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How To Exterior Detail Your Car

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Want to exterior detail your car like the pros? This blog will provide you with everything you need to know to detail your car at a professional level! Read on for tips, tools, and the step-by-step detailing process to get your vehicle looking like it just rolled out of the shop.




  • Yum Wash
  • Yum Foam
  • Yum Wheels
  • Yum Tires
  • Yum Citrus
  • Yum Clay Bar
  • Yum Detailer
  • Yum Ceramic
  • Dress V2
Places To shop Yum Cars products online 


If possible, wash your vehicle in a wash bay or under a cover that shades it from the sun. Washing outside will cause your foam and soap to dry too quickly and leave spots on your vehicle.
Set up your three-bucket method. Fill all three buckets with water, and separate them as such:
  • Bucket one: Wash – add Yum Wash
  • Bucket two: Rinse – add a dirt lock
  • Bucket three: Wheel – add a dirt lock and Yum Wash
Pro Tip: Differentiate these buckets with labels, stickers, or colors to prevent cross-contamination during the detailing process.
Before you begin, double-check all the connections on your pressure washer setup to ensure that you don’t have any leaks or blown O-rings.

The Detailing Process

The Detailing Process

  1. Rise – Start by rinsing off the car from top to bottom with your spray gun. Rinsing from top to bottom saves water, as the water cascading from the top of your vehicle will pre-rinse the lower section before you get to it. The “top-to-bottom” method is important to remember, as it will come up again later in the detailing process.

Pro Tip: Always start spraying away from your vehicle! If your nozzle is not fully engaged, it will go flying off at high-pressure speeds and damage your paint.


  1. Undercarriage – Swap out your nozzle tip for the Veloci UC Cleaner and rinse the undercarriage of your vehicle. This removes debris and dirt from beneath your vehicle, an area only accessible with a lift or a UC Cleaner.
  2. Foam – This is everyone’s favorite part! Remove your Undercarriage Cleaner, and replace it with the PF22 Foam Cannon that is filled with 2 oz of Yum Foam and topped off with water. Use the foam cannon to completely saturate your vehicle. The foam will linger while you perform your next steps.

Pro Tip: Make sure you have the correct orifice size for your PSI and GPM. Use our Nozzle Sizing Calculator to verify your orifice size.

4. Wheels – Grab your “wheel bucket” and toss all your wheel and tire brushes into the soapy water. Begin by applying Yum Wheel directly to the wheel. You will know it’s beginning to work when it bleeds purple. This means the iron fallout remover in the product is activating.

Use a wheel wooly or brush to clean inside every crease and crevice of the wheel. Use a variety of sizes of tools so that you can reach all the large and small spaces within the wheel well.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget the lug nuts, rotor, and caliper! And make sure to also get back behind the wheel well.

5. Tires – Apply Yum Undress liberally to your tires. Unlike Yum Wheels, this product will bleed brown. Immediately after application, take a tire brush and scrub. This takes some elbow grease, but your tires will thank you in the end.

Pro Tip: You can apply and clean your wheels and tires simultaneously to save time.

  1. Rinse – Go back to your spray gun, make sure it’s ready to go and begin to rinse top to bottom. Remove any lingering foam, and then give the wheels and tires a thorough rinse.
  2. Two-Bucket Method – Time to hand wash with the remaining two buckets. When using the two-bucket method, we “do laundry,” which is the process of using the rinse bucket to wash your dirty wash mitt, and using the wash bucket to lubricate the wash mitt for another section.

Pro Tip: When “doing laundry,” rub your wash mitt on the bottom of the dirt lock in the rinse bucket to ensure all debris is removed.

  1. Wash – Begin washing the surface of your vehicle using the two-bucket method, going from top to bottom one panel at a time. Between sections, or more often if needed, “do laundry” by dipping your wash mitt into the rinse bucket and scrubbing along your dirt lock, then dipping back into your wash bucket before moving on to your next section.


Pro Tip: Wash the panels twice! You will miss spots during your first wash, and going over the area a second time will give you a thorough clean.

Repeat until you have washed the vehicle’s entire surface, excluding the wheels and tires.


  1. Rinse – Use your spray gun once again to rinse all soap off the vehicle.


Pro Tip: Hike your hose over your shoulder where it is easier to control. This keeps your hose behind you and away from the vehicle.


  1. Citrus – Once the rise is complete, it’s time to use Yum Citrus on areas that still have bugs or tar remaining. Apply Yum Citrus liberally to those areas. Carefully and gently clay bar the area until all imperfections are removed. You may use Citrus and the clay bar on the entire surface of your vehicle if you are looking for full decontamination.
  2. Drying Aid – Time to dry! Yum Detailer is a quick detail spray that also serves as a drying aid. For this step, you will need Yum Detailer and two microfibers

Apply Detailer to your first microfiber and glide it across the surface you are drying (remember to go section by section, top to bottom). Next, use your second microfiber to pass over the area a second time in order to soak up any residual water or product.

This will leave the surface of the vehicle slick and without streaks.

  1. Ceramic – We can now cover the car with a protectant layer of Yum Ceramic. Similarly to our drying aid, you’ll need two microfibers.

Conservatively apply Yum Ceramic to your first microfiber and apply directly to the vehicle. You’ll see a thin residue left on the vehicle. Take your second microfiber and wipe off the residue. It’s that simple! This topper leaves a protective layer on your vehicle so that your fresh wash lasts longer.

Pro Tip: Less is more here! This is a professional-level product, and a light coating is plenty. You’ll know you’ve applied too much if your microfiber is grabbing. A correct application will allow the microfiber to slide across like butter.

  1. Dressing – This step can only be performed once your tires and wheels are completely dry. Apply Yum Dress V2 conservatively to your tires with an applicator to add moisture after a wash. This will leave them looking sleek and black.
Congratulations! You have just completed a professional Exterior Detail.


Keep working to improve your skills, pay close attention to detail, and always use high-end tools and the proper techniques. These are the pillars of success in detailing, whether you are starting a business or washing your own vehicle.
Watch this how-to video to see all these steps brought to life!


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