How Do Car Dealers Make Their Cars So Shiny?

If you have perused a car dealership showroom floor, then you have likely marveled at just how nice all of the cars look. That showroom shine brings out a mirror finish that you wish your personal car could have for many years, but alas, all of the bird poop and debris prevent that from happening. But just how do car dealers get that perfect 10-out-of-10 shine on their new cars?

A good car wash can do wonders

Two car washers soak up the atmosphere on July 12, 2015, in Manchester, England
Two car washers soak up the atmosphere on July 12, 2015, in Manchester, England. | barcroftusa.com

If you’re looking to give your car that lasting showroom shine, then a good car wash can do wonders. Sure, you can send your pride and joy through an automatic car wash, however, it’s not usually recommended. Automatic car washes can actually leave a lot of small scratches and swirl marks in the car’s paint.

Instead, handwashing the car yourself using the two-bucket method and a good wash mitt will ensure that you don’t rub a bunch of dirt across the paint or put any scratches or swirl marks in it. Of course, there are enough car soaps on the market to make your head spin, so picking one can be hard. If you need a recommendation, then we suggest trying out the Ceramic Wash Shampoo from Jay Leno’s garage. It’s a foaming car wash that’s infused with Si02 nanoparticles that protect and clean your car in one easy step.

Use a top-quality car wax

 Dan Gregg is buffing out a car that he is detailing they also do repair work.
Dan Gregg is buffing out a car that he is detailing they also do repair work. | Dave Buresh/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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While different car dealers will use different brands and types of waxes to clean their cars, the important part is that they use top-quality stuff. Sure, you can use spray wax on your car, which will easily cut down on the time and effort in protecting it. But those types of waxes don’t last as long as standard waxes.

Per Rusty Autos, the harder the wax the better. What that means is that if you want a deeper shine that lasts, then you could be better off using a carnauba wax, which is widely known to protect the paint from harmful UV rays and repel water easily. Additionally, if you coat your car with carnauba wax, you’ll likely find that the car is easier to wash the next time as dirt won’t stick to it as much.

If you really want to buff out your car’s paint while keeping your hand from hurting, then you can use a dual-action polisher. This handy little machine looks like a grinder with a foam pad on it, but in reality, it’s able to polish car’s paint more evenly and with less overall effort. There are plenty of these handy machines on the market and at various price levels to fit your budget.

A paint sealant can last longer than a wax

 A brand new Volkswagen Beetle is displayed in the showroom at Serramonte Volkswagen.
A brand new Volkswagen Beetle is displayed in the showroom at Serramonte Volkswagen. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you really want a lasting shine on your car like the showroom cars, then you can also use a paint sealant instead of wax. According to Turtle Wax, a paint sealant uses polymers that are formulated to withstand a lot of abuse and can last much longer than a standard wax. In most cases, a good wax job will last about one to three months before needing to be reapplied. However, a good paint sealant can last up to six months.

And while professional car detailers have a number of different ways to keep a car’s shine lasting for years, a good car wash, wax, and buff can do wonders for your car. Even if it has been the victim of bird poop and debris for many years.

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