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Detailing is all about 'Attention to Detail'.  At length and precise cleaning removing the damage and imperfections often caused by incorrect wash techniques.  Detailing is an art, the art of making your car beautiful, an art that takes time and perfection.  Time in restoring, enhancing and protecting your pride and joy.  It takes car cleaning to a stage superior to that of Valeting.

Valeting is all about 'Cleaning of the interior / exterior to remove dirt, dust and grime leaving the vehicle clean and shiny'.  It is at this point when Detailing becomes its own entity.  If the dirt, dust and grime are not correctly removed from the vehicles surface, the continued cleaning process will rub and grind the particulates into the surface of the bodywork.  Another cause of bodywork damage caused by incorrect wash techniques is by the use of harmful acidic and caustic products that may not necessarily be designed for automotive use or are cheap products that are not chemically balanced to protect your vehicle.

£5 hand car wash business use bulk buy products which are very cheap.  The water they use remains the same and is just topped up as it gets low.  Hence dirty water, which contains grit and fine particles to wash your car.  Re applying the dirt and grit, scratching your paintwork. Products they apply are not necessarily wax or sealant safe.  That is they have chemicals in which strip the car of its wax, leaving it unprotected. 

Think about it logically, how can a Hand car Wash business cover it's cost for rent, staff wages and products charging you just £5 - £10?  Because they pay minimum wage, use cheap products and rush to complete as many cars as possible.  For these businesses it's all about quantity and not quality.

So what are these techniques???  It is meticulous cleaning / cleansing (removal of micro-contaminants), protection of all areas leaving perfection.

In order for a vehicle to have a long lasting protection the paintwork must be fully decontaminated.  The reason for this is so that the sealants and waxes used have a total 100% clean contaminant free surface to bond and cure too.  These contaminates are not only the general visible day to day dirt and tar, but also microscopic particles, such as iron from brakes  and fallout from industry etc.


Pre-rinse with a pressure washer....  Well simply this removes all the light surface dust and dirt from the vehicle.

Snow Foam Pre-Wash....  A Pre-wash foam applied to the vehicle.  This absorbs the more ground in dirt.  Requires 20-30 minutes absorption/work time for max benefit...

Decontamination….  Products used to remove iron contaminates given off from brakes and atmospheric fall out.  The process adopted makes use of tar remover, iron remover.

The above techniques will remove the majority of the dirt and a considerable amount of the contaminants.  The car will visibly look much cleaner.

Wash....  Under normal washing we dip our sponge or wash mitt in what starts as a clean bucket of soapy wash water.  By the end the bucket is very dirty looking.  In effect what we are doing is washing the car with dirty water, which due to the dirty grit remaining in the sponge / wash mitt, we are inflicting damage to the paintwork.  Minor scratches, swirls (circular scratches) and minor imperfections.  To alleviate this we use what is known as the 2 Bucket Method (2BM)....  Separate buckets are used for main wash, wheels and rinse.   The aim is to wash no more than a complete panel at a time.  On larger areas I do half a panel at a time.  The principle aim is to keep the wash mitt as clean as possible.  Rinsing regularly removes the collected dirt and grit.  Therefore every time the wash mitt is applied to the body work it is clean, minimising the chance of producing fine scratches and swirl marks.  The rinse bucket is changed regularly to keep the rinse water as clean as possible.   By looking at the image on the right you can see how by not using doing this you continue to apply dirty gritty water to the surface of your vehicle.  techniques adopted by our cheap car wash teams at the supermarkets etc.  I use a lambs wool type wash mitt and detailing soft brush for decals, nooks and crevasses.  One bucket contains luke warm water containing a NON CONDITIONING shampoo.  Second bucket containing clean fresh water.  Working half a panel at a time, wash the panel then rinse in clean water.

Claying....  A substance best described a BLUE TACK...  It is very similar in feel and consistency.  You use the clay along with a lubricant, which allow the clay to slide over the paintwork collecting the micro contaminants.  Even though a car will appear clean to the eye contaminants will still remain and hence the clay will be required to remove these contaminants, leaving a silky smooth finished surface.  As a result the sealant, Wax or LSP will bond perfectly.  As a result of NOT claying the Sealants, Waxes, LSP used will not acheive a maximum bond and the durability and protection that these coatings provide will be greatly reduced.

Wax,Sealant, LSP....   Last Stage Protection, sealants and waxes are products used to seal the cars surface, protect it from the environment.  Some products contain fillers, which will hide minor defects temporarily.  I myself like to use products which contain no fillers.  So the result is a true finish not a false finish.  Sealants are of quartz or polymer technology, whilst the wazes are quality carnauba wazes.

Ceramic Coatings....   The latest generation of paint sealants for your car.  Cramic coatings offer the very best in protection, increasing both hardness ( resistance to mild scratching) and self cleaning abilities.  These types of coatings, require more preparation in order to guarantee  the necessary bond to obtain maximum longevity

Non Prepared body work...  The water remains on the cars bonnet..  The surface being so clogged with contaminants the water defies gravity and clings to surface.

Water beads Indicate a well prepared surface.  Water is unable to stick to vehicle surface. 

Vehicle coated in Pre-wash Snow Foam. 

The 2 Bucket method.  From the image you can see the difference in water colour after washing a set of alloy wheels.  Wash water has remained clean and clear, unlike the rinse bucket which contains dirty gritty water.


Clay bar used on a vehicle after Pre-wash, wash and decontamination.  Highlights the micro -contaminates that are still present.