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. 

Why Do We Do Paint Correction on a New Car?

Buffing or Paint Correction a New Car

Project Detail is a dedicated car detailing and automotive customisation studio located in Gladesville, Sydney and Moorabbin, Melbourne. Our sole focus is on the best quality for our clients vehicles. One of the most common questions we receive when it comes to new cars is 'Paint Correction for a new car? Really?' or 'why do you need to buff a new car?' We've put together this article in order to help provide as much information as possible to assist prospective and current new car owners make the right choice.

While not the most extreme example, this is still a brand new and freshly delivered Mercedes E250. The owner was very insistent that the car did not need polishing. Our inspection after washing proved otherwise unfortunately.

PD or the Pre-delivery Process

Painful swirl marks installed on soft and black paint will require paint correction. This could happen over time or worst case dealer service washes can make this happen.

Unknown to most car buyers from dealerships, the vehicle you are purchasing rarely is bought off the floor. So the shiny vehicle you are seeing is not the same as the one you are getting. The vehicle the majority of buyers receive from $10,000 hatchbacks to $500,000 super cars is brought into the country on a ship.

By understanding the entire logistical journey of a new car, a new owner can being to see why professional detailers recommend polishing or paint correction their new vehicle. The car itself when finished at the original factory would be close to if not perfect. However, from the factory and onto the ship many things can occur to damage the paintwork such as chemical overspray in the hull of the ship or scratches in transit.

Secondly, some damage may actually occur from during the transport on the train or truck. Recently, quite a few of the Ford Mustangs that were transported by train were delivered into Sydney with heavy iron fallout as a result of choosing train over truck. However, more commonly are stone chips which can occur. Most often they are professionally repaired and the only people to notice would be a detailer who spends hours inspecting and looking at each panel under bright lights.

Thirdly and most likely cause of swirls and paint defects is actually during the pre-delivery process. Ironically, the service which is designed to prepare and 'detail' the car (we use that word very reservedly in this context) actually damages your car the most. Worst case scenario, when dealerships decide they need to 'buff' cars they are almost always using the wrong materials and equipment which can often lead to holograms and buffer marks.

To find out more about swirls marks, check out our article 'What are Swirl Marks?'

To find out more about holograms aka buffer marks, check out our article here.

This is simply a case of economics, the business model of dealerships makes profit from selling vehicles firstly and then aftermarket products second. Therefore, the detailing or washing they provide is almost on a complimentary basis but still costs them wages so it would be in the dealerships interest to save as much money in that as possible. This means, usage of cheaper equipment and chemicals, lack of clean towels, lack of supervision and quality controls. If a towel is dropped on the ground its dusted off and goes back onto your car. Dirty chamois and cloths are used and these result in scratches and swirl marks on your 'new' car.

Because of the cheaper products used, customers are often unaware of the real condition of their car and while a customer deserves a perfect car upon collecting, the experience is often otherwise.

The Paint Correction Process.

The Mercedes Benz E250 looking pristine after Paint Correction & Quartz Coating is finished.

When Project Detail receives a new car, we begin with our 21-stage wash and decontamination process. Many dealerships will leave nasty glue residue on the vehicles as the cars are originally covered in plastic sheeting that is removed during the pre-delivery process.

Most often, customers will come to us for paint protection application of our ceramic quartz glass coating. After the paintwork is inspected, we confirm our original quote and inform the customer of the condition of the paintwork and how much paint correction it would need. Thankfully, 90% of new vehicles only require a stage 1 correction. However, a minority of vehicles will need much more extensive polishing either due to extensive damage from the dealership or difficult paintwork thats too soft or too hard for example.

To find out more about our paint correction services click here.

Once the process has been finished, and the paintwork is now swirl and scratch free, the glass coating is then applied in order to give the car genuine long term protection. This ensures the car looking stunning and we often tell our clients, this is how your car should have looked upon delivery, it will be better and noticeably different.

We hope that this article has helped go through the process for you in terms of the preparation and delivery of your vehicle. If there is any questions or further information, please feel free to leave a comment below or click here to contact us.

Nardo Grey RS6 - Current Trend

Flat Colour Trend

RS6 Avant in Nardo Grey

Project Detail is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in detailing, automotive restoration and customisation. We wanted to write a quick article on what seemed to be a new trend at the moment, particularly for high end cars.

The Audi RS6 Avant belongs to one of our esteemed clients from Rose Bay, Sydney. We look after this vehicle on the regular basis at our Gladesville Studio.

Porsche's 997 GT3 RS showcasing Black Grey.

Porsche introduced the colour 'Black Grey' as an exclusive colour for the 911 997 GT3 RS. Ever since then it's became a steady favourite appearing after that in a series of Grey's for Audi's RS range and now even appearing for Ford RS and Hyundai Hatchbacks.

Grey tones as a final colour has been polarising for many of our clients as half completely love it's edgey and different style. They believe by having a flatter colour is naturally accents the other parts of the car, with the RS6 that is undeniable the grill and the headlights become more aggressive due to the colour.

However, many other clients argue that it's dull and it's very uninspired as it looks like primer and they have simply sprayed gloss over the top. Both points are valid, which is why manufacturers every year are striving to develop more complex paint choices and varieties to choose from.

If you would like to wrap your car to this colour or you would like to protect your existing grey paintwork, click here to contact us to see how Project Detail can help.

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.

Swissvax Sydney Official Applicator

Project Detail is Sydney's only official and authorised Swissvax Applicator. We are excited with our relationship with one of the worlds most prestigious car care brands and feel we both share the same philosophy in simply wanting the best for our clients and their vehicles.

Porsche Cayenne after Swissvax Full Detail, finished with Swissvax Zuffenhausen wax.

Porsche Cayenne after Swissvax Full Detail, finished with Swissvax Zuffenhausen wax.

This Porsche Cayenne, is a regular client of ours from Bondi and wants the very best for their car. Our Swissvax Full Detail, is a comprehensive solution utilising as much of the Swissvax range as possible. For this Cayenne we utilised some of the following Swissvax products:

  • Swissvax Car Bath Shampoo
  • Swissvax Zuffenhausen Wax
  • Swissvax Leather Care Kit (then given to client as a complimentary gift)
  • Swissvax Leather Milk
  • Swissvax Protection for Vinyl and Trim
  • Swissvax Wheel Cleaner
  • Swissvax Pneu Tyre Dressing
  • Swissvax Autobahn Wheel Wax

Swissvax Zuffenhausen - Porsche Paint

Zuffenhausen gives a deep and rich gloss

The results simply speak for themselves, but using high quality products combined with good detailing technique, the final product has a big difference compared to regular waxes and products.

Swissvax Autobahn - A Teflon wax designed to rims.

Swissvax Autobahn - A Teflon wax designed to rims.

Swissvax produces a large but prestigious range of products designed to provide the best care for each components of the car. Project Detail Sydney is the only authorised official applicator trained and dedicated its usage.

Swissvax Scuderia - a bespoke wax handmade for softer Italian paintwork.

If you would like your car to undergo the Swissvax treatment, contact us here and organise an inspection and quote at our Gladesville, Sydney Studio.

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.

How to Clean Your Glass

Properly Cleaning Your Glass

Clean windows are just as essential to matching a car's overall shine.

Specialising in Car Detailing , Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne will be covering a series of articles focussing on decontamination and in this post, we focus the importance cleaning your vehicles glass and windows.

A vehicle's windows is one of the most important parts of the car that is mostly overlooked. It has to be clean and visible for us to operate the car safely but also smudges and streaks can ruin a cars appearance. Overtime, neglect leads to a lot of bonded contaminants and grime after several years of ownership. This requires use of a clay bar to remove, more information can be found here. Without removal, the contamination can eventually hinder your driving and impact your safety.

There are many different ways to clean your glass and it can be frustrating to find the right guide to get them cleaned properly as the most common complaint we here is streaky windows. We are going to cover the basics of glass cleaning and the techniques that worked the best for us and also different method for different glass conditions ranging from brand new to old cars. 

Types of Glass Cleaners and Cloths

Having the right towel and knowing a few techniques will make the job quick and streak free.

Glass Cleaners comes in few different types. Generally they all work fine and some individuals may favour a certain brand over another. However, we highly advise not to use any glass cleaners containing ammonia. Even though they have great cleaning power and cuts through grime well, if you have window tint on your windows the ammonia will affect and damage the film. We find that window cleaners with a percentage of alcohol  works the best because the alcohol helps the streaks to evaporate at a much quicker way and it also has potent cleaning ability. 

When it comes to the type of cloths, stay away from the age old newspaper. Newspapers do not use the same quality ink they used to and it simply bleeds onto the glass and can stain the tint! Furthermore, with the new technology of towels now available, newspapers really are a thing of the past.

Project Detail recommends using a variety of microfibre towels. Try out waffle weaves, short nap or long pile, either way the most important thing is to have several handy in order to get that streak free shine.

Never cleaned your windows?

Try a variety of towels, you'll find whichever one is easiest for you.

Some people clean their glass on a weekly basis and many others simply have never touched their windscreens and windows since they purchased their cars. Take this into consideration that the longer you leave your windows the more grime will need to be removed:

Weekly

  1. As part as your car maintenance wash with the 2 bucket method, wash the exterior glass thoroughly as you can and make sure you don't leave any dirty spots. If your glass is hydrophobic (beading well), most likely your glass is in good condition.
    You can find out more about the 2 bucket method by clicking here to see our guide.
     
  2. After your vehicle is dried properly with the correct drying techniques, wipe down the glass with a microfibre waffle weave drying towel. 
    If you need help drying your vehicle, check out our guide here.
     
  3. Spray glass cleaner onto your towel to prevent overspray of glass cleaner landing all over your car.
     
  4. Use your 1st glass cleaning microfibre towel and wipe your glass.
     
  5. Followed by your 2nd glass towel, wipe down the glass making sure there is no streaks or lint on the glass. 


Pro tip: To avoid confusing any potential streaks, stick to a direction! Try horizontal for the interior and vertical for the exterior. This way, you will be able to identify streak immediately.

Long term cleaning or maintenance:

  1. As part as your wash and decontamination, decontaminate your glass with a clay-bar treatment to remove any bonded contaminants. 
     
  2. After your vehicle is dried properly with the correct drying techniques, wipe down the glass with a microfibre waffle weave drying towel. 
     
  3. Using a DA polisher or by hand and a suitable glass polish slowly to remove any build ups of water marks or strong residue.
     
  4. Use a multi-purpose microfibre towel and wipe off any residue left from the polish
     
  5. Use a IPA-water dilution, spray and prep the glass for the last step product. 
     
  6. Apply a suitable windscreen coating such as RainX to give longer protection and easier cleaning in the future.
     
  7. Do a final wipe with a glass microfibre towel.


We hope that this article will help any weekend warrior or anybody keep their windows clean. By having cleaner windows will improve safety and vision. If you have any questions regarding our article or general enquiries, be sure to leave a comment or contact us here.

How to Clay Bar your Car?

Clay Bar - A How To Guide

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 the ubiquitous Clay Bar.

What a typical new clay bar kit looks like. Colours and variations between fine and course exist.

What a typical new clay bar kit looks like. Colours and variations between fine and course exist.

n a previous post, we discussed how it is important to decontaminate your car regularly in order to keep it looking it's best on conjunction with car washing. The post 'Decontamination - Why is it important?' can be found here

The clay bar looks like a piece of clay, Blu-tak or even plasticine. However, this small piece of mouldable material has become very important piece of car care product for maintaining a proper finish. Detailing Clay was invented in the body shops of Japan in the early 1990's. However, it wasn't until the early to mid 2000's did the rest of the world start realising what it was and just how important it would be. Nowadays, every detailer or even car wash should carry a variety of clay bars and even an assortment of other clay products.

In a nutshell, a Clay Bar is a piece of equipment that is designed to glide over the surface of your paintwork by hand. Used in conjunction with something that gives good lubrication, the clay bar removes physical contamination such as tar, light sap or fall out as it glides over the surface of the vehicle. This in turn leaves the paint smooth to the touch and no longer rough.

At Project Detail, a clay bar treatment is included with every level of detail. It is now the standard and no longer the exception to the rule to provide this treatment in order for the cars we work on to have a better finish. You can find out more about our detailing services here. 

When do I need to Clay my car?

Contamination stains the Clay Bar Brown as it is removed during the claying process.

In order to determine if you need to clay your car it is best to give you car a wash first. If you would a guide recommending how to perform a proper 2 bucket method wash check out our previous article by clicking here.

After washing the vehicle properly, if the vehicle still feels rough to the touch then more then likely there are signs of contamination on the paintwork that need to be removed. This can be done chemically with the right products or physically with a clay bar.  

How to Clay a car?

It is vital to lubricate the surface sufficiently while claying. You cannot over lubricate!

Equipment required:

  • 1 x Clay Bar (preferably fine grade)
  • Suitable Clay Lubricant in a spray bottle. Dedicated lube can be purchased or made.
  • Several clean microfibre towels

Beginning with a clean car and work one small section at a time on a single panel. It is important to begin working top to bottom, as any sediment or run off will drip downwards and not get onto any clean or finished panels.

Liberally spray the  lubricant over the section you were working on. Taking a small ping pong ball size of clay, kneed the clay into a patty shape. Then gently without applying pressure glide the clay bar back and forth in straight line motions of about 30cm's each stroke.
As you are claying, you should begin to notice the contamination being picked up and the clay will begin to slide smoother and any noise it was causing should stop.

It is important to not go into circular motions as any potential contamination picked up can scratch and leave swirl marks. As the lubricant begins to run away or dry, it is very important to keep 

Continue to work your way around the car. Project Detail recommends every quarter of the car, to rinse the vehicle. This will remove the lubricant and prevent water marks or the lubricant drying on the surface.
Once you have finished a panel, you will notice the clay bar changing colour as the contamiantion it removes stick onto the clay itself. This next step is very important, fold and kneed the clay until the contamination is folded in on itself. This will reveal a 'fresh' surface for the next panel and that the previous contamination does not scratch the paintwork.

Heavy contamination staining the clay. Kneed the clay in on itself to reveal a fresh surface.

Once the entire vehicle is done, rinse off the vehicle again and then proceed the dry the vehicle. Be sure to check out our article "How to dry your car" to make sure no further scratches are incurred.

Once the vehicle is dried, congratulations you car should mostly be contamination free! The paintwork will not only be smoother but for those with heavily contaminated vehicles, the paintwork will actually look brighter and show more colour as well as there is no contamination staining the surface.

We typically recommend the weekend warrior to clay their car once a month to once every 3 months in order to stay on top of the contamination. Removal of heavy contamination particularly on softer paints from certain makes can leaving marring, scratches of defects that will require paint correction to remove.

Quick Tips & Tricks

  • Please note that matte wraps or factory matte paint cannot be clayed successfully. 
  • Without suffcient lubricant, the clay will stick and scratch the surface
  • Once the clay begins to break apart or change colour entirely throw it away.
  • If you drop your clay onto the ground, throw it away. Due to its stickiness, it will pick up dirrt and gravel which will scratch the surface entirely.
  • You can clay any hard and smoother surface; metal, chrome or even glass!

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.