CLEANING THE EXTERIOR
Inspect Your Paint
First, go over your entire vehicle and find trouble spots:
contaminants like bird droppings, tar, and tree sap, as well as
scratches, swirls, and chips. Pretreat any soft contaminants with
detailing spray; use Motorcraft Bug and Tar Remover on hardened tar or
Hand Wash Only
Park your vehicle in the shade, then wash it with a bucket of Motorcraft
Detail Wash and a lambswool wash mitt. Always wash from the top of the
vehicle down. A nylon- or natural-bristle brush will help get dirt out
of the tire sidewalls.
Rinse And Dry
Next, rinse the vehicle by flooding it with a garden hose from the top
down—this “pulls” the water off in large sheets. Dry the vehicle from
the top down with microfiber drying towels. Dry the windows first, then
move on to the paint. Always dry the vehicle in the shade, and be sure
to get it dry before water spots form.
Remove Contaminants With Clay
Place your hand on the vehicle’s hood, and gently slide your fingers up
and down the hood. You’ll be able to “feel” the contaminants on your
fingertips—they feel like little bumps on the surface. If your paint is
new and the surface feels completely smooth, you can skip to the next
If you feel contaminants, remove them by using a clay bar: Flatten
the clay bar so it fits in your hand, and grab your detailing spray in
the other hand. Then spray detailer on one panel to lubricate the clay,
and gently rub the flattened clay back and forth over the entire paint
surface. Do one panel at a time. When dry, repeat the fingertip test—the
paint should now be clean.
You should always wax the vehicle after using a clay bar. There are two
ways to wax: If your paint has lots of swirls and scratches, it will
need a multistage system that uses separate applications of scratch
remover, cleaners, and a glaze, in addition to wax. If your paint is new
and/or in good shape, you’ll need only wax.
Put a small amount of wax onto a microfiber or foam applicator pad.
Put the applicator on a top panel like the roof or hood, and, using a
circular motion, apply the wax to a couple of panels at a time. Dried
wax should show only a light haze—bright white means you’re using too
Remove the dried wax using microfiber or all-cotton cloths. Be sure
to turn the cloths over often, so the wax doesn’t load up on them. When
you are done, use a clean cloth to do a final pass over the paint, and
remove any wax lodged in tight areas like emblems and spaces between
Clear Up Windows And Mirrors
Clean your exterior and interior windows and mirrors by spraying an
ammonia-free cleaner onto a lint-free or microfiber towel. Ammonia-free
cleaners smell better, won’t streak, won’t damage window tint, and won’t
damage your interior if you overspray. If you see any hard water spots
on your windows or windshield, a good chrome polish can remove them.