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Cheapest temporary protection/cleaning equipment, techniques and routine?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by audigex, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Mar 18, 2012]
    Hey guys

    I'm a bit strapped for cash for a couple of months after buying my car. I intend to get some decent kit over the summer to look after her properly, but I can't afford it now so I need some temporary protection and kit, as cheap as possible with the aim of looking after it as much as possible for about 4-5 months.

    My car is an Ibis White A3, brand new. I'm not aiming to make it look amazing just yet (she looks pretty good anyway, at 400 miles she's not had time to get too mucky)... my priority is protection and maintenance.

    What equipment/products do I need, what should I do with the car, and how often? I can spend about £50-70 right now, and then add to it as I go along.

    I think I need: (Excuse the non-technical names)
    Buckets x2, one with a grit grille
    Wash mitt
    A shampoo/wash type thing
    Wax
    Micro-fibre cloths
    Alloy protection

    Suggestions(/demands for) anything else, and recommendations for the cheapest of each worth using, appreciated.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
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  3. cloughy
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    cloughy Member

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    [Mar 18, 2012]
    You'll get loads of opinions but with that budget i'd get some Autoglym SRP as its really good stuff

    I'd put 2-3 coats of that on and then top it off with some wax like collinite 476, that stuff is rock hard, my car is still beading even after a long winter

    Megs Endurance tyre gel for the tyres and a clay bar kit to give a good blank canvas to start off with :)
    #2
  4. willowsdad
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    willowsdad Sideways

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  5. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Mar 19, 2012]
    That kit looks great - and Super Resin Polish too - I reckon I'll get the former along with the latter and then add some more advanced products as I go along.

    Any suggestion for a cheapish alloy protector? I've heard they can be one of the worst to clean, so I'd like to jump the gun and protect them early.
    #4
  6. cloughy
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    cloughy Member

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    [Mar 19, 2012]
    Poorboys wheel sealant gets very good reviews, couple of coats lasts 3-4 months, it's £12 for a tub which I'm still using from last year

    Money no object I'd get gtechniq stuff but it's £30 for 15ml!
    #5
  7. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Mar 19, 2012]
    Merci beaucoup. Money might be no object some day - right now it's more bang for buck though... and maximising protection until I can look after her properly.
    #6
  8. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 19, 2012]
    Planet Polish Wheel Seal & Shine is also good and lasts ages. I've hardly used any of mine and I've had it over a year. Makes cleaning the wheels so much easier.

    As the others have said Super Resin Polish will serve you well. It's a good all rounder.
    #7
  9. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Mar 20, 2012]
    My recommendation would be chemical guys jetseal 109 - you can use it on the paintwork and alloys killing 2 birds with one stone while budget is tight.

    Replied to your email too :)
    #8
  10. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2012]
    Yeah thanks Jen, I spotted that - since I sent that I found the individual guides on the site and they look like they cover most things. Just need to find myself a video of using a clay bar and I should be away.

    Unfortunately a hidden expense just popped up so I can't even buy that kit for a week or two: I've spotted a bottle of Triplewax fast wax in the shed though - will this, sprayed on and then gently buffed/wiped off with a microfibre cloth/towel, help or hinder my cause? I imagine it's not the hardest wax/sealant ever - but I figure it's better than nothing? The only thing I'm worried about is if I accidentally rub grit into the paint while doing it... shouldn't be too much of a problem with 400 miles on the clock, but it seems pointless to do damage while trying to protect. Any opinions?
    #9
  11. willowsdad
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    willowsdad Sideways

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    [Mar 20, 2012]
    I'd always give the car a thorough clean before putting anything on it. You don't want to risk swirling the paint before you go through all that time and care to protect it.
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  12. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 20, 2012]
    How to Clay Bar - YouTube

    I watched that last year, bought a kit and have never looked back. I promise it's easy with a mild clay like the Meguiars one. There seems to be a lot of fear around claying but I think as long as you are using a mild clay and keep spraying the lube you'll not go wrong. I can only assume people who've scratched the paint with clay are using an agressive clay and/or not enough lube (oo-er). :)
    #11
  13. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Apr 3, 2012]
    Thought I'd bump this up rather than starting a new thread. I didn't have enough for Juicy's kit just yet, so I've borrowed some kit and bought a Meguire's wash and wax set to give the car some basic washing (paintwork) and waxing. It's not quite a full detailing kit, but she's beading well a week later and looks nice, so that's half a job. I couldn't get the wax off the roof properly, though - it stayed hazy after I buffed it once, then came back to it at the end of the car: I'm not sure why this was, did I not dry it enough, go back to it too quickly/not quickly enough or use too much wax?

    Lesson 1: There is no such thing as too many microfibres.
    Lesson 2: The 2 bucket method works, but a hose would be helpful

    The inside only needed a wipe down and vacuuming, being so new and no kids of pets allowed within 20 feet - I need to protect the interior at some time, but I figure it can wait a little.

    This has left my wheels and glass in need of some TLC, however - the wheels are picking up brake dust quickly and the glass is getting a bit marred so I've borrowed some AutoGlym kit off my brother in law, I'm going to put some Super Resin Polish on next time I wash it and see how that works out. But more importantly are the wheel and glass cleaners I want to use - some AG Car Glass Polish and Clean Wheels - but I wanted to check if I can use them both as they've got limitations.

    The AG Glass Polish says not to use on "Acrylic, plastic or film tinted windows or mirrors" - does this include my tinted windows on my Black Edition? I vaguely remember seeing somewhere that these are tinted glass, rather than a tinted coating, so they should be okay?

    The AG Clean Wheels similarly says "Do not use on unlacquered and highly polished alloy, chrome, anodised finishes, split rims, cadmium plating or stainless steel" - do my Black Edition wheels come under any of these categories? I'm not sure what the matte finish counts as.

    Much appreciated.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
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  14. cloughy
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    cloughy Member

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    [Apr 3, 2012]
    Sound like you put too much wax on fella, a damp foam applicator pad will help with that

    BE windows are tinted at factory so not an issue for the polish your using

    If I were you I would use something like bilberry wheel cleaner to get the wheels clean and then a wheel sealant (not used the AG stuff)

    Think clean wheels is acidic so I would AVOID putting it on your BE alloys in my opinion, best off with oh neutral stuff like bilberry

    Also I wouldn't use SRP on the glass, best sticking to a dedicated glass polish
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
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  15. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Apr 4, 2012]
    (Edit: Jesus, that's a long post... TL;DR version of the below post, thanked Cloughy for the advice and got some non-acidic wheel cleaner from Juicy Detailing, along with a clay bar and a few spray bottles... pics of my first detailing attempts to come, the initial wash+wax doesn't count)

    Thanks :D

    Too much wax sounds right... the only thing that got me was that after several passes it hadn't vanished (pass 1, half of car, pass 2, other half of car, pass 3) - although after a 50 mile drive that evening it had gone and looks fine now.

    I'm not sure whether AG Clean Wheels is acidic, but it does say to rinse thoroughly so I'm a bit wary - thanks for the info on the glass polish: I'll avoid the SRP and just use the AG glass polish on it.

    So my only sticking point now is the wheel cleaner - the only spray ones I can find within range are the Dodo Juice Mellow Yellow and the AG one I've got now, which are both somewhat acidic. I'm preferring sprays where possible as they seem to leave less room for error and it's harder for me to mark paintwork/wheels if I'm not applying it myself. I'd be reasonably happy to use either if I could literally spray, buff, pressure washer to remove it, but I'm not keen on having to remove acidic compounds manually with buckets, jugs and microfibres, in case I leave acid on my wheels... at the same time, I don't really want to leave my wheels unprotected, they've got enough brake dust from the first 1000 miles, they need a clean and sealant.

    Might have to put the clay bar on hold and jump to the wheel cleaner first.

    Edit: Scratch that, Juicy is cheap enough that swapping in a slightly cheaper clay and wheel cleaner (chemical guys diablo) meant I could get both, plus an on-finger wax applicator (fed up of dropping the bloody thing mid-wax and having to go wash it), a badly needed grit guard and a couple of spray bottles for (just) inside my budget :D

    So now I "just" need some of my own glass polish and some more wax and sealant and a pressure washer and one of those awesome air dryers and some more microfibres and shampoo and a DA polisher and some quick detailer and a foam lance....... this is turning into an expensive hobby :p I've got the key bits for now though, I can wash, dry, clay, wax, clean the wheels and remove bugs.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
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  16. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 4, 2012]
    AG Clean Wheels is acidic so take care. AG Custom Wheel Cleaner I believe is their non acidic wheel cleaner. As you have the CG stuff now you should be fine.

    I used Planet Polish Wheel Seal & Shine on my alloys and now only use standard car shampoo to wash them. Works fine.

    Just had a quick peek on AG's website, even they seem scared. :)

    Autoglym - car cleaning products, car care products, car valeting, car detailing
    #15
  17. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Apr 5, 2012]
    Sounds like your getting yourself sorted. Btw dodo juice mellow yellow is not acidic

    I think you've caught dare I say it 'THE BUG'!!!
    #16
  18. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Apr 5, 2012]
    Don't even talk to me about bugs! *starts ripping hair out*

    Mellow Yellow isn't acidic? I was going off your own site which says "Unlike the extremely caustic alkali products on the market, created because of scaremongering about acids, this is an acidic treatment with a ‘controlled effect’ giving the best of both worlds."

    I assumed it was safer, but I figured better to go super-safe and get something pH neutral :p I'll see how I get on with the CG stuff (mixing it myself is more hassle, but makes it go further) and then maybe try the dodo juice, I think I'll try a few products before picking some favourites.

    Great service, btw - under 12 hours from clicking order to it being dispatched, and 8 of those hours were overnight!
    #17
  19. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Apr 5, 2012]
    Exactly it is a much more friendlier version that some that can be found on the market.

    Thanks for the compliment on our service :beerchug:
    #18
  20. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Apr 6, 2012]
    Tried the chemical guys stuff today and was very impressed. Sprayed on, left for 5 minutes then rinsed with a spray bottle and wiped with a micro fibre. I'd prefer a pressure washer, so I don't have to batter too many microfibres, but it did a job. Sprayed a bit of Fastwax on my noodle mitt and wiped that onto everything I could reach and the wheels look unused. Admittedly a thousand miles and a few weeks worth of dirt in spring aren't the worst treatment ever.

    Used about a 5th of the bottle of CG Diablo diluted about 1:5 with water, and used most of that mixed bottle. I could probably get away with using less, but at least 5 washes out of a £7 bottle is something I can live with to keep the wheels looking that good. I'm considering taking the wheels off occasionally to properly get inside them - is this worthwhile? Would I need alignment and tracking afterward?

    Hoping to try out my clay bar kit and SRP next week - still need more microfibres though :p

    Jen, my only criticism is that my beginners clay set comes with absolutely no instructions, not even a label on the bottle - just literally a clay with some plastic round it, a microfibre and a bottle of lubricant. Aside from the legality of selling any sort of chemical without a label containing ingredients and other information, it seems a bit odd to get something targeted at beginners which doesn't have any instructions. I know claying isn't exactly rocket science, but I don't even know whether I'm meant to shake it beforehand, whether I've got to (or got to avoid) rinsing before or after etc. I've got the information elsewhere, but it seems a shortcoming in your product.

    The bigger concern is that I've got a bottle of green liquid, other than the fact it's bright green and about the same consistency as water I have absolutely no idea what is in the bottle - for all I know it could be radioactive waste. I've no intention of putting in any complaints, but you could be leaving yourself open to lawsuits if someone/someone's kid drank it, or to a competitor making a complaint to cause you problems. I'm really not sure it's legal to sell bottles of anonymous liquid.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
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  21. willowsdad
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    willowsdad Sideways

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    [Apr 6, 2012]
    Can't comment on the lack of label, but there's loads of usage guides about. On juicys site and others. I just wash and leave wet, then clay, and then wash again. Oh and don't drink the lube!
    #20
  22. cwuk2001
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    cwuk2001 Member

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    [Apr 6, 2012]
    I was in my local detailing store last night and mess are doing a brilliant new car kit for only £36! Consists of everything to get you started! Have a look around online but I'll try an post a link too one shortly
    #21
  23. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Apr 10, 2012]
    Sorry we ran out of labels and I was waiting for a delivery from our printer. All rectified now :)
    #22
  24. audigex
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    audigex Active Member

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    [Apr 10, 2012]
    Ah okies - I just sprayed a small-medium area, rubbed the clay on it and then microfibre'd it off... only thing I want to know is whether there's any risk of damage if I leave it on, and whether it's okay to get it on trim etc? I'm guessing no to both, but I went with better safe than sorry as I've whitened part of my trim with NXT wax :(
    #23
  25. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Apr 10, 2012]
    You can't damage the paint by leaving it on but as the lube creates an oily residue that's why we recommend that you wash after claying.

    You can clay the windows, mirrors and trims as these are all areas that get contaminated the same as the paint work
    #24
  26. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Apr 10, 2012]
    You can't damage the paint by leaving it on but as the lube creates an oily residue that's why we recommend that you wash after claying.

    You can clay the windows, mirrors and trims as these are all areas that get contaminated the same as the paint work
    #25

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