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New to "detailing"


Arwen
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Ok, I've put detailing in inverted commas because I don't intend to get completely obsessed by having a clean car that reflects everything. Although I do love the look! However, I let my old Clios lovely paint job get into a complete state, that if I wanted it to look good I would have had to get it resprayed! I am picking up a 2012 Ford Focus in "hot mustard"/babysick and don't want to fall into the same routine of ignoring it's paint work.

So I am looking at buying a snow foam attachment for my pressure washer (This one) and have also been looking into clay and wax. This is where the vast choice starts to confuse me! Actually cleaning the car I don't mind, I quite enjoy it. I would do it around once a month easily. The clio got ignored as I lived in a flat on the busy road for years which trashed the paint work. Ever since I just get frustrated by not being able to get it looking great.  
What I am looking for is wax/clay/other stuff you would recommend that will not break the bank long term, and is suitable for use on my new focus, as well as for use on a black fabia VRS, and possibly a white Honda MSX bike (it might go purple in future).  

I was looking at Meguiars Gold Class but it mentioned solid paint. Is hot mustard classed as solid paint? Is this wax recommend?
Also looked at Dodo Juice, but all the colours started to confuse me, what's that all that about? From the blurb I should probably use "Purple Haze" on the black Fabia and "Banana Armour" on the Ford, but what would happen if I bought one of them and used it on both cars? Also, soft or hard wax, which is most cost effective/performance?  Both look to be relatively easy to apply.

As for clay, are they all mostly the same or are some brands better than others? Same goes for the lube? I've been reading and watching various guides on claying and waxing and the key seems to be about smooth motions and being gentle. That about right?

 

 

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Here's everything you need to know take from it what you like as you don't have to do this exactly. I've been a detailer for 12 years now and have the experience to help with what you need to know. 

 

Exterior detailing Guide. 

wash and decontamination process. 

This will be the most important stage of the detail process as more time spent here will give you the best results. I recommend using mainly angelwax products as these are the most reasonably priced products. That give excellent results. 

Products needed. 
snow foam or Traffic film Remover. 
Wheel Cleaner. 
Wheel woolly and soft detailing brush. 
2 buckets. (With grit guards if you have them)
Wash & Wax. 
Wool Wash Mitt (or sponge). 
Tar and Glue remover. 
Fall out remover. 
microfibre clay Mitt. 
microfibre Drying Towel (or synthetic leather). 

Recommend Products:
Angelwax Fast Foam. 
Angelwax Bilberry Wheel Cleaner. 
Angelwax Shampoo. 
Autoglym Intensive Tar & Glue Remover. 
Angelwax Revelation Fall Out Remover. 
clay Mitt Blue Fine Grade. 

First pre-rinse the car with a pressure washer, hosepipe (or watering can but not really recommended) starting from the bottom of the car working up then back down. Then apply the snowfoam or tfr with a snowfoam lance or hand sprayer the same way from bottom to top and leave to dwell for 3-5 minutes. Then rinse the car starting at the bottom and work up then back down. The reason for this method is that it will remove the heavy grime first and creates water run off which will stop the grime sticking to the heavy grime at the bottom of the car. Wheel arches can also be done the same way. It will be a little harder with out a pressure washer as you'll have to use an old sponge for this that you won't use on anything else after. 

Now for the spongeing with wool mitt or sponge if you don't have one using the 2 bucket method. One with warm water the other with your wash and wax mix. Start at the top and work down doing the roof first then rinse your wash mitt in warm water then into wash and wax. Then rinse mitt well and then more wash and wax for windscreen windows and rear window. Then the same for bonnet, top of doors and boot. Then same process for door bottoms and bumpers. Then the same for the sills. Now dry the car before moving on to the wheels. A tip for cleaning grilles and panel gaps use a detailing brush to get into these areas

A little tip here: door and boot shuts can also be done in the same way if needed and use the detailing brush round the hinges. You may also want to re-grease the hinges after. 

Wheels. 
Spray the bilberry wheel cleaner on to 1 wheel at a time starting with the backs then the face and leave to dwell for a couple of minutes. 
Now dip the wheel woolly in the wash and wax and use this to clean the backs of the wheels. Then do the same with the detailing brush for the face of the wheel then rinse and sponge then rinse. Do the same with all the wheels and rinse the brushes and mitt each time before you load up with fresh wash and wax. 

Now tar and glue the car following the instructions on the bottle rinse then dry. 

Now spray the angelwax revelation on all the paint work and wheels following the instructions on the bottle. The tip I have with this is leave it on for around 5 minutes then with a damp microfibre cloth agitate the revelation on the paint work then leave another minute or two then rinse and dry. Do the same with the wheels but use the detailing brush and wheel woolly to do this.

Now it's time to clay the car with the clay mitt. Get some fresh wash and wax in the bucket and let the mitt soak for a minute. Now with the microfibre side go over the paint to lubricate it then turn it over to the clay side. When on the clay side let it glide over the panel not putting pressure on until it glides smoothly then dry panel working from the roof down panel by panel. Also do your windows as you go round the car. alloys can also be clayed but I'd recommend a car bar for this. 

 

Another tip: you will get water in the gaps of the car which will run down the panels. To stop this if you have a vac that takes water you can use this to get it out. Being careful not to catch the paint. Or blow in the gaps to get the water out harder but does work quite well. 

That's the decontamination part finished

Now to deal with the paint swirling and fine scratches. 

Products needed:
Gtechniq P1 Nanocomposite Polish. 
Gtechniq FP1 Tri Foam Polishing Pad. 
2 microfibre clothes. 

This stage can be time consuming and require a bit of elbow grease. Dampen the white side of the Tri Foam pad a little and apply a small amount of polish and work into the paint in a circular motion applying light pressure. You may need to go over the panel twice to get the best results. Then have 1 damp and 1 dry microfibre cloth. Remove the polish with the damp cloth and then buff up and dry with the dry one. Now it's up to you if you do the all the car with the white side first or work panel by panel using both sides. Now you do the same again with the black side of the pad to polish the car back up and remove the same way. This can also be done on wheels to bring them back to life. 

A little tip for the P1 it works great as a metal polish for your exhaust pipes with some wire wool or just a cloth. 

Now the most rewarding stage. 

Products needed:
Angelwax carnuba wax. 
Angelwax QED quick detailer. 
Angelwax Ti 22 sealant. 
Angelwax Vision window cleaner. 
Angelwax Elixir rubber and tyre dressing
Angelwax H2GO rain repellent. 
Angelwax bilberry wheel wax.  

Use the Ti 22 to seal the paint before waxing. This is a spray on wipe off product so apply a light mist to each panel at time then buff up with a microfibre cloth. 

Now with the wax there is a wide range so chose one that you like and go with that. To apply the wax use the supplied applicator and apply in a circular motion to the hole car and let it set for a few minutes. Or as the instructions state then remove with a microfibre cloth. 

Then go round the car with the QED this again is a spray on wipe off so is very easy to apply. Which will give you that extra shine and finish. 

Optional. 
Then it's the Ti22 again just to seal the wax coat. This isn't necessary but I always do this for the added protection. 

Then use the Ti 22 on the wheel face and backs if you want too. Then apply the bilberry wheel wax to the wheels again the wheel backs are optional but I always do this. 

Then apply the elixir to the tyres by either a brush or applicator and use this on all exterior plastics and rubber. You can even do the door seals with this. 

Last but not least the windows use 2 microfibre clothes for this spray it on and wipe off with one. Then buff up with the other. After this apply the H2GO following the instructions to create a seal on the glass.

Now this is optional but it's something I always do on my car after every wash. The engine bay. You can use a pressure washer to do this but be very careful not to soak any electrical parts. The best option and safest is to use a little bit of snow foam or tfr in a hand spray bottle and spray on to the engine bay a little at a time and wipe with an old microfibre cloth the dry with another one until the engine bay is clean. One you've done this once you just need to maintain it by wiping it down with a damp microfibre. 

Maintaining. 
I recommend a good wash once a week or fortnight. I know this isn't always practical but as often as you can especially in winter. 
For this follow the pre-rinse, snowfoam and spongeing step for the body and wheels. Then just do the windows, tyres and trim. 

Optional. 
Once a month tar and glue and use fallout remover then top up the wax. I always do this but this is up to you. You can do this at longer intervals. 

Recommend. 
Tar and glue and fallout remover every six months. Definitely every twelve months. 

Recommend. 
A full detail every six months. Definitely every twelve months after winter. You can skip the swirl mark and fine scratches step if not required. I recommend if you do it at six months to do spring then autumn. If it's every twelve months spring time to get rid of the winter grime. 

www.angelwax.co.uk
www.gtechniq.com
www.cleanyourcar.co.uk 

Hope this helps and gets the results your looking for.

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First things first, DONT USE A SPONGE AS SUGGESTED ABOVE. stick with a lambs wool (natural or synthetic) wash mitt.

For products, take a look on my website, www.yorkshiredetailing.co.uk

We'll soon be Launching our in house quick detailer & snowfoam, hand made & developed by myself. We already have our own show wax, REVERSAL.

Its a carnuba & Montan blend. Durability isn't great (again, it's a show wax) but it leaves a brilliant level of gloss.

Also, don't be frightened to mix and match with brands. Brand loyalty can make or break your results, and some products are easier for different people than others

For the drying towel, go ono Clean&shiny and get yourself a fireball Korea drying towel. I was involved in the initial testing prior to the products being produced and imported and its the best drying towel you will ever use.

Gtechniq P1 is an extremely "light" compound.

You may get better results using something like ultimate compound. Or, I use the CSP Polishing System both on the Rupes & by hand

I Wont give you a detailed explanation as to what to do as I already have in about 15 threads & somebody's already answered above.

The difference between a hard wax & soft wax is one is hard but oily to the touch. the other is basically a thick paste .

Waxes don't really affect colours these days as its usually applied to clearcoat. Although a general effect of wax is deeper colour on the whole.

Any questions, drop me a message.

www.yorkshiredetailing.co.uk - approved resellers of the Highest quality detailing & Valeting supplies

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Thanks for the quick detailed posts guys. I should probably have said that I currently what I do is pressure wash the worse off, then wash with some shampoo and wax combo stuff using one of these wash mitts
91Q45uJgykL._SL1500_.jpg

I did use only one bucket, but have now picked up another as I can see exactly why one bucket is wrong now :-) 
After that I just rinse with the PW and dry off with some thick microfibre towels. (These ones cause I love the feel of them...) I may be tempted to buy something else though, especially if it would be bigger. These ones are the perfect size for my bike.
I don't fancy going the whole polishing route. I'll more than likely book it in for a "proper" detail once a year and get that done then, partly due to washing in the winter is pretty difficult for me. Icing up the drive way happens rather easily! 

I've had a look at your site Kieran, I'll more than likely be putting an order in for some bits and bobs at some point :-) Glad to hear that coloured wax can be safely used on all colours of cars. That takes most of the confusion away from picking stuff. 

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Steven or Kieran I always thought you applied he snow foam to a dry car so it would pull the grime down. You say above to pre rinse with the PW does that give a better result?

Also I thought applying polish/sealant/wax should be done in straight strokes following the contours of the car and not in circular motion again am I wrong?

See my parts for sale on thread "philf1s Spirit Blue Fiesta ST180 parts for sale"

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Depending on how bad the car is, it's sometimes worth pressure washing any loose bits off so that the snowfoam is only applied to baked on dirt, reducing the amount of product you have to use :)

Applying waxes I always go in straight lines, then circles. If you've prepped the car correctly and you're using a good applicator you won't cause swirls unless you have ridiculously soft paint!

You can then buff off with a circular motion as not only does the wax act as a slight lubricant but using a decent cloth with make all the difference between causing damage & not :)

www.yorkshiredetailing.co.uk - approved resellers of the Highest quality detailing & Valeting supplies

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

For a beginner who doesn't have a pressure washer, but has bought 2 buckets, and am interested in having a go, what do you recommend?

I have got some microfiber towels, a mitt and a sheepskin one, wheel brush plus buffing towel and pads. Have also ordered infinity rapid detailer and trim reaper.

I am thinking I need an initial wash product if I can't snow foam the car, maybe a clay mitt wash and wax? Plus something for the wheels.

I have an impact blue focus, Titanium X, 64 plate.

Go easy on a novice.

Just found ONR doing a bit of on line research. Any one used this?

 

Cheers in advance.

 

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On 07/03/2016 at 1:10 PM, GingerFlame said:

 

First things first, DONT USE A SPONGE AS SUGGESTED ABOVE. stick with a lambs wool (natural or synthetic) wash mitt.

For products, take a look on my website, www.yorkshiredetailing.co.uk

We'll soon be Launching our in house quick detailer & snowfoam, hand made & developed by myself. We already have our own show wax, REVERSAL.

Its a carnuba & Montan blend. Durability isn't great (again, it's a show wax) but it leaves a brilliant level of gloss.

Also, don't be frightened to mix and match with brands. Brand loyalty can make or break your results, and some products are easier for different people than others

For the drying towel, go ono Clean&shiny and get yourself a fireball Korea drying towel. I was involved in the initial testing prior to the products being produced and imported and its the best drying towel you will ever use.

Gtechniq P1 is an extremely "light" compound.

You may get better results using something like ultimate compound. Or, I use the CSP Polishing System both on the Rupes & by hand

I Wont give you a detailed explanation as to what to do as I already have in about 15 threads & somebody's already answered above.

The difference between a hard wax & soft wax is one is hard but oily to the touch. the other is basically a thick paste .

Waxes don't really affect colours these days as its usually applied to clearcoat. Although a general effect of wax is deeper colour on the whole.

Any questions, drop me a message.

www.yorkshiredetailing.co.uk - approved resellers of the Highest quality Detailing & Valeting supplies

Sorry I know it's its late but been busy this year. The only reason I mentioned sponge is because that's the way most people know that step. If you actually look at the products list it says wool wash mitt (or sponge was put as a last resort for those who don't have a wool mit but still want to do it anyway). 

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On 10/10/2016 at 6:18 PM, TitXlover said:

For a beginner who doesn't have a pressure washer, but has bought 2 buckets, and am interested in having a go, what do you recommend?

I have got some microfiber towels, a mitt and a sheepskin one, wheel brush plus buffing towel and pads. Have also ordered infinity rapid detailer and trim reaper.

I am thinking I need an initial wash product if I can't snow foam the car, maybe a clay mitt wash and wax? Plus something for the wheels.

I have an impact blue focus, Titanium X, 64 plate.

Go easy on a novice.

Just found ONR doing a bit of on line research. Any one used this?

 

Cheers in advance.

 

A pressure washer is always the best but at a push u can use a hose pipe with a high pressure spray gun. As a very last resort it can be a watering can but I'd never recommend it. You can get attachments for hose pipes that will put snow foam on the car on eBay. Or you can buy pump sprayers that you can apply prewash with i.e. Traffic film removers just make sure they dont contain costic. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

You can pick them up for around £50 easily if you keep an eye on the Vax sale site and the Karcher Outlet. The eye to getting a cheap brand new Vax is to sign up for their newsletter. Every few months they give you a 50-75% off code. That's how I got mine for £80 when it was £200 at the time. :-) 

I would assume other brands do similar.

To justify it? I use mine for cleaning everything outside. Path, steps, driveway, patio, BBQ. You don't think things need washed until you try it! :- 

CF2O5JoW0AEybyq.jpg:large

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