With the explosion of detailing products and high demand for retail/enthuisiasts customers wanting the very best product has brought about a bevy of valeting chemicals. I strongly believe that before too long there will be a number of detailing forum gatherings and shows offering the best detailed cars and their owners large amounts of money for sponsorship rights regardless of the fact there products were used on the vehilces.
Detailers world are offering £500 prize money for the best detailed vehicle at there August 2012 Waxstock, which is a big carrot for all to get their rotaries at the ready for major action. I believe that such winning vehicles will then be offered sponsorship to promote their individual products for ultimate finishes.
So this is it, this is a detailing checklist to give you a chance of winning money and who knows an income from your toils. I will not dictate as what to use, just a simple checklist or as you may want to call it a mini ‘Bible’ of detailing your vehicle. This will be the bare minimun of what you will need to do to to enter your car.
Photos will be included and at the end of the blog which I will list the products used in the photo’s for reference.
This is the order which I would carry out your pain staking mission, but the decision for what is best for you maybe different.
The first part of your process is to treat inner rims and outer rims with non acidic wheel cleaner and leave to soak for a few minutes (do not allow to dry and ideally remove wheels for cleaning and polishing)
If your wheels have embedded brake dust like these 140k Lexus wheels, you will probably need acid. These wheels shown below were had an attempt at being cleaned by a hand car wash. Try again!
VIEW OUR PHOTO GALLERY OF THIS BLOG BELOW, THEN SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EACH PHOTO
Your inner wheels will need to be as clean as the outer of your rims and if your calipers are painted (ideally need to be) want to be spotless as well.
Engine, wheel arches and arch lips need to be treated with traffic film remover (caustic or non caustic) for pressure washing. Cover any alarms or sensitve electrical areas under the bonnet before treating.
Apply Tfr – door shuts (caustic, non caustic, mpc) around badges/letters, window rubbers and agitate with a soft bristled brush and rinse off.
Snow foam if necessary with the appropriate detergent.
For a super smooth paint finish and the removal of natural and commercial fall out use a clay bar with lube. Use either a medium or hard bar (hard for the accomplished uses) fine bars tend to struggle a bit. Work panel by panel with clay lube and wipe residue off with micro fibre cloth before it dries.
GOOD TIME TO VAC NOW, ALSO WILL ALLOW WATER DRAINAGE FROM THE BODYWORK
Vac car whole car, seats out front and rear if possible. Boot well, spare wheel out (if applicable) pull seams gently apart and re cline front seats flat and vac.
Dee stain seats wet vac all fabric that requires attention. Mats can be striped by alternating vacing up and down. Headlining will need freshening and sun visers, viser mirrors will need attention.
leather feed everything that used to moo. Including steering wheel
Steering wheels, door card side pockets, air vents, indicator stalk, window stitches, hand brakes, gear sticks, centre consoles, sun visas all need cleaning and brushing with paint brush or soft bristled brush.
Good time now for dressing and polishing engine area. Polish areas that you can reach, drill fitting mini head is very useful here for it’s versatility and ease of use. Then dress trim with emulsion dressing or silicone spray.
Even a tired diesel engine bay can look great.
Polish exhaust pipes with drill fitting head using ratchet on low setting to avoid damage.
Polish all chrome and alloy wheels.
Now for the paintwork – go through the grades of compounds/cutting cremes removing bird lime, contamination and scratches. Wet flat areas if required with 1200 or 1500 grit.
Drill fixing mini backing plate is very useful for A posts, in and around wing mirrors and similar such difficult areas.
Hand polish, glaze and seal with your desired products, including door and boot shuts.
Drop windows to clean the line which seals the glass. Elevate the windows and clean inside and out including wing mirrors, rear view mirrors and dials. You may wish to treat windows with rain repellent, such as diamond brite windscreen treatment or rain x.
Dress tyres with high silicone content dressing, using of a paint brush or applicator and allow to dry before re-application if required. Whilst your treating the tyres (if applicable) spray wheel arches with dressing (ideally emulsion dressing) and wipe off any overspray off paintwork immediately.
Dress all exterior black trim including window rubbers.
Then finally super soft micro fibre cloth interior and exterior.
This is just a taster, you will need to do more than this to win ca$h. As this is a guide to help you in your quest for excellence!