My pretty quick detail process


Heijneker
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Hey all, 

I'd like to share my updated detail process, may be of use to some of you. I'm a professional detailer and love efficiency. I work for a used car dealer, so I need to be quick to earn some money! Luckily, it doesn't have to be perfect, but it does need to look nice! After listening to Yvan Lacroix ALOT, I lost a lot of time in my process:

I start off with walking around and spraying any glue, tar and sap with T.AR. Remover. Then I take a blowgun and a damp ONR/OPP mix towel and use that combo on buttons, emblems, cracks, vents and such. First you lay the towel over a vent for example, blow with the gun into the towel, remove towel and blow again. I then remove the matt and blow under and besided the seat and the carpet. The matts and carpet I hit with the Dyson V15 detect. After this it's time for the wash.

I spray Optimum Power Clean 1:2 on the wheels and wheel wells, trim, engine bay, badges, sills, hinges and window frames. If needed, the rims get acid or a fallout remover. Also if needed, I brush the wheels and the engine bay. I then pressure wash everything, starting with the engine bay and avoid the Power Clean drying anywhere. After that, I wash the car with ONR and, if needed, follow by claying with a fallout remover.

After this, I proceed on the interior again. Starting off with an Upholstery clean on all seats using the Nathan Flannal Rotary Seat Cleaning Method. I use a DeWalt Rotary, Optimum Power Clean 1:6 on stains, and foam Optimum Carpet & Fabric Clean & Protect 1:6 on everything. I wipe the seats and any overspray off with a TRC Double Twistress. Then, with the damp ONR/OPP towel from before, I wipe everything down and vacuum with a brush attachment. Where needed I use a crevice attachment. I dry the sills with another towel. Perform these steps one seat/boot at the time, starting at the front passenger's seat and ending at the driver's. I rarely use Power Clean on hard interior surfaces anymore.

Then it's time to start polishing. I basically only use the Rupes Blue Wool pads on a Zentool 21e2. I might use Intensive/Hyper Polish for a one step, or Hyper Compound followed by Hyper Polish for a 2-step. Most of the time I 2-step the hood and 1-step the rest. After polishing, I dress exterior plastics with Optimum Protect plus with a towel (and a sponge) and dress the tires. Then I wipe off the polish residue with a ONR damp towel and dry with Car Wax.

Final step is glass and glossy interior surfaces. Use a TRC FTW towel damp from ONR and follow up with a dry one (or waffle weave) .

That's how I currently detail cars! It takes me around 2-2.5 hours and am hoping to get that further down still!

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For someone who is just starting out this is very helpful.

Currently I'm doing basic ONR and Opti-Seal work for a variety of friends and family relying on tips to help pay for more equipment. It's going really well and is so simple once you get a basic understanding of the product and how to use it.

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@BlackLabelDetail great to hear it's of use. In the meantime I've updated my process a bit, so maybe it would be fun to update here soon. I think it's pretty similar to Optimum's recommended process now.

Basically: Blow down interior, Wheel Cleaner on rims, power Clean on hinges, tires and gas cap, Power Clean 10:1 everywhere, brush wheels and engine bay, then rinse off. In less then 10 minutes, I ONR wash and clay with ferrex and Ultra clay towel. Rinse and let it try inside. In most instances, I don't get noticeable marring, except for some repaintes panels. Always polishes out easily and leaves a smooth paint.

Then just a wipedown with ONR damp towel and the blow gun trick. Dry sills and clean seats with Optimum Carpet 1:3, a Microfiber Scrub mitt in a bucket of water and dry with a towel. Anything ONR didn't get, I hit with the scrub mitt and Power Clean 5:1. The a quick vacuum with a very powerfull vacuum, with the Tornador Velocity vac if needed.

Polishing still with Zentool 21e2, Rupes Blue Wool and Intensive or Hyper Polish (preferably, NO dusting EVER) on speed 4 (5 if I need to hit a tight curve on an angle). Deep scratches get a quick hit with 2000 grit. It takes about 3 sprays of polish per panel and I clean the pad with a qouple sprays of Power Clean and Lake Country 4000 Pad washer filled with ONR. Wipe off with ONR wet towel and  Sonax BSD as a drying aid. Opti-Bond gun on tires and wheel wells, clean glass with ONR damp towel and dry with Double Twistress.

I think the biggest cheatcode is Optimum's polishes. The amount of correction in such a short amount of time, with an impecable finish, is absolutely incredible. Cleans up trim and never stains it probably the biggest advantage to competitors. And the fact it's a spray saves me a lot of time and effort. ONR saves me an incredible amount of time as well, easy and awesome results on glass, always. Quick but very effective interior cleaner, saves a bit of time in washing while being saver and getting better results, and makes polish removal easier. Then the way I clean seats as mentioned above was also a game-changer for me. Easy, fast and awesome results.

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I detailed this 2015 Focus station yesterday. Completely neglected and weathered on the exterioir, interior pretty dirty. Took me 2.5 hours, and polishing with Hyper Polish gave a (near perfect result). Maybe the slightest bit of haze, but no micro-marring.

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Oh and regarding speed;

Yvan Lacroix claims one-step polishing exterior detail would take his business around an hour. For a wash, clay and wax it's 20 minutes. After about 300 cars experience, I'm at 1.5 hours for washing, claying and polishing, and 30 minutes for wash, clay and wax. That does include engine bay and door sills, which I'm unsure Yvan Laxroix includes.

So I've got some more optimization to do! 

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