How-To

Regular Trackday Maintenance

Porsche Cayman GT4 with Martini Livery

This Cayman GT4 is heavily tracked. With the right and regular maintenance, this car stays in good condition.

While it's difficult for most car owners to maintain their car's regularly, some car owners use their cars differently as with this Porsche Cayman GT4. This Porsche hits the track usually 2-3 times per month and as a result requires more then just a wash to maintain its condition.

Before taking his car to the track, the owner engaged Project Detail to fully wrap the entire vehicle with Xpel Ultimate Paint Protection Film (PPF). This allowed the car complete protection and gave it the strongest protection available for track use. Find out more about our PPF services by clicking here.

While daily driving presents all sorts of challenges for keeping a car clean such as traffic film/road grime, bugs, tar or regular dust, tracking a car is a level above. With burning rubber hitting your car and building up on your own wheels and body, rocks hitting your car at very high speeds and other debris striking your car beyond the norm. This GT4 was a good example, as it was heavily soiled when it arrived.

Heavy Tar, burnt rubber and bugs riddle the surface of this Porsche Cayman GT4.

Because of the build up, maintaining a track car is often beyond a normal wash. We had to use a mixture of chemicals and solvents which are safe for the PPF material while effectively removing the debris.

Project Detail utilises a 21 Stage Wash & Decontamination in order to provide safe and excellent results whenever we wash a vehicle. In this instance, additional stages were introduced.

In order to cleanse the surface deeply, we have sprayed an Iron Fallout Remover on the surface. This gently cleanses and breaks down brake dust and other ferrous particles.

Once we have removed any contamination safely, we generally foam wash a vehicle once or twice depending on the level of grime and grit present. Our foam is combined with our hot water pressure washer which can heat water up to boiling temperature, this allows safe and more effective cleaning.

Foam washing is an effective wash to break down and remove the majority of grit and dirt without any friction which in turn causes swirls and scratches.

If you track your vehicle often or would just like a safe maintenance routine, contact us today by clicking here and see how our services differ.

To see more photos and ongoing projects be sure to check our social media by clicking here:

Decontamination: Clay Lubricant

Clay Lubricant in process

Clay Lubricant in process

What is a Clay Lubricant and Why Do I Need One?

Specialising in Car Detailing, Project Detail Melbourne and Sydney will be covering a series of articles focusing on decontamination and in this post, we will be discussing about Clay Lubricants and why they are crucial in for decontaminating your vehicle to achieve the best results. 

You could read our previous article on how to about clay bars by clicking here.

Clay bar is what we called a physical (or mechanical by some detailers) decontamination. There is chemical and physical. Chemical is used to dissolve and remove contaminations via chemicals such as iron fallout remover, tar remover etc. It is best suited for cars that are already has been applied with Ceramic Quartz Coatings or brand new cars that does not have much contaminants. Clay bar removes contaminants physically by adhering the contaminants into the clay bar while you glide it across the surface. 

Clay bar by itself is very sticky, it needs a lubricant to be able to glide across the surface, picking up all the contaminants in the paintwork. That is why a lubricant is crucial in physical decontamination, by using the wrong technique or clay lubricant can leave minor scratches and marring on the paintwork, especially on a softer paint. 

Amateurs often use soapy water from their buckets as clay lubricant. 

Amateurs often use soapy water from their buckets as clay lubricant. 

Misconception 

Soapy water, quick detailer and spray waxes are the most common "lubricant" car owners and amateur detailers use as a clay lube. While they might work fine, but those chemicals are not designed to use as a clay lube. Therefore the clay bar itself might not be performing as well as using a proper clay lubricant. Worst case, it might cause marring or even scratches that requires paint correction to properly remove them. 

Concours Purify - Clay Lube with Iron Remover 2-in-1 for effective decontamination

Concours Purify - Clay Lube with Iron Remover 2-in-1 for effective decontamination

Clay lubricant - The Correct way 

Using a dedicated clay lubricant is crucial when comes to clay barring your car. Without a proper lubricant, your car might risk getting marring or getting scratched. After a bucket wash and rinse, spray plenty of clay lube and start claying. Small sections at a time to avoid claying over a dry area. 

Some companies recently came up with a cutting edge clay lubrication by adding iron remover into their clay lube, it removes 20% to 40% more contaminants. 

We hope this article helped you gained more understanding on decontamination. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions in regards to car detailing by clicking here. 

Top 5 Myths of Car Detailing

Myth Busting Car Detailing

At Project Detail, we often hear people discuss about how they wash or detail their cars. We realised that there are quite a lot of myths, uncertainties and guesswork  surrounding in the topic of car detailing. Here at Project Detail Studio, we are going to discuss the Top 5 Myths of Car Detailing. 

Snow Foam Pre-Wash, as part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination

Snow Foam Pre-Wash, as part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination

Myth #1 - Car Wash and Car Detailing is the same

Myth:

 Car Wash and Car Detailing are pretty much the same, just different names. Their job is to clean cars and make sure they are well cleaned. 

Fact:

The services at a car wash cafes are completely different to what proper Detailers offer. For starters Car Detailing is a lot more than just a wash.

In fact, the car wash takes up less than 15% of what detailers do. When a car is washed by us, we follow up with a full vehicle decontamination that safely removes above-surface contamination that can't be removed by a simple 2-bucket method wash. Our sole goal, is to now only wash and clean the vehicle but do so in the most gentle manner to avoid swirls and defects from quick and improper washing.

We then follow up with an extensive paint polishing to remove below-surface contaminations such as blemishes, minor scratches, swirl marks etc to refine the paintwork to be close to brand new condition, or sometimes even better. After all those steps, we then apply a premium last step product (aka LSP) for short or long term protection. 

50/50 Before and after shot, achieved by Paint Correction

50/50 Before and after shot, achieved by Paint Correction

Myth #2 - Save money by hand polishing cars myself

Myth:

It is not necessary to hire a detailer to polish cars when I can just buy some products and polish the cars myself. I could save myself some money. 

Fact:

This myth used to be a fact back in the 70s where base-clear coat paint system hasn't been introduced and the paintwork back in the day are all single stage paint and paint oxidisation can be removed by polishing with hand. But in recent years, after base-clear coat paint system introduced, base-clear coat paint is way too hard and it is impossible to hand polish to a good result. Products you find on the shelf of auto stores are mainly glazes, waxes or sealants which contains fillers and resin that does not contain any abrasives to level the minor scratches and blemishes out. They simply 'fill' or 'mask' the imperfections so it looks good for a short period of time, but the effect is not permanent.

Paint Correction (aka cut and polish, buffing, polishing etc.) performed by professional detailers are permanent results that will not be washed away or come back after a week or two. 

The weekend warrior or car enthusiast might see the value of buying equipment themselves to polish their cars to save money. We respect the enthusiasm but however keep it mind the cost will be more than hiring a professional detailer and the results won't be as good compared to a professional detailer. Machine polishers, compounds, cloths, chemicals and miscellaneous products such as masking tape's cost will be about to $1500 to $2000. Not to mention you'll need to learn how to use them properly in order to achieve good results. 

BMW M5 + P-01A + BC-04 Coating, Curing with IR Lamps

BMW M5 + P-01A + BC-04 Coating, Curing with IR Lamps

Myth #3 - New cars doesn't need Paint Protection

Myth:

Modern clear coats are design to resist UV and it can protect itself, especially modern hard clear coats and self-healing technology. Getting a detailer to apply a good paint protection would be a waste of money and I don't see a value in that. Paint Protection are rubbish anyway. No paint protection product can resist bird poo baking under the sun on paint. Just buy a $10 wax and apply every month, that's the best protection you can get. 

Fact:

Clear coats are only designed to resist UV to an extent. Long exposure to the sun's UV rays (especially in Australia) will lead to clear coat fading and failure. While European, luxury and high end vehicles certainly have better quality paint, it is by no means impervious to UV, swirls or scratches.

Waxing your car is a good way to protect to some extend but not all. We did several test with conventional wax, sealant and coatings. Wax does not protect your car from chemical etching such as bird/bat poo, sealant does a okay job as long as it haven't been sit on the paint surface for too long.

Meanwhile Ceramic Quartz Coatings were resistant to chemicals of pH 2-11, UV and even physical resistance such as micro marring and very light swirl marks. Coatings are usually considered as permanent due to their inability to be washed away from regular washes and they require good preparation stages for the coating to perform well.
 

Masking is crucial as part of the preparation process for Paint Correction

Masking is crucial as part of the preparation process for Paint Correction

Myth #4 - Paint Correction is the same as Cut and Polish

Myth: Any detailers that claim they offer paint correction is exactly the same as cut and polish. It's just an marketing term detailers use as a marketing term for a huge price markup. 

Fact: Cut and polish is not just using a paste/liquid compound that you apply using a foam hand applicator and "polish" the paintwork that many people still assume. These paste/liquid cut and polish compounds are generally not designed for clear coat finishes, they work on oxidised single-stage paints that came out from the factory in the pre-1980s. Going all the way back, cut and polish actually means you "cut" back the paint with sand paper and polish the sanding marks out with a rotary with a lambswool pad. Typically these combination restores the paintwork back to how it looks like when its new, therefore the popularity of the term. In modern detailing world, a proper cut and polish is equivalent to Stage 3 to 4 Paint Correction where we wet-sand, heavy leveling with a rotary, level and finish it with a Rupes polisher which it would be a week worth of project and several cups of coffee.

Holograms caused by improper use of a rotary polisher.

Holograms caused by improper use of a rotary polisher.

Myth #5: There's no difference in price

Myth:

Detailer A charges me $100 cheaper and the quality is no different from other detailers that charges more. What a deal!

Fact:

We all hear about new detailing businesses that charges at a low rate and gets themselves busy. We respect that because we understand that a good detailer has to start somewhere.

But when comes to quality and results, its a whole different story. Good detailers charges more for a reason, a good detailer has more experience and attention to detail. To produce good results, a detailer needs to spend more time looking for little imperfections and taking extra steps in their work to achieve another level of perfection which cannot be learned overnight.

Furthermore, as a detailer progresses, they ideally invest more money into better equipment, more intensive techniques and better products. A detailer with a workshop, also has fixed overheads which are often larger meaning that his prices and work must reflect these costs.

We hoped we helped you to debunk some of the myths circulating around the topic on Car Detailing. For any questions or inquiries regarding about detailing, feel free to contact us by clicking here.

Why is Masking Rubber, Trims and Plastic Important?

Importance of Preparation 

Specialising in Car Detailing, Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne. We will be covering the importance of masking, preparation for paint polishing or wax application in our series decontamination and preparation. 

We will be talking about what is masking and why is it important.

Trims masked on a Volkswagen Scirocco R, preparation for Paint Correction,

Trims masked on a Volkswagen Scirocco R, preparation for Paint Correction,

Amateurs neglect, true professional embraces

There are thousands of discussion on the internet about masking off trims and plastics while polishing or waxing their paintwork. And beginner or amateur detailers doesn't seem to like the idea of spending the extra time to mask off areas.

Black plastic trims, especially rubbers are highly sensitive to compounds, polishes and waxes.  As some of you may have realised. Polishing or waxing over them may leave a white residue and more often or not, when you try to clean it off, it doesn't come off. Hence why it is important to mask all rubbers, trims and plastic to protect compounds, polishes and waxes touching them. 

Masking trims on a Lamborghini Gallardo on the A pillars.

Masking trims on a Lamborghini Gallardo on the A pillars.

In Project Detail, we highly emphasise on preparation stage. We strongly belief a good preparation work equals to good results. 

Pro-Tip: When your detailer is polishing the car or waxing it, check if he masks the trims and plastic. If he doesn't mask any of them to save time, stay away. 

Masking shows you good before and after results

Half of the panel masked, preparing for a 50/50

Half of the panel masked, preparing for a 50/50

Detailers love to show before and after shots, or what we call a 50/50 shot that shows the outcome after. This is a great way to reassure customers and sometimes it also made us feel motivated after seeing the difference of before and after. It can be achieved by masking half of the panel.

50/50 on a panel after a Stage 2 Paint Correction is performed.

50/50 on a panel after a Stage 2 Paint Correction is performed.

We hoped this article helped to understand on why masking is important when comes to Car Detailing. For any questions or enquiries, feel free to contact us by clicking here.

How to choose between a Wax, Sealant or Ceramic Quartz Coating?

Chapter 2 -Not all paint protections are the same. 

Project Detail  Sydney & Melbourne focusses on prestige car detailing and customisation, but unlike many others we enjoy sharing our knowledge so that all enthusiasts or car owners can benefit from know how to better take care of their car.

Project Detail has a running series of articles designed to inform and educate the car owner on paint protection. Part 1 of our series can be found by clicking here.

In Part 2,  we are going to cover the main differences between a wax, sealant and ceramic quartz coating to give car owners a good overview on the 3 protection options and type that suits individual car owners the best. In Project Detail, we offer all 3 types of Paint Protection.

It is important to understand that 'Paint Protection' can be a wax ... it also can be a sealant and most definitely some type of coating. The importance, is knowing the key differences between the variations.

Choosing between the types of paint protection can be overwhelming for car owners and usually have thousands of unanswered questions, we are here to help. One of the most common questions we get asked at Project Detail is what is Paint Protection and what is the main differences between Wax, Sealant and Paint Protection Coating. To simply put it, it depends on what is the vehicle's purpose and results you are looking to achieve. 

1953 Allard J2X, finished with a Teflon based sealant after a multi-stage Paint Correction. 

1953 Allard J2X, finished with a Teflon based sealant after a multi-stage Paint Correction. 

Wax

Swissvax is a premium range of waxes.

Project Detail is an authorised applicator.

Project Detail is an authorised applicator.

Waxes are the most traditional form of waxes. Although there are thousands of variation of waxes, they are usually only two types of waxes. 

Natural Wax
Natural wax are usually more expensive and they provide a warmer, deeper finish. They are usually referred as Carnauba wax, which derives from the copernica cerifa plant in Brazil. These natural waxes usually have a percentage of carnauba. The carnauba content can either be in a pure form, or mixed with oils or petroleum products to certain degrees. Carnauba content and how pure it is plays a huge role in how much they cost. Natural waxes are usually the most expensive waxes. They usually comes in a paste format. 

Synthetic Wax
Most of the car waxes on the shelf in auto stores are usually synthetic waxes. How are they different from natural wax you may ask? Synthetic wax are design to do the exact same thing with natural waxes, but instead of using natural content such as carnauba, they are made from non-organic chemicals. They usually comes in a liquid or spray format. Advantage being it's a easier to apply compared to natural wax and it is usually cheaper compared to natural wax. 

Sealant

Sealants are the second generation of paint protection and they are well known to last longer and providing a better protection solution as compared to waxes. But in terms of how good the finish is, natural wax outperforms sealants from its warmth and depth. Sealants are considered a ground-breaking technology in the past until ceramic quartz coatings are introduced. There are two main types of paint sealant

Polymer Sealant
Vast majority of the sealants you can find on the shelf of your local auto store are usually a polymer sealant. A polymer sealant is made up of tens of thousands of synthetic particles that are linked together. When a polymer sealant cures, it is basically forms a 'plastic' shield on the vehicle's paintwork - glossy and slick. The best kept secret in the detailing world would be applying natural wax on top of a polymer sealant for a extremely deep and glossy finish. 

Note - Many dealerships in Australia, that sell a form of paint protection is more then likely a Polymer Sealant.

PTFE/Teflon Sealant
PTFE based sealants works exactly like a Polymer sealant, but with a different kind of polymer. You'll find non-stick PTFE coating for pans and other cookware. It is very non-reactive, partly because of the strength of the carbon–fluorine bonds. Research shows that PTFE technology works excellent on car's paintwork and it fills or 'hide' paint imperfections well for those who are not going through an extensive paint correction but rather wants it to look good for a day or a pre-sale presentation to potential buyers. Although it generally won't last as long as polymer sealant, it provides a glossier finish as compared to polymer sealants and are generally more expensive compared to polymer sealants. 

Ceramic Quartz Coating

Superb & Stunning  -  Audi RS3 Coated with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Superb & Stunning  -  Audi RS3 Coated with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Ceramic quartz coating, or often referred as a nano coating, is a ground breaking improvement in the automotive industry, it has existed for many years with a recent spike in popularity and brands in the past few years. It uses Silicon Dioxide or SiO2 (aka Ceramic/Quartz/Liquid Glass) that cures into a hard glass that provides superior protection. It severely outperforms sealants in every single way. The 4 main advantage of a coating is: Gloss, Longevity, Physical Resistance and Hydrophobicity. A good coating applied properly by a detailer with appropriate prep work, it could last anywhere from 2 to 5 years and it eliminates the need to wax or polish your car again. Did we mention it has self-washing effects from the hydrophobicity in the coating. Even so, natural waxes finishes better than a coating due to its carnauba content. Although there are plenty of coatings to choose from, there are two types of coating: Consumer and Professional-only coating. 

Consumer Coating
Due to coating's complexity of application, we do advise car owner's to do extensive research about coatings and how to apply them, because once the coating is applied and cured, it can be only be removed via abrasion only. A consumer coating is a simplified and easier to apply version of a professional-only coating, targeted to weekend warriors and car enthusiast that are keen to apply a coating by themselves. A consumer coating usually have a lot less SiO2 content, more user-friendly, a lot easier to apply and usually a shorter lifespan as compared to professional-only coating.

Professional-Only Coating
Professional-only coating are usually coatings that are not available to purchase to the public and are exclusively available to selected detailers. Selected detailers usually have to attend a training session to properly learn how to apply the product professionally to prevent any errors and quality control. Each individual professional-only coating has its own unique way of preparation process to optimise the best results from each application and usually paint correction is needed to remove existing imperfections such as swirl marks and minor scratches. The main difference between a consumer version and a professional-only coating are mainly the SiO2 content and the solvent a coating carries. The higher the SiO2 content is, the more difficult it is to apply and precautions has to be taken into account. 

Pro Tip: SiO2 percentage has becoming a marketing hype in the industry. So if you see a consumer coating claiming to contain 80% or more SiO2 content in a single part and you feel that it's too good to be true? Then it probably is. A Professional-only coating usually contains anywhere from 75% to 85% SiO2 Content.

Menacing Mercedes Benz C63S Estate protected with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Menacing Mercedes Benz C63S Estate protected with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Porsche 911 (997) Carrera 4S in Black - Coated with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Conclusion

  • Wax (Natural or Synthetic) provides a deep, warmth finish, however it usually only last about 2-3 months. It is best suited for show cars on car events or those wanting the best shine. See our Swissvax Wax range for more information.
  • Sealants provides a better protection and longevity compared to wax, but it doesn't provide natural wax's warmth and deep finish. It is best suited for car owners that are looking for a affordable paint protection solution.
  • Ceramic Quartz Coating provides a superior protection and longevity compared to sealants and increased gloss levels close to waxes, cost of getting it professionally applied by a detailer will be higher due to extensive preparation required such as paint correction. This is best suited for daily cars, and car-lovers that wants the best value in the long run. 

If you would like to know more about the paint protection options Project Detail offers, click here.

We hope this article helped you on choosing the best paint protection option for your car. For any enquiries, feel free to contact Project Detail by clicking here.

How to apply a Wax or Sealant

Applying Waxes/Sealants

Waxes and Synthetic Sealants are two of the best and affordable ways to maintain your car's paintwork. It is recommended to wax your car every 2 months, however it may vary from the brand and also level of wax, how much you drive your car,how often do you wash it or how it's parked on a day to day basis.

To find out whether you prefer a wax or a sealant, check out our paint protection page for more information.

Project Detail are proud to be official Swissvax Applicator

Project Detail are proud to be official Swissvax Applicator

Preparation 

Preparation is the key to good results when comes to applying wax. Good preparation allows the wax to bond well with the paintwork, giving the best results and longevity. We recommend going through a 2-bucket wash method, and a decontamination process to ensure your paintwork is free of contaminants before applying wax.

Things you'll need: 
- 2-buckets with Grit Guard (Recommended) 
- pH Neutral Car Shampoo (or if you want a fresh layer, you can use a stronger shampoo)
- Clay Bar (Highly recommended) 
- Clay lubricant/Quick Detailer
- Wax of choice (Liquid or Paste)
- Foam applicator pads
- Masking Tape

Start by washing your car with the 2-bucket wash method earlier, followed by a clay bar treatment, ensuring the car is completely dry and parked under the shade. You can read our how-to guide on Clay Bar treatment by clicking here. 

Using the masking tape, mask any rubber and trims to prevent wax from going over those areas. Some materials and trims might be sensitive to waxes and it may cause damage to those areas. 

wax2

Applicator Foam Pads

- For a paste wax, "dip" the foam pad in the pot of wax. For a liquid wax, shake the bottle thoroughly and apply it on to the applicator pad.
- Start by applying it onto the car in forward and backward motion, working a small section at a time. We do not advise applying in a swirling motion. 
- Apply over the entire car, and wait for it to cure. After it has finished curing, the wax will haze. To check, run your fingers through the applied area and you should see the majority of the wax smudges off.
- Using a microfibre towel, wipe off the remaining wax to a shine. You might use up to 2-3 towels for the entire car. 

Pro tip: Applying sealant first, and then carnauba wax on top of sealant gives a amazing gloss and warmth. This will also prolong the lifespan of the product.

Curing Times

With all products, there is a set curing time that must be met. This allows the synthetic sealant or wax to bond to the surface. These times vary wildly depending on the product applied and the ingredients used.

For example, synthetic sealants typically can be wiped off either immediately or just after 5-10 minutes. Typically for waxes, especially quality paste waxes the curing time is much longer. Waxes like Swissvax Crystal Rock can take up to one hour to cure.

The best thing to do as we suggested earlier is a swipe test, if the swipe is clean and does not smudge that means the product has bonded and is ready for removal.

wax3

Hand Application 

Another option for applying waxes is solely by hand. By taking a small portion of waxes, rubbing and warming it through your hands. The wax is then able to be smoothed out allowing a better coverage and more even layer versus an application bad.

We do not recommend this method unless you are using a high quality carnauba wax otherwise cheaper solvents and other ingredients may be bad for your skin.

We hope this article helped you on how to apply a wax or a sealant. To find out more on how Project Detail can help you detail your vehicle check our other articles from our blog here or to ask us a question or if you have an enquiry be sure to click here.

How to remove Tree Sap from your Car?

Project Detail was designed to be a premier Car Detailing Hub , having Studio's in Sydney & Melbourne. While not suitable for all customers, we also love to provide advice for those who also love detailing their own vehicles. 

Tree Sap 101

Peugeot Hatchback covered in Tree Sap -  Before Shot

Certain areas in Sydney are particularly beautiful with a lot of trees and rich foliage. Particularly Sydney's North Shore, around Lane Cove and the northern beaches, the gum trees are indeed a nice change from the big city.

However, from a car detailers perspective, cars from these area's are notorious for being covered in tree sap. Sap can come in a few varieties depending which tree they originated from. For example, Pine trees tend to have a really sticky and semi clear residue. While certain Gum trees, will leave black spots from the leaves like the one in the photo.

The Peugeot's roof had years of tree sap built up.

The good news is that tree sap an organic material that can be removed. Like most things, the earlier the removal the easier. However, when tree sap has been left on a car for a prolonged period of time it can affect the paintwork, but bonding to the clear coat, leaving a physical mark or be extremely difficult to remove.

Effective ways to remove Tree Sap

Proper chemicals are used to break down the tree sap after the wash. 

Its extremely important to wash your car thoroughly so that the only debris left is contamination and tree sap on the vehicle. If you have access to industrial chemicals, you can spray an acidic wash solution over the vehicle carefully which would soften and dissolve the tree sap allowing some of it to be washed away.

However, a much safer method is purchasing and using a clay bar kit. Additionally, a good clay lubricant would aid in the removal of more contamination and save time.

We would recommend using a clay bar rather than relying on harsh chemicals as without proper experience damaging paintwork, rubber seals of plastic can easily happen.

Aftermath

The Peugeot's roof has water spots and stains from the tree sap that need buffing.

The Peugeot's roof has water spots and stains from the tree sap that need buffing.

After the tree sap has been removed, it is important to assess how the paintwork looks. If there are no major issues then your job is finished. But in the example of the silver Peugeot, the paintwork was full on pock marks and etching from the tree sap's long term effect.

This meant that the paintwork needed machine polishing in order to successfully achieve a great finish. The machine polishing levelled the paintwork, allowing a deeper removal of any remaining tree sap but also improving the gloss dramatically.

Peugeot Hatchback after tree sap removal and machine polishing.

After removing the tree sap successfully, we heavily recommend looking into some form of paint protection in order to allow easier removal of tree sap in the future. More about paint protection can be found by

If you have any further enquiries about tree sap or would like to organise a booking for your own vehicle, please contact us here.

Cleaning Car Fabric & Carpets

Fabrics can be found in cars and accessories such as seats and convertible roof and cleaning them would put most car owners a big question mark on their head. Here at Project Detail, we are going to show you some variations on how to clean, protect and maintain your upholstery.

Cleaning Process

It is important to note that before beginning that knowing about the material you are cleaning is vital. In particular, when we or any detailer begin, assessing whether the material is frayed, damaged or poor quality is important to prevent or reduce potential damage.

The initial process for cleaning any of fabric, involves using compressed air or a powerful blower if available. While not entirely necessary, it allows debris to be dislodged and sit on top of surfaces making the following steps much easier. This is followed by an initial but thorough vacuum. Once the majority of loose debris is removed, do not worry about any particles or debris that may fall as you move seats around or shift the interior, these will be removed in subsequent vacuuming.

Hot Water Extraction

Hot Water Extraction

Hot Water Extraction (aka steam cleaning)

While it may not be accessible for the weekend warrior,  using a hot water extraction method our best approach when comes to cleaning seats and carpets. For fabric convertible roofs, we generally use a different and more gentle approach that we will be mentioning later in this article. 

While the machine itself may be unattainable, utilising hot water in a bucket of fabric cleaner and the right techniques is still a good option. The hot water allows the dirt and debris to be broken down but heat energy and combined with friction or physical scrubbing will allow a much better clean then just with cold water.

Cleaning Fabric on a fabric convertible roof with a suitable brush

Cleaning Fabric on a fabric convertible roof with a suitable brush

Fabric/Carpet/Upholstery/All Purpose Cleaner 

This method would something we recommend especially for higher end vehicles and we would spend the extra time with more delicate methods. Work in a small sections at a time. 

Start by spraying cleaning solution into the fabric, followed by agitating the fabric with a brush in a circle motion. Use a microfibre cloth and "absorb" the cleaning solution. Inspect the results, if any dirt or stain still remains, repeat the process.

Optional - Use a bucket with hot water with diluted cleaning solution. Using a rag or a microfibre mitt/towel scrub the area sprayed with the hotwater. Allow the solution to deeply penetrate into the fabric. Use a wet/dry vacuum to suck a remove the hot water. This will imitate the hot water extractor and allow for a deeper clean.

Important note - be sure to check before applying any chemicals to areas like alcantara, suede or other delicate materials.

Fabric Protection

Fabric Protection at work on a Porsche Boxter Spyder soft top.

Fabric Protection at work on a Porsche Boxter Spyder soft top.

Fabric protection is an optional choice, considering they are expensive and applying correctly without without leaving stains on the surrounded plastics might be a challenge for some. 

Before any fabric protection application, the fabric might be completely dry and clean. Mask off any plastic or trims if necessary.

Prepare a damp towel with you at all times in case the fabric gets into any plastics and trims. Spray fabric coat onto the fabric, use damp towel to remove any overspray. Repeat for the rest of the fabric. Wind down the windows or open the door for the next few hours for it to dry and cure. 

Note - Once again, test a small area as some materials do not respond the same as others with protection products.

We hope this article helped you in cleaning your vehicle's fabrics. For any questions, feel free by clicking here.

Mobile Car Detailing or Detailing Studio?

Differences between mobile detailing studio and a detail workshop

The team at Project Detail Sydney and Melbourne specialises in mobile detailing before building a specialised detail studio. Previously, Richard ran VIP Car Detailing Sydney and Toby ran Grand Sport Detailing Mobile Car Detailing Melbourne and we are going to lay out the differences, limitations and which service works the best for you. 

Snow Foam Pre-Wash on a Ferrari 360 

Snow Foam Pre-Wash on a Ferrari 360 

Mobile Car Detailing Pros

Mobile Detailing can be very convenient for customers with a tight schedule and/or customers that require them to use their car almost on a daily basis that they can’t leave their car for few days. The term mobile means, a professional detailer will come to detail your car at your home, office or a specific location where there’s access to power, water and off-street parking without the hassle of bringing your car to a specific workshop and leave it for several days. 

The cost for mobile car detailing would most likely be lesser, due to a lot less expenses and overheads. A mobile detailing solution could work out well for some customers that don’t require intensive showroom standard detail. 

Mobile Car Detailing Cons

Mobile Detailing can be great and convenient. However, there is a lot of limitations a detailer would face such as; the environment factors can’t be controlled and a few mandatory equipments that a detailer won’t be able to bring it with them on a job. 

A mobile detailer will not be able to provide intensive, high end detailing and wrapping/PPF compared to a workshop due to their limitations of equipments. Even if they do, results performed a detail studio will be superior compared to mobile detailing. 

Detailing Studio Pros

A Car Detailing workshop will be able to provide car detailing services at a much higher quality compared to mobile detailing and specialised services such as vinyl wrapping and paint protection film. A good car detailing workshop will have a lot more advanced lighting, equipments and most importantly, a controlled environment. 

At our Project Detail Studio, we have vehicle hoist, hot water pressurised washer, good lighting and also infrared curing lamps (IR lamps) for ceramic quartz coatings to accelerate the curing process

Our Infrared lamps at our detailing studios provides better results for our ceramic quartz coatings.

Detailing Studio Cons

With higher quality and specialized detailing services, we often will not be able to get a car done in a day and we usually require our customers to leave their car with us up to a several days. It might not be convenient for customers that live further away from us. 

The cost of a detail are also generally higher compared to mobile detailing, due to the cost of a workshop and also the time and workmanship that is put onto your car is a lot higher compared to mobile detailing. 

Preparation for ceramic quartz paint protection on a Holden Commodore VF

Preparation for ceramic quartz paint protection on a Holden Commodore VF

Conclusion

Mobile Car Detailing will be convenient for customers but a mobile detailer won’t be able to provide higher end detail and specialized services.
It’s recommended to get mobile car detailing services such as
- Maintenance Detail
- Interior Detail
- Pre-Sale Detail
- Full Detail 

A Detailing Studio will be able to provide a much higher quality work, especially for customers that is chasing for bespoke, showroom level detail and specialized services. 
It’s recommended to get your car detailed at a workshop for services such as
- Pre-Sale/Full Detail
- Paint Correction
- Paint Protection
- Stone Guard Paint Protection Film (PPF) 
- Vinyl Wrapping
- Car Window Tinting

We hope this article helped you to choose whether to get a mobile car detailer, or a specific car detailing studio. For any questions, feel free to contact us here. 

How to Clean your wheels

Cleaning your wheels: The Right Way

Cleaning the wheels is as important as any other part of your car and majority of the car owners tend to neglect them because cleaning them would be quite a nasty job from all the brake dust. Especially on European cars or vehicles with expensive and/or custom wheels.

There are many ways to clean your wheels. Today at Project Detail Studio, we are showing you our way of cleaning them, as part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination.

Detailing Kingdom's Wheel X Wheel Cleaner

Detailing Kingdom's Wheel X Wheel Cleaner

Different Wheel Cleaners

Just like any other car care product, there are many different types of wheel cleaners. These vary in strength and also their ability to clean as well. Traditionally, wheel cleaners exist in either an acidic format or an alkaline format. They are both extremely potent and can be diluted into different strengths.

For the weekend warrior or even professional use, we recommend using as close to pH neutral if possible as this greatly reduces the risk of chemical burn or damage to wheels.

Thankfully, nowadays there is a new type of wheel cleaner which relies on an exothermic reaction to break down iron fallout or brake dust buildup. These are generally called iron removers, fall out removers etc. But they rely on that reaction which visually turns purple to show its come into contact with any ferrous materials. This type of product is generally much safer that anything acidic or alkaline based.

Preparation

Wheel Woolies are a great addition to any detailing collection, allowing deeper cleaning.

What you'll need in order to clean your wheels properly and safely. 
- Iron Remover or any suitable wheel cleaner
- Wheel Woolies or any high quality wheel brush
- One dedicated bucket filled with water. Note - seperate bucket than washing buckets
- High Pressure Washer or hose

Fill up the bucket with clean water, rinsing all your wheel brush or woolies with bucket so you'll have a fresh start. 

Cleaning

Valet Pro Car Care Products -  Dragon's Breath is a fantastic wheel cleaner in a gel format.

Start by spraying your wheel cleaning agent onto the wheels, ensuring a full coverage including the inner wheel. If its a iron fallout remover, it will turn purple for any brake dust particles. Let it dwell for a couple of minutes until the product has broken down all the dirt. 

Note - an iron fallout remover with additional gel consistency will stick on the upper arches and not run, allowing better overall cleaning.

As the Dragon's Breath reacts with the Ferrous Particles, it turns purple breaking it down.

Using your wheel brush or wheel woolies  to agitate and clean the wheel surface, including the inner barrel or the wheel. Ensuring all surface has been covered. Rinse the wheel brush with the bucket you have prepared earlier with clean water. 

After rinsing, you will find that the brake dust has broken down and rinsed away.

Using a high pressure washer, high pressure rinse off the wheels. Inspect for any more dirt on the wheels. Repeat as necessary.

Pro Tip - Move the car half a wheel forward or back to check and clean the other half of each wheel thoroughly.

We hope this article helped guided you on how to clean your wheels properly. For any questions regards to car detailing, feel free to contact us here.