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Car Detailing

Procedure:

Interior surfaces

  1. Vaccum
  2. Identify blemishes and defects
  3. Meg. Carper interior cleaner: High Performance Spray interior cleaner. Works well on all surfaces
  1. Foul orders get trapped in the fabric of car. Use Meg Car odor eliminator. Spray mist.
  2. Vnyil Interiors: dashboards, rubber products (mats) etc.: Meg natural shine gloss protector.
  3. Leather Interiors: Meg Gold Class Leather cleaner conditioner.
  4. Engine Compartment: Meg Extra tough all surface cleaner: safe for all metal, rubber hoses etc...
  1. Engine hoses: Meg natural Shine: Cleans, conditions and protects all rubber surfaces
  1. Wheel wells (space between tires and car body)
  1. Wheel: Meg hot rims all wheel cleaner

Paint Finish

Swirl Marks

Misc


Information:

Products:
Leather
  • Armorall leather cleaner/conditioner, in the tall skinny brown bottle... great smell and mild cleaning.
  • Lexol cleaner and conditioner
Wax
  • Klasse
  • Meguiars #20 Polymer Wax
  • Meguiars #26 Carnuba Wax
  • Meg Gold Class
Cleaning /  Polishing
  • Meg's #83 Dual Action cleaner/polish
Swirls
  • Meg #82 Swirl Remover
Glaze
  • Meg #81
Stainless and Chrome
  • cleaner wax
  • Meguiars #6 Cleaner Wax followed by Meguiars #26 Carnuba Wax
rubber
  • black chrome by turtle wax, only attacks the oxidized rubber, stops cleaning when all oxidation is removed, has silicons and uv, really brings the black back without solvents
  • Meguiars #40 Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner/Conditioner
Wheels
  • P21S: water-based (ie: non-acidic), and can't hurt any of the various wheel metals like some cleansers do. it is usually a spray on, and hose off ritual, with very little scrubbing required.
  • Meg Hot Rims
tires
  • clean with eagle 1 wheel cleaner (orange stuff)
  • Scrub brush & dish detergent during wash. Meguiars #40
  • Westley's Bleech-Wite - works on wheels too
carpet
  • bissel carpet cleaner, with "steam" cleaner unit
  • Resolve
  • Tuff Stuff - for removing strong ordors
windows
  • Stoners Invisible Glass
  • soft mitt with warm water and car wash soap, dry, then rain-x
    with a soft cotton towel
  • Rain X
Vinyl Meguiars #40 Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner/Conditioner
Other
  • Stoner Tarminator for bug and tar removal
  • Stoner Trim Shine for exterior vinyl trim
  • oxyclean for stains
  • Microfiber towels
Wipers
303 Wiper Treatment
Wash mitts
  • I currently use a cotton chenille, along with a sponge.  WHATEVER you use, it should pass the CD test.  Namely, wipe it across a CD, and it _doesn't_ leave scratches.  Maybe someone else can perform this test with their sheepskin or microfiber, and let us know how they fare.  When my chenille wears out, I'll probably buy a microfiber
  • Sheep skin wash mitt

Spot Cleaning

Using Clay

The neat thing about clay is that it won't remove clear or induce scratches IF you use a lubricant. Autozone has the best price I've seen on a clay kit. It has the clay and lube for maybe $9 (bad memory, don't shoot me). Anyway, here is what I do to clay:

  1. Wash the vehicle with Dawn (original, unscented stuff). The reason is that you want to remove all the wax since the clay will work best on bare clear/paint. Dry it like you normally would. Use warm water if removing wax.
  2. Take your clay bar and divide it in half or thirds. The reason is that if (and I have) you drop the bar on the floor, it is worthless. It will pick up every rock, chip, bug body that it touched. Then you still have some clay left to work with and you don't need a whole glob.
  3. Start on the hood. Take a thin baggie and put your hand in it. Lightly slide your hand across the clean hood. Feel all those bumps? Soon they will be gone.
  4. Flatten the clay into a patty maybe 3" or so. Spray a 2'x2' area with your lube (Quick Detail or a car wash/water solution). You only need a mist of it. Now work the bar from front to back. It does not take much pressure. You can feel when you need more lube since it will start to drag instead of gliding. Now move the clay 90° and work it across the hood. This gives you a different angle to pick up bits that stuck after the first attempt. Since you are not scratching anything, it is not like waxing or washing in only a front to back motion. You will not cause a scratch with clay. Now fold it in on itself like cookie dough and flatten it out again. Move onto a new area and repeat.
  5. You may find a light residue left over. If you are going to use a swirl mark remover or polish, then just leave it alone and apply your next product. Some folks will wash the car again and this is fine if you want. If you are going to wax right over the clay, then you may want to wash it so you aren't trying to get wax to stick to a "dirty" surface. You would probably want a nice clean paint surface since you are trying to get the wax to adhere and seal.
  6. The best way to store clay is to take all your pieces and put them into a sealable plastic bag. Squirt in some QD or a bit of your car wash soap/water solution so that they stay wet. You aren't trying to submerge them, but you want them to stay moist. They will dry out and become worthless.
You can't clay effectively on top of wax. You need to be on clean clear/paint. Dawn will strip it off since it is quite alkaline in PH value. If you used it every car wash, you would not do a favor to your paint. It would be nasty to your clear/paint. That is why we only use it when we do swirl mark work or when we clay. Since you only clay maybe twice or three times a year, Dawn will not hurt your paint. To just do the usual car wash/detail work, always use a Car Wash soap. None other. Car Wash type of soap is pretty neutral in PH value and does not strip wax. It has surfactants to lift and hold dirt in the film so that it floats off into your wash mitt. As a side
note on Dawn, back in the early 1970's we used it mixed strong to degrease our engines since it presented no petroleum fire hazard.

Dawnis harmless to clearcoat, but you are using a capful to 2 gallons of WARM water. Rinse with warm water. Cold water will just put the wax back on the car.

The trick is to follow a good detergent scrubbing followed with a wax remover anyway since it adds oils to the surface to benefit the swirl removers, glazes, polishes, cutters, etc.

I would suggest investing in a garden hose "splitter" used in reverse-one cold water in, the other from your domestic hot water heater from the sillcock used to drain the water heater-the single spout will allow you to control the temperature of the water-never hot, always warm to wash away the trash.

Windscreen care

Storing a car