Below is a good article which i found over the internet. Please read it
It's that time of the year when you are probably going on long leave (forced to take it since your boss says the company might as well close for an extended period) and have time on your hands at home. Apart from sleeping in late and enjoying the experience of not having to suffer in the jams for a change, what can you do that costs nothing and is good exercise?
Considering that today's cars are so maintenance-free with electronic ignition, computerised management systems, long-life spark plugs and long-life synthetic oil, little attention is needed under the bonnet so why not focus your attention on the bodywork?
There are people who wash their cars every day and there are those who wash it once a month, and many who just wait for the rain to do it… Regardless of the frequency, there comes a time when the shine on your car starts to deteriorate. It's like an aging process that you can't really prevent although you may be able to slow it down if you have a sheltered carpark and you do wash off the sometimes acidic rainwater frequently.
REPAINT OR POLISH
You can pay others to wash and polish your car – or you can do it yourself.
Getting the shine back is achieved in two ways: by repainting the whole car or by giving it a good polishing. The first is expensive and recommended for much older cars because the paintwork would be too far gone. The second can be done either by entrusting your car to one of those places in basement carparks that will polish it for a fee, or doing it yourself.
By washing and polishing your car yourself, you not only put in a greater personal effort since it is your own property but you also have a chance to examine it for dents, scratches, leaks, etc, which you may not notice at other times.
Polishing your car doesn't just bring back the shine and make even a Beetle look better; in doing so, you also leave a protective layer that prevents the harmful effects of dirty rainwater, other pollutants, sunshine and even bird droppings from causing deterioration. Furthermore, dirty water won’t ‘stick’ to the bodywork so it appears cleaner longer. It is therefore a good idea to polish our car on a regular basis since the coating eventually wears out.
You can’t restore the finish to the original factory finish unless you have this sort of facility!
Even if you don't have the time and can do so only once in six months, it's better than not polishing at all. There are some types of polish with special formulations that last long and are also especially resistant to sunshine.
Another side benefit of polishing the bodywork is that it makes the surface very slippery. If you don't believe it, try this simple test: before polishing, throw a new polish cloth on the bonnet and it is unlikely to slip off (if the bonnet is sloped a lot). After a good polishing, do the same thing and you may find that the cloth will slide off.
Now the same thing will happen with dirty water. Rather than 'stick' to the surface in pools and then dry and leave stains, the water will roll off. So when you do wash the car, the job is less tedious and you only need to spray water to get dust off. An hour's sweating could save you time when you wash the car.
CHOOSING A POLISH
When you have decide to start polishing your car yourself, you'll head for the shop to buy a polish (you can even get them in department stores or supermarkets). Expect to be surprised by the variety available: there are probably as many different types of car polish products as there are toothpastes! Their prices vary but they all do the same job. Reading the labels will help you choose and you may discover some major differences in claims.
In choosing the product, you first have to consider your own car's finish. Is it metallic or a solid type? How old or new is the paintwork and how much has it deteriorated? Often, the labels will indicate that some polishes are more suitable for metallic finishes or white finishes, so select carefully.
Generally, there are two types of polishes: lightly abrasive and abrasive. As the name suggests, these polishes are rough and they are intended to 'cut' through the dull or weathered layer of the paintwork. For paintwork that is exceptionally weathered, there are super-abrasive polishes which must be used with care.
The lightly abrasive polishes are more for newer cars and those with metallic finishes. They are usually good enough for car's that have a multi-layered clearcoat which is an additional coating sprayed on top of the coloured layer. This coating protects the actual paint and the deterioration that occurs does so on top of it. So the actual colour is not lost over time and you only need to freshen up the clearcoat by removing its dullness.
Older cars need the abrasive type of polish. If you find that all your polishing doesn't add any shine, then it probably means that the polish you are using is not rough enough to remove the dull layer. The abrasive polishes can also remove stains and blemishes more easily. Some also have mild solvents in them to get rid of oily stains.
PASTE OR LIQUID
There are numerous types of waxes and polishes available for different types of car finishes
Let’s just get one point clear first: a polish is what makes the car shine; a wax is to create a layer that protects it. The first types of polish were in the form of wax or a thick paste. You had to get some onto a cloth and then rub it hard onto the metal surface. The rubbing action in itself was like an abrasive action so this type of polish has often been considered the best to use.
But using paste or wax is very, very tiring. Most consumers disliked them so the manufacturers began to make life easier by offering liquid polishes. These are nearly as good but for some reason, they don't seem to have the same sort of lifespan as hard wax. These liquid polishes often rely more on advances in polymer technology to make them stick more effectively to the surface.
Given a choice, most people would choose liquid polish but the professionals still swear by wax or paste. That's why a professional polish job can take up to 2 hours or more, even for something like a Kancil, but with a liquid polish, you'd probably get it done in an hour and a bit. A good polishing job can last many months.
HOW TO POLISH
A good wash, polish, and waxing can keep your car looking new for months
The task sound simple: just whip out a cloth, pour some polish on it and start the elbow working. But in order to do a proper job, a few other things need to be done prior to polishing. First, you must get the dust and dirt off; cleaning that off is not the job of the polish so you need to wash the car first. If you don't at least spray water over it, then grit will be on the surface and this can cause fine scratches which are created as you rub the cloth around.
Wash from the top down; the bottom is closer to the road, and is dirtier. Hosing from the top down also helps to push more dirt off the car, instead of spreading it around. Once you have washed the car (use a good car shampoo and use gloves as some aren't kind to the skin), dry it thoroughly. Water and polish don't mix well together. However, there are some wash-and-wax products which try to let you do two jobs at one go. These are fine except that they don't usually last long and you usually still need to do some hard wiping after that to get the shine.
Polishing should be done in the shade. If you don't have a porch or garage, then wait for a cloudy day or in the early morning/late afternoon. The car's body should also be cool so don't start polishing it right after you've sent your wife to market and come home. Applying polish on a hot surface will cause it to dry and harden quickly, leaving streaks and smears that will be hard to remove.
If you're using liquid polish, be sure to shake the container vigorously. The important particulates often collect at the bottom during storage. Pour small amounts on a clean and soft cloth and don't be tempted to pour it directly onto the car's surface. Rub in circular motions because this ensures complete coverage. There's no harm in rubbing over the same spot many times if you wish. And do a section at a time, choosing 'boundaries' such as the gaps between doors or the sides of the bonnet.
SPLIT THE TASK
If doing the whole car is too lengthy or tiring for one session, you could try splitting the task into two or three sessions but they should not be far apart. You could do the bonnet and roof one Sunday, and then the rest of the car the next Sunday.
Most polishes need to be given time to dry to a haze (the white powder left behind). This is residue from the polish and needs to be removed. The actual polish has bonded with the finish. In some areas, you need not remove the polish if you don't want to. This could be done in areas that no one sees and you get a bit better protection since the thick but dry polish is an extra layer. The owner of a 4WD usually leaves the coating behind the spare wheel and the finish stays better protected.
After the polishing job, the car should be nice and shiny, almost like the day it first came to your home. Got any more energy? How about waxing the whole body to add a better layer of protection? When you apply the wax, you'll find that the finish becomes extra-slippery and this makes a difference when dirty water falls on it. But you need to be careful when waxing as the wax is hard to remove from vinyl panels.
Polish and wax your car regularly and you will be rewarded with a finish that will be the envy of your friends.