Taken from a 2015 Article by Will Lipovsky as seen in "Critical Financial" - June 2015
It’s obvious that the better a car looks, the more it’s worth. The point of this article is to teach you how to detail your car properly (or have Bauer's do it!) so you can keep it looking good.
1. Pull the tags off your microfiber towels
Microfiber towels are used when cleaning about every surface on a car. This means scratches almost everywhere on your car if you don’t follow this rule.
One thing people often overlook is the tags on these towels. They are abrasive. Simply yank them off as soon as you buy the towel. The towel won’t fall apart.
2. Use automotive detergent
Using dish soap is not only insufficient, it’s also terrible on your paint. It’s strong stuff. It strips the surface of all its wax. That will leave your paint exposed to the sun’s damaging rays.
3. Rinse off as much gunk as possible before scrubbing
Debris left on a car’s painted surface will act as an abrasive while scrubbing. Be liberal in your rinsing process. Get off as much dirt, road tar, and bugs as possible with just water. It’s advisable to rinse wheel wells and the front bumper first. Move onto the rinsing the rest of the car. Go back to the wheel wells and front bumper later. The first rinse will turn the dirt into mud. The second rinse should rinse most of the mud away.
4. Use straight motions
I often see people washing their cars in a circular motion. It feels natural to make circles. I used to do it until about 3 years ago. However, scrubbing in circles causes swirls. Scrub back and forth in straight lines. If straight scratches occur, they’re at least far easier to remove than swirls.
5. Avoid silicon-based cleaners
These are dangerous because their use can lead to the material you’ve been cleaning to dry out, crack, break, and just look terrible.
6. Wax your paint, windows, wheels, headlights, and taillights
Yep, automotive wax isn’t just for your paint! About every 6 months, wax the entire car – and I do mean ENTIRE car. Waxing your paint keeps it protected. Waxing your windows makes them shine as well as bead off water. That’s especially useful for side windows that don’t have wipers. The water will just slide right off – with nothing left to obstruct your visibility.
Waxing your wheels makes them easier to clean. The reason why most wheels look dingy is because of baked on brake dust. Wax will create a barrier between the dust and the surface of the wheel. During the next wash job, the dust will easily wash away.
You know how most car headlamps are yellowed and dingy looking? It’s because the protective surface has been worn away. Bug guts, UV rays, and bits of road debris have slowly destroyed the protective surface. Wax will keep that from happening. It’ll protect the surface from alien contaminants. It only takes about 3 minutes to massage in and buff out wax. This is a lot cheaper than having to purchase one of those headlight restore kits in the future – those things require a lot of elbow grease.
7. Vacuum creases in seats
Crumbs and other nonsense tend to settle in the crease (or stitching points) in the seat. With debris trapped in there, it serves as an abrasive to the seating material. If you look closely at leather seats especially, you’ll notice they look tired and cracked around the stitches – this is why. Don’t just wipe down seats, vacuum them properly.
8. Remove bird poop immediately
Bird poop is highly corrosive. Remove it right away to keep it from eating through you wax and into your paint. Use a wet microfiber towel to wipe it off. DO NOT use a paper towel – it’s far too abrasive.
9. Wash after rains
Despite what many believe, your car isn’t actually cleaner after a rain. Especially in cities, rain contains pollutants we’ve sent up to the clouds. That nasty stuff then rains down on your car. After the rain passes, wash your car with clean soap and water.
10. Shake out floor mats regularly
Just like cleaning your seats, this action is also meant to remove abrasives. Floor mats get covered in small rocks. Your feet then smash these small rocks into the pile of the floor mat carpeting. This makes the floor mats wear out prematurely. Every once-in-awhile, shake out your floor mats. It only takes about a minute to do the entire car and it’ll keep the interior feeling new! Clean floor mats really do make a big difference.
We hope you enjoy the tips! And we do these things for you when you visit us here at Bauer's Full Service Car Wash. Come see us soon!
Usually when we talk about the wax, sealant, polish subject for your vehicle - this is one of the most misunderstood subjects for car enthusiasts and owners.
You have no doubt heard many definitions being thrown around - waxes, sealants, glazes, paints, compounds using various means of hand or machines - rotary classified orbital dual action (machine polishers and buffers), and so on.
It can be confusing, because of the number of products available on the market today - they seem to each use their own definition (non-standard) which really confuses the typical consumer if you do not know what you are looking for.
Let's see if we can simplify this for you.
First off, we'll start by focusing on using only hand processes and why you should use them. By doing so, what is the effect on the paint of your car and how does it help your vehicle?
First let's go over a couple of terms: what is the difference between them.
Wax and Sealant - When you see this, it usually indicates a coating layer on top of your paint to protect and beautify it. The word "wax" is used to this day as before it was really pure "candle wax" used for protection. "Sealant", used similarly to wax, is usually used to classify "synthetic waxes".
Polish - When you see the word "polish", it basically means that the product is usually abrasive in nature. It is used to scrape a few layers of paint you want to smooth out or clean or even remove scratches. Abrasiveness may be in the form of a "mechanical" (the product has some grit to it) or "chemistry" (it chemically reacts with the surface) - but the end effect is the essentially the same.
Cleaner wax / sealant - you may or may not understand this one - but when you see the word "clean" - the product is basically sitting in between wax and polish. It will typically have a small level of abrasiveness to clean and protect at the same time. Think of it as a mix of Polish and Wax together.
Coating - This is a new category in protection. It has become popular today because it seems many folks like to do it when they have a new car. So what is it really ?? You could think of it as a chemical reaction with the surface, basically trying to create the same function - only supposed to last longer - as wax. It creates a slippery surface on your paint helping to protect the paint and not allow dirt and grime to stick to the surface.
It's hard to beat a professional hand wax job!
You get what you pay for, right? Well, that isn't always true, but here at Bauer's we strive to give you the very best care for what you pay. There is always an optimal level in terms of value for money.
The beautiful shine often comes from the paint surface preparation, before wax is applied to it.
This is another topic for another time - "swirl-free", "orange peel", "wet sanding" comes into play.
But ultimately if your car is cleaned properly and the surface prepared, then a good quality wax and a skilled technician will produce some amazing results.
Do you need a machine for waxing? – you can buy a orbital machine to ease the job, and a machine can help for stubborn spots. But as we stated above, a great hand wax produces a great result.
How to make the wax last longer? – What is of the utmost importance is the cleaning process. Without proper cleaning, the wax you put on basically sticks to the dirt instead of the paint. This also bring us to "claying" whereby you remove contaminant from the surface. Unlike polish, it won’t correct the surface but only has minimal abrasiveness. It is similar to the effect of “cleaner wax”, but does a great job at smoothing the surface.
Do you need to polish? – Yes, occasionally, because when you drive, you induce scratches no matter how careful you are. When you wash, it is the same. Eventually you will need to polish your car for it to look its best. For hard spots like stains, bugs and so forth – use a good cleaner wax. A tar remover is also handy to do some heavy cleaning or for light scratch removal.
Do you need a machine? – For minor scratches or routine maintenance or cleaning of stains – no. Basically, a machine is required to accelerate the overall process. You can do the same by hand, it just takes longer. If you have the time, its hard to match the detail hand waxing can do. However for serious correction like removing swirls or heavy scratches – a machine is a must.
In summary, here is the correct sequence:
1. Do a correct wash, clean properly and frequently – feel the paint. Is it smooth?
2. If not, then probably you need to clay it. If you don’t have a clay, then you should use a good cleaner wax after drying.
3. After wash, dry the car properly (minimize water marks).
4. If you want to polish, this is time for you to clean the contaminants, correct the scratches and so forth using hand or machine.
5. After all the correction, it is time to wax, coat, seal. Take note though, one of the most common mistakes people make is to use too much product during waxing. This creates a difficult buffing process, especially by hand. Use moderately and you can save some muscle! You don’t need a machine if performed properly.
6. Buff off everything from the surface. Feel the paint, it should be buttery smooth.
Of course, here at Bauer's we offer a variety of different options, including a hand wax which produces an amazing look and superior protection for your vehicle. Ask us anything, we are here to help!
Give us a CALL today and let's get your vehicle on the schedule!
Happy New Year to one and all from Bauer's Full Service Car Wash!
Of course we know that January is typically the time when folks make resolutions for themselves, but what about your vehicle? Why not start the new year with a clean and polished vehicle and use the rest of the year to maintain her? Be good to your vehicle and she'll be good to you!
We are here at your service at Bauer's. We'll do the heavy lifting and get your baby all spiffed up.
There are LOTS of options to choose from, depending what your car or truck needs. You may decide that the outside is in pretty good shape, but the interior needs a deep cleaning. Or visa versa. Or maybe the whole vehicle needs to be shaped up from top to bottom.
Whatever the case, we are here to help! Our staff are experts at accomplishing these tasks, and we are ready to schedule your "makeover".
Give us a call today and let's get you, er, your CAR, cleaned up!
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5927 San Juan Ave, Citrus Heights, CA 95610