The first step in any detailing service is to meticulously clean and decontaminate the paint.
It all starts with a regular wash. Use your favorite contact wash setup - a foam cannon, two buckets, whatever you fancy. A touchless wash is okay for weekly maintenance, but not nearly enough to remove all the dirt and dust lodged into the surfaces.
Next, you want to decontaminate the vehicle and remove the vast majority of bonded contaminants. You’re going to be scrubbing and wiping the surface later. Any unexpected solids can smear onto the surface, leaving awful scratches in the surface and creating even more work for you.
Over time, brake dust, minerals, salts, some chemicals, and overspray will find its way onto the surface and penetrate the pores of the car’s clear coat. These contaminants accumulate and dry over into a solid that’s physically bonded to the surface of the paint.
If you don’t have one already, grab a Decon Wash Kit from Torque Detail. It contains several products you need for complete bumper to bumper decontamination:
Decontamination Soap and Wash Mitt - This shampoo has special chemistry that dissolves the iron particles in brake dust, the minerals in water spots, and the other salts and chemicals etched into the clear coat. Once dissolved in the solution, you can wash away. Use a dedicated wash mitt - not the same one you just scrubbed the dirt off with.
Clay Pad and Clay Lube - The clay pad is a malleable, putty-like material. You can shape it any way you want and scrub the surface. It has fine abrasives that break away any bonded contaminants, removing them from the surface and trapping them in the clay. After a couple of minutes of work, you’ll find the clay pad is loaded with grime, despite washing the car 20 minutes ago. Always use dedicated clay lube - a product that makes the surface slippery and helps the clay glide easily, reducing the amount of scratching on the surface.
After decontamination, you can simply rinse off the car. Once dried, you should notice that it’s a lot brighter and shinier than before. Claying always leaves a fine layer of scratches, but don’t be concerned - it’s inevitable when you’re using abrasives.
The following step will remove these, along with the majority of light scratches, swirl marks, spider-webs, and hazing.