I came across products from Busch Enterprises (www.buschpolishes.com) at a swap meet/flea market a while back, most notably the company's Aluminum Wash and Chrome Wash. I've used a lot of different products over the years, but these, bar none, are the best for cleaning their respective metals in short order with literally no effort-just spray on, rinse off, that's it. The Aluminum Wash comes in two strengths: regular and heavy-duty. The latter is for uncoated aluminum surfaces that are severely oxidized; the Chrome Wash is for chrome-plated steel surfaces, while the Wire Hubcap Wash is for chrome and stainless wheels or hubcaps. The Chrome Wash dissolves brake dust, road tar, grime, rust, and just about every other kind of crud that can get on your chrome wheels, and-get this-no rubbing or scouring is required. None. Zip. Nada. What's not to love?

While I'm not averse to putting in some effort when the task at hand requires it, I'm also a great believer in working smarter rather than working harder. And using the right powerful potions in your garage is all part of working smarter.