A car is an expensive luxury, and it makes sense to take care of it. I don't just mean mechanically either, it should have a shining coat of paint, with an interior to match. If you're going to park it on the streets of Ealing, this country's Hollywood, it'd better look like it has star power. Washing the car isn't a hard or tedious job either. All it takes is a few basic tools and an hour or two in the afternoon. I'm going to run through, step by step, the easy way to clean your car.
What you need:
-A bucket of plain, warm water
-A bucket of warm water mixed with car wash soap
-A ready to use hosepipe
-A few towels
The first thing you want to do is to get all of the above items ready and gather them around. Position your car in the shade if it's a nice, sunny day, and anywhere that's convenient when it's overcast. You'll want to do this because of the sun dries the water too fast, it'll leave water marks all over, and they don't look too good.
Make sure all of the windows and doors are properly shut, then spray the car all over with your hosepipe, to remove the bigger pieces of dirt. Apply extra pressure if there's any bird dirt or caked on mud. Make sure you do a thorough job, so all of the dirt is either done or loosened. Then dip the sponge into the soapy water and and start washing the car's body, taking care to rinse off any dirt that gets stuck to it. Repeat this several times until you feel you've got everything. Then hose all of the soap off, make sure you don't miss any errant suds, they will mark the paint too if they're left to dry.
Now you can start on the wheels. If your car has fancy spokes on its wheels, then you'll have to take a little longer here. Use a wired brush, preferably one with flexible bristles, so you can get into the tighter corners. If you just have normal wheel trims or alloys, a sponge will usually suffice. Now, clean the sides of the tyres with the wired brush, so you can get into the little grooves.
Needless to say, if it's taking a while to clean the tyres, make sure to rehose the car to keep it wet, so the water doesn't heat-dry. While you're doing that, make sure to spray under the wheel-arches too, so you can get rid of the hidden messes.
After that you can just dry the body by hand with a couple of towels, again, making sure not to miss any damp spots. Then after that, you can call the wash a success and put the car away, or you can polish and wax it.
What you need:
This is a step that you would normally hire a professional for. But if you have a bufferer, you might as well do it yourself. First, apply a reasonable amount of polish to the buffering pad, then apply it to the paint using the bufferer. Make sure you do a thorough job. Then afterwards you can apply the wax carefully by hand for that extra shine.
Now that the outside of the car is looking fresh, even if your car is a second hand banger with a faulty oil system, you can drive around like none of that matters. Now all you have to do is repeat the whole process every month or so, and you're golden!