DIY Auto Detailing

How you relax when the work is done
Cluelessone
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:06 am
Location: Chicagoland
Grass Type: Cool season blend
Lawn Size: 15,000 sq ft
Mower: Deere rider, Ego push

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Cluelessone »

@quattljl Thank you for all the tips. I am using a Meguiar's paste wax - I'll give a spray wax a try. I do love the look of beading water, but after getting water spots off my mother's Corvette (omg it was awful) I really don't want a repeat experience when I can't reach all the paint without a stepladder anyways.

What is a rinseless wash? Does it work when there is actual grime on the paint? When it's horse show season, the truck is on the go too much to be washed regularly so has an actual layer of dirt and grime.

Cluelessone
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:06 am
Location: Chicagoland
Grass Type: Cool season blend
Lawn Size: 15,000 sq ft
Mower: Deere rider, Ego push

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Cluelessone »

@Baretta

Thank you for the tips! Unless you're referencing your own wife, I am a female myself and don't hit from that side of the plate lol. I could give a whirl on my beater though (Jeep Renegade). The truck doesn't move unless it's hauling - 1 truck tire = 4 Jeep tires haha

I've heard good things about the Turtle Wax ceramic stuff - bang for buck wise. I don't know if I'm going to go that route, but if I do that's what I'll try! I'm going to look into those brushes now, thanks!

User avatar
Baretta
Posts: 496
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:40 pm
Location: Port Coquitlam, BC
Grass Type: Front-TTTF mix, Fenced-No Mix
Lawn Size: 3500 sq ft
Mower: Honda HRR216

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Baretta »

@Cluelessone

Oops! Clearly I couldn't spot you in the photo. :pardon:
Front - Essential/Houndog 8/Rhizing Moon TTTF and Chantilly Creeping Red Fescue, Fenced - No Mix

Baretta's 2020 Lawn Journal + Reno

Baretta's 2021 Lawn Journal

quattljl
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:51 am
Location: Fort Mill, SC
Grass Type: Zoysia
Lawn Size: 2500
Mower: Toro Recycler

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by quattljl »

Cluelessone wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:35 pm
What is a rinseless wash? Does it work when there is actual grime on the paint? When it's horse show season, the truck is on the go too much to be washed regularly so has an actual layer of dirt and grime.
Rinseless washing is a process that allows you to wash a vehicle without having to rinse the soap off afterwards (because you aren't using soap). You're able to go directly from washing to drying. You would still pre-rinse or pressure wash any dirt build up off the vehicle before washing (if needed), but after you would either pre-soak with your rinseless solution or immediately begin washing (depends on how dirty and caked on the crud is). For vehicles that are just dirty from driving, it works really well. If there's a lot of mud or salt build up, it may not be the best solution, imo.

User avatar
ColeLawn
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:11 am
Location: 6B
Grass Type: Weeds
Lawn Size: 1,400sf
Mower: JD 14PZ

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by ColeLawn »

You've gotten some answers already but here's my take...
Cluelessone wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 am
1) Clay bar/wax. My god, clay barring this thing is something I dread every year. Any tips to make it easier and/or faster? Wax isn't bad but I've always been chicken on buffers, I do everything by hand at the moment - recommendations (and mental soothing) for buffers that won't make me pee myself when I go to use them?
Use synthetic clay (Griots, Mothers at AutoZone). I personally use the AutoScrub sponges from NanoSkin. Nothing beats traditional clay bar though. As for waxing, if you want to apply wax by buffer then just get a GG6 with a waxing pad and it's literally impossible to screw up. Keep in mind, the hardest part of waxing isn't applying it, but removing it, and a buffer doesn't help with this. I have corrected my cars numerous times and I still spread wax by hand. The spreading of wax is therapeutic, the removal will leave you sore.

My favorite is Collinite 476s + Beadmaker. YouTube Collinite 845 + Beadmaker and follow the same process. It is my favorite LSP by far and I have tried plenty of them.

Turtle Wax Seal n Shine is also really good as a cheap, quick fix, but it is very finicky to apply. I tried it last season but will likely just stick to Collinite + Beadmaker this year. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Your other option is to get the truck coated, but that's a whole new level of expensive and, IMO, takes away from the fun of being a DIY detailer. I want to be able to strip wash my car whenever I want to try something new. Not going to do that after dropping $1-2k on a coating.
Cluelessone wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 am
2) Wheel cleaning. With my tiny hands, I can normally get to the inside nooks and crannies but around the calipers it gets difficult. Good brushes to use?
ProElite Easy Reach brush at AutoZone is the best wheel brush I have used. Just recognize it's a $13 brush and will not last a lifetime. I went through two last summer with heavy use (my brothers wash their cars at my house).
Cluelessone wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 am
3) I am ignorant to ceramic coatings. Can someone give me a quick overview, or a good source to read through? Recommendations on affordable coatings?
Can't help you there. I prefer traditional methods since I like to detail my cars and try new products from time to time..
Cluelessone wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 am
4) Foam cannon. Explain this to me, or a good source to read?
Foam gun/cannon sprays a ton of soap onto the vehicle prior to washing. This not only "cleans" the surface prior to contact wash, but also provides lubrication for the contact wash so cut back on any marring/scratching that is caused from contact washes.

If you aren't interested in going with a pressure washer + foam cannon + accessories (think backpack sprayers of the automotive world), then go with a hose end foam gun (think OTC hose end liquid herbicides). Foam guns aren't 100% necessary, but one of those things that you won't be able to live without after owning it. I would never wash my cars nowadays without foaming first; it makes me cringe when I think about it now. I don't know why (probably because I've spent hundreds of hours correcting my cars' paint over the years...).


Hope that helps and nice truck!

Cluelessone
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:06 am
Location: Chicagoland
Grass Type: Cool season blend
Lawn Size: 15,000 sq ft
Mower: Deere rider, Ego push

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Cluelessone »

ColeLawn wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:34 pm
You've gotten some answers already but here's my take...
Cluelessone wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 am
1) Clay bar/wax. My god, clay barring this thing is something I dread every year. Any tips to make it easier and/or faster? Wax isn't bad but I've always been chicken on buffers, I do everything by hand at the moment - recommendations (and mental soothing) for buffers that won't make me pee myself when I go to use them?
Use synthetic clay (Griots, Mothers at AutoZone). I personally use the AutoScrub sponges from NanoSkin. Nothing beats traditional clay bar though. As for waxing, if you want to apply wax by buffer then just get a GG6 with a waxing pad and it's literally impossible to screw up. Keep in mind, the hardest part of waxing isn't applying it, but removing it, and a buffer doesn't help with this. I have corrected my cars numerous times and I still spread wax by hand. The spreading of wax is therapeutic, the removal will leave you sore.

My favorite is Collinite 476s + Beadmaker. YouTube Collinite 845 + Beadmaker and follow the same process. It is my favorite LSP by far and I have tried plenty of them.

Turtle Wax Seal n Shine is also really good as a cheap, quick fix, but it is very finicky to apply. I tried it last season but will likely just stick to Collinite + Beadmaker this year. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Your other option is to get the truck coated, but that's a whole new level of expensive and, IMO, takes away from the fun of being a DIY detailer. I want to be able to strip wash my car whenever I want to try something new. Not going to do that after dropping $1-2k on a coating.
Cluelessone wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 am
2) Wheel cleaning. With my tiny hands, I can normally get to the inside nooks and crannies but around the calipers it gets difficult. Good brushes to use?
ProElite Easy Reach brush at AutoZone is the best wheel brush I have used. Just recognize it's a $13 brush and will not last a lifetime. I went through two last summer with heavy use (my brothers wash their cars at my house).
Cluelessone wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 am
3) I am ignorant to ceramic coatings. Can someone give me a quick overview, or a good source to read through? Recommendations on affordable coatings?
Can't help you there. I prefer traditional methods since I like to detail my cars and try new products from time to time..
Cluelessone wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:07 am
4) Foam cannon. Explain this to me, or a good source to read?
Foam gun/cannon sprays a ton of soap onto the vehicle prior to washing. This not only "cleans" the surface prior to contact wash, but also provides lubrication for the contact wash so cut back on any marring/scratching that is caused from contact washes.

If you aren't interested in going with a pressure washer + foam cannon + accessories (think backpack sprayers of the automotive world), then go with a hose end foam gun (think OTC hose end liquid herbicides). Foam guns aren't 100% necessary, but one of those things that you won't be able to live without after owning it. I would never wash my cars nowadays without foaming first; it makes me cringe when I think about it now. I don't know why (probably because I've spent hundreds of hours correcting my cars' paint over the years...).


Hope that helps and nice truck!
Thanks! She works hard but I do try and keep her nice. I can't afford to replace her, with the current prices!

I'm going to look into all your suggestions - that brush looks perfect for my deep-but-not-offset wheels (hate, hate, hate trucks with big offsets, took me forever to find decent wheels that came in + or at least zero).

Jwsjr
TLF Supporter
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 4:26 pm
Location: Central MS
Grass Type: Geo zoysia and 419
Lawn Size: 12K sf
Mower: Toro ProStripe

New polisher reca

Post by Jwsjr »

My 10 year old Makita finally bit the bullet. Looking for recommendations on a replacement. I am a buy once / cry once kind of guy. Looking at the Rupes line I think. So many newer models available. As this will be my only polisher/buffer can anyone point me in right direction?

TroyScherer
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:37 pm
Location: Ohio
Grass Type: TTTF mutt mix
Lawn Size: 12k
Mower: Honda HRX

Re: New polisher reca

Post by TroyScherer »

Jwsjr wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:18 am
My 10 year old Makita finally bit the bullet. Looking for recommendations on a replacement. I am a buy once / cry once kind of guy. Looking at the Rupes line I think. So many newer models available. As this will be my only polisher/buffer can anyone point me in right direction?

Saying a 10yr old Makita make me think you were running a rotary but I want to confirm that.

Both Rupes and Flex have DA and Rotary polishers that are top of the line.

The Flex "Gear driven" DA's I think are a little better in the gear driven space. And since they are gear driven you don't worry about Pad stall of DA's

The Rupes "BigFoot" DA's the 15 and 21 are the better true DA's if you are looking for the newer long through options in my opinion. I personally have an old 15es. I can use it for almost everything except really small tight areas.

If you are looking for a rotary I think both companies make good units. I have a Flex rotary that I really like.


Another thing to think about is the newer Flex battery powered tools. They are being highly rated and reviewed. If you don't use the polishers all the time the battery option might be something to consider.

Jwsjr
TLF Supporter
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 4:26 pm
Location: Central MS
Grass Type: Geo zoysia and 419
Lawn Size: 12K sf
Mower: Toro ProStripe

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Jwsjr »

Made the decision on Rupes LHR21 Mark III. Ordered online… then figured I’d just check to make sure no’ one locally carries them. Incredibly I found 1 20 miles from my house. Let me say this… OMG!!!!!!! Had no idea how much difference there actually is. Been polishing boat, music cranked up, couple of beverages of choice on tap. Happy boy.

User avatar
Baretta
Posts: 496
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:40 pm
Location: Port Coquitlam, BC
Grass Type: Front-TTTF mix, Fenced-No Mix
Lawn Size: 3500 sq ft
Mower: Honda HRR216

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Baretta »

What's everybody's go-to combination for cutting and polishing? Pads, compounds and polishes.
Front - Essential/Houndog 8/Rhizing Moon TTTF and Chantilly Creeping Red Fescue, Fenced - No Mix

Baretta's 2020 Lawn Journal + Reno

Baretta's 2021 Lawn Journal

Jwsjr
TLF Supporter
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 4:26 pm
Location: Central MS
Grass Type: Geo zoysia and 419
Lawn Size: 12K sf
Mower: Toro ProStripe

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Jwsjr »

I’m anxious to hear some responses on this as well. I just processed the Rupes DA, the Rupes pads ( foam and wool) as well
as Rupes cutting and polishing compound. I was extremely pleased but can only compare it to 3M products. Definitely like much better than those.

User avatar
Baretta
Posts: 496
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:40 pm
Location: Port Coquitlam, BC
Grass Type: Front-TTTF mix, Fenced-No Mix
Lawn Size: 3500 sq ft
Mower: Honda HRR216

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Baretta »

Jwsjr wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:48 am
I’m anxious to hear some responses on this as well. I just processed the Rupes DA, the Rupes pads ( foam and wool) as well
as Rupes cutting and polishing compound. I was extremely pleased but can only compare it to 3M products. Definitely like much better than those.
Some youtubers that I follow like Jescar Correction Compound and Sonax Perfect Finish with blue and yellow Rupes pads.
Front - Essential/Houndog 8/Rhizing Moon TTTF and Chantilly Creeping Red Fescue, Fenced - No Mix

Baretta's 2020 Lawn Journal + Reno

Baretta's 2021 Lawn Journal

AndyS
TLF Supporter
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:09 am
Location: Avon Lake, Ohio
Grass Type: KBG
Lawn Size: 15000 sq. ft.
Mower: Toro Timemaster

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by AndyS »

Baretta wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:28 pm
What's everybody's go-to combination for cutting and polishing? Pads, compounds and polishes.
I’ve completely left foam pads behind unless finishing with a really fine polish (or polishing with just water, or water and a polish mix).

For years I’ve used Meguiars microfiber pads for almost everything. Kevin Brown makes some micro-sized ones for air-powered micro-polishers. Or at least he did... It’s a while since I purchased.

I don’t do heavy correction personally. I’d rather spend more time with less aggressive products since I’m not on the clock. I use a paint depth gauge to make sure I’m not going too crazy. For regular correction I find M205 as good as anything. For finishing polishes I go Menzerna. I find keeping the pads clean and removing residue from the work area to be most of the battle vs. finding the perfect products.

gregonfire
TLF Supporter
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:52 pm
Location: Southern NJ
Grass Type: PRG + NoMix
Lawn Size: 12,000sqft
Mower: Honda HRX217

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by gregonfire »

Washed mine and my wife's cars this weekend. Trying out a couple new products that were recommended to me.

CarPro Reset soap (new)
Gtechniq W6 wheel and brake cleaner (new)
CG VRP dressing for tires
CG V07 while drying

Overall very happy with the soap and W6. Definitely want to get a foam cannon setup in the future. W6 works great for cleaning brake dust off the brembos.

Image
Image

Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PNW_George
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 3:35 pm
Location: Seattle/Tacoma
Grass Type: Fine Fescue
Lawn Size: 12,000
Mower: Dennis G860

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by PNW_George »

For those with CarPro CQuartz Finest or similar ceramic coating, other than washing, how do you maintain it in addition to regular washing?

The 2016 X6 is my wife’s car, ordered, not picked from the lot, and when it arrived, asked the dealer not to touch, wash or detail it and took it directly from the dealer to the detail shop for the ceramic coating.

A couple weeks later took it back for either a Reload or HydrO2 application, I can’t remember what they applied for sure but it was included in the deal.

Over the 5 plus years I’ve owned the car I’ve always kept the car garaged and washed it regularly using the two-bucket method, actually 4 buckets since I wash the wheels first and then the car with fresh mitts and buckets. I probably haven't done too much damage since it only has 40K miles and she drives our 2000 Land Cruiser if the weather is really nasty or if it snows.

What I haven’t done is apply a maintenance coating like Reload on a regular basis. Going forward I intend to and want to be sure I do it correctly. I’m thinking I can get by with once a year since we really don’t put that many miles on it.

I spent the better part of a day giving my wife’s X6 the full treatment last spring but not sure I did in in the right order or if I missed anything. I plan on going through the process again this spring and I’ll admit to losing my enthusiasm for washing. It takes so long to do it right and I can’t stand not doing it as well as I possibly can.

Here are the steps I took:

1) Used a Kranzle K499TST pressure washer to take most of the dirt off the car and wheels.
2) Washed the wheels with the two-bucket method, rinsed with pressure washer
3) Used CarPro Reset Shampoo and a soap cannon to soak the car.
4) Used fresh mitts and water and washed car with two-bucket method
5) Rinsed with pressure washer and lightly dried with towel
6) Sprayed on CarPro IronX, let sit and rubbed it with damp microfiber towel
7) Rinsed well with pressure washer, dried with microfiber and waffle towels
8) Used Master Blaster car dryer/blower to get all water out of door and panel seams.
9) Sprayed on CarPro Reload, quarter panel at a time, buffed in with microfiber with a bit of reload on it, buffed again with different clean microfiber, changing to new towels as they got damp.

Anything I ‘m missing, other than just taking it in to the detailer once a year to get the full treatment and save my time? They aren't too bad but removing some stubborn water spots is one other area I could work on. They are a bigger problem on my older black 335i that I had corrected and coated after my wife's car.

TroyScherer
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:37 pm
Location: Ohio
Grass Type: TTTF mutt mix
Lawn Size: 12k
Mower: Honda HRX

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by TroyScherer »

Your process looks really solid.

I will say that if you are getting 5+ years out of CQF then you are doing really well since they have a 2 year warranty. I have gotten over 3 years on the more regular CQUK.



I also have a Master Blaster car dryer and one thing I do to make the dying part easier is after rinsing I use the water sheeting method to get as much water off the surface as possible. Then using the blower is just to get the rest and the cracks and hard to do parts done. It has sped up that part of my process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNiJ4TL1BP8



As far as the regular maintenance stuff and what "topper" product I am using it depends on my mood. I really like and still use Reload but I also use a few other. Here is a list of what I have and use. I have moved away from regular QD's and prefer to use waterless wash product with protection as I think that are safer in caring for the paint and not scratching things.

- Reload - The original and still one of my favs.

- CarPro EliXir or ECH2O - I prefer ECH2O since it is a mix as you go product that was built to have cleaning and protection built in. EliXir is just a ready to use evolution of ECH2O

- Koch Chemie's Fse - QD with some minor water spot remover in it.

- P&S Bead Maker - Some may say it is over hyped. But for me it is cost effective and it does what is is supposed to. Helps dry the vehicle and leaves a little gloss and slickness.

- McKee's 37 SiO2 Rinseless Wash - Can be mixed as a waterless wash or as and Si02 QD. It leaves a great slickness and since it is a "wash" product it has some extra cleaner as well and to me is almost safer than using a straight spray sealant.

User avatar
PNW_George
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 3:35 pm
Location: Seattle/Tacoma
Grass Type: Fine Fescue
Lawn Size: 12,000
Mower: Dennis G860

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by PNW_George »

TroyScherer wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 11:35 am
Your process looks really solid.

I also have a Master Blaster car dryer and one thing I do to make the dying part easier is after rinsing I use the water sheeting method to get as much water off the surface as possible. Then using the blower is just to get the rest and the cracks and hard to do parts done. It has sped up that part of my process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNiJ4TL1BP8

I have moved away from regular QD's and prefer to use waterless wash product with protection as I think that are safer in caring for the paint and not scratching things.

- Reload - The original and still one of my favs.

- CarPro EliXir or ECH2O - I prefer ECH2O since it is a mix as you go product that was built to have cleaning and protection built in. EliXir is just a ready to use evolution of ECH2O

- Koch Chemie's Fse - QD with some minor water spot remover in it.

- P&S Bead Maker - Some may say it is over hyped. But for me it is cost effective and it does what is is supposed to. Helps dry the vehicle and leaves a little gloss and slickness.

- McKee's 37 SiO2 Rinseless Wash - Can be mixed as a waterless wash or as and Si02 QD. It leaves a great slickness and since it is a "wash" product it has some extra cleaner as well and to me is almost safer than using a straight spray sealant.
Thanks. I am familiar with the sheeting method but even though I have a dedicated hose for the pressure washer I need to disconnect the Eley comfort grip spray nozzle on my longer hose and that is a pain since the main shutoff is on the other side of the house and the nozzle doesn't have the correct flow to make sheeting work. I don't know why I haven't tried just unscrewing the cleaning nozzle and seeing if that provides a better sheeting flow.

I've never tried the waterless wash products even though I think I have some. I'll research the products you mentioned. Thanks again.

User avatar
Baretta
Posts: 496
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:40 pm
Location: Port Coquitlam, BC
Grass Type: Front-TTTF mix, Fenced-No Mix
Lawn Size: 3500 sq ft
Mower: Honda HRR216

Re: DIY Auto Detailing

Post by Baretta »

Did some Black Friday on-line shopping from https://carzilla.ca/
Front - Essential/Houndog 8/Rhizing Moon TTTF and Chantilly Creeping Red Fescue, Fenced - No Mix

Baretta's 2020 Lawn Journal + Reno

Baretta's 2021 Lawn Journal

Post Reply