The Process

20 years of experience has taught us the best and most efficient way of doing things to make our methods of cleaning and detailing as much of a science as it is a discipline.

There is always a specific reason why we do things in the order in we do them, for example, we clean the engine and engine compartment first, because this process can cause the necessity of unintended cleanup elsewhere on the car.

So it is there that we begin:

Engine

Vintage engines are meticulously and carefully cleaned and detailed by hand using mild solvents and cleaners.

Modern engines, while being more robust in their ability to be cleaned, are usually much dirtier simply because these are driven more.

 

 

Wheels

Simple, or easy to clean wheels can be cleaned after the car is washed, otherwise complex, dirty, or hard to clean wheels are best cleaned before the body is washed.

Vintage, spoke wheels are the hardest to clean. Ideally, the best way to deal with spoke wheels like this is to take them off. However, since this is often not practical, we utilize an assortment of specialized tools and brushes with mild cleaners. Actually, we have found that fingers are often the best tool for the job

We do not use acidic cleaners on wheels, period.

Aluminum, alloy, chrome or mag. wheels are polished with the finest polishes available and then sealed with a protective acrylic coating.

Painted or powder-coated wheels are thoroughly cleaned, polished, if applicable, and sealed with an acrylic sealant.

When appropriate, the brake calipers are cleaned at this time too.

Tires are treated last, at the end of the detailing process.

Body wash

Properly washing the body of the car is one of the most underrated and important steps in automobile detailing. Extra time taken here is always time well spent.

First, we pre-soak the car with a mild, ph neutral, soapy solution to loosen clingy dirt, bugs, water-soluble sap etc. making removal of said contaminates as trauma-free to the paint as possible. Then the car is thoroughly rinsed.

Moving from the cleanest areas to the dirtiest areas, the wash begins with the roof, hood, and trunk before we come to the sides skirts, and back of the car.

We use very fine synthetic wool wash pads, which we have found to be the best. Sponges or towels lack the large gaps for suds to accumulate to draw dirt away from the paint; horsehair requires too much pressure to be effective for dirty areas. And of course, the pads are thoroughly washed in-between sections.

Lastly, we come to the door, hood, and trunk jams. This is an important aspect to a properly detailed car not just because of cleanliness sake, but also for the purpose of properly polishing the car: (The act of running a high-speed polisher over jam-gaps in the body of the car creates a venturi-effect, which can suck small debris out into the polishing pad and create vicious wheel-marks).

Finally, the car is carefully dried with the finest synthetic chamois’s, and then blown dry to remove water from unreachable gaps.

Inspection

After the wash process, the car is thoroughly inspected. We take our time and go over every inch of the car to see what kind of conditions exist on the various areas, so as to form the best, and most specific protocol appropriate for your specific car. We never just “go through the motions”.

 

 

Paint work

Stuck-on contaminates like pine sap, and road tar, are taken care of now before the clay process that follows.

Originally created for the removal of paint overspray, clay is a fine abrasive imbedded in a semi-soft, pliable medium. It comes in several forms: organic or synthetic, regular and coarse (overspray). Clay is used by spraying a lubricant on the surface and gently rubbing the flattened clay on the paint. This takes all of the bonded contaminates off the car leaving the surface perfectly smooth to the touch. It is truly one of the best innovations to the industry in the past 15 years.

After the clay process, the paint is perfectly smooth and mostly free of contaminates. If your car’s paint requires extensive work, we move on to the paint restoration system, otherwise, we go to the next step which is to deep clean the paint with our own proprietary cleaner, glaze, and polish which we blend ourselves. This is worked into the paint by hand, or with an orbital polisher, depending on the surface. This removes microscopic contaminates and polishes your paint to a fine luster in preparation for waxing.

Wax is applied and removed by hand.
Polymers, acrylics, and Teflon’s are applied by hand, or with the use of an orbital buffer. This is followed by a leveling and inspection process.

 

 

 

Interior

We now move on to cleaning and rejuvenating the inside of the car. We begin with a thorough vacuuming using a thin hose and a small crevice tool to reach every area including areas that are usually invisible. A very specific, synchronic protocol begins here born of years and years of experience. The carpets, mats, and upholstery are thoroughly shampooed. Every inch of the dash, console, and door panels are meticulously and carefully cleaned.

We do not take shortcuts. We would never use shampoos that cover-up soiled carpets with a dye like other production detail shops. Likewise we do not cover up dirty plastics or leather with fancy dressings. However, we do have an excellent, non-silicone conditioner to restore old, oxidized vinyl after it’s been cleaned, but generally speaking, modern plastics and vinyl are best left alone after cleaning.

Leather is very carefully cleaned and conditioned using the finest products available. We are particularly proud of our ability to restore old, dry, and cracking vintage leather. I’ve researched the materials that are in the products that are available, how they work, and how to apply that knowledge to restore the integrity to your distressed leather.

We do not use silicone dressings in the interior of any automobile, period.

Windows

I’ve seen clients base their satisfaction of a detail job solely on how clean the windows are. Clean, streak-free windows are the holy grail of detailing because it is one of the most difficult things to do. We know that perfectly clean towels are the secret, and we use the best cleaners available. Windows can also be polished when necessary.


 

Tires

The first step in cleaning tires is done initially in the wash process.
This will clean off the basic dirt, and for many cases this is all that is necessary. For the rest, where more extensive cleaning is needed, we have a method of deep cleaning even old vintage tires so they look new and natural—without dressings . Finally we have some very good water-based dressings for non-vintage tires.