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Old 07-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #1
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Detailing Flow

Ok, so... New to this DIY detailing thing. Just want to confirm something...

If a person is to do a 100% clean/detail on their car (exterior) is this the pattern it should follow?

1) get the car wet (pre-rinse)
2) spray on bug stuff, headlight stuff, rim stuff, and clean these things as needed
3) wash the car then spot free rinse
4) clay the car using QD for lube, wipe dry.
5) polish (optional, not often)
6) wax

Anything that's missing or out of order? Any other suggestions? If a car was looking fairly decent and you just needed a quick touch up (say after a light rain) what would you omit?

Cheers,

Lem
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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Yes, I believe that is the correct order, as I always do the same. And if your car is just a little dusty/dirty, I would just use the quick detailer and a clean microfiber. Just pleeeeeeeeease be sure that you use enough of the qd to lubricate the dirt haha, you don't wanna be rubbing around that hard debris on your paint. Oh and don't make the mistake of using a dirty microfiber. But you already seem to know what you're doing! Good job.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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The only thing I've heard was that you should wash it again after clay bar..here's what I do.

Once a year:
1) pre-rinse
2) wash with dawn
3) clay bar
4) wash with normal car wash, dry
5) rubbing compound (if needed)
6) polish
7) wax

Then every other week no more than once a month:
1) wash with car wash
2) wax

About once a week or as needed I use the quick detailer
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #4
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The order seems like another good way but washing with dawn or any dish detergent I know is a HUGE no-no. So I would avoid that like the plague.

Lem
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemonart View Post
The order seems like another good way but washing with dawn or any dish detergent I know is a HUGE no-no. So I would avoid that like the plague.

Lem
Its only a big no no to do it all the time. You want to wash with dawn before doing a clay bar because it pulls the road grime off....the only thing it would hurt is it pulls off the wax...so yes, if you wash with dawn and don't put a coat of wax back on then that's bad juju. But that's why I said to only do that once a year too
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:34 PM   #6
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I'll still not take my chances lol. Macguires wash for me only.

Lem
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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Don't be scared of Dawn, Just know when and how often to use it. Dawn is okay to use once a year. That is the best stuff to take off your current coat of wax and all the oils and to get you down to a paint only finish. You want to be down to that so you can fully evaluate your paints condition before moving forward.

Invest in 2 buckets and 2 grit guards. Make sure your wash mitt is extremely clean before each use.

Wash the car like normal.

Pull out the claybar and load up a spray bottle with an oz of car soap.

Go over the whole car spraying where you are claying heavily with the soapy solution. If you run out of soapy water in the bottle refill it. If you fail to do this you will mare your paint.

Wash car with dawn. You will now be down to paint. You are now able to fully evaluate your paints condition and move on with either a heavy or light compound.

Tape off your gaps between the hood with 1/4" wide tape. Tape off your windows and all plastic/rubber trim.

I usually use light compound because I do this twice a year. I pull out my Porter Cable buffer for this and I have a huge assortment of lake country pads. I stick with the white ones most of the time because they are not very abrasive.

After doing paint correction remove tape and wash the car with regular soap.

Apply your sealant, then wax. I use Zaino products so I go through the whole Zaino system.

Wash car again and then go over with detailer spray.

Car is good to go for 6 months.

This is a pretty dumbed down version of what you are looking for I think. Look up the 2 bucket method and use it religiously. Check out Auto Geek, they have the best assortment of detailing products.

Sorry for the money you are about to spend.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:15 AM   #8
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Just so you have an idea of what you can do if you put your mind to it, here are some pictures of work I have done to my own cars.

My fiance's car was struck by someone 2 weeks after she bought it with less than 1000 miles on it. After settlements and all that we still got the car back from a ****ty detail shop that the insurance company hired. Rather than letting them take off more paint and screwing it up (as you can tell from this picture), I decided to go to work.

Before, notice holograms and swirls



After





Other random pics of my work













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Old 07-12-2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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I will offer my annual and regular maintenance program andyou can substitute you favorite products, but the process should remain thesame.

First, I am 100% waterless both on my garage queen and mydaily drivers both for washes, polishes, sealants and waxes AND only use qualityMicrofiber towels - no exception. Again,I only use Croftgate products and to be perfectly honest also serve as adistributor…as I said above you can substitute any product you wish fromwaterless technology to the stuff that’s been around for years.

1). Clean the surfaceproperly including inside door jambs and hood/trunk tracks. A great deal of debris build up in these areascausing poor drainage and moisture that could cause future damage. Inspect surface for any material scratches orimperfections. My rule is if you cancatch a scratch with your fingernail it is to deep for repair with compound orpolish and may need a more professional approach. Always clean the car from the top down, Ialways complete the roof, to the glass, to the hood/trunk to the panels androckers, then tires, wheels and undercarriage. The only time I ever use a hose is to rinse off on my undercarriage orinside wheel wells to remove any debris or containments which is done every 4- 6 months. I am not a big fan of using “Dawn” dish soapto clean a car, unless you are prepared to strip the surface of all wax andprotectants. I recommend a high qualityshampoo designed to clean your surface, and if you remain skeptical about thetechnology of waterless products, after washing and rinsing with a hose I suggestusing a electric leaf blower to remove the water safely, again from the topdown. If you do use a hose and bucket,make sure you use a two bucket system and grit guards. One bucket clean water one bucket with yoursoap/shampoo this will avoid re-introduction of containments back onto yoursurface.

2). Claying yoursurface is a safe and effective process and should be completed. My tip is put a baggie on your hand and wipeyour surface..if you feel bumps and grit…it is time to clay. Use a quality lube when claying and if youever drop the clay THROW it away do not attempt to clean it. You can clay in any direction and ensure youuse the proper amount of lube, I always impress the clay into my palm and thengo over the surface with an open hand…works for me and I never drop theclay. Mold the clay often and aftercomplete rinse down the with a hose. Iuse my Croftgate products both as a lube and a cleaner after claying, againjust my opinion.

3). If needed and Isuggest it is, purchase a Dual Action (DA) polisher which is safe and effectivefor the newbie and even used by some pros. I use my Croftgate two step system to compound then polish by machineusing a white pad to compound and black to polish. I am also a fan of Meg’s 105/205 using thesame type of CCS pads. Compound is stepone, Polish is step two. Polish is NOTa wax it is a process to bring back the color and "jewel" the paint but offersvery little in protection. Again, beingwaterless I use my Croftgate products to both seal and protect and fill inmicromarring in minutes simply wiping on and wiping off. If you wish at this point you can use aquality sealant which will level and fill in micromarring and swirls – most sealantsrequire a flash to cure some up to 24 hours before a second coat so dependingon the selection read the instructions.

4). Wax you havethousands of choices..do your research on what is best for your color car and your ability to apply it. You can apply wax by hand or by machinedepending on the product and the amount of time you have. I again, use only my Croftgate spray on waxesand can complete this process in moments even in direct sun. Don’t forget to wax and proctect inside doorjambs, under hood and trunk pillars, and the engine bay…where there’s paint…protectit. Tires and wheels need attention aswell, and yes I use my Croftgate products to clean and protect my tires, wheelsand all hard plastics in seconds. Istrongly encourage you not to use any tire dressing that contains petroleum asthis will give you that high gloss..it is also damaging the UV in your sidewalls, creating sling, and turning your tires brown. I suggest you research what petrolumn products do to your tires online and you will be shocked. Read the label before using and again high qualityproducts cost more because they work.

5). Interior is alsovery important, stay away from high gloss protectants on the dash and otherareas that cause slipping or glare. Iuse my CroftgateTire Shine on all hard surfaces for a perfect matte finish andprotection that repels dust. Leatherneeds to be cared for in its own way and you need to use quality leathercleaner and feed to prevent cracking and aging early. Yes I do use Croftgate leather products aswell.
A few other tips – if you use a machine polisher I alwaystape off all trim with blue painters tape, cover my tires and glass and alwaysstart and stop the machine while on the surface to prevent sling. Typically the surface should be cool and notin direct sun – another benefit to waterless is that I can do a hot car or indirect sun. Use ONLY quality MicroFibertowels – no exceptions. Autogeek.net is a great place to research polishers, pads, towels , etc....

Caring for your surface is AS important as using quality gasor changing your oil and needs to be daily or regular maintenance unless yousimply don’t care which means reading all this was a waste of your time. Waxes typically are dependent on theconditions you subject your surface to – I suggest 4 to 6 six weeks is themaximum of wax protection under good conditions. Sealants can be applied once a year andclaying should be done at least annually. Engine cleaning should also be done everytime you clean your car, keep it clean and it will always be easy tomaintain. If it is rough, then it istime to clean it down and keep it that way. I have tried hundreds of products and still have a huge assortment ofwaxes, polishes, pads, cleaners, brushes and other detailing tools. I am so happy I got over my fear of usingwaterless products and never using a hose or bucket that now my portable detailingkit is my step stool when cleaning my SUV full of many dollars worth of greatproducts.

Enjoy your car and keep it clean and protected and theopinions above are strictly my own, many will disagree and some agree – so doyour research, invest some time in education and most of all be safe. I am always happy to answer any questions solong as we treat each other with respect, if you disagree with my commentsabove that is fine and I always keep an open mind and continue to learn.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Finkikus View Post
Just so you have an idea of what you can do if you put your mind to it, here are some pictures of work I have done to my own cars.

My fiance's car was struck by someone 2 weeks after she bought it with less than 1000 miles on it. After settlements and all that we still got the car back from a ****ty detail shop that the insurance company hired. Rather than letting them take off more paint and screwing it up (as you can tell from this picture), I decided to go to work.

Before, notice holograms and swirls

After

Other random pics of my work
Great job!
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #11
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Great job!
Thanks, Your writeup is a little more in depth than mine but overall very similar. Glad to have someone else that knows what they are doing around in case i find myself in a unique situation. Car looks great man.

As for micrifibers which ones do you use? I normally get the blonde towels from Zaino but they leave lint everywhere. I had some cobra microfibers but they are approaching the end of their life and was looking for something new. The last time i tried to replace the cobra's with what I thought were the same from autogeek i was extremely disappointed.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:16 PM   #12
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Thanks, Your writeup is a little more in depth than mine but overall very similar. Glad to have someone else that knows what they are doing around in case i find myself in a unique situation. Car looks great man.

As for micrifibers which ones do you use? I normally get the blonde towels from Zaino but they leave lint everywhere. I had some cobra microfibers but they are approaching the end of their life and was looking for something new. The last time i tried to replace the cobra's with what I thought were the same from autogeek i was extremely disappointed.
Well...I actually get my towels from Croftgate and like our products ver high quality. I found AG either has cheap or VERY expensive towels...look around your area for wholesale towels or mis cut towels....you could always reach out to me for anything. I love to help.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:36 AM   #13
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It looks like Croftgate is ran out of here in Charlotte. Do you get any specials with them? I'd love to try a towel. In the end I don't care how much they cost I just want them to do their job and not damage my paint. I went to their website and it froze up my Safari browser. Have never had my Mac freeze before in 7 years and I don't want to go back to it.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:39 AM   #14
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Croftgate is not a vendor on ME so lets keep the distribution to a zero. good write up for the first time detailer btw.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:53 AM   #15
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Croftgate is not a vendor on ME so lets keep the distribution to a zero. good write up for the first time detailer btw.
Thank you and appreciate your acknowledgement on my post....this forum is one if the best I have seen and enjoy sharing my experiences and little but if knowledge.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:00 PM   #16
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Just so you have an idea of what you can do if you put your mind to it, here are some pictures of work I have done to my own cars.

My fiance's car was struck by someone 2 weeks after she bought it with less than 1000 miles on it. After settlements and all that we still got the car back from a ****ty detail shop that the insurance company hired. Rather than letting them take off more paint and screwing it up (as you can tell from this picture), I decided to go to work.

Before, notice holograms and swirls

After

Other random pics of my work
Omg that looks beautiful
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:33 AM   #17
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Omg that looks beautiful
thanks!
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