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Signed the papers on a '23 Elantra SEL w/Convenience Package two days before Christmas. It should arrive in about two weeks so I thought I'd use this extra time to get a jump on picking up washing supplies for it.

Little did I know that there are hundreds of different ways to clean your vehicle until I did a search to find the best way to wash my new vehicle without leaving any marks on the paint. With my '13 Optima I simply used a wash bucket, a rinse bucket (with a grit trap in the bottom), microfiber wash mitt, and Meguiar's car wash liquid....microfiber drying towel to dry.

Now they have foam guns, foam cannons, pre-wash liquids/degreasers, rinseless car wash liquid, rinseless car wash sponges, liquid for foam guns - use a leaf blower to dry, add ceramic detail spray to your drying towel, use a 70/30 blend drying towel, etc. etc. etc.

So, what have you found to work the best for washing and drying your car?

Thanks!

TripleB
 

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Warm water, good soap and a chamois. Wax it evey few months and the paint will probably outlast the rest of the car.

I've had vehicles that I never did any of this to and after 10 years the paint still looks good.
 

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Anecdotal evidence here, but I've kept my car looking new for a long time by two things:

- Never let the car stay dirty for a long time so the grime can't get embedded in the paint,

- Wash the car with high-pressure spray at the car wash, stopping after the grit is blasted off to gently wipe the paint down with a microfiber cloth. Then, resume the high-pressure soaping for a bit before rinsing. Finish by wiping the car dry with another, fresh, microfiber cloth.

The high-pressure spray is important as it is the least damaging way to get the grit off before any manual cleaning.

I also wax my car at least twice a year (sometimes four times). I've not had to use a clay bar to remove embedded grit. Rub your hand over your clean paint and if you feel grit, time to use the clay bar. Modern clay bar solutions are easy to use.
 
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