, it can even lead to serious issues with rust that can affect your MOT test outcome.

Don’t leave things to chance – take care of your automobile by not skipping car detailing, and you’ll see how worthy of an investment it turns out to be!