How to Detail your vehicle like the Pros !

This section will be used to help you detail your vehicle yourself without the BIG cost of having someone else do it and guide you through the process of making your car shine like never before as well as keeping it that way. I will describe the different products I have used and which ones work and which ones don't ! You should be able to take care of your ride and take pride in the compliments and hopefully I will be able to help you in the quest for the ultimate shine !  Hands Down !!   

STEP #1:
Use TOP of the line Products. .

       One of the biggest mistakes I have found that most people make is that they use junk products to clean and polish their 30+k vehicles. When you spend your hard earned dollars on a vehicle why in the heck would you spend 5 bucks on a bottle of wax and expect it to make it look like 30k again ? You can't be cheep on the polish and wax you use, you MUST spend a few dollars to keep it looking new and shinny. Now think about it, if I was to ask you how much your bottle of wax cost you, most of you would say about 5-8 dollars right ! Now when you ask me the same question I say " I use 4 different products and they cost me about $55.00" You would say I was crazy. I say "NOT" ! Think about it, your 8 dollar bottle of wax makes your car look so so, My $55.00 dollar system makes it look Fantastic, but not only once but for YEARS since it is good for MANY applications if you use it the right way.
  I use the MEQUIRES Professional line, the Paint cleaner-Swirl remover, The SHOW car glaze (Polish), Their #26 Yellow Wax (Protection) and the spray FINAL INSPECTION will keep your car looking like a million bucks. The compliments I get at red lights,  parking lots and nods on the road  proves that what I do to my car is the right thing. I get compliments almost EVERY day on my cars look.  NOTE : ( I have NO interest in Mequires Products except that they WORK!)

STEP #2:
Use the right Equipment . .

The biggest piece of equipment I have found to be the MOST important to keeping your car looking bright and shinny is the Orbital Buffer. Hands down this $40.00 product is the best thing since sliced bread. I tried doing everything by hand for the longest time and found out through a friend who owned a detailing business that you can not beat the finish that a buffer puts on your car nor can you beat the time span it helps you complete this task in ( Thanks Tommy !)  It would take me 2 hours to put on 1 coat of a product  and take it off by hand which made me tired to say the least ! The Orbital buffer cuts it down to about 45 min. per coat. That's On and Off ! Plus it rubs out all the contaminates you can't get out by hand ! It will be the best $40 bucks you ever spent, take my word for it !

STEP #3 :
Take Pride in your Car !

When you detail your car make sure that you have it in your mind that you want to make your ride look the BEST it can and the best looking car on the road !

Clean Your Paint Surface

To start your cars finish you have to make sure your paint is clean of debris. Using Mequires Paint cleaner, cleans the surface of any contaminates and swirl marks while using an orbital buffer. After cleaning the surface with Mequires Paint cleaner, your car will be free of swirl marks and have a fresh new look....

Apply a Show Car Glaze

 By adding a Show Car Glaze you will add that DEEP shine and reflection all of us want. This is what makes your car have that deep shinny look. Apply 1-2 coats of this and take pride in the shine it gives you. This will make you feel like you should have entered a car show the week before, but I guarantee that you start getting good compliments on your car after this !

Now the WAX Protection coat !

When your ready to get the next step done, add Mequires #26 (Professional) Wax to your finish which will add the Ultimate shine and protection to your pride and joy. It seals the finish you have prepared and does a hell of a job keeping it like the surface of the sun.

. . . . I almost forgot, when you use your hose, DON'T Use any sprayer on the end ! A plain hose end with the water trickling out of it ( Especially on a sunny
day ) will result in less water spots since the water is running off your paint instead of beading up from the spray adapter ! Always use clean terry cloth applicators and when they start to get a build up of dead wax flip it over or use another clean one. I usually go through about 3 per detail session.

Glass Tip !

    Rain-X just came out with a glass cleansing solution (pink) that doesn't scratch the windshield just cleans it super clean...  I take glass cleaner
after scrubbing it and get it good and streak free.. (belcamp steel can foaming professional glass cleaner found at Napa parts store) works really good... Then take the yellow bottle of Rain-X coating and squirt it on the windshield and use a paper towel to buff in circles, I do 2 coats of that... Buff it out as much as possible then
leave it sit over night...  The next day take a hose and wash the windows with regular car wash stuff... this will get rid of all the streaking that you used to see...
After you do this once the water will just shed off the window, it keeps you from getting water spots on the glass and
is like wax on your car except for glass.  I do ALL the windows  (outside only) and it usually last for about 8 months to a year!   Pretty cool...
defiantly allot of work and (pain in the butt), but worth it. ( Thanks Robert )

  Interior Care !
Carpet Care
    OK,  Lets go on to the inside of the car. Keeping the interior looking new and clean is pretty simple with the right tools and a few common chemicals. 1st, you should insure that the carpets are free of dirt by using a strong shop vacuum or house vac with one of those hose attachments. To clean your carpets, use a spray dry cleaner made for carpets which can be picked up in any food store. They contain the same stuff the auto part stores carry at a much cheaper price. Follow the instructions on the package and also once you have the product on use a stiff brush the loosen the heavy dirt. Let it dry and the vacuum it up, your carpets should look like new. For heavy stains or spots you can use Spray and wash along with a stiff brush, works pretty good to remove stubborn stains.
Dash & Doors
    Now lets get those door panels and dash clean. A simple rag with plain warm water and a cap full of glass cleaner in a small bucket of water ( about a quart ). Soak the rag and ring out the excess water. Wipe the dash and door panels done with this mixture making sure to turn the rag when dirt is collected. You can also re-wet and ring out the rag whenever needed. When your done, let everything dry and while your waiting you can take a few Q-Tips with a small amount of glass cleaner on them and do around all your radio knobs, accessory knobs as well as all your air vents and hard to reach spots.
    When you all done take a clean rag and spray a small amount of Armor All directly on the rag to make it slightly damp. Now use that to wipe all of the dash and door panels, making sure to wipe everything. Small areas again get the Q-Tip treatment. TIP:  When cleaning the clear plastic covering your gauge pod NEVER use paper towels to wipe glass cleaner off. You'll get scratches the very first time you do that since the plastic they use is not very scratch resistant. Wipe it off using a clean terry cloth rag or a 100% cotton rag or T-shirt. You'll thank me later !
    Leather interior care is very important for two reasons. One is that leather is a natural material that can dry out and become very stiff and crack without the proper cleaning and placing the natural oils back into it. Two is that once your leather suffers neglect it is almost impossible to get it back to its original look and feel, and for the price of leather seats I don't think anyone wants to go that route !
    To clean your leather seats, you can wipe them down with a damp cloth using warm water ONLY. Then its as simple as investing in a good leather cleaner ( I use LEXOL ) as well as a GOOD preservative ( Again I use LEXOL ). Don't skimp on these products, buy the best money can get you. Just follow the directions on the bottles and use every 3 months in the winter and every 45 days in the summer months to keep your leather looking and feeling like brand new.
   More Tips on Keeping your Car New Looking

If you have any TIPS on detailing, please E-Mail them to me and I will try  them. If they work as posted I will put them on my page to share with the rest of the world !
To Submit a Tip

This page last updated on 6/19/99
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