car detailing melbourne

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. 

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.

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. 

How to choose a Wash Mitt for your car

Types of Wash Mitt

Specialising in Car Detailing , Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne will be covering a series of articles focussing on decontamination and in this post, we focus on car wash mitts. 

The reasoning behind this particular post stems from the belief that it is critical that for the vast majority of cases, using a typical sponge is terrible for your paintwork!

Therefore, Project Detail uses and highly recommends using wash mitts and having several spare handy. It is important to note that not all wash mitts are the same, in fact there are several types of wash mitts available on the market today. Ranging from microfibre, microfibre noodles and wool.

A good wash mitt is vital when comes washing a car properly by using a 2-bucket wash method. In combination with the buckets, the mitt greatly reduces fine scratches and swirl marks instilled on your paint. In this article Project Detail, we will guide you through the wash mitt.

Swirl marks and scratches caused by improper washing and maintenance.

Swirl marks and scratches caused by improper washing and maintenance.

Sponges = Swirl City

Sponges comes to majority of people's mind whenever a car wash is mentioned. Whether this is due to bikini washes or the person washing their car on the weekend often shown in the media.

Sponges when examined, are actually incredibly bad for washing your car. Contrary to regular belief, the paintwork on your car is very soft and not that durable towards scratching. A sponge by nature does two things when washing your car, the first is holding a large amount of liquid or shampoo in this instance. And the second is being abrasive, having the scrubbing power to remove harsh caked on residue just like a dinner plate.

These factors aren't relevant when washing your car. It is very important to remember a sponge does not physically pick up or remove the dirt. What it will do however is grind the dirt and dust on the surface as you move your mitt around, physically putting in scratches into the paintwork.

Therefore, this is why Project Detail and many professional detailers prefer using a mitt instead. The fundamental difference is the mitt's ability to encapsulate and pickup dirt and debris rather than pushing it around. This allows the grit and dirt to be dispensed safely into a 2 bucket and grit guard system.

Meguiars example of a Microfibre wash towel

Meguiars example of a Microfibre wash towel

Microfibre Wash Mitt

One of the most common wash mitt available on the market. It works great for cars that are going through a wash and decontamination for wax application or paint correction treatment. It picks up dirt and cleans well but for cars with a softer, delicate paintwork. It might cause micro-marring due to the length of the fibres in the wash mitt. 

For microfibre wash mitts, we recommend rinsing in the 2-bucket method as often as possible due to the dirt capacity in them. 

Example of a woolen wash mitt

Example of a woolen wash mitt

Wool/Sheep Skin Wash Mitt

A wool/sheep skin wash mitt is our favourite wash mitts when comes to maintenance wash and details. It's very soft, plush and very delicate on paint. It traps dirt deep into the fibres while cleaning the surface with it's soft hair. 

We however do not recommend people to use wool/sheep skin wash mitt on extra dirty cars. The down side of a wool/sheep skin is longevity, it does not last as long as a microfibre wash mitt. 

Microfibre noodle mitt in action

Microfibre noodle mitt in action

Noodle Microfibre Wash Mitt 

A noodle microfibre wash mitt combines both microfibre and wool/sheep skin wash mitt, providing the best of both worlds. The fibres has the length on a wool/sheep skin wash mitt and the material of a microfibre wash mitt and it works excellent on both a maintenance detail and preparation wash. 

If you can't decide which wash mitt to get, a noodle microfibre wash mitt is the type of wash mitt you will want to go for. 

Variant of a microfibre wash m

Variant of a microfibre wash m

Your detailer will most likely to have 3 types of wash mitt we mentioned for each different types of detail to suit for their customers. But however if you are still deciding which wash mitt to get, we recommend a noodle microfibre wash mitt for all rounders and a wool/sheep skin wash mitt if your car has been detailed previously. 

Now you have your wash mitt, but unsure which shampoo to get? Be sure to check out our previous article on car wash shampoos here. 

We hope this article helped you about choosing the right wash mitt for your car (and not sponge), feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions in regards to car detailing. You could do so by clicking here.

Types of Car Wash Shampoo

All shampoos are not the same

Specialising in Car Detailing , Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne will be covering a series of articles focussing on decontamination and in this post, we focus on Car Shampoo.

Choosing the right car shampoo for your car is essential for majority of the car owners. There are thousands of variety of car shampoo on the shelf and choosing the right one for your car might be a difficult task.  

There are a few differences between types of car shampoo but they all serve the same purpose: to break down dirt and help clean your car.

Here at Project Detail Studio, we are going to cover the different types of car shampoo that suits the best for your vehicle. 

BMW M4 Snow Foam as Pre-wash, part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination

Snow Foam Agent ph neutral

These types of shampoo are designed to be used with a snow foam lance or hose attachment. It contains high suds content and cleaning agent that is used to break down dirt and grime on the pre-wash stage. Spray snow foam, covering the entire car and let it sit for 3-5 minutes for it to dwell onto the paintwork before rinsing it off, allowing us to have less contact with the dirt when comes to the 2-bucket method wash after.

Want to know more about Snow Foam and what we mean by pre-wash? Click here to see our 21 stage wash method Project Detail uses.

Preparation/Heavy Duty Shampoo
often acidic or alkaline inclined

Typically, these kind of shampoo is used in preparation before a car undergoes a waxing application or paint correction. It provides superior cleaning compared to ordinary washes and not only it cleans all the dirt and grime well, it also breaks down previously applied wax or sealants. Also tends to have stronger cleaner ability however, if left to dry on paint can causing etching or staining to plastics, rubbers or paintwork.

Soft Wash/Maintenance Shampoo ph Neutral

These shampoos are usually pH neutral and they are very delicate on car paints and does not have the intend to strip any applied waxes or sealants. They are perfect for cars that has been detailed or previously applied wax or sealants and they are great at maintaining them. Some of these shampoos even have a small amount of wax mixed into the formula. It is usually named soft wash/wash and wax/premium car shampoo etc. 

Pro tip: If your car has been applied with any type of wax or sealants, use a pH neutral shampoo to preserve its longevity.

Coating Maintenance Shampoo ph Neutral

Coating maintenance shampoos are fairly new to the market. As some of the detailers know, ceramic/quartz coating usually is maintained by applying a top coat every few months and it acts as a sacrificial layer on top of the ceramic/quartz coatings and it provides good hydrophobicity on top of the coatings itself. A coating maintenance shampoo combines a top coat and car wash shampoo in one. An good example would be CarPro's Hydro2 or Concours Nova Jet. It can also be used on cars that hasn't had ceramic/quartz coating to provide rudimentary protection.

Detailing Kingdom's Car Hydra is an example of pH neutral premium shampoo.

We hope this article helped you on choosing the right car wash shampoo for you car. If you have any questions about car wash shampoos, you can do so by contacting us here.

Project Detail Melbourne Studio is now open

Porsche Macan S Paint Protection by Project Detail Melbourne

Porsche Macan S Paint Protection by Project Detail Melbourne

Our Melbourne Studio is now open!

Project Detail is now available in Melbourne for all your high-end detailing needs. Previously, I was running Grand Sport Detailing. During my time of running Grand Sport Detailing, I constantly investing time and effort into research and developing the best way to detail cars and we are happy to announce that we are bringing Project Detail in Melbourne to detail cars at a high standard.

It's been a fantastic experience becoming Project Detail Melbourne. Richard and I realised we both shared the same belief and emphasis on the customer, quality and a passion for detailing.
A little while later, we were working together!

Here are the most recent cars that we did in Melbourne's Studio:

 

Not only we offer premium car detailing services in Melbourne. We offer
- Pre-sale detail to increase your resale value of your vehicle
- Paint Correction to restore car’s paintwork that has been neglected for years, cars that lost their lustre “brand new feeling”
- Paint Protection (Exterior and interior) for brand new, used and showroom cars. Ranging from the traditional wax to the latest innovation in paint protection – nano permanent paint protection coatings that last for years.
- Stone Guard PPF (Paint Protection Film)
- Vinyl Wrapping

Our studio is located at 130 Keys Road, Moorabbin. Appointments and bookings are essential prior to getting your car detailed. Be sure to get in touch with us for your next detail.