The car care experts at Mothers gave us an inside tip on a special procedure done with your water hose right before you begin the wipe down process. Before you whip out your waffle-weave micro fibers, take the spray nozzle off and rinse the car down with an open hose, allowing the water to trace over the vehicle's windows and body panels. This process, known as "sheeting," helps speed up the drying process by removing water spots caused by the high-pressure nozzle.

Removing Hard Water Stains Or SpotsEvery time you approach your car to leave for work in the morning, you find yourself cussing up a storm thanks in part to your neighbor who positions his water sprinkler towards your car. After weeks of sprinkler wash downs, you begin to notice crusty, white deposits overshadowing your vehicle's body panels, otherwise known as hard water stains. Hard water stains or spots can form as certain amounts of dissolved metals land on the surface of the paint. The more acidic the water, the faster the chemical reaction takes place causing oxidation and unwanted etching of your paint. Mothers' marketing manager Ken Holland states: "The best defense against hard water spots and damage is to keep your car's paint maintained and waxed as much as possible. If the spots are fresh then you can probably remove them with a pre-wax cleaner. If the spots are a little more tenacious and are sticking above the paint, a simple procedure using a clay bar followed by the pre-wax cleaner can usually smooth things over. If for whatever reasons the stains don't seem to come out then resort to using an orbital buffer followed by a more aggressive removal compound."

How To Use A Clay BarPerforming a basic car wash can guarantee you'll be removing the dirt and grime off your car but at times this process alone is not 100 percent effective. Harsh environmental and road conditions cake on a layer of foreign materials that accumulates over time. Simple waxing is ineffective to removing these contaminants embedded into the paint surface. The only alternative is a "silly putty"-like substance called a clay bar, which can effectively address the problem. The clay bar is a simple yet effective tool that pulls contaminants from the paint surface while performing a sheering process, removing remnants that are harmful to the paint such as ferrous metal contaminants, paint overspray, and simple oxidation. Note that the clay bar will not remove acid rain damage or other surface imperfections-something you'll still need a polish to do.

Remove the clay from the wrapper and knead the putty into a flat surface. Before you begin the claying process slide your fingertips across a section of your paint. If you hear or feel bumps or rough spots it's a good indication that there are contaminants on the surface of your paint. Lightly run the clay across a section that has been lubricated using a spray lubricant such as Mothers' Showtime Instant Detailer. It is important that you use the proper lubricant. Water alone isn't considered slippery enough, causing the clay to leave streak marks on the paint. The initial rough sounds you encounter should gradually disappear as the clay is working its magic by removing any and all contaminants. Recheck the area you just clayed with your fingertips once again. Once the area is smooth, move on to the next area; if you still feel bumps repeat the process. Knead the clay on a regular basis or when the area used on the clay bar turns a brownish color. Because claying removes any impurities, including wax protection, the clay bar process should be followed up by a good wax job. [Ed. note: I swear by the claying process. It makes an old car's paint look new again. Do try it if you haven't already.

FX Wheel Cleaner And Tire ShineYour local $5.99 Tuesday special car wash doesn't have the time to cater to every specific type of rim they wash. Their main purpose is to get your car washed and dried in record time in order to service the next customer. The "one kill cures all" approach is often used by your local car wash center as they use industrial-strength chemicals that burn the clearcoat or etch stains on those custom aluminum rims you worked so hard to obtain.

Mothers knows too well the importance of proper wheel care and has recently released a third generation of wheel cleaners for the Mothers lineup called the FX Wheel Cleaner. The FX cleaner is a chemically safe spray-on system for all types of wheels, including clearcoated, painted, polished, and chromed. FX Wheel Cleaner is a powerful, fast acting wheel cleaner that took to our trouble spots on the rims, such as road tar and axle grease, which were easily removed when combining the spray and Mothers agitating brush. Following the removal of brake dust and road soot, we gave our lovely brown tires a makeover with FX Tire Shine. A unique blend of polymers and advanced coating agents bind with the tire's surface, shielding it from UV oxidation, brake dust, and road grime, giving it a slick, shiny appearance that's sure to complement any custom wheel.