Car detailing is not as simple as many people think. To do it well you need both skill and experience. But most “do it yourself” detailers and vehicle cleaners jump right in without learning the basics. And they end up paying for it in the end. If you’ve been detailing vehicles for a while you’ve probably seen most of these mistakes, and they make you shake your head every time you see someone else make them. Here they are…
Mistake 1. Taking your vehicle to one of those cheap, automated “soft” cloth vehicle wash facilities.
Many people, especially bargain shoppers, choose automated car washes over hand car washes simply because they’re cheaper. The question they usually ask is this: “Why would I pay twice the price to get my vehicle washed by hand when I can get it cleaned much cheaper at an automatic wash?” They then proceed to get their vehicle cleaned at an automatic wash.
Many do this simply because they’re uneducated and they fail to realize the extensive damage “soft” cloth vehicle washes can cause to their vehicle. The problem with this form of automated wash system is that it applies excessive force to your vehicles exterior during the cleaning process. And the cloth material used wears down and fills up with grime eventually. The bottom line: These wash systems tear up your paint, which costs you money in the long run.
The solution: Get an experienced car detailing company to clean your vehicle for you. Sure it costs a bit more than the quickie car washes, but it’s worth having your vehicle look new and remain rust-free.
Mistake 2. Touching your vehicle with contaminated microfiber wash cloths or wash mitts.
This happens in a number of ways. The most common is simply that you do not sufficiently rinse off your wash mitt after cleaning dirt and other road grime off the vehicle. When you clean the dirt off a vehicle, the dirt is transferred onto the wash mitt. And you need to rinse it off of there before you continue detailing the vehicle.
The Solution: Use a system like the dual bucket method to make sure you’re effectively removing dirt during the wash and keeping it off your wash mitt. That way, you get the best car detail possible.
Mistake 3. Letting your “bling” get involved with your detailing.
I’m referring to necklaces, watches, rings, etc. When you wear objects like these and work on a vehicle, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll scratch the vehicle if you bump into it with them. If you haven’t heard already, repainting a vehicle is an expensive experience. So please, save yourself the hassle and focus on preventing problems from happening in the first place.
The Solution: Take your “bling” off.
Mistake 4. Using equipment and materials improperly.
Most detailing equipment serves a very specific purpose. But every once in a while, someone decides to try something new without completely thinking things through. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to be creative and try new things. But when detailers decide to pressure wash the inside of a vehicle, put tire gel on leather, or clean leather with car soap, I think it’s safe to say that things are a little out of control.
The Solution: Use common sense. And if you still aren’t sure whether or not something is a good idea, get a second opinion from a professional car detailing company.
If you’ve made any of the detailing mistakes mentioned above, don’t feel too bad about it. Every experienced detailer has made a mistake at some point. Simply learn from it and move on.
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