Detailing Info

5 Reasons why you should detail your car

There are several reasons why you should detail your car beyond increasing resale value.

Learn how car detailing improves your vehicle’s looks, safety and reliability.

There are many reasons to detail a car, not all of them are purely cosmetic. Proper detailing improves and maintains the paintwork of your car in much the same way as changing the oil and spark plugs. While detailing takes a bit of effort, the benefits to reliability, safety and beauty are all worthwhile.

Paint Protection
Proper cleaning, polishing and waxing extend the life of a car’s paint. Your paint protects the metal underneath. If allowed to degrade, rust and corrosion can wreak havoc on your car with potentially devastating results.

Corrosion and Mineral Build up

Mineral deposits from rain, industrial fall out and mud can build up on the body of the vehicle, in wheel wells and under the chassis. Given enough time, these deposits can eat right through your paint, causing damage to the paint work and chassis that isn’t easily repairable.

Improved Lighting Ability of Headlights and Tail lights as well as Windows
Part of proper detailing is making sure your headlights and taillights are clean and free of damage and removing water marks from all glass. Even mild deposits of dirt and grime on your windows and lights can cause large reductions in visibility and of available light, which can be potentially dangerous at night or in harsh weather.

Interior Condition
By regularly cleaning your interior, you get rid of bad odors, protect surfaces from fading and help prevent cracking and discoloration of the dash panels. Protect Leather and Fabric of Interior. Not only does this greatly improve resale price, it also adds a great deal of comfort for the driver.

Wheels and Tires
Oils, solvents, brake dust and other chemicals frequently encountered during normal driving can have a negative effect on your wheels and tires and brake dust deposits on your paintwork can cause corrosion. By properly detailing them, you not only keep them looking good, but you also reduce the risks rust and of tyre cracking in the sidewalls or failure of the wheels due to corrosion.

Proper detailing not only helps to keep your car looking great, it helps to keep it running great both inside and out. This not only improves value and safety, but also personal comfort and pride in your car.  A Shiny car looks much better than a dirty faded car.
Does Detailing a Car Improve Its Resale Value?
Detailing a car is a cost-effective activity that can quickly improve the resale value of a used vehicle. While customers who purchase their cars from dealerships expect the vehicle to be detailed before their purchase, used cars are rarely detailed before they are sold by private party sellers. By having a used vehicle detailed before showing it to prospective buyers, a private party seller may be able to sell their vehicle for more than if it was not detailed.  Detailing will assist in removing fine scratches and swirl marks on paintwork and leave the surface with a great shiny polished look.  First impressions are lasting impressions!

If you are considering detailing your vehicle on your own before offering it for sale, there are some important areas to focus on as you detail. Be sure to clean the engine compartment, as this is a common dirty area on used vehicles. It is also important to place at least a coat of liquid wax on the exterior of the vehicle to help restore a like-new luster. Be sure to polish the surface well before applying wax. (See our Detailing Forum for great tips on how to detail your can and watch how-to video’s). Be sure to clean the carpets and seats, and give the interior adequate time to dry before showing the vehicle to prospective buyers. Making use of these tips will help you increase the resale value of your used vehicle.

The RIGHT way to wash your Car – Car Care



1: Use Two Buckets to Wash

Detailers know that the two bucket method is the best way to get your exterior clean. Use one bucket to hold your clean suds, and another bucket to hold clean water. Before you dip your cleaning mitt into the clean suds, rinse it off in the clean water bucket and wring it dry. Then, you’re always putting a clean mitt into the clean suds that will go on your car. If you only use one bucket, you are simply moving dirt off your car, into your suds and back onto your car. It is also advisable to use a Grit Guard insert, it will help sediment settle to the bottom of your wash bucket, instead of getting stirred up in the water and re-deposited on your wash mitt.

2: Use Microfibre towels

Pro detailers use color-coded, task-specific microfiber cloths and towels for greater efficiency, lower friction and scratching and easier washing, rinsing and drying.  (wash your different colour microfiber towels as a separate load, do not mixed with your regular laundry and rags. Microfiber will trap the lint from cotton towels, defeating the purpose of the wash. Use very little detergent and do not use fabric softener, as it will coat the fibers and inhibit microfiber’s qualities. Buy good quality MF’s if you want the best result.

3: Use Good Quality Car care products (Not dish washing liquid or other detergents – you get what you pay for)

A good quality Car Wash Shampoo will cost you more, but it will be worth it.  Cheap Shampoo’s are often harsh on your paintwork and can cause the surface to look dull and can even damage the surface.  Good quality Shampoo’s are often highly concentrated, last longer and provide much better lubrication.

What you should DO:

DO wash one area at a time.  Doing one section at a time will help keep the soapy water from drying before you have a chance to rinse it off.

DO give your car a good pre-wash rinse, to remove loose dirt and debris.  You don’t want to take a chance of getting something abrasive stuck under your sponge or towel, leaving tiny scratches in your paint.

DO use separate buckets for soap water and for rinse water, and DO rinse out your mitt often.

DO use a special bug-and-tar remover to get these difficult substances off your paint.   Use a different MF or mitt for this job, since the tar and grease will blacken whatever you use to remove it.  For stubborn water marks use CarPro WaterSpot Remover, it is an spray on, wipe off products that work fast and effectively.

DO rinse off the soap and dirt properly before drying the surface. ( If this is not done well, you could end up scratching the surface of the paint).

DO hand-dry your car with a good quality drying towel. A good quality drying towel is very absorbent and do not leave fluff and lint behind.

What you will need:

1. Soft paint brushes that will not mar the surface of your wheel, Magg brushes and an old tooth brush. –    These will help you get to all the hard to reach places and enable you to clean the rims properly.

2. A Good quality wheel cleaner. –   Use a good quality rim cleaner such as CarPro’s Iron X.  This will breakdown break dust that accumulate on the rims during day-to-day driving.  For stubborn areas try the CarPro Iron X Paste.


3. Drying towels


Lets start….

First rinse then wash the rims and rinse again.  Spray the rim cleaning solution on, ensuring that you cover the whole rim, in between the spokes and wheel nuts.  Leave the cleaning solution on for about 5 minutes, then use your brushes to agitate the surface and loosen the dirt.  When all the dirt is loose, rinse, wash again with car shampoo and rinse again.  Dry properly.

Step One:

Start with the wheels. Cleaning the wheels first instead of last will keep any wheel dirt from flying onto the car you just washed. 

Use the 2 bucket system. 

Spray wheel cleaner on and let it rest on the surface for a while. Brake dust and contaminants will loosen.  Use a rim brush to agitate the surface and loosen stubborn dirt.  Rinse well.

Step Two:

Add the proper amount of shampoo to the water as recommended on the label instructions. Using a strong jet of water, and fill the bucket, this will also activate the suds. Fill the second bucket with clean, water for rinsing your wash mitt.  Ideally you should have a Grit Guard in the bucket with the soap water.

Thoroughly rinse the vehicle’s surface to remove the loose dirt and grime before you begin washing the surface. If the paint is excessively dirty or you wish to add more protection, use a foam cannon to pre-soak the vehicle prior to rinsing.

When washing your vehicle always go from top to bottom, never the opposite. Dirt will automatically roll down and usually the dirtiest parts of your vehicle are those parts closest to the ground. You do not want to move that dirt up onto the paint surface and risk scratching it.

Load up your wash mitt or use a separate sponge, with your car wash solution and wring it out over the wash surface. This will act like a pre-soak and helps loosen surface dirt or alternatively use a foam lance.Soaking the surface adds more sudsy water to the surface and more lubricity helps safely wash the grime away without scratching.

Keep your wash areas small and rinse your wash mitt frequently in the second bucket. 

Wash in straight, overlapping lines (no circles) and be gentle with the wash mitt on the first pass. This first pass will pick up the majority of the dirt, and loosens the remaining dirt for pick up on the second pass. Remember to clean and rinse one panel at a time, you do not want the suds drying on the surface.

Rinse your vehicle completely and let the water run or sheet over the surface. This helps in two ways. First, generally when water has “sheeted” off of a surface it tends to leave fewer residual droplets behind. This means less drying time. Second, since there is less water to pick up, there is less chance of your leaving water behind to spot the vehicle.

When you dry your car, use only high quality microfiber waffle weave drying towels and wring out often. Gently dry the surface without much pressure. You don’t need to rub the surface. Now use a second towel to lightly pick up any remaining streaks or droplets.

Step Three:

Car polish, Wax, Seal or Coat ( A new post will follow soon on how-to Polish, Wax, Seal and Coat)

In the mean time, have a look at these Detailing products: (Wholesale car care supplies available from Auto-DNA)

The Wrong way to wash your car

Before you learn how to wash your car the right way, first read the following:

Reality is that if you do it wrong, you could do more harm than good.  Certain supplies and techniques could hurt the finish, leaving scratches or stains that will require extra work and money to fix.

The wrong way to wash your car!!!

DON’T – Use Dish Soap –  And if you were considering using dish-washing detergent to wash your car, it is not recommended.
“Dishwashing detergent is very effective at getting grease off dishes. Car wax and grease have similar properties, so if it’s good for removing grease it’s also good for removing wax.”   Instead, use a specially-formulated car wash formula.

DON’T wait to remove dirt and grime building up on your car’s surface.  Some of these contaminants are knows to be rather acidic and can eat through your clear coat.  Rinse off dead bugs and bird droppings as soon as possible using water or some kind of instant-detailer product.

DON’T wash your car when the surface is hot. The soap and water will dry too fast, possibly dulling the finish.  

DON’T use an abrasive towel or rag to wash or dry as it could leave tiny hairline scratches in your car’s paint.  A lot of professional detailers use a lamb-wool mitt that allows dirt and debris to be worked up in the suds into the thick wool rather than staying on the car’s surface. A Microfibre Wash mitt will also work effectively. Be sure to keep the surface soapy, to provide enough lubrication to slide the mitt easily on the surface. 

DON’T keep using a sponge or mitt that you’ve dropped on the ground.  It can instantly pick up sand and other abrasive materials that you won’t see until it’s too late.  Also, DON’T use the same sponge or mitt to wash your tires and wheels.  The brake dust and road debris collected there makes it the dirtiest part of your car and you’ll just negate all the work you’ve done. Rather use 2 buckets, one for the Paintwork and one for the Wheels and rims.  Also rather use 2 different sets of wash mitt’s, do not mix them up.

DON’T wash the complete car in one go – wash one area at a time.  Doing one section at a time will help keep the soapy water from drying before you have a chance to rinse it off. Wash each panel and then rinsed before moving to the next one.