A maintenance wash on a car can help give your paintwork the look of a fresh detail without fully washing the car. Here’s our step-by-step guide.

So, your car is beautifully detailed, gleaming, and dazzling. But then dust happens, fingerprints happen. Suddenly, your car starts looking a bit dirty without actually being dirty, and a full wash with car shampoo isn’t needed. This is where the power of a car maintenance wash comes in, with the use of quick detailer. While it will help keep your car’s paintwork looking cleaner for longer, this incredibly versatile spray can do so much more, and it’s an essential product for every keen car detailer.

The benefits of using quicker detailer during a maintenance wash on a car

Apply quick detailer to renault clio during maintenance wash

Quick detailer will serve up some serious shine on a car, as well as plenty of gorgeous beading action. It won’t last as long as a dedicated wax, but it’s quick and easy and will deliver plenty of gloss in no time and with zero effort. It also adds a layer of hydrophobic protection, meaning you’ll see water beading off the paintwork.

Quick detailer is also excellent as a drying aid. Simply spray it onto wet bodywork as you’re drying, and it will help to disperse water, make it easier for your drying towel to absorb it from the surface and add a layer of protection as you go. Quick detailer is so incredibly versatile and easy to use, it’s a real must-have.

Now we’ve covered off why quick detailer is so important, here’s our guide on how to maintenance wash a car.

1. Spray quick detailer onto the car

Maintenance wash on a car with meguiar's

The thought of wiping your car without washing it first might seem a little scary, but with the correct product and technique, you’ll be fine.

Apply a few sprays of quick detailer to the panel. It doesn’t hurt to spray your microfiber cloth either. Then, very gently, wipe across the panel.

2. Roll the cloth back slightly and wipe

Cleaning the roof during maintenance wash

A good technique is to roll the surface of the cloth back slightly as you wipe so that the leading portion that is picking up the first bits of dirt is then lifted away. You’ve now got a cleaner portion of cloth wiping the next section. This way, you minimize the risk of rubbing any dirt you’ve lifted off across the panel as you go.

3. Don’t use this method if the car is very dirty

Fold cloths during maintenance wash

Obviously, you don’t want to use a quick detailer if your paintwork is very dirty, but for removing dust, fingerprints and other very minor surface contaminants, it’s perfect.

Now you’ve mastered how to maintenance wash a car, have you checked out our other washing guides?

Words by: Elizabeth de Latour & Matt Bell.