Eight products is the bare minimum you need for a professional maintenance detail. The maintenance detail ‘should’ be one of the easiest aspects of caring for your vehicle and its surfaces. Just eight products is all it takes to get your detailed finish back, complementing any previously-applied protection.
First off, you’ll need to rinse the vehicle from top to bottom using clean water and a jet wash. Working from the top down ensures that any loose debris or dirt present on the vehicle is washed away and not left on any surfaces.
Vehicle rinsed, it’s onto snow foam. Mix the required ratio of snow foam in the snow foam lance and apply, again working from the top down. Allow the solution to dwell and work its magic for a few moments before rinsing off. Next, you’ll want to wash your wheels. Completely saturate all four corners in Imperial wheel cleaner, or a good quality alternative – one that’s strong on dirt but kind on your wheel’s finish – and leave to dwell for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Now mix up two separate buckets; one containing part car care shampoo and part clean water. We’ve gone for Summer Fruits Lather in this instance. Dipping a mitt into the soap bucket apply to the vehicle. Working panel by panel, rinse off the mitt ahead of starting on a new one. Finish off with a final contact wash to the wheels using a different mitt. Always keep your wheel contact wash mitt separate to the mitt you use on other surfaces. It’s best practice to not to use the same one for both. Once you’re happy that every surface has received a good clean, rinse off using a jet wash and dry off using a good drying tool such as our Aqua Deluxe towel.
Rolling the BMW back into the bay and out of direct sunlight, it’s time for the protection stage. This is purely a top-up to your previous thorough detail. Ultra Glaze is the first product our master detailer Ash targets first. Ultra Glaze is the perfect pre-wax product; it fills any fine imperfections ready for a smooth coat of wax. Simply apply in swooping motions across each individual panel. Once the entire car has been treated, go around the vehicle again and buff off any remainder residue using a clean microfibre cloth (one of our works cloths would be perfect for this job). Once Ultra Glaze has been applied and buffed off, one top-up coat of our Illusion wax is then applied. Again, working panel by panel, twist an applicator half a turn in the wax tin and apply to each panel. When you move to a new panel, simply twist the applicator in the pot for a half turn again. Repeat until the whole vehicle has been coated. Buff off with a clean microfibre cloth, the same way round.
Paint protected, it’s time to protect and seal the wheels. You might think wheels are less important, when in fact, wheels are arguably more important. Wheels are what see the most dirt and grime, as well as brake dust, so protecting them will make your next wash even quicker and much easier.
Simply apply the wax to the wheels using an applicator, go round and buff off when you’ve coated all four wheels. Wheels finished, all glass surfaces are finished off with Crystal glass cleaner. Purely because the previously-applied Caramics protection was still in play. Mercury metal polish is then used to maintain the tip-top look of all the brightwork to the vehicle, not forgetting the all-important exhaust tips! Brightwork brightened, Satin Tyre Dressing is used last to finish the maintenance detail off.
Lights were finally switched off and Ash did a walkaround the car with a daylight torch to replicate sunlight in order to spot any wax smearing that may have been left during the buffing stage. If residue is present, simply buff off using an additional clean microfibre cloth.
AF TOP TIP: Be careful not to use any cloths on paintwork that have been used previously for wheels or other surfaces, even if it does look clean!
Avalanche snow foam
Imperial wheel cleaner
Lather car shampoo
Ultra Glaze paint glaze
Mint Rims wheel wax
Crystal glass cleaner
Satin tyre dressing
Mercury metal polish
Words & Images:
Auto Finesse Media Team