Getting your car professionally detailed is an exciting time, and you’re probably admiring its new glossy shine. But now comes the hard part: how do you maintain its appearance? 

A big misconception about car detailing is that you won’t need to maintain your vehicle after the hard work is done. While detailing your vehicle with paint protection or coating certainly minimises its maintenance, it doesn’t remove it altogether. 

Having a proper car care routine can prolong your vehicle’s finish and maintain its properties so you can enjoy it for years to come. As car detailing specialists who have worked with various vehicle makes and models, we recommend washing your car after the 7-day cure period to keep it clean and shiny. 

Follow our post-detailing car wash tips below to give your car its finest first-maintenance wash! 

Step 1: Car Pre-Wash or Snow Foam

While it may be tempting to skip this step, a thorough pre-soak or rinse is essential to remove all loose dirt and debris before bucket washing. More importantly, it limits the risk of any debris spreading all over your wash mitt and scratching your car during the wash. 

Without properly pre-washing your car, you could be dragging every piece of dirt, grit, and insects across your newly applied paintwork. This can only hurt your vehicle, as it causes micro abrasion and scratches that damage your new shiny gloss.

Pre-washing is usually done using a pre-soak cleaning solution, which is generally more potent than a standard car shampoo. We recommend using snow foam, a neutral or mid-alkaline solution that can gently loosen any contaminants stuck to your vehicle. 

To successfully pre-wash, mix your snow foam with water and run it through a pressure washer. Then, rinse your vehicle with it in a uniform pattern to ensure a thorough rinse-off. 

Step 2: Bucket Car Wash

To minimise swirls on your car, we advise using the ‘Two Bucket Method’ when washing it. 

Start by filling up one bucket with a soap solution and the other with clean water. Both buckets should be equipped with grit guards at the bottom to trap dirt and other contaminants that your wash mitt might pick up otherwise.

Then, clean your car with a high-quality microfiber wash mitt in the soapy water bucket to remove anything that might cause surface damage. Between cleaning each section of your car, rinse the mitt in the clean water bucket to remove any excess sediment, and repeat this process until your car is clean. 

It’s important to always start cleaning at the top of your vehicle and work your way down with soft left-to-right motions. The bottom of a vehicle is usually its dirtiest, and doing this prevents you from transferring any sediment or dirt to the top of your car. 

Step 3: Drying

After you’ve successfully washed your vehicle, it’s time to give it a good wash off and dry. We recommend starting this step by flooding the panels with a soft steam of water through a hose, starting from the roof. 

This process is typically known as ‘drying with water’ and is highly effective in running off most of the water beads from your car. It also makes the next drying step more efficient: wiping or blow-drying your car. 

We recommend using a high-quality microfiber drying towel and carefully pat dry or wipe the remaining water away. Alternatively, blow-drying your car is another effective method. Blow drying allows you to get into any nooks and crannies completely touch-free, further preventing any surface damage to your vehicle. 

As with washing, it’s important to start by wiping or blow-drying your car from top to bottom. This helps the water run down from your car and let gravity do the drying work! 

Step 4: Paint or Coating Maintenance

To ensure your car’s paint protection coating is performing at its peak with prolonged durability, we recommend maintaining it with a spray or sealant. Applying a fresh layer of protection every 3 to 4 months ensures you get the most out of your new car detail. 

Here are a few more car wash tips to protect your newly detailed car:  

  • Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight
  • Be sure to rinse off the soap from your wash mitts before it dries 
  • Ensure all your washing utensils are clean to keep unwanted dirt away from the car
  • Keep any physical contact with your paint to a very minimum
  • Use high-quality materials when washing your car (i.e. microfibre cloth, shampoo, and snow foam solution)

Which Car Wash Products Should I Use?

With so many car care products available, choosing the right one can be challenging. Here are our recommended brands that we personally know and use. 

  1. Angelwax: A boutique brand from the UK offering high-quality detailing products. We particularly like their Enigma range, so be sure to check it out.
  2. Envoke: A brand developed by car accessory retailer Detail Central. This Melbourne local brand offers superior quality at an affordable price range. 
  3. Bowden’s Own: Australia-made and owned, Bowden’s Range offers great, easy-to-use products.  

To get you started on your car care, Platinum Auto Salon has an exclusive partnership with Detail Central that helps you save on your purchase. Shop online at and get 10% OFF your order when you use the discount code ‘PLATINUM’ at checkout. 

Key Takeaway

Maintaining your vehicle after detailing may seem tedious, but the benefits certainly outweigh the effort. We hope this article has helped you learn some helpful car wash tips that keep your car in pristine condition for years to come.  

If you’re looking for a car detailing specialist, choose the professionals at Platinum Auto Salon. Our car enthusiasts use high-quality products that’ll get your installation right the first time, ensuring your car is pristine throughout all weather types. Contact us for a quote or to speak with a technician.