What products Do I Need ?...
One of the most common questions that we get at Crazydetailer is ...
"I want to take care of my car, but I dont know where to start !" Logging on to the shop you can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer volume and variety of detailing products. For those who know what they want this is utopia, but for those just starting out, it can be a bit intimadating. To simplify things I will break down what you need into categories and sort them in order of importance.
There is basically 4 Steps to a maintenance cycle.
STEP 1: The Wash Process (Weekly)
I cannot emphisis the importance of this step. The first thing that people reach for when heading for "premuim" products is to seek the BEST WAX! If you've felt the same, don't feel bad, I went through the same process. My thinking back then was ... wax is what gives you the SHINE! Thats what is all about ? Isn't it ? Now look at it this way, you wax your car once every 6-8 weeks, BUT you WASH your car every week. So what is the use of using a good wax, if you going to strip it all off with a cheap shampoo or even worse ... Dishwashing liquid! The riskyest stage of car care is the wash process. This is the point in your detail that has the most dirt on it, be it dust or road grime etc. and removing it means you have to be extra careful not to induce any scratches or swirl marks. If you not careful this just gets worse over time. A good shampoo provides lubricity, making the surface slick which allows your wash mitt to *glide* over the paint surface. The wash mitt picks up the dirt and pulls it away from the paint, which again reduces swirl marks. Then theres the drying process, trying to convince a person to switch from a chamios to a waffle weave is generally very hard, until they TRY IT for themselves. The problem with a chamios is no matter how many times you wipe the surface, you reach the point where all you doing is just moving tiny water droplets around. When this dries it leaves tiny water spots. Think about it this way, when that dries on your windows, you have to follow up with a glass cleaner to remove it. A waffle weave on the windows leaves ZERO streaks which actually cuts down you drying time as well.
So in summary this is what you need for the wash process:
- Wash mitt
- Waffle weave Drying Towel
Click here for everything needed for washing the drying.
STEP 2: Claying - Decontamination (+/- 6 Months)
Before the polishing process, its important that the bonded contaminates that can not be removed from polishing are removed. Quickest way to tell if your paint needs claying, is to put you hand in a plastic bag, and then run that over a CLEAN paint surface. The plastic prevents your skin from “absorbing” the bumps (contaminates) in the paint, which means you FEEL everything. Try it out … you will be shocked ! Read our How To Clay You Car Guide tosee how its done.
All you need here is :
STEP 3: Polishing (+/- 3 Months)
The point of polish is clean and condition the paint. If claying removes contaminates that you can “feel”, then polishing is meant to remove contamination that you can see. It is most noticeable on a white car, as staining and dirt can be easily seen. A mild polish will remove oxidization, dirty stains and built up grime leaving the paint surface looking cleaner, brighter which improves the depth and clarity of your paintwork. This alone improves the appearance of your paint tremendously. Due to the mild abrasive nature of a polish its not advisable to polish you paint too often. Once every 6 months is more than sufficient. Protecting your paint after polishing will prevent contaminates from building up, This leaves the paint looking cleaner & brighter for longer.
Click here for polishes and glazes
STEP 4: Waxing / Sealing (Last Step Protection) (Monthly or as Required)
After all that hard work it is important to seal all that goodness in. This when you should be looking for a good wax and/or sealer. Understanding the difference between a wax and a sealer is important. I could go into depth regarding the differences between a wax and sealant but I’d rather keep it simple. A pure wax is generally a natural product made up of carnauba wax, beeswax etc. It will give you unmatched shine, but its endurance is not good as the strong south African sun breaks down the wax molecular structure quite easily. A sealant on the other hand is a synthetic product that lasts far longer than a tradional wax, on average a good est. is about 6 months. The shine that is produced is a more clinical, clear shine. Which why sealants look great on lighter metallic coloured cars, while carnauba is preferred for darker & solid colours like black, navy & reds.
Some details prefer to get the best of both worlds by applying a sealant first for protection, and then layer a wax as a topper for added shine. It comes down to personal preference in the end.
Click here for Waxes and Paint Sealants