Auto detailing is a process of cleaning and polishing alloys, plastic parts and trim, glass, chrome plating, paintwork, chrome accents and hard-to-reach areas, in order to bring the car back to its former glory. Detailing is always a necessary part of ownership. It doesn’t just keep your car clean, it also makes it look better. If you haven’t taken time for thorough auto detailing in the past, it’s about time you do. The longer you wait before getting your car detailed, the longer the inevitable will happen – you’ll need to have a new car! There are many aspects to the whole process, and the following is a beginner’s guide to help you get started.
How and Why You Should Detail Your Car Every so often, you may find yourself needing to do some car detailing to regain its shine and lustre. Professional auto dealers usually do this because they believe in the material (or lack there of) that a car’s exterior has when first bought. It’s a case of good sense to maintain that shiny interior a bit more, in order to prevent that pungent stench that emanates from some less-than-fresh rides. Also, if you wash your car less frequently, you can avoid those ugly smudges and fingerprints that seem to gather themselves over time.
One of the most important steps in car detailing is waxing or getting a ceramic coating. This protects the paintwork, the gloss finish and the rest of the bodywork. The problem with this though is that the first time you wash your car, you may damage the finish or worse, the paint. This is where a professional detailing job comes in handy. The professionals can remove the dirt, polish the exterior, and get that shiny ceramic coating back for you, all by simply using a detailing spray and a rag.
Another popular method for getting that shine back is by using an all-purpose cleaner and painters paint sprayer. You’ll obviously need the correct equipment, but they’re easy enough to use. All-purpose cleaners are meant to clean all surfaces, and although they do mention on the bottle that they’re best used on rubber and plastic parts, many people don’t bother. They can get pretty harsh though, so if you have sensitive skin, it’s probably not a good idea to use one. Paintless paint spraying equipment is the best of the bunch, as it can remove waxes and polyurethane coatings without any damage to the paint or the surface underneath.
Some people like to use microfiber wash mitts for car detailing purposes. Microfibre wash mitts are like microfiber cloths but much smaller. They allow you to wash small things such as buttons and plastic decals easily and won’t damage your paint job. The mitt doesn’t leave a residue like other microfiber cloths do, and you can use multiple passes over the area you want to detail. This method can work well on almost any type of surface though, so long as you remember to use a microfibre rinse between each pass.
Finally, if you’re looking to protect your car’s finish from damage, car shampoo is your best bet. Car shampoo works just like an all-purpose cleaner, except you use it specifically for car detailing purposes. If you’re looking to protect your vehicle from the elements, consider using a car shampoo, rather than a regular washing detergent and a microfiber wash mitt.
As for accessories and mats, a microfibre towel and microfiber wipes are a must for protecting your car’s finish. Use a microfiber towel for general car cleaning, and a microfibre wipe for detailing work. Microfibre towels have a superior hold when compared to other fabrics, such as Terry cloth or cotton. And microfiber wipes can be used to protect the finish on your vehicle as well, whether it’s a small dent or a giant crack. And if you don’t want to wash buckets full of detail spray or wash fluids, don’t worry: microfibre towels are also very handy for taking car wash products off your vehicle, and they come in handy for doing that too!
Now, let’s talk about what you need to use for cleaning all of those little details on your car. Use microfibre towels to take off your seat covers and bonnet coverings (if applicable), and use microfiber wash buckets for washing your vehicle windows and floor mats. Use a spray gun with a microfibre nozzle for cleaning the exterior of your car. Finally, use applicator pads to apply detailing products to those hard-to-reach areas, such as beneath dashboards, on door handles, and the likes. Applying detailing products to all of these places ensures that your car is ready to face the day ahead.