Show pride in your favorite ride

A few tips to make your car shine “like a diamond” for the summer

By Casey Williams

We may be halfway through summer, but it’s never too late to shine, wash and show some bling with these automotive accessories. You’ll cut a windrow everywhere you go this summer.

Bath time is fun

Getting your car in for a good cleaning rivals only your special love. But you will need accessories. Throw away last year’s bucket and buy a new one so you don’t scratch the paint with old dirt. Ditto for your sponge, chamois and interior cloth. And don’t use household cleaners: buy a dedicated car wash soap from Meguiars, Armor All or others at your local auto store. Finish with a tire shine spray. Set aside $15 for a sponge, $20 for a chamois, $25 for a car wash liquid, and $12 for a tire shiner.

Gently wax the body

Your body isn’t the only thing that needs waxing for bikini season — your car might need a buff and polish, too. One of the newest and easiest to apply is Turtle Wax’s Pro Hybrid Solutions Graphene Spray Wax. Simply wash your car and spray on wet or dry paint, allowing 24 hours to dry. A glossy coat protects against water spots, chemicals and the sun’s UV rays. Bonus: unlike body waxing, you only have to do it every 12 months. Price: $33.

Condition those supple skins

Wrinkles and cracks don’t look good on your skin, and they don’t look good on your car either. It’s important to be a little proud of your leather seats, especially if your car sits in the hot summer sun: use a cleaner and conditioner to keep dirt from breaking down the leather, and a conditioner to keep it supple . Many brands are available, but be sure to buy a dedicated leather product and not a general purpose car cleaner. Armor All even offers leather wipes with the added durability of ceramic. Price: $20.

Cleans like a (John) Deere

My college buddy introduced me to this product 20 years ago. Nothing cleans better than a Deere! If it can remove mud and grime from cornfields, surely you can use it to wipe up dog stains and adventure stains. Buy Classic Glass Cleaner at John Deere dealers or deere.ca. Add cleaning towels and wheel/tire cleaner for a few extra bucks. Whether you drive a tractor or a Tesla, you’ll really clean up the slack with this set.

Promote human rights everywhere

Add some sparkle to your car while supporting our community: Order an equal sign from the Human Rights Campaign. The famous blue and gold logos look great on the back of your car, and buying one helps HRC do a great job. Peel and stick emblems can be applied to your window or bumper, while new magnetic versions hug boot lids. Go to hrc.org to donate and receive a sticker, or purchase the magnetic bling version for around $15.

CASEY WILLIAMS is a contributing writer for Gaywheels.com. He contributes to the New York-based LGBT magazine Metrosource and the Chicago Grandstand. He and his husband live in Indianapolis, where Williams contributes videos and reviews to wfyi.org, the area’s PBS/NPR station.

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