Lets accept the fact first, most of us don’t wash our cars ourselves either we take it to the car wash at the petrol station or our drivers do it for us. That’s not bad but if you put in some time and effort yourself and follow these steps, the result will be much better and you will have a sense of great achievement.
The first step is to have the right cleaning products. Here is what i
have in my arsenal for my cars;
To me, car detailing is a five step process:
Step 1. Rinse:
Make sure your car is cool and parked in a shady place away from sunlight and dust if possible. Make sure all doors are closed and put away the keys. Now start rinsing with water with a mild pressure dont push too hard because at this stage all we want is to get the whole car wet. Cover the entire body, wheels, tires and dont forget the roof.
Trick: If there is any amount of wax on your car’s paint..the water will bead (it will form small round droplets) and if there is none it will form a pool. An unwaxed surface is bad news. You dont have to spend more than five minutes doing this. Once done, move onto step 2;
Step 2. Soap:
In a small plastic bucket or container pour the car cleaning solution. For my civic I use approx. 70ml which is about / rd of a standard glass of water. then fill the bucket full of water and make sure the
solution is mixed properly.
Caution: Washing your car with a household cleaner or something that is not designed for car wash will result in paint oxidation after some time your car may look clean right afterwards but after prolong use the paint will loose its clear coat and lusture. Oxidation is the appearence of white shady spots on the paint surface.
With a soft sponge (yes I said soft, dont use a hard one, you can use a household one here) start applying the foam solution to your car cover it all over with it and make sure all nook and corners are covered, do your roof, windows, all plastic surfaces. The area most
ignored is the bottom part of the doors because when the water trickles down it streaks there and leaves a mark. Here is how it should look like.
If you have rims on your car they need special attention. Rims are usually made of aluminium alloy which is subject to corrosion. Apply the same solution and rub them down good, make sure all the dirt is gone.
Step. 3: Wash:
This step has to be the quickest you have to wash the car and get rid of all the soap as soon as possible. If you wait for too long you will see water spots developing on the paint’s surface. So act fast and wash your car completely use high pressure this time and make sure all the soap is rinsed and gone.
There are several alternatives when it comes to drying. Let me tell what not to use, never use a daily use towel, regular towels are made of thick cotton woven fibre which has limited capacity
of absorbing water, a human body can absorb some water after you take a bath but a car’s body wont.
I use micro fibre towels which has three times the absorption capacity alongwith a rubber squeeze blade. It’s available at Agha’s Karachi. You can also use plain cotton cloth but again, they have limited absorption capacity so once they are fully soaked they will not dry properly. one other option is chamois.
I use the blade (its the same blade that gas station people use when they clean your windshield) and the micro fibre towel together. Just start wiping all the water down and away from the car it will
completely dry it up. Whatever is left simply wipe it with the micro fibre towel.
Now continue to blade out all the water, it works amazingly and is also gentle to the paint. I have black car so its darn hard to make it look shiny lighter colors are easier to do. Whatever you cant clean with the blade just use the towel, squeeze out the water of the towel whenever you see it is not picking up the water properly from the surface. Couple of more pics, after the two stage process is done, like the shine?
Dont forget to dry the wheels.
For the windows use a paper towel or an old newspaper (use a black and white one because the colored leaves color sometimes).
Step. 5: Wax:
There are so many different types of wax solutions available these days. I use instant detailers (mother’s and meguiers) they are wax based but are mixed with light alcohol and water and perform best cuz they are quick and easy to work with. Use any wax you like
don’t use an old one because they do more harm than good.
Gently spray the solution over the car’s paint surface (dont use metal wax over plastic) and after right away rub it down in circles then wait for a few seconds and then wipe it clean with a dry towel.
For this stage you will need a separate dry micro fibre towel, this is a hard and laborous stage I have now switched to a cordless wax rotary machine and it does the job for me.
Don’t use too much wax for a single surface a little amount is enough e.g. for the hood of the car you don’t need more than three fingers full.
So continue this process till u cover all areas of the car. Wax, rub in circles then wipe it clean.
This last step will bring out the true shine out of your car’s paint remember all cars are finished with a clear coat its a transparent solution that is sprayed all over the paint to protect it from the
sunlight and weather. Waxing ur car properly and regularly (I say once a month) will prolong the paint’s life and appearence.
Now just stand back and enjoy your one hour of hard work doing this atleast once a month or so will ensure that your car’s exterior stays clean, shiny and smooth.
Here are a few pics after all is said and done;