In a previous article, we discussed DETAILING, what it involves and how it came about.
In this second article, we’ll take a look at the various stages of the Detailing process, which can be divided as follows:
- Prewash and Wash: a good start is half the job. This is why thoroughly cleaning the car, including the wheels and rims, is essential to start our process well.
Before the ‘classic’ wash, there’s the prewash. The stars of this stage are degreasing products designed to eliminate tar residues, resins, droppings and dirt that built up over time. Stronger products are often used during the prewash precisely to try and eliminate stubborn dirt, which means that sometimes they also damage the paint’s protection. This is exactly why we still recommend using wax to restore suitable protection for the paint.
After this first stage, there is the actual wash, which is usually carried out by the detailer with the ‘two buckets’ method: this involves buckets with a grille at the bottom, with water and shampoo being poured into the first one and just water in the second one. The first bucket will therefore be used to soap our sponge and/or our glove and then the bodywork, while the other bucket will be used to rinse our cleaning tools without contaminating the first one and then keeping on drawing water each time from a container as pure and clean as possible.
As said earlier, the washing stage is also important for the wheels and rims. If the car is cleaned on an ongoing basis, no aggressive products will be needed for all these parts and products with a neutral pH value can be used. However, it is essential to fully remove all residues, even with a glove, to be able to continue with the next stages.
Clearly, before starting the second decontamination stage, all the car parts must be perfectly dried. To do this, we recommend using compressed air and highly absorbent microfibre cloths.
- Decontamination/Claying: this is a truly essential step, because it eliminates all the impurities that are difficult to see and eliminate with a simple wash. Mechanical decontamination is carried out by using clay bars: lubricated bars of clay to make sliding easier, as they are passed on small areas to ‘collect’ residues. Along with the mechanical solution, there is also chemical decontamination by using specific chemicals that can eliminate ferrous residues, road pollution, etc. Decontamination provides a clear, visible and tangible improvement to the car and is an extremely important stage to ensure that the subsequent ones can act correctly on the surface.
- Polishing: after a correct evaluation of defects – which usually means oxidation (due to the use of aggressive products and prolonged exposure to sunlight and atmospheric agents), swirls (common defects generated by inaccurate washing and drying), rids (linear defects), holograms (incorrect polishing), limescale (wash using water with limescale that built up on the surface), orange peels (incorrect painting), sanding marks, twirls (incorrect polishing) – there is the polishing stage, during which they are completely removed. During this stage, the best thing to do is choose polishes according to the kind of defect and technique we want to use: processing by hand, with a rotary-orbital polisher or with a rotary one.
- Protection: to guarantee the work already carried out in the first 3 detailing stages, the so-called ‘protection’ stage consists in applying specific protective products. Once the bodywork has been repaired to look as good as new and even the smallest imperfections have been removed, the shine is preserved by creating a protective layer with special waxes whose effect can even last various months and make subsequent washes easier too, saving money and time.
- Maintenance: like every self-respecting revamping process, once it has been completed, there is still the aim of maintaining it as long as possible. Once again in this final stage, the use of specific, innovative and quality products will be an essential condition to be able to keep the car nice and shiny over time, as if it had always just came out of an actual beauty centre!