Know your solvents, cleaners, and waxes and the differences between them and what they do.
Know which solvents and cleaners react to different types of playfield coatings meaning Tuffcoat, pure lacquer, clear coat, or varathane equivalencies.
Know which solvents and cleaners react with plated and galvanized coatings on metal.
Know your applicator pads as well, whether terry cloth, brillo pads, steel wool, sanding pads, fiberglass pens, chamois, sponges, or Scotch Brites, as they all have their purpose. Scrotch brites come in different abrasive levels as well.
Solvents are always cleaners in some type of form.
Cleaners are not always solvents in their pure form, but is based on their chemical composition AKA "harshness".
Waxes are not cleaners by nature, unless additives are in the material.
For example, Simple Green is a cleaner, not a direct solvent or wax.
I clean playfields with Novus #2, or a mixed compound and terry clothes.
I wax playfields with carnauba either Mothers Gold Step 3 or Blitz Wax with sponges and chamois.
I polish plastics with Novus #2, then Novus #1 with terry clothes.
I polish metal parts with Flitz, unless there is serious rust issues which then I use Evaporust, or several other commercial products with Scotch Brites and terry cloth.
I clean cabinets with diluted Simple Green and terry clothes.
I wipe down games every 400-500 games with Novus #1, especially high traffic areas.
I inspect the pinballs at the same time and replace as required, if pitted or scratched.
Most of the time after a game restoration only the final two steps are required once a year.
Waxing is redone every 2-3 years (or sometimes more) unless a game receives more than 1000 games a year.
Games when brought out of storage get a "once over" before play, but are not waxed.
If an owner is installing a playfield protector, DO NOT wax playfields, Novus #2 only.
There are other guides for "how to wax".