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Old 26th May 2010, 00:05   #1
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Post your favourite detailing products, techniques and results

Good evening people of bit-tech. I know a lot of you are into cars and after spending yesterday evening and most of today cleaning mine I thought I would ask what products and techniques you use to clean your pride and joy. After spening about 4 hours cleaning it yesterday, I was pretty happy with the results, having done:

De-Tar --> Hand wash --> re-soak --> Chamois --> Wash alloys --> Detail alloys --> Gel Tires --> Wax paint --> Hoover interior --> Dust & polish dash & console --> Clean glass

But I got home from work this afternoon and saw that the paint (pearlescent black) didn't have the deep, wet look to it that it should the day after getting so much attention, so I went at it again, with more effort and much more time. I just got finished about an hour and a half ago as the last rays of light faded, and am much happier with what I've done today. It may have taken much longer (about 8 hours total) but this time I am 100% sure the car has a show finish on it. I'll take pics tomorrow for sure, but here's my method and what I used -

1. De-Tar - Loosen bugs, dirt, road tar, brake dust and other contaminants from the paintwork. I use "Concept" branded tar & glue remover which seems to be discontinued but I have two gallon drums of it. I appy it with a standard spray bottle.

2. Wash - Meguiars gold class car shampoo, Kent carcare wool wash mitt and hot water. "Soaker" attachment on the hose.

3. Chamois - re-soak the whole car after washing then dry the paintwork off to remove most water stains. Kent carcare high quality chamois leather.

4. Wash alloys - my alloys have a narrow pattern that the sponge or brush has no chance of getting into. I use one finger on a soapy wet cloth and make sure to get all the brake dust and road dirt off, then coat them with Meguiars quik wheel detailler spray. Applied w/ Kent carcare microfiber towel.

5. Clean Tires - some hot soapy water and a brush gets the dirt off, then I treat the walls with Meguiars endurance high gloss tyre gel. Applied w/ old rag & toothbrush to work it into the wall pattern.

6. Clay bar - This is the step I skipped yesterday, and it made a massive difference. It's also the reason it took me 8 hours to detail my car today, instead of the 4 it took yesterday. I used a 100g Meguiars quik clay bar with the Meguiars quik detailler spray as lubricant. You wouldn't believe the amount of contaminants this bar took off my paint today. The bar was filthy by the time I had finished. Tree sap, brake dust, tar etc etc. Detailler spray was applied after each section of claying and buffed out w/ Kent microfiber towel so as not to leave streaks.

7. Wax - I did it with synthetic carnauba liquid wax yesterday, from Turtle-Wax. Wrong choice. This car is almost new, and I shouldn't be cutting corners by using the quick method of applying wax to a new paint finish that needs some protection built up on it. Liquid wax will eventually be all right for quick shine ups but today I did it properly, and used a natural carnauba paste wax by Turtle-Wax applied w/ Meguiars foam applicator pad and buffed out in two stages using Kent carcare 100% cotton microfiber. It came up a treat. This achieved a deep, glossy wet look finish.

8. Glass - There was quite a lot of overspray on the glass from the paint detailling stage, so I polished up the glass and mirrors inside and out with some Simoniz branded auto glass cleaner applied with Kent microfiber.

9. Plastics & trim - I'm not perfect at waxing, and I hit the plastic door strips and bumper trim a couple of times when applying the wax, so I went round the whole car and cleaned all the trim (doors, bumpers, mirror brackets, wipers etc) with AutoGlym vinyl and rubber care, applied carefully with a clean microfiber. It takes even the thickest, caked on wax off plastic trim. I've seen people on car care forums talking about using peanut oil, toothpaste and platic erasers to remove wax from trim. All you need is this stuff!

10. Dashboard & console - I did it thoroughly yesterday with Holts Simoniz branded dashboard shine spray and a microfiber towel. It's vanilla scented. Mmmmm. And it puts a nice shine on your dials, dash and console.

11. Clean upholstery - Like I said this car is not long new, so thankfully my upholstery or carpets don't have a mark on them just yet. I hoovered the carpets yesterday but had there been any stains that needed to be removed from the seats, I'd have used Turtle-Wax Power Out. I swear by this suff. A girl threw up in the back of my car one night I was a designated driver and I thought I was never going to get the stain out of the seats. I bought this stuff the next day and once I was finished you'd never know there was anything there. It just works.

Annnnnd that's about it. If you read all that, good on ya I'm seriously pleased with how the car looks this evening though, and will get some photos of it tomorrow to post. "anything looks better when it's clean"

So what are your car/ bike detailling techniques, what products do you use and how often do you do it?

/discuss

Vehicle - 2010 Renault Clio iMusic 3 dr, 1500 DCi / Black Pearl.

[edit]

As promised, here are some photos from this evening. Excuse the lack of quality as far as the photography is concerned, I'm still learning and am only using a P&S camera at the moment.































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Last edited by Unicorn; 18th Sep 2011 at 17:04. Reason: Added photos
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Old 26th May 2010, 00:27   #2
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I am a bit confused about your ordering there. Surely you clay bar as part of your de-tar? Or was that what you meant anyway?

I prefer using a big towel rather than a chamois, I find it a bit less work and therefore allows me to put more effort into later stages.

I also usually "polish" before I wax, I say "polish" because I use AG srp which isn't so much a polish as a sort of filler. I like it because its a bit safer than polishing all the time and again, its pretty easy to apply and allows me to save my arms for some serious waxing. I use collinite 467s for waxing, its easy to apply and easy to buff off if you leave it a little too long. For buffing I have a few Eurow shag pile mfs

This thread reminds me that I have neglected my car, and it is a state. I don't mean a state by the standards of someone who enjoys cleaning their car, I mean a state by a tramps standard. Its going to be a long day tomorrow I think
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Old 26th May 2010, 00:35   #3
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Surely you clay bar as part of your de-tar?
This sentence made me lol. That's all I have to add, I don't own a car yet Passed my test a week ago though!

Mebbe a Clio coming my way when the woman goes to America for the year but also and
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Old 26th May 2010, 00:37   #4
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This thread is worthless without pics. Before/after would be nice too.
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Old 26th May 2010, 00:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus View Post
I am a bit confused about your ordering there. Surely you clay bar as part of your de-tar? Or was that what you meant anyway?

I prefer using a big towel rather than a chamois, I find it a bit less work and therefore allows me to put more effort into later stages.

I also usually "polish" before I wax, I say "polish" because I use AG srp which isn't so much a polish as a sort of filler. I like it because its a bit safer than polishing all the time and again, its pretty easy to apply and allows me to save my arms for some serious waxing. I use collinite 467s for waxing, its easy to apply and easy to buff off if you leave it a little too long. For buffing I have a few Eurow shag pile mfs

This thread reminds me that I have neglected my car, and it is a state. I don't mean a state by the standards of someone who enjoys cleaning their car, I mean a state by a tramps standard. Its going to be a long day tomorrow I think
I've always clayed the car after washing. The Meguiars guidelines for using their branded clay bars is that "clay bar removes stubborn, hardened contaminants like.... that may be hard to remove during the washing process" so really it can be used before or after. Personally, because I use two de-contaminant processes, I do it afterwards. It works well so that's how I do it. I find that claying after washing allows me to feel that *really fine* layer of contaminants coming off. To be honest, if I'd clayed it before washing today, the bar would have been full of contaminants and dirt before I was even finished the first panel.

I use chamois leather for drying as a result of habit, but a towel would be equally as effective. Might give that a go next time. It would definately save the arms a bit

Polishing - I normally do it, and before waxing obviously, but this is a new car, and the biggest blemish I could find on the paint today after spending hours < 1' away from the bodywork was a small, 1mm diameter stone chip on the front passenger side of the bonnet. It will need polishing in the future, but for now I'm happy enough just waxing it.

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This thread is worthless without pics. Before/after would be nice too.
Like I said, coming up tomorrow No before pics though, sorry :/
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Old 26th May 2010, 00:40   #6
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That's fair enough then. I wasn't suggesting you were doing it wrong, its just the way I know how to do it. I know what you mean about it being really dirty if you don't wash it first though, that is why I will pop to my mates and get him to snow foam it first it

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Quote:
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This thread is worthless without pics. Before/after would be nice too.
Your face is worthless without pics! I might snap some shots of how dirty my car is tomorrow and then wait to clean it when I can go around my mates and use his snow foam and array of different stuff. I fancy some dodo juice instead of collinite this time. Will see how that turns out and take pictures if I am happy with it.
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Old 26th May 2010, 00:47   #7
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Aw, I want a snow foam kit for my hot washer at home! I might keep an eye out for one, it certainly would make life easier.
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Old 26th May 2010, 00:52   #8
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I think the best thing about snow foam is how cool the car looks, when my friend first got his and did his car, his neighbours gave him some seriously odd looks. He had mixed it a bit too frothy, it was his first attempt and he wanted it to be quite frothy for fun, but went a bit too far.
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Old 26th May 2010, 00:59   #9
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Hehehe. I want one even more now. The neighbours were giving me the odd funny look today as well. Probably couldn't believe that I spent every minute since I came home cleaning the car. Again. Meh I say! All I need is good music and a dirty car and I'll be entertained for hours
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Old 26th May 2010, 13:40   #10
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Firstly I admire the time you have to devote to detailing your car. I'm married and have two youngsters and there is no way I can spend that much time cleaning my car (sadly) in one session.

However, when I do get the chance I use Meguiars gold class car shampoo, Meguiars High Gloss Tyre gel, drying towel and Collinite 915 Marque D'Elegance. Also have Meguiars Wheel Brightner.

Ok that's not completely true, I have the Collinite 915 but haven't had the time to use it yet. My car is brand new i.e. 3 weeks old and for some reason whenever think "I'll wax the car" I get distracted.

My car is an A3 and I might be able to do this in an evening once kids are in bed. How long should the wax take to apply and buff off?
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Old 26th May 2010, 14:14   #11
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Indeed, I generally use the clay bar after washing so as to get any remaining stubborn dirt. It helps make the final step from clean and shiny, to clean and shiny and smooooth.

For the windows, I use Invisible Glass with a crumpled newspaper. Yes, newspaper. It wipes up all the cleaner and dirt, and doesn't leave any kind of residue, streaking, or lint. Plus, when I'm done the newspaper goes into the recycle bin and saves me from having to wash another towel.
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Old 26th May 2010, 17:57   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatMangler View Post
Firstly I admire the time you have to devote to detailing your car. I'm married and have two youngsters and there is no way I can spend that much time cleaning my car (sadly) in one session.

However, when I do get the chance I use Meguiars gold class car shampoo, Meguiars High Gloss Tyre gel, drying towel and Collinite 915 Marque D'Elegance. Also have Meguiars Wheel Brightner.

Ok that's not completely true, I have the Collinite 915 but haven't had the time to use it yet. My car is brand new i.e. 3 weeks old and for some reason whenever think "I'll wax the car" I get distracted.

My car is an A3 and I might be able to do this in an evening once kids are in bed. How long should the wax take to apply and buff off?
Hehe, I know what you mean. Most of the year, I struggle to make enough time to do it this thoroughly very often. Usually I try to get 4 clay bar & paste waxes per year in, and liquid wax it once a month the rest of the time. The nice thing for me at the moment is that I just finished my fourth year exams this day last week and work has been quiet so far which is usual for the start of the summer, so I have a little more time than usual to play with. I'm self employed by the way, so making time for this sort of thing is easier than it might be for most

Wax shouldn't take too long to apply. Paste wax takes slightly longer to work in than liquid wax, but lots of people seem to have the misconception that you have to put a thousand pounds of pressure on the pad when you're working wax over the paint. That's not true at all. If the paint has been properly prepared for waxing, the wax process should require little to no pressure at all, making it very easy to apply. It's just a final layer to bring out the shine and protect the clear coat a little, the real hard arm work is in the polishing stage. I do it one panel at a time, and usually take my time with it anyway. My car is smaller than yours, but I could get a coat of liquid wax on it in 2 hours or so.

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For the windows, I use Invisible Glass with a crumpled newspaper. Yes, newspaper. It wipes up all the cleaner and dirt, and doesn't leave any kind of residue, streaking, or lint. Plus, when I'm done the newspaper goes into the recycle bin and saves me from having to wash another towel.
Nice tip with the newspaper. I'm pretty sure I remember my Grandmother using that technique on the house windows! It's something to do with the ink in the newspaper that shines glass up well I think.

I'm going out in a little bit to get some photos of the car in a local park
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Old 26th May 2010, 19:15   #13
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Nice tip with the newspaper. I'm pretty sure I remember my Grandmother using that technique on the house windows! It's something to do with the ink in the newspaper that shines glass up well I think.
From what I've read, newspaper ink used to be made with kerosene, which when coupled with just water made an effective window cleaner. Although the ink is no longer made with kerosene, the absorbent, lint-free nature of newspaper is still very effective when used with a decent glass cleaner.

There is some argument that a crumpled newspaper can caused you to miss spots on the window, but it's never happened to me. In my experience, there aren't enough significant gaps to caused missed spaces - especially if you pay attention to what you're doing.
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Old 26th May 2010, 22:21   #14
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Updated OP with photos
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Old 26th May 2010, 23:13   #15
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Nice work. I have a synthetic shammy which is extra-large and it's brilliant. Much better than hide.
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Old 27th May 2010, 00:26   #16
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Cheers. Yeah, I've heard a few people say that using a towel for drying is much better than a chamois. Professionals seem to only use cotton microfiber or terry towels for drying so I'm going to give it a go next time. As I've already said, it would save the arms a lot. Having to wring out the hide every time it gets saturated is a killer, especially when you still have to wax
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Old 27th May 2010, 04:02   #17
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Towels > Chamois
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Old 27th May 2010, 07:46   #18
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Great pics, very wet looking
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Old 27th May 2010, 07:59   #19
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2. Wash - Meguiars gold class car shampoo, Kent carcare wool wash mitt and hot water. "Soaker" attachment on the hose.


You go to all this trouble, an d don't use the 2 bucket method, with grit guards ?

It's the washing stage that is the most damaging for the paint.


Chamois are useless as well. Get some decent micro-fibre waffle weave drying towels.
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Old 27th May 2010, 08:30   #20
CatMangler
Waiting for Heroe's of Stalingrad..
 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: UK
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CatMangler has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
I didn't know about the grit guards (will check on CYC.co.uk) but I took it as read that Unicorn uses 2 bucket's.

EDIT
Meguiars Grit Guard - Price: £10.95 (inc. VAT)
from cleanyourcar.co.uk

Last edited by CatMangler; 27th May 2010 at 08:42.
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