DIY Auto Detailing Part 2: The Body

Welcome to CustomPinoyRides’ second installment on DIY Auto Detailing,. Our first installment was all about Detailing the Engine Bay. While in this post, we will discuss How to Detail the Body.
Detailing The Body

Materials Needed for Detailing the Body:

  • Clean Water
  • Car Wash Soap
  • Washing Mitt (100% Cotton)
  • Terry Cloth Towels
  • Clay Bar
  • Car Polish
  • Car Wax
  • Trim Dressing

Detailing The Body:

This area covers two parts: Washing the Body, and Polishing & Waxing.

Washing The Body: Never wash the body while it is hot, or exposed to the sun. Doing so will make it more prone to developing water spots and streaks. Always make sure you wash it in the shade. And always wash the body with real car wash soap/shampoo, as using household detergents may strip off the wax, or even harm the paint.

Using clean water and a clean 100% cotton mitt will ensure that dirt is removed, while not scratching the paint. Rinse the mitt between soaping and rinsing the body. You can use a very soft bristled toothbrush to get between tight spots such as emblems. Don’t forget to get under the fenders, bumpers, and side skirts.

Make sure you dry it up before the water starts to dry up and form water spots. So soon as it’s clean, dry the body up using soft clean terry cloth towels.

Right after drying, rub your fingers over the paint and inspect it closely to check for any paint defects. What you are looking for is if the imperfections are on the surface (road salt, asphalt, acid rain, traffic film), or underneath (clean surface but dull, flat looking paint). This important procedure will determine what you will do in the next step.

Polishing and Waxing: Surface imperfections are best removed with a Clay Bar. After the clay bar treatment, any further imperfections will be those underneath. This can be taken care of by polishing.

Polish is not required in every single detailing session; but wax is. You might think that polish and wax is one and the same! It is NOT.

Polish is slightly abrasive, like extremely fine sandpaper. This is only used when the paint starts to look dull. Polishing it removes a small layer of paint to remove paint defects and imperfections, and makes it shine. But doing this too often will eat through the paint until the only way to bring back its luster is a full respray.

Wax, on the other hand, is non abrasive. It fills in any microscopic gaps, and becomes an even, shiny, protective coating over the paint. But waxing over paint that has imperfections will just seal those defects underneath! You may want to apply more than one coat of wax, as this will provide you with the best finish. Use the best terry cloths you have for wiping, and use cotton swabs to remove excess wax from tight crevices.

After all the waxing, you can now apply trim dressing on all the trim and fenderwells. Then, take a few steps back and smile at the remarkable job you’ve done.

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