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Detailing For Beginners - A Step By Step Guide

The word 'Detailing" seems to confuse so many people, especially those that are total beginners to the industry. Not to mention the mass amounts of products that do different things to different parts of the car. The real question is; what order are you meant to wash your car in?! I previously published this blog post over on BecauseRacecarBox but thought it wise to share with you guys! The aim of this blog is to give you the knowledge needed to be able to detail your car in the correct order!

Leanne Holder

Step 1:

The first step should always be the inside of the car. Working from the inside out means you can get rid of any dirt and grime and if anything ends up outside the car, you don't have to have a re-wash! Remember to do the door seals at this point too!

Step 2:

The next step is wheels! These will be the dirtiest part of the car and usually are caked with all sorts of dirt. To clean the wheels, make sure you soak them in a wheel cleaner. Detailing brushes are the perfect accompaniment for wheels to really get in between the alloy spokes and wheel nuts.

Step 3:

Pre-Clean. A pre-cleaner is designed to get rid of bugs that have inevitably ended up on your bonnet, and stubborn grime. Spray a pre-clean, such as a citric pre-wash onto any areas that are likely to be stubborn focusing on the lower parts of your car.

Step 4:

Snowfoam not only makes an awesome picture for Instagram, but it does actually really help break down stubborn dirt and loosens contaminants clinging to your vehicle. Make sure you leave the snowfoam to dwell before power-washing off.

Step 5:

Now is the time to get those buckets out and give the vehicle a proper wash. Using the 'two bucket method', fill one bucket with water and shampoo, and the other just with water. One will be for washing, one will be for rinsing the tool you use for the wash itself. When washing the car with shampoo we recommend using an easy to hold Wash Mitt to not only eliminate the chance of swirls and damage to your paintwork, but to also be fast and effective. Washing from the top down is the most logical way to wash the car!

Step 6:

Decontamination! When in a rush this is the stage that often gets missed out, however it's really important in ensuring you get the best out of your paintwork!

Iron Fallout Remover will be the first step in this stage, spraying it all over and watching the 'bleeding' of the industrial fallout clinging to your car.

Next up you will want to use a Tar and Glue Remover to soften any tar that has stuck itself to the paintwork. After this stage you will need to re-wash the vehicle using the two buckets and the two stage method mentioned before. Be sure to use fresh water and fresh shampoo also.

After a re-wash you can start to rub a clay bar across your paintwork to pick up any remaining particles. After such a thorough step by step guide there shouldn't be much left. If you are thinking about using a clay bar then make sure you are using a clay lube to help the bar glide! After this step, wash and rinse once again!

Step 7:

Now its time to Dry your car off! Like washing, make sure you start your drying from the top down. Work quickly and work panel by panel to ensure you leave no streaks. The best tool for the job is a large drying towel to ensure you are not spending ages trying to get drips off!

Step 8:

Polishing your car is up next! This is essential for getting out small scratches, swirls and surface oxidisation. People think that you need a machine polisher to polish your car however you can choose either, you can hand polish easily! Just make sure you work a panel at a time and work your way around the car in a logical manner so you don't forget where you have already been.

Step 9:

If you are looking to enhance your paintwork Glazing is a great way to do this. Add this in before you start any waxing or sealing of the vehicle for an extra step to get that car super shiny! This can really help alongside the polish to reduce fine swirl marks.

Step 10:

Waxing or Sealing is the next step to keep your car protected after all of that hard work in the previous steps. Remember when waxing, do not do this in direct sunlight and do not leave it to cure for too long!

Step 11:

Some of the finishing touches go on at this stage. Trims and tyre dressings can really make the car stand out and restore all your plastics back to their rich colour.

Step 12:

Now you need to clean your glass! Get rid of those smudges and finger prints with a good glass cleaner. Make sure you use a clean cloth otherwise you will be smearing the dirt around!

Step 13:

Your final step in detailing your car is spraying a Quick Detailer over your panels to not only get rid of any further smudges or residue left over from your wax or sealant or your fingerprints, but also to give it a final enhanced shine. Spraying it on to the car one panel at a time and buffing it off will really finish off your car.

I hope this has helped you to understand the steps needed to wash your car!

With Love,

Leanne xx

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