Auto Detailing For Beginners

Auto Detailing

Car detailing is a skill that can be difficult to master. Many car enthusiasts find that they are able to achieve the results they want with proper preparation and training.

However, the auto detailing process is often misunderstood and abused. Ask three professional detailers how to proceed and you may get three different answers.

Do Not Use Household Cleaners

If you’re new to auto detailing, you may not realize that some of the cleaners you have lying around your house are actually harmful. Some of them can damage your car’s paint job, while others contain chemicals that are dangerous to you and other people. This is why it is best to avoid these products when detailing your vehicle.

One of the most important things to remember when detailing an auto is that you should always start by removing the exterior surface contaminants. This includes anything that can scratch or mar the car’s paint. In addition, you should remove any items that are stored in the car – such as fast food containers or floor mats. It is also a good idea to clean the wheels and tires, as they often collect dirt, dust, and other debris on the road.

Once you have removed all the dirt and debris, it is time to wash the exterior of the vehicle. It is important to use a high-quality car wash shampoo and microfiber cloths, as these are more effective at preventing scratches and marring than regular soaps and towels. In addition, you should wash the car in the shade, as direct sunlight can dry the cleaning products before you have a chance to wipe them off.

In addition to the above tips, it is also a good idea to wear protective eye gear while working on your detail. This is because some cleaning chemicals can produce fumes that are irritating to the eyes and throat. Some of them, such as naphthalene (best known for its role in mothballs) can endanger your health, especially when inhaled over an extended period of time. The best way to avoid this risk is to wear a face mask and a breathing device while you are working. You can find these products online or at your local hardware store.

Do Not Detail in Direct Sunlight

Auto Detailing can be a very rewarding experience. Some people find it meditative and relaxing, others may enjoy the gratifying feeling of a well-cared for car after the process is complete. Regardless of your motivations, there are certain things you should always keep in mind when performing the task of auto detailing. One of those is that you should never work in direct sunlight. Sunlight heats up surfaces and soap, which causes them to dry faster than they should. This leads to hard-to-remove water spots and streaks.

In order to avoid this problem, it is best to work indoors or in the shade. Ideally, you should also work on a cool day. This will help prevent the chemicals from drying on the vehicle’s surface before you have a chance to wipe them off correctly. It is also a good idea to work on a cool, flat surface like a driveway or garage floor.

Many detailing products include a disclaimer that you should not use them in direct sunlight. This is because some types of cleaners will dry on the surface before you have a chance to wipe it off. This can lead to streaks and other problems. The best time to wash your car is in the morning or early afternoon when it is still cool outside.

If you do have to work on a sunny day, try to start on the dirtiest part of the car, which is usually the wheels and tires. This will prevent any dust or other debris from getting kicked up onto the paint during other parts of the cleaning process.

You should also be careful to use the correct cleaners for your wheels and tires. Many automotive cleaning products are designed to be gentler on the wheels than household cleaners. Household cleaners are often much more abrasive and can cause serious damage to your vehicle’s paint.

If you’re not sure what types of cleaners are safe to use on your wheels, consult a professional car detailer. They will be able to recommend the right products for your vehicle and your budget.

Do Not Use Paper Towels

You’d be hard-pressed to find any auto expert who would recommend using paper towels when detailing a vehicle. Paper towels break apart, leave behind lint, and can also contain trace chemicals that can damage a car’s finish. Additionally, they are microscopically abrasive and can easily scratch a car’s paint job. Instead, use microfiber cloths which are designed to be gentle on sensitive surfaces like a car’s clear coat or paint job.

When detailing a vehicle, it is important to have a good set of towels that are suitable for the task at hand. For example, you should have a towel set for the body of the vehicle that is thick and absorbent, while having a smaller towel for more intricate areas such as the wheels or dash.

Using the right towels will help you achieve the best results for your customers’ vehicles. It is also important to have separate washing and rinsing buckets for your work to avoid cross-contamination. This can be difficult to do if you are working on a large car lot or are in a rush, but it will ensure that your customer’s vehicles get the best treatment possible and prevent any mistakes that may cause further harm.

Your towel selection will also depend on your individual preferences. For example, many professional detailers choose a terry towel because it is both lint-free and extremely absorbent. They are also available in various sizes and thicknesses so you can pick the ones that are ideal for your work.

A high-quality terry towel should last you multiple washes without breaking down or becoming scratchy. It is also a great idea to invest in a towel rack for your workplace to make it easier to store and organize all of your towels.

Investing in the right towels for your auto shop will save you money in the long run. You’ll be able to produce quality results for your customers that will keep them coming back and increase the value of their vehicles when they decide to sell or trade them in the future.

Do Not Rush

Auto enthusiasts often find that detailing their own vehicle is very rewarding. If done correctly, the car will look brand new. A freshly detailed auto can fetch a higher value when it comes time to sell or trade it.

It is important not to rush when detailing your car. This can lead to missed spots and a less than perfect result. Take your time and focus on each area of the vehicle, paying special attention to the crevices around mirrors and door handles.

Also, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area. Many of the chemicals used in auto detailing release fumes that can be harmful if inhaled for long periods. It is also a good idea to wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling the chemicals, especially if you are working in direct sunlight. It is also a good idea to keep a separate washing bucket and rinsing bucket and change the water in each fairly frequently to avoid cross-contamination. Finally, make sure to use a microfiber towel instead of paper towels. The microfiber cloths are much less likely to scratch the paint of the vehicle.