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Car Detailing: Tricks & Tips
Professional car detailing is both an art and a science. The science is having the right equipment and chemicals as well as the know-how to use these correctly and safely according to industry standards.
The art is in knowing how to combine all of these to make your car look amazing! The ability to do so time and time again comes with experience. At Exclusive Mobile Car Detailing we understand both the art and science of car detailing. We are professional detailers with an eye for excellence and are able to tailor a particular situation or specific requirements as needed, guaranteeing customer satisfaction.
To ensure that we stay on top of our game we make stay up-to-date with industry trade magazines and regularly experiment with new products and equipment. Maintaining a presence in the industry helps us stay in tune with current trends. Attending workshops and conventions as well as maintaining a membership in professional detailing organisations allows us to do so more effectively. It may come as a surprise that some of the best advice on car detailing comes from casual conversations with other members of the profession! Included below are some things that we at Exclusive Mobile Car Detailing have found indispensable in making the cars of our customers look immaculate. Hopefully these tips and tricks will help make your car look as great as one of ours!
- Work should be started on the driver’s side so that it is dry by the time the rest of the cleaning is done.
- With windows, the dirty work should be done first. Clean the headliners and door panels before starting on the windows. Applying the interior dressing and conditioning after cleaning the windows is important so as to avoid tracking dressing onto the windows when wiping them. A good window cleaning tip is to first lower the pane and clean along the top edge and then closing the windows and cleaning the rest of the pane.
- Interior cleaners can fog or spot the clear plastic that covering the instrument panels so cleaning around these areas should be done with care.
- In situations where the carpet is heavily soiled or there has been a spill, removing the seats completely can give better access to the affected area. Check under the seat before removing it for any wire harnesses as these can usually be easily disconnected. Remember to reconnect these when reinstalling the seats. Although seat removal takes time and effort, it can be well worth it especially when dealing with stubborn stains that are hard to reach. Seats should reinstalled properly and securely to ensure passenger safety while driving. Do not attempt to remove seats if you are not able to safely reinstall them. When in doubt, contact a trained Exclusive Mobile Car Detailing professional.
- To keep the interior cleaner for longer, it is important to always rinse any cleaning products out of the upholstery, carpeting and mats as any cleaning residue left behind can attract dirt.
- Start with the lower areas of the car, working upwards from the wheels.
- For cars that are washed regularly, a great trick is to add a light spray of “quick” liquid wax after the final rinse but before the car is completely dry. Dry with a chamois and then lightly buff the sprayed areas. This process removes any left over water spots and adds depth of colour as well as leaving a fantastic shine for darker coloured vehicles.
- Clay bar should be used before waxing or sealing, if only on the horizontal surfaces of the car. It takes a bit of extra effort but the results are worth it.
- Vehicles that are detailed regularly can develop a build up of fallout between waxing. In these situations there are some clay bars that can be used while washing, with the car wash solution acting as a lubricant. Where there is heavy fallout or over-spray removal, it is better to wash and dry the car before applying the clay with the recommended lubricant. This allows you to check the quality of your work more thoroughly.
- Before applying wax or sealing, dress the tyres and trim (including any vinyl, rubber and rubber pieces that are next to painted surfaces). This saves a lot of time because applying wax to these areas is faster with the dressing and because the amount of wax that needs to be removed is reduced.
- Wheels can be dressed with cheaper diluted dressing and will still look good.
Having difficulty distinguishing between clear coat and conventional paint systems? A quick and easy way to do this is by using a white rag with your usual polishing compound on it and rubbing it on an inconspicuous area on the car. If the paint comes off onto the rage, it is probably conventional paint.
Engine bay Detailing
- Before starting work on the engine bay, ensure appropriate safety gear is worn.
- The engine bay should be cleaned first before washing the exterior of the vehicle.
- Engine bay cleaning involves chemicals that can spot, streak and scratch the front fenders so drape these with a wet towel for protection.
- In some cars, the electronic and computer modules are located in a separate compartment on the upper left or right hand corner of the engine bay and exposing these to water my cause damage. Gently wipe down the affected areas if they are dirty.
- While a dressed engine looks fantastic, the dressing attracts dust so wiping off any excess after application is important.
How to use Clay Bar?
Using a clay bar is a great way of getting rid of many impurities on your vehicle. Clay bars can be used to clean paintwork, windows, lights, wheels as well as chrome. In the right hands, a clay bar can make the finish on your car as smooth as a mirror.
Whether your car is new or old, it is important to care for it regularly to ensure that it is adequately protected and that it looks as good as it can. Of course, the older the car the more likely it is that the paint is in worse condition and needs more care. That is not to say that new cars do not need to be cared for longer.
If you want brilliantly gleaming paintwork, the use of a clay bar is recommended. This is because after correct treatment with the clay, the paint is then ready to be polished or waxed, protecting the paint and maintaining the appearance of the vehicle. When done right, this process will ensure that you will be able to enjoy a good looking car for longer. Before using a clay bar, the area should be thoroughly cleaned and washed. It is important to work in a cool, shaded place as the sun and high temperature can cause to the lubricant to dry out too quickly.
Before starting, the clay bar should be kneaded by hand into a flat, palm sized piece. If kneading does not make the clay soft enough, you can briefly dip it in warm water. Using a spray bottle, apply water or another lubricant on the desired surface. Rub the clay bar on the surface until you feel that the surface is smooth. You can check this with your naked hand or use a piece of cellophane film through which you can feel dirt particles even better. Working with small areas is advisable and if the bar sticks to the surface, apply more lubricant. When using the clay bar, do not try and rub it into the surface, instead slide it gently and evenly. When the clay bar gets dirty, make it into a ball and knead it into shape until clean again. Most importantly, never use a clay bar that has fallen on the ground. If this happens, you will need to throw the bar away and start with a fresh piece. Once you are done applying the clay, wash the surface of your vehicle to get rid of any residual impurities. Remember to dry thoroughly. The prepared surface is now ready for further treatments such as polishing and waxing.
What is ozone treatment?
Ozone is an environmentally friendly broad spectrum disinfectant used for various purposes. Ozone treatment does not use chemicals and instead utilises the inherent properties of the ozone molecule as a powerful oxidizing agent.
Ozone has been in use in drinking water plants since the early 20th century as an anti-microbiological agent for the treatment, storage, and processing of foods. Specifically, ozone is used to inactivate harmful organisms and pathogens in water supplies.
Ozone has also been used in air purification. Many modern cleaning products only temporarily mask nasty smells. The main advantage of treatment of air with ozone is that it removes odours at their source and can get rid of smoke odours, musty and mouldy smells as well as any smells that cannot be removed by bleach.
This is why the automotive industry has been using ozone to fumigate and disinfect car air-conditioning systems as well as the interior of vehicles.
Although the use of ozone in the purification of air is a relatively new method in Australia, it is growing in popularity. Ozone is most commonly used in neutralising odours, eradicating allergens such as dust mites, or as a disinfectant and germicide.
Ozone is perfect in situations where traditional methods for disinfection have failed.
This is because, as a gas, ozone is able to reach the most inaccessible places, which other substances have trouble getting to.