June 17, 2023

Your car’s paint is as delicate as your skin. It needs to be taken care of if it is to last, and not only last but pop. In Auto care, there are five key procedures that are tried and tested and yield the best results. Just as in the beauty industry, a lady’s skin is her biggest concern so should your car’s paint be a priority to you.

The 5 steps to show your car’s paint comprise:

  1. Wash
  2. Clean/Prep
  3. Polish (Optional)
  4. Wax/Protect
  5. Maintain

Let’s take a deep dive into each of the above steps:


In auto care, washing and cleaning are not synonymous. They are as dissimilar as water and oil. Why? You may ask. Professionally, washing is defined as the process of removing loose contaminants from your finish like dust, road grime, and fresh bird droppings. Conversely, cleaning simply refers to surface preparation. More on that in the next step.

There is a huge temptation to wash your vehicle using dish-washer detergent due to its convenience, but the repercussions are far reaching. From High School Chemistry, detergents are meant to strip everything off a given surface to give a cleaning effect. In the case of a car this means your car’s paint remains without any protection. This is because with repeated use, dish washing detergents remove most of your paint finish including waxes, silicones, and polymers. Once this is done, they further remove the lifeline of your paint finish thus accelerating the oxidation process.

Start by washing your car with a high-quality car wash soap, such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax. Use a microfiber wash mitt to gently scrub the surface of the car, starting at the top and working your way down. Rinse the car thoroughly with a hose, making sure to remove all the soap suds.

All of Meguiar’s car wash products are pH balanced and specifically formulated to enhance the appearance and protection of automotive paint finishes.


Cleaning or Surface Preparation, removes stubborn, bonded above surface contaminants cum below-surface defects, like stains, blemishes, and oxidation.

After your car is washed, pass your fingertips over the surface. In the event it feels rough, then you can count on having above-surface, bonded contaminants being present. They usually exist on your vehicle’s horizontal surfaces. They appear as small, dark spots/specks on the rear and lower surface of your car, especially if it has a light color. These contaminants tend to dull your paint and consequently your paint will not shine.

After washing, it is important to clean and prepare the surface of the paint before applying any polishes or waxes. Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit and Ultimate Compound are designed to remove oxidation, stains, and swirl marks, and can be used on all types of automotive paint. Apply the cleaner to a foam or microfiber applicator pad and work it into the surface of the car using circular motions. Wipe away any residue with a clean microfiber towel.

Polish (Optional)

Polishing is an optional step and is different from waxing. The sole purpose of polishing is to create brilliant high gloss.

Meguiar's Ultimate Polish

For car show enthusiasts who need perfectly clear reflections, Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish is the perfect choice.


Once the paint has been polished, it is time to protect it with a layer of wax. But why wax? Waxing protects your paint finish from the elements by coating it with waxes, polymers, resins, and silicones. Additionally, it also “locks-in” the gloss to create brilliance, deepen/enrich dark colors and offer other benefits, such as water beading and light swirl removal depending on the formulation.

All our waxes are clear coat safe, with choices available in paste, liquid or spray depending on your needs and preferences. It is recommended that you wax your car 3-4 times per year, but it also cannot hurt to do it frequently.

Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax

Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax is a popular choice for its long-lasting protection and high-gloss shine. Apply the wax to a foam or microfiber applicator pad and work it into the surface of the car using circular motions. Let the wax dry to a haze, then buff it off with a clean microfiber towel.


To keep your car’s paint looking great, it is important to maintain it regularly. The more your car gets exposed to the elements, and the harsher the environment is where you live, the more attention your paint finish will require.

Meguiar's Ultimate Fast Finish

Meguiar’s Ultimate Fast Finish is a revolutionary aerosol formula that offers a glossy finish with a long-lasting synthetic polymer coating that’s extremely easy to use. Its advanced formula offers the ultimate in polymer slickness, and water beading paint protection. The no buff formula allows you to complete an entire vehicle in around 15 minutes, simply spray and wipe.

Want your car’s paint to pop?

Always remember to Wash, Clean/Prep, Polish, Wax/Protect and finally Maintain.