EDU: Detailing guide and how to wash and wax your car in an hour or less

Discussion in 'That'll Buff Right Out' started by Scottwax, May 6, 2006.

  1. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    First, I'll tell you how to wash and wax your car in an hour or less. This does not include any polishing so this method won't correct any defects. However, if your car is in good condition already or you just want it clean and protected, this method is excellent.

    Products you will need:

    2 gallon capacity bucket
    1 wash pad, I like to use microfiber covered foam pads
    4-5 16" x 16" microfiber towels
    2-3 terry cloth or cotton towels (only for wheel, fenderwell use, NOT FOR PAINT)
    Wheel brush(s)
    Tire protectant
    Glass Cleaner
    Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine: http://www.ecocarcare.net/no-rinse-wash-shine.php
    Optimum Car Wax: http://www.ecocarcare.net/car-wax.php
    Video links at the bottom of this post on how to use Optimum No Rinse, Opti-Seal and various tire/fenderwell and claying videos

    Steps:

    1. Using a capful or approximately one half ounce of Optimum No Rinse (ONR), add it to one gallon of water in the bucket.

    2. Clean your wheels, tires and fenderwells using the ONR mixture and your brushes, wipe dry with the terry cloth towels.

    3. Dress the wheels and fenderwells with your tire dressing-and don't forget the fenderwells! Dirty fenderwells detract from an otherwise clean and shiny car!

    [​IMG]

    The reason to do the wheels and fenderwells first is so when you apply the tire dressing, any overspray will be washed off the car during the washing step.

    4. Empty out your bucket and refill with clean water, adding one half to one full ounce of ONR (less if relatively clean, more if really dirty).

    5. Using a chenille covered foam pad or a wash mitt, wash one section of the car at a time and dry immediately using two microfiber towels, one for the first drying pass and making sure you leave a little moisture behind, use the other towel for a second drying pass. If you get the panel completely dry with the first towel, then don't go over it with the second towel because rubbing even a soft microfiber towel on dry paint can leave streaks.

    Once you get the process down (it may take a couple washes to really nail it) you should be able to wash the body of your car in 20 minutes or less unless it is really filthy.

    6. After washing open your doors, gas cap door and trunk or hatch and wipe down all the jambs.

    7. Using Optimum Car Wax (OCW), spray onto a section at a time. Don't soak the panel, just a mist should do. Spread the wax over the panel, flip the towel and wipe to a haze free shine. If you can use a detail spray, you can use OCW, it is that easy. Depending on your area, wash habits, etc, you can expect 3-5 months durability. Honestly though, it is so easy to use you will probably use it every few washes. Shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to do the whole car. In fact, you can also apply it as you dry each section when washing with ONR to save even more time, or apply while washing and apply a second coat for even better protection with very little additional time spent.

    8. Clean your glass inside and out.

    Stand back and admire your shiny car! Take pics and post them on OT!

    There are several vendors who carry Optimum products, the one I would recommend first is www.exceldetail.com because he is an OT member and I believe we should support each other, plus he ships very fast, has excellent customer service, is an all around nice guy and he also carries a fine selection of microfiber towels, the rest of the Optimum product line as well as Clearkote, Poorboys, 4 Star, Propel buffing pads, etc.

    Another excellent vendor is www.pakshak.com or the www.ecocarcare.net site, autogeek, etc.

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    -----------------------

    Scottwax's Offical Comprehensive Detailing Guide®

    HARD SUPPLIES

    - Wet/Dry Vacuum (>1.5 HP) w/ an assortment of nozzles and a thin crevice tool
    - Bucket
    - Spray nozzle-if washing conventionally
    - Microfiber covered foam pads, or wash mitts
    - Wheel brush, thin brush for tight areas, interior brush w/ soft bristles
    - Terrycloth towels (wheels, tires, fenderwells)
    - Microfiber towels (washing, removing product)
    - Foam applicators (wax application)
    - California Car Duster
    - Q-Tips (Cleaning Vents)
    Optional for power buffing:
    -Porter Cable 7424 XP, Meguiars G110 v2, Griots DA polisher
    -An assortment of 6.5" finishing, polishing and cutting pads. Polishing pads are your workhorse. The new microfiber pads that Optimum and Meguiars have are terrific, some softer paints may require foam finishing pads still.

    Detailing products

    I have listed products I have personally used.

    No Rinse Washing

    Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine

    Conventional Washing

    Optimum Car Wash
    Poorboys World Super Slick & Suds Concentrated Car Wash
    Mothers California Car Wash
    Meguiars Gold Class or NXT Car Wash
    Kit Carnauba Wash
    Duragloss 901

    --honestly, any quality car wash soap should be fine. Do not use dish soap!. It strips wax from your paint and dries out your rubber seals and trim. Regular use will also dry out your paint.

    Drying

    Microfiber towels.

    Wheel Cleaners

    Personally, I don't use wheel cleaners. I prefer to use either ONR or when washing conventionally, car wash soap. If you keep your wheels clean there should be no reason to have to use a wheel cleaner. Improper use (as in not following directions and apply to a hot wheel) or using the wrong wheel cleaner on your rims can damage them and require refinishing to correct.

    Clay Bars

    Most of the clay bars now available are made by Clay Magic since they hold the original patent and sued the crap out of anyone who copied their clay-so really, the brand doesn't matter much.

    Clay bars removing imbedding grit, contamination, tree sap, paint overspray, etc from your paint. If you run your hand over your just washed paint and it has a gritty feel at all, you need to clay. This will pull all that gunk out of your paint leaving it glass smooth.

    Spray a quick detail product (usually clay kits include the spray) onto your paint (about a 2' x 2' section) and rub the clay bar using moderate pressure over the paint. When it glides effortlessly and quietly over your paint, wipe off the clay lube and move on to the next area. Optimum No Rinse works as a clay lube, or you can clay as you wash with ONR since it slicks the paint up enough.

    Polishes and compounds

    My favorite polishes and compounds are:

    Optimum Hyper Polish and Hyper Compound (sprays), Optimum Compound II (heavy cutting), Optimum G-P-S (polish, glaze and sealant in one)
    Meguiars #105 Compound, #205 Polish, D300 Compound (designed to work with their Microfiber pads), D301 Finishing Wax (final polish and protectant in one)
    Menzerna Intensive Polish and Final Polish
    3M Ultrafina #06068, works amazingly well with the blue 3M Ultrafina pad for swirl free rotary work

    Use by hand:

    Use a microfiber towel, folded into 1/8ths size to form a thick pad and so you can apply even pressure. Use moderate pressure, enough to build up some warmth on the towel and work the product into the paint until it looks nearly clear and dry, then wipe off immediately. Refold the towel and move on to the next section.

    By Porter Cable polisher

    Using a polishing pad, apply a circle of product about 1" from the edge of the pad and for the first couple of areas, before turning on the PC, spread the product over a 1' x 1' area to prevent dry buffing. With the pad pressed lightly against the paint, turn on the PC and set it to '5' and spread the product over a 2' x 2' area using moderate pressure. Kick the speed up to 6 and slow down your passes to about 1/2-1" per second with 50% overlapping passes, up/down, across, diagonally. Use enough pressure to lightly bog the PC and then back off just enough to pick the speed back up. Work the polish until it begins to clear or dry. Wipe off excess product, inspect your work, one or more additional applications may be needed with heavy defects.

    Always start with a medium grade polish and a polishing pad and step up the aggressiveness of the polish before moving up to a cutting pad.

    Final Polishes and Glazes

    You will use these to further refine your finish or if the paint is in good condition and you just want to add more depth and pop to the finish prior to waxing.

    Optimum Polish with a finishing pad can be used as a final polish
    Clearkote's Vanilla Moose and Red Moose Machine Glaze
    Menzerna FPII or PO106FF (at $50 a quart!)
    Poorboy's Professional Polish or Polish with Carnauba
    Jeff's Werkstatt's Prime, Prime Carnauba or Prime Strong
    Klasse All in One

    Just a suggestion-You can mix in about 30% of Clearkote's Red Moose Machine Glaze into either Menzerna polish to cut down on dusting and add more depth to the super clear wet shine of Menzerna.

    Waxes

    As a rule, waxes have a deeper, more liquid look than sealants, protect a little better against bird bombs but need to be reapplied more often than sealants.

    Clearkote Carnauba Moose
    Optimum Car Wax
    Poorboy's Natty's and Natty's Blue Paste
    Meguiars #16 (discontinued, you may be able to find a few vendors who still have it, still sold in the UK though), #26 in liquid or paste
    Collinite 476 Wax
    P21S or S100 Paste Wax-the S100 is essentially the same as P21S but widely available at Harley Davidson dealers and costs less too!
    Pinnacle Souveran-yeah it is $70 but amazing on black and red paint, good for 50+ applications
    Jeff's Werkstatt Carnauba Jett-spray carnauba

    Sealants

    Optimum Opti-Seal
    Jeff's Werkstatt Acrylic Jett and Acrylic Jett Trigger (Trigger is in spray for, extremely easy to use).
    3D HD Proxy
    Detailer's Pride Poli-Coat Sealant
    4 Star Ultimate Paint Protection
    Klasse Sealant Glaze
    Meguiars #20 Polymer Sealant, NXT High Tech Wax, or #21 Sealant

    Quick Detail Sprays

    You can use these after washing to give you the 'just waxed' look.

    Clearkote's Quikshine
    Optimum Instant Detailer or ONR mixed down at 1.5 oz per 32 oz
    Jeff's Werkstatt Acrylic Glos-meant to be used with the Werkstatt system, but should be fine over any sealant
    Meguiars #34 Final Inspection

    Interior Cleaning Products

    I use an 20:1 mixture of water and Woolite HE (the laundry soap version) in a spray bottle as my interior cleaner (8 parts water, 1 part non HE Woolite). You can use it on leather, vinyl, carpet, fabric, etc. Spray, scrub with a small brush with nylon bristles as needed, wipe up and wet vac as needed.

    Meguiars and several other manufacturers have great all purpose cleaners that are safe for most interior surfaces but read the label first! I'd only recommened the water/Woolite mixture for leather though.

    Interior Protectants

    Vinyl, rubber and weather stripping-

    Optimum Protectant Plus
    Meguiars #40, Meguiars Interior Quick Detailer, Natural Shine Vinyl & Rubber Protectant
    Poorboy's Natural Look Dressing
    Armor All Original Shine
    303
    Vinylex

    Leather-

    Meguiars Gold Class Leather Conditioner
    Turtle Wax's Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
    Tanner's Preserves
    Lexol
    Leather Master's Leather Vital (it ain't cheap!)


    Miscellaneous

    Glass cleaners:

    ONR at QD (1.5 oz per 32 oz of water) strength
    Meguiars NXT Glass Cleaner
    Eagle 20/20 Class Cleaner
    Stoners Invisible Glass

    Tire/fenderwell dressing:

    Armor All Original Shine
    Poorboy's Bold N Bright Tire Dressing
    Optimum Tire Shine
    Meguiars Hyper Dressing (can be cut with water up to 4:1)

    Trim dressing:

    3D Trim Protecant
    Meguiars #38 Tire and Trim Gel
    Poorboy's Trim Restorer
    Mothers Back to Black

    Engine Cleaning

    1. Make sure engine is warm, but not hot. Cold engines are harder to remove grease and oil from.

    ** Check the directions on the engine cleaner/degreaser you are using, though. Some specifically say to clean the engine when cold only. **

    2. Cover your distributor (if you do not know what or where it is, get a manual for your car), alternator and fuse box. Most electronics under your hood are adequately sealed for rain water splashing up on them, but high pressure water is another story.

    3. Spray Greased Lightning's Orange Blast (my preferred engine degreaser) liberally all over your engine and engine bay. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. If your engine is really dirty, then after the 5 minutes, spray it down again and wait an additional 5 minutes.

    4. Spray the engine and engine bay with high pressure rinse water - but even though your distributor may be covered, still use lower pressure around it to be on the safe side.

    5. Any remaining grime, spray again with Orange Blast, and use a stiff brush if needed. Rinse again.

    6. Remove the plastic coverings and start the engine. Let it run until it is dry. You will have to dry the painted surfaces in the engine bay and the underside of the hood with a towel.

    7. Dress any hoses, etc. you want with rubber/vinyl dressing.

    -------------------

    -------------------

    Any detailing questions? We have a detailing forum here at Off Topic:

    http://forums.offtopic.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=&f=43

    In addition, there is a detailing specific forum called Autopia- http://autopia.org

    Please do not e-mail or PM me detailing questions, post them in our forum or in this thread and PM me the link only.

    Videos of me using Optimum No Rinse:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYOAyxsEIuQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZQbMHLG_DI

    How to apply Opti-Seal

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaLOgeYEvQA

    Carpet cleaning using a Cyclo brush attachment and a Meguiars G110

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V6ZZAanDes

    Fenderwell cleaning with ONR and a pesticide sprayer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fUtu6JB5aQ

    Claying with Optimum No Rinse at wash strength

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF1lSdpZYnk

    Cleaning wheels with ONR

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmJ64kVFlJw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfgGsReK40E

    Cleaning wheels with ONR and Optimum Power Clean

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSgdMAGjU_s

    Proper Rotary technique

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwgDlY9QYJE

    Headlight polishing using a Meguiars G110 DA buffer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBoicT1xem0

    Proper DA polishing techniques

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  2. Atmosphere

    Atmosphere PURPLE DREAM

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  3. LeGenDz

    LeGenDz American Desi Moderator

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    Make sure you post this in your forum too STICKIED :o
     
  4. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey OT Supporter

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    :werd: :coold:
     
  5. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    Already done!
     
  6. rem177

    rem177 OT Supporter

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    gj scott.
     
  7. silver98

    silver98 New Member

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    scottwax is the man
     
  8. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    you should put together all the required materials in 1 package and sell them to OTers.
     
  9. DVK916

    DVK916 Guest

    Anything wrong with using dish washing detergent to wash your can. I know a lot of people who use dishwashing detergent on their cars.
     
  10. Jesse

    Jesse PSN: iamajesse; XBL: Inhale My Rod; G8 GT crew; Ne OT Supporter

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    Cool shit. Would be nice to see if people actually put it to use. Pics required if they do.
     
  11. Jesse

    Jesse PSN: iamajesse; XBL: Inhale My Rod; G8 GT crew; Ne OT Supporter

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    Anything wrong with reading the threaD? :hsugh:
     
  12. Scoob_13

    Scoob_13 Anything is possible, but the odds are astronomica

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    I :love: you. I'll do this tomorrow :o


    Scratch that, I forgot I'm in hell and can't buy anything decent without getting it shipped in :o
     
  13. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    Those people are screwing up their paint.
     
  14. the slowness

    the slowness OT Supporter

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  15. DVK916

    DVK916 Guest

    :o I was to lazy. But I just read it and got my answer.
     
  16. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    Too much work. But damn, you do a good job Scott.
     
  17. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    That is why I included the one hour or less wash and wax.
     
  18. DVK916

    DVK916 Guest

    Oh yea. Someone spilled bleach on one of my parents car. Now there is a giant white spot. Anyway to fix this.
     
  19. Ham Sammich

    Ham Sammich New Member

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    page one awesome guide.
     
  20. the slowness

    the slowness OT Supporter

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    by washing one part of the car at a time,what do you mean:o?
    Like front,rear,sides or fender,bumper,hood,etc:o
     
  21. DVK916

    DVK916 Guest

    Oh yes and Great EDU. A lot of helpfull info.
     
  22. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    Odds are if polishing doesn't do anything, repainting will be necessary.
     
  23. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    you should definetly think of packaging all of those items together and selling them.
     
  24. unrealdigital

    unrealdigital OT Supporter

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  25. Buick Muscle

    Buick Muscle Guest

    Any recommendations for a car that has already been through a few washes and has quite a few streaks on the paint already? The two microfibre per panel trick is nice... but kinda useless if the car is already streaked... right?
     

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