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Ultimate detailing guide by ItsThaMonsta

Here is an ultimate car detailing guide that I have put together to share with anyone who want to have their car looking its best. I’ll get right into this. Here are the things needed. I personally prefer meguiars products so assume that all products I list are from them.

1. A lot of time. I may just be really slow but it took me about 4 hours to completely detail the car. (excluding interior and wheels/tires)

2. A lot of microfiber small towels and a few big ones and 2 microfiber wash mitts. O yeah, applicator pads for waxing.

3. Clay bar set which includes clay bar, wax and quick detail spray. It would be wise to have a regular sized bottle of wax as well because the one that comes with the set is really small.

4. Car wash. No cheap stuff. OK OK I know I said all meguiars but I used turtle wax ice. Its still a really good product though.

5. Dawn or Palmolive dish washing liquid.

6. 2 small buckets and a garden hose with a sprayer.

7. Patience!!!! This takes awhile. After a couple hours you may start to half-ass the job because of how long its taking especially with the Lotus funny shaped parts and getting inside the doors and other fiberglass areas.

8. Caution: Be cautious of the starshield if you have it. You can clay and wax and do whatever to it, but be kind of cautious not to clay right from the car and over to the shield all at once. This is so that you do not accidently lift the edges of the shield.

Shall we begin? YES!!!

Part 1: Let us begin by filling one of the buckets about halfway with water and pouring in some dawn dish washing liquid. Take one of the wash mitts and begin going over the car with the solution. Don’t be subtle with how damp the mitt is. Your pretty much just soaking the car and cutting through the old wax. Afterwards COMPLETELY rinse off the car. You don’t want to leave dawn sitting on it. Ok now the bucket and wash mitt are obsolete. Put them somewhere where you will not accidently pick them up and use them again for this process.

Part 2: Now wash the car again but this time use the other bucket and the real car wash. Make sure you get every spot in case you missed some soap from before. Open up the doors and use a regular micro towel and get the fiberglass areas inside the doors. Ok now rinse the car off and COMPLETELY dry it.

Part 3: Now its time to grab a clay bar and the quick detail spray. Stretch out the clay a little bit. When one part of it gets grimy just fold it and stretch it and reveal a clean section again. 1 clay bar can do the whole car. Do this small sections at a time. Spray the detail spray on a section and begin to glide the clay over the moist section. You can hear and feel the clay working. When the task is complete the clay will glide over the surface without ANY noise. If you use too much detail spray then you might not hear it working as well BUT it will still do the job. After each section wipe the area with a new microfiber towel. If done correct the car should feel ultra smooth. In the case of the Lotus it should feel like glass. Don’t fret if you don’t “feel” this smoothness because that area has to be completely dry after the clay and your hands need to be dry as well to feel. If you still don’t feel it after that then you did something wrong. Continue and do the entire car. I wouldn’t worry about completely drying each section to perfection just to feel the smoothness each time because more steps and washes are coming. But the clay part is complete. Don’t forget to get inside the doors as well.

Part 4: Wash the car again with the car wash to remove any clay residue left over. Rinse and COMPLETELY dry.

Part 5: Waxing. Apply wax (I use a fairly generous amount) an applicator pad and wax sections of the car at a time. After each section the move to the next. AFTER you finish the next section go back to the previous one and wipe down that area with a new microfiber towel to smooth out and remove any wax that’s left. You will use a couple applicator pads and micro towels because they may become damp with wax and will not work too well anymore. Well the towel to wipe away excess wax shouldn’t get too damp. Don’t forget the insides of the doors. I will not let your forget.

Part 6: Final detail. I used a bottle of meguiars ultimate detailer. This one is different than the quick detail that came with the clay set. Just spray and wipe over the entire car. And of course you know what not to forget by now.

Your car should look fantastic by now. I guarantee it’s better than any showroom floor look you have ever seen. There is another tutorial around for tips on “washing”. I know I didn’t go in depth on that but there are strategies as well for the actual washing that you do 3 times during this process. Again, just have a look at the sticky in this forum for that. Personally I did this inside a garage and had the garage door lifted only enough so that the water could run out of the garage and into the drain.

THE END….
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sorry for the bad images.....





 

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Detailing a Lotus:

Hose it down, drive it to air dry.

Drive frequently to blow the dust off.

Repeat once every 3 months or so.

End. The day I spend 4 hours washing/waxing a car is the end of days.

But if that's what floats your boat...

Doesn't look like you have starshield on your car.
 

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Thanks for the write-up. I have never tried the clay bar - might have the guts to give it a go now - (If nothing else, now I know why I drop $ at the detail shop). rotfl
 
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