Get started with the wheels as they often hold a lot of gunk that you won't want sprayed or splattered over your newly cleaned car. First, wet the wheels with water, then spray them with a wheel cleaner. Scrub them well with a cloth or scrub brush. Rinse completely with water. If you want your wheels appear black and shiny, apply some tire shine. Just spray the tires and wipe off the excess.
Regularly clean off the dirt and sand from under the wiper blades. Sand which gets caught under the wiper blades can over time cause scratches on your windshield.
Clean the leaves and other debris from the areas below the windshield (cowl panel), as the leaves block water drains and collect the moisture, causing a damp smell inside your car.
When washing the exterior, spray the entire car down with water. Use a bucket with water and a good quality car soap to wash the surfaces. Do not use dish soap - it will strip the wax! If you want to detail, use a small brush to get in the cracks and crevices.
Dry the exterior using a terrycloth or microfiber cloth to remove the water. If possible, open all of the doors for 5-10 minutes to allow the water drips in the door frame to dry. Wipe these areas to speed the process along.
If you are living near the coast or where the salt use is common in winter months, consider rust-proofing your automobile. Properly done rust proofing can protect important components of the car from corrosion. It's better to have your car rust proofed before the rust starts to appear.