Author Topic: How often do you....  (Read 1983 times)

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Offline BMG

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How often do you....
« on: May 17, 2016, 10:43:11 AM »
Hi Guys,

This might seem like a really simple question but i'm starting to purchase new products & looking for some guidance.

Obviously if you are going to a show or a special trip etc then your car would get a good going over but what is your regular schedule?

I'm thinking wash & wheels every 1-2 weeks...

interior & polish every 4 - 6 weeks

wax every 8-10 weeks

full detail 2 - 3 times a year?

Interested to see what you professionals do ;)

Cheers
Guys

Offline sjs202

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 11:13:04 AM »
Hey BMG.  I don't consider myself a professional but I have been detailing my own cars for a few years now (around 2011 is when I got into it) and have gathered a small collection of products.  My car care routine car is:

Wash every 2-3 weeks (depending on conditions - for example, neighbour has recently been doing his back patio and has been cutting up bricks/mixing concrete!  So once a week recently!).  Use a decent quality car shampoo and a microfiber sponge.  As long as you are careful you can minimise the chance of causing scratches during washing.  Start at the top and work your way down.  I also have a separate sponge I use for the wheels and anything below the body kit side skirts. 

I do a full detail at least once a year in the spring.  If I have time and the weather is decent I will do a second full detail before the worst of the winter - so around end of October time.  In any case it will get a coat of sealant at that point if not a full detail. 

As for wax top ups, this can be left mainly to personal preference.  After a full detail I find it is very easy to wash the car as the dirt just lifts straight off, this effect lasts for about 3-4 months.  So wax top up every 3-4 months then, although no harm in doing it more regularly if you are keen. 

The main thing I find is to be disciplined with cloths.  Get a pack of microfiber cloths and keep them in separate bags labelled for each product.  The Ziploc bags you get for storing food in the freezer are good for this.  If you ever drop a cloth or sponge whilst working, it is basically scrap until it has been fully washed to get the grit out of it. 

If youíre a beginner then I would recommend getting yourself a decent sponge or two, some decent shampoo, a pack of microfiber cloths and a couple of products to try.  You donít have to invest hundreds in a machine polisher as you can still get really great results by hand.

Iíve PMíd you a link to a website that really helped me when I was new to it, it has a really good blog by the guy that runs the outfit that explains all the processes really well, and good product descriptions and reviews.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 11:18:08 AM by sjs202 »
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Offline BMG

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 11:26:04 AM »
Thats great!

Thanks, i've been using mainly autoglym as i got a kit of it a while back & i've been slowly building up other bits so i've now got a wheel brush, sheepskin mitt, pressure washer, just bought some new pads & cloth's to give polishing a go so starting to feel like i could get a decent finish.

Did my girlfriends wheels at the weekend and they looked amazing! (by my standards anyways)

I've seen sealant mentioned a few places, is this an alternative to wax? or after wax?

Offline sjs202

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 09:19:55 PM »
Im not sure of the exact difference between the two. I think selants are synthetic and waxes have more natural products in them. But what I do know is if you use them in combination then the sealant goes on before the wax.
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Offline Brian1612

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2016, 04:19:12 AM »
I would love to give a definitive answer but everybody has their own way of looking after their cars. I am at a point where I am pretty excessive so always struggle to answer these type of questions. I think like myself and most on here, the best thing to do is go on a site like detailing world and read up on guides and products on there. You will find after time your own preferred methods and products, that is all part of the fun of detailing.

Just as a start for you, washing the car every 1-2 weeks is spot on. Ensure it is a 2 bucket method hand wash (google it) and use a good wash applicator like a dooka wash mitt or microfibre madness mitt, DO NOT use a sponge, all these achieve is micro scratches as they don't pick dirt up but simply drag it along your paint work.

Get a good shampoo, plenty out there such as waxaddict, ODK, Carchem and britemax. For your maintenance washes get a nice spray detailer to return the just waxed look. Plenty of good ones out there such as adams, lucas slick mist, bouncers done and dusted.

You shouldn't be polishing your car anymore than 1-2 times per year and remember polishing removes any wax or sealant protection you have on the car. It really depends on the wax, some last as long as 6+ months, others less than 1. Read what the manufacturer claims as a guide but if you are topping it up with your quick detailer each wash it should last a little longer but really, wax as much as you like. I usually wax my car every few weeks if the weather permits it.

Full detail/decontamination I do 2 per year. 1 usually around spring time and the other in preparation for the winter.
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Offline BMG

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2016, 09:55:35 AM »
Thanks Brian,

i appreciate everyone is different but as you say just looking for a starting point, a few weeks ago i wouldnt have known what wax was for, i've had a bottle of polish in my garage for about 4 years and never used it... so very much a beginner :)

I notice you don't mention autoglym on any of your lists, i'm slowly replacing my autoglym as it runs out but is it good enough to be using?

From what you have said it looks as though i have my polish & wax the wrong way round... so

wash 1-2 weeks
interior & wax 4-6 weeks
polish / full detail 1-2 times per year

I think if i aim for that i should be doing ok

Could you please explain what spray detailer & sealant are? and when you would use them?

oh... and just as an afterthought... washing clothes, towels, mitts etc (again something i would have never dreamed of doing before), i'm looking for something i could wash everything car related all at once say once a month?? is that realistic or does everything have to be washed separate with different products?

Cheers
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 10:22:02 AM by BMG »

Offline Brian1612

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 12:34:30 PM »
Autoglym still do some decent stuff BMG and is more than good enough for most although as you use it up, look aroud as there is better stuff on the market. Your new routine now seems bang on the money.

So a spray detailer is a sort of spray on wax type product. Can use it as a drying aid during towel drying the car or on a dry, clean car. They contain a little wax/polymer usually and you use these inbetween waxing the car to add a just waxed look on each maintenance wash. They are very easy o use and are just a case of either a few spirtz on a panel or onto 1 side of a folded MF towel, spread over the panel then flip the cloth to the other side and buff the panel to a glossy finish.

Sealants do the exact same job as a wax in that they protect the paint. However they are a bit more fussy in what they bond too... they like bare paint so if your using something like Autoglym Super resin polish I'd suggest staying clear of a sealant and sticking with a good wax. Sealants are synthetic so man made and usually contain no wax, they will be more durable than a wax but usually lack the depth of shine you get from a nice carnauba based paste wax.

As for cloths etc, these shoud be washed after every use, same with your wash mitt. I wash all my good towels I use for my paint work together along with my wash mitt. Any other more tatty/dirty/older cloths I keep for drying tyres, cleaning door shuts or cleaning engine bays and don't bother washing these. Once they are filthy they are just binned. Finally if you have sponge applicators etc for when polishing or applying waxes, wash these seperate from your cloths as usually all the fibres stick to the applicators if washed together. Alternatively wash the foam applicators in the sink with warm water and washing up liquid.

Best advice I can give is visiting detailing world, do some reading on guides and also read up on reviewed anf suggested products, I write for DW as a reviewer myself and you'll find plenty of help & advice on there. Hope this helps :)
---Abarth 595 Competizione Owner---
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Offline BMG

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2016, 12:40:26 PM »
I just found this....



apart from it using the word sponge it looks pretty good to me

i've been looking around detailing world all morning since you mentioned it :) there's loads of great stuff on there!


Offline Brian1612

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2016, 05:36:13 PM »
It's the best site of its kind I reckon. Think the polishing step is more aimed at machine polishing but of course, just the 1 stage for your hand polishing. Maintain is as I said using quick detailer.

Good little diagram tho! Happy detailing!
---Abarth 595 Competizione Owner---
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-H&R Springs
-12mm & 16mm Spacers
-Mtech Short Shifter
-LED rear lamps
-CF Front Splitter
-CF Dipped Dash
-Yellow Exterior Details (Scuderia Stripes/Scorpions)
-Aluminium Speaker Covers & Plaque

Offline Nilbri

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2016, 08:56:44 AM »
Sealing. I never use vax
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Offline CJ

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2016, 10:23:36 PM »
Sealing. I never use vax

What is vax? a hoover?  ;D
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Offline sjs202

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Re: How often do you....
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 10:06:38 PM »
To clarify on my above post this is what I mwant by microfibre sponge!

http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/washing-and-drying/microfibre-wash-sponge/prod_13.html

As Brian says don't use a conventional sponge as they cause scratches!
A500  |  2010  |  pasodoble red  |  white petal alloy wheels  |  white side-stripes & mirrors  |  BMC air filter  |  Forge intake hose  |  Mtec short shifter  |  DNA chassis braces - subframe & lateral  |  Maxton front splitter  |  12/16mm wheel spacers