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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi DW Memebers!

I am completely new to detailing in all its forms. I have obviously washed and polished cars, but certainly not to the extent of detailing them properly.

This will most likely only be a hobby to me and maybe something I could do to a mate or family members car as a 'treat' so I'm not looking to get into great expense. But at the same time, I want my cars to look as good as possible. They're both nice cars, but could do with a bit of TLC now due to their age, but bearing in mind they are both used regularly and are by no means in concourse condition!

So, I'm after any advice on where to start.....

- What equipment will I need to get started?
- Any links to complete novice information/instructional videos anywhere?
- Where is the best place to get stuff from?
- What should I expect to be paying for stuff?

Thanks in advance!

Ian
 

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Hi Ian,
I am pretty new as well, I just spent ages on the forum and looked up what other people were using as well as watching detailing videos that you can find on you tube. I got a DAS Pro-6 dual action polisher from Clean Your Car, great bit of kit then just built up some bits and pieces. You will find everyone on here is very helpful and you can always e-mail the websites themselves and I have found them all very helpful.
Good luck!!
 

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Endless supply of Micro Fibre cloths is a good way to start, You'le soon be eating you way through them...lol

As you've probably read by now there are more and more products appearing and all basically claim to do the best job ever. If you buy everything that you read about you will soon end up with bottles of this and that and too many products you wont know what is good for what.
So a simple list

1, Decide what your requirements are. i.e are you looking to do full paint correction, decontamination or simply a quick wash and shine?

2, What your budget will allow you to spend, There's many "I wants" out there that can soon lead to £££'s being spent.

3, Choose one area to research at a time (google is your friend), . i.e. need a good wheel cleaner, so spend time just looking for this type product rather than getting side tracked in to other areas. You just end up getting lost and overwhelmed.

4, Once you've found a particular product, search for reviews and of course best price (again Google). Even ask other members for there personal opinions.
 

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What cars do you have?
What colour are they?
diesel or petrol (stainless exhaust etc)

I would start with the basics:-
Pressure washer (karcher or Nilfisk)
Snowfoam lance pre-washer (with choice of snowfoam)
2 cheap buckets
1 wash mit
1x 6pack of kents micro fiber cloths (B&Q)
1x car Shampoo (Autobrite Banana gloss or Auto Glym body work shampoo)
1x drying towel (Kent from B&Q)
1x Bilt Hamber clay bar (soft for beginners)
1x spray bottle (90p from B&Q
1x wheel cleaner (none acid if possible)
1x tyre dressing
1x bottle Prima amigo glaze (paint cleaner and polish) for dark colour paint
1x Autoglym Super Resin Polish (paint cleaner and polish) for light colour paint
1x LSP (last step process) wax or sealant. I would recommend Collinite 845 for ease, durability and fool proof for beginners to experts.

But that would be the basics in my eyes. Depends how far you want to go?
Some people have 3+ waxes, 4+ glazes, 5 polishes for different types of finish (glass mirror finish, wet look finish, reflections).
Trim dressing, wire wool (stainless exhausts), wheel wax, machine polisher etc.
The list is endless!

Set a Buget and prepare for that budget to go down the drain lol. I bet you spend double as you WILL eventually get the bug for buying and trying as you get better finishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What cars do you have?
What colour are they?
diesel or petrol (stainless exhaust etc)

I would start with the basics:-
Pressure washer (karcher or Nilfisk)
Snowfoam lance pre-washer (with choice of snowfoam)
2 cheap buckets
1 wash mit
1x 6pack of kents micro fiber cloths (B&Q)
1x car Shampoo (Autobrite Banana gloss or Auto Glym body work shampoo)
1x drying towel (Kent from B&Q)
1x Bilt Hamber clay bar (soft for beginners)
1x spray bottle (90p from B&Q
1x wheel cleaner (none acid if possible)
1x tyre dressing
1x bottle Prima amigo glaze (paint cleaner and polish) for dark colour paint
1x Autoglym Super Resin Polish (paint cleaner and polish) for light colour paint
1x LSP (last step process) wax or sealant. I would recommend Collinite 845 for ease, durability and fool proof for beginners to experts.

But that would be the basics in my eyes. Depends how far you want to go?
Some people have 3+ waxes, 4+ glazes, 5 polishes for different types of finish (glass mirror finish, wet look finish, reflections).
Trim dressing, wire wool (stainless exhausts), wheel wax, machine polisher etc.
The list is endless!

Set a Buget and prepare for that budget to go down the drain lol. I bet you spend double as you WILL eventually get the bug for buying and trying as you get better finishes.
Thanks for that. I've got 2 cars that I'll be looking at:

- Porsche Boxster 986 (Black with S/Less Exhaust & petrol)
- Austin Mini 25th Anniversary Addition (Silver & petrol)

I want them to look as good as possible considering they are used regularly in all sorts of weather. Both have obvious 'swirl' marks from years of washing (incorrectly I now know!) and poor polishing techniques.

First up for me is to get the washing equipment & technique sorted properly by the sounds of it, then look at some sort of correction and protection on the bodywork after getting the hang of that?

The wheels on the Boxster will be coming off and will be getting sorted out soon, so I'll not worry about those for the minute and the wheels on the Mini are new so they are in really good condition.

I'd like to think in time I could progress up to machine finishing with a DA and then that would probably be about my level I think.
 

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A pressure washer seems to be a very popular option as does using foam http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=290557. These allow most of the dirt to be removed before using the tradition shampoo in a bucket process. I do not speak from experience as I do not have access to either a pressure washer nor a hose so I use a rinseless form of washing.

Claying is one of these strange things which do not make any sense until you have tried it. Claying does really make the paint much smoother and you will wonder why you nether tried it before. There are a huge range of alternative clays for sale but my view is there is not a vast difference between them. A newer type of clay is some fancy cloth material eg http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=323203 which seems to have a far higher initial price but will last a lot longer. As with the foam and pressure washers I have not tried these (despite many begging letters and threats of blackmail) although I have no doubt about their effectiveness.

Up until a few years ago that was really about it but now we have what are generically called decon cleaners such as IronX or Bilt Hamber Korrosol http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=283775. There will remove any iron from the paint

If you are not going to polish the paint i.e. by abrasion then a paint cleaner can do wonders if you are going to use a wax or sealant. These work by chemically cleaning the paint, this sounds my aggressive then it is. A paint cleaner can pull out an impressive amount of dirt from paint. Things can get slightly blurred as some products contain cleaners and fillers which will hide minor paint defects for example Autoglym SRP.

As for wheels, there are various specialist products for cleaning wheels eg Bilt Hamber Auto-Wheel however once you have got the wheels nice and clean it is really worth the effort to apply a sealant which not only protects the wheels but also makes cleaning them significantly easier
 
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