Spring detox

THE SPRING DETOX

Strip back your winter detail and cleanse your motor with our spring detox

The last few weeks might not have felt like we’re through the harsh winter months, but there’s nothing like being prepared is there? The weather is said to be turning a corner, so what better way to make the most of it than to strip back your winter detail and cleanse your motor with our spring detox.

Winter is always the toughest time of year for vehicles and this winter was one of Britain’s worst; what with the ‘beast from the east’ paying us a visit… twice. Anyway, we have you covered. We’ve put together this spring detox to cleanse your car of all the contaminants accumulated throughout the harsh period. We’ve had rain, snow and sleet in their harshest forms. Not only that, the gritters have been out in full force; great for safety, don’t get us wrong, but awful for our paintwork and wheels! Since the 1930s we’ve been salting roads, helping to prevent sheet ice. But salt retains moisture, which means, if you don’t wash it off the corrosion timeline ramps up and rust sets in much sooner than if there was no salt present. That’s why the protection stages are so important. This spring detox will strip back the winter protection, allowing you to start again with decontamination stages such as clay barring, to make the most of your vehicle’s protection.

Here are our tips on how to get your cars and motorbikes stripped back and ready for the sun:

First thing is first; make sure your car is super clean. Just wash your vehicles as normal; start by jet washing off any loose particles, using a good quality snow foam such as Auto Finesse Avalanche to trap and remove any loose dirt. Next up is a good thorough contact wash using the two-bucket rule. Take your shampoo – our Lather shampoo comes in a number of fragrances for any mood – and add to one bucket, foam up the bucket using a jet wash. The second bucket should include just clean water. Dip a wash mitt into the soapy bucket and transfer to vehicle working from the top down. Ensure to work in circular motions. Rinse in the clean bucket and re-dip into the soapy bucket, transferring to the car until you’ve washed all surfaces. Jet wash off from the top down. Make sure it is completely dry before tackling the next stage – decontamination.

Washing your vehicle just isn’t enough. It might look clean, but we can guarantee that it probably isn’t. And the best way to show this is a clay bar. Before using a clay bar, make sure to use ObliTARate or Iron Out tar & contaminant removal products to further rid the vehicle of any tar and grime present on the surface – this will also help preserve the life of your clay bar. Make sure to use lubrication with any clay bar! Don’t use it dry as it’ll just rub across the paint’s surface and that could cause more harm than good. Spray a lubricant such as Auto Finesse Glide onto the surface (making sure you’re not in direct sunlight) and using a small amount of clay move the clay across the paint in small, circular motions, using light-medium pressure. This will remove any embedded grime as you go. Once a panel is complete, wipe over it with a microfibre cloth to buff off any possible residue and move onto the next panel.

If along the way, you pick up a lot of dirt, simply fold the clay bar over. If you’ve exhausted a clay bar, throw it away! Clay bars cannot be washed or brought back from the dead! A good tip is when you buy a new clay bar to just pull off small amounts so you’re not wasting the whole block.

After any residue from the clay bar or lubricant have been buffed off using a microfibre cloth, you’re then ready to polish your paint with Tripple all-in-one polish, then wax/seal your paint. It’s important to not do one without the other; you’ve just spent a lot of effort decontaminating your car ready for protection, after all. It’s your choice which protection you go for. Paint sealants are generally a little more durable than natural carnauba waxes, but even our carnauba waxes have three months’ worth of durability. Surfaces should be waxed panel by panel. Using circular motions to apply the wax to paintwork and once you’ve completed one panel, buff off the previous one. Be sure not to work in direct sunlight as this can cause premature curing. If this occurs, just use a quick detailer together with a microfibre towel to rid the vehicle of the residue. If it’s a particularly warm day, work panel by panel. Buffing off as soon as you’ve finished applying that first panel. The more wax layers the better, but please do wait three hours between each layer as it won’t have time to properly cure ahead of the subsequent application.

Wheels should be washed at the wash stage. Following this winter, your wheels are no doubt covered in dirt, salt and brake dust. Brake dust is one of the worst for wheel deterioration, which is why it’s super important to remove it as soon as possible. Once they’ve been washed, wax or seal as you would the paint. Good, high-temperature-resistant protective wheel sealants act to create a protective layer to road grime and particles; better for use on alloy wheels as they tend to be more durable again than natural waxes. We offer a combo of both in our hybrid Mint Rims wheel wax. Simply apply to dry wheels using a microfibre cloth or foam pad – buff off after a few minutes curing time. Only ever apply waxes or protective layers to clean wheels!

Plastics are pretty easy to care for; they just need a good, regular wash and a protective layer. It’ll depend on what finish you’re looking for as to whether you use a dressing or sealant. If you prefer a more matte finish then a natural wax is the one to go for, however, if you like your plastics to shine then a sealant is much better – the sealant will also last longer.  As far as the wash stage goes, spray Verso onto the surface, for engine cleaning or the grubbier areas,  spray the selected area and allow to decrease, then agitate with a detailing brush. Protective layers you’ll be adding to plastics shouldn’t need too much in the way of topping up during the spring and upcoming summer months; you should be able to get away with just back to blacking it each time you wash with Dressle. More protection won’t hurt, though.

Glass can often be an afterthought, but it still needs protecting and sealing. Sealing glass means added safety – especially during the inevitable April showers that are just around the corner. Sealant layers will help water to simply run off your glass surfaces, without too much need for the use of screen wash. Not only that, wiper streaks look awful. Despite feeling so under our hands, glass does not have a smooth surface under a microscope. Our Vision polish is great for cleaning and smoothing out the surface of glass, helping water to more-easily run off.

If you have any questions at all – we’re here to help – so just drop us a message at info@autofinesse.co.uk and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

Products used in this article:

Foam Lance

Avalanche

Lather

Wash Mitt

Iron Out

ObliTARate

Verso

Interior Brush

Glide

Clay Bar

Tripple

Fusion