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DETAILING TECHNIQUES

The object of detailing is to clean, polish and protect while maintaining the integrity of your clearcoat, chrome and other surfaces.

There is nothing worse than having your paint job full of scratches, swirl marks, scratched chrome and a windshield difficult to see through.
Stay away from abrasive and useless products such as wax, sponges, rags, terry towels, paper towels, and wipes. Clear coat should not be waxed.

If you want to wash your car, RV, bike, boat, jet ski etc. never use a sponge or regular cloth to the clear coat, chrome, windshield, gel coat etc. Use a microfiber cloth mitt and use a wash product designed for vehicle surfaces to clean and degrease. Do not use household soap or other household cleaners. Soap attracts dirt.

An option to washing which may cause some swirl marks, is the use of on contact cleaners such as our BellyWash. You just spray it on, let it set, rinse off and dry using a microfiber chamois. You can also pressure wash and dry with it. When using this type of method STAY AWAY FROM THOSE PRODUCTS CONTAINING ALKALINE CLEANERS. They will stain paint and polished aluminum surfaces if not rinsed off promptly and completely. There are products such as our BellyWash that do not have a time limit for removal they are so safe.

One cleaning option is to use "detailer" products. Just be aware that most of them are petroleum based and do their shine using such products as mineral spirits. They dull fast and offer no protection.

An excellent option is to use a newer class of "detailers" that are water based and offer water borne polymer polishes in them. They truly clean, shine and protect. Our product, Perfect Detail is an example of this type of product. It offers 3 to 5 months of protection, can be applied in the direct sun without streaking, is great on glass, provides a "show car" shine along with UV and anti-static benefits, it removes light dirt, dust and bugs while providing a slick surface using no silicones. Cleaning is easier and faster the next time. Its base is a superior polymer polish.

When purchasing such a product do not rely on price only or you will just get burned!. Superior products such as our Perfect Detail require only 1 to 1 1/2 oz. for an entire car. Most of the popular names require 4 to 6 oz. for the same area so while they are less expensive to purchase they really are more expensive to use.

One classification of product to look at is the long term protectants such as our Prestige Protective Polish. This type of product will freshen up a surface while offering long term protection against the elements and proving a great shine. Use it under Perfect Detail and you will be wowed with the results.

When shopping for this type of product you should carefully check how they obtain their stated results. There is a ton of flim/flam out there, especially on products sold in drug stores and super markets.
One heavily advertised product simply hand washes a finish coated with their product using a non-detergent cleaner and does it 52 times. Since there is still polish on the surface they claim their test simulates one year of washing and therefore will last one year. THAT IS SIMPLY ONE TON OF BOLONGA!! What happened to what the elements do to the finish? What happens when you use a real cleaner that must have ingredients to clean and dissolve oils etc. All the best cleaners take off a little protection when they clean. This company provides no "real life" testing. Under their method we could claim several years of protection! In real life we provide around 6 months or more of protection and up to 1 1/2 years of protection in a static mode (vehicle just sits there).
If you polish aluminum be aware that most products you buy are made with abrasive, jewelers rouge or rubbing compound and offer no protection. This type of metal polish is cheap to buy, requires lots of effort to get fair to good results.

There are a few really good metal polishes out there. The ones we have found sell for around $19.95 to $29.95 for an 8 oz. bottle. Their problem is two fold. The cost is ridiculous and there is no protection or at best they offer a wax protection. Wax has never offered protection against anything for more than perhaps a week. On wheels it lasts around one or two days.

A nice option is our Easy Aluminum Polish which only costs $1.95 for 8 oz. will shine with or outshine the best of competition and offers up to 6 months of protection against oxidation and hard water spots bonding on. It uses a unique liquid formula that provides a mirror finish very easy since the product is doing the work not your arm.

There is one other company that uses a liquid formula and it does a real nice job but costs more than ours and offers no protection. This is again a case of you must be aware of how much it costs to use a product not how much it cost to buy it. We can do truck size wheels with around 1 to 1 1/4 oz. per wheel. No other company can use so little to do so much.

One thing about chrome. Donít buy chrome polish unless your chrome is showing rust spots. Chrome is already polished when you buy it. A product like PERFECT DETAIL will clean and protect chrome while making it look absolutely beautiful and do it easier and for less expense than metal polishes.

As important as the products you use are the cloths you use with them. The wrong type of cloth will do as much damage to the surface as any thing else you do to it. Cloths like microfiber are designed to enable you to remove light loads of dust from the surface without causing scratches and swirl marks. This is true of the best quality microfiber cloths, not necessarily the discount store type. There is a very good reason they are so cheap, they contain less microfiber and ability to hold dirt without causing damage. Buying a discount store microfiber is like spending dollars to save pennies. Not to smart of a move.

Never ever use a paper towel, regular cotton towels, hotel towels or terry towels, especially those sold cheap in the discount stores. They all cause dirt to be dragged across the surface causing sever damage. Where do you think the scratches and swirl marks came from you are trying to get rid of? Sponges are also very bad! They drag dirt also.
The trouble with regular methods of cleaning are the products you use to clean with will probably do a good job of breaking the dirt loose, but then you use a cloth or sponge to drag around the dirt causing scratches and swirl marks while cleaning. Then you may drag leather or synthetic chamois or other type of cloth across the surface to get water off. This again just drags dirt particles around causing more damage yet to your surface.
The answer to these problems is quite simple.

1. Use products such as PERFECT DETAIL that breaks dirt looks, floating it away from the vehicle surface then applying a slippery surface to your vehicle so it can cause no more damage. However, removing Perfect Detail without using a premium microfiber cloth sort of defeats the purpose.

2. Use BellyWash that removes all harsh dirt when you rinse it off and dry with a microfiber chamois thereby eliminating those things that cause surface swirls.

3. Use vehicle wash products such as Safe Wash Surface Shampoo that are designed to float off harsh dirt. Use a microfiber wash mitt and you will be amazed at the results. Always pre-rinse before using a vehicle wash to get rid of as much loose dirt as possible.
All the above three methods will let you be successful in eliminating most to all surface damage when cleaning, if used properly.

I am sure you see a constant theme of using quality microfiber products in your cleaning. It is imperative. Forget the people claiming they will dull or damage your surface. They just have an agenda and probable something else to offer instead they are trying to peddle.

If you follow these simple steps you will keep your prized possessions looking showroom good and maintain their value. There is nothing that feels better than getting in or on a clean bike, car, RV, boat etc. and heading on out.

Things to note about microfiber products: Machine wash them but do so with other things that do no lint. If not, they will collect all the lint in the wash water, just like they will collect dirt.

Never use fabric softener or bleach when washing. Never use laundry detergents that contain fabric softener or bleach. It may contain enough bleach or softener to stop the absorption and/or weakening the fiber causing lint eventually. They are dryer safe up to 194 degrees but never use fabric softener strips and make sure the dryer does not have any lint in it. If you want to line dry them, they dry 7 to 10 times faster than cotton and they dry soft.

Microfiber is a man made fiber. Do not iron them. They will melt to your iron.
If you have any questions regarding detailing please forward them to info@bestfinish.com with detailing in the subject line.