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Auto Detailing Tips

Interested In Detailing Your Own Vehicle?

Before taking on a task as involved as detailing your car, there are a few things you should know. Here are our top PRO tips that our technicians wanted to share.

Rinse before washing

Rinsing your car before washing removes any of the loose dirt and grime that, when scrubbing, could scratch your paint. It also reveals any dirt that will be harder to clean and will need to be targeted by your second wash.

Use the right soap, special for washing cars

Make sure you’re using a soap that’s made for cleaning cars. Other soaps, such as Dawn, are full of chemicals that can damage your car’s paint. Save your Dawn for dishes and seek out a soap tailored for your vehicle.

Leave the sponges for the dishes, too, and stick to a microfiber cloth or mitt.

It’s all about the type of cloth. Traditionally, sponges were the go-to tool for washing cars, but now it’s all about microfiber cloths. They offer lower friction and greater efficiency for a seamless wash and dry.

Rinse your cloth/mitt in a separate bucket to avoid streak marks and rinse it often

Have two buckets when cleaning your car: one with soap and one with water. Avoid putting dirty water back onto the car. Dirt particles can easily cause damage to the paint so try to rinse your cloth as clean as possible before getting back to work.

Do it out of the sun

Washing your car in the sunlight causes the water to evaporate quicker. The soap can stain your paint if not wiped off, causing hard water spots that are really difficult to remove. Doing it out of direct sunlight allows you to take your time.

Apply a protective film

To protect your paint from chips, apply a thin, clear, rubbery paint film to your hood. The film really does reduce paint chip damage, and you can buy it online and only takes a few hours to put on. It’s a fairly simple process but takes practice.

If you’re up for the challenge of detailing your own car, here are some of the products our professionals use and recommend:

WORK HORSE All Purpose Cleaner

Technician’s Choice: WORK HORSE All Purpose Cleaner is our go-to for removing dirt and stains from fabric, vinyl, leather, and carpeting. Even better, it’s VOC/OTC Compliant and contains no chlorinated solvents while also maintaining excellent emulsifying properties. This is our detailer Ja’Chai’s “all-time favorite product.” Ja’Chai says that he gets the best results using his little trick– “steam the carpet first. It loosens everything that’s been matted into the carpet, and you get much better results.” This is a product that Ja’Chai has used for a couple of years and even has at home.

WORK HORSE All Purpose Cleaner

Technician’s Choice: Optimum Polymer Technologies HYPER POLISH is the first and only sprayable polish on the market. By spraying the polish, you’re less likely to over-apply and gum up your applicator. That being said, sprayable polish is a skill that is acquired with practice. We don’t recommend ‘just going for it’ your first time. Ja’Chai urges users without experience using their hands first to apply the polish. The product isn’t cheap, so be sure to take your time when applying it and start with less, working your way up. 

CORRECT-IT Clay Lubricant

Technician’s Choice: CORRECT-IT Clay Lubricant is a water-based silicone formula and is a key component in the process of making your vehicles shine. It removes buffing throw-off, brake dust and works on chrome, glass, and dark vehicles without streaking. Ja’Chai says this works best after washing the car first when he’s doing a complete detail. He says that “By waiting until it’s recommended use, you’re allowing the product to do its full job” and also saving yourself potential scratches in your paint.

Ceramic Detail Spray

Technician’s Choice: CERAMIC DETAIL SPRAY can be used as standalone or with a regime, delivers exceptional gloss and slickness to the treated surfaces, along with protection, it can be used over and over again. It is highly substantive, so only a few sprays per panel on both wet and dry is needed for adequate coverage. The versatile product can be used on all exterior surfaces, including glass, plastic trip, chrome, moldings, and wheels. Our detailer, Ja’Chai, offers his top tip with this product﹘“Less is more.” He urges users not to go crazy with it. As tempting as it is when you start to see the shine it gives, using more will not give you any more gloss than just a few sprays will.

Having a clean car is safer, better for your car, and when you look good, you feel good.

There are really no reasons you shouldn’t detail your car, whether yourself or by a professional. So go ahead, get your car professionally detailed, or spend the quality time and learn to do it yourself. Either way, there’s no reason not to. We rarely come across a choice in life in which there are all pros and no cons. After all, your vehicle is the second largest investment you make next to your home. Taking care of your car requires more than just your regular car wash, and it’s time to take it off the backburner.

Detailing a car is an art and a process not to be rushed. Typically, a complete detail in our shop takes 4-6 hours depending on the vehicle’s size and its condition. Curious about why it takes us so long to do a complete detail? Head over to our detailing breakdown and learn what all goes into a complete detail at ProCare Collision Center.

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ProCare Collision Center, Auto Body Repair & Painting, Omaha, NE

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Mon–Fri: 8:00AM – 5:30PM Saturdays By Appointment

ProCare Collision Center

Auto Body Repair & Service in Omaha, Nebraska Serving Omaha, Ralston, La Vista, Papillion, Elkhorn, Fremont, Council Bluffs, Chalco, Bellevue, Carter Lake and surrounding areas.

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