Detailing Your Car - The Proper Way


Thread Starter #1
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I'll divide this thread into three different posts to incorporate more pictures

First up, the dirty car and the materials used for washing.

Wheel cleaner and a soft bristle brush
wheelcelaner.jpg
Liquid clay bar to use before wax
clay.jpg
micro fibre towels to buff off the wax
microfibre.jpg

Washing the car:

  • Wash off the wheels first, you don't want dirt from that coming all over your body. Spray/put on some harsh detergent on them so that the brake dust comes loose and use a soft bristle brush to help the process. Hose off the detergent
  • Use two different buckets, fill one up with water and the detergent and another one with just clean water which you use to rinse the sponge/washing mitt after cleaning the car.
  • Wash the car from top-down. Starting from the roof all the way down, save the dirtiest parts for the last.
  • My sequence of panels: Roof, front and rear windscreens - Passenger side windows and doors until the side strips - Drivers side same - Boot and rear bumper - Bonnet and front bumper - Both sides under the strips and the wheel wells
  • Dip the sponge in the detergent, clean a part of the car and rinse off the sponge in the bucket of clean water before use on another panel. This will help prevent dirt from one panel scratching the second one.
  • NEVER let the detergent dry out on the paint, keep the surface wet always, if needed hose one panel off with water and then work on another one if it's too hot.

Pictures of dirty car:

dirtyfront.jpg

dirtyrear.jpg

dirtyfender.jpg

cobwebs.jpg

Next post to follow soon...
 
Thread Starter #2
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Straight after washing the whole car off, get some old rags and wipe the door jambs and inner doors, and if you have sill less doors like me, you're better off cleaning the rubber seals off all the dirt and grime that gets in-between now.

Wipe them down with a wet rag and then use a dry rag to get rid of the water marks.

Straight after the wash
cleanrear.jpg

Wheel foamed up
wheelfoam.jpg

The buckets after washing
buckets.jpg

More materials
materials.jpg

After that's done, time for claying. What a clay bar does is just lifts off all the dirt off the top clear coat of your car which leaves us a smooth surface to put on our wax. This is not abrasive and won't take any of your cars paint or clear coat. I used a liquid clay bar which required me to have the panels wet for easy use, so I just hosed the car with water once again and worked panel by panel.

Hosed off all the clay barring, and then moved the car into the garage while it's still wet. Never let the car sun dry! Always wipe all the water down with a synthetic chamois or any sort of water absorbing cloth.

Move the car into shade and away from a place where there's more chance of dirt and other stuff falling on it.

Moved the car into the garage
claydone.jpg

Dry you car using the chamois or water absorbent cloth. Dry it properly, cause you do not want water running through when you're waxing the car.

Bonnet before wax, notice the dull paint.
bonnetbefore.jpg
 
Thread Starter #3
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After the car is completely dry, it's time to put on wax. What waxing your car does is just basically adds a protective layer over your paint and gives it that just out of wash look.

Use a pea sized amount on the applicator pad and tap gently on the panel and get it evenly over the area.

roofwaxspots.jpg

The using small circular motions, applying firm pressure on the pad spread evenly over the entire panel, for bigger panels like the roof and bonnet, you're better off separating them into two parts.

Bonnet half done, notice the difference in shine
bonetafter.jpg

After spreading the wax, let it stay for a few minutes and you'll the wax start to haze up, it'll start to look dull.

roofhaze.jpg

Now get some micro fibre towels and buff off the wax and you'll see the shine instantly. For a whole car, you'll need approximately 3 microfibre towels.
Don not leave the wax on too long, or it'll harden up and the effect of wax will be useless.

driverdoorshine.jpg

All done
alldone.jpg

and a pic of the amount of slush from just one guard lol
mess.jpg

and just a random interior shot
interior.jpg

If you have any questions, just ask.

Thanks
 
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Excellent write up buddy. If possible you can also detailed about how interiors are kept new. This shall help all of us to main our cars like the new one. Thanks once again
 
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That was a great write-up buddy , thanks a lot! I am still searching for a chamois cloth and a clay bar kit here , we Indians here don't care much about the paint , not many shops stock it![frustration]


1. Is your paint finish swirl free? How do remove swirls? I think swirls are unavoidable but how to keep them minimal?


2. I feel the microfibre towels absorb too much wax into themselves , what do you say? I am using a separate wash mitt for buffing and i find using this gave me better results.
 
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Well i dont think it is advisable for one to go & just detail a car after watching some online videos etc,its always better to have a good detailer work on your car & observe/get tips from there as even applying by hand is quite a task & process especially with colours like red & black.
Tip-Inform the detailers about repainted panels on your car so they can be cautious as the repaint panels are always softer & can easily get swirl marks or damaged.

& "recycle-art" nice write up & pics,your car interior looks well,how old is this car?
 
Thread Starter #10
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Excellent write up buddy. If possible you can also detailed about how interiors are kept new. This shall help all of us to main our cars like the new one. Thanks once again
I'll get onto it soon mate, thanks.
That was a great write-up buddy , thanks a lot! I am still searching for a chamois cloth and a clay bar kit here , we Indians here don't care much about the paint , not many shops stock it![frustration]


1. Is your paint finish swirl free? How do remove swirls? I think swirls are unavoidable but how to keep them minimal?


2. I feel the microfibre towels absorb too much wax into themselves , what do you say? I am using a separate wash mitt for buffing and i find using this gave me better results.
No problem mate, pleasure. I wouldn't call my paint swirl free, it does have swirls, but very few of them, the previous owner was pretty fussy too lol :)
I never bothered with swirls, but to avoid them when washing, wash your car in straight lines along the body to avoid them, but when waxing you have to do it in circular motions. Just get rid of as much dirt as possible before rubbing anything into your paint.

and for the second question, I'm not really sure cause I've never tried it before or haven't even heard of it :L Sorry man, don't know much about that..
SUPERB! I was searching for one such thread for a long time. Allow me to bombard you with countless queries.
Thanks man :) I'm glad I could help.
Feel free with any questions, I'll try my best to answer them.
Well i dont think it is advisable for one to go & just detail a car after watching some online videos etc,its always better to have a good detailer work on your car & observe/get tips from there as even applying by hand is quite a task & process especially with colours like red & black.
Tip-Inform the detailers about repainted panels on your car so they can be cautious as the repaint panels are always softer & can easily get swirl marks or damaged.

& "recycle-art" nice write up & pics,your car interior looks well,how old is this car?
Will have to agree with you! If you have no experience at all, I suggest you take it to a detailer unless it's a car too old that you just want to take a chance on :)

Thanks ma, the car is 19 YO. It's a 1993 Subaru Liberty
 
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Nice write up buddy.[clap]

One query here. Can you explain the process of claying little bit detailed? What is the clay bar and do we have to do it still the car is wet?
can we do claying, waxing for the windshields and plastic area?
Sorry for my stupid question
 
Thread Starter #14
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Nice write up buddy.[clap]

One query here. Can you explain the process of claying little bit detailed? What is the clay bar and do we have to do it still the car is wet?
can we do claying, waxing for the windshields and plastic area?
Sorry for my stupid question
Thanks man.

This is a clay bar, the one I used is in liquid for, basically this but just easier to use.
clean-clay-bar.jpg
and yes, you'll have to us the clay bar while the car is still wet, preferably dripping wet so that the bar slides easily whilst removing contaminants off the paint surface.

Don't think I've ever heard or seen anyone use wax on windscreens mate, and definitely not on plastics if they are not painted.
The bumpers on my car are plastics, but since they're painted, I could wax them.

Hope that helped.
 
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