Meguiers and a soft wash mit. A soft shammy is used to dry the car. I then go over it with a several soft cloths to pick up any drips and drops.
I also had my car Perma Plated (Paint Guard) and in their paint protection kit was some soap that I also use.
The most important component is the water I get from my home soft water system that cuts down on water spots by 99.99% and makes drying the body and especially the windows quick and easy. Other people have posted some very good reviews and info about soft water kits that are specifically made for washing cars.
good weather: wet car from hose -- only use hose, no head or adapters. use dish washer soap and a terry cloth with water to wash the exterior. rinse off soap -- from top to bottom, use only hose no adapters or heads. dry with the absorber. polish with meguires, wax with meguires. glass is dry cleaned (use 100% dry terry cloth on dry glass inside and out).
bad weather: wet car fast with hose. fast soap/water wash. fast rinse. drive car in garage. dry car with absorber. wax. and then glass treatment.
when the weather is warmer, i really want to try that mr. clean thingy. ive heard good stuff about it.
Dish soap removes your wax. Use a pro car wash concentrate if you don't want to wax each time. For road tar I use a small amount of Goof Off on a tip of a paper towell. Gotta wax after that.
For light scratches/oxidation I use Gel-Gloss, a thick polishing liquid that can be purchased cheap at Home Depot (it's okay for clear coats). i've used it for the past 15 years with great success with or without a buffer.
For heavier oxidation I use No. 7 white polishing compound with or without a buffer.
I also use a product called Polyshield once or twice a year that puts a silicon coat on your glass. It makes cleaning easier. I tried searching the web for it but couldn't find it. If anyone knows of a similar product please let me know.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.