Since the automotive industry is swarmed with self-professed experts offering tips on car maintenance, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between facts and myths. Therefore, we debunked the most common misconceptions about car detailing so you can give your car the TLC it rightfully deserves.
Now you know how to keep your car looking its best.
Myth #1: There Is No Difference Between Car Washing And Detailing
I am certain that most of us have scoffed at how ridiculously expensive professional detailing can get, and thought, “Alternatively, I could get my car cleaned up at a local car wash for a fraction of that price.” While both services essentially aim to keep your car in immaculate condition, the procedures and results vary significantly.
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Car washes target the dirt, dust, tar and other environmental debris from a car’s clear coat. A typical drive-through car wash uses power brushes to remove exterior dirt and grime, followed by a wash tunnel that applies a non-abrasive cleaning solution. The service may include an undercarriage wash, wheel cleaning or a clear-coat protector for an extra cost.
(Related Story: Affordable Places To Get A Car Wash In Singapore)
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On the other hand, detailing is the process of deep-cleaning a car. First, the interiors of the car will be carefully vacuumed. An interior detailer will be applied to the plastic parts and then wiped with a soft towel. On top of that, a conditioner will be applied to protect those plastic parts from being damaged by the sun. In addition, a glass cleaner will be used to clean the interiors of the windows.
Next, the car’s engine will be inspected, sprayed, degreased, cleaned, and dried with compressed air. A conditioner will be applied and painted parts will be waxed.
Then, the exterior of the car will be inspected, cleaned, and washed with car wash soap. Each car will be rinsed and wiped with a soft towel and a clay bar will be used to remove contaminants. Drivers can opt to have their car buffed, which might take several hours. Lastly, the polish will be applied to the panels and a dressing will be applied to the tires. The car will be inspected in bright sunlight to ensure that nothing has been missed.
(Related Story: Car Servicing Promotion in Singapore: Up to 50% off Car Servicing)
Ultimately, detailing costs more because your car is being meticulously inspected and cleaned by trained professionals to ensure it looks as great as it did when you first bought it.
Myth #2: Any Type Of Fabric Will Make A Good Cleaning Cloth
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Recycling stained, torn or otherwise unwearable textiles into car detailing tools might be resourceful, but most of these fabrics are stitched with polyester thread, which will scratch a car’s clear coat. Instead, use microfiber towels that are specifically designed to wipe down and shine your vehicle better than traditional chamois. (P.S. Chemical Guys, Griot’s Garage and The Rag Company has a decent range of options to choose from!)
Myth #3: A Shiny Car Is Equivalent To A Clean Car
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Looks can be deceiving. To the untrained eye, a car might appear to look perfectly clean, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is. One simple method to cast away the doubt is to put it to the touch test. If there is still microscopic debris and surface contaminants latched onto the surface of your car, use a synthetic clay bar to remove the dirt prior to applying polish or wax.
Myth #4: Car Polishing And Waxing Serve The Same Purpose
No matter how minor the imperfection, car owners will naturally want such problems rectified immediately. After all, who wouldn’t love their car to sport a flawless exterior? While polishing and waxing essentially aim to restore your car’s paint to a perfect shine, each product serves its own individual purpose.
Image Source: Reliable Detailing
A polish is designed to remove minor surface imperfections such as scratches, spotting, and oxidation. A professional polish can smooth out, or level, the edges; reducing the amount of light the scratch reflects. In many cases, a polish can completely remove minor surface scratches and other imperfections to make the car’s paint look new, or, even better than new!
On the other hand, a wax is designed to enhance and protect a previously polished surface. Car wax is a non-abrasive coating usually containing Carnauba and other waxes. It is applied after washing your car and dries to a thin, milky-white layer when applied properly and is then wiped or buffed off with a microfiber towel. The wax serves as a clear, shiny protective layer between the elements and the clear-coat that has been applied over the paint on your car. It fills in microscopic dimples in the clear-coat and will help them shine to near-showroom brightness.
In essence, polishes corrects the paint whereas waxing protects it from environmental hazards.
Myth #5: Dishwashing Detergents Are Safe To Use On Cars
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Dishwashing detergents are heavy-duty degreasers which makes them ideal for removing extreme debris and dirt. However, the downside is that chemicals in these detergents will also strip any polymers or wax coatings that are on the car, leaving the surface vulnerable and unprotected. To help the wax last longer, use specialized car soaps and conditioners, such as pH balanced and no-rinse formulas.
Bonus Myth: Swirl Marks Can Be Removed By Waxing
Swirl marks are scratches on a painted surface due to poor detailing technique or improper use of products. Though a car wax might temporarily minimize the visibility of these scratches in direct light, the wax will wear off eventually and you will be back to square one. For best results, paint correction is required. This process involves the use of electric polisher machines and products to level the paint surface and remove minor imperfections.
Have any other mythological car cleaning beliefs that you need further clarification on? Please feel free to relay your thoughts in the comment section and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
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