I have waxed and detailed cars professionally at dealerships and in my spare time for other individuals. Also, I have waxed large boats for boat dealerships.
Why wax your vehicle?
Waxing a car removes small scratches and can potentially increase the value of a car. Also, rain leaves less spots and it is easier to keep your car clean afterwords. If you have larger scratches, it might be of interest to use a buffer. This will not be discussed in this instructable due to the liability from possibly "burning through" the clear coat of your vehicle.
Step 1: Suggestions on what products to use to clean up your vehicle
Chrome / Metal Polish: Turtle Wax Chrome & Metal Polish
Glass Cleaner: ArmorAll Glass Cleaner
Tire Shine: ArmorAll Tire Foam
Black Plastic Restorer: Meguiars Ultimate Black Optional
1 Microfiber towel
3-5 clean rags
All of these products should be available at your nearest auto parts store.
I have experimented with other products, but ArmorAll and Turtle Wax both make quality products. Almost all other products are used in the same fashion. Still, it is important to make sure to read the labels to avoid a poor outcome or even damage to your vehicle.
Step 2: Wash and detail
Wash your car by hand or simply go to your local car wash.
When done, make sure you park in a location that is not in direct sunlight. Grab a towel and wipe off any excess water.
Check that all dirt is off of painted areas. Dirt and bugs in the front and rear of vehicles tend to not get removed perfectly by automatic car washes. Pay special attention to those spots when detailing.