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    Thread: Detailing like a Pro - Maximum Shine with Minimum Effort

    1. #321
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      Quote Originally Posted by coolash View Post
      from the pic looks like you use too much of the product, if you have too much product on pad or the product is dry you will face problem of polisher jumping and going away from your intended place of polishing.
      Thanks coolash i have tried use min as possible but with respect to pad being dry thats true how do i lubricate the same

    2. #322

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      Quote Originally Posted by samiraa78 View Post
      Thanks coolash i have tried use min as possible but with respect to pad being dry thats true how do i lubricate the same
      generally if you are not doing it in the sun, the product itself should lubricate the pad sufficiently, but in case you feel its getting dry one spray of QD or Water should do the trick
      Some of my Threads:
      https://gearheads.in/showthread.php?24908-My-WOWA-Waterless-Wash-amp-Wax-Experiment
      http://gearheads.in/showthread.php?25158-Sunday-Detailing-my-Honda-Amaze
      http://gearheads.in/showthread.php?25582-The-Battle-of-Waxes

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      sorry swiftndrift cant reply to PM as reached the limit

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      its ok samiraa78

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      Quote Originally Posted by fordfan View Post
      So why this thread ? I love cars (whether its a Nano or a BMW) and my Santro is my baby, my pride and joy...so it really hurts when I see really badly maintained car with dull paint, whitish bumpers and heck full of scratches which is just crying out for little loving care or hear about people washing cars with liquid detergent.

      So, i wanted to write this thread to show how you can maintain your car's glossy shine and finish with least amount of effort, time and material. Even if your car is daily driver and parked full time on the streets, I am going to show you how you can still make it look good. Am not talking about show car looks, but still something, which will make the heads of 80%-90% of population turn and say "wow".

      In short, am going to tell you how to cheat (yes, cheat ) to get the shiny and sexy car. Whether you have a new car few months or an old 5 yrs plus white elephant, i will tell you how you can maintain it.

      Some of you may already be aware of a lot of stuff am going to talk about and may be aware of the product combos, so kindly bear with me.

      Unlike a pro detailer who will correct the paint defects, am going to tell you how to reduce and hide the paint defects with some very basic stuff. So let's get started...

      -------
      A. Basic Detailing 01:

      Profile: Someone who does not want to spend too much money or time on the car, prefers to spend time time with family and doing other things like driving, going out or other things like sleeping on weekends (my favorite activity).

      Steps:

      1. Wash: use a car shampoo or rinse less wash
      2. Dry: use a microfiber (MF) towel to lightly dry the paint
      3. Wax/Sealant: use a spray wax/sealant and quickly wipe all over with the MF towels

      Product Recommendations:


      Shampoo: Meguiars NXT Car Wash / Meguiars Shampoo Plus / Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse (basically any good quality branded shampoo mixed as per bottle directions)
      Wax/Sealant: Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax (UQW) / Zaino Clear Seal (ZCS) / Optimum Car Wax (OCW)

      Tips:

      1. Megs UQW is a fantastic product which is basically wipe-on-wipe-off (WOWO), no waiting and can be applied on everything on exterior from paint, plastics, rubber, glass, chrome, wheels etc...i absolutely love this product! And yes you can use it on the printer/tv/monitor plastic/fridge etc after cleaning of course. (Application frequency: every 2-3 weeks).

      2. Zaino Clear Seal is again fantastic product, can be used anywhere on the body and is wipe-on-walk-away (WOWA). More expensive than UQW but can expect to last around 1-3 months or more.

      3. Optimum Car Wax is priced between ZAIO and UQW and is more of a wax rather than sealant. This is again a wipe-on-walk-away (WOWA) product and can be used everywhere. Unfortunately yet to be available locally. Lasts anywhere from 2-6 months.

      4. For all these spray waxes/sealants, follow the less-is-more principle. First open up the MF towel and spray 3-4 times on both sides and fold it in half and fold the half again. Now spray 2-3 times per panel (bonnet/ roof) and wipe all over is more than sufficient. Move to the next panel and repeat. Once whole car is done, fold a towel in four and lightly wipe all over.

      Now, if you want great shine with least effort, you can stop reading right here and go buy the shampoo and one of the products mentioned and work on your car. Even just this will give easily give you a car which looks better maintained than 50% of the people.

      Or, you can move on to...

      -------
      B. Basic Detailing 02:

      Profile: Basic 01 + Someone who has little more time in hand one weekend and wondering what to do.

      Steps:

      1. Wash: use a car shampoo or rinse less wash
      2. Dry: use a microfiber (MF) towel to lightly dry the paint
      3. Clay: all over the painted metal parts, plastic, glass, windscreen basically the full exterior.You can even clay your alloys if you want. Wipe dry lightly
      4. Wax/Sealant: use a spray wax/sealant and quickly wipe all over with the MF towels

      Product Recommendations:


      Shampoo: Meguiars NXT Car Wash / Meguiars Shampoo Plus / Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse (basically any good quality branded shampoo mixed as per bottle directions)
      Clay: Mother's or Meguiars or anything that is commonly available.
      Wax/Sealant:
      Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax (UQW) / Zaino Clear Seal (ZCS) / Optimum Car Wax (OCW)

      Tips:

      1. Just ensure the package does not say aggressive clay, regular or soft is fine. If it says nothing about the type of clay, then also its fine because by default it will be regular one.

      2. Generally, each clay bar is 100 gms by weight. To do a full hatch / sedan, only 50 gms of clay bar required. So tear the clay bar into half roughly and put one 50 gms piece away. If you have purchased a 200 gms piece, then quarter it with a knife and use only one piece. Wrap the pieces in cling film and keep it away somewhere safe.

      3. Now knead and flatten the 50 gms clay piece with your fingers into slightly bigger than the shape and size of your palm. Follow the instructions on the package or watch a youtube video on how to clay. If kneading the clay is hard, then drop it in a mug of warm water for a few minutes and then proceed. Use the other 50 gms piece if you think the current one is too dirty.

      4. For QD you can either use the bottle which came with the kit. Or you can prepare a bottle of ONR at QD strength or lacking that prepare a bucket of shampoo wash, wash a section and then immediately clay that part.

      5. For normal cars, claying is suggested only once / twice a year. You can certainly do more or less, it will not harm the paint, but its a waste of time and material unless your car is used as the locality garbage dump.

      -------
      C. Intermediate Detailing:

      Profile: Someone who has got the hang of washing and claying and is comfortable with a spray wax but has started wondering "is there some way to do less work every time, maybe things which last a bit longer and bit more shine"?

      Yup, there is, keep reading...this where we start cheating by reducing and hiding all those lovely swirls and spiderwebs on the paint

      Steps:

      1. Wash: use a car shampoo or rinse less wash
      2. Dry: use a microfiber (MF) towel to lightly dry the paint
      3. Clay: all over the painted metal parts, plastic, glass, windscreen basically the full exterior.You can even clay your alloys if you want. Wipe dry lightly. If you have clayed anytime in last six months then skip this step.
      4. Cleaner / AIO: use a paint cleaner / AIO as per the instruction on the panel and wipe off...use a yellow foam applicator
      5. Wax/Sealant: use a spray wax/sealant and quickly wipe all over with the MF towels

      Product Recommendations:


      Shampoo: Meguiars NXT Car Wash / Meguiars Shampoo Plus / Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse (basically any good quality branded shampoo mixed as per bottle directions)
      Clay: Mother's or Meguiars or anything that is commonly available.
      Cleaner / AIO: Meguiars Ultimate Polish (UP) / Zaino All-in-One (ZAIO) / Autoglym Super Resin Polish (SRP) / Duragloss #101 Polish and Cleaner (DG101) / FinishKare #215 (FkP 215) / Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish (GEP)
      Wax/Sealant: Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax (UQW) / Zaino Clear Seal (ZCS) / Optimum Car Wax (OCW)

      Tips:

      1. AIO stands for All-in-One i.e. a product which cleans, protects and hides and reduces swirls, and one product may do more of one element and less of others and it varies.

      2. All AIO's or sealants when using, do it panel by panel i.e. apply on one panel, do the second panel, then come back and wipe off the first panel. Remember, most of these products are suited to US/UK weather and in Indian climate things flash dry/cure faster.

      3. AIO's need to be applied every 3 months or 6 months, as per manufacturer recommendations on the bottle. AIO's do not need to be applied every time you wash your car, only once in a while.

      4. For AIO's one coat is enough, in most cases two coats will do nothing except remove the first layer.

      5. Megs UP easily available and easy to use and difficult to mess up the application. Gives a nice glossy shine to the paint and does some light filling and light reduction of the swirls less of protection. Only caveat is this leaves a lovely oily finish which may interfere in layering with a sealant.
      -> Megs UP is closer to what is known as a cleaner glaze rather than an AIO

      6. ZAIO is fantastic product and strong on protection and is almost a true AIO. It has light abrasives for reducing swirls and does some filling too. Gives an awesome shine. Only thing is a bottle is expensive but then again it will last for a long time.

      7. AG SRP is again another best seller, can give an amazing finish and decent protection. Lot of people swear by this as it hits the sweet spot of VFM.

      8. DG101 and FkP 215 and BF GEP, have not used these yet, but should be very similar to the above.

      9. For best results, when applying the AIO, reduce the working area to half a bonnet or maybe a quarter of a bonnet.

      10. Follow the less-is-more principle. 2/3 button sized drops on a yellow applicator should be enough to do half a bonnet.

      11. Keep a spray bottle of water / QD handy. In case you are facing difficulty to remove the AIO after it has cured, give a light spray once and then remove with the MF towel.

      12. After applying the AIO, wait for 30-60 mins and then apply the spray wax or read the AIO instructions on how much time required for curing.This is because typically spray waxes / sealants are solvent heavy and may dissolve the layer of AIO


      Cleaner / Glazes can replace the Cleaner / AIO step. Good examples of Cleaner / Glazes are Poorboys Blackhole, Chemical Guys Glosswork Glaze etc. They provide the cleaning and filling function and instead of the protection element then provide the looks element. Unfortunately, most of these have to be imported by an individual if you want to try them out.

      Suggest breaking up the work across two days i.e. on Saturday morning, complete till AIO and then on Sunday morning, wash and apply the spray wax.Trying to do everything in one day is a sure shot recipe for next days in bed, groaning with body aches

      Please pay particular attention to the point no. 9, 10, 11, as they are critical.So

      -------
      C. Advanced Detailing:

      Profile:
      Someone who is now at the intermediate level and is comfortable with applying AIO's/Cleaners for preppring the paint.

      So now we move on to the world of sealants and paste/liquid waxes

      Steps:

      1. Wash: use a car shampoo or rinse less wash
      2. Dry: use a microfiber (MF) towel to lightly dry the paint
      3. Clay: all over the painted metal parts, plastic, glass, windscreen basically the full exterior.You can even clay your alloys if you want. Wipe dry lightly. If you have clayed anytime in last six months then skip this step.
      4. Cleaner / AIO: use a paint cleaner / AIO as per the instruction on the panel and wipe off...use a yellow foam applicator
      5. Sealants: use a sealant for added protection and looks. put 2-3 three layers for more durability / looks with a 24 hrs gap minimum
      6. Waxes: use a paste or liquid wax as per your choice. Put at least two coats of wax after 1 hr gap minimum
      7. Spray Wax/Sealant/QD: use a spray wax/sealant and quickly wipe all over with the MF towels

      Product Recommendations:


      Shampoo: Meguiars NXT Car Wash / Meguiars Shampoo Plus / Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse (basically any good quality branded shampoo mixed as per bottle directions)
      Clay: Mother's or Meguiars or anything that is commonly available.
      Cleaner / AIO: Meguiars Ultimate Polish (UP) / Zaino All-in-One (ZAIO) / Autoglym Super Resin Polish (SRP) / Duragloss #101 Polish and Cleaner (DG101) / FinishKare #215 (FkP 215) / Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish (GEP)
      Sealants: Zaino Z2 Pro / Zain Z8 Pro / Blackfire Wet Diamond AFPP (BFWD) / FinishKare 1000P (FkP 1000P) / Collinite 845 / Duragloss #105 (DG105) / Autoglym EGP (or any similar sealant of your choice)
      Wax: any pure carnuba / hybrid paste or liquid wax of your choice.
      Spray Wax/Sealant/QD
      : Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax (UQW) / Zaino Clear Seal (ZCS) / Optimum Car Wax (OCW)

      Tips:

      1. Follow the less-is-more principle.

      2. 2/3 button sized drops of a liquid sealant / wax on a yellow applicator should be enough to do half a bonnet.

      3. For paste waxes, just lightly twist the yellow applicator in the jar and apply lightly to quarter or half the bonnet.

      4. Keep a spray bottle of water / QD handy. In case you are facing difficulty to remove the sealant / wax after it has cured, give a light spray once and then remove with the MF towel.

      5. For sealants, wait 12-24 hrs between multiple layers. For waxes, wait 30 mins before layering.

      6. Do it panel by panel i.e. apply on one panel, do the second panel, then come back and wipe off the first panel. Remember, most of these products are suited to US/UK weather and in Indian climate things flash dry/cure faster so test it out on a small section before.

      7. Keep in mind that once sealant + wax layer should last from one to three months or even six months. A good plan is to layer on the wax every 1-3 months and then every 6-9 months, start from cleaner AIO layer onwards.

      7. Apply the sealant on Saturday, let it cure overnight and then on Sunday either apply a second layer of sealant or wax. If applying a second layer of sealant, no harm in waiting till next saturday and give a quick wash before the wax.

      -------------------
      Q&A

      Q. Are each of the AIO, sealant, wax. spray wax layers required for my car?
      A. No, you can apply in any combination and stop there keep on washing and reapplying it. You can just apply the sealant and skip the rest or just aply the wax directly after washing, skipping the cleaner and sealant step and it will still work fine. But the process/steps outlined above will max out the shine of your car.

      Q. Do i have to do all the seven steps in one session in one day or can i spread it out?
      A. Of course, you can spread out the steps over multiple weekends. Logical break points for the seven step process would break after applying cleaner AIO, then break after each layer of sealant and then break after each layer of wax.

      Q. I got some XYZ product which says Polish on the label but in the description it says light abrasive cleaning...what the heck is this?
      A. Look at what the product is supposed to do i.e. the function. If its says chemical or abrasive cleaning then its going to do just that. if it says reduces swirls then it means gonna do some filling and so on.

      Q. My grandmother has a bad back and is not able to climb on the SUV to clean the roof or do any of the seven steps, what should she do? And yeah she cant use a spray bottle either?
      A. Get her a bottle of Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse. Both are great cleaners and reapeated application of leave layers of light protection on the car.

      Q. I got a a bike for weekend pleasure tours and a autorickshaw for going to my big shot CEO office in Bangalore traffic, what can i do?
      A. For metal parts mix up a bottle of rinseless wash at QD strength and lightly spray, leave for 30 secs and wipe. For the cloth/vinyl top, spray a towel with with the rinseless wash at QD strength and gently wipe the soft top.

      Q. Correction is absolutely not mentioned in your actions? Why on earth would you call this detailing then, forget about the pro part?
      A. Good question and the answer to that is for paint defects you can do three things - correct/remove defects, reduce defects or hide defects. In the action plans when you start using the Cleaner / AIO / Glazes, you are using light abrasives to reduce the swirls and fillers help in hiding the defect. For a full correction, would suggest a pro detailer.

      Q. Is full hand correction possible?
      A. Short answer - impossible. Long answer - you can use a SMAT product like Megs Ultimate Compound or Swirlx or ScratchX with a tri foam applicator and LOT of elbow grease to minimize the swirls greatly. Would also suggest investing in some stock of Volini or some such product cause you will be using a lot of those also. Suggest calling a pro detailer or buying a DA for home use.

      Q. I have a new car, fresh from showroom or few months old, how to keep it like that? I have old car, what do i do?
      A. If you want to do less work then i suggest the Intermediate Plan or else go for the Advanced plan and then just maintain with Basic 01 plan.

      Q. So am a master of the normal wash/sealant/wax routine and i can do it while sleep walking, whats next?
      A. Interesting question because if you have got the hang of it then welcome to the world of "super-sealants/semi-permanent coatings "(OptiCoatv2, System X Element 119, CCC Ceramishield , CarPro CQUARTZ, Getchniq C1 etc) and world of "nano-selants" (Wolf's BodyWrap, Gtechniq C2, Permanon Platinum and a heck lot more). Read a lot on what you want to use and if you are in Bangalore and planning to use anything apart from Element 119, OC and Permanon (i have used these ), give me a buzz, want to observe how it goes.

      -------
      Happy detailing

      P.S. Absolutely no association with any of the products suggested except being stupid enough to buy most of them at one point for personal use. And yes, i currently have enough material to last me next five years.
      Fantastic post, fordfan. I don't know if you are even active on this forum now, but let me tell you that this is the most lucid and comprehensive post on detailing for me as a beginner. I had been searching every forum - TAI, team-bhp, detailingworld.co.uk but couldn't find any.

      My query for all -
      1) I bought a Proklear rinseless wash solution. I used to wash my car every two weeks earlier, but now have stopped since there is no time and I get lazy. Hence, got car washed at Ford ASS 2-3 times. Now, I observed that there are swirl marks all over the body. I intend not to get it washed there anymore.

      But how do I get rid of swirls? Reading on some forums lead me to a product SwirlX by Meguiar's. But it is quiet costly. Is there any other way? If not, where can I get it from?

      There is no 3M workshop in my city, and I don't think any other detailer here is good enough. Should I get the professional detailing done this diwali, when I plan to go to some metro.

      2) I have bought Microfiber cloth from 3M, Formula 1 in past. But they don't seem to be effective after 3-4 wash. They tend to leave swirls/marks on the body. What other MF cloth is advisable?

      3) I have a Jopasu duster as well. It worked as described only for two weeks. Thereon, I have been washing it with liquid detergent. But it has stopped picking dust. Should I dump it and get a Original California duster?

      4) I had been using Polco Car cover purchased from Ford ASS for initial 3-4 months, but one day I noticed some swirl marks on the roof and probably they were caused by the cover itself. Should I go for another cover or wash the current one or stop using cover completely?

      My Car is 2016 Ford Ecosport. I have to park it on roadside, where it is prone to dust, wax from tress and bird poop and at office, there is open parking, which exposes to direct sunlight.

      For interiors, I even bought a Bergmann Hurricane vacuum cleaner which I felt was useless. It wasn't picking up any dirt/dust at all.

      Thank you.

      Sent from my ONE E1003 using Tapatalk

    6. #326

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      Quote Originally Posted by fyodor0137 View Post
      Fantastic post, fordfan. I don't know if you are even active on this forum now, but let me tell you that this is the most lucid and comprehensive post on detailing for me as a beginner. I had been searching every forum - TAI, team-bhp, detailingworld.co.uk but couldn't find any.

      My query for all -
      1) I bought a Proklear rinseless wash solution. I used to wash my car every two weeks earlier, but now have stopped since there is no time and I get lazy. Hence, got car washed at Ford ASS 2-3 times. Now, I observed that there are swirl marks all over the body. I intend not to get it washed there anymore.

      But how do I get rid of swirls? Reading on some forums lead me to a product SwirlX by Meguiar's. But it is quiet costly. Is there any other way? If not, where can I get it from?

      There is no 3M workshop in my city, and I don't think any other detailer here is good enough. Should I get the professional detailing done this diwali, when I plan to go to some metro.

      2) I have bought Microfiber cloth from 3M, Formula 1 in past. But they don't seem to be effective after 3-4 wash. They tend to leave swirls/marks on the body. What other MF cloth is advisable?

      3) I have a Jopasu duster as well. It worked as described only for two weeks. Thereon, I have been washing it with liquid detergent. But it has stopped picking dust. Should I dump it and get a Original California duster?

      4) I had been using Polco Car cover purchased from Ford ASS for initial 3-4 months, but one day I noticed some swirl marks on the roof and probably they were caused by the cover itself. Should I go for another cover or wash the current one or stop using cover completely?

      My Car is 2016 Ford Ecosport. I have to park it on roadside, where it is prone to dust, wax from tress and bird poop and at office, there is open parking, which exposes to direct sunlight.

      For interiors, I even bought a Bergmann Hurricane vacuum cleaner which I felt was useless. It wasn't picking up any dirt/dust at all.

      Thank you.

      Sent from my ONE E1003 using Tapatalk
      Am a little out of touch with using the forum so cannot see how to answer the questions against your post
      1. Swirls are a part of life- nothing can avoid them totally unless you do not touch the car surface at all
      Swirls removal needs machine polishing or major effort by hand, which is quite a task usually. Since you have open parking you will need to touch the car daily and cant avoid swirls at all
      Removal once in a while like 6 months is fine but done by experts and not local guys who use cheap rubbing compounds which will abrade the clear coat.
      2 There are many good MF but then any good MF if not used properly and not kept clean with cause swirls. That said what way we wipe the car also matters and not only cloth.
      3 Jopasu duster usually lasts longer, do not wash with detergent else it will stop working
      Hope this helps to some extent
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    7. #327
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      Quote Originally Posted by fordfan View Post
      So why this thread ? I love cars (whether its a Nano or a BMW) and my Santro is my baby, my pride and joy...so it really hurts when I see really badly maintained car with dull paint, whitish bumpers and heck full of scratches which is just crying out for little loving care or hear about people washing cars with liquid detergent.

      So, i wanted to write this thread to show how you can maintain your car's glossy shine and finish with least amount of effort, time and material. Even if your car is daily driver and parked full time on the streets, I am going to show you how you can still make it look good. Am not talking about show car looks, but still something, which will make the heads of 80%-90% of population turn and say "wow".

      In short, am going to tell you how to cheat (yes, cheat ) to get the shiny and sexy car. Whether you have a new car few months or an old 5 yrs plus white elephant, i will tell you how you can maintain it.

      Some of you may already be aware of a lot of stuff am going to talk about and may be aware of the product combos, so kindly bear with me.

      Unlike a pro detailer who will correct the paint defects, am going to tell you how to reduce and hide the paint defects with some very basic stuff. So let's get started...

      -------
      A. Basic Detailing 01:

      Profile: Someone who does not want to spend too much money or time on the car, prefers to spend time time with family and doing other things like driving, going out or other things like sleeping on weekends (my favorite activity).

      Steps:

      1. Wash: use a car shampoo or rinse less wash
      2. Dry: use a microfiber (MF) towel to lightly dry the paint
      3. Wax/Sealant: use a spray wax/sealant and quickly wipe all over with the MF towels

      Product Recommendations:


      Shampoo: Meguiars NXT Car Wash / Meguiars Shampoo Plus / Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse (basically any good quality branded shampoo mixed as per bottle directions)
      Wax/Sealant: Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax (UQW) / Zaino Clear Seal (ZCS) / Optimum Car Wax (OCW)

      Tips:

      1. Megs UQW is a fantastic product which is basically wipe-on-wipe-off (WOWO), no waiting and can be applied on everything on exterior from paint, plastics, rubber, glass, chrome, wheels etc...i absolutely love this product! And yes you can use it on the printer/tv/monitor plastic/fridge etc after cleaning of course. (Application frequency: every 2-3 weeks).

      2. Zaino Clear Seal is again fantastic product, can be used anywhere on the body and is wipe-on-walk-away (WOWA). More expensive than UQW but can expect to last around 1-3 months or more.

      3. Optimum Car Wax is priced between ZAIO and UQW and is more of a wax rather than sealant. This is again a wipe-on-walk-away (WOWA) product and can be used everywhere. Unfortunately yet to be available locally. Lasts anywhere from 2-6 months.

      4. For all these spray waxes/sealants, follow the less-is-more principle. First open up the MF towel and spray 3-4 times on both sides and fold it in half and fold the half again. Now spray 2-3 times per panel (bonnet/ roof) and wipe all over is more than sufficient. Move to the next panel and repeat. Once whole car is done, fold a towel in four and lightly wipe all over.

      Now, if you want great shine with least effort, you can stop reading right here and go buy the shampoo and one of the products mentioned and work on your car. Even just this will give easily give you a car which looks better maintained than 50% of the people.

      Or, you can move on to...

      -------
      B. Basic Detailing 02:

      Profile: Basic 01 + Someone who has little more time in hand one weekend and wondering what to do.

      Steps:

      1. Wash: use a car shampoo or rinse less wash
      2. Dry: use a microfiber (MF) towel to lightly dry the paint
      3. Clay: all over the painted metal parts, plastic, glass, windscreen basically the full exterior.You can even clay your alloys if you want. Wipe dry lightly
      4. Wax/Sealant: use a spray wax/sealant and quickly wipe all over with the MF towels

      Product Recommendations:


      Shampoo: Meguiars NXT Car Wash / Meguiars Shampoo Plus / Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse (basically any good quality branded shampoo mixed as per bottle directions)
      Clay: Mother's or Meguiars or anything that is commonly available.
      Wax/Sealant:
      Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax (UQW) / Zaino Clear Seal (ZCS) / Optimum Car Wax (OCW)

      Tips:

      1. Just ensure the package does not say aggressive clay, regular or soft is fine. If it says nothing about the type of clay, then also its fine because by default it will be regular one.

      2. Generally, each clay bar is 100 gms by weight. To do a full hatch / sedan, only 50 gms of clay bar required. So tear the clay bar into half roughly and put one 50 gms piece away. If you have purchased a 200 gms piece, then quarter it with a knife and use only one piece. Wrap the pieces in cling film and keep it away somewhere safe.

      3. Now knead and flatten the 50 gms clay piece with your fingers into slightly bigger than the shape and size of your palm. Follow the instructions on the package or watch a youtube video on how to clay. If kneading the clay is hard, then drop it in a mug of warm water for a few minutes and then proceed. Use the other 50 gms piece if you think the current one is too dirty.

      4. For QD you can either use the bottle which came with the kit. Or you can prepare a bottle of ONR at QD strength or lacking that prepare a bucket of shampoo wash, wash a section and then immediately clay that part.

      5. For normal cars, claying is suggested only once / twice a year. You can certainly do more or less, it will not harm the paint, but its a waste of time and material unless your car is used as the locality garbage dump.

      -------
      C. Intermediate Detailing:

      Profile: Someone who has got the hang of washing and claying and is comfortable with a spray wax but has started wondering "is there some way to do less work every time, maybe things which last a bit longer and bit more shine"?

      Yup, there is, keep reading...this where we start cheating by reducing and hiding all those lovely swirls and spiderwebs on the paint

      Steps:

      1. Wash: use a car shampoo or rinse less wash
      2. Dry: use a microfiber (MF) towel to lightly dry the paint
      3. Clay: all over the painted metal parts, plastic, glass, windscreen basically the full exterior.You can even clay your alloys if you want. Wipe dry lightly. If you have clayed anytime in last six months then skip this step.
      4. Cleaner / AIO: use a paint cleaner / AIO as per the instruction on the panel and wipe off...use a yellow foam applicator
      5. Wax/Sealant: use a spray wax/sealant and quickly wipe all over with the MF towels

      Product Recommendations:


      Shampoo: Meguiars NXT Car Wash / Meguiars Shampoo Plus / Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse (basically any good quality branded shampoo mixed as per bottle directions)
      Clay: Mother's or Meguiars or anything that is commonly available.
      Cleaner / AIO: Meguiars Ultimate Polish (UP) / Zaino All-in-One (ZAIO) / Autoglym Super Resin Polish (SRP) / Duragloss #101 Polish and Cleaner (DG101) / FinishKare #215 (FkP 215) / Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish (GEP)
      Wax/Sealant: Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax (UQW) / Zaino Clear Seal (ZCS) / Optimum Car Wax (OCW)

      Tips:

      1. AIO stands for All-in-One i.e. a product which cleans, protects and hides and reduces swirls, and one product may do more of one element and less of others and it varies.

      2. All AIO's or sealants when using, do it panel by panel i.e. apply on one panel, do the second panel, then come back and wipe off the first panel. Remember, most of these products are suited to US/UK weather and in Indian climate things flash dry/cure faster.

      3. AIO's need to be applied every 3 months or 6 months, as per manufacturer recommendations on the bottle. AIO's do not need to be applied every time you wash your car, only once in a while.

      4. For AIO's one coat is enough, in most cases two coats will do nothing except remove the first layer.

      5. Megs UP easily available and easy to use and difficult to mess up the application. Gives a nice glossy shine to the paint and does some light filling and light reduction of the swirls less of protection. Only caveat is this leaves a lovely oily finish which may interfere in layering with a sealant.
      -> Megs UP is closer to what is known as a cleaner glaze rather than an AIO

      6. ZAIO is fantastic product and strong on protection and is almost a true AIO. It has light abrasives for reducing swirls and does some filling too. Gives an awesome shine. Only thing is a bottle is expensive but then again it will last for a long time.

      7. AG SRP is again another best seller, can give an amazing finish and decent protection. Lot of people swear by this as it hits the sweet spot of VFM.

      8. DG101 and FkP 215 and BF GEP, have not used these yet, but should be very similar to the above.

      9. For best results, when applying the AIO, reduce the working area to half a bonnet or maybe a quarter of a bonnet.

      10. Follow the less-is-more principle. 2/3 button sized drops on a yellow applicator should be enough to do half a bonnet.

      11. Keep a spray bottle of water / QD handy. In case you are facing difficulty to remove the AIO after it has cured, give a light spray once and then remove with the MF towel.

      12. After applying the AIO, wait for 30-60 mins and then apply the spray wax or read the AIO instructions on how much time required for curing.This is because typically spray waxes / sealants are solvent heavy and may dissolve the layer of AIO


      Cleaner / Glazes can replace the Cleaner / AIO step. Good examples of Cleaner / Glazes are Poorboys Blackhole, Chemical Guys Glosswork Glaze etc. They provide the cleaning and filling function and instead of the protection element then provide the looks element. Unfortunately, most of these have to be imported by an individual if you want to try them out.

      Suggest breaking up the work across two days i.e. on Saturday morning, complete till AIO and then on Sunday morning, wash and apply the spray wax.Trying to do everything in one day is a sure shot recipe for next days in bed, groaning with body aches

      Please pay particular attention to the point no. 9, 10, 11, as they are critical.So

      -------
      C. Advanced Detailing:

      Profile:
      Someone who is now at the intermediate level and is comfortable with applying AIO's/Cleaners for preppring the paint.

      So now we move on to the world of sealants and paste/liquid waxes

      Steps:

      1. Wash: use a car shampoo or rinse less wash
      2. Dry: use a microfiber (MF) towel to lightly dry the paint
      3. Clay: all over the painted metal parts, plastic, glass, windscreen basically the full exterior.You can even clay your alloys if you want. Wipe dry lightly. If you have clayed anytime in last six months then skip this step.
      4. Cleaner / AIO: use a paint cleaner / AIO as per the instruction on the panel and wipe off...use a yellow foam applicator
      5. Sealants: use a sealant for added protection and looks. put 2-3 three layers for more durability / looks with a 24 hrs gap minimum
      6. Waxes: use a paste or liquid wax as per your choice. Put at least two coats of wax after 1 hr gap minimum
      7. Spray Wax/Sealant/QD: use a spray wax/sealant and quickly wipe all over with the MF towels

      Product Recommendations:


      Shampoo: Meguiars NXT Car Wash / Meguiars Shampoo Plus / Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse (basically any good quality branded shampoo mixed as per bottle directions)
      Clay: Mother's or Meguiars or anything that is commonly available.
      Cleaner / AIO: Meguiars Ultimate Polish (UP) / Zaino All-in-One (ZAIO) / Autoglym Super Resin Polish (SRP) / Duragloss #101 Polish and Cleaner (DG101) / FinishKare #215 (FkP 215) / Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish (GEP)
      Sealants: Zaino Z2 Pro / Zain Z8 Pro / Blackfire Wet Diamond AFPP (BFWD) / FinishKare 1000P (FkP 1000P) / Collinite 845 / Duragloss #105 (DG105) / Autoglym EGP (or any similar sealant of your choice)
      Wax: any pure carnuba / hybrid paste or liquid wax of your choice.
      Spray Wax/Sealant/QD
      : Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax (UQW) / Zaino Clear Seal (ZCS) / Optimum Car Wax (OCW)

      Tips:

      1. Follow the less-is-more principle.

      2. 2/3 button sized drops of a liquid sealant / wax on a yellow applicator should be enough to do half a bonnet.

      3. For paste waxes, just lightly twist the yellow applicator in the jar and apply lightly to quarter or half the bonnet.

      4. Keep a spray bottle of water / QD handy. In case you are facing difficulty to remove the sealant / wax after it has cured, give a light spray once and then remove with the MF towel.

      5. For sealants, wait 12-24 hrs between multiple layers. For waxes, wait 30 mins before layering.

      6. Do it panel by panel i.e. apply on one panel, do the second panel, then come back and wipe off the first panel. Remember, most of these products are suited to US/UK weather and in Indian climate things flash dry/cure faster so test it out on a small section before.

      7. Keep in mind that once sealant + wax layer should last from one to three months or even six months. A good plan is to layer on the wax every 1-3 months and then every 6-9 months, start from cleaner AIO layer onwards.

      7. Apply the sealant on Saturday, let it cure overnight and then on Sunday either apply a second layer of sealant or wax. If applying a second layer of sealant, no harm in waiting till next saturday and give a quick wash before the wax.

      -------------------
      Q&A

      Q. Are each of the AIO, sealant, wax. spray wax layers required for my car?
      A. No, you can apply in any combination and stop there keep on washing and reapplying it. You can just apply the sealant and skip the rest or just aply the wax directly after washing, skipping the cleaner and sealant step and it will still work fine. But the process/steps outlined above will max out the shine of your car.

      Q. Do i have to do all the seven steps in one session in one day or can i spread it out?
      A. Of course, you can spread out the steps over multiple weekends. Logical break points for the seven step process would break after applying cleaner AIO, then break after each layer of sealant and then break after each layer of wax.

      Q. I got some XYZ product which says Polish on the label but in the description it says light abrasive cleaning...what the heck is this?
      A. Look at what the product is supposed to do i.e. the function. If its says chemical or abrasive cleaning then its going to do just that. if it says reduces swirls then it means gonna do some filling and so on.

      Q. My grandmother has a bad back and is not able to climb on the SUV to clean the roof or do any of the seven steps, what should she do? And yeah she cant use a spray bottle either?
      A. Get her a bottle of Optimum No Rinse / Duragloss No Rinse. Both are great cleaners and reapeated application of leave layers of light protection on the car.

      Q. I got a a bike for weekend pleasure tours and a autorickshaw for going to my big shot CEO office in Bangalore traffic, what can i do?
      A. For metal parts mix up a bottle of rinseless wash at QD strength and lightly spray, leave for 30 secs and wipe. For the cloth/vinyl top, spray a towel with with the rinseless wash at QD strength and gently wipe the soft top.

      Q. Correction is absolutely not mentioned in your actions? Why on earth would you call this detailing then, forget about the pro part?
      A. Good question and the answer to that is for paint defects you can do three things - correct/remove defects, reduce defects or hide defects. In the action plans when you start using the Cleaner / AIO / Glazes, you are using light abrasives to reduce the swirls and fillers help in hiding the defect. For a full correction, would suggest a pro detailer.

      Q. Is full hand correction possible?
      A. Short answer - impossible. Long answer - you can use a SMAT product like Megs Ultimate Compound or Swirlx or ScratchX with a tri foam applicator and LOT of elbow grease to minimize the swirls greatly. Would also suggest investing in some stock of Volini or some such product cause you will be using a lot of those also. Suggest calling a pro detailer or buying a DA for home use.

      Q. I have a new car, fresh from showroom or few months old, how to keep it like that? I have old car, what do i do?
      A. If you want to do less work then i suggest the Intermediate Plan or else go for the Advanced plan and then just maintain with Basic 01 plan.

      Q. So am a master of the normal wash/sealant/wax routine and i can do it while sleep walking, whats next?
      A. Interesting question because if you have got the hang of it then welcome to the world of "super-sealants/semi-permanent coatings "(OptiCoatv2, System X Element 119, CCC Ceramishield , CarPro CQUARTZ, Getchniq C1 etc) and world of "nano-selants" (Wolf's BodyWrap, Gtechniq C2, Permanon Platinum and a heck lot more). Read a lot on what you want to use and if you are in Bangalore and planning to use anything apart from Element 119, OC and Permanon (i have used these ), give me a buzz, want to observe how it goes.

      -------
      Happy detailing

      P.S. Absolutely no association with any of the products suggested except being stupid enough to buy most of them at one point for personal use. And yes, i currently have enough material to last me next five years.
      Fanstastic Post.

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