Well, I had been intending to give the car a bit of a wash this weekend, but you know how these things go...it all snowballed somewhat...helped along by seeing the VXR thread below. So here goes:
First off...a cleaning thread wouldn't be right without some before pics, so here we go, 10k miles and 4 months worth of winter road grime:
So the first thing I did (well, second, but I'll get to that later) was to squirt some degreaser onto the wheels:
then brushed them off with a wheel pad thing, then squirted on some alloy cleaner, left to 'cure', and washed off. Allll nice and shiney.
While I was at it, I squirted around the bottom of the car with some degreaser. Once the wheels were done, I cleaned the bottom of the car (below the window-line) with a boggo turtlewax shampoo and sponge - to get the majority of the grime off.
I haven't bothered with pics because frankly, it's not that interesting.
Once I had cleaned the general muck off, I was pretty horrified to see that the entire car below the rub strips looked like this:
eek! So I went round with a Bug and Tar removal spray and left it to work its magic. And magic it worked:
So with a cleanish base, I used a Meguiars NXT shampoo, some warm water and cotton mitt:
non. Clay bar time...after lunch.(3 eggs from my chickens and some granary toast, since you asked).
Where was I? Ah yes. The nice clean car...not as clean as it looked:
The meguiars clay-bar, as ever, worked its magic - this was after doing the top half of the front right wing (about the cleanest panel on the car):
Now it's finally CLEAN, it was time for wax. First, a Meguiars NXT wax to give a nice base shine, then Meguiars Carnuba Wax (which smells of banana milkshake, therefore it HAS to be good) and things were starting to look much nicer:
Then a quick clean of the glass with some turtlewax glass polish, and some turtlewax black polish for the plastics, and it was time to take the car back round to the front for some photos (sadly the driveway is pretty muddy so the tyres still look a mess)
And a quick return to the first, and last task - I wanted to have before and after images next to eachother:
The process: engine degreaser (just halfords own stuff), agitate with a couple of brushes, gently shower off, leave to dry (kitchen roll and WD40 for any electrical components) Then left while I did the car, finally before the pics, the black wax polish to smarten up, et voila!
Total time..erm..the wrong side of 6 1/2 hrs.
and I didn't get anywhere near doing the interior...which, worryingly, is typified by:
..so that's tomorrows job!!!