In a nutshell, it’s deep cleaning and maintenance on all surfaces of a vehicle, from paint to wheels to interiors. Anyone can learn it, and it’s a great skill for taking care of your vehicle no matter the age.
You can find quality brands OTC (over the counter), such as Meguiar’s, Mothers, and Griot’s Garage. Many ‘specialty’ brands can only be bought through online vendors.
Yes, but you can spend as little or as much as you like. There may be an initial sticker shock. However, these products are designed to last. As the technology develops, companies are able to give us more and more products that are able to be diluted each year. Especially if you’re just taking care of your own car, that gallon of soap (for example) will last you throughout the year easily.
It can get a bit confusing. Check out our handy Terminology & Acronyms page for more information.
There is no ‘best.’ We even have an article about this. Most of the fun in this hobby comes from trying new products, different methods, etc. You have to take the time to experiment and see how you like to do it. Technique will always come first. Take the time to learn the proper ways to maintain your car.
Not really. Unless you’ve got single stage paint, then extra care should be considered because you’ll be removing actual paint vs clear coat.
The most commonly asked question online is ‘how do I take care of my black car?’ It’s the same as you would a grey or white or red car. Darker colors just show everything easier, so extra attention will be needed.
About 90% of your gloss will come from proper paint correction to remove surface defects like swirls and scratches. You can layer glazes, sealants, waxes, and coatings until the cows come home, but if you skip the paint correction, you’re not going to be pleased. Junkman2000 has a video on his channel where he asks viewers to guess the wax on a car. Turns out, there isn’t any. All the gloss came from the correct paint correction methods.
Foam guns connect to a regular hose, while foam cannons attach to pressure washers. Both serve the same purpose, to pre-soak the vehicle in soap so that any dirt can be rinsed away before performing a two-bucket wash. This is NOT meant to be a replacement to a regular wash, just an optional step to make washing easier. Plus, it’s fun to soak the car in soap!
Not really, but sort of. Modern clear coats are extremely tough and not meant to be corrected by hand polishing. Your arm will sooner fall off before you notice any correction. However, it will take care of very shallow swirls and is useful in areas that machines cannot fit, such as door handle indentations.
We have an article dedicated for winter car care coming soon! Check out our Rinseless Washing article for the process to use a rinseless wash, which can be done in colder temperatures.
Essentially, you want to prepare your car before winter hits to ensure everything is as protected as possible. For example, some people will polish their car and apply two layers of sealant on the paint.
It may get too cold to do much of any detailing during the winter, so you may be out of luck until warmer weather rolls around.
No, this is one of the most repeated detailing myths. While it may appear as the soap has stripped your protection, all it has done is lay down surfactants to give the illusion.
The best method for stripping an LSP (Last Step Product) is an alcohol wipe-down or a similar detailing product such as CarPro Eraser.