Following on from an earlier thread I thought I would list a few affordable wash and maintenance products that I personally use or would recommend.
Pre-wash - Basically during the wash process it's essential to remove as much soiling from the paintwork as possible before physically coming into contact with paint, apply pre-wash through a garden type sprayer, leave shortly to dwell, pressure rinse. (wax friendly)
Foam Lance - Not essential but makes cleaning safer to the paintwork and fun.
A worthy investment and comes in all popular pressure washer fitments, produces a layer of foam type consistency which softens any dirt/soiling and draws down the vehicle, apply first layer of foam and leave to dwell for a few minutes, rinse and apply a second layer to lubricate the surface for the wash stage. Dedicated foams available, personally prefer to use certain wash shampoo's.
Shampoo - Meguiars Hyperwash up to 400-1 dilution rate, works equally as well through the foam lance.
Meguiars Shampoo plus up to 128-1 dilution rate, as above but more product required for foaming.
Duragloss wash concentrate works equally as well when washing or through the foam lance.
Alloy wheel cleaner - Bilberry acid free wheel cleaner, safe on all alloys and dilutable up to 1-10.
Drying towels - Uber plush towels are far safer/kinder to the paintwork and more absorbant, from experience performs best after several machine washes (do not use fabric conditioner on any cloths or towels-affects absorbancy)
Wash tools - comes down to personal preference but cheap silicone sponges with tight cell structures are a definate no-no, most prefer wool wash mitts as they are softer and have a pile that can absorb any grit that may be left on the surface.
2 buckets - 1 with the wash solution in, the other with clean water, after each application to the paintwork rinse the mitt in the clean water before putting into the wash solution again.
Just some recommended products that I have tried and tested for a basic wash routine and as you can appreciate the list could go on if including clays, pre-cleansers and waxes, I'm sure others have their own personal preferences that they can add.