How to do it...?
Okay well I have read more or less every post in the detailing section and I have learned quite a bit. Most of the information was scattered about and somewhat incomplete.
So from what I have learned the order in which you are suppose to do it is:
wash/dry - clay - polish - glaze - sealant - wax
But I wasnt realyl able to get complete directions. I would consider myself pretty experienced with cleaning cars but I would greatly appreciate a real pro's response. So what I am asking you pro's is to give an outline in somewhat detail. A how to if you will.
Throughout all of the posts I have learned that clay bars are great and that Porter Cable rocks and the Poorboy is were it is at. But I want to know how to effectively detail your/my car. What is the best way to wash a car...with what? How do clay properly and what is the best product? How to properly polish/glaze/seal/and wax a car and what is best.
All in all I would really like to see a compilation of all you pro's on this board help us non-pros keep our cars in showroom shape. I know this is a HUGE task but trust me...it is GREATLY appreciated. Thanx you guys.... YOU ROCK.
I could help you with wash...:)
1) Always use 2 bucket method. One for shampoo and one for rinsing only.
2) I prefer to use Sheepskin mitt rather than sponge, MF mitt. Use light pressure and let the shampoo do the work.
3) For shampoo...get either P21S Shampoo, PB Super Slick & Suds, Megs NXT.
4) I try to get rid of dirt as much as possible with water before shampooing. Rinse your car from top to bottom.
5) For drying, use high quality Waffle Weave MF towels. One towel goes a long way.
6) I use separate mitt for lower part of vehicle, since it tends to have more dirt & road grim.
7) When your car has very little dust, you can use PB Spray&Wipe with PB Spray&Gloss. No water involved with both products.
Hope this helps :)
DI or OCD will help you furthermore :woot:
I break my details into 3 Step. Prep Work, interior and exterior. Listed below is my general outline for prep work. I am currently working on the more elaborate version but it is not yet ready. The interior and exterior outline I will post tomrrow if you would like.
Make sure vehicle is cool and in the shade
Wet entire vehicle down
Cover all electrical ports and computers etc. with plastic.
Spray engine with P21S Total Auto Wash, brush, rinse and check
Door Jambs, Trunk Tracks, Gas Door
Carefully spray with P21S Total Auto Wash, Brush (horse hair), rinse and check
Tip: Use garden hose with sprayer and crimp hose. Control the flow by squeezing
the crimped hose not the trigger.
Tires, Rims & Wheel Wells
Spray the tires and wheel well with P21S Total Auto Wash, Brush, rinse & check
Spray the Wheels with P21S Wheel Cleaner and let sit if dirty. Agitate, rinse &
Tip: Move the vehicle 1-2 feet forward to get a better view of the wheel.
Rinse Vehicle again
Check for Bugs and tar deposits
Spray bugs and tar spots with a diluted P21S Total Auto Wash Solution.
Wash vehicle (separate bucket and supplies) from top to bottom
Dry (check for missed bugs. Re-Spray with P21S and wash area again if bugs remain)
Wipe engine dry and inspect
Apply water based dressing like 303 Protectant to entire compartment. No need
Door Jambs, Trunk Tracks, Gas Door
Wipe dry and inspect
Tires, Rims, Wheel Wells
Wipe dry and inspect
Dress wheel well with water based dressing like 303 Protectant
Rockers & Fender Lips
Check for road tar and remove with a solvent like Tarminator
I think I read somewhere that there are only 2~3 manufacturers who make clay bars...just labeling them differently.
Clay Magic or the one that Poorboys carry seem to be good ones.
1) Cut your clay (in this case, 200mg ones) into several pieces.
2) Spray enough lube on surface, work by 2x2 section (recommended by DI).
3) Fold them when you think it's dirty.
4) If you drop it, throw it away.
For lubes, you can use Quikshine QD or PB Spray&Wipe. :)
Wash and Dry - Many different ways to do this, ideally you want to minimize the possibility of adding swirls and scratches. We recommend Sheepskin Wash Mitts, soap with conditioners in it (Poorboy's World Super Slick and Suds, P21S Shampoo, Menzerna Auto SHampoo, etc.) Get two buckets and fill one with soap and water and another with just water. Rinse the car down, spray the wheel wells, wheels etc. Dip the mitt in the bucket and logically do a pattern around the vehicle using starting from the top down. Rinse occasionally while washing. After your done washing dry with CLEAN waffle weave drying towels. Don't use these towels on door jambs and areas you don't normally wash. I'll use a quick detailer and a microfiber towel for jambs and really dirty areas. Now your ready to clay.
When to Clay? When you're paint feels rough to the touch, it could use a clay bar. If you have deposits of rail dust (even from transport on brand new cars) a clay bar can help remove them. Tar remains, sap, over spray, and other surface contaminants. A simple test is to put your finger in a plastic bag and run your finger over the surface, this will amplify the contaminations you can feel.
Where do I use Clay in the detailing process? Clay should be used right after washing and before polishing and waxing.
How do I use a Clay Bar? Using a clay bar is easier than you think. Work in 2' x 2' sections. Spray on some clay lubricant (quick detailer or shampoo + water solution). Using light to moderate pressure glide the clay across the lubricated surface. Buff off excess lube with a microfiber towel. Kneed the clay bar into a fresh surface every panel.
My clay is skipping, what did I do wrong? There was not enough clay lube on the surface which caused the clay to skid / skip. Apply more lube in that area to remove stuck on clay - OR - you are using too much pressure.
Will claying my car make it look better? The end result of a detail is directly related to how well the car is prepped before polishing and waxing. So, yes, it will yield a better looking car in the end.
I dropped my Clay Bar what do I do? Throw that piece out immediately and get a new piece. Otherwise you will chance scratching your paint! We suggest cutting up your clay bar into 4-6 pieces (with our 200g bars). They will be big enough to still mold in your hands. Some people convert dropped clay to a clay bar for their wheels, but if you have real nice wheels, you still run the risk of scratching them with the dropped clay.
How often should I clay my car? I like to clay my car twice a year (Spring and Fall) however more will not harm the paint. Studies have shown that claying a car does not effect your layer of clear coat unlike the common misconception some have.
Will Clay Remove Swirls? No, a clay bar does not fill or remove swirl marks. It's main purpose is to remove surface contamination.
The Porter Cable speed depends on what step your doing in the detailing process (i.e. polishing, waxing, etc). Abrasive polishes need a little higher speed 4 - 5.5, chemical polishes, glazes, sealants, waxes, etc are applied at 3.5 - 5. If its your first time using the Porter Cable or if your new to detailing start at a lower speed and increase it as you become more comfortable with the buffer. When applying abrasive polishes like the Poorboy's World SSR line and Menzerna's Intensive Polish and Final Polish II your going to have to apply more product than other steps in the process. The amount you'll need with other products will vary tremendously depending on which product you have. A good sealant will require a very thin coating around the outside edge. Apply a circle around the outside edge of the pad (if the pad is brand new apply a little extra till the pad becomes a little more saturated, you don't want a dry pad on the paint). With the buffer off smear the product over an area approximately 2ft X 2ft. With the buffer on the painted area you just smeared the product over turn the buffer on. Work in a logical pattern such as: starting in the top left corner of your 2ft X 2ft square move the buffer at a slow and steady pace left to right, it should take about 5 seconds or more to get from one side to the other. Now move the buffer down and move it right to left overlapping the previous row by 50%. Repeat this process until you have done the entire 2ft X 2ft square. Now with the buffer still on repeat the same exact process up and down overlapping each pass by 50%. This should result in each part of the paint receiving four passes from the buffer. The even distribution of product and heat will help ensure a good thorough and even detail. After you have completed an area make sure that you remove the excess product with a clean microfiber towel, this will thoroughly remove the product and reduce the risk of adding fine scratches. Good microfiber towels are plush and are able to pull the product off the surface as opposed to pushing it around the surface. Polishes will require 2 - 4 microfiber towels (16 x 16 inch) to remove all of the extra product, while sealants and waxes should need about 1 - 3 microfiber towels (16 x 16 inches). If the towel is saturated with product use a new clean microfiber towel.
Greg @ Detailed Image
A note on your order. Please correct me if im wrong...
Typically its either sealant or glaze.. not both. One is durable the other is wet shine that will last about a week.
The reason for this is because glazes have oils that prevent the bonding of sealants, as sealants need to absorb over the paint surface. The exception according to some, is Ultimate Paint Protection by four-star which can be put over some of the lighter glazes.. #80 and a few others..
I believe that you can put glazes over sealants however, and seal them in with a nuba topper.. Im still looking to find out of the glazes would disrupt the sealant. I know if they have cleaners they most likely do.. but Mothers S&G or #7 are pure.. so yea..
You should also consider a pre-wax cleaner for the periods between heavy details. like Klasse AIO.. Sealant wise.. if you plan to to just layer reliable and tested Klasse SG.. go for it.. but UPP is just 2 dollars more.. and many love it.. Its not as picky when it comes to bonding.
This is really going to depend on the type of glaze. The problem with glazes today is that manufacturers use the term glaze many times and its a blend of polishes, polishes and glazes or just fillers. If you are using a glaze that contains just microfine abrasives you can go straight to your sealant. Glazes do not contain any protective qualities and in many cases will remove sealants if applies over them. If you want to make sure a sealant will adhere to your surface you can always wipe the surface with a 50/50 solution of alcohol and water first. This will give you a properly preped surface for waxing or sealing.
I hope this help. If you have any other question don't hesitate to ask.
Brett @ OCD
Wow....thank you guys. That was very quick and easy to follow. :) Any word on how to do the interior properly (products, where to start, etc)
Do you guys carry all of these products mentioned?
Rubber/Plastic/Vinyl : 303 Products, PB Natural Look
Carpet : 303 Products...don't remember the name.
Nav Screen : Plexus
Trim : same as rubber/plastic/vinyl, but you can use Klasse AIO also.
For applications...experts will help
Cool...that was quick. Thanx
Well here is all the crap I have collected over the years... some of it I like some of it I dont. Is there any of this stuff that you guys use and/or like?
The top is all my cleaning crap then the bottom one has the buckets/towels/scrubbers/soap/ etc
I feel the same and you can find all of those products on our site at www.detailedimage.com
Feel free to contact me with any further questions, comments, or concerns.
George @ DI
Is any of the stuff I already have any good?
Can you take it to the next level? Absolutely. What you have is more of the "off the shelf" products you would normally see at local auto stores. They are usually good at best.
If you are looking for enhanced appearance, easier to use, longer protection, then we can certainly help you choose the right products for you.
Once you try some of the more "botique, higher end" products like many have made the switch on the forum, I do not think you'll ever look back!
Feel free to ask any questions and I'll be happy to answer them all for you.
George @ DI
I thought that might be the case :)
thanx george. I will probably be ordering all new stuff from you around june... i need to use up what I got first...ha.
Thanx for all the help and great tips.
Just one more question. What is the best way of detailing the engine bay?
Is there any good... complete kits you guys sell? I just wouldnt know which indivuals products I should get for MY car. Cause I know one product is good for one car but maybe not soo good for the other.
As far as engine bay detailing, basically you'll want a safe degreaser and than a water based dressing to make it look nice. We really like the 303 Products, both the Cleaner as a degreaser and the Protectant as a dressing. There are a few posts floating around about detailing engines and our suggestions. Check the first page or two if not I'll be happy to post up some how-to's on it.
We're looking forward to helping you out in the future, feel free to contact us along the way if you have any questions about the products, process, and/or techniques.
George @ DI
Thanx george...I'll definitly be ordering from you guys later on. Thanx for all the help.
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