To keep it looking great longer, every time you wash your truck, detail it. A proper detail includes cleaning the wheels and tires, cleaning the interior and applying a coat of wax or polish to increase the shine.
Whether you’re washing the truck or applying wax or polish, you should always start at the top and work down. If you start at the bottom and work up, as you work higher, you will be leaning into and across the areas you just spent time waxing and polishing. Worst case scenario here is that you can actually scratch the paint and leave gouges in the wax you’ve just laid down.
Most people don’t know the proper way to clean and polish wheels. They’ll just swipe a few times at the wheels with a soapy rag and consider it done. This leaves much to be desired, since this method doesn’t remove all the road grime and brake dust from the wheels. There are a few companies that make a wheel polishing ball that is used with a drill to make cleaning and polishing wheels more efficient. There are also specialized products specially formulated for cleaning wheels.
Using polishing or rubbing compounds and waxes is a very labor intensive process. You can make this process much easier and faster by using an orbital buffer with lamb’s wool and cheesecloth bonnets. Apply the wax or polish with a cheesecloth bonnet. Use a different cheesecloth bonnet to remove the glazed wax or polish, and use a wool bonnet to buff it to a high shine.
Never use an old towel when drying a freshly washed truck or one that’s been caught in a rain shower. You should always use a chamois to dry your truck after washing it. A chamois that is properly cared for won’t scratch the paint. A chamois is easily wrung dry during use.
Every now and then your chamois is going to need cleaning. This should be done about twice a year if you don’t wash your truck very often. However, if you wash your truck once a week, you may need to clean the chamois once every two or three months. This can be done by filling a bucket with water and a light dish washing detergent. Dunk the chamois into the soapy water and vigorously agitate it. Rinse the chamois completely, wring it out and allow it to hang dry. After every use, wring the chamois out completely and hang it out to dry.
Now that you’ve finished washing your truck, your first step in the detail process should be to apply wax to your windshield. This is especially important if you live in an area where there’s lots of dust. A coat of wax on your windshield will make it so that the dust doesn’t stick as well to your window, keeping it cleaner for a longer period of time.