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Detailing top tips & procedures

paullowther Oct 12, 2013

  1. paullowther

    paullowther Member

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    So with the worst of the weather fast approaching and lots of other threads containing mini discussions regarding detailing I thought it might be a good idea to set up a dedicated topic.

    Basically if anybody has any detailing top tips then pop them in here.

    Best brand of product, best wax, best polish, best shampoo, best tools/cloths/sponges, ways of working, places to buy these items, good/bad experiences, interior, exterior, engine.... Bla bla bla
     
    JudderMan likes this.
  2. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member Team Cosmos quattro Audi A3 S-line owners group TDi DSG

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    Good idea, looking forward to the responses.

    Would be good to hear about recommendations for someone with zero kit and not having to spend lots at once - what should I buy first (basics) for a small amount of money, and what can wait until later on?
     
  3. CraigI

    CraigI Well-Known Member

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  4. Daveotto

    Daveotto Well-Known Member Gold Supporter Team Sepang Audi S3

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    There is obviously lots of info and tips in the detialing thread but.....

    This is a copy of my regime which I posted in the pics thread a couple of weeks back along with pics.

    Regime was pretty simple as did not need to paint clean or polish (but still took 2.5 hours) as only a month old, but wheels pretty dirty after a lot of motorway diving.


    Used mainly autoglym products except for wash sponge and drying towel which were both dodo juice microfibre, used several other polishing cloths from various sources and an autoglym synthetic chamois for drying windows and wheels.


    1. Autoglym shampoo conditioner, two bucket method, and pressure washer rinsed and then dried
    2. Autoglym high gloss on the bodywork (very impressed)
    3. Autoglym wheel cleaner and sealed with wonder wheels spray sealant, Maguiars tire gel used on the wheels
    4. Windows - outside, Autoglym glass polish, inside Mr muscle glass cleaner
    5. Trims inside and out - Autoglym vinyl and rubber cleaner, upholstery/leather obviously still very clean so used no cleaner just a vacuum cleaner


    I will probably wax the car again before winter sets in, probably with maguiars wax,, and then do a full paint clean, polish and wax next spring.

    if you are on a budget but want the full range of gear can't go wrong with looking on eBay for a Autoglym lifeshine kit which you should be able to pick up for around £40-£50 the add tire gel and wheel sealer (£10ish) and few clothes and microfibres etc (£15ish) and you can probably fully kit yourself out for around £75 which should keep you going for best part of year or more with the exception of replenishing shampoo.

    the detailing section also has a good section on procedure to follow depending on colour and great advice on high end products.


    top tip - do not use chamois leather for paintwork, microfibre all the way
     
    JudderMan likes this.
  5. 97catalunya

    97catalunya Active Member

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    Yeah good thread, detailing for dummies :)
    I would also like to know the best way to clean the wheels without taking them off ;)
     
  6. Casey87

    Casey87 Member

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    Sponges!!!! If your planning on using a sponge you may aswell use the frying pan scourer out of the kitchen. Next you'll be saying you use a shammy leather !

    Head over to detailedobsession to have a look at the products and tips they have on offer a really good website.

    I personally use a 2 bucket method using a genuine lambs wool wash mit, i like meguires products so i use next gen shampoo. It gives a great amount of suds throught the wash and last till the end. Its about £15 for a large bottle and you can even get it in Halfords.

    Then give it a good rinse with clean fresh water and wash your buckets out. Then fill a bucket with clean warm not hot water.
    Then get yourself a decent microfibre cloth and proceed to dry the car. Keep a seperate microfibre cloth for the door/boot sills as there is always extra dirt hidden in the corners and you dont want to spread that into the cloth your using to dry the whole car.

    Then again i use turtle wax trye gel, ive tried many different types before and this seems to work the best. Apply it with the back of the sponge on a scouring pad found in the kitchen, its the best way to apply and minimise on waste.

    If i can be bothered i used a product called poorboys wheel sealant but its a good hour or 2 to do 4 wheels so i just keep a seperate microfibre to dry the wheel.

    Theres nothing special to what i do or use but it always looks in top condition and all the products i can get can be found in halfords ( except the wheel sealant- poorboys)

    Just remember to never use a sponge on the car, it will scratch your car beyond beleif.

    Lambs wool wash mit, clean water and bucket, microfibre clothes to dry with fresh clean water to clean the cloth as you dry your car off.
     
    McAudi, Daveotto and JudderMan like this.
  7. CraigI

    CraigI Well-Known Member

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    Worth investing in a power washer and foam applicator.
    I always foam pre-wash, brings most of the dirt to the surface and then the power washer removes it before you get to the wash stage.

    Always use two bucket method and lamb's wool mitt.

    i've also got a filter that I use to rinse off with if I don't have time to dry.
    Purifies the water so it doesn't leave a mark when it dries.
     
  8. markwiggy

    markwiggy Third Gear

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    Still not detailed mine yet as it was treated with something by the dealer, it's now needing the treatment as water is not beading as well. My usual wash routine is Meg's hyper wash foam applied with foam lance, gets rid of all the heavy muck, grit ,salt etc therefore avoiding the risk of swirls before I touch the paint with a mit. I then wash with Meg's gold class shampoo, lambs wool mitt and then rinse with cold water and towel dry.

    In the coming weeks I will follow this with a full wash down with auto smart Tardis, clay if needed and then apply Blackfires ice on fire kit which comprises of Blackfire paint protectant, leave 8 hrs and then apply a few coats of blackfire midnight sun paste wax with 8 hrs between coats.i bought this kit when I had my S3, it gives amazing results especially on the darker pearlescent paints, it is also quite user friendly.

    Mark
     
  9. markwiggy

    markwiggy Third Gear

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    the most important part of my routine for sure.

    Mark
     
  10. mjcourtney

    mjcourtney Well-Known Member Team Mythos Audi A4 Audi Avant Owner Group S-line owners group TDi

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    I'm interested in getting a new pressure washer and snow foam lance, is there any make / model anyone would recommend?
     
  11. Tom75

    Tom75 Member

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    Last weekend I treated the car with the SONAX Premium Class Nano paint protect, you can se here how it works:

    SONAX Premium Class Nano Lack @ Reneko autodijelovi - YouTube


    I have to say it was quite a job but the result is very good and it should last for up to 9 months which sounds much but anyway I am happy if is lasts for 6 months.

    The next thing I a going to do before the cold season is to apply this carpro flyby to the windows:
    flyby30 rain repellent coat - YouTube

    Then I am ready for winter.

    Regards,
    Tom
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  12. markwiggy

    markwiggy Third Gear

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    i use the PA foam lance from polished bliss with a Karcher pressure washer with great results. The PA lance does need regular servicing though as the filter gets blocked with soap scum so basically stops working,I have just ordered a new filter. To alleviate this problem you need to run clean water through the lance after use.

    Mark
     
    mjcourtney likes this.
  13. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 S-line owners group saloon

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    Hi, I would have thought that the use of a pressure washer is frowned upon these days by car manufacturers because of the delicate electronics such as sensors and radar that are fitted.
     
  14. squiretolley

    squiretolley Active Member

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    ValetPro Citrus pre wash works really well as an alternative to snow foam, can be applied with a hand pump sprayer.
     
  15. markwiggy

    markwiggy Third Gear

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    i did did read somewhere not to directly jet wash parking sensors, so I stay clear of mine and anything else electronic.

    Mark
     
  16. mjcourtney

    mjcourtney Well-Known Member Team Mythos Audi A4 Audi Avant Owner Group S-line owners group TDi

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    If we're not supposed to jet wash them then someone should really tell all the Audi dealers!
     
  17. RossR

    RossR Active Member

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  18. mjcourtney

    mjcourtney Well-Known Member Team Mythos Audi A4 Audi Avant Owner Group S-line owners group TDi

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    Thanks for the tips. After reading around i've decided to go for some of the ValetPro Citrus Pre-Wash and a garden type hand pump spray bottle. People on detailing forums seem to agree it's better than snow-foam. I only use the pressure washer from a distance to soak the car and knock off any bit clumps of mud etc.
     
  19. squiretolley

    squiretolley Active Member

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    Good choice, does a great job.
     
  20. snakehips

    snakehips Well-Known Member

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    Some impressive advice here. So are saying taking it to the Albanian guys in Tesco's car park is not the best method?
     
    McAudi and paullowther like this.
  21. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member Team Cosmos quattro Audi A3 S-line owners group TDi DSG

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    Right... resurrecting this thread. In an effort to do something about the filthy state that my car is currently in (!), I've ordered the following from amazon based on reviews, reading, recommendations etc:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002R8QBEM/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (x2)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004ZWK63U/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002PX296S/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i03?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0030B9U6Q/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003LVZE10/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003TFXNJ8/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AF6YWVC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I'm sure there will be many people saying I've bought the wrong stuff, or should have bought something else, or whatever, but I literally have zero car wash kit, so thought I had better get some basics!
     
  22. JohnM100

    JohnM100 #teamSepang VCDS Map User Gold Supporter

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    Or go to

    http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk

    Great selection of premium stuff as they specialise in this. Am not affiliated with them but been a customer for years.

    Oh, and get a grit guard for the bucket.

    John.
     
    Schizophonic likes this.
  23. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member Team Cosmos quattro Audi A3 S-line owners group TDi DSG

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    I've read places that just say those grit guards are a waste of time and a gimmick though
     
  24. PembsA3

    PembsA3 Active Member

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    On the subject of pressure washers... My father and I have both had a number of Karcher pressure washers - all have developed faults relatively early in their lives and I have subsequently heard that karcher's reputation for robust quality washers has been used to market cheap rubbish for the Sunday car washing consumer. I'll never buy another. I bought a Kranzle washer 2 years ago and I'm delighted with it. VERY robust - proper metal - no plastic. Proper brass pump (frost proof) and very compact, AND best of all amazingly powerful for its size. Expensive but you get what you pay for... I thoroughly recommend this washer.
     
  25. arad85

    arad85 Active Member Team V6 Audi S5 Black Edition

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    No end of problems with my Karcher... Will be replacing with something different at some point....
     
  26. CraigI

    CraigI Well-Known Member

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    Never had a problem with my Karcher in 5 years.

    On the detailing front I'm paying serious consideration to having the car delivered to me with all of the protection/covering put on in the factory still on it, thus saving the Audi "expert" cleaning dept putting scratches and swirls all over it.
    I'd either remove the protective items and detail it myself or have it delivered to a detailer with the protection intact.

    Saw some pics of a £150k Porsche Turbo delivered with lots of scratches on it, caused by Porsche's valet co.
    Horrific to think that after paying for your new car and speccing it the way you want they have the cheapest valet co clean them before handover.
    I'd have taken it back, but it was booked into the best place to put it right.
     
  27. CraigI

    CraigI Well-Known Member

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  28. steeve

    steeve Well-Known Member TeamMisano Team Ibis Audi S3

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    First tip from me is never use polish. By its very nature polish is abrasive. Why would you want to put something abrasive on the surface of new paint?
    The white powdery residue left by 'polish' is mainly clay. The clay is the carrier for what little wax or even silicon thats in the polish. The smaller the particles of the clay the less abrasive it is. Thats the stuff that gets in the grain of black textured plastic.

    Use a wax or a glaze, I use Zymol Glasur but there are many that are better or worse than this.

    Pressure wash your car before you start to remove as much muck as you can. Obviously take regard to all those warning notices regarding nozzle vehicle distance.

    I always use the two bucket method, both with gritguards.
    Use a wash mit not a sponge, as a sponge will keep rubbing that fine grit on the surface of your car. A mit wont.

    Now most car shampoos will remove at least half of your wax each time you wash your motor, so after a couple of washes all that lovingly applied wax or wax residue from your 'polish' will have gone.

    So use a wash that doesnt take much if any wax off such as Zymol Clear. You can find that your quality wax is good for six months.

    Now you all do it dont you? Add a bit more shampoo than the bottle says, wax gone even quicker, use less than the bottle says never more. So something like Clear may look expensive but as you only use a small amount it doesnt work out that way.

    Pressure wash off the soap then rinse using a water filter perhaps the Raceglaze one which is very good. So all those water dribbles dont leave calcium marks on your precious paintwork.

    Then dry using a drying cloth in preference to a leather. My final thing is to use compressed air to clean the water from all those seams and joints.

    Oh, dont forget under the bonnet too.......

    I too used to get my new car delivered 'unmolested' but after having an R32 with paint contamination I sadly agree to the dealer cleaning it but not waxing or polishing it. Worked OK so far.
     
  29. scotty76

    scotty76 Well-Known Member Team Phantom Audi S4

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    Loads of options for wax safe shampoos... Dodo Juice Basics of Bling, Dodo Juice Born to be Mild, Britemax Cleanmax, Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner. The list goes on and on. I think you have to really go overboard to seriously damage the wax or sealant layer. That's why they make stuff like this: G3 formula by Farécla - Products & The System : Prepare for when you really want to get the wax off!

    With winter approaching the two favourites for long lasting protection have got to be:
    Finish Kare 1000P Hi-Temp Sealant - Clean Your Car
    or
    Collinite Super Doublecoat No. 476S - Clean Your Car

    Have a google. Or wander on over to Detailing for more detailing chat.
     
  30. LukeTripod87

    LukeTripod87 Active Member

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    Personally I use these as in my opinion there's nothing better out there
    PB Luxury Wheel Woolies | Metal-Free Wheel Cleaning Brushes

    If these are on the pricey side for you the this is a great alternative but just be careful with some delicate wheel faces
    EZ Detail Wheel Brushes | Ultra Flexible Nylex Wheel Cleaning Brushes

    Hope this helps :)
     
  31. manor13

    manor13 Active Member

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    I have a mixture of Angelwax Dark Angel, Zymol Carbon but front and rear have Collinite 476s then some Cquartz Hydro over the top should see me thru winter
     

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