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Old 01-15-2011, 02:01 PM
RagingHulk RagingHulk is offline
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Vehicle: 2010 Ram - Crew Cab
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Valve's recommendations are spot-on (or spot-off if I wanted to be funny) and perfect for a full blown, all afternoon cleaning session with your new truck.

I have simplified my routines due to time pressures:

Washing: I use a car washing soap (Mothers, Mequiars, Turtlewax, etc.). I use wash the upper areas first using a washing mit or clean towel. Since the lower sections are dirtier, I do those last. If the bucket water gets dirty enough, I change the soap/water. You don't want the dirty water transferring sand/dirt particles to your cleaning cloth.

Drying: A good towel will do (I've always heard Egyptian cotton towels are best). Start with the windows and handle the paint lightly. You don't want to rub the paint with a dry towel.

Waxing: I like to use "polymer wax" like Mother's or Mequiars. If you do a great job washing and get all the dirt off, you don't need to use a "cleaning wax". I sometimes use the cleaning wax on the lower parts that are difficult to clean well.

Clay bar: The miracle of the car cleaning routine. It only needs to be done once a year (or twice if you love the feeling). Since a clay bar removes the wax, you always have to wax afterwords. But there is great satisfaction in rubbing your hand down a freshly waxed car following a clay bar application. It is slicker and smoother than anything has the right to be.

After a good clay bar/waxing, I once put my full foam soda cup on the roof of my 300C while I got something from the back seat. I closed the door and the cup slid down the roof and fell on the ground. I was more impressed with the slickness than I was pissed at losing the soda.
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