OK. Every one has their own routine but below is mine.
Our cars are usually spotless and FYI, my old 156 got chosen to represent the face lift 156's at NAD 2007 and our GT got chosen as the car everyone wanted to take home at an AROC fun concours last year (winning us a free service).
I always do the wheels first. Use a separate bucket with wash & wax and warm water in it.
Next, a good hosing then spray with AG's acid free wheel cleaner or their regular acid based stuf if needs must. Agitate with the AG wheel brush or the Sonic Scrubber for the hard to reach bits like the GT's rims or the Brembo callipers. Then use a small sponge on the rest and tyres (Tesco non stick pan cleaners are ideal).
On to the wash
To avoid the swirls, I always pre-treat the car with a 50/50 mix of water and wash & wax, sprayed on with a trigger bottle. Leave for a bit then hose off (I never use a pressure washer).
I've recently become a Snow Foam convert. Apply via the spray bottle on a pressure washer lance after filling the bottle with a 50/50 SF & water mix. Leave on for no more than 5 minutes and then pressue wash off using the wide fan soft spray setting on the lance.
Once the car is really soaked, I use two Megs grit guard buckets and two decent quality (Tesco finest are great) dual sided wash mitts in warm water mixed with either Zip Wax or AG's conditioner shampoo.
Always ensure the car is kept really wet and dip the mitts often. Also, start at the top and work down. I wash in a straight line too (not circular motions) again to help avoid the swirls.
You can optionally rinse & clay at this stage if your car was really grubby. I do this twice a year (after winter & after summer) and the new Bilt Hamber Autoclay Soft seems to win all the tests for performance & easy of use. Just ensure the surface is wet as this needs to act as a lubricant to allow the clay to glide.
Finally, after a good rinse, on with the AG Aqua Wax (or Express Wax in 5 litre trade form) but make sure the car is really clean & really wet from the final rinse when you apply and do not go overboard with it.
Dry & shine with a decent quality microfibre cloth. I avoid those flexi blades at all cost because one small beut of grit means disaster
If you want to be extra particular, finally buff up with a fresh dry microfibre cloth (only really needed if it started to dry before removal).
It's a wax so will only shine, not polish & fill swirls like SRP. It contains Carnuba hence the nice smell
Wheels & tyres
Once dry, wax & protect the wheels with a suitable wheel sealer such as AG's Alloy Wheel Sealer or Turtle Wax nano protect wheel sealer. Try not to spray on the disks though so spray on a cloth first and then apply. A little goes a long way. Allow to dry then buff off to a shine.
For the tyres, AG's Instant Tyres Shine is excellent, again applied with a very small sponge to avoid getting it on the alloys.
This makes the cleaning of your wheels & tyres much easier next time around
Hey presto, a gleaming ride and with not a lot of effort
To note, I polish & wax the car about every three months using a combination of AG SRP (for the Ti), AG UDS (for the GT), EGP as a finish and now the new HD wax as the ultimate shine for shows such as SAD, NAD & MITCAR.
Aqua Wax is perfect for the in between months
Hope this is of some interest & of help to you