STEP 1 - Wheels
Wheels first – The reason behind this is that the wheels are most likely amongst the dirtiest parts of your whole car and you therefore should get that task done first, as it could be that if you washed your car first, that you then would get it dirty again by washing the wheels afterwards. For cleaning wheels, dedicated wheel cleaners are available which much like pre wash cleaners are made especially for the purpose it's intended, therefore making these products the best and easiest for the best results.
Iron Fallout Remover to remove Contaminants like brake dust and other road debris and Alkaline wheel cleaners for a maintenance and dirt removal purpose, remember you don't have to use iron fallout everytime. Simply Spray on and leave to dwell or opt to agitate with a wheel brush or detailing brushes for the smaller areas then rinse.
STEP 2 - Pre - Wash
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not actually washing your car with shampoo and a wash mitt that is the most important step in a car care routine, but the prewash stage. The prewash stage in a detailing routine has one simple goal: to remove as much dirt as possible without touching the car – meaning prior to washing it with a wash mitt. This is also known as a “contactless” wash. In the best-case scenario (e.g. if you just have light dirt on your car or it is protected by e.g. a wax, paint sealant or ceramic coating), this touchless or contactless wash stage is all you need to clean your car. Because let’s be as clear as possible about this one: the less you touch your car, the fewer paint damages you will induce. Several different approaches to Pre - wash are with the products available.
Snowfoam - all intent purposes snowfoam is to be sprayed over the vehicle and help remove as much dirt as possible, many snowfoams are PH Neutral much like our own, meaning it is safe on vehicle's with wax and sealant protections on them, this however does mean that it's cutting properties are to only help cut through lighter levels of dirt.
APC Pre - Wash Cleaners - APC or citrus wash as it's also known are possibly one of the most versatile products available on the detailing market today. With superb cutting properties for heavy dirt, insect removal, traffic film but with anything, the better the performance it bring's some risk. So neat APC can cut through wax quicker but often or not APC's are diluteable so you can dilute accordingly to your dirt levels and keep your paint safe.
STEP 3 - Wash
Wash - Would you of guessed that you can remove this much dirt without even touching your car or paintwork ? Now it's most important to remember to use a good quality mitt or pad for this stage as the deep pile nature of a wash mitt helps reduce marring and light scratches to the paint work.
Now Using a method called "THE 2 BUCKET METHOD " Fill one bucket with your shampoo, the other with plain water. Apply shampoo to the vehicle (washing from top down small sections at a time) – Rinse the mitt first in the water bucket before taking fresh shampoo to the car. This method ensures you don’t contaminate your shampoo and are always using clean wash water on your car
STEP 4 - Decontaminate
Decontamination, is the removal of contaminates from your paintwork or vehicle surfaces. It has two structures to the process, one being chemical decontamination and the other being physical decontamination.
Either of these processes are done with the aim to remove contaminants that have bonded to the surface of the car, usually in the form of Iron fallout or road tar. Standard washing techniques and products will not remove these types of contaminants, therefore our specially formulated range of decon products have been created to help rectify this step.
First approach using an iron fallout remover – Bleed Out is perfect at this stage – this will dissolve any ferrous contamination such as industrial fall out and rail dust that has fused itself to the paintwork. Next, you’ll need to use a solvent tar remover to soften any tar that may be stuck to the paint. An important step here is to rewash the vehicle, or at least the areas treated with the solvent, as solvents will melt Clay bars and really interfere with the next step. Clay bars are brilliant, just rub the block over the paintwork using a slip or lube and it does the hard work for you, effectively shaving off any remaining contamination such as tree sap or even overspray in its path. Following the previous two stages, though, there shouldn’t be too much for the clay bars to pick up.
STEP 5 - Dry
Start at the top of the vehicle and work your way down. Tackling it panel by panel will be the easiest way to make sure you get every area streak free. It’s important to work quickly (to avoid water spots), while being thorough so not to leave any streaks from the drying process. If you are left with any water spots, a quick detailer is a great product to clean them up with after.
STEP 6 - Polish
So you've got your car clean but its got some scratches, or some faded paintwork ( red car's especially ) now you can take some time to refine and correct these issues prior to moving on and sealing and protecting them in.
You can either polish by hand or you can polish using a machine polisher. Polishing by hand will give you a good finish, but it won’t be anywhere near as good as a machine polish (if you know what you’re doing). We have products for both applications. We’d advise against putting any machine polisher to your car without experience. Our top tip would be to practice on a separate panel first. These are easy enough to pick up from scrap yards. Better that than burning through the paint on your car, resulting in a full panel respray or even a whole car respray.
STEP 7 - Wax & Sealants
After the extensive, time-consuming step of polishing your car, this second-to-last step is once again rather simple: Get your paintwork protected.
Theres Several options for this with our range, from a simple spray on show wax or sealant but for true long term protection, you want a hard wax. Using our Ceramic Si02 Infused Wax you can achieve up to 6 months durability and seal that paintwork whilst massively enhancing the shine.
Working in Circular overlapping motions be sure to get an even coverage across the panel; working a panel at a time and then simply buff off. It's key to remember not to do this stage in direct sunlight or exhuasting heat as this can cause the wax to dry so fast it will adhere to the paintwork somewhat.
STEP 8 - Finishing
Now it's time to get those last finishing touches in..
Tyres & Trims - After all that work getting those tyres & trims clean its time to give them a shine and spruce up. Some plastics become faded over time and dedicated products can help revitilise these trims and also give them a deep rich shine. Much like your tyre walls, faded dull and almost a dark grey rather than black, so with a tyre gel you can restore these tyre walls to look a deep rich black. Be aware dressings will not last forever and will wear down, but you can expect up to 4 weeks of shine generically.
Glass - Often forgotten, have you ever truly seen a crystal clear windscreen. It's superb, and not to mention the increase in visibilty it gives you; that may sound silly but often or not there's dirt, smudges or fingerprints on your glass which hinder your vision and your crystal clear glass appearance. With a Glass cloth dedicated to help buff the product and glass cleaner this finish of glass is easily obtainable.
Finale - The last touch, whether you have waxed and protected the car or simply carried out a maintance wash chances are you have collected some dust or dirt somewhere so for that last hoorah element of shine is the application of a quick detailer. Simply doing exactly as its title, and often or not also leaving a layer of protection on top of your finished surface, HINT - Ours leave a hydrophobic layer.
Don't forget Satin and Matte finishe's can be easily maintained this way too.
Great.. You've read the entire guide and made it to the end, Hope it helped!
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