Author Topic: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^  (Read 49474 times)

Offline xjay1337

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Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« on: November 01, 2013, 02:12:34 PM »
Hi

This is going to be an introductory guide into the wide world of detailing. It's a good long post so maybe grab a brew. I know having read it back it's a bit all over the place but it can be difficult to write about such a large subject in an "easy" way.

despite there being a pretty good guide already people are still asking loads and loads of questions.
I don't feel that the other guide went into enough depth about procedures and actual methods, rather giving the broad strokes to get you going, rather than the nitty-gritty information you need  to go from a weekend car cleaner to someone capable of detailing.

It's so long I broke the forum trying to add it as one post so I've had to split it up.

I'm just some guy who has taught himself by reading, trying things out, watching videos, talking with professionals etc. Basically ANYONE can get to where I am if they want to. The key is not to get overly concerned about what you're using and not to worry and act on every little teeny question that may crop up. In most cases it is fine ;)

If you think I know what I'm talking about trust me, compared to some people I am a complete idiot.


What is detailing actually

Well personally I feel detailing is an art form. It's about taking something and making it beautiful in it's own right. It's about seeing something and making it happen.

Ultimately, detailing is a higher form of cleaning, where particular attention is paid to areas that wouldn't otherwise get a look in. Door hinges, door shuts, window trims, right through to the rubber window seals, wheels and arches. As per the name, the devil is in the details..

As part of the detailing process paintwork is corrected, refined and perfected, this can be done by hand but it is incredibly hard work - we tend to let machines do the work (I will come back to this later).

How does this differ from the traditional valet

Time, attention to detail, methods used, etc.
Valets, whether in a man with a van or in a supermarket car park or abandoned petrol station  forecourt, are more concerned about CLEANING the car rather than protecting/enhancing/restoring the finish of the vehicle.

Valets GENERALLY (and a rule of thumb here I am speaking broadly and do not wish to offend any decent valeters) work to numbers, they want the most amount of cars done in a given timescale for a given cost. They use cheaper, more mass produced products and buy these in huge quantities.

Many used sponges for such a long time but now they move onto wash mitts. However these wash mitts are dirty and old, often being used until they are in pieces. Many get dropped on the floor and then straight onto your paint.



These ones are some of the worst. They use 5L of water max, and tiny little microfibre cloths. It's basically a bucket of grit and water that they then wipe across your car.

Mainly found in supermarket car parks, they offer "EPIC MICROFIBRE CLEANS" from their mobile trolleys.. Some operate from old abandoned fuel forecourts.



Places similar to the pictures above often offer a "Valet service" for a few quid (often you'll get change from a tenner) . They spend 15 minutes on your car and then it's onto the next guy.. you don't even need to get out of your car most of the time!

Often staffed by immigrants who have little concern for the paint and merely working at any job they can, they are the single biggest thing you can do as an owner to devalue your car IMHO.


When you are at home and you give your car a wash you cannot really call it a detail - People do and it's something which personally annoys me quite a lot, or when they break out a clay bar and a bottle of Autoglym Super Resin Polish and call it a "detail day". We're all guilty of it as we all do it, even me, but realistically a wash and wax, or even with clay, hand polish (with a filler based polish such as Autoglym Super Resin Polish) and any old tub of wax or sealant.. it's still a valet, just a higher end one.

There are some valet companies out there who do things properly, use the right methods, who may even use a machine to apply a filler based polish to a vehicle (saves time) and who do put decent waxes on - so don't hear the word valet and automatically assume terrible. Use your common sense  :happy2:

What about the petrol station car washes or those ones in my local supermarket ? They seem great!

If all you want is a CLEAN car, yes , it will be clean. They do a thorough job often enough to give them their credit. The problem they have is with their products and methods, which are seriously damaging over a period of time to your cars paintwork.
It will look clean from a distance, and even up close, but under artificial lights or in sunlight over time the finish will become dull, hazy, with fine cobwebs, marring and other scratches in the finish, which no amount of washing or waxing will remove.

These are commonly referred to as swirl marks which are caused entirely by improper washing and drying. If you never wash your car you will never have swirl marks!  :rolleye:

What causes surface defects, such as swirl marks, hologramming, micromarring?

Swirlmarks are caused by minute particles or dirt, grit, mud, stones, that get sandwiched between your cars paintwork and whatever material it is that you are using on the paintwork.
If your paintwork is completely clean and you take a completely clean microfibre towel, and wipe it on the paintwork, you would leave no marks (in theory anyway).

They happen because of the fine marks and scratches within your paint, and the light hits them and causes them to become refracted and rather than bouncing back straight into your eye, it gets scattered in every which way direction.


Here are some heavy swirl marks



This is caused by years of very poor washing techniques, sponges and chamois, water blades, dirty cloths, etc

As a car enthusiast you will wash your car, and everyone does it, and throughout the washing and drying process, swirls are inflicted into the paint surface. These are what I call little "love marks" , as part of caring for your care you will put little marks into it, tiny scratches. Normal wash marks are as below. This is from my friends Audi S3 that I corrected for him.



Minor hologramming is often referred to as micromarring as well - basically microscoping "marring" (faults) to the surface have been created.

There are also other types of surface defects like sanding marks - where the panel has been sanded for painting and has not been sanded up to the right grit before the paint has been sprayed onto it.

They look similar to this.



You also have "Random Deep Scratches" also known as RDS which are often caused by brushing stones or articles of clothing against the vehicle, maybe with a branch or a button on a pair of jeans or similar. These are not caused by normal washing.

Here you can see some swirls and also an "RDS" (going horizontally about 3/4 of the way down the image, again from my friends' S3.



Okay that's great but what is the washing process? And what should I use?

Okay first thing you know you need to realise or understand is that most marks are caused by washing the car. To minimize this at the very least you need a Microfibre Wash mitt but I would recomend a quality lambswool wash mitt. Unlike a sponge, microfibre and lambswool mitts offer a passage for the dirt to be encapsulated within the fibres , rather than suspended on the surface and rubbed into your paint, like they are with a sponge (which absorbs water but not particulate).

So buy a wash mitt.

Then you have your shampoo. To be perfectly honest I'm not going to waste my time recommending shampoos when overall they are all about as good as each other. Anything WAX SAFE is fine. Stay away from all in one (wash and wax) shampoos. A good all rounder is Autoglym Body Shampoo Conditioner. It's also available in Halfords which is a bonus..

You also need to have AT LEAST 2 buckets. One bucket is full of your shampoo solution and the other is clean water.

TWO BUCKET METHOD

You dip into the shampoo (WASH) bucket, start working on the car from top to bottom, after half a panel or so you place your now soiled wash mitt into the clean water (RINSE) bucket, and rotate it on the grit guard. This is to help remove dirt from the wash mitt, before you place it back into the WASH bucket.

Ideally you would like 2 buckets each with a GRIT GUARD.



I would recommend two buckets with 2 grit guards , HOWEVER that is up to you. If you only have 1 grit guard, use the grit guard in the RINSE bucket.

Pre Rinsing and washing.

Before we even start to clean the car it is important to work using common sense. Is the car only covered in a very light film of road dust from a few days of commuting in the dry?  Is the car covered in dirt as you drove 200 miles in the pouring rain down muddy back lanes?
If the car is not really dirty and you're just cleaning it because you want to, I use one bucket and I have no problems. If the car is soiled then you need to use the two buckets and the grit guards to help prevent the scratches.

I would recommend using a snow-foam solution personally. Not everyone has a Snow Foam lance and a jet wash. If not for about 5-10 quid you can buy a perfectly adequate pump sprayer which you can use to help loosen dirt. There are a variety of snow foam and pre-wash products out there. Some are just pre-mixed and others have a variety of strength dependant on dilution ratios so pay attention to what each manufacturer recommends.





Personally I use snowfoam in a pumps sprayer and I use Bilt Hamber Autofoam.

Wet the car as much as possible, either by throwing buckets over it or using a hosepipe/jet wash. Then use your snow foam or pump sprayer solution and allow it to sit for the prescribed time (follow the instructions of the product). Then jet or rinse it off before you start actually cleaning the car.

The aim here is to remove as much dirt as possible before we actually touch the car, and any dirt which does remain on the surface, has been "softened" (just like soaking a baking tray)  for easier removal.

Now you can take your wash mitt to the car, work in STRAIGHT LINES, top to bottom. Don't ever do circular motions on paint, ever. Some people break the car up into 5, 10, 15, or even more sections but I just start on the roof on the drivers side, and then work along the cars length in a downward motion..Why complicate a simple process.

You can also clean your wheel arches. To do this you can use an All Purpose Cleaner (such as Autosmart G101 or Bilt Hamber Surfex) or a snow foam or pre-rinse solution.
You can also use brushes to agitate these areas

For example you can see here on my old TDI it's not a pretty sight



However after some cleaning and some agitation...



... Comes out much nicer ;)



You can then protect these areas with a spray sealant such as 303 Aerospace Protectant or even WD40 or GT85 if you have nothing else.

Pay attention to the door shuts as well... not just the hinges but the furthest out areas of the door. These can all be cleaned and dressed (I will get to this later) as well.

Before



After



After you have worked around the car it is not time to rinse off the vehicle thoroughly to remove any last remaining bits of dirt and the remaining shampoo solution.
Once this is done you may reach to your chamois or water blade and start drying the car - BUT DO NOT DO THIS.

Drying your car

The chamois and water blade are the two worst things to use. On glass you can use them but on the paint, absolutely no. This is because, as with a sponge, any dirt left on the surface has no where to go - it would be ground between the chamois/water blade and the paint causing scratches.

Use a quality Microfibre drying towel. You can buy these from £5 (for Kent Car Car ones) up to £30 for Chemical Guys ones. Honestly there is not much difference between them, I would buy a few Kent Car Care ones for daily use (use them three of four times until they start to lose their plush and then chuck them) and a few plusher ones for the more special details.

Ideally pat dry the paint (by folding the towel in half or quarters) and then dabbing it on the vehicle. You can gentley brush the towel across the surface but this does increase the risk of marring the surface.



This is true for ANY TIME use use a microfibre towel on the surface of the paint.
Remove the tags (they just pull out) and FOLD THEM IN 4. Every single time. THis is good towel management (you in effect then get 8 cloths from one) and means you're less likely to scratch the paint by applying loads of pressure on one tiny edge , as if you would when you scrunched up the towel.

How NOT to do it



How to do it.




Much better :)


Cleaning wheels

Now this is a bit of a tricky one as some people do wheels first and some do them last. There's no right or wrong way to do it. Anyone who says their is a right or wrong way is an idiot. There is only one important take away.

Nothing that touches the paint should ever touch the wheels and vice versa, nothing that touches the wheels (which are invariably the dirtiest part on the car) should touch the paint.


When cleaning wheels you ideally want to use an acid free wheel cleaner.

Firstly jet/rinse the wheels down to remove any loose dirt. Apply your wheel cleaner of choice and go from there really.. take a little brush (I use an EZ detail brush and a variety of wheel brushes, as pictured)





I generally use a washmitt on the faces and the backs of the spokes and then go around the harder to reach areas, such as the lug nut holes, badges, corners and what not with the brushes. Or you can just use the brushes. The EZ detailing brush is great to reach the back of the wheels with. It very much depends on the finish or the wheel and the design.

If you have Iron X or a similar product, now would be the time to use it. Once you have cleaned the wheels, apply Iron X and allow it time to react. Normally on a cloudy day I would leave it 3 to 5 minutes. You don't want to let Iron X dry on as it becomes less than friendly then.
Once it has reacted again spray the wheel with your wheel cleaner and agitate with brushes once again, followed by a rinse off.
The reason you clean the wheel first is that IRON X IS NOT A WHEEL CLEANER. It is an Iron Contaminent removal product.

I would not personally use Iron X regularly. Maybe once a month, especially on sealed (waxed) wheels.

Now you've cleaned them all once they are ready to be rinsed down. Once thoroughly rinsed use a microfibre towel to dry them.


Decontaminating your paint

Your paint is out in the open and exposed to all sorts of crap. Over time these chemicals and compounds, such as tree sap, iron fall out, road tar and what not, become embedded within the paint and your cars paint feels rough, and yet no matter how much you wash the car little black or brown dots won't ever come off! Well that is contamination.

You may have heard about clay bars but these are not the first step.
You have a few other products at your dispoal that you would want to use BEFORE claying.

Firstly you would want to remove any road tar, glue residue or anything from the car. There are several products out there that do this but Autosmart Tardis is the best. However avoid it getting in contact with trims (like the GTI sideskirts). It will be fine if you rinse it off immediately but if you leave it, they may become faded and you will need to put some trim restorer on them to restore the colour.
Follow the instructions but basically apply this where necessary - often lower sills, around the wheel arches the rear of the vehicle as these are the areas which get covered in tar the most.
Then allow to react and wipe away with a microfibre cloth.

Here you can see some tar on a wheel being treated with a tar removal product.. It would be the same on paint.





Next you can use an Iron fallout removal product.
Iron is what I find personally gives the most gritty feeling on paint, as by it's nature the particles of iron are rough. They are also the hardest to remove. Clay will remove these but at greater risk of damaging the paint.
Some very clever people found a way to actually turn iron soluble and so Iron X was born. Other products are available but they do not often work as well, stick with the original and best IMHO.
ALL Iron fallout removers smell. This is because of the chemical. The less they smell generally the less effective they are. Iron X cherry is not a BAD smell but it's not exactly a field of roses. They do a Lemon scent one which has no foul smell at all.
What I'm trying to say is, it often smells. Deal with it.  :surprised: :surprised:

anyway - Spray this liberally to the entire car and then allow it a few minutes to react. You would see any reactions leaving long purple lines down the vehicle. This is often best sent on silver or white cars.



Once you've given it a few minutes to react you need to rinse the car off thoroughly. If you have a jet wash and foam lance now would be a good time to use it once again.

Then you can dry the car.

Claying

Claying is what you would do after using a tar and Iron remover product from the surface.
Clay is used to remove bonded contaminants from the surface of the paint. People say clay does this by being sticky, which it is, but ultimately it's a fine abraisive. Think of it like shaving your paint, as you would shave your face. You're not really taking any skin (paint) off as such, just what is on and in the paints surface.

Doing so will remove any contamination that is bonded to your paint and it will reside within the claybar - As such.



When claying it is important to provide lubrication as the claybar has no pores to absorb what it picks up. It will grind them between the paint and the clay bar itself.
There are a variety of clays and nearly every clay out there, apparently, must be used with a CLAY LUBE.

THIS IS NOT THE CASE. It is ultimately a ploy by manufactures of products to make more money. You are completely fine to use a mixture of car shampoo and water (I use Fairy liquid to be honest here as if I'm claying the car I'm going to be polishing/waxing anyway)

I've used many clays and I keep coming back to Bilt Hamber stuff, it's very good value and doesn't break apart and leave a "bitty" feeling on the surface like some others *COUGH 3m COUGH* and is fine to use with water as a lubricant only (however I always use a shampoo and water solution).

I use a double action chemical resistant bottle to spray the lubrication onto the surface. This is amazing for claying as it sprays on both the trigger press and the depress (hence being a "double action" sprayer) meaning your hand doesn't get achey as fast!

I'd recommend everyone has something like this even if it's not a double action one. It's under a tenner.




If I am claying the car I will not bother drying it after washing , unless I am working outside and it's hot and would otherwise leave watermarks.

So take your clay (normally comes in a bar) and get a section of it, and form it into a patty that is big enough to fit across your 3-4 fingers (like in my picture above). They can be quite stiff at first but with some heat it will improve.

You do not want to hold the clay bar on your finger tips, rather you want it sitting how it is in my picture above - This is so you apply a more even pressure rather than putting all the pressure on your fingertips.. wet the clay bar and then thoroughly wet the surface of the area you are claying. Saturate it. You will be able to feel the clay picking up contaminants from the car as there will be some resistance and after a while of going over the area it will turn smooth and the clay bar will glide effortlessly across the surface.

You do want to apply some light pressure but you do not want to really press hard, let the clay do the work.
Keep spraying the area you are working to ensure proper lubrication. WORK IN STRAIGHT LINES ONLY. Any time you're touching the paint you want to only ever go in straight lines NEVER CIRCLES...

If you drop your clay on the ground then throw it in the bin and get a new piece. It will pick up dirt and stones that will damage your paint.

You will pick up a feel for it soon enough but as a rule of thumb every 1/3rd of a panel you want to stop and check the condition of your claybar to see how dirty it is. If there is contamination on it you'd want to kneed the clay and refold it again to reveal a clean side. Again you would want to work in straight lines top to bottom.

Again depending on how you are working, if it's hot outside (which is not ideal for washing a car anyway) then work a panel at a time, clay the panel, rinse it off and then dry it, move on to the next panel.

You can clay the glass as well.. clay works on any surface...

After you have clayed you may have some residue left from the clay itself, or your chosen lubricant. Generally I give the car a quick rinse down (if you have snowfoam then just foam it and jet it off) and then dry the car finally.

Then you're done with the decontamination of your paint.

Polishing your car

so now you've removed all of the contaminents from the paint you are ready to polish the paint.
There are a couple of different kinds of polish
You have what I call "filler polishes" - These are very very fine abrasives, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being like sandpaper and 0 being completely not abraisive at all) they are probably 0.5-1.

Products like this are PB Blackhole, Autoglym Super Resin Polish, Auto Finese Tripple
They are designed ultimately for use by hand (you can use them by machine I will get to this later) and you can use a microfibre towel or , ideally, an applicator pad (either sponge or microfibre.. I prefer MF myself). They come in all shapes and sizes and there's not really any that are massively different from another. I personally prefer either the large rectangular MF applicators or a circular one with a handstrap.





These do not "correct" scratches (correcting means permanently restoring the finish of a vehicle) with abrasives, instead they are more like glazes, using silicones and oils to "fill" in scratches on a temporary basis.

Here's a really terrible picture I made on paint but the point is clear enough
The scratches in the paint cause light to be reflecting in a less than ideal way.

You can see what the hand polishes do along with a wax or sealant.




Over time, after a few washes or over the case of a few months as the wax or sealants start to lose their bond with the paint, and your swirls come back and you are left at exactly the same position.

They are fine if you don't mind doing it every few months but it is not a permanent solution to be honest and is a bit of a half step.

Then you have actual polishes, compounds, jewlers polishes, which come in different levels of abrasiveness, from a wide variety of manufacturers.
Some manufacturers (like 3m....) are very filler rich with their polishes. If you use an IPA wipe down some swirls will return.
Some like Menzerna or Gtechniq P1 are silicone and filler free meaning the finish is permanent.

These polishes come in 2 types, diminishiing and non diminishing.
Non diminishing abrasives are pressure based - that being, the more pressure you apply the more the paint will be removed and the faster swirls and scratches will be removed.
Diminishing abrasives start off abrasive and over time through the polishing action, break down into much smaller particles.

I prefer diminishing abrasives personally. You may find different.

Maching polishing..

Firstly it is important to know why we decontaminate the paint before we start to machine it - because any debris, dirt, particles of iron, etc, can interfere with the process. At best these would just get embedded into the foam and cause no damage but in the worst case some dirt can get stuck between the pad and the paint and cause mayhem, basically grinding grit into your paint so you end up putting more damage in than you are getting out!

You can work polishes by hand but it's VERY hard work and takes ages, it's much easier to use a machine such as a DA or a Rotary. I am not going to cover genuine hand (correction) polishing

These permanently remove the surface defects by actually removing some of the paint. As you are basically removing paint by the process of erosion you should know how much paint you have, as it is IMPOSSIBLE to tell by eye. Anyone who says they "can tell" is talking BULLSH*T.

Firstly you need to be able to inspect your paint so the best tool for this is a SUN GUN.
This can be a really bright torch, phone light, whatever. However you need something really bright.
Phone lines are only really good on really dark cars and you get a very narrow angle of viewing (as the light power is quite weak)

The best thing for the money is what's called a Brinkmann Dual Xenon which is what I have.



It is a rechargable flashlight where you can adjust whether there is one or two bulbs. It charges up from a US socket (adaptor) or from your cigarette lighter which if you're a traveling detailer or valeter it can be charged while you're driving about.

This is to help you spot the swirls to begin with. This is very important both from a "diagnoses" point of view, that being you are assesing how bad the paintwork is and also when you are in the process of actually correcting the paint, an easy way to verify your progress and ensure you're actually getting the results you want.

Swirls are based on seeing fine imperfections in the paint at many angles. Therefore a stronger light is good so you can move around and see more clearly. It's possible for example, that you may remove a scratch when you look at it from one angle but when you look at it from another it's there clear as day. This is where a sungun and/or strong light source help you. Being handheld it's easy to move about and get a much better view as well.

You really need a paint depth gauge (PDG) too, which measures the remaining paint.
Some actually tell you how much paint you have based on remaining colour coat and remaining clear coat depth (You are interested in how much clear coat you have at the end of the day) but these machines are VERY expensive.

Most people work off an estimate using a normal paint detective gauge which just tells you how thick the coating between the surface and bare material is (includes paint, clearcoat and base coat). This is better than nothing and acceptable for most people.
EG ROUGHLY it goes 30/30/40 as base, colour and lacquer percentage. This is NOT always the case and is a pretty poor way of going about it but it's all about working to the best information you have to hand.

Normal paint depth gauge.. this one is a PD8


Positector for example do some like this.



These are massively more expensive but able to tell you specifically how thick EACH LAYER of paint are.

So if you are starting with a car that's not been machined before and has let's say 120microns of paint you could realistically go to about 85 microns before you would strike through (where you go through the clear coat and only have paint there) however polishing is as much about maintaining the remaining clear coat than it is removing scratches. the lacquer provides UV protection against fading and you don't want to remove this.
That is not to say you can go to 85 microns left or that you should use that figure in mind! You should use it as a guide to be aware of when you're at risk of burning through.



Burn through on a Blue Peugeot. The paint at the point of burn through measured between 75 and 80uM.
Other cars may be different but that is something to bear in mind... personally I wouldn't touch a car below 90um!

After a burn through you will NEED to have the panel resprayed. You might get away with a smart repair if it's in the center of a large panel (eg bonnet or roof) but really it would need spraying at a bodyshop.

The process of machining is quite easy to be honest as long as you are patient and work through it methodically.

What do you use to machine paint?

First of all you have pads and compounds.

There are many different compounds from various manufacturers, 3m, Menzerna, Scholl, Gtechniq, Chemical guys, etc.
They each behave differently in terms of how long they stay active for, how aggressive they are, price, whether they are diminishing or non diminishing, etc. On the bottles or the manufacturers website they will explain how aggressive the polishes are (more aggressive = more ability to remove swirls however this will remove more paint and also be more likely to leave micromarring and need further refinement).

You have pads as well which come from a wide variety of manufactuers.. Chemical Guys do Hexlogic, Lake county, menzerna also make their own range of pads. My personal choice is the Chemical Guys Hexlogic Range.

Pads, just like polishes, are designed to have a different amount of "cut" - this is the ability of the paint, with a polish, to remove swirls.
For example if you have a really heavily swirled finish you may need to use Menzerna FG400 along with a Chemical Guys Orange pad (this is a very aggressive combination) however in another case you may only need Menzerna SF4000 on a Chemical Guys White pad (this is what's known as a finishing combination) -

You can mix and match as well, for example if you wanted a bit more cut than what the SF4000 could give you with a white pad, you could jump to using the same polish with an orange pad to increase the cut slightly.

My PERSONAL choice is Menzerna Polishes. However the next guy might be a Scholl guy, the next may be a Chemical Guys guy. There's no "right" or "wrong" polish. There are some which are better than others however.

It is important to remember as well about the PAD SIZE and the BACKING PLATe.
The backing plate is what holds the pad to the polisher. You can get multiple sizes, normally you have what are called "spot pads" (for small areas and come in 3 or 4 inch sizes) and then you have 5 inch pads, you can also get 5.5 and 6 inch pads.

You should use the correct size backing plate for a given pad.
EG if you have a 5.5 inch pad you can use a 5 inch backing plate. You want the pad to be larger than the backing plate ideally , this offers some protection. As the pad is relatively soft and non-damaging where as if you tip the polisher over you will grind through the paint instantly.

You can use a larger backing plate than your pad (eg put a 5.5 inch pad on a 6 inch backing plate) however this is not good practice at all. On the plus side your pad will last longer (in terms of it won't end up looking like this)...



But it is stupid - a pad is under a tenner and for the sake of being a cheapskate you risk damaging your car to the tune of hundreds of £?
Also it effects heat build up within the pad and, as such, defect removal rate.
In short - stick to the right sized pad don't mess about.



Here is a list of some Menzernas Polishes and sealants to be applied using machine and their relevant cut and gloss levels



And here's a list of Chemical Guys Hexlogic pads and their cutting ability




It's very important to pick the right combination for your job. You can realistically get by with 3 polishes (finishing, medium and heavy) and 3 pads (again a finishing, medium and heavy).
I also use a microfibre cutting system which is much more aggressive than the available foam pads and is designed for use with "harder paints"

I would recommend for the beginner detailer that they get a "medium" pad in a "spot" version (so 3 or 4 inch) as well as a 3 or 4 inch (the correct one for the pad). As you build up the confidence and knowledge then you can work up to building up a bigger range of pads.



Quick one on paint hardness

Not all paints are born equal.
Some are hard and some are soft.
When we talk about paint hardness we talk about their scratch resistance and also how difficult or, how "hard" the paint is when it comes to removing scratches and swirls when correcting the paint.

A softer paint, normally found on Japanese cars, will mark much more easily with normal washing and drying. However it will be able to be restored using much less aggressive compounds.
A harder paint is normally found on German cars and some American models, which withstand normal wash scratches much more easily HOWEVER they require a much more aggressive compound to be used.
This is why it's VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! to ALWAYS use a test spot with the least aggressive compound, in conjunction with your paint depth gauge, to work out a) how much paint is left but also b) is there an unusually large amount of paint indicating the vehicle has been resprayed and therefore the paint may be of a different hardness level?
Generally on a car with factory paint you can use that one combination from your test spot throughout the vehicle however if there are any areas which have been resprayed then you need to start from scratch on these areas.


What machines are there

There are two machines ultimately .
A dual action (such as a Das 6) or a Rotary (such as a Silverline).

Here's a Das 6 pro from CYC with a Megs MF pad attached


And here's a Silverline Rotary with some random buffing pad on it lol




I myself use a Das6 Pro and in conjunction with my chosen pad and polish combinations there is not a paint surface it can't work on.
I've used Rotaries in the past which are faster but I personally prefer DA, I can get the results I want, while I do some peoples cars it's normally friends and families so time is not an issue and not only that but there is cost, my DAS 6 Pro cost me £100 where as a decent Rotary that doesn't weigh a ton (the Silverline is under £50 but weighs SO MUCH it's impossible to do a whole car at once) is 3 or 4 times as much.

Rotaries are more difficult to use. They are mainly used because they can achieve results more quickly. However they are also more dangerous in the wrong (or shall we say inexperienced hands).
The difference is in the way the heads (where the pads mount) rotate. There are new Dual Action polishers out (the Rupes bigfoot for example) which combine the ease of use of a DA with the speed of a rotary by having a larger throw (cover more surface area basically).

Rotaries as their name suggests are rotary only. They spin about a fixed axis.
On a Dual action, what a lot of people don't understand is that they also spin however their axis is not fixed as such, it oscillates


 

So machine choice is fairly important but not the be all and end all. If you are really new to the whole detailing and paint correction game then definitely start with a rotary.

DA's work on SPEED SETTINGS eg 1-6 and rotaries work on a RPM basis.. DA's speed settings still correspond to an RPM however that information may be different on each machine, same goes for rotary.


The first thing is to tape off the sensitive areas. I personally like to tape off all the door shuts, around the windows, where there are rubber seals , as polish residue is a PAIN to remove from these areas and around the door shuts the paint is VERY thin and it's easy to burn through on these edges. When you become more comfortable and precise you don't need to worry so much about it however if you're beginning I would recommend covering at least an 1/8th of an inch from any panel edge .

You can use any low-tack tape however 3m 3434 tape is like £3 for a roll and is regarded as the best tape for the job.

An example:



It's best explained by watching (that's how I learnt) but ultimately you take your machine polisher and your pad which is aligned as central as possible (with a hook and loop backing system basically it's velcro pads holding to the velcro backing plate) place a few dots of polish on the pad and dab it around the surface. You don't want to literally coat the entire pad in polish, 4 or 5  10p size blobs are more than enough. The first time you use a pad you'd want to prime it so spray it with one spray of water before you start or you can apply extra polish and spread it around the pad with your finger.

Then work the area (roughly the same size as a regular microfibre towel to begin wtih, you can work slightly larger areas as you get more comfortable but really you you want to split up panels into 3 or 4 sections).

EG I will break a door into 4 sections .. split in half using the rub strip as the verticle seperator and then split horizontaly half way along the door.

When polishing you ALWAYS START WITH THE LEAST AGGRESSIVE COMPOUND and work up until the desired correction results are achieved.

Work in a snake like pattern going up and down along the length of the area you're working, overlapping each pass by about 30-50% and then work in the opposite direction. First you want to quickly spread the polish on a very low speed and then you want to slow down and bump the speed up and actually start to machine.

If you have a Rotary there is a technique called the "Zenith point" technique which I don't personally use but many do. Ultimately you start slowly and then work up in speed to certain stages, and then back down before turning it off. You can also adjust the pressure you're putting on the machine.

Talking of pressure you only want to be really applying enough pressure to hold the machine flat against the surface. You don't want to PUSH on it... let the machine do the work.

Work until the polish has started to haze over (again this is hard to explain it becomes second nature when you're doing it) and then turn your polisher off (don't remove it from the surface of the paint until it's stopped spinning otherwise you'll get splatter EVERYWHERE) and then take a clean plush microfibre and buff away the remainder of the polish.

While I am not a massive fan of Autogeek this video is pretty good and shows you a pretty good idea of what to do

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zUHRnHsSXZU?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Here are the results I got on my own car.





You can also machine polish your lights




However you need to be aware that as part of the machining polish, heat is generated and you need to understand how different materials will be effected by heat, eg the difference between machining on a metal panel (Eg a front wing) and a plastic panel (eg a bumper).

Ultimately as I said it's pretty hard to explain but easy to watch and even easier to do. If you are at all nervous before taking it to your own car go to a scrappy and just ask if there are any scrap panels laying around. Normally you'll get a door or bonnet or something for free or a tenner, and then you can mess around on that to your hearts content.

But honestly it is not hard to do it right, you just have to keep your wits about you and the most important thing is BE PATIENT.
The biggest problem most people have is rushing, they work the machine too quickly and do not give the polish time to break down leaving holograms, that's the main thing that happens.
It is very counter intuitive at first, you think you're damaging your cars paint but really you're not and you don't have anything to worry about.

Watch some videos on Youtube and watch by learning ;)

It's also important to be comfortable when you're working and keep the cord for the machine over your shoulder to avoid it marking the paint.



Some other decent video guys


<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KP-eAddv2sk?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/L5qtEUpVrSM?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


There are single stage machine polishes, 2 and 3 and even 4 stage machine polishes.
However many stages usually dictate how refined you want the finish. You can never get perfection from one step.

To remove light scratches you can use a less aggressive compound and pad combo but you won't remove all scratches in a single pass.
To remove heavy scratches you need to use a heavier duty compound/pad combination, which will leave tiny micromarring behind in itself
The micromarring will need to be removed by using a less aggressive compound (often known as a finishing polish) afterwards to refine the finish to a point of absolute perfection in terms of reflection and clarity... so that's why you can't ever have a perfect 1 step polish unless your paint is already nearly perfect.

Generally a one step polish is used to remove as many scratches as possible without leaving micromarring or hologramms (eg in a 1 day paint correction session).

Remember when I was talking about using a machine to apply a filler polish like Autoglym SRP? Well you can do that as well. You would need to use a finishing pad however it needs to be done faster than if you were actually machining using a compound, as you would dry the polish up, and at a lower speed, so normally you make a 3-4 passes on speed 4 with a light polishing pad (eg a Chemical Guys white pad)
you may find yourself needing to have a spray bottle of water handy to help re-activate the polish as it dries out.

Clean up!!

After you have checked your work and you are happy with the results you may want to take this time to remove all the tape from the vehicle. Now would be a good time to snow foam the vehicle and again dry it. While the snow foam is doing it's thing you may want to get a detailing brush and a microfibre towel and go around the car and remove any of the polish or tape residue that is stuck in awkward places (like door window seals).
A cocktail stick and cotton bud will really help out here.

You need to be careful during this phase as if you scratch the car again all of your hard work would have been for nothing. YOu want to be as safe as possible.
There what I normally do is rinse the vehicle thoroughly in a pre-wash solution or snow foam.
Then I take my hosepipe and my mitt, with fresh wash and rinse buckets, take some shampoo solution from the rinse bucket and spray the hose INTO the mitt as you then clean the car again - Again working in straight lines.
This provides extra extra lubrication at this critical phase. (you can also do this during any wash if you want).

I got this technique from Larry from AmmoNYC - I am not sure if he was the "first ever" to do this but it works quite nicely.
<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/X0Sqi1lAj1A?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Go to 8m04s

Then dry the vehicle very carefully. Again using a lovely clean microfibre drying towel.


After this you move onto the LSP
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 03:35:51 PM by xjay1337 »

Offline xjay1337

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 02:14:23 PM »
LAST STEP PRODUCTS

LSP is known as Last Step product.
This is basically the last step that you will do on the paint (which isn't always strictly true but hey I'm just being pedantic now).

When we say LSP we mean the protection we will apply to the paint.

I would like to say first and foremorst that WAX or Sealant WILL NOT IMPROVE THE FINISH OF THE CAR. That is not STRICTLY true but I'm talking the broad strokes.

If your car is swirled to hell and you wax it, it will still be swirled to hell. People who say "I used <Wax A> and now my car looks amazing are unfortunately lying to themselves and to you. It may intially appear better but under light it will still be the same as before. People often say "I waxed my car and now it's really shiney" - Well it's an optical illusion.

Polishing the paint is what provides you with the shine. I would say that an LSP adds maybe 5, 10% AT MOST to the final finish quality of a vehicle (and this is for ceramic coatings which actually add physical depth to the paint, I will get onto these in a minute).

You polish to get the shine, you wax (or apply sealant) to PROTECT the shine.

You may ask how this works, well it's all about layers again. If dirt is able to stick directly to the paint it's going to be harder to wash off, harder to remove, and particles will physically bond to the paint itself.
If you have some wax or sealant on the vehicle, the majority of dirt will simply not be able to stick to the surface as it becomes too slick for the dirt to bond to. What does manage to bond will be able to come off much more easily after a rinse/snow foam.

In practise this means if you detail your car once and fully machine it, protect with a durable and quality sealant, you can wash your car simply by snowfoaming it twice a week (it may take several hits) and then drying it with a leaf blower or compressed air - This way you NEVER have to actuall touch your car again to clean it. That's the dream huh?!?

Throughout this guide you may have noticed I've not really compared or recommended many different products. This is because MOST products, by and large, do pretty equal jobs. However there are some which are notably more durable than others. Many products are actually rebranded anyway so you may very well have 2 products which are EXACTLY the same just from 2 different manufacturers..





You have a few options here. I personally break it down into 3 classes

Waxes
Sealants
Ceramic sealants (or si02 based sealants)

The wax and sealants should be pretty self explanatory. Waxes are generally made from natural carnuba extracts. Sealants are normally synthetically made.
For example Auto Finesse Temptation ? Is a wax , it contains Natural Carnbua.
Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection is a sealant. It is synthetically created using chemicals.
Then you have what I call ceramic sealants. These are much more difficult to apply and remove, often needing very particular conditions to apply and a specific preperation before applications. An example here would be Gtecniq EXO.



Prepation steps? Well this depends on the product you're using, and the best thing I can suggest is to FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS. Generally they know best AS THEY MAKE/DESIGNED/SOLD the product. If it says "leave the wax 20 minutes before buffing off" you best damn leave it 20 minutes!

If you have a wax you may benefit from "glazing" or using a "pre wax cleaner on the surface before you actually apply your wax, as it allows the oils within the carnbua wax to bond better to the surface, and likewise for a sealant you may find a chemical cleaner helpful as sealants GENERALLY prefer to bond to bare paint.

However this is optional really and providing you've polished the car and removed any polishing oils you can apply both sealants and waxes to bare paints quite happily (A lot of detailing is subjective..)

To apply wax or sealant, much like with using a filler polish you should use an applicator pad.

Some sealants are actually touchlessly applied, such as Nanolex Washcoat - This is applied by spraying on it a pump sprayer and then rinsing off.

I did a guide of that product here

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=288973

For waxes and sealants to be honest I would recommend a sponge pad, unless specified by the manufacturer. Again it's important to ensure the applicator pad is clean before use.
Normally, as a rule of thumb, you apply some product to your applicator pad and then spread it across the paint.

YOU NEED TO WORK IN STRAIGHT LINES. Don't ever work in circles on paint unless SPECIFICALLY told to by the manufacturer. I can't think of any product aside from ceramic/si02 sealants that you CAN'T apply in straight lines.




Apply a THIN, even coat of your wax or sealant to the vehicle. Follow the instructions as to how long to leave it to "cure" (this is the process of the wax or sealant "Bonding" with the paint. You can do what's called a swipe test, this is done by taking an area and swiping it with your finger to see if you leave a clear, non-smeary mark in the paint. If you do then you can remove the sealant or wax.



Anything that you remove is excess product (therefore a waste) and therefore putting too much product on wastes the product, and more importantly it wastes time, having to struggle to remove excess layers of wax or sealant because you pasted it on with a roller brush!
Less is very often more when it comes to last step products. On darker coloured cars it's quite easy to see where you're applying the wax or sealant however on lighter coloured cars it's much harder so you may need to use additional light sources or just your sense of "feel" and a methodical, thorough approact to knowing where you've gone and how much you've applied.

After you have applied your first coat you normally want to go back after half an hour or so (again this depends on the exact sealant) and give a second coat - This is to ensure a nice even coverage. You can continue layering your wax or sealants however past 2 or 3 coats you get no tangible benefit in terms of durability.

Another Autogeek video here which will help explain it better.
It says "how to apply sealants" but it's exactly the same with a wax. They have made a video on how to apply waxes but it's literally the same thing so save your time.

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HMI4jmsH87s?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I want to touch on the ceramic/si02 sealants in a bit more depth.






As I mentioned they are far more difficult to apply, often recommended to be applied by competent people only, and sometimes even sold to professionals only. Some require very specific temperatures (for example Gtechniq EXO), some require a religious panel prep before application (for example CarPro Cquartz) which if there are polishing oils or any other residues left on the surface of the vehicle can cause the coating to react in a negative way (eg yellowing) or a failure of the coating to bond with the paint at all.

Like this..



If you are in any doubt have a professional do the product application or perhaps have them do it the first time so you can watch and then you will be able to copy them in the future.
Thanks to the power of the internet there are many application guides of most of the products online so if you are stuck as to how to apply, for example, Gtechniq Exo, you will find that the nice chap from Gtechniq got togeher with KDs Detailing and made a "how to" video.

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GJ-P0CdGoZk?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The same is true for Gtechniq C1, CarpPro CQUARTZ, CQUARTZ UK Edition, and many others. For these product applications other things may be handy like suede microfibres (although to be honest if required normally these are provided with the purchase of the sealant) , makeup applicator pads (for Gtechniq C1 these are very very useful).

Cquartz for example actually increases the surface thickness and provides a large increase in scratch resistance.


When you are using sealants such as this it's important that the car be allowed to cure correctly, normally after you apply the sealant the vehicles surface needs to remain free from water/dew etc - so needs to be in a garage really, ideally at a constant temperature and humiduty.



How long will my wax or sealant last?

Well that does depend on what wax or sealant you use, how well you prepared the surface, and such like.

How do you measure durability I hear you ask? Most people do this by using beading as an indicator.
However beading does not indicate any protection. All that indicates is that the surface of the paint is clean and there are no other contaminents on it which would effect the way that water sits on the surface.

Here's a photo of my car immediately after machine polishing and another wash to remove the polishing residues and oils...



So no wax and yet it's still beading?!?!

Magic? No it's simple physics and how the water sits on the surface at a mollecular level. The truth is there's no way to tell whether your wax is "still there" other than if it's beading or not so we tend to use that as an idea.

Anyway back to the original question, how long does an LSP last ?
If you just wax over a poorly (or non) prepared surface you might get 1 or 2 months of durability.
The same wax on a car which has been decontaminated is maybe going to go for 2 to 3 months.

The most I have ever personally gotten out of a wax (I do a lot of tests on my car) is 4 months.
This is using Collinite 476s.

My car is a true daily driver, as I use it every day to go to work, it sits ungaraged next to a main road and at work we are 2 minute walk from a rail way so my car is subject to a lot of iron based fallout and contamination. It gets washed at least once a week, often more. Each time you wash you do degrade your LSP that's just to be expected.

The most durable sealant I've come across was probably FK1000p (if you can call it a sealant) This was about 3.5 months.

Ceramic sealants I've not done too much with personally, but you can expect at least 8 months durability, normally we are looking at over a year - But the care during washing and particular attention to using a wax safe car shampoo with no additives is important.

How much are waxes and sealants, and are they worth it? [/u]

Waxes range from £5 to £500 and even higher.. you can spend £20k on some wax if you really want to.
Is that to say that a £20k wax is better than a £200 wax? Which, consequently, is that better than a £20 wax?
I say no . That is my PERSONAL opinion from my experiences. Same goes for sealants.

Ceramic sealants are very expensive on a per ML basis. EG a 30ML kit for Cquartz may be £50.
However you can buy a 500ML bottle of Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection for £8.99 - However that £50 will cover 4-6 cars with the coating lasting for over a year on each vehicle.



You are paying mostly for the label/brand/name. Auto Finesse sell a wax , for example, called Desire. This is claimed at 6 months durability and costs £120
(you can buy it from £60 direct from the manufacturer Angelwax, see what I said about rebottling products and paying for the name??)

Someone on Detailing World did a test between Desire and Autoglym HD Wax, which is £40 in Halfords but can be bought for £25 on Ebay.

They both lasted roughly 3 months on a panel sat outside in a back garden. There was no real discernable difference in beading and neither wax hazed or created a negative impact on the finish.

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=301199

I personally use a few waxes and sealants, Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection, CarPro RELOAD, Colinite 476s, I also have Meguiars NXT Tech Wax 2.0 (which I've not used, it was a gift), AutoFinesse SOUL (which I have used a few times and it was very hard to use..) and G3 Super Resin Wax (this is the easiest wax in the world to use and very nice smell and you can leave it for 2 hours and still just wipe it off in one pass)

Outside of this, for how I work (outside) there is absolutely no need for anything else. Nothing I buy has a fancy brand label, aside from the AF Wax which I bought in a discount sale.

There is not really any physical difference in how each wax or each sealant effects the finish
HOWEVER I will say that GENERALLY a wax gives a warm, wet shine and a sealant gives a more crisp, defined shine.

People say sealants look better on lighter coloured cars and waxes look better on darker cars but I disagree. A well polished looks better, not the particular wax or sealant you've used. :)

COLOURED WAXES!!!?!?[/u]

Some companies (mainly Dodo Juice) make all sorts of different coloured waxes designed for different cars
And people often get caught up thinking they have to use a certain coloured wax on a certain coloured car.
THIS IS INCORRECT.




Dodo Juice waxes DO hue the surface, HOWEVER - this is after 4 or 5 layers of wax and the colouring effect only lasts for a matter of hours and is removed after one wash. So to me it's a false economy. You're not going to put 4 or 5 layers of wax on your car at a show or something.

YOu can read about that HERE - http://forum.dodojuice.com/viewtopic.php?t=2011

Buy whatever wax you like. It will work just as well on pink as it would brown as it would red as it would bright green.
The reason people buy loads and loads of waxes is because it's like a collection. As I said, detailing is an art form. People like all the different products in their design, smell, feel and how they are used...so if you want to buy loads of different waxes go for it, there's nothing WRONG with it, it's just not NECESSARY.

So by now you would have waxed your car and you think that's finished.

WELL IT'S NOT :)

The finishing touches..

This is where you really earn your bread and butter as a detailer.
Now the paint is corrected and the protection to the paint applied you may think your job has been completed, well there are other things that need dressing.

For example, plastic trim pieces (such as the rear valance, side skirts and front splitter on our GTIs) - These textured plastic pieces can fade over time and become grey and just not look very good.
A trim dressing helps to restore these to their former glory.

You want a strong contrast between the paint and any trim to get that really amazing finish.
So use a trim dressing. There are again many of these and I'm not going to get into which ones to use but as with Wax/Sealants there are normal gel or water based ones like Auto Finesse Revive or Autoglym BUmper and Grim Gel, and Si02 ones such as Car Pro DLUX

The ones which are more durable are more difficult to use of course.

They are to give your black plastics an actual "black plastic" look rather than grey and faded, as such.



You can also use these products on rubber seals around windows as well , there are other products specific for this.

Same can be said for tyres...




To apply these dressings you need a few sponge applicator pads and a microfibre towel to buff off any residue or excess.

Obviously never use these particular pads or towels on the paint.

Cleaning Glass

Cleaning glass can be tricky, often people find it's smeary or streaky.
Let's cover the outside first of all.
Cleaning exterior glass is nice and easy to be fair.
Use 2 microfibre towels make sure they're nice and clean and dry and folded correctly.
You can mist some glass cleaner on the glass itself and then spray your "wash" towel and then clean the window.
Flip the wash towel over after a few passes and buff off.

You may be left with a clean window but a few streaks and the odd mark.
This is where you use your second microfibre towel and buff off to a nice clean , streak free shine.
Your glass cleaner of choice helps as well, using a decent quality one like Dodo Juice Crystal Methanol thinigy or Autoglym Fast Glass (which is what I use) helps reduce the likelyhood of streaking


Cleaning the inside of windows is easy as well, it's the same thing but I do not recommend spraying glass cleaner on the glass itself as it can drip down onto interior trim.

Cleaning WINDSCREENS is the hardest thing about cleaning glass and with a few simple steps can be done easily and in a streak free mannner.

Firstly use CLEAN MICROFIBRE here. Dirt is what causes the smears
DON'T TOUCH THE DASH WITH THE MICROFIBRE TOWEL.
Sit in the passenger seat and twist your arm around and work across that way. Don't try to fight with the steering wheel. Spray the towel with some glass cleaner and work across the windscreen. Then you can flip the towel or take another clean towel and buff it to a nice clean shine.

The best way to understand this is to watch the video..

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/q4WwOrkgXlc?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Look at 10m15s


Glass sealants

In the same way that you can seal and protect paintwork the same can be done for glass
You can either just wax the windows, which does provide some of the same effect on paint (beating and water running off at high speed) or you can use a dedicated glass sealant.
Some of these are easier to apply, some are harder. It really does depend on what product you use.

Some products are Gtechniq G1 + G5, Dodo Juice Supernatural Glass Sealant, Carpro FlyBy30, Nanolex do one as well.

To apply these are very manufacturer specific. However the end result is the same, that at speeds above 40 or so your wipers become largely reduundant, they make driving in the rain, especially at night, much, much more pleasant.

Richard Wizzle 83 has had experience of these in the past.

For example a demostration video of FlyBy30 is here

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uUtnlcFQfDk?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And an application example for Gtechniq G1

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zsSX_kaetgw?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

As you can see both products need different methods of application, but ultimately the car needs to be in a dry environment for a period of time.

End effect when you're driving is something like this.

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/J3XQQy-IltE?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Conclusion[/u]

So there we've covered the majority of the cleaning process.
Detailing , valeting and car cleaning is such an open ended topic it's impossible to really ever draw it to a close.

I try to avoid recommending specific products as it's a very personal thing and there are not really any products which work amazingly better than another.
Where this is the case I have shared my personal opinion but that is only what I found.

I will continue to update this guide as I come across more things that I will inevitably miss or need to clarify.


Handy hints and tips![/u]

- Always fold your microfibre towels 4 ways. This is to prevent scratches and promote good towel management

- Use a quality wash mitt and the 2BM (with grit guards if possible

- Avoid water blades and chamois, dry your vehicle using a microfibre drying towel using the "pat dry" technique (only drag it across the paint if you have to)

- If you drop your clay on the ground DISCARD IT and use a new piece

- In fact if you drop anything on the ground cast it aside, in the bin or the washing basket.

- You can clean your machine polishing pads in the sink with fairy liquid and warm water. Then they need to be left to dry naturally, ideally in an airing cupboard or somewhere else nice and toasty , but not a radiator or infront of a fire!

- You can throw your microfibre towels in the washing machine along with all of your other laundry however you should not use any fabric softener with them. You can buy specific Microfibre Wash solutions from the likes of Chemical Guys but it's not necessary in my opinion

- Use the best quality microfibre towels you can afford. You can buy packs of 10 for under a tenner on Ebay and these are fine for every day use, cleaning glass, wheels, etc. But when buffing paint I would recommend the "Eurwow" towels, as these are more plush and come with silk lined edges

Normal sort of MF towels



Eurwow ones



They are much more plush and "softer" and ideal for removing waxes and polish residues.

- Improve the overall appearance of your vehicle by adding contrast between the paint and any plastic surfaces, such as rubstrips or bumpers, this includes cleaning the wheel arches as mentioned in the washing your car section way above.

- Take pride in your work and enjojy what it is you do!

Hope this is helpful :)



Footnote.
I have written this guide entirely myself. Feel free to share it on any owners sites freely but I would like to be credited if you do please.
However some images I have taken from various owners forum posted publically, as well as other publically available sources such as Google Image Search and other reference sites such as Detailing World. These images are used for information only and no copyright infringement is intended and I do not claim to have taken any pictures other than those of my car or ones which I explicitly state are mine.
Thank you.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 06:55:45 PM by xjay1337 »

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 06:53:19 PM »
Excellent write up. Im sure a lot of people will benefit from this. Definitely covers everything in good detail. Top job  :happy2:

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 07:45:32 PM »
Really REALLY excellent, well thought out and written guide. :congrats:

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Offline DanMaytee

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2013, 12:16:06 PM »
Just spent the last 45 min reading through this.  All  I can say is how great this guide is.  You've gone into absolutely everything and I've learnt quite a lot from it.  You put some real effort into writing this and I hope everyone finds it as useful as I have  :smiley:

Thank you :happy2:

Offline woahnowboys

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2013, 03:25:47 PM »
Awesome guide fair play, very comprehensive!
Made me realise how much money I've spent on DAs, jet washers, wax, polish, microfibres..
It all adds up so much :signLOL:

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Offline gobbleplease

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 09:39:13 AM »
Brilliant guide sticky please !
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Offline fab5freddy

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 07:12:44 PM »
WOW, epic Jay, well done and thank you  :congrats: :congrats:

Offline Marc-5-GTI

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 07:46:09 PM »
Sugar!!!

I did not know you should apply wax in straight lines...... bugger!
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Offline Leebo310

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 04:59:54 PM »
WOW, epic Jay, well done and thank you  :congrats: :congrats:

+100 mate, amazing guide!!  I knew it would be epic  :happy2:
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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 05:13:38 PM »
good guide,

dont agree with all of it  :evilgrin: but the basics are there for people
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Offline xjay1337

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 11:49:57 PM »
Haha jake  :happy2:

Glad it's helpful for people
Any other questions please ask.


Sugar!!!

I did not know you should apply wax in straight lines...... bugger!

You don't HAVE to it doesn't change anything.
Just that straight line scratches are much easier to remove , and much harder to see, than circular scratches.  :happy2:

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 07:05:21 AM »
Machine polisher work in circles  :grin:
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Offline xjay1337

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 09:47:40 AM »
Yes they do, by removing layers of paint. They work in a fixed pattern (as in constantly rotating about a given point at a given speed). A small amount of dirt will normally be broken down by the pad/polish/machine - No ill effect will be had.

Using your own hand will result in RANDOM patterns.. By hand you can't get that sort of power. more likely to cause marring.

Using circular motions on the panel when washing/drying/applying waxes, means if you are going to put swirls and scratches in, rather than being straight line scratches, which are only visible from certain angles in certain light, you are going to put circular scratches and swirls in, which are visible from most angles and most lights. Basic rules of light  :happy2:

« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 02:49:44 PM by xjay1337 »

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Re: Jay's detailing Guide ^_^
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 10:00:57 AM »
you saying i got girly arms like  :P :signLOL:
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