The Do’s And Don’ts Of Car Detailing
Once you have your car detailed, it’s a constant joy to look at; the incredible new shine, the glow it puts out with every striking light, and the enamored look on every other person’s face when they see it.
It wouldn’t be overstating that detailing adds to the value of a car. But in a world of busy roads and shady services, maintaining that shine of your car is no less than a challenge! You may face hurdles in a number of ways including the products you apply to your vehicle and the wash methods you use. An ordinary wash at your local mechanic can also have an impact on the detailed shine of your car. So to help avoid making bad decisions and helping you be aware of how detailing works, here are few tips that you should consider when getting your car detailed.
Table of Contents
Things Not To Do:
Absolutely no automatic car washes of any kind, including touchless washes. Automotive paint is scratch sensitive, automatic car washes with brushes damage paint by scratching and swirling the surface. Touchless car washes use harmful chemicals that will either strip your wax or sealant and/or not clean your car completely.
Do not use terry cloth towels or other types of cotton towels on your vehicle. These types of towels should not be used on your paint as they will scratch and mar the delicate surface. However, you can use these towels on interior surfaces and carpet.
Only use cleaning products specifically designed for auto detailing and washing. For example, Dawn dish soap and similar soap will strip any wax or sealant that is present on the vehicle. This is a great thing if you plan on compounding, polishing or re-waxing your vehicle, but not if you just paid to have your vehicle detailed a month ago and you strip a product that has a life span of 12 months if taken care of properly. Also, do not use Windex on your windows; it contains ammonia, which dries out plastic, rubber and window tint. Avoid charity car washes, hand washes, etc. Here’s why:
“The lettering on the sign invokes the mental image of high quality, careful hand washes to the delicate and scratch-sensitive clearcoat finish on his black Corvette that that’s just a dream, not reality.
Do you actually think when you pull up to a hand car wash that the workers notice it’s you and your special car? Do they empty their buckets of used car wash soap with all the dirt in it from the last dozen or so cars they’ve washed and make a fresh solution using a premium quality, non-detergent car wash shampoo? Do they put their worn, tatty wash mitts aside and break out the brand new, premium quality wash mitt? Do they bring up their level of quality and professional technique because you and your car are different from all the other cars that they see day-in and day-out? I think they just continue washing with whatever they’ve been using and treat your car just like the mud-encrusted 4×4 that they washed before you arrived.”
Check out the whole article here: The Reality Of 100% Hand Car Wash By Mike Phillips.
Do not let a dealership, body shop, or mechanic shop wash your car. More than likely they will not be using proper methods, tools, and products. When you go in to have your car serviced hang and place, “Do Not Wash” flyers on the driver’s window, the dash, and the seat. Use the largest font that will allow the message to fit on a single sheet of paper. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Things To Do
Wash your car yourself using the two-bucket wash method or a Rinseless wash with microfiber towels. I also offer mobile maintenance washes between details to keep your car looking perfect.
If you are looking to just clean off light dirt and dust that is on the surface of the paint use a rinseless wash type product or quick detailer and a microfiber towel to safely wipe away from the dirt. Never dry wipe any towel across the paint. A cleaning solution like car soap or a quick detailer lifts the dirt from the surface and encapsulates it inside the solution. If you do not use something to encapsulate the dirt and lubricate the surface you will be wiping dirt and dust across the paint inducing scratches.
As mentioned above in the Things Not To Do section, only use cleaning products that are specific designed for auto detailing and washing. If you need help selecting products and tools or simply want suggestions please contact me I’ll be more than happy to guide you in the right direction.
Only use high-quality microfiber towels on your paint. Microfiber is a superior fiber to traditional fibers like cotton, it’s soft and has the ability to lock dirt into the fibers of the towel, rather than just push it around like cotton.
There are many types of wash mitts and sponges on the market, I suggest using a microfiber wash mitt. It will be gentle on the surface and not damage the paint as long as you’re using proper washing techniques.
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