Whether you're a car enthusiast or someone who drives purely to get yourself from A to B, it's worth knowing a little bit about car maintenance, if only to keep your car in top shape and extend its life. Therefore, spending a bit of time on auto detailing is time well spent. Auto detailing basically refers to paying attention to the details of your car when you clean it, as spending time on them makes a big difference to how the car looks.
One thing you should make sure to do is spend some time cleaning the detail on the inside of your car, which can often be easy to overlook. Use a mild kitchen or bathroom cleaner to remove any stains or sticky patches around the cup holders or other areas prone to spillages. You should also run a small vacuum cleaner around the edges of the car to prevent the build up of bacteria as well as to remove dust and grime and improve the car's overall appearance.
When the inside of the car's done, it's time to spend some time on the exterior. Washing your car is something you should do regularly, and preferably by hand. Use clean sponges and equipment as using dirty ones won't really help matters. This will prevent grime sticking to your car, so it's a worthwhile thing to do. Try and avoid going through the car wash if you can, as abrasive cleaning products and sponges can leave faint, swirled scratches in your paintwork.
Once you've washed your car, it's a good idea to give it a wax from time to time. Waxing is a good time to check for any paint chips as, if left too long, these can cause rust to form. Chips should be filled in with touch-up paint as soon as possible. You only need to wax the car twice a year, but do it once every two weeks to build up a nice shine and help the surface become less conducive to dirt.
So, you've got the rest of your car looking great, but remember to spend a bit of time under the hood, too. You should regularly use a good engine degreaser to keep the parts in good shape. Leave it on for a bit so it soaks into the dirt, then wash it off with a hose and rub an emollient like Vaseline into any rubber hoses so they don't dry out and crack. You should also keep electrical components under cover to keep them in full working order.