top of page

Detail Like A Pro


An in depth guide/course on how to detail your own vehicle

like the professionals, we haven't included polishing as this should be done professionally... or bravely, do lots of research!

All the products mentioned in the guide have been linked to amazon in the turquoise text to save you time.


The preliminary pre-wash is an essential first step. The plan is to remove as much dirt as possible before the contact wash. A pre-wash loosens any compacted dirt and grit that may otherwise damage paintwork.

Start with the wheels first, then once you have completed the wheel clean section (as shown below) repeat this process on the bodywork. This is because wheels should be the first thing cleaned on a vehicle as this is where most of the debris and contamination build up.

The Process

1. First cover the car with snow foam, DON’T rinse the car first, this is classed as contact and causes scratches as the water at high pressure fires grit across your paint.

Allow foam to dwell on the surface until it starts to break up (don't let it dry), the longer the better, once some time has passed, starting at the highest point, rinse all foam from the vehicle.

2. A citrus pre-wash is designed to remove bugs, bird lime, and stubborn grease from all exterior surfaces of the vehicle.

Start by spraying citrus wash generously onto desired surfaces.

Where Possible, allow 3 to 4 minutes dwell time (don't let it dry).

Agitate crevices with a soft detailing brush, then rinse the vehicle thoroughly from bottom to top as going from top to bottom will dilute the chemical lower down the vehicle and make it less effective - this will leave streaks on the paint.

Once completed rinse once again from top to bottom to finish the pre-wash stage.

Car Wash


The Process

Use a non-acidic wheel cleaner to aggressively destroy brake dust and contaminants whilst remaining safe for all wheel types.

After completing the snow foam step in section 1 above, the wheels should now be cool.

Spray the Alloy Wheel Cleaner liberally on to the wheel and allow one minute dwell time to break down the grime.

Agitate with a wheel woolie to loosen stubborn dirt and contamination, then rinse thoroughly with a pressure washer.

Unlike some other Detailer's we don't use an Iron Remover (fallout Remover) as a wheel cleaner. This is because it is not designed to remove dirt and grime. It is in fact a chemical catalyst product that supports the removal of a very stubborn form of iron contamination.

This explained below in the 'decontamination section'.

Contact Wash

This is where attention to detail is crucial.

Hand-shampooing a car with a microfibre wash mitt traps loose particles (a sponge doesn't).


This will ensure the surface is thoroughly clean and ready for further treatment. We always use the two-bucket method; one for wash and one to rinse the mitt.

The Process

Add between 7ml and 10ml of Pure Shampoo to a 15L bucket of warm water and agitate to generate rich suds. Pay attention to the suds as you work, making sure when washing the vehicle that the shampoo is lubricating the paint. You can spot this if the water from the mitt starts to split/break up on the paint, you may need more shampoo in the water or to re-dip your mitt in the water/shampoo mix.

Using the two bucket wash method (rinse and shampoo) and with a good wash mitt, start cleaning from the highest point of the vehicle, working in the direction the air passes over the vehicle and working gradually downwards.

It is important to work in the direction of the airflow, as road debris splinters the paint microscopically in the same way a splinter in your finger would and should be pulled out the same way it went in.

Rinse the wash mitt after each panel to ensure it is clear of any debris that could scratch the surface.

Rinse thoroughly to remove any remaining residue.

Dry vehicle using dedicated Drying Towel and blower (if you have one).

Dry wheels using a dedicated Wheel Drying Towel and blower.

NEVER use a sponge - Always a Wash Mitt and never press too hard, let the mitt do the work, not the pressure.

Use grit guards at the bottom of both buckets to stop you picking the debris back up on the rinse action.

Washing the Car


An iron remover chemical is the next step after washing your vehicle because airborne iron particle fallout is an unseen menace to car paintwork and alloy wheels.

A thorough application will remove iron fragment contamination and brake dust leaving the surface ready for the final stages.

The Process

Iron Remover

Once applied you will visibly see iron bleed from the surfaces of your vehicle (as shown in the picture to the left) as it removes ferrous metals from wheels and body work.

  • Thoroughly wash and dry the entire vehicle, including wheels, before using this product.

  • Apply to cool to touch surfaces.

  • Spray directly onto the wheel or panel.

  • Watch the product get to work, turning a deep red as it detaches iron from the surface.

  • Agitate to ensure the most stubborn iron is removed.

  • Do not allow the product to dry as this can damage the paint.

  • Rinse thoroughly to remove all excess product from the surface.

Glue & Tar Remover

Remove glue and tar from paintwork in moments making the surface ready for a polish.

  • Thoroughly wash and dry the vehicle.

  • Spray product directly onto the area of glue or tar.

  • When the glue or tar begins to run down the panel, wipe away with a clean microfibre.

  • Once glue and tar has been removed, repeat the shampoo and dry process for the areas treated to remove residue.


Applying a wax will help you achieve a beautiful, high gloss, and hydrophobic finish that will keep your hard work protected.

The Process

  • Apply a thin layer of wax product to the paintwork of your vehicle using a dedicated Wax Applicator.

  • Application can be in circular or cross hatch motions.

  • Do not apply in direct sunlight, panel temperatures should be cool to touch.

  • Allow a 2-3 minute curing time before removing with a clean, dry buffing towel/plush Microfibre.

  • Apply a second layer to obtain optimal results.

  • Buff all treated surfaces with a plush Buffing Towel to reveal your high gloss finish.

Remember less is more, detailing wax should be applied in a thin layer.

Applying a thick layer of wax will not add benefit but hinder the removal process, making it more difficult and less enjoyable.

An alternative to waxing by hand is a spray wax, just follow the instructions on the reverse of the bottle as they are all different.


Finishing Touches

It is often the small details that make the biggest differences. Achieve the ultimate finish with these finishing touches.

The Process

Glass Cleaner

Use a hydrophobic glass cleaner on external glass such as RainX to achieve a crystal clear and truly smear-free finish, with a professional grade glass cleaning formula. Glass should be cool to touch and out of direct sunlight when cleaning to avoid streaks.

Tyre Dressing

Revitalise your tyres to provide a fresh, flexible finish and help protect them from UV rays and cracking.

You may notice your tyres have an orange tinge when you clean them, that's an anti ozone agent that's added to the rubber to stop them cracking. Using a tyre dressing will help prevent the orange tinge coming back.

Ensure the tyre wall is covered

but NOT the tread, try avoiding

silicone based tyre dressings as

these are slippery and on hard

cornering you actually drive on

the tyre wall (tyre rollover/slip angle).

Plastic Trim Dressing

Breathe new life into weathered plastic trims with a black wax.

Be careful as some can stain paint as they have black platelets in the solution.

Have a spare microfibre to hand to wipe away any spillovers onto the paint, or even better, try masking the paint off in hard to reach places.

bottom of page