Car and Truck Detailers have some tricks of the trade. Many are very simple but effective! Just like most services, you can detail your own car or truck but will you really be able to do it as well as a professional, experienced detailer with superior supplies and equipment? Probably not but it’s still good to know what they are doing to make your vehicle look it’s best. And also for the do-it-yourselfer’s with with a bunch of extra time and patience, the following are 10 professional tips from experienced car and truck detailers…
Rinse Before Washing
Always start with a clear water rinse. It you start with soapy water, you will just grind the surface dust and road grit into your paint finish. Rinsing first will remove the surface dust and dirt before the cleaning begins.
Use the Correct Soap
Many Do-It-Yourself car washers use dish soap but that is a mistake. They need to find good car-specific soap that is specifically designed to be less aggressive than products meant to clean a crusty lasagna pan or the shirtsleeve you dragged through your soup last week. You want a carwash soap with good lubricity and easy foaming to lift and suspend contaminants embedded on the surface of your paint. A professional car detailer will use a professional grade car wash soap that is of a better quality than any diy detailer could probably get their hands on.
Use Two Buckets
On any given day you will undoubtedly see someone either washing their car or getting it washed via an automatic car wash. Washing a car is the simplest and perhaps the single most effective way to enhance and maintain a car’s appearance It is essential that you use two buckets when washing your car. The “two-bucket wash method” requires one bucket for water only (a rinse bucket) and the other bucket for a soap/water mixture (a wash bucket). If you only use just one bucket, you will be using dirty water and soap to wash your vehicle and it will eventually scratch the paint.
Forget the Sponge, Use a Microfiber Mitt
With a microfiber car mitt. The grit falls out when you rinse the mitt. With a sponge the grit will stay put. Grit gets embedded in a sponge. So, if you wash with a grit filled sponge you may as well use sandpaper. The sponge will harm car’s finish. Also dry with a microfiber towel that collects the leftover particles. Rinse the towel in clean water to remove grit.
Remove Minor Scratches Before Polishing
You can buy scratch-removal products at auto supply stores or in the auto supply section of large one-stop stores. They generally come in form of kit that has the cleaner, sealant, and a micro-fiber towel. Polishing increases the shine, bit it doesn’t remove scratches. If you remove the scratches first and then polish you will get even more shine.
Buy a Dual-action Polisher
A Dual Action polisher is a polishing machine that uses a circular motion combined with a spinning motion to create a rational double action. This motion is useful when polishing a surface by machine. The Dual Action polisher is famed for being easy to work with, making it ideal for beginners. If you’re looking for a machine polisher to speed up waxing your car or removing scratches from your paint then we recommend you look for the dual action orbital polishers. A car detailer would not be caught dead without a dual action polisher. This is not a buffer, buffers run at a much higher speed and can burn the paint off your car. Polishers run at lower speeds and oscillate as they rotate. Apply the polish to the machine’s pad, then wipe the pad across the paint. That will prevent all the polish from flinging off the pad as soon as you hit the trigger.
Use Synthetic Wax
Synthetic car wax is also known as a paint sealant. It’s made from synthetic polymers that bond with paint to provide an artificial layer of protection. Several car owners and detailing professionals prefer this type of ‘car wax’ as it’s much more durable and easier to apply. Old style paste waxes look great on antique cars. But they do not produce the same wet look as modern synthetic wax and they do not last as long. Apply synthetic wax in small sections using a wax applicator sponge. Remove wax with a microfiber towel. Wipe off the wax haze using circular motions. As the towel loads with wax refold it to a cleaner section.
Have the Right Tools To Clean the Interior of Your Vehicle
- Brushes – It is wise to purchase a set of detailer brushes if you plan to wash, wax, and clean your car inside and out. Detailing brush sets are inexpensive and consist of about 5 natural boar hair brushes for cleaning wheels, engine and interior or your automobile. Use a detailer’s brush and shop vacuum to remove dust and dirt from all the nooks and crannies on the dash and console.
- Sprays – Silicone dashboard protectorate sprays leave a slick film on your dash that attracts more dust, so you will have to clean it more often. Plus a shiny dash reflects into your windshield. That reflection can reduce your vision. That is why professional detailers use non-silicone matte finish protectants. They look great and reduce glare.
- Cleaners – For seats, leather, and other soft surfaces, spray a generous amount of cleaner directly onto the surface. Then, use the soft brush and tiny circular motions to gently loosen the dirt and debris. This’ll help lift and absorb contaminants more effectively. Next, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the surface clean. If additional cleaning’s needed, apply the cleaner again and gently scrub with an all-purpose scrubbing pad. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
- Protectants – Tip, to further extend the life of your interior, consider adding a moisturizer or protectant. This not only improves your interior’s appearance, but it can also help protect against stains and spills. It’s best not to skimp when purchasing these products, though, as the less expensive ones can be greasy and ineffective.
- Vacuums – For the floors, hold the shop vacuum wand near your brush to suck up all the dirt as you work your way down to the floor. Brush and vacuum your carpet. If you just vacuum you will leave plenty behind. To remove more dirt. detailers use a brush and scrub the carpet as they vacuum. You will see the dirt particles bounce to the surface so you can suck them up with your shop vacuum.
Lubricate Door Seals
Detailers make it a point to re-treat the seals with silicone spray. Spray some on a rag and wipe it around the entire door seal. The silicone prevents the seal form sticking in summer and in winter.
Finish With the Glass
Cleaning the windows is the done at the very end. Cleaning the windows removes all cleaning and vinyl treatment over spray and leaves you with sparkling clean window.
Bottomline – It’s just easier to let a pro who has the experience, supplies, and equipment detail your vehicle right the first time.
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Bailey’s Car Wash & Detailing
Bailey’s is a local and family owned car wash providing a range of washing and detailing options for our customers! Since 2002, we have been providing outstanding services to the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area. Our experience, customer service, and overall value is what sets Bailey’s apart from our competition.
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