Beginner’s Guide To Car Detailing

Introduction

You’ve decided that you are interested in starting your own business and you need a little bit of help in getting started. The car detailing market is a growth industry. With careful planning and knowledge of your market, car detailing is a good choice.This article will be your comprehensive guide to starting a car detailing business. Perhaps you already own a car wash. You might want to consider adding to your existing service. A car detailing business will add greatly to your current income.

Getting Started

There are many car detailing business options available to you.The car detailing business often features great add-on profit centers. These can include:

· Gold plating services
· Dent repair services
· Windshield repair services
· Pin stripping and graphic services
· Wood grain and interior paneling services
· Vinyl and leather repair services
· Paint touch-up services
· Engine steam-cleaning services
· Accessories services
· Rust proofing services
· Odor elimination services

Buying Your Supplies

You can build an “A” list car detailing kit from the following products:

Wash: Zaino Z7
Clay: Clay Magic Blue Clay (AutoZone or Autodetail.com)
Cleaning: Meguiar’s Dual Action Cleaner Polish (CMA)
Swirl Remover: 3M Swirl Mark Remover (CMA)
Glaze/Polish: P21S Paintwork Cleanser Lotion (CMA)
Wax/Protectant: Many choices —
Klasse AIO (CMA) put on 2 coats, decent longevity
Zaino Z5/ZFX (Zainobros.com) put on 3 coats, excellent longevity
P21S Carnauba Wax (CMA) excellent shine, 5-8 weeks durability
Souveran Carnauba Wax (CMA) similar to P21S, $40 more

Tire Cleaner: Eagle One Tire Cleaner (any parts store or CMA)
Wheel Cleaner: Many choices —
Eagle One A2Z (parts store or CMA)
P21S Wheel Gel (CMA)
Sonus Wheel Gel (CMA)
Tire Dressing: Zaino Z16 (Zainobros.com)

Interior Cleaner: Griots Interior Cleaner (Griotsgarage.com)
Leather Dressing: Griot’s Leather conditioner or Pinnacle (CMA)
Glass Cleaner: Any product w/#0000 steel wool & microfiber towel

Microfiber towels: CMA all the way. Best, most consistent towels I’ve ever used. There are cheaper towels available, but the bitter taste of poor quality quickly overwhelms the sweetness of a good deal.

Drying: CMA’s Big Blue Drying Towel. 1 single towel will dry our Tahoe without any trouble.

Here’s a list of preferred car detailing products common to the car detailing business.

303 Aerospace Protectant (there are an additional 303 products as well!)

AG AutoGlym

AIO Klasse All In One

A2Z Eagle One A2Z Wheel Cleaner

AZ Auto Zone (Auto Parts Store)

BA Black Again

BCS P21S Bodywork Conditioning Shampoo

BF BlackFire detailing product

CB Clay Bar

CD or CCD California Car Duster

CM or PCM Pinnacle Crystal Mist detailing spray

CMA Classic Motoring Accessories (Board Sponsor)

CP Eimann Fabrik Clear Pearl detail spray

CW Cleaner Wax

CWB California Water Blade

EF Eimann Fabrik brand

EFBO Eimann Fabrik Black Opal

EFCC Eimann Fabrik Carpet Cleaner

EFCP Eimann Fabrik Clear Pearl instant detailer

EFCV Eimann Fabrik Clear Vision

EFHI Eimann Fabrik High Intensity cleaner

EFPW Eimann Fabrik Power Wash shampoo

EFSR Eimann Fabrik Spot Remover

EFTR Eimann Fabrik Tar Remover

EO Eagle One

FB Forever Black

FI Meguiars Final Inspection Quick Detailer

FI-II 3M Finesse IT

GC Gold Class (Meguiar’s name for various products)

GEPC P21S product, Gloss-Enhancing Paintwork Cleanser

HI Eimann Fabrik High Intensity Cleaner

IG Stoner’s Invisible Glass

IHG 3M’s Imperial Hand Glaze

KSG Klasse Sealant Glaze (sometimes referred to as “SG”)

LG Liquid Glass

Meguiar’s Products, all listed by their “number”

Meguiar’s #1 Medium Cut Cleaner

Meguiar’s #2 Fine Cut Cleaner

Meguiar’s #3 Machine Glaze

Meguiar’s #4 Heavy Cut Cleaner

Meguiar’s #5 New Car Glaze

Meguiar’s #6 Cleaner/Wax

Meguiar’s #7 Show Car Glaze

Meguiar’s #9 Swirl remover 2.0

Meguiar’s #16 Professional Paste Wax

Meguiar’s #20 Polymer Sealant

Meguiar’s #26 Hi Tech Yellow Wax

Meguiar’s #34 Final Inspection

Meguiar’s #36 Hi-Tech Cleaner

Meguiar’s #39 Heavy Duty Vinyl Cleaner

Meguiar’s #40 Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner/Conditioner

Meguiar’s #60 Hi Tech wash

Meguiar’s #62 Car Wash Shampoo and Conditioner

Meguiar’s #66 Quick Detailer

Meguiar’s BSPHP Body Shop Professional Hand Polish

Meguiar’s BSPSFP Body Shop Professional Swirl Free Polish

Meguiar’s DACP Dual Action Cleaner/Polish

MF Microfiber or Microfiber Towel

MG Meguiars Mirror Glaze product line

MGC Meguiars Gold Class product (includes the whole line: wash, wax, wheel cleaner, etc.)

MSLT Stoner’s More Shine Less Time spray

ND Never Dull Metal Polishing Wads

OP Orbital Polisher

OG One Grand Products

P21S A brand of Detailing Products

PB Pep Boys

PBS Pinnacle Bodywork Shampoo

PC Porter Cable (most of the time, in reference to Porter Cable #7424, though the 7428 is often mentioned. 7424 is Dual Action, 7428 is rotary)

PCL P21S Paintwork Cleansing Lotion (same as GEPC)

PI3 or PI-III 3M Perfect it III products

PI II 3M Perfect It 2

PS Pinnacle Souveran

PUPP Platinum Ultimate Paint Protection

QD Quick Detailer

QW Meguiars Quick Wax

ROB Random Orbital Buffer

SG or KSG Klasse Sealant Glaze

SIG Stoners Invisible Glass

SMR Swirl Mark Remover (might be Meguiar’s or 3M)

TW Turtle Wax products

UV Ultraviolet Light

WM Wash Mitt

WWB P21S Windshield Wash Booster

Z Zaino (synthetic wax manufactured by Sal Zaino)

Z1 Zaino Show Car Polish LOK PreCleaner and Gloss Enhancer

Z2 Zaino Show Car Polish for Clear Coated Finishes

Z3 Zaino Show Car Polish for Regular Paint

Z5 Zaino Polish for Swirl Marks & Fine Scratches

Z6 Zaino Ultra Clean Gloss Enhancer Spray

Z7 Zaino Show Car Wash

Z9 Zaino Leather Soft Spray Cleaner

Z10 Zaino Leather in a Bottle Treatment and Conditioner

Z12 Zaino Clear View Glass Polish

Z14 Zaino Plastic Magic Cleaner & Polish

Z16 Zaino Perfect Tire Gloss

Z18 Zaino ClayBar

ZFX Zaino Flash Cure Accelerator Additive For Z2, Z3, Z5

Purchasing Your Equipment

Car detailing makes a very good and efficient first time business. You can get started without having to buy a lot of fancy, expensive equipment.

The very basics are:

· Pressure washer
· Wet/dry vacuum
· Bucket
· Wash mitt
· Towels
· Small soft-bristled brush
· Upholstery brush and towels

You can buy these supplies from any hardware or automotive parts store.

Once you have a good idea of what you are doing in your car detailing business, consider buying some more advanced equipment. Buy equipment that is more specialized and so you can be certain that your business is well established enough before making a bigger investment in new equipment.

What Exactly Is Involved in Car Detailing?

Let’s take a look at some of the primary details.

Automotive finishes are quite thin and generally range from 4 to 6 mils in total thickness. This includes anti-corrosion coatings. The color coat on a vehicle is typically the thinnest coating.
The exterior paint layer is a clear coat and it is thermo set. This clear finish is only 2 mils thick, and compares to the thickness of a piece of paper.

The car’s bumper and softer parts are all plastic. The plastic is painted with a modified paint that is plasticized to endure the impact of stone chipping.

General Cleaning

In order to do an appropriate paint evaluation on all vehicles, first thoroughly wash, clean and dry. A bug and tar remover will have been used to remove any unwanted stains.

Paint Finish

Along with your customer, conduct a thorough evaluation of the paint finish. This will determine the best care treatment.

This technique works well to promote your services and products when done with the customer. Ask for their input and share your expertise on all of your services and products as it relates to their needs.

Swirl Marks

When evaluating the paint finish, pay careful attention to any swirl marks present on the finish. The reduction of swirl marks will lead to your best service in revealing the vehicle’s shine and beauty.

Always study the paint condition while in bright light. Swirl marks will appear in bright light even on light colored cars, using this technique.

Use the palm of your hand to assess the smoothness of the finish. If the finish feels rough to your touch, this means that contaminants have bonded to the finish.

Also take note that surface stains, black marks, or water-run marks can appear to be under the paint and this will show up as a result of surface contaminants.

Swirl Removal

A variety of vehicles will have several different finishes all on the same vehicle.
Hand use of the swirl removable works best. Where there are softer coatings, such as the lower body panels and bumper areas, start with the less aggressive removals or compounds. You want to just cut into the swirl and nothing more. The harder the paint, the harder the cleaning agent can be used.

Use of Clay Bars

Clay bars work well with dark vehicles that have not been detailed properly.
Once you have washed the vehicle, use a one step liquid wax to apply to the exterior paint. This will give you the additional lubrication necessary for the clay bar cleaning process.

Clay bars are combined with a liquid spray lubricant. This will prevent the clay from sticking where the spray lubricant thins out. Using the clay bar will safely remove all surface contaminants.

Clay bars come in two types: mild cleaning and heavier cleaning formulations.

A medium grit clay bar will work well with vehicles that are more than three years in age and that may be in poor condition. A milder clay bar works well on a well-maintained vehicle where maximum gloss is wanted. This is especially true of darker finishes.

Once you have completed the clay bar process, feel for a good smooth finish. The clay must be kneaded after applying to each panel in order to remove all contaminants.

Know Your Products and Services

Car Detailing – Vehicle Is New or Well Maintained

Find out the vehicle’s manufacturer’s date. The day the vehicle rolled off the assembly line and not the day it was picked up. Look for this information on the inside of the driver’s doorjamb or just under the car hood, in front of the radiator.

As a rule most vehicles on a dealer’s lot will be two months old after the date of manufacture. The vehicle needs this amount of time for the paint to properly cure before applying wax.
Apply liquid or paste wax directly onto the washed surface. This will maintain the water resistance the new finish had.

Apply the paste wax as thin and uniformly as possible for best results. You can apply liquid wax heavier than a paste. Four fluid ounces are generally required to wax a mid-size car.
As the wax begins to dry it will start to change from translucent to white. At this point wipe off all excess before moving onto the next section.

Tell your customers that new cars should be washed every two weeks to prevent build up of road tars and pollution stains. Using a carnauba detailer after a wash will also boost the shine and protection of the wax.

Car Detailing – Vehicle Is Two to Five Years Old

A vehicle that has not had any kind of detailing service for a few years can need special care and a lot depends on the climate or where the vehicle was kept.

Look for obvious signs of neglect such as paint degradation. There will be lack of water beading and rinse water will just lie flat on a horizontal surface.

Look for two specific problems on the outer clear coat:

1. The surface clear coat resin will begin to break down. This is called polymer scission and ultra violet rays will begin this process.
2. Look for damage caused by acid rain, local pollution, soil and road grime and minerals. These will etch the upper paint surface of a car.

A very dull appearance replaces the once clear finish and there will be a series of light swirl marks on the finish, as well.

To remedy this, deep clean the car. Apply a pre-wax cleaner or swirl remover to take care of the surface contamination. For the swirl marks, use a scratch and swirl remover as a pre-wax. Apply a paste or liquid wax immediately.

Car Detailing – Vehicle Is More Than Five Years of Age, With Little Car-Care

Even the worst neglected cars can be brought back to life with special care!

The car itself provides plenty of ammunition. Bodies have better corrosion details and finishes are made to last and of better quality. Wax and polish formulations are superior and easier to use, as well, so this provides more than enough to work with to get good results!

With the older vehicles, take special time and careful attention to the evaluation process. The condition of the car needs to be properly assessed before applying product. Besides obvious wear and tear, look for build up of tar and other assorted grime to have built up over time. You will definitely need to work with stubborn spots, as well.

Specialty cleaners should be used prior to waxing, such as a polishing compound. These work well to remove tougher stains and they will minimize the effects of deeper scratches.
In all cases, be very mindful that automotive exteriors and finishes will change just as car-care requirements do.

The Finer Details in Car Detailing

Interior Car Care
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Research proves that body oils on interior surfaces can cause significant life-shortening damage to your car via body oil emission.

Perspiration can be harmful

A customer who jumps into their vehicle during the warmer weather wearing very little can cause serious damage to the interior surfaces of their car, truck or van.

The pH in perspiration is highly acidic and can damage a vehicle’s interior surface coatings, including:

Leather steering wheel covers
Shift knobs
Door panels
Arm rests

Remind your customers, often, of the potential for damage. This should motivate more frequent cleaning to safeguard high-risk areas.

Inform Your Customers

Your customers will appreciate understanding the full need for quick, convenient interior care. Once this is understood, inform them of the non-basics in car care.

You can assemble a package of after-care services. This will identify and then meet the unique needs of your customers. Offer this as a value-added price.

Vinyl Interior Detailing

A heat-weld method of vinyl interior work will yield the best results. This is a unique vinyl fusion process that re-grains or re-textures the repaired area. This process is so effective that it produces practically invisible results.

In order to achieve the desired heat-weld method in interior work, the detailer must first master the technique of color matching. Interested detailers can learn of this process using color matching guides and training videos. As far as detailing goes, this skill is a valuable one to have!

Stain Cleaning

Removing stains is a big part of car detailing.

Common and troublesome stains on the interior, carpet and seats, include:

oil
grease
butter
vegetable oil
margarine
cosmetics
blood

Always use a neutral soap or neutral products with a pH of 7. You will avoid a chemical reaction with this soap.

Your best choice in cleaning solutions for these types of stains are solvent based and so should be used with great care.

Begin to clean the stains by scraping all excess and then reduce the stain to as small an area as possible. Try a plastic razor blade for this purpose. They work well. Next, gently dab your solvent cleaner onto the stain without ripping and it should start to come up. If there is no form of discoloration from this process then you can now wipe away gently.

Too complete, use a foam type upholstery cleaner and wipe. Finish with warm water on a rag and your stain will be cleaned.

Paint Chip Protection

Paint chips are a very common problem for car owners and they will pop up with little to no warning. A simple paint touch-up is not a permanent solution. Even a few power washings can remove the paint!

If you want to believe that an auto bra solves the problem, you’re mistaken. Vibration will cause the bra to rub the surface. Dust will get under the bra and scratch the paint. UV radiation then fades the exposed paint, although not the paint under the bra. This becomes a mess!

Cover the vehicle’s vulnerable areas with a clear, chip resistant tape. The tape stays in place until it is removed and it is transparent so the paint ages evenly. There is no problem with dust.

The door edges commonly become chipped. Use door edge molding strips for good protection

Your business will grow as you gain expert industry knowledge. In order for the detailer to gain confidence from customers, they must be able to educate the consumer.

Leather Detailing

Leather is durable and lasts but it also shows wear. Cars with leather interiors need detailing on a regular basis to look half-decent.

American leather comes with a durable vinyl coating and refinishes and re-colors well. Seats that look like a detailed road map do well to be restored and this increases the resale value of a car by several hundreds of dollars.

How to Detail Leather:

Thoroughly clean all leather panels to be restored. Use a water based and alcohol cleaner for best results.

Sand out all cracks using 320 or 400 grit sandpaper, as far down as to bare leather if necessary.

Once you have achieved your level of surface smoothness, seal all of the cracks and sanded areas using a water-based leather sealer or primer. Be diligent in this process, as if the leather is not sealed adequately it will absorb moistness and then stiffen.

You can re-color or re-coat water based leather using vinyl paint. The result is highly flexible. This process is not to be mistaken for dyeing.

Your last step is the clincher and seals the deal! Finish with a clear coat (non-aerosol.) The gloss can be adjusted with a duller or gloss reducer additive.

Using this method a well-trained detailer will produce an exceptional result that is durable and pleasing to the eye.

Keep in mind that this is not the same process used for a crack and peel job.

Color Matching Detailing

The number one rated, top color in automobiles is gray. Here is how to match the color gray.

Begin with the lightest color of the pigment structure.

White, then yellow (90% of time it is yellow,) then black.

It is common for a detailer to select a small amount of red or orange between the yellow and black. This helps to dirty up the mix. The eye matches best!

Detailers can hone their skills practicing. They will go to an upholstery warehouse and request an auto vinyl sample book or pick up scraps used at an auto trim shop. They have all of the colors to work with and can take their time learning until they get it just right.

Detailers will also visit car-wrecking yards and purchase car parts such as a seat, console, headrest, or a door panel. They then set up a workshop and get busy. By the time they are done they are well skilled in this area of color matching. Practical experience is a good teacher in this case!

For practical reasons it is a good idea to work on both colors and repairs. Do some good damage to your practice piece and then work to repair and re-color it.

When the detailer feels they are comfortable with this process they can move next to doing work on a willing friend’s car.

Even after receiving expert instruction a detailer is smart to continue practicing until they feel entirely skilled in these specialized areas.

The best and most qualified car detailing shops can go to great expense in providing superior franchised equipment, however, unless they can also provide the best and experienced detailers to operate the equipment, using the proper technique, they can very well find themselves without any customers. The bottom line will always be in customer satisfaction and quality of service.

You can’t have one without the other.

Sealant or Glaze Application

You will need:

2 or 3 microfiber towels
2 applicator pads
a sealer or glaze product
(optional) orbital buffer.

1) Using a cotton terry applicator, apply the sealer/glaze evenly onto the vehicle surface. Use circular motions. Start with a 2’ x 2’ section.

2) Once your sealer/glaze has dried to a haze, buff off with a microfiber towel or a clean terry towel.

Follow this procedure until you have applied the sealer/glaze on the entire vehicle surface. An orbital buffer works well to speed up the job.

You can now wax the vehicle.

Wax is available in three forms:

Liquid
Paste
Spray

Liquid wax smoothes on easily, although the durability is not as good as with the paste products.

Carnauba is a natural material taken from the leaves of Brazilian palm trees. A wax with a high Carnauba content works well.

Using Carnauba Wax:

You will need:

2 or 3 microfiber towels
2 applicator pads
Carnauba wax
(optional) orbital buffer

1) With a round terry wax pad, apply even coat of wax on the vehicle surface. Work in circular motions. Begin with a 2’ x 2’ section.

Don’t be heavy with your wax application because you will end up having to remove an excess amount of wax residue.

2) Using a microfiber towel or a clean cotton terry towel, remove all residue. An orbital buffer will work well, too.

Remember to remove all wax residue from the various creases and edges.

Use a soft bristled toothbrush to remove wax residue from all fixed items such as the radio antennas.

Use special care, as being too aggressive will result in scratches.

Environmental Car Damage

Acid Rain and Mineral Deposits

90% of water spots in paint will be caused by “acid rain”. When mineral-laden wash water or polluted rain dries on the car surface the concentrated mineral residue will etch craters on the clear coat and sometimes into the color coat. This happens commonly in large cities, and near airports.

A bit of paint restoration will lessen the jagged appearance of the craters. Inspect the craters under magnification to see the real damage.

The edge of the crater is more visible than depth. Level the “edge” until it is smooth. This will make it much less visible. A professional polishing process will bring you the desired. Finish your “leveling” process with a swirl remover.

Oxidization Damage

UV radiation burns the exterior “skin” of motor vehicles. This process is termed “oxidation.” Every surface is affected, including paint, plastic, rubber, and vinyl, among others.

Paint first turns dull and then chalky. Rubber seals and bumpers will turn white, dry out, and then become hard as granite. Vinyl trim will turn white and then crack. Hard plastic reacts much the same as paint.

Tar and Sap Removal

Remove sticky substances right away. Dissolve tar with a petroleum-based cleaner, or with a citrus-based degreaser. Only use products that won’t harm the vehicle’s paint or vinyl trim.

Sap is stubborn, especially evergreen tree sap, which is extremely sticky. Use a tar remover to release the cohesion. If it has been on longer and has hardened, use a bug block or even a clay overspray remover. Bug blocks also work well to remove aged tar. Follow sap removal with a light paint cleaner and wax.

Several coats of a good paste wax will provide a barrier between the paint and these contaminants.

Preferred Tools of the Trade

Your tools and equipment are critical to your success. You need to know the reasons why certain tools are preferred over others.

There are two main buffer types that a detailer will use: an orbital buffer and a high-speed rotary buffer. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, weights, colors and speeds.

The Orbital Polisher

This essential detailing tool was made to eliminate swirl marks, mars, or burns from being put into the paint by the common use of speed, heat, and friction. This is associated with the rotary action buffers.

The orbital concept came from the success of the classic floor polisher, which is used to bring up a high gloss shine on marble or wood flooring. The orbital polisher does not leaving swirl marks.
The orbital polisher is very effective. It creates an oscillating effect; produces zero rpms and recreates the motion of hand waxing at 1700 oscillations per minute.

The Orbital Polisher:

· Leaves no swirl marks
· Does not require the use of glazes
· Provides consistent results.

The High Speed Rotary Polisher:

· Best choice for auto body shop to strip/prepare vehicle for new paint job
· Best for heavy duty compounding
· Is lighter in weight
· Offers variable speed options.

Both types of detailing polishers provide specific advantages when used appropriately according to the customer’s need.

Skill Level in Polishing

Using the high-speed rotary requires considerable skill learned over time and experience. A beginning detailer who is still learning would not be able to manage this highly skilled machine. Furthermore, they could do considerable damage to a customer’s car.

The orbital polisher, on the other hand, is perfectly safe to use for all skill levels of detailers. The orbital is weighty, but it also exacts a deeper, more brilliant shine. If you find the weight an issue you can also buy a plastic model.

Brush motors can burn out quickly with regular use, while the ball bearing capacitor motors (no brushes, no gears) won’t.

The orbital polisher works great for maintenance once the car has been stripped, repainted, and compounded.

To convert your high speed and avoid the need for glazes, buy an orbital adapter kit. These will screw into top of any high speed.

Extractor Machine

A professional detail shop will use an extractor machine.

You will not exact the same results by performing an interior detail by hand with a bucket, brush, and wet/dry vacuum.

A good quality extraction machine supplies the heat, water pressure, and vacuum lift and does a professional job that delights the customer’s expectations.

Using an extractor, the customer is guaranteed a professional job every time!

Investing in an Extractor

Buy the best! You will receive back years of solid performance when you spend a little bit more.

A local distributor should offer better pricing than direct factory pricing in most cases. You also benefit from help with training and support.

You are more likely to be able to order parts for immediate repair so the machine won’t need to be shipped out to be repaired.

Features

Heat provides maximum performance of the extractor as well as the chemicals used.

The temperature of approximately 185 degrees works best. Too much heat could destroy carpet fibers and warp rubber backing.

Heat Sources

In-line Heaters

You don’t need to warm up or preheat cleaning solution. Produces vibrant heat immediately.

You must use two power cords due to the high amperage draw. You may need to plug into two separate shop circuits. This can be inconvenient if one power cord goes in one direction and the other goes across the shop to an independent circuit.

In-tank Heaters

Turn on the machine to preheat the cleaning solution.

Once the machine is warm and if it has a stainless steel tank it will work fine throughout the day. Use the preheat setting between details.

In-tank heaters draw less power and require only one cord to operate.

Using Chemicals

Extractors use fewer chemicals than manual cleaning.

Using a spray bottle, spot spray grease or heavy traffic areas for best results. Avoid putting a more aggressive cleaner through the extractor pump.

Clean your pump with a 3:1 solution of white vinegar and water. Run this through the machine once a month. This will keep your machine in prime condition and it will perform expertly.

Highly Efficient

Your extractor machine easily replaces cleaning by hand with a bucket and brush. You are much more efficient using this method of cleaning.

Extractor Cleaning Instructions

To begin, vacuum the interior and remove all debris. No need to get the small, lint type dirt, as the extractor removes all of the smaller, lint type particles as well as the really deep dirt.

Spray the cleaning solution throughout the area to be cleaned. Use a pre-spotter with heavy soiled stains and allow this solution to penetrate well.

Go for a small, short bristled brush to help dislodge the toughest stains and ground in dirt. Use the solution/vac to remove the dirt.

You will find that drying time is quicker using this method compared to hand vacuuming.

To make your time more efficient, use the various styles of tools available. They are made of both stainless steel and plastic.

The standard upholstery wand is used more than any other is. Use it to clean some 95% of the work on your average customer’s car interior.
Use the crevice tool to clean in between seats and areas that cannot be reached with the standard upholstery tool.

The floor wand is a detailer’s preferred tool. Use it for vans and in your showroom. Some shops take their show on the road using this tool and clean carpets in restaurants, offices, and other venues.

Cleaning the Battery

Consider doing a brisk business with detailing under the hood. Pay special attention to the much neglected battery box, battery, cables and terminals.

Customers are more than willing to pay the extra $10.00 to have their battery free of greenish-white residue common on some batteries. That thin film of battery acid on the out side of the battery also causes alarm to the customer. This will cause a 2% negative charge and slowly drain the battery.

Supplies Needed to Thoroughly Clean the Battery Are:

· A plastic terminal wire brush cleaner
· A metal brush with a wood handle
· An air hose
· Safety glasses
· One-half inch wrenches
· Loctite battery protector and sealer
· An empty water bottle with a pot sip cap
· One-gallon container of distilled water
· Protectant gloves and baking soda
· A tray to lay your equipment on.

Let your customers know that they will need to reset everything, such as clocks, afterwards.
To begin, remove the battery and clean the battery tray with baking soda and water. As this self-cleans spray water on the battery itself and sprinkle baking soda on it. Next, dry the battery off using the air hose. You can also spray degreaser on the sides and top of the battery and then wipe that off.

Now, wire brush clean the posts and remove them if you think you need to. Don’t touch both posts at the same time! Spray the battery with rubber dressing and then wipe it off. If you have removed the posts now is the time to put them back on. Check the water level and fill it up evenly using distilled water.

For a sealed battery and if you popped the tops, clean underneath and then add the water if needed. Put the caps back on and then re-install the battery. Make sure that you look at the cables and if they are damaged, clip them and then re-attach the cables after cleaning the terminals as closely to the ends as you can get. Note: if you do need to replace the terminals you can charge an additional $10.00.

Going Mobile: Batten Down the Hatch

It is all too common to be driving down the road or highway and see something along the side of the road like a towel or brush. You might wonder if someone is losing their laundry as they travel but more likely than not, these items will belong to a business owner.

Mobile car detailers must take special care to secure all of their supplies and equipment inside their vehicles. Otherwise, if they are careless in just this way, they can expect to lose some of their inventory and, of course, their profits!

Before leaving on your next mobile detailing call check to ensure the following:

your towels are packed down
there is no loose paper or trash taken from previous cars laying around loose in the truck bed or on the mobile detailing trailer
the pressure hose is rolled up
the vacuum hoses are secure
no products or supply containers under one-quarter full are laying around
operational flood lights won’t be whipped around in the wind

In addition, check your vacuum hoses for holes and every day wear and tear. As your power cords are moved from here to there watch for rips as they are dragged around tires. Your electric buffers, carpet extractors and vacuums won’t do the job if they are damaged.

Once your pressure washer guns have been dragged behind a vehicle they might never work quite right again and if they catch on a tire it could rip the entire pressure washer, unloader assemble or hose entirely from the vehicle or trailer.

And this sums up this article.

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