What We Do For Your Exterior
List of Exterior Detail Services:
- 2 Bucket Hand Wash and Dry
- Professional Wheel Detailing With 0000 Steel Wool
- Glass polish
- Trim blackening
- Tire shine
- Meguiar’s Sealant Wax Applied With Orbital Polisher
Visit our pricing page to see our different packages.
Products and Equipment Used For Exterior Auto Detailing
This is a list of the products and equipment I use when performing an exterior auto detail.
- Meguiar’s Gold Class Wash Shampoo & Cond
- Meguiar’s X3002 Microfiber Wash Mitt
- The Absorber Synthetic Drying Chamois, 27″ x 17″, Natural
- Mothers Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner
- Chemical Guys Silk Shine Sprayable Dressing
- Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner
- Chemical Guys CLY_402 Medium Clay Bar, Gray
- Meguiar’s M105 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound
- Meguiar’s M205 Mirror Glaze Ultra Finishing Polish
- Meguiar’s M21 Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant 2.0
- Meguiar’s G12718 NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0
- PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher
- Chemical Guys Lake Country Light-Medium Cutting Pad, Orange (6.5 Inch)
- Chemical Guys Lake Country Light-Medium Polishing Pad, White (6.5 Inch)
- Chemical Guys Lake Country Finishing Pad, Black (6.5 Inch)
- Astro 4606 6-Inch PU Velcro Backing Pad – to velcro pad to polisher
Go back to Auto Detailing.
Our Washing Method
When we wash your vehicle, we want to make sure the entire thing has been properly cleaned. To do this, we use the two bucket wash method. This method uses one bucket for the soap and water mixture that will do the actual cleaning of the vehicle and a second bucket to rinse the dirt off of the mitt or cloth being used for cleaning. When most people wash their car at home, they use just one bucket and use a hose to rinse the suds away. This mean dipping a dirty cloth or mitt back into the same water that you will be using to put the sudsy water onto your paint. Dirt that remains on you cloth puts your paint at higher risk of obtaining scratches that can lead to deterioration of the paint later on. By using a second bucket, you are removing the majority of the dirt you have just washed off, making it less likely that you will scratch your paint. Since we want to make sure we treat your car like we would treat our own, we use this preferred method.
The Products We Use
We make sure to also use the best products to help remove dirt and grime. There are many options for cleaning cloths on the market, but we prefer to use Meguiar’s Microfiber Wash Mitt to gently trap and wash away dirt and grime. Its large, plush fibers are gentle and safe for your vehicle’s clear coat. It is also lint free, so it will not leave pieces of itself behind. It helps to leave your car clean with a swirl-free shine. Because it will not damage your paint, it is safe to use on every part of your car’s exterior. Using this gentle yet effective mitt helps us to gently rub away the dirt without causing damage to the clear coat. Its design also helps keep it secured to our hands so that we are able to use its entire surface, something that would not be possible if we were to use any other cleaning cloth. This gives your vehicle a superior clean in comparison to what other cloths can do.
For more stubborn dirt and grime, such as bugs and tar, we use Viking Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge. It is designed with a large sponge to hold plenty of cleaning solution, which means it will not need to be repeatedly plunged into the bucket of soapy water. Its design makes it ideal to remove the tough dirt that is often found on bumpers, wheels, grills, and headlights. While it is very strong and durable, it is soft enough to be safe to use on your painted surfaces. It will not damage your clear coat, so it makes it perfect to remove any dirt that has been left behind by the initial wash. Because it is tough it is the perfect tool to remove the most stubborn of grime from grills, wheels and bumpers, but it is still gentle enough to eliminate grime from headlights without causing scratches that can cause them to become dim over time. That dimming can be dangerous, as scratched headlights to not project light as far, keeping you from having a full view of the road ahead.
Once we have finished washing, we make sure that your glass is as clean as the rest of the exterior. We use Stoner Invisible Glass Cleaner to give your windows and windshield a streak free, haze free shine. Its formula is ideal to remove tough grime that accumulates on your windows. It is so powerful that it can help eliminate bugs, tar, mud, bird droppings and salt. It even has the power to remove sticky substances such as sap. It leaves your glass with a clearness that can truly be called invisible. It also offers rain protections. While windshield wipers do the majority of work to keep your windshield clear in rain and snow, the added protection from Invisible Glass means that you can use your wipers less often to help save the motor or give them an extra boost when the rain or snow becomes too heavy for them to handle on their own. It also helps to prevent future dirt from adhering to your glass surfaces. It creates a barrier that keeps mud and bugs from sticking and becoming difficult to remove with normal washing. Having this barrier will give you more time between washes, helping to increase the longevity of your windshield visibility.
Clay Treatments and Why it is a Vital Step
After we have thoroughly washed your car, we us a clay bar treatment to remove any remaining or invisible contaminants. It removes many environmental pollutants that are found on most vehicles. It also helps to remove any products that were previously used on the vehicle. With it, it will help pull out any contaminants that were sealed in with those old products. This is done by using a clay bar and a clay bar lubricant. We combine Mejuiar’s clay and Optimum Wash and Shine Clay Lubricant to give your car a flawless surface and prepare it for protective products. We start by cutting or breaking off a small piece of the clay from the bigger block. This way, if we accidentally drop the piece we are using or if it becomes too soiled, we can simply get a new piece. We continue on by shaping the clay into a bar with a flat surface. We then add water to the Optimum Wash and Shine to create the perfect clay lubricant. The lubricant is essential. Without it, the clay would not be able to glide. The clay must be able to glide or it will not pick up the contaminants and would leave a mess that would make the process of cleaning your vehicle more difficult. As the lubricant pulls out contaminants, it also helps to work as a no rinse wash. We then work in small sections to make sure we cover every inch of your car’s surface. Moving over each section, we make sure that the clay bar has picked up every contaminant. Once the bar slides effortlessly over the surface, we know that we have finished that section. As we move over each section, we use microfiber cloths to them remove any of the lubricant that remains. We continue the process until every contaminant is completely removed and the clay gently glides over that section with ease. To ensure that we do not move contaminants from one part of your vehicle to another, we frequently reshape the bar or break off a new piece to continue with a fresh one. When we have completely finished the clay bar treatment, your vehicle’s paint surface will be contaminant free and have a beautiful, lustrous finish. Though it will help to remove contaminants, it will not remove any scratches or swirls left by previous contaminants. We take care of those later in the process. We also use the clay bars on windows and other surfaces. When used on windows, wheels, and plastic surfaces, it completes the process of removing all contaminants that will keep your vehicle from looking the best it possible can. Once we have rid your vehicle of the contaminants that would keep it from looking amazing, we can move on to protecting your finish.
After your car has been completely washed and the clay bar treatment finished, it is important that we dry it thoroughly. If left to air dry, your vehicle will end up with ugly water spots. While water spots are not typically harmful to your vehicle’s paint, however, some minerals found in water can begin to eat away at your paint and lead to corrosion later. Either way, it does take away from the flawless look we want to obtain. To make sure that we are able to attain that look, we use high quality drying cloths to make sure that your paint is protected as we dry, just as it was when we were washing it. These microfiber cloths are super soft and absorb a tremendous amount of water. Using them allows us to dry your car before the water has a chance to start evaporating, leaving spots behind. These are used to make sure that the drying does not damage your car’s clear coat. Normal rags and cloths can create scratches that will lead to a hazy finish. We also use The Absorber Synthetic Drying Chamois to quickly dry your car. They are super absorbent, holding up to fifty percent more water than the average chamois. This means less time wringing out the drying cloth and more time actually drying. They make drying easier by being able to dry up to twenty times faster than other chamois. They can dry a small vehicle in as little as 2 minutes. Because of their soft fabric and lint free design, they will keep dry your vehicle without leaving scratches or lint behind. After your car is completely dry, it is ready for the next and most important step. It is ready for use to polish and protect the car’s newly cleaned surfaces.
Polishing to Perfection
When it comes to polishing a car to the perfect showroom sheen, it has been difficult to get out imperfections without the possibility of causing others. Often, the motion of a compound will add to the swirling and hazing rather than removing it. Most polishing systems use three steps to get the best results. This takes quite a bit of time and can cause more swirls to appear. But we have found a solution by using Mejuiar’s Two Step polish. This eliminates one of the three steps, making the polishing process faster and more effective. The process starts with Meguiar’s M105 Ultra Cut Compound. This compound is unlike others before it. It uses super micro-sized, extra hard abrasives that are able to retain their shape during the entire polishing process. In doing so, it helps to create a consistent cut that removes ultra-fine marks caused by previous polishing, surface scratches, swirl marks, etching caused by acid rain, and holograms. This compound can be rubbed in by hand or it can be applied by using an orbital polisher. We prefer to use the Porter Cable 7424xp Orbital Polisher, as it gives us a better result in a shorter amount of time. It also helps to speed up the process by working as both a cutting compound and a polish. It prepares the paint for the second step.
In the second step, we apply Meguiar’s M205 Ultra Finishing Polish. This polish helps to refine the cutting and polishing from step one. As with the cutting compound from step one, the M205 polish has been formulated with micro-abrasives. It helps to remove any hazing that was not eliminated in the first step and creates a deep, beautiful, glossy shine. It is an amazing polish that takes less time to apply than the average polish. It permanently removes swirls and light defects that the cutting compound cannot completely remove. This step can easily be achieved by hand polishing or with an orbital polisher, just like we used with the compound in the first step. Also like the first step, we prefer to use the Porter Cable 7424xp Orbital Polisher. It helps to truly bring out the magnificence of the car’s shine. It is so effective, that it will leave your vehicle’s surface with a beautiful, mirror finish in just one pass. This mirror finish is further perfected by using Meguiar’s M21 Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant 2.0.
To achieve the best results from Meguiar’s Two Step polish system, we utilize a Porter Cable 7424xp Orbital Polisher. This polisher gives us a variety of options to help us polish your vehicle, no matter how much damage has been done in the past. It has multiple speed options that help us to customize the way we polish your vehicle. A slower, more methodical speed is best for the cut compound, while a faster speed is ideal for the polish. Changing out the pad that we are using and changing the pressure we are using also helps to change the final outcome of our polishing efforts. We prefer to use three different pad to get the perfect polish. The pads, the Lake Country 6.5” Orange Cutting Pad, the Lake Country 6.5” White Polishing Pad, and the Lake Country 6.5” Black Finishing Pad all have different textures and abrasive qualities that we use in conjunction with the Meguiar’s polishing system to prefect the shine of your vehicle. When those pads are used with the proper compound or polish and in the correct order, the finish of the vehicle goes from simply being shiny to being brilliant and long lasting. Using these three pads helps to enhance the properties of the cutting compounds, polishes, sealants, and glazes that may be use to bring out your car’s full potential and help lock in and protect the beautiful shine.
The Lake Country 6.5” Orange Cutting Pad is, as the name suggests, an orange pad used for applying the cutting compound. The Orange Cutting Pad is designed with an abrasive foam that helps cutting compounds to work deeply into the surface of the clear coat. This is vital for ensure that any remaining fine swirls and scratches are removed. We prepare the pad with the compound by applying it in an even coat directly to the pad. We then make sure that all of the pores on the pad are well coated. Depending on what blemishes your car has, we will either use a light pressure or a heavy pressure. A lighter pressure helps to give your car a finer finish, whereas a heavier pressure is needed for a heavier correction. We will typically use a variety of pressures over your entire vehicle to make sure it has an even polish. We buff the entire surface to remove the little incidental imperfections that can be caused by normal wear and tear, previous attempts to protect the car’s paint, and environmental pollutants. This step will usually remove some deeper scratches, but only if they do not extend beyond the protective clear coat. Once we have finished this part of the polishing, we move on to step two.
Once we have finished with the cutting compound, we use the Lake Country 6.5” White Polishing Pad to move on to the second step of the polishing process. Similarly to the orange cutting pad, it is a thick foam pad. But unlike the orange pad, it is much gentler. It can be used to work polishes, sealants, glazes, waxes and many other products onto the surface of your car. Because the pad does not absorb the majority of the polish, more of the product goes onto the paint where it is supposed to go. We use the Meguiar’s M205 Ultra Finishing Polish to remove the remaining surface blemishes. Using the white polishing pad helps to breakdown the polish so that it can be worked deep into the clear coat and bring out a stunning luster. It is gentle enough that it does not leave any hazing or other blemishes that can come with other pads. It gives a great result, leaving an amazingly beautiful shine without any streaks. But this glossy finish is not the last step in making your vehicle showroom worthy.
The Lake Country 6.5” Black Finishing Pad is the last step to making sure your vehicle’s paint looks good for months after we have detailed it. We use this pad to apply the sealant to your vehicle. It is a thick, soft pad that helps to give an even coating of whatever sealant, liquid wax, glaze, paint cleanser or polish that needs to be applied. The black finishing pad, like the white polishing pad, is made with a product saving design that keeps more of the product from absorbing into the pad. Because the product sits on the surface of the pad, more of the product is transferred to the paint surface. The design also helps to keep the pads from skipping while we are applying the product, helping us to have a consistent, even coat of the sealant. It helps to buff the sealant into the clear coat and deposit the right amount of product perfectly every time. It is easy to use, which helps us to be able to complete your car’s finish in a short amount of time. Using it in combination with the Meguiar’s M21 Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant 2.0 helps to make the final shine a brilliant, deep, beautiful gleam.
When we have completed the two steps of the polishing process, your car will have an amazing shine and gloss. We want to make sure that this shine and mirror finish last for a long time. To make this gleam last we use Meguiar’s M21 Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant 2.0. It protects the mirror shine that we have worked so hard to achieve. It helps to show off a deeper, darker, more reflective shine. In contrast to the typical sealants that are used, it visibly reduces the appearance of any remaining swirls and scratches. The beautiful gloss is hydrophobic. Because of this, mud, grime and salt will wash away easily. Water will bead off of the surface, making sure that ugly water spots do not mar the gorgeous finish we have carefully created. We gently buff the sealant in with using the Porter Cable 7424xp Orbital Polisher and the Lake Country 6.5” Black Finishing Pad. By gently working this excellent sealant into your clear coat, we are ensuring that you will be able to enjoy our hard work for many months to come. The beautiful, brilliant gloss will make your vehicle look brand new.
Keeping Your Wheels Looking Great
The final step to making sure your car’s exterior is in immaculate condition is to detail the rims and tires. This important step completes the look and also helps to keep brake and road dust from corroding the rims and damaging the rubber of the tires. This helps to keep your wheels in good working condition, helping to maintain the safety of your vehicle. To remove even the toughest grime, we use Mothers Foaming Wheel & Tire Cleaner. This powerful cleaner sprays on and immediately starts to break down the dirt. It dissolves grease, road dust, brake dust, and other grime quickly. Its unique formula makes rinsing it off easy and washes away the dirt with it. For tougher dirt, the Mothers Wheel Brush helps to gently scrub off the dirt without damaging the finish of your tires. It is safe to use on the inside of your fender wells. We can easily get into this area to remove the grime, dust, and salt that build up inside. This helps to further protect the metal under your wheel well, ensuring that they do not begin to rust from the inside out. With this final step, your car’s exterior will look like it did the day it came out of the factory.