Dash wipes the easy way to a clean car cabin

The dash, steering wheel, seats, some bumpers, the console, convertible top, door jambs, tires, and the exterior trim–when you stop and think about it, a large percentage of the car’s surface is rubber or vinyl. Issues you face with rubber and vinyl are cleaning, protecting and beautifying. There are a variety of products for each, some overlap categories saving you work and money.

Rubber and vinyl cleaners are formulated to work efficiently on these surfaces without instigating bleeding, drying or fading. Other cleaners, not specifically made for rubber and vinyl can cause irreparable damage.

Both rubber and vinyl are extremely susceptible to sun-provoked deterioration and UV damage. Evidence of this is dry, brittle, fading, cracking and peeling surfaces. Protecting these surfaces is a must, if you want them to keep their new, fresh look. It’s not a chore and it shouldn’t be an option.

On the other hand, dressing these surfaces is an option. Dressing is an aesthetic bonus, though some dressings do double duty. They replenish the look of vinyl and rubber surfaces back to new. However, if you’re a perfectionist, and you want a professionally detailed look and long-lasting life, you’ll want to do all three.

Proper Washing & Drying Technique

Are you washing your car, or just damaging the paint?

Most of the swirl marks that disfigure your vehicle are likely caused by poor washing technique. Thorough weekly washes and careful hand-drying can be the best care you can give your vehicle. Improper techniques will cause unsightly swirls and scratches in the paint requiring compounding or polishing at the very least. You can eliminate these problems and save yourself extra work by following a few simple tips when washing and drying your vehicle.

Are you washing weekly or weakly?

Weekly washing is best because some contaminants quickly do serious long term damage to paint if they are allowed to remain. Two such organic compounds are bug remains and bird droppings. These bio-hazards contain complex proteins that bond to the surface and organic acids that penetrate and break down the surface, eating into your clear coat if not removed promptly. Weak spots in the clear coat make your vehicle susceptible to corrosion and discoloration.

Another problem contaminant is brake dust. It contains metal shavings from the rotors and adhesives used in the production of brake pads. Try to picture the dirty plume of brake dust and roadway chemicals that travels along with a moving vehicle. This fog of chemicals shower the lower portion of your vehicle with a clinging, nearly invisible mist. Brake dust itself, is highly corrosive and very sticky. Washing your vehicle weekly will remove these contaminants before they have the opportunity to do unsightly permanent damage.

Wash Tools

First Never wash in direct sunlight. Pick a shady spot. Second it’s very important to choose tools that are gentle on the paint, yet still effective at removing contamination. As a rule of thumb, sponges like Triplewax Jumbo Sponge or mitts like Kent Q2429 2-in-1 Microfibre Noodle Wash Mitt that are plush or have a deep nap are better than flat weave towels or dense sponges. For example, a Natural Sponge like a Premium Quality Natural Sea Sponge  has numerous deep compartments where dirt and debris can accumulate. The natural fibers themselves will not scratch the paint and they will essentially pull contamination into the sponge’s openings, away from the paint. Always use the softer side of the sponge for washing. Rinse new sea sponges thoroughly before use to remove any shell fragments or sand.

Another option is a sheepskin wash mitt like the Meguiars Luxurious Lambs Wool Wash Mitt Sheepskin is extremely soft and plush. The fibers are gentle on the paint while the nap is deep enough to accommodate loose dirt and sand so they do not rub against the vehicle. Because wool is natural, it does not last as long as a microfibre mitt however, for luxurious softness, you can’t beat the texture of wool.

Micro-chenille was mitts like the Microfibre Chenille Wash Mitt are another paint-safe option. Microfiber’s combination of polyester and polyamide make it capable of scrubbing the paint without scratching or swirling. It traps dirt and grit within the fibers rather than leaving them on the surface of your vehicle. Be sure to rinse the mitt frequently to release these particles.

Proper Washing

1. Wash the wheels and tires first. If you splash wheel cleaners or dirt onto your vehicle, you can simply wash it off as you wash your vehicle. Use a cleaner that is safe for all wheels, like Wolfgang Tyre and Wheel Cleaner it is water-based and has no corrosive chemicals, which is safer for coated wheels and rubber. Agitate with a wheel brush to clean wheels without scratching. Wash each wheel and tire one at a time and rinse thoroughly before moving on to the next one. NOW EMPTY AND RINSE ALL CLEANING MATERIALS including your Safe Scrub Bug & Tar Pad by Pinnacle Natural Brilliance and your wash bucket.

2. Now you’re ready to wash. Let’s start with clean water and a freshly rinsed container and our micro-chenille mitt. It’s important to use a car wash that is rich in lubricants. The purpose of the car wash is to remove contaminants and lubricate them so they do not scratch the paint as they slide off the vehicle. Dishwashing detergents are not ideal because they remove protective coatings.
P21S Bodywork Conditioning ShampooMcKee’s 37 MK37-820 Power Wash and Pinnacle Bodywork Shampoo are all fantastic choices. They do not remove wax and provide ample lubrication of gritty particles.

3. How do you prevent swirl marks? Use two buckets. Fill one bucket with soapy water and fill the other with clean water. Each time you’re ready to reload your sponge with soapy water, dip it in the clean water first, to rinse out the grit and contamination you’ve just removed from your vehicle. Then dip it in the soapy water and continue washing.

An even better option is the Scratch Shield Adjustable Bucket Grit Guard. This plastic grid sits in the bottom of a 5-gallon wash bucket and stabilizes the water. Contamination and particles settle to the bottom of the bucket and the clean wash water remains at the top.

4. Always rinse your vehicle thoroughly before you begin washing in order to remove loose debris. Then begin washing at the top of the vehicle. Wash down the vehicle as opposed to front to back. Remember that the lower panels are dirtiest. You want to clean the windows and the upper panels before cleaning the lower half of the vehicle so that you don’t transfer grit to the top half of the vehicle. Rinse and reload your sponge often to prevent cross-contamination. Rinse your vehicle frequently as you work, especially in hot weather.

For stubborn spots, like bugs or tar, use the Safe Scrub Bug & Tar Pad by Pinnacle Natural Brilliance to gently remove sticky contaminants without scratching. To soften the sponge, soak it in warm water for 3 minutes. Always use it with soapy water to lubricate the sponge. If you choose to use a spot cleaner like the Stoner Tarminator Bug Tar Sap Grease Remover, spray it on before washing and reapply wax to the treated area after you’ve dried the vehicle.

5. When rinsing, you don’t have to blast your car clean with the water hose. Free-flowing water (no nozzle) will allow the water to sheet off of your vehicle for a more thorough rinsing.

Drying

Never skip drying! Drying your vehicle after washing is necessary to prevent water spots. Water spots are caused by mineral deposits that etch the outline of a drop of water into your vehicle’s paint. All water has minerals, whether it’s from the hose or the sky. As the water evaporates, the minerals remain on the surface and they will eventually, invariably create water spots.

You can dry your vehicle in a variety of ways, but you want to make sure you do it quickly. The fastest way to remove excess water is with the Original California Dry The Blade. This is a “paint-safe” squeegee that pull 80% of the water off the surface of your vehicle. They are made of soft, medical-grade silicone so they will not scratch your paint or glass. Use the blade on the windows first, since water spots are most noticeable there. Or for a TOTALLY TURBO-CHARGED fast drying experience go with Metroplitan Vac N’ Blo Auto Vac by Metro Vacuum or a flawless finish. This is the ultimate detailing tool, for clean up and dry down. This portable unit comes complete with a four piece micro-cleaning tool kit, shoulder strap and blower nozzle.

If you use a California Jelly Blade you may still need to use a towel to wipe away drips from around windows and mirrors. The Kent Q6100 Extra Large Microfibre Drying Towel is a large 24″ x 30″ microfibre towel that is manufactured with a waffle-weave texture. This weave increases the surface area so the towel can absorb more water. It can absorb 8 times its own weight in moisture, and it’s completely nonabrasive. Microfibre towels come in a number of sizes and they can be altered for a specific purpose.

Terry cloth towels are not recommended because the fibers can become matted and hard after repeated uses. They shed lint. They increase the chance of swirls. Compared to microfiber, they are not as absorbent and they don’t last as long. Never use bath towels that have been discarded from the house. They are probably not soft or paint safe. Microfibre towels / chamois are engineered to be LINT-FREE!

You may also use a genuine or synthetic chamois. The Prince of Wales Chamois – 6.5 Sq Feet by S.M. Arnold is 100% leather and it’s extremely soft. Its luxurious texture makes it a pleasure to use, but it will not last as long as a synthetic chamois. Do not continue using it after it becomes hard.

Drying Tips

1. Dry the windows and mirrors first. A series of careful firm strokes with your water blade will remove any remaining water.

2. Use the large Kent Q6100 Extra Large Microfibre Drying Towel to remove the majority of water from your vehicle. This towel measures 24”x 30” and it absorbs eight  times its own weight in moisture. Go back over the vehicle with a smaller towel, like the Kent Q6750 38 x 42cm Microfibre Buffing Towel to catch any water the large towel may have missed. This quick two-step process will leave your vehicle bone-dry and ready for wax.

3. Once the outside is dry, wipe down all your door jambs. Open the trunk and hood to wipe the jambs. The Kent Q6789 Microfiber Detailing Cloths (Pack of 3) can get your vehicle dry and spotless with the best in LINT-FREE drying technology.

4. Dry your wheels using a towel or chamois that is designated just for this purpose. Don’t use this towel on your paint to avoid cross-contamination. You may also use this towel to wipe off surfaces under the hood. Wash this towel before you use it again.

The Finishing Touch

Use a spray wax or spray sealant like MOTHERS 08216 Showtime Instant Detailer Quick Detailing, California Gold or Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant to rejuvenate the shine of your existing wax. Skip this step if you are going to apply another coat of wax. The ultimate in finishing detail kits is the Pinnacle Signature Series II Carnauba Car Wax Complete Kit; two premium brands come together to make the ultimate detailing kit.

 

Glass Cleaning Facts & Tip

Clean automotive glass is possible with the right products and techniques!

Clean glass not only looks better, it helps you drive better. We’ll tell you how to clean glass, even finicky automotive glass, with clear results. Clean, clear glass looks beautiful next to clean, waxed paint, and it improves your visibility while driving. Just a few extra minutes detailing your windows will add a sparkling touch to your vehicle’s finish and just might save your life!

The Facts About Glass Cleaners

Many glass cleaners contain ammonia, which is a great grease cutter but has some significant disadvantages when it comes to cars.

•Ammonia can release dangerous fumes that should not be inhaled, especially in enclosed areas like the inside of your vehicle.

•Chemically, ammonia acts to dry out plastic, rubber, vinyl, and leather.

•Most significantly, in sunnier climates, car owners often customise with additional non-factory tinting. Ammonia based cleaners cannot be used on tinted windows. If your current cleaner does not state “ammonia-free” or “safe for tinted windows” you should find another cleaner.

• NOTE: AVOID HOUSEHOLD GLASS CLEANERS, which almost all contain ammonia. A few examples of tint-safe glass cleaners are; Stoner Invisible Glass and Mothers Glass Cleaner.

• A Tip for Tinted Windows: Use glass WORKZ-Optical Clarity Glass Cleaner -Window Tint Safe Alcohol & Ammonia Free to polish and protect the window tint. Apply it only to the inside of the glass where tint is visible. It will seal the tint material (Mylar) and keep it clean. Detailer’s Pro Series Plex-All is non-static, non-streaking, and it dries crystal clear.

Some people prefer to use plain water to clean their windows. While this is a very safe method, water is not enough of a solvent to cut the protein base of stubborn spots, like bug remains. However, a glass-cleaning microfibre towel  will provide a gentle scrubbing action to help remove contamination. Dampen this towel lightly and clean the glass. Then, flip the towel to a dry side and buff to remove every last streak. High quality microfiber is micro-engineered to eliminate lint and is extraordinarily absorbent to prevent streaking.

One hand tool that’s well worth a try is Stoner Invisible Glass Reach & Clean Tool. This long-armed glass scrubber can help you clean your SUV windshield and those hard-to-reach areas at top of the cab windows or your sunroof.

Clean By Numbers

1 Detail your vehicle. Glass should be the last thing you do to avoid re-contaminating it during the detailing process.

2 Work out of the sun on dry windows. The sun can cause glass cleaner to evaporate too quickly and leave residues.

3  Spend some extra time on your windshield because you look through it more than the rest of the windows. Lightly dampen your microfiber towel with your cleaner of choice. We highly recommend AutoGlym Glass Cleaner for its non-streaking, film-zapping performance. Wipe up and down and then side to side using long strokes. Flip the towel to a dry side to remove any remaining wetness from the windshield. Do the same on the back window.

4 Be sure to roll down your windows about half way so you can clean the top edges of the glass.

5 Whether you clean all of your inside or outside glass first, or if you favor the window-by-window approach, that is your preference.

6 You can’t always get it right the first time. It may take a mist of glass cleaner to remove stubborn film and then another cleaning with plain water to remove any streaks created by the film. It all depends on exactly what is on your glass. Don’t be afraid to use more than one cleaner on the same window, if that’s what it takes.

7 When you clean the inside of the back window, it may be helpful to use the backside of your hand to hold the towel against the lower edge of the glass. This technique will allow you to reach the bottom of the glass with greater ease. This is the perfect application of the Stoner Invisible Glass Reach & Clean Tool. It can reach any spot on your windows easily and wipe it away!

Water Spot Eliminators

Water spots are mineral deposits that have etched their way into the paint and they can be very tough to remove. When a drop of water evaporates, all the minerals contained in that water remain on the paint. Etching is a gradual process, but those little spots will accumulate before you know it. The best way to avoid them is to dry your vehicle each and every time it gets wet. If that sounds too ambitious, at least dry it after washing and after a rain. If it’s already too late, here are some tips for removing those cloudy spots.

Glass can take a polish just like paint. A quality glass polish like Detailers Pro High Performance Cleaner will remove water spots and cloudiness to restore perfect clarity to your windows. You can apply it by hand or with a polisher, but set your machine on a low speed (1000-1200 RPM on a rotary or 5-6 on a dual action) and use a polishing pad. Do not apply pressure; the pad will do the work for you. When the polish starts to dry, stop polishing and buff the residue away with a microfiber towel.

BulletProof Windscreen Sealant with Rain Repellent will keep your glass clean and provide some protection against future water spots. It seals the glass and causes water to bead. Think of it as a wax for your glass. It improves the performance of wipers and provides a huge improvement in visibility when it rains.

Once applied, Pinnacle GlassCoat Window Sealant with Rain Repellent repels water like no other. The surface tension created by this coating beads and repels water more effectively than you thought possible. Even in the most torrential rainstorms, the water beads up and flies off so effortlessly you may not need use the wipers!

Every time you use your windshield wipers, any dirt accumulated on the wiper blades and windshield is subsequently dragged across the windshield. This causes abrasive friction that will, over time, decrease the effectiveness of any glass coating. The simple solution to this problem is to re-apply Pinnacle GlassCoat Window Sealant with Rain Repellent on a regular basis.Those who frequently travel or live in areas where it rains regularly should apply Pinnacle GlassCoat Window Sealant with Rain Repellent monthly. Those who drive less frequently or live in drier climates should apply Pinnacle GlassCoat Window Sealant with Rain Repellent every 3-6 months.

Don’t Forget the Wipers!

Part of keeping your glass clean is keeping your wipers in working order. The rubber strip can dry out and crack so that it doesn’t hug the glass properly. Therefore, it’s inefficient at clearing water off the windshield. If you maintain your wipers, you won’t discover they’re dried out when you need them most, like in a rain storm.

You will get more life out of each set of wiper blades if you regularly clean them with a specialist cleaner like the Bottari 32400 Clean-Up Windscreen Wiper Cleaner.

Treated wipers will not skip or chatter, and they will remove water and surface debris more effectively. Check your wipers periodically to be sure they are working well and treat them immediately if they appear to be dried out.

Another way to keep your windshield clean is washer fluid additives. Typical washer fluids available at your local auto store are highly diluted and remove little more than dust. Most of these additives also leave a nasty haze on the windshield, reducing visibility. Several companies have formulated concentrated additives that give your regular washer fluid a much-needed boost. Sonax Screen Wash is a great product. It doubles the cleaning power of regular windshield washer fluid while creating a much slicker washer fluid that is less prone to streaking and smearing. Its formula is highly concentrated which means one 16 ounce bottle of concentrate treats 16 gallons of washer fluid. It is perfect for removing built up road film, dirt, bugs and grime to avoid creating a safety hazard in inclement weather conditions. It can be added both to antifreeze washer fluids, as well as plain water. Overspray will have no impact on paint or trim. Best of all, it resists streaking, smearing, and will not cause an unsightly haze.

AutoGlym All Season Screen Wash serves the same purpose, but it has antifreeze protection already added to the formula. It will provide frost protection down to -22°F. This product is perfect for cold, snow-prone climates.

Remember, if you use washer additives and a glass sealant, your windows will be easy to clean each time you detail your vehicle. A little preventative maintenance will take the aggravation out of window cleaning.

Is your body work really clean? The plastic bag test.

How to Use Auto Detailing Clay
Clean With Detailing Clay!

If detailing clay is new to you, you might be thinking, “What is detailing clay and what can detailing clay do for my car?” The short answer is that auto detailing clay removes from the paint what washing cannot. So whether you clean your car yourself or have a professional do it for you, it’s well worth knowing about Detailing Clay. For the long answer, read on!

The Bag Test.

Is your bodywork really clean? The clay bar test.

There’s a simple test that will indicate whether or not you need to clay. Wash and dry your vehicle, put a plastic sandwich bag over your hand and lightly rub your fingertips over the paint. If it feels gritty or rough, your paint is contaminated.
Use a high quality detailing clay bar and a clay lubricant to clean your paint before applying wax or polish. A good complete kit is the AutoGlym Complete Clay Detailing kit.

Waxes and paint sealants will adhere better to clean paint and the shine will be more uniform and vibrant. Sounds like a win-win situation!

Auto Detailing Clay Bar is an engineered resin compound used to remove contaminants from the surface of your car’s paint, glass, fiberglass and metal. Detailing clay can be natural or synthetic, though most manufacturers utilize synthetic clays.

Auto detailing clay is similar to the stuff you played with as a kid, but the clay used for detailing is usually much more elastic.The elasticity gives the detailing clay excellent durability as it is rolled, flattened, smashed and stretched over and over again.

Plus detailing clay is designed to stand up to the kind of contaminants that your childhood clay never had to face, i.e. industrial fallout, rail dust and brake dust. These contaminants pierce paint finishes, glass and metal and remain stuck on your vehicle through rain, car washes, and even polishing. The only way to remove these pollutants is – you guessed it – detailing clay.

How Does Auto Detailing Clay Work?
Detailing clay glides along the surface of your paint and grabs anything that protrudes from the surface. The particle sticks to the clay and is therefore removed from your vehicle. The surface being clayed should always be wet with clay lubricant to prevent loose debris from scratching the 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.

There are two different grades of clay currently available to the public. One is a medium grade detailing clay designed to clean the vehicle once or twice a year. This grade of clay removes wax along with anything else on the vehicle.Your other option is a fine grade that’s relatively new to the industry.This detailing clay removes everything the medium clay removes and it is gentle enough to use monthly or as needed for spot cleaning.

All detailing clay requires the use of a clay lubricant to prevent scratches as you gently rub the clay on the vehicle. Check out our Clay Page. There you will find all of the different clays and their coordinated clay lubricants.

clay-graphic-wash clay-graphic-clay

What Does Detailing Clay Remove?
Your vehicle is under constant assault from airborne pollutants. Brake dust, industrial fallout, acid rain deposits and rail dust all can adhere to your vehicle. These contaminants often contain metal particulates, which accounts for the ease with which they penetrate the clear coat to attack the paint below. These contaminants then oxidize, and they allow rust to spread beneath the clear coat. Tiny orange spots today, total paint system failure tomorrow! Detailing clay removes these contaminants in order to keep the paint healthy and vibrant.

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!

Do You Need To Clay?
Chances are, the answer is yes. The surface of your vehicle faces assaults from the environment every time it’s out in the weather. Each road trip brings new insults from roadway debris, exhaust films, and airborne pollution. They will splash, mar, and embed themselves in that beautiful paint job you’ve labored over. Vehicles can accumulate these contaminants any time, any place – even at the dealership.

Spring time carpet / floor mat cleaning made easy

How’s your carpet, floor mats and upholstery holding up to the daily grind? Is it starting to show signs of hundreds of entries and exits, and evidence of being trampled upon again and again? It’s no wonder that our upholstery and carpet shows the signs of ageing, usually before other parts of the car. By nature, this is the most vulnerable of the vehicle’s surfaces, and yet it endures the most contact and friction, next to the tires. Even the most careful, meticulous car owner cannot avoid eventual wear and tear on the interior fibres.

I find that keeping up with the interior cloth and carpet is personally one of my least favourite chores in detailing. All that scrubbing …but what can you do? Well, you can make your life easier by having the right tools for the job and products that really work. Stain repellants are a must to guard against the inevitable future spill. When it happens, you’re ready and clean up will be a fraction of the work it would be otherwise.

Be wary of “over-the-counter” discount brand cleaners; they’re usually too harsh for the delicate fibres, cause colours to fade, or they plain don’t work at all. Ditto for stain repellants. Below you’ll find a overabundance of options from which to choose, the best dry carpet cleaner (and the most Eco friendly) the GarageVac team have come across is Natural & Clean’s Dry Carpet Cleaner, well worth a go but do a patch test first (a good place is the carpet under the seat out of view).

Interior Cleaning and Conditioning How To’s

Other people may admire the outside your vehicle, but you see the inside every time you drive. Depending on how you use your vehicle, the interior may need even more TLC than the paint! This guide will take you through the basics of interior care. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!

The interior of your car is a relatively small space. Small messes have a huge impact. Keep your interior looking great with weekly quick-cleanings. A little time spent cleaning each weekend will keep your monthly super clean-up from taking up your whole Saturday!

Weekly Cleaning Regimen

1 Use a Microfibre cloth  to wipe down all solid surfaces. This microfibre cloth will catch the accumulated dust and minor spills that have occurred since the last detailing.

2 Remove pet hair in seconds with a turbo brush vacuum attachment. It takes just a minute or two to brush pet hair off the seats.

3 Floor mats probably bear the brunt of abuse during the week. Shake them out if they’re not too bad. If you have a GarageVac at your disposal, go ahead a give them a quick vacuuming. This wall mounted unit is the ultimate Grab ’n’ Go vacuum cleaner.

Unless you made a big mess that week, this is all you need to do on a weekly basis.

Monthly Cleaning Regimen

Give your interior a thorough cleaning about once a month. If you get into a habit, no spot or stain will go unnoticed.

1 With a GarageVac you’ll find the clean-up a breeze. The flexible crevice attachment make it easy to get into all those tight spots where only dirt and pocket change go.

2 Break out a dry carpet cleaner such as Natural & Clean and make carpet stains vanish. Use the brush provided to work the cleaner into the spot vacuum the residue. The can re-vacuum the treated area with a turbo brush to fluff the carpet pile again.

3 Wipe down all vinyl, plastic and rubber surfaces with a damp Microfiber Detailing Cloth. You can use either plain water or a cleaner, such as AutoGlym Interior spray. Many rubber and vinyl protectants have some cleaning ability so, unless you have major dressing build-up or stains, you can go straight

4 Warning! Avoid silicone-based protectants. Silicone leaves an oily residue and it attracts dust. Over time, it can turn your dashboard yellow. Stick to water-based protectants and you’ll never have to worry about a greasy, yellow interior.

5 Next clean the interior glass using a non-ammonia glass cleaner, AutoGlym Glass cleaner. This cleaner is safe on tinted windows. Use the Microfibre cloth to wipe the glass clean with no streaks or lint. To avoid overspray, mist the towel with the glass cleaner, rather than spraying it directly on the glass.

6 Unless you have a soft dash brush for your vacuumou will need a detailing brush to get inside the vents and in the seams where otherwise only dust, lint and the stray coins will travel. These areas are often overlooked and difficult to clean, but it makes a big difference in the overall appearance of your vehicle’s interior.

7  Leather seats need special attention see our dedicated post on leather care.

That’s the lowdown on interior care.

Paint sealers what do they do?

Paint sealants are kind of the anti-carnauba wax, see the last post. They last a lot longer, they are easy to apply, and there’s nothing natural about them. This is surface science at its best.

A paint sealant is made of polymers, which are composed of tens of thousands of synthetic particles that are linked together. When a sealant bonds to your vehicle’s paint, it forms a rigid shell. It is not the warm carnauba that seems to melt into the paint. Paint sealants sit on top of the paint like a transparent chain metal suit. They are glossy and slick, but carnauba lovers will tell you they do not have the warmth and depth of a carnauba.

Paint sealants have gotten progressively more popular as time goes on. Some people really love the hard-as-glass look. In an industry that is driven by technology, it seems appropriate that an engineered paint protector is the new favorite among many detailers.

However, the real selling point of a paint sealant is the durability. A premium paint sealant can last 4 to 6 months, sometimes longer. Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, for example, can last up to 12 months. Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 lasts the more typical 4 to 6 months. By “last”, I mean that water will continue to bead and the paint will remain protected from UV rays and contamination. For people that spend more time driving than detailing, the paint sealant is the way to go. Both of these American brands can be found in the UK on Amazon or specialist on-line retails.

Paint sealants are extremely easy to apply. They are always in liquid form and they spread easily by hand or with a polisher. This time-saving feature makes paint sealants an attractive choice for those who like instant gratification, and who doesn’t?

As you’ve seen, there are a lot of differences between paint sealants and natural carnauba waxes. Glassy, hard shell or deep, liquid shine? Six months or six weeks? These are the basic questions you have to answer before selecting your paint protection.

However, a growing number of enthusiasts simply refuse to choose. Instead, they coat their vehicles with a layer of sealant for long-lasting protection and then top it with a layer of carnauba for the dazzling shine. Even if you forget to reapply carnauba in 6 weeks, your paint won’t suffer. For example a combination of AutoGlym’s Super Resin Polish and High Definition Wax.  It’s the perfect marriage of beauty and longevity!

Remember, paint protection is one of your vehicle’s basic necessities. No matter what kind of product you choose, but choose a quality brand.

Is Carnauba wax worth the money?

Carnauba wax is the preferred car wax of collectors and concours enthusiasts because it creates a rich, warm glow. It doesn’t appear to sit on the paint. It transforms the paint into a deep, liquid pool that shimmers under changing light conditions. The more carnauba wax, the more shine.

The wax is produced by the Brazilian Tree of Life, a palm tree, in order to coat its leaves. The wax provides protection from the sweltering sun and it sheds water so it falls onto the ground and is absorbed by the tree’s roots. If you think back to junior high science class, you might remember that plants release oxygen through their leaves. For this reason, carnauba wax is breathable. Good for the tree and good for your paint.

Carnauba is rock hard in its natural form. When the leaves of the Tree of Life are harvested, the wax flakes off as the leaves dry out, or they are put into a machine that removes the wax. It comes off in hard flakes. Car Wax makers have to blend the wax with oils, petroleum distillates, or a solvent called naptha (commonly used to thin wood varnishes and paints) in order to make the wax workable. The very best carnauba-based car wax is only about 1/3 natural carnauba. It’s probably for the best since the price gets higher and higher as the concentration of carnauba rises. When a product advertises “pure carnauba car wax” or “100% carnauba car wax”, they are referring to the purity of the carnauba that is in the product, not the product as a whole. One example is Mother’s California Gold Pure Carnauba Paste Wax.

That brings us to grading. Carnauba is harvested and then graded according to color, purity, and where it was grown. Trees grown in the northern area of Brazil produce the highest grade carnauba. The yellow wax is the most pure and therefore receives the highest grade. This is the grade most commonly used in high end car waxes and in the pharmaceutical industry as a pill coating.

Some manufacturers refine the yellow wax again into an ultra-pure white wax to ensure that the wax produces the clearest, most reflective gloss once applied to the paint. Such is the case with Pinnacle Souveran and Pinnacle Signature Series II.

As you’ve already read, carnauba protects the leaves of a palm tree from the intense heat and humidity experienced in Brazil. The carnauba car wax repels water and, consequently, most contaminants. When applied to any surface, carnauba retains these characteristics. Therefore, an application of a carnauba-based car wax to your vehicle will protect it from UV rays, heat, moisture, oxidation, and environmental contamination. And it looks like a million bucks!

The drawback of carnauba waxes, if you can call it a drawback, is that it does not last as long as a synthetic sealant. A carnauba car wax finish will wear off in approximately 6 to 8 weeks. It depends heavily on the climate in which you live and whether or not your vehicle is garaged. Daily commutes in a hot, humid climate mean a shorter life span for your carnauba wax coat. If you enjoy regular waxing, then the life span of a carnauba wax is just one more reason to indulge in your favorite hobby!

In a nutshell, carnauba car wax is the wax of enthusiasts. It appeals to people who want the absolute most stunning show car shine available and are willing to spend a couple of hours every month or so to get it. Most of them will tell you it is time well spent.

 

Why You Should Wax Your Car Regularly

Why You Should Wax Your Car Regularly

Why You Should Wax Your Car Regularly

The main benefit from waxing your car regularly is the protection that it will give the car paintwork from all sorts of pollutants. Insects, rain, and fumes from other cars are just some of the things that can cause damage to your car paint work over any period of time. A good car wax will not dissolve in water, therefore it acts as an ideal protector for your car body from the elements. Wax by nature is also able to withstand very high heats, therefore it is also good at protecting your car paintwork from intense sunlight and direct heat. Car waxing products are developed for all sorts of purposes, and formulas will be a mixture of wax with other ingredients depending on the purpose of the product. For example, some car waxes might contain colour for aiding in hiding scratches, and enhancing dullness of a car body finish.

It is recommended by professionals to wax your car every 2-4 months, although this does depend what kind of weather conditions you live and drive in. A good way of seeing if your car might need waxing is to see what happens when it gets wet – does the water bead together or not? If the water beads on the surface of the vehicle then the car likely does not need waxed and it is sufficiently protected from the water. If the water just spills on the car and does not bead, then this is an indicator that your car could do with a wax. Regularly waxing your car is something that will enable washing your car, making it easier. Impurities will stick to the wax surface and make it easy to wipe right off, whereas without the waxed surface they could leave marks and possibly penetrate the paintwork.

One great advantage you will have from regularly waxing your car is it having a better resale value than if you don’t look after it. Body work being in good condition is obviously something that will not only make the car look more appealing, but it is a positive aspect for the car overall. It will make the car look much newer than it actually is, and a buyer will be impressed with the condition that it is in, as will anyone that sees you driving it. Regular wax treatments for your car will give that showroom shine, as well as protection, and it is something that if you are not prepared to undertake doing yourself then you should certainly pay someone to complete this car detailing service for you.

How to do a DIY Car Valet


Doing a DIY Car Valet is easier than you think when at home, by using the same techniques as the professionals, you will be sure to get those same stunning results. Taking care of the bodywork of your car is an ongoing process, it has to be well looked after all year round in order for it to look it’s best and maintain it’s depth and shine. There are so many great car detailing products on the market now, most of them just as effective as the formulas the professional car detailers would use.

How To Keep Car Upholstery Clean

Fabric car seats can be kept clean using a vacuum cleaner and a special car upholstery cleaner for fabric. Leather and leatherette surfaces also have their own cleaners that can be bought, to keep the seats is their best condition.

How to Clean Your Car Carpets

A vacuum cleaner or a stiff brush can be used on the carpets inside of your car. Some people like to remove the carpets from the car to clean them, but this is not always necessary. Compressed air can be used to blow off impurities as opposed to using a vacuum cleaner. The stiff brush is useful for loosening dirt and particles before cleaning off.

Clean Car Vents

Compressed air can be used to blow dust or any impurities out of vents, be it heating or air conditioning or other. You can use an actual air compressor for this, small ones which are relatively inexpensive and can be used for multiple purpose, or the cans of compressed air that you buy are just as effective for this type of job. By cleaning out the vents like this it will allow for better airflow and ensure that the car itself smells clean and fresh.

It is Best To Handwash Your Car

Hand washing your car is the most effective way of getting your car to the standard of clean that you want it. Proper car specialist car cleaner should be used, designed for washing the car, not washing up liquid like most people tend to use. Washing up liquid actually harms the paintwork on the car, stripping any protective wax. A bucket, sponge, and specialist car wash detergent is all you need here. Also, ensure that you dry the car as when the water evaporates it could leave behind particles on the paintwork.

Cleaning Car Tyres

When using a car tyre cleaner, make sure that it is a non-acid based formula. Your tyres should be cleaned before waxing and polishing your paintwork.

Polish and Wax Your Car Paintwork

Polishing your car with a special electric polisher will help even out the paintwork and get it to that shiny state where it looks once again like a new car. Finally, you just have to apply car wax in order to protect the paintwork. This wax comes in either paste or liquid form, and is easy to apply and buff as per directed.