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Wash Order Guide

If you find yourself unsure still in what order you should do certain steps in detailing, this is the guide for you. By choice, this guide is not very specific as much depends on manufacturers’ instructions. It is also not very detailed, you will find more info on the subjects on this wiki.

Everything in bold is required, everything else is optional. There are different ways to do things and doing stuff different than this is not wrong, but we want to give you this guide so you have something to stick to when in doubt.

  • Prewash
  • Rinse
  • Bug remover (see note below)
  • Wheel washing
  • Contact Wash
  • Rinse if not Rinseless
  • Dry ⁠
  • Tar remover (Follow manufacturer’s instructions, may include a second wash)
  • Iron decon (agitate with MF if needed)
  • Rinse
  • Clay ⁠
  • Rinse again or wipe residue. I prefer Rinsing
  • Waterspot Remover (Follow manufacturer’s instructions, may include an additional wash)
  • Final Dry (Can include Sealant as a drying aid) ⁠
  • If necessary strip off the existing sealant
  • Polish ⁠
  • Degrease / panel prep
  • Sealant Application

Bug removers are part of prewashing, but they are only slightly different than an alkaline pre wash, so if you are already pre-washing with an alkaline product you might not even need them. Otherwise, they are a separate step after prewashing before contact washing. Bug removal requires an additional rinse.

Updated on 9 September 2023

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