Mother of all Mother detailing threads...

Discussion in 'Automotive Detailing' started by NitrousG35, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

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    This thread is being done to give tips to those who want to keep their new Honda Civics clean and shiny. The products that I am showing are just a few of the many excellent products that one can buy. Basically, you can use readily availble products that you can find at Wal Mart or auto stores, or you can order them onlin. Products featured are not necessarily being endorsed by me.

    These are the steps that will be covered:
    1. Washing
    2. Drying
    3. paint surface preparation
    4. paint correction by hand
    5. paint correction by machine
    6.sealing
    7. waxing
    8. interior & glass

    9. trim, vinyl and tires
    10. spray detailer and spray wax

    Step 1: Washing
    I use a 5 gallon pail with a grit guard. You can buy a 5 gallon pail at Wal-Mart and there are many detailing stores online that sell the grit guard. If my car is really dirty, I use a two bucket method where I wash the car, rinse the mitt in the 2nd bucket of clean water, then dip it into the wash bucket again. Proper washing is essential because most damage to paint occurs with improper washing techniques.

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    You will need a mitt to apply the soapy water. Make sure to use sheepskin or microfiber and do not use a sponge that would normally be used for cleaning.

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    For shampoo, there are a myriad products out there to choose from. Meguiar's and Mother's have great off the shelf products and there are many boutique type shampoos that work well too.

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    For those who are really anal and want the best way to dispense shampoo, there are foamers that will immerse a car in thick foam.

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    Step 2: Drying
    After the car has been washed and rinsed, it is not time to dry the car. I use large, waffle weave microfiber drying towels. You will want to have several on hand and get the largest that you can buy. I use a Supreme Guzzler waffle weave by Cobra.

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    For those who are super anal, there are car dryers that use heated air:

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    Step 3: Paint Correction
    Now that the car has been washed and dryed, depending on the condition of the paint, it may need some attention to the surface to remove contaminants such as tree sap or mild water spots. Claybar works best to remove such things. Claybar comes in a regular type of clay for minor contaminants and aggessive claybar for those stubborn surface contaminants. Paint cleaner may also need to be used after claying to get the surface completely clean.

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    You will also need good microfiber towels to buff the paint. Do not use cotton towels or baby diapers as they will scratch the paint. I personally like Costco mf towels. You can get 36 for about $16. There are also premium towels like Cobra that you can use. I have boxes and boxes of these towels in different sizes and thicknesses, but I have found the Costco towels to be the easiest to use to wipe off polish, wax and sealant.

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    For those who are unable to wash their cars with a hose, you can use Optimum with a bucket and get great results.

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  2. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

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    139
    Step 4: Polishing by hand:
    After the surface has had all contaminants removed and the paint is smooth, there may be scratches and swirls that need to be removed. There are products available to handle these issues and they will often be sufficient to make correction to the paint.

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    Step 5: Machine polishing:
    If the paint throughout the car is full of scratches and swirls, then correction will have to be done by machine. In fact, if you want the best shine, reflection and depth to your paint, at some point in time, you should use a DA-Dual Action buffer to level the paint. For polishers, you can pick Flex, Porter Cable, Griot's or Meguiar's. I have a Flex and love it, but it does pitch back and forth more than a Porter Cable.

    Flex:
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    Porter Cable:
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    Meguiar's:
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    You will also need pads to do the polishing as well as polishing compounds. You can use Lake Country or Meguiar's new Microfiber DA system.

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    There are many excellent polishes out there, but for severe paint damage, I like Meguiar's 105 DA and for paint jeweling, I absolutely love Meguiar's 205.

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  3. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    139
    Step 6: Sealants
    Honda, like most companies today, uses a water based paint. That paint has micropores that need to be filled. A paint sealant will not only seal the paint, but give fantastic protection to the paint. Sealant protect against the sun as well as winter elements such as snow, salt and sand. Jet Seal, Wolfgang and Menzerna Power Lock are all fantastic products. Meguiar's and Natty's EXP work well too.

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    Step 7: Waxes
    After sealing, for that extra shine and slickness to paint, a good carnauba wax should be used. There are commercially available off the shelf products from Meguiar's and Mother's and there are boutique waxes like DP Max, Blackfire, Dodo Juice, Natty's, Pinnacle and Auto Glym to just name a few.

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    Step 8: Interior & Glass

    For the interior, an interior detailing spray should be used on the dashboard and plastic/vinyl surfaces. Meguiar’s makes a great natural finish spray that is not shiny. There are also great products from 303 Aerospace and Mother’s. For shampoo, the best I have ever used is 3M Scotchguard carpet shampoo. Not only does it clean very well, but it leaves a protectant in the carpet that resists stains. Plus, it smells really good and will leave your interior smelling very nice.

    For window glass, use a product like Stoners. For those hard to reach areas inside the car, use a tool that has a microfiber cover on it, or something similar to what Stoners sells.

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  4. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    139
    Step 9: Trim, vinyl, wheels and tires

    For black trim, I have used Mother’s Back to Black for years. I have had good results. Now, there is supposed to be a better product for black trim-Black Wow. Meguiar's and Mother's both make great vinyl sprays for trim and plastic. For tires, the sky is the limit. A lot depends on whether one wants a shiny sidewall or a more natural finish.

    Black trim:

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    Vinyl and plastic care:

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    Tire shine
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    Wheel cleaners:

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    Step 10: Spray detailers and spray waxes
    To keep your car looking shiny between washings and waxing, a spray detailer or spray wax will help maintain the shine. The best product I have ever found to keep dust off a car is Chemical Guy's antistatic detailing spray. It will help remove dust and works well between washings. Griot's also makes a great detailing spray. To maintain that shine, I use a spray wax. Again, Chemcial Guys makes a spray on carnauba wax that leaves an amazing shine.

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    Sites to buy detailing products:

    http://www.meguiars.com/

    http://www.autogeek.net/

    http://www.3dproducts.com/

    http://www.chemicalguys.com/

    http://www.detailedimage.com/

    http://stores.shopprimacarcare.com/StoreFront.bok

    Wal-Mart, O'Reillys, Autozone and many other stores sell many of the products mentioned.
     
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  5. Nomar06
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    Nomar06 Super Moderator

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    "Mother of all..." thread, eh? Me likey....

    I use the Porter Cable DA with Mags 105 and/or 205 followed by Menz polish and topped off with dodo juice wax.
     
  6. webby
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    webby Administrator

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    Amazing thread- thank you!
     
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  7. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

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    Santiago, I have found Meguiar's 105/205 to be the best products that I have ever used to polish a car. 105 does an amazing job of removing scratches and swirls while 205 does an incredible job of jeweling the paint. 205 works really well on cars with water based paint found on Hondas, Subarus and Mitsubishis.
     
  8. MrsJrotax101
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    MrsJrotax101 Administrator

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    Nice coverage!
     
  9. Dar-Dar

    Dar-Dar Mordorator

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    Fiji Blue Pearl Coupe Coolest Member Since: May 15, 2011
  10. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

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    ^ Agreed. Unfortunately, I cannot edit my posts, otherwise, I would include it. I like the Tech Wax because it combines synthetic polymers which give sealing properties, while giving a superb shine that LASTS! Thanks for adding this to the list.
     
  11. MrsJrotax101
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    MrsJrotax101 Administrator

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    Added it in. I love Dodo juice :drooling:
     
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  12. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

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    ^ You are a dear. Big hug to the sweetest thing this side a jar of honey!
     
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  13. MrsJrotax101
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  14. Dar-Dar

    Dar-Dar Mordorator

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    The shine that the Tech Wax is just amazing and it definitely lasts. This wax is also one of the easiest for me to use. I don't even need to tape up the car because the wax does not leave any white stains on the black plastic surfaces like the other waxes. I really don't think a polisher/orbital is needed for this wax since I can just wipe the wax off easily with a microfiber cloth.
     
  15. KennyGS

    KennyGS How may I help?

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    Do you have an opinion on any of the Adam's products?
     
  16. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

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    ^ Ken, I am not familair with Adams. To be honest, there are so many good products out there, it will make your head spin. Blackfire is another great product for waxes and sealants. Rasky gave me and my son Joshua a can of DP Max. I absolutely love the stuff. Easy on, easy off. You can layer it with as many coats as you want. Joshua put 5 coats on his Evo the same day. Looked amazing. I have so many waxes and sealants in my garage, I sometimes forget about them. The main thing is to keep a car waxed routinely to maintain a nice, glossy finish.
     
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  17. bootyluvr
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    bootyluvr Supporting Member

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    Awesome Thread!

    I'm just too lazy to detail my car.. :hiding: I use to detail (wash) it weekly when I got her 4 years ago but if I do it once a month (sometimes at the car wash :hiding: ) that's alot lol

    I'd rather pay someone to do it... I'm serious.
     
  18. NAFG2_KDMFTW

    NAFG2_KDMFTW Well-Known Member

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    Hey! This looks familiar.... :think:

    :D
    :thumb:
     
  19. NAFG2_KDMFTW

    NAFG2_KDMFTW Well-Known Member

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    One word of caution with Swirl-X, at least in my experience, is to only apply in no larger than one square-foot section at a time, and to wipe off immediately after application. IIRC, the instructions say to let it haze or set for like 5 minutes, but doing so will require a DA to fully remove.

    For car dark color cars (gray/graphite, black, dark blue), may I suggest using Meguiar's 26 Hi-Tech Yellow Wax:

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    My FG2 is NBP and I've tried a myriad of waxes, both carnauba and synthetic, including Meguiar's Tech Wax and Dodo Juice Purple Haze, but there is a great deepness and wet-look that comes from Meguiar's 26 that I'm very satisfied with.
     
  20. NitrousG35

    NitrousG35 Well-Known Member

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    ^ I didn't really get into specific instructions on how to use each product. The thread is more or less informational for those who may be new to detailing. Hopefully, people will ask questions about individual products and how to use them correctly. And yes, Meguiar's 26 yellow wax is great. I have some on my shelf with about 20 other waxes. To be honest, they all do a pretty good job. Rasky and I had a conversation over at his house a while back about which products work best. We both feel that given how time consuming detailing is, the easier a product goes on and comes off, the better we like it. After washing, claying, polishing and sealing, your body gets so tired, you really want a wax that is easy to use.
     
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