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Fundamentals of Car Detailing

The 8 fundamental detailing stages that transform a normal car wash into a detail, and the order in which they should be performed.

Fundamentals of Car Detailing - The 8 fundamental detailing stages that transform a normal car wash into a detail, and the order in which they should be performed.

The 8 fundamental detailing stages that transform a normal car wash into a detail, and the order in which they should be performed.

1. Wheels:

Every detail should start with wheel cleaning, the wheels are generally the grubbiest job of all the car wash processes, and we always begin here to avoid cross-contamination of heavy contaminants, such as road salt and brake dust, with cleaner bodywork.

2. Pre-wash:

True detailers will tell you that this is one of the most important stages in the entire wash process. The pre-wash stage is designed to remove as much dirt and grime from the vehicle as possible before coming in to contact with it. This two-step process, using a pre-cleaner and a snow foam is vital in avoiding, and reducing the infliction of, swirl marks.

3. Wash:

The contact wash, or traditional car wash procedure, is where we use a wash mitt, car shampoo and two detailing buckets to remove any remaining soiling from the exterior of a vehicle. The wash stage comes immediately after the pre-wash to rid your whole vehicle from the rest of the grime.

4. Decontamination:

The 3-stage decontamination process has been developed by detailing professionals to remove any bonded contaminants that washing alone cannot. These contaminants include sharp metal particles (derived from hot brake dust), tar and tree sap, along with protein and mineral deposits. Here we use an iron fallout remover, followed by a tar and glue remover and a clay bar to get a perfectly decontaminated surface. If you carry out these steps, it's important that you polish and protect paintwork after.

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We’ve put these crucial processes together to help you quickly and easily carry out a safe and effective detail, whether it’s a weekly maintenance wash or a more extensive deep-clean and full detail.

5. Polish:

The stage that brings your paintwork back to its former glory. You have 2 options here, polishing by hand or using a machine polisher. Removing oxidation, swirl marks and paint defects until a refined finish is achieved is the name of the game for this stage, levelling the optical finish and bringing back the gloss. The results are all created in this process.

6. Protect:

Here's where we seal-in and prolong the results from the previous stage, creating a barrier from the elements and safeguarding any work you've put into your paintwork when cleansing and polishing. Effective protection also helps to keep your vehicle cleaner for longer by preventing grime from bonding to your cars surfaces in the future. This makes the first three stages far easier the next time you come to clean your car.

7. Interior:

Let us not forget where you spend most of your time - on the inside. Effectively cleaning, seats, plastics and leather not only makes your cabin a far nicer place to be, but also prolongs the life and condition of one of the most highly worn areas of a vehicle.

8. Finishing touches:

From glass cleaners and metal polishes to tyre and trim dressings, the icing on the cake is those finishing touches you carry out to complete the job. Let's not forget that detailing really is all about the details.