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Has anyone detailed their car yet; on their own? I've had my ES for a little over two weeks now and shamefully admit that I haven't cleaned it yet, which will change this coming week. Anyone have any good things to say about specific brands? I have always used Meguiar's products and have been pretty impressed besides I have yet to find a perfect tire dressing that lasts more than a week. ? The dealer detailed the car before I picked it up and I must say that the Jax Wax tire shine they used is still about half on the tires and I've driven through rain three times so far. I have researched Jax Wax and The Chemical Guys, which are both expensive brands but I've seen good things. I'd appreciate the help if anyone has suggestions!
 

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I'm no detailer but I've always just used that Meguiars car wash soap that comes in the pink/purple bottle. Think it's like $5 at Walmart. Then during the week since I live in Arizona farm country I keep it spiffy with a California duster and some Quick Detailer. I literally have to clean the bugs off the front every night or else I'm forced to wash the car again which I am not a fan of in 100+ degree heat. I recently bought a Chemical Guys clay bar mitt and some soap to go with it. I'd like to see if I can find some detailing brushes that will help with cleaning bugs out of the little crevices on the front.
 

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I'm no detailer but I've always just used that Meguiars car wash soap that comes in the pink/purple bottle. Think it's like $5 at Walmart. Then during the week since I live in Arizona farm country I keep it spiffy with a California duster and some Quick Detailer. I literally have to clean the bugs off the front every night or else I'm forced to wash the car again which I am not a fan of in 100+ degree heat. I recently bought a Chemical Guys clay bar mitt and some soap to go with it. I'd like to see if I can find some detailing brushes that will help with cleaning bugs out of the little crevices on the front.
I do the same thing every night with the bugs... I use a mixture of griots, chemical guys and Adams polishes... Can't go wrong... Most of the chemical guys and Adams are almost identical.
 

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So, I detail professionally for a living. Here's the first thing I'm going to say:

Meguiar's waxes are garbage. They make a good quick detailer and their cutting/polishing compounds are good. Waxes? Absolute trash.

For washing, I use Meguiar's Gold Class and this is pretty much an industry standard. It's cheap, provides plenty of lubricity to wash away the dirt without leaving fine scratches in the clear. If you're compounding fine scratches in the clear coat then there are a few products I would recommend: 3D HD Speed, Megs 105/205 combination, or for super, super fine scratches, then Griot's Complete Compound. Griot's is more of a finishing polish than a compound though.

To get the bugs off: dryer sheets. No joke. You might think that they will scratch the clear, but they won't. Nothing works better for getting bugs and tar off of a car and, again, it's pretty much an industry standard. I know you're looking at this text like I'm an insane person, but I urge you to try it out. Seriously. You just dip a sheet in your wash water bucket and go to town.

I also recommend a paint sealant before you wax. I personally use Chemical Guy's V07 Hybrid. Mostly because it's super easy to apply and works damned well. If you keep your car in a garage you'll easily get 6 months of protection out of it. For wax, I use Collinite 845. This stuff is BEAST. It goes on super, super thin (I can do a whole care with not but a few drops of it). I recommend using a buffer to apply - it goes on way, way too thick by hand and becomes a bit of a pain to wipe off.

I'd be happy to field any detailing questions you guys have, so fire away.

This is what my method and products achieve. Here's how it started - scratched all to **** and buffer trails all over the damned thing:





And this is how it looked when I finished it:

 

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garage fridge

These are the products that I have right now that I use... Sone of the stuff came for free from Hyundai in a detail kit they gave me gave me when I bought the car.



I now need a fridge in my garge!
 
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So, I detail professionally for a living. Here's the first thing I'm going to say:

Meguiar's waxes are garbage. They make a good quick detailer and their cutting/polishing compounds are good. Waxes? Absolute trash.

For washing, I use Meguiar's Gold Class and this is pretty much an industry standard. It's cheap, provides plenty of lubricity to wash away the dirt without leaving fine scratches in the clear. If you're compounding fine scratches in the clear coat then there are a few products I would recommend: 3D HD Speed, Megs 105/205 combination, or for super, super fine scratches, then Griot's Complete Compound. Griot's is more of a finishing polish than a compound though.

To get the bugs off: dryer sheets. No joke. You might think that they will scratch the clear, but they won't. Nothing works better for getting bugs and tar off of a car and, again, it's pretty much an industry standard. I know you're looking at this text like I'm an insane person, but I urge you to try it out. Seriously. You just dip a sheet in your wash water bucket and go to town.

I also recommend a paint sealant before you wax. I personally use Chemical Guy's V07 Hybrid. Mostly because it's super easy to apply and works damned well. If you keep your car in a garage you'll easily get 6 months of protection out of it. For wax, I use Collinite 845. This stuff is BEAST. It goes on super, super thin (I can do a whole care with not but a few drops of it). I recommend using a buffer to apply - it goes on way, way too thick by hand and becomes a bit of a pain to wipe off.

I'd be happy to field any detailing questions you guys have, so fire away.

This is what my method and products achieve. Here's how it started - scratched all to **** and buffer trails all over the damned thing:





And this is how it looked when I finished it:
I cringed so hard looking at that HOLY MOLY. I would be beyond upset if I received something like that and it's also a reason I've been told by many to tell the dealership ahead of time that you don't want them to detail it at all. Leave all of the plastics on and bring the vehicle as such.
 

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@Voodoo Idol I really appreciate your information and expertise being passed down! Sounds like you know what you're talking about. I did try the fabric sheet method on my mother-in-laws '15 Corolla and let me tell you; you were right! That bug junk came right off! My next question for you is this: What wax would you recommend using without a buffer? Buying a buffer is currently not in my plans but I will certainly buy one eventually. I know you mentioned that Collinite 845 goes on too thick by hand and that's the method I plan on doing waxing wise. And I completely agree with the use of Meguiar's Gold Glass, that's all I use for washing! Second question, how do you apply a paint sealant because I have actually never used such thing before but my ES will always be parked in a garage and if you say to use it, I'll do just that, especially if you say it will last! Third question, what tire shine do you use? I know I mentioned that my ES came with a JaxWax shine on it and it is still holding up. I've always used Meguiar's tire shine and let me tell you, out of the cheapest to most expensive tire shine they offer, they all are horrendous. It lasts no more than a week unless you aren't driving the car! Last question sir, what is your opinion on foam guns? They seem like the new thing but I just don't understand how they get the car/truck clean without the pressure of hand washing unless the are meant for in between hand washes. They look pretty cool to use but I don't understand the craze about them! Thanks buddy and sorry about the amount here, I'm a question asker and that's one way to learn!
 

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@Voodoo Idol I really appreciate your information and expertise being passed down! Sounds like you know what you're talking about. I did try the fabric sheet method on my mother-in-laws '15 Corolla and let me tell you; you were right! That bug junk came right off! My next question for you is this: What wax would you recommend using without a buffer? Buying a buffer is currently not in my plans but I will certainly buy one eventually. I know you mentioned that Collinite 845 goes on too thick by hand and that's the method I plan on doing waxing wise. And I completely agree with the use of Meguiar's Gold Glass, that's all I use for washing! Second question, how do you apply a paint sealant because I have actually never used such thing before but my ES will always be parked in a garage and if you say to use it, I'll do just that, especially if you say it will last! Third question, what tire shine do you use? I know I mentioned that my ES came with a JaxWax shine on it and it is still holding up. I've always used Meguiar's tire shine and let me tell you, out of the cheapest to most expensive tire shine they offer, they all are horrendous. It lasts no more than a week unless you aren't driving the car! Last question sir, what is your opinion on foam guns? They seem like the new thing but I just don't understand how they get the car/truck clean without the pressure of hand washing unless the are meant for in between hand washes. They look pretty cool to use but I don't understand the craze about them! Thanks buddy and sorry about the amount here, I'm a question asker and that's one way to learn!
Glad the dryer sheets worked out for you! I was skeptical at first as well, but I now keep a box with me at all times on detailing jobs.

Just get a Harbor Freight dual action polisher like this:

https://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-57-amp-heavy-duty-dual-action-variable-speed-polisher-69924.html

$60, you can't go wrong. Plenty of professional detailers use this model. The only thing they warn about is re-packing the grease in it, but that's for guys who use theirs all day every day. If you're just using it occasionally then I'm sure the factory grease would be fine.

For pads for the dual action polishers I use Chemical Guys HexLogic pads. If you decide to go this route then let me know and I'll give you tips on how to use the buffer.

If you're not going to use a buffer then I would say go with 3M:

https://www.amazon.com/3M-39030-Performance-Finish-Synthetic/dp/B000PGEMQM

Just remember:

CLEAN THE APPLICATION PAD FREQUENTLY (both hand waxing and using a buffer). Like, every other panel or so. If it were me I would clean it between each panel. Reason being: if you pick up a tiny piece of grit you're going to put scratches in the entire car. If you clean between panels then it can only happen to that one panel.

There are a ton of different paint sealants out there and all have different application methods. The one I use, Chemical Guys Hybrid V07, is a spray on & wipe application. That's really it. You mist it on to the panel and buff it in with a good, clean microfiber cloth.

For microfibers, I like these for wax removal/sealant application:

https://www.theragcompany.com/products/niteryder-16-x-16-plush-dual-pile-microfiber-towel.html

And these for a final wipe:

https://www.theragcompany.com/products/the-wizard-16-x-16-premium-plush-microfiber-polishing-towel.html


I don't use tire shine at all. I hate that stuff with a passion. Unless you let it cure for about 12 hours it will liquify the first time you drive the car. The tires heat up, it liquifies, and gets slung all over the side of your car. I just wash the tires until the suds are white. Even if I have to wash each tire 3 or 4 times. Then you get a brand new looking tire and no need for dressing.

Foam cannons/guns are nothing but a gimmick. Total waste of soap and time, IMO.
 

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@Voodoo Idol Love all the info buddy! I almost assumed what your response was to the foam gun question I had. I thought the same thing but wanted to ask! I have two more questions, 1. What do you use to dry the cars you detail after using Gold Glass and before you apply wax? I have always used old towels and well, now I know that's a reason for all the swirls and light scratches in the clear coat on the cars I've cleaned. :/ 2. What is your opinion car washes that have the sprayer you use by hand? Do you believe the sprayer is okay to use for in between detailing jobs say if it's slightly muddy or has a light coat of bugs on the front end? My ES will never have one of those foam brushes put on it that you also see at the self-clean car washes nor will I take it through an automated car wash. I personally hate those things besides the ones that do an undercarriage spray even though I have no idea how well it's being cleaned!

PS How the heck do you reply to a particular person's comment instead of posting a new comment like I'm doing right now!? Thanks!
 

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@Voodoo Idol Love all the info buddy! I almost assumed what your response was to the foam gun question I had. I thought the same thing but wanted to ask! I have two more questions, 1. What do you use to dry the cars you detail after using Gold Glass and before you apply wax? I have always used old towels and well, now I know that's a reason for all the swirls and light scratches in the clear coat on the cars I've cleaned. :/ 2. What is your opinion car washes that have the sprayer you use by hand? Do you believe the sprayer is okay to use for in between detailing jobs say if it's slightly muddy or has a light coat of bugs on the front end? My ES will never have one of those foam brushes put on it that you also see at the self-clean car washes nor will I take it through an automated car wash. I personally hate those things besides the ones that do an undercarriage spray even though I have no idea how well it's being cleaned!

PS How the heck do you reply to a particular person's comment instead of posting a new comment like I'm doing right now!? Thanks!
1. Chemical Guys waffle weave microfiber towels.

https://www.amazon.com/Chemical-Guys-MIC-781-01-Waffle-Microfiber/dp/B00BQYCIVI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1496869077&sr=8-3&keywords=chemical+guys+waffle+weave

I've tried microfibers from just about every company that makes towels specifically for detailing, and these are the best by a very large margin. 3 of them will dry any vehicle. I know they say you only need one for an SUV, but that's BS. That being said, they pick up way more water than any of the other 3 major brands combined.

2. If you bring your own wash mitt then they're fine. Unless you live somewhere hot as ****, like here in Central Texas. The wash water ends up spending too much time on the car before you rinse it.

3. Use the "quote" button. :D
 

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1. Chemical Guys waffle weave microfiber towels.

https://www.amazon.com/Chemical-Guys-MIC-781-01-Waffle-Microfiber/dp/B00BQYCIVI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1496869077&sr=8-3&keywords=chemical+guys+waffle+weave

I've tried microfibers from just about every company that makes towels specifically for detailing, and these are the best by a very large margin. 3 of them will dry any vehicle. I know they say you only need one for an SUV, but that's BS. That being said, they pick up way more water than any of the other 3 major brands combined.

2. If you bring your own wash mitt then they're fine. Unless you live somewhere hot as ****, like here in Central Texas. The wash water ends up spending too much time on the car before you rinse it.

3. Use the "quote" button. :D
Haha thanks! That was easy! So are you saying I should look to purchase 3 of them or will I be okay with one or two for the ES? Personally, I definitely don't want to spend $50 on three towels. Also, about the other towels you linked earlier for applying wax such as the 3M kind; are those specifically for applying and removing wax by hand? Can I use them for anything else, detailing wise? Just was a little confused! Lastly, what do you use to clean tires, chemical wise and brush? I have always used a tougher brush cleaning the tires and it helps a lot along with Meguiar's Hot Rims All Wheel and Tire Spray that comes in a pink bottle. It's cheap and sucks the life out of caked on brake dust; so I've always just used that to clean both wheels and tires. I don't know what to use on new tires that is safe. It hasn't been a big deal to me using the tougher brush when cleaning older tires. I'm not a believer in spraying tire cleaner on and rinsing it off. I would rather scrub the tire (without damaging it of course) to get it back to black. Thanks buddy!
 

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2 should be plenty. I like to keep 3 around, personally. You don't have to buy them all at once. Just buy one a month until you have enough.

The other towels are for wax removal, not application. Just use a standard foam wax application pad that comes with most waxes. Something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-X3070-Soft-Foam-Applicator/dp/B0009IQZPW

You can definitely use those towels for other things - I also use them for applying the sealant I linked above. However, if you're doing paint work with them then you only want to use them for paint work. Otherwise you'll get bits of grit and what not up in them and they'll end up scratching the paint. For sort of all purpose towels, I use these:

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Microfiber-Cleaning-Cloth-Pack/dp/B01DV2OJYG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1496875660&sr=8-4&keywords=microfiber+towels&th=1

For tire cleaning, the brush you're using sounds like it's probably fine. For tire cleaning I use a diluted degreaser (Purple Power). I dilute it at about 4:1 or so. I use the same solution for wheel wells. As for wheel cleaning... it sounds like you have something that works well for you, so keep using it.
 

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Just get a Harbor Freight dual action polisher like this:

https://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-57-amp-heavy-duty-dual-action-variable-speed-polisher-69924.html

$60, you can't go wrong. Plenty of professional detailers use this model. The only thing they warn about is re-packing the grease in it, but that's for guys who use theirs all day every day. If you're just using it occasionally then I'm sure the factory grease would be fine.

Just remember:

CLEAN THE APPLICATION PAD FREQUENTLY (both hand waxing and using a buffer). Like, every other panel or so. If it were me I would clean it between each panel. Reason being: if you pick up a tiny piece of grit you're going to put scratches in the entire car. If you clean between panels then it can only happen to that one panel.
I always get a Craftsman random orbit 10 inch. ~60, with a 1yr guarantee. They're pretty good, and while the annual trip is a drag, you can return it.

I've used Automagic for years for my products, since my dad had a detail shop. The original truck guy's son took over from him, so I still get the pro pricing. I use Express Wax for the weekly shine. Exception for the quarterly deep waxing/polishing. Clay bar followed by CGuys BlackLight and Black Luminous Glow.

Buy the wife new towels. Old ones for cleaning. I've used a fake chamois like speedo or the absorber type for drying.

And what Voodoo said, change bonnets about three times as often as you think you should.

Washing bonnets: hot hot water, cheap laundry soap and about a cup of clear ammonia. Gets the wax right out. Preferably in a machine your wife doesn't care about. I have an ancient tub and wringer machine from the old shop in my garage.

YMMV, void where prohibited, see store for details, etc. (It's worked for decades for me, and hey, whatever makes you look at your ride and have that "ahhhh" feeling...)

Cheers,
~nukks
 

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Just FYI: Chemical Guys Blacklight isn't a wax or sealant - it's a glaze. This should go on first, then a sealant, then wax on top of that. I would absolutely use the CG Hybrid V07 with the Blacklight as a sealant - other sealants can have adherence issues with glazes underneath them, but V07 does not. Also, glazes will last a week, tops. They're really only for detailing prior to car shows.
 
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