I have done a lot of playing around with different products over the past few years, and Iíll chuck in my 2 cents. Iíll break it down into the steps. I wonít mention any of the crap products I have tried, Iíll just name the ones I liked. I find it soothing washing my cars, itís one of the only times I get some peace.
Wash - I have tried the following. Make sure you get a grit guard and use the two bucket wash method.
1. Zaino Wash Ė Good but, but nothing special
2. Duragloss Wash Ė Seems to work really well and is great on the hands. My everyday wash
3. Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss Ė Some very powerful stuff, you can vary the concentration and it provides some pretty deep suds. Bought a 4 liter jug of this and use it when I need to do a deep clean.
Polish Ė I have tried stuff from Chemical Guys, Poor Boys, and Menzerna. In my opinion polishing should be left up to the proís unless your car has softer paint. Itís hard to get a decent polish if you have no experience with a random orbital or rotary polisher. Itís just too easy to stuff it up. Having said that I did a pretty decent job. I wouldnít say one particular polish was greater than the other.
Sealants / Wax
1. Zaino Z2 Pro gives more shimmer to the paint if itís a metallic. I was amazed at how much of a difference it made.
2. Z5 Pro on the paint gives a muich darker finish with not as much pop.
3. Duragloss 105, I use this on my cheaper cars, works just as well as protecting as the Zaino products but doesnít add much in terms of depth to the paint.
4. Duragloss Aquawax Ė Spray on wax I use a lot inbetween washes, this shit is great. Highly recommend you get some, when Iím lazy I just spray this on as I am drying the car, it protects like no other from bird droppings, and as I recently found spray paint, and some sickoís blood.
5. Zaino Z6 Ė similar to the Aquawax, but provides some nice pop inbetween washes, you spray it on as you are drying like the Aquawax.
6. Chemical Guys
7. Inbetween washes I always used either the Duragloss Aquawax to protect the paint and trim, you spray it on as you are drying the car. I think this stuff was the main thing that protected my car recently went it was vandalised with some paint. If you want to go a little more extravagant get the Zaino Z6 and use that inbetween sealants.
1. I use the Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss with a higher concentration and various brushes
2. I donít use tyre shines
1. Leather I use the Duragloss combo, which works well,
2. RM Williams leather conditioner, use a little bit of this on the steering wheels, it is one of the best in my opinion
3. Plastics I use the 303 Aerospace treatment, been using this for about 5 years and works well
For pads, you can get a pack of 10 foam applicator pads on ebay for about $2, I donít re-use them and if I drop them I throw them out. They work pretty well, but the denser round blocky ones are the better ones I find.
For a wash mitt, the meguires microfiber one is my go to one, although they are hard to find in Australia. They do work pretty well though. Again I donít wear the heck out of them, I typically replace them every 3 or 4 months depending on how many washes I do.