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Thread: Exterior Detailing Guide 2023 - Part 1

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    Post Exterior Detailing Guide 2023 - Part 1

    Hi all! I do car detailing as a side hustle and wanted to share an updated guide on how to detail your Mirage and have it looking on point! Hopefully this will be the first of many guides. I will try and keep it simple, covering (i) equipment required and (ii) steps to perform.

    PREFACE
    Car detailing can be split broadly into 2 parts: (i) interior and (ii) exterior. This separation helps as the tools/chemicals etc need to be different for both.

    I posted an interior detailing guide earlier, feel free to check that out!

    Exterior detailing can be further broken down into
    1. Wash
    2. Paint correction
    3. Paint protection


    I will cover the wash in this part 1, and keep it beginner friendly (and budget friendly).

    The sequence to wash your car is (i) wheels first and (ii) body (paint) second.

    WHEELS

    Supplies required
    1. Hose or pressure washer
    2. Wheel brush
    3. Tire brush
    4. Wheel+Tire cleaner


    Steps
    • Do one wheel at a time.
    • Rinse the wheels using hose or pressure washer to knock off the dirt, brake dust etc.
    • Spray on your wheel cleaner on the wheel and tire. Let it dwell based on label instructions (some can dwell for only a minute, some need 10 minutes).
    • Use the wheel brush to get in between the brake caliper and the wheel, cleaning the inside of the wheel barrel etc.
    • Use the tire brush and scrub the face of the tire. A couple of circular motions around the tire is usually enough.
    • Rinse the wheel and tire using hose or pressure washer.
    • Rinse your brushes with the hose or pressure washer before starting the next wheel.



    BODY

    Supplies required
    1. Hose or pressure washer
    2. Two buckets and a washmitt
    3. Car soap
    4. Drying towel - car drying towels are microfiber, soft and plush towels


    Steps
    • Fill each bucket with water. Add soap to one bucket, the other will be for rinsing the mitt.
    • Pour soap into the soap bucket based on the directions on the bottle for its specific measurement.
    • Shoot the soap bucket with a jet of water to foam it up.
    • Rinse the car off to remove dust, mud etc using hose or pressure washer.
    • Dunk the wash mitt into the soap bucket, wash the one half of the roof and windshield.
    • Dunk the now dirty wash mitt into the rinse bucket and give it a shake. Pull the mitt out and squeeze the dirty water out.
    • Dunk the wash mitt back into the soap bucket. Will need to repeat rinsing and soaping the mitt after every panel.
    • Wash the the other half of the roof and windshield. The sequence for each panel is: roof+windshield > bonnet+front bumper > windows+doors (individually) > rear window+trunk+rear bumper
    • If the rinse bucket gets really filthy, dump and refill it.
    • If you’re working on a sunny day, frequently wet the vehicle so the soap doesn’t dry on it.
    • Rinse off the soap from the car using the hose or pressure washer.
    • Dry each panel using the drying towel following the wash sequence by placing the towel on the paint and patting it down to absorb the water.



    And you are done! For first timers, this process can take up to 2-2.5 hours. Usually half the time is spent on the wheels, and if the wheels have a lot of miles without regular cleaning it may take longer. If crunched for time, can break into sections: wheels one day (1h+), body another (1h).

    Hope this helps!


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    Last edited by AyAyron; 12-02-2023 at 03:00 PM. Reason: formatting

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    Nice write up. This could give a new car owner some DIY confidence, and maybe even take on more care & maintenance tasks.

    It reminds me of something I heard a lot growing up: You missed a spot...

    I imagine some of these practices would change if water were scarce, and would like to hear what others do.

    I recently bought car wash subscriptions - we can get those cars washed as often as we want.

    All kidding aside, thanks for writing a simple, straightforward guide.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.6 mpg (US) ... 21.1 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.5 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggman View Post
    Nice write up. This could give a new car owner some DIY confidence, and maybe even take on more care & maintenance tasks.

    It reminds me of something I heard a lot growing up: You missed a spot...

    I imagine some of these practices would change if water were scarce, and would like to hear what others do.

    I recently bought car wash subscriptions - we can get those cars washed as often as we want.

    All kidding aside, thanks for writing a simple, straightforward guide.
    Thanks for the feedback! Yes I hoped to help anyone looking to DIY and take care of their ride. I should add pictures though. Will be doing a deep clean next week or so of my Mirage but I am horrible at taking pictures. Will try nonetheless.

    Yes my wheels are old so got some marks (but are clean!) haha, considering buying new wheels+tires soon.

    There IS a method that uses very little water: Optimum No-Rinse (ONR). Its a specialized cleaning agent that only needs a a few liters (couple of gallons) of water. For those with rough winters, can easily be done in a garage without wetting the floor! It works even better on a "protected" paint surface.

    Car-wash subscriptions are great! I believe automated car-washes are more of a U.S. phenomenon (we have people who do basic car washes for a living in my country), however the brushes at the car-wash kill the paint finish i.e. the paint starts looking dull and scratched up. There are brushless car wash options as well IIRC which are better for the paint. At the end of the day, its just an aesthetic choice.



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