It can be difficult to know where to begin when beginning anything, let alone go into detail. There are many various levels of detailing as well as numerous strategies and ideas, but we’re here to introduce you to some of the fundamentals. Basics that perhaps sound too intricate to be fundamental, but we guarantee you that this is the most fundamental detail there is.
This is a beginner’s guide to our 12-step program:
FIRST STEP: WHEELS
Whenever possible, always begin with the wheels. We can’t emphasize this enough. Your wheels need a good pre-soak using a high-quality wheel cleaner because they are the dirtiest part of the car. To reach the difficult-to-reach spots, you’ll need brushes, as well as a different wash mitt and bucket than you would for the painting.
STEP TWO: STAGE 1 PRE-CLEANER
Use a pre-cleaner at all times. one made especially to get rid of pests and difficult dirt. We would suggest using our Citrus Power, which has citrus-infused cleaning characteristics to safely but effectively reduce road grime while being kind to wax or sealer layers, something that will be especially useful on later washes. Spray this on any sections that have been bug-splattered as well as the bottom portions of the automobile.
STEP THREE: SNOW FOAM, Stage Two.
Before the actual washing stage, snow foams assist in dissolving any tenacious dirt and removing any loose particles from the vehicle. It will be less likely to leave swirl marks on the paint finish if you get rid of as much debris as you can before contact washing (most swirls are caused at the wash stage).
STEP FOUR: THE ESSENTIAL TWO-BUCKET METHOD OF CONTACT WASH
Did you ever imagine that step four would come before you even start painting?! It’s vital to use a high-quality shampoo to further reduce the possibility of any marring, minor scratches, or swirls. The deep pile allows any particles to be absorbed into the mitt rather being squeezed and dragged across the surface. Fill one bucket with the washing solution, and the other with plain water. Apply wash solution to the automobile, washing it in small parts from top to bottom. Rinse the mitt in the water bucket first. By utilizing this technique, you can be confident that your automobile will always be washed with pure water and that your wash solution won’t become contaminated.
STEP FIVE: THE STAGE OF DECONTAMINATION
First and foremost, spray on an iron dissolver – our Iron Out solution is ideal for this stage – which will dissolve any ferrous pollution such as industrial fallout and rail dust that has bonded itself to the paintwork. Then, using a solvent tar remover, soften any tar that has become attached to the paint. Rewashing the car, or at least the regions touched with the solvent, is an essential step here, as solvents will melt Clay bars and seriously interfere with the next process. Clay bars are fantastic; simply rub the block over the paintwork with a slip or lubrication and it does all of the job for you.
STEP SIX: DRYING.
Begin from the top and work your way down. Taking it panel by panel will ensure that every region is streak-free. It’s critical to work swiftly (to eliminate wet stains) and thoroughly to avoid leaving any drying streaks. If you have any remaining water spots, a fast detailer is an excellent product to use to clear them up.
STEP SEVEN: POLISHING.
You can polish by hand or by machine. Hand polishing will result in a good finish, but it will not be as excellent as a machine polish (unless you know what you’re doing). Both applications are covered by our products. We would advise avoiding using any machine polisher on your car unless you have prior knowledge. Our best advice is to start with a separate panel. These are easily obtained from scrap yards. That is preferable to burning through the paint on your car, which would necessitate a full panel respray or perhaps a complete car respray.
STEP EIGHT: GLAZE.
We would incorporate our paint glaze in between the polishing, waxing, and sealing steps. Our non-abrasive, polymer-enriched acrylic glaze called Ultra Glaze is intended to polish paintwork and lessen the visibility of tiny swirls. Excellent advice; it works best with metallic and deeper colors.
STEP NINE: WAX/SEALING.
Although each of these steps is equally crucial, waxing or sealing is right up there on the list of must-do tasks. All the hard work you put into steps one through eight will be protected by adding a layer of wax or sealant. If you’re not sure what kind of wax to use on your paint, look at our article on wax.
Step TEN: Dressing and trimming the tires
Your tires and trims have been cleaned; the next step is preening. There are items that may restore plastics to their original colors and that can freshen up your tires without causing them to get greasy.
STEP ELEVEN: GLASS
Glass is an item that is frequently overlooked. A high-quality glass cleaner like Crystal is a necessity in any detailer’s toolbox, regardless of whether there are minor scratches or only finger prints (all Titanic style).
ALMOST AT LAST.
All of the prior hard work will be completed with a final touch-up and wipe down with a fast detailer. A good rapid detailer will remove any possible residue from waxing or sealing, as well as any possible finger prints from you moving around your car, and will also generally straighten up any missing details or trim dressing that has wandered. Finishing touches like these are frequently forgotten, but they can also be the most crucial, particularly for the show-finish that we all so eagerly want to accomplish.