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Professional Detailer
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There has been so many threads on what people need to detail their cars and what products to use. So I figured I would make something a little easier for people to read off so we don't get pointless threads time after time.

Things you will need to PROPERLY detail your car.

A PC (Porter Cable 7424) or UDM (Ultimate Detailing Machine)
Rotary polisher for EXPERIENCED users ONLY!

A Few types of polishes and or compounds.
(each car will be different in product selection depending on condition of vehicle)

other things needed would be Halogen lights, a seat with wheels, and tons of patience!

You will need:

Compound - (to be used for heavy defect removal such as swirls, oxidation and scratch removal) Meguiars #105, Hi-Tech Extreme Cut, Menzerna Power Gloss, 3M Extra-Cut Rubbing Compound, Optimum Compound

Mild Polishes - (use this step to remove any hazing or micro marring left from using a compound) Menzerna SIP, Menzerna IP, Meguiars #83, Optimum Polish

Finishing Polishes - (this steps refines the surfaces and leaves it ready to apply your paint sealant / wax) Meguiars #9, Menzerna 106ff, 3M Ultrafina SE

Glazes- (to be used after complete swirl removal to add depth and shine for a show car finish) Clearkote's RMG, Meguiars #7, Chemical Guys EZ Cream Glaze

AIO (All In One - allows you to polish, seal and wax the paint in 1 step. Recommended for cars that have been fully polished and need to be maintained) Optimum Poli-Seal, Zaino All In one or ZAIO, Klasse AIO

Paint Sealant - (leaves a layer of durability to protect the paint from acid rain, bird droppings, swirling and other elements) Optimum Opti-Seal, Zaino Z-5pro/ Z-2Pro, Meguiars #20 and #21

Wax - (use this step to add shine, depth and durability to your car) Optimum Car Wax, Meguiars #26, P21s 100%, Pinnacle Souveran, Poorboy's Natty Blue / Red

Microfiber Towels - (use only the softest MF towels to remove polishes and waxes to assure you don't scratch the surface of your car. Preferably a 70% to 30% blend work best) Cobra Deluxe Towels, Pakshak

Pads - (having a variety of sizes and colors are best) Lake Country, Meguiars, 3M, Edge

Washing - (using the 2 bucket method with a grit guard will help in reducing the amount of swirls added) Zaino Z-7, Optimum No Rinse (ONR), Meguiars Gold Class

Drying - (use only designated drying towels to keep the surface safe) Cobra Guzzler, Vroom Drying Towel

Wheels - (use least aggressive method that cleans enough. For caked on brake dust on BMW's, Audi's, Volkswagen, a DILUTED wheel acid works best. Otherwise you will be scrubbing for a while. Other wheels that are not too bad, either a diluted wheel cleaner / degreaser or an All Purpose Cleaner, if your lucky just soap and water are enough) Meguiars Wheel Brightener, Meguiars Super Degreaser, Meguiars All Purpose Cleaner, P21s

Tires - (make sure to spread evenly to prevent slinging) Extreme Tire Shine, Zaino Z-16, Meguiars Hot Shine, Optimum Tire Gel, Meguiars Hyper Dressing

Windows - (Make sure to wipe throughly to prevent streaking, I use a MF towel) Sprayaway Glass Cleaner, Stoner's Invisible Glass

Vinyl, Trim & Rubber - (clean first before protecting) Meguiars #40, Black WOW

Chrome, Aluminum & Metal Polish - (clean first before using polish) Meguiars Metal & Aluminum Polish, Meguiars Hot Rim Chrome Polish, Duragloss Metal Polish

Clay Bar - (different companies use different colors for levels of aggressiveness) Meguiars, Mothers, 3M, Adams, Pinnacle, Wolfgang

Quick Detailers - (good to use for that fresh wash/wax look if car is already clean, also can be used as a lubricant when using a clay bar) Meguiars Ultimate Quick Detailer, Optimum Instant Detailer, Zaino Z-6, Mothers Showroom Shine

Spray Waxes - (can be used while car is wet to dry/wax in 1 step. Works really good for maintaining the looks and durability in between full details) Optimum Car Wax , Mothers Quick Wax, Poorboy's Quick Wax


Now, as for Interior Detailing you will need a good vacuum, all purpose cleaner, a variety of brushes, leather cleaner / conditioner, interior protectant, some sort of extractor if available, plenty of microfiber towels.

***Product selection is important in achieving the right look for the job at hand, the actual products you use are up to you. I listed just a few to give you an idea of what to use and look for***

There is alot more into detailing and more products, I just listed a general list of what you need to detail your car the right way.
 

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Professional Detailer
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5,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
To Jesse, Lance, Frosty, anything I can add let me know

DJ
 
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Professional Detailer
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's TOO much info for the noobs who never search anyways. This is a little easier and gives the info a little quicker.
 

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Need Help ?
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Should add there is a difference in clearcoat hardness

Pressure apply to the pads during cutting, polishing and wax

Speeds for machines to cut, polish, wax

Rinseless washes in its own categories ONR and QEW

Convential washes in its own categories

How to dilute chemicals

Paint cleaners

Different categories between paste wax and liquid waxes

Could add dry techiques- Leaf blowers, Compress air, Blower attachment from vaccum

Tire cleaners

Wheel waxes and sealants

Uv protectants

Leather cleaners and conditioners

Carpet cleaners

Plastic polish

Applicators

Terry cloth towels

Steel wool
 

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Rice-picker
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2,637 Posts
That's TOO much info for the noobs who never search anyways. This is a little easier and gives the info a little quicker.
:thumbsup: short and to the point, but the OPT compound + orange pad on speed 6 on the UDM isn't removing all the scratches. I've tried repeated slow passes, and a lot of pressure. When you say compounds remove scratches, are you referring to ones that you can't feel with your nail?
 

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Banned
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2,675 Posts
quick detailer saves me so much time.. few days go by.. dust attack.. QD that shit.. fresh shine :D
 

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Professional Detailer
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5,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Should add there is a difference in clearcoat hardness

Pressure apply to the pads during cutting, polishing and wax

Speeds for machines to cut, polish, wax

Rinseless washes in its own categories ONR and QEW

Convential washes in its own categories

How to dilute chemicals

Paint cleaners

Different categories between paste wax and liquid waxes

Could add dry techiques- Leaf blowers, Compress air, Blower attachment from vaccum

Tire cleaners

Wheel waxes and sealants

Uv protectants

Leather cleaners and conditioners

Carpet cleaners

Plastic polish

Applicators

Terry cloth towels

Steel wool


I made this short for a basic detail, I'm not including everything that a professional would need.
 

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:thumbsup: short and to the point, but the OPT compound + orange pad on speed 6 on the UDM isn't removing all the scratches. I've tried repeated slow passes, and a lot of pressure. When you say compounds remove scratches, are you referring to ones that you can't feel with your nail?
You can't remove scratches that are down to the primer or the one's that you can catch with you fingernail in. Also there are stronger combination then a orange pad and compoud.

You still got yellow pads and wool pads which have more cutting ability, but leave marr anda slight haze when done using. So your going to have to follow up with a mild polish and less cutting pad like a orange or white pad.
 

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4-MMC OG
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With as much info there is on this subject, people should just be linked to autopia and wished the best of luck. Great write up by the way, its a nicely updated list from the one in the stickies.

The S2k guide is great as sam mentioned, but like you said, no one looks at it apparently... perhaps that should be stickied by it's self.
 

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Need Help ?
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list looks pretty good. I think most people who are interested in detailing should read the stickies. Especially MikeyC's handbook.
Again no one likes reading. They get overwhelm on how much stuff they have to read just to get there car looking clean. No matter how many times we say this. They want a quick answer and not to go looking for something they think might take all day. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

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Professional Detailer
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5,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The handbook is a GREAT resource, people just need to take advantage of it. Perhaps sticky it by itself.
 
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