Why is it important to wash my car? How often should I wash my car?

  

This is a basic question so you think there would be an easy answer, but the truth is there are a lot of variables. Things like where you live, climate, and whether the vehicle is parked or stored.  So there really is no right answer but here’s my take:  Everyday, your investment is getting bombarded with everything nature can throw at it, not to mention many man-made dangers.  These can be things such as acid rain, bugs,  bird poo, industrial fallout (little surface rust spots), brake dust, tree sap, pollen, and tar, road salt, just to name a few. Without proper maintenance washing, these dangers either start to bond to your paint, etch it, or even eat right through it.   Unfortunately there is no miracle product available that will protect your paint if it is neglected and this is why it is so important to routinely wash your vehicle. Now for some positive news!  Ask us about creating a customized maintenance plan for your vehicle

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How do I detail my car?

Start with the interior. That way  you won't  get the just-cleaned exterior dirty while you're vacuuming and wiping out the inside of the car. 


While the order of steps isn't crucial, here's a sampling of the type of areas you should clean.


Interior


  • Carpets: Vacuum them thoroughly first, then remove any stains with stain remover and a brush. Let the carpets dry completely. For mild stains, dilute the solution with water in a spray bottle. Use as little moisture as possible to prevent mildew. Clean floor mats with a stiff brush and lay them outside to dry thoroughly.
  • Upholstery: Vacuum seats and then remove stains using the same process as you did for carpets. Let the seats dry completely with the car doors open.
  • Door jambs: Open the car door and wipe the metal and plastic parts with a soapy solution. Dry them thoroughly with a rag and then use your smaller tools (Q-tips or brushes) to remove any tougher stains and spots in the area.
  • Door interiors: Clean the non-cloth portions of your door interiors with a soapy solution. Concentrate on all the little cracks and crevices that collect dirt and grime. Dry the entire area with a thick cloth.
  • Windows: Use glass cleaner or soapy solution to really make the inside of your windows shine. Don't worry about the exterior at this point. Dry thoroughly, taking care to erase any streaks.
  • Steering wheel column: Use a soapy solution to remove dust and stains. Dry thoroughly, then apply a surface protectant to the entire surface.
  • Dashboard: Don't spray water or cleaning solution on your dashboard; instead, use your small-area tools and apply the cleaning solution to the tool itself, then carefully clean around knobs and buttons. Dry everything thoroughly.
  • Center console: Use your detailing tools to make sure every seam and indentation in the console is thoroughly cleaned and free of schmutz. Dry with a thick cloth.


Detailing the Exterior


First, park the car out of direct sunlight. This prevents premature drying which can leave splotches on the paint. Washing your car in direct sunlight may also cause it to become hot and the water will evaporate more quickly, making the cleaning process more difficult.


Be sure to set everything you will need ner the car. This includes the car wash detergent, a large supply of water, three buckets (two for washing and one for rinsing), a hose, and microfiber cloths or towels to dry your car. 


You'll also want to have two or three wash mitts plus a large sponge, a stiff scrubbing brush and a separate brush to scrub your tires. 


Fill a bucket with water. Then add car wash soap in the quantity directed on its bottle. This will be your washing bucket. 


If your car is very dirty or if you’d like to have a washing bucket for the body of your car and a separate washing bucket for washing your car’s wheel wells, you can fill two buckets with water and soap.


Fill another bucket with plain water. This will be your rinsing bucket. You only need one bucket for rinsing, whether you’ve chosen to use one or two buckets for washing.


Hose off the car to loosen and soften the dirt.  Don’t use a strong jet of water from the hose, as this can rub grit over the paint and scratch it. Try to aim the jet of water downwards on all surfaces. Aiming upwards around windows may cause water to dribble into the car if there are flaws in the rubber seals.

  • Start with your wheels. Many auto supply stores sell solutions made especially the rubber in your tires, but you can also use the soapy solution you'll use for the rest of the car. Keep in mind that many household detergents can have the undesirable effect of stripping off any existing wax on your car's surface, so it's better to find a car-washing solution without detergent (check your local auto supply store for various brands). Use a pressure hose to knock off stubborn mud and dirt, and use a stiff brush to get the metal parts of your tire sparkling clean.
  • Change the water and grab a few clean rags to wash the rest of your car's body. Give your car a basic, thorough wash with plenty of water and the soapy solution. Wash small areas at a time, starting with the roof, and try not to let the surfaces dry out on their own. You can keep spraying the cleaned portions with the hose until you're ready to do the drying yourself.
  • Take special care to change your dirty rag for a new one when it accumulates too much dirt or sand. You don't want to scratch the finish of your car with the grime on the rag.
  • Use smaller brushes and tools for areas that need more attention, like the rims around your headlights and tail lights, the indentations in door handles, and side mirrors. Make sure to keep rinsing everything with clean water.
  • Once the entire body of the car has been thoroughly cleaned, dry it off with a clean chamois or a microfiber towel. Use your tools to dry water lying in cracks or in window wells. Now is the time to wax your car if you desire. After waxing your car, you may find small areas of wax deposit or dust after it dries thoroughly.
  • The last thing you want to do is make the outside of the windshield and each window free from streaks and drips. 

While it may seem like a lot of work, it's a good idea to detail your car every few months. It will keep your car's surfaces and finishes healthy and protected, and will actually lengthen the life of your car. Plus, who doesn't love driving around in a fresh, spotless vehicle?


Don't want to do it yourself? Give us a call and we'll be happy to do it for you!

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What is the difference between your services, your competitors and automatic car washes?

Although our auto detailingservices in Arnold, our competitors in St. Louis and automatic car washes all clean your car, there are big differences. The way you clean your car can greatly will affecti the look of the vehicle over its lifetime. 


While your freshly cleaned car is sitting out in the sun, take a look at the sun’s reflection.  Notice the tiny scratches everywhere, around the outer edges of the sun. These are called swirl marks, which slowly start to rob your car of its true beauty.  


Roughly 85% of this paint damage is caused by improper washing techniques. Whether it's leftover dirt on the brushes from the local tunnel wash repeatedly slamming into your vehicle, or something simple like a hand-wash mitt that’s been used to clean twenty vehicles before yours, the impact can be damaging.  We employ every  precaution to safely clean your vehicle, such as using the finest wash media,  specialty shampoos, buckets with grit guards, and high quality drying towels.  Every vehicle’s current condition will vary, but rest assured we will clean the car properly

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Can paint polishing or car buffing damage my car?

Paint polishing (or car buffing as it is also known) can damage your car if it's done by the wrong person.


The only way to correct paint that is slightly oxidized, dull or swirled (with millions of tiny scratches) is to polish the paint. The key to doing a good job is to patiently and gently polish so you remove as little of the UV protection as possible. It's trickier than it seems. The base coat and clear coat of your paint combined on your car is less than the thickness of a  strand of human hair! 


Some shops and dealerships rush this time-consuming process and use tools, pads and polishes that are too agressive. Then they use polish that contains "fillers" to temporarily ide any damage that they may have caused. 


Be sure to ask about the process before you hire anyone to polish your car.

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What is Detailing Clay? Why is Detailing Clay used on cars?

 Every day you drive, your car is exposed to brake dust, industrial fallout, acid rain deposits and rail dust. These contain tiny pieces of metal that penetrate the clear coat of your car and attack the paint below.  Once the paint is breached, it begins to oxidize and rust can spread beneath the clear coat. This shows up as tiny orange spots, but can lead to total paint system failure. 


Detailing clay glides along the surface of your paint and grabs anything that protrudes from the surface. The article sticks to the clay and is therefore removed from your vehicle.


Used properly, detailing clay is completely safe and nonabrasive. Its a much better option than polishing to remove these contaminants because clay doesn’t remove any paint. 


Detailing Clay also removes stubborn sap, tar, and bug remains. Detailing clay works wonder on glass as well. Try some the next time you’re washing your windows. You’ll be amazed at the results!

Does a vehicle wrap damage car paint?

  

Vehicle wraps do not damage car paint, but improper installation or removal can! A bad install means your vehicle’s paint might get damaged from razor blade scratches, and poor adhesion that ultimately leads to wrap failure. Also, if the wrong type of film is used during the application like a sign vinyl with extra strength adhesive or low flexibility, it can strip your paint and cause serious damage .

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Can Vehicle Wraps be removed?

  

Most definitely. While it is a bit of a tedious process to undertake, we offer wrap removal services as well as installation, and would be happy to assist. Contact us with more information about what type of wrap you would like to have removed & we’ll help you get back to fresh paint.

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