We supply Astral Valeting products and are asked on a daily basis how best to wash cars and what to use where. So here we go.
Before you touch the car with a sponge or wash mitt you need to rinse the paintwork off with either your pressure washer or hose pipe. Why? It removes all of the loose dirt that may be on the paintwork and stops you spreading the dirt all over the car. This dirt will cause the paintwork to get all of those annoying little scratches all over the car!
Next we like to spray a good quality traffic film remover onto the alloys or wheel trims and give them a bit of a scrub with a wheel brush, whilst your around the wheels spray the Traffic film remover (TFR) under the wheel arches. Do them now before you wash the rest of the car, because you know if you do it last then the mud from the wheel arch wheel spalsh up on your nice clean paintwork.
Washing with auto shampoo Next get your bucket of warm water and auto shampoo. Get your sponge... Not one that has been left on the floor for the last month..... Why? because it will be full of dirt and you will get all those annoying scratches again. Wash the car from top to bottom, make sure you cover the entire car, stand back and look at what bits you have missed, not forgetting the underneath of the sills and under the bumpers, the backs and underneath of the door mirrors. Then wash the car off with clean water from top to bottom, don't forget to wash the wheels and arches off as well.
Washing with Traffic Film Remover (TFR). Now this is a bit different from washing with auto shampoo. This time when you spray the TFR on.... start at the bottom of the car and work your way up to the top. This is because the active chemicals in the TFR start cleaning on contact. If you start at the top you will end up with faint cleaner stripes or runs on the paintwork. Then go over the car with your sponge again ensuring that all areas are covered. Then wash off from top to bottom with clean water.
Now is the time to get your Leather or Flunky out. Once again, as with the sponge, do not use one that has been left on the floor as it will be full of grit & dirt... the result will be that the car gets full of scratches. Get a damp cloth and wipe around the edges of the doors, door frames, bonnet shuts and boot edges and then dry off wit your chamois.
Once the car is dry you can start to apply your polish. The choice is yours as to which one you choose, and we are always available for advice on this. Take your time on the polishing ensure its done properly. Make sure you do around the sides of the doors, door frames, bonnet shuts and boot edges. Don't forget DO NOT APPLY POLISH IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT or you will end up with valeters shoulder from trying to get it off.
Now just to finish off the outside..... dress you tyres with a good quality tyre dressing. Oil based dressing tend to last longer than a water based one. Also dress any black vinyls on bumpers etc. last but not least clean your windows with glass cleaner, this is available as either a sprayable liquid or a polish. A word of warning here..... If you do use a polish....make sure it is low dust or you could end up dusting the whole car off again!
Now get an old carrier bag, this is to put all the rubbish from your car into
Seeing as you have the glass cleaner in your hand do the insides of the window next. A lot of people we deal with prefer to use a good quality paper when cleaning windows, it seems to give a better finish.
Next get the hoover out and give the carpets a good going over. Don't forget between and under the seats, sliding the front seats to their maximum settings forward & back to get rid of the crisps underneath that the kids have hidden for later. If you have rear seats that fold down then don't forget to lift up the seat base and clean under there. If you have bald patches or bad stains on any of your interior carpets, you can usually cover it up with a bit of grey or black aerosol paint.
Then its onto the final dressings for your dashboards and interior trims, I personally prefer a dressing that pours onto a cloth and then is applied to the panels. The reason for this is that if you use a product that has to be sprayed onto the dash..... you can guarantee that it will end up spraying onto the windows that you have just spent time cleaning!! Don't forget to spray a bit of airfreshener into your car.
Last thing, check all your water levels, radiator, screenwash etc.....
Then if your have as much luck as I do, you can put all your stuff away in the shed and this is when it will start raining!!!!
We are always available for advice on 0161 797 2500 and offer free valeting courses for all new trade customers.
Hope this is helpful
Paul - Chemicals & Supplies Direct