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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Common DIY car detailing mistakes

DIY car detailing mistakes
Using the right window towels prevents streaks and marks
Perhaps one of the most common mistakes made by DIY car detailers is that they use the wrong tools. For instance there are many people who use a sponge or even a wash mitt to wash their cars and clean the wheels instead of using a wheel brush. 

There are some car detailing newbies who will even use an old rag which removes the wax off the paint. These types of so called budgeting shortcuts will not just affect the quality of the detailing but will end up costing you a lot more later on. Let’s say for instance the sponge you used on the wheels picked up some of the break dust which didn’t rinse out and ended up scratching your paint? So how long will it take to polish this scratch? Do you really need to take this risk?

Not allowing for the chemicals to work

The time it takes for chemicals to start working is called “dwell time.” There are many car detailing chemicals that require time to work since their overall effectiveness is based on their chemical reactions and not really a physical one. Some common chemicals that fall into this so called dwell time category are tar removers as well as leather conditioners. That said how do you know exactly how much time is really enough? Well the easiest way is to read the accompanying instructions.

Not using specialized window towels

This is perhaps one of the most common reasons why people seem to complain that their windows are not entirely clean. Even though the cleaner is definitely important it will not fully work without using a good towel or a towel meant for windows. You may have heard some people tell you that newspapers can be used to clean the windows but in reality this is not a good idea since the ink on the newspapers can run off on the windows. So it’s worth investing in window cleaning towels.

Using a vinyl dressing on your leather

People often use vinyl dressings on leather because the bottle says that they can! If you want to clean and shine leather upholstery its best to use a product that is designed for use on leather. Vinyl dressing over a considerable period of time can end up doing more harm to your leather upholstery than good so it’s best to avoid it.
Auto detailing
Car washes don't always clean every contour of a vehicle

Listening to friends and neighbors

Almost every one of us may have a friend or neighbor who seems to know more about car detailing than us but they may give you the wrong information too. Not everyone who details their car on the weekend knows what they are talking about because unfortunately many people are going about doing it incorrectly. If you want to learn about car detailing then ask experts and read books on the subject, you will be surprised to learn that a lot of the so called word of mouth about best practices are in fact doing your vehicle more harm than good. 

Not hand washing the vehicle and using dish washing fluid

This is another very common mistake made by many DIY car detailing enthusiasts out there. They will take their car to the local car wash in order to reduce the time it takes for them to detail. The problem with the car wash is that it does not give you a chance to truly inspect every contour of your vehicle. So, you don’t know what spots need more attention and what type of attention they need. Then when you start detailing you take a more general approach which according to Australia’s leading car detailing experts like Supreme Mobile Car Detailing means that you don’t go a good job.

People who do wash their cars using a hose often resort to using dish washing fluid instead of standard car washing fluid. This ends up destroying the top layer of wax on their vehicle which leaves the paint job exposed. At the end of the day using dish washing fluid can end up costing people their paint job so it’s best to avoid going for a cheap solution here regardless of what you’ve heard and rather opt for a good car washing shampoo.


About the author: Mark has been detailing vehicles for over tweny years. He has developed some of the most trusted car detailing techniques over the years which are used by professionals all over the country. He also writes extensively about detailing vehicles and how to protect vehicles from damage. 
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Image licenses: IFCAR, US-PD