How To: Detailing Flow Chart – Detailing Steps – Chemical Guys Car Care


Today let’s talk about the steps to detailing. A lot of people have their own steps for detailing, but I’m gonna show you the proper way to detail
from start to finish using our patented Detailing Flowchart. If you want to download this flowchart, check
out the link below. Go ahead and print it out, follow along with
me in this video, or you can post it up in your shop if you’re
a professional, a weekend enthusiast, or someone just getting in to detailing. A lot of people ask: “What comes before wax?” “How do I assess bad paintwork?” “When do I use a glaze?” So we made this awesome chart to lay it all
out in one easy step to help you get the best results on any car
you may detail. I like to call this “flowing,” the “flowchart”
to detailing. Let’s talk about flowing from start to finish, and explain all the different steps used in
the detailing process. I’ll start at the beginning with the wash. The wash is the most important part of detailing because it preps your car for the rest of the detailing process. You can’t do anything else in the process
without first completing the wash. You can do it a couple different ways: You can do it using traditional water with
any of our quality soaps like Mr. Pink, Glossworkz, Citrus Wash & Gloss,
or Citrus Wash Clear, or you can use steam, or a water saving system like EcoSmart or
Hose Free EcoWash. Any of these waterless systems will work,
or you can use a traditional water or steam. It’s all personal preference when you’re doing
the wash. The goal of the wash is to get all the dirt
and debris off the vehicle. To get dirt, dust, or heavy contaminants off
the surface, and prep it for the next step. The next step is detailing clay. Detailing clay is important because it pulls
all the embedded contamination off the surface. If your car feels rough to the touch after
a wash, then you need to clay. You can use a light duty clay bar, a medium
duty clay bar, or a heavy duty clay bar, or you can use one of our surface-cleansing
mitts which actually cleans and clays the car at the same time. For any clay you use, you’ll also need to
use a clay lube as well. You can use our Chemical Guys Luber, or any
of our quick detail sprays for a smooth finish. We recommend against using soap and water
as a clay lubricant because soap and water will degrade the clay bar,
and will reduce the lifespan of your claybar or your detailing mitt. Avoid using soap and water as a clay lubricant, and use a specific Chemical Guys clay lubricant
for best results. Clay removes anything stuck on the paint like overspray, contamination, rail dust, brake dust, and tar. The clay bar pulls all that stuff off the paint. Once your car is clayed, it will feel smooth
to the touch, and will be ready for the next process. Let’s move on to polishing and compounding. This is where you assess the condition of
your paintwork. There are three types of paint: bad paint, moderate paint, and good paint. The condition of your paint dictates what
steps you take. Let’s start with bad paint. The picture you’re looking at right now is
bad paint. Bad paint has heavy swirls, scratches, and
defects that require heavy compounding. That’s where bad paint takes it first step:
with compounding. Compounds are a heavy duty polish with heavy duty abrasives that remove deep swirls and scratches from paint. To compound, I like to use V32 or V34 to remove
heavy damage for a smooth finish. When you compound, you’re gonna leave swirls
in the paint. Compounding turns paint into moderate paint,
and you’ll need to clear that up another way. That’s when you use swirl remover and finishing
polish to refine the finish. Swirl remover will remove any swirls created
b the compound, and the finishing polish will refine the finish
to make it smooth as glass, and have the proper reflection. So when I use V32 or V34, I then move up to
my swirl remover which is V36, then up to my finishing polish, V38. All these products like V32, V34, V36, and V38 can be found on our website: ChemicalGuys.com for all your detailing supplies and tools
for the job. Next up is moderate paint. Moderate paint is what you’re looking at in
this picture. It has light swirls, it’s well-maintained, but it might have light marring and light
damage from being driven daily, from washing the car, or from other people touching it. Compounding bad paint actually turns it into
moderate paint. Then we’ll use the same process: using swirl
remover, V36, then finishing polish, V38 to refine the finish and make it extremely
smooth. We take bad paint and turn it into moderate
paint, then take moderate paint and turn it into good paint. This picture you’re looking at now is of good
paint. Now good paint is swirl-free, it’s perfect, it only needs glaze and wax to maintain the
finish, and it does not require any polishing whatsoever. Good paint follows along this arrow to the
rest of the detailing process. All of these polishing steps actually lead
over to the end. You’re getting the same result, but you have to use different steps to end up with that result. If you have bad paint, you’re gonna use compound, swirl remover, and finishing polish to refine the finish. This is called a 3-step polish. For moderate paint you will just use swirl
remover and finishing polish, which is called a 2-step. For good paint you can skip most polishing,
maybe just do a 1-step or a light all-in-one polish like Black Light,
or our V4 polish. After polishing, you move on to the finishing
part of the detail. The finishing part of the detail is where
you put the finishing touches on your vehicle to make it look crisp, clean, and protected. The first step is glaze. Now glaze is an optional step. It makes the surface extremely smooth, and
improves the clarity. What is a glaze? Glaze is actually a product that goes on the
paint, and it contains acrylic fillers and cleansers
that make the surface clean, fresh, and give a great shine. But you need protection on top of that because glaze fills in swirls and scratches using acrylic fillers, then you follow up with
either paint sealant, or wax. You can use both, but if you’re applying all three, you need
to go in that order: glaze, sealant, then wax. You always want to use wax last because the
sealant is going to last longer than the wax. So if you lay the sealant down and the wax
over it, and the wax wears off, the paint sealant is still there to protect
your vehicle. To glaze I like to use EZ Creme glaze, or
Wet Mirror Finish. For paint sealant, I like to use JetSeal,
M-Seal, or Top Coat Sealant. For wax, I like to use a natural carnauba
wax like 5050, Pete’s 53, or my favorite: E-Zyme! You can also use any of our hybrid waxes like
Black, or Lava: Luminous Glow Infusion. Wax and sealant actually protect the vehicle
from things like waterspots, road tar, industrial contamination, UV solar
rays, and oxidation. You need protection to keep your car looking
good all throughout the year. It should look good through the summer as
well as winter for maximum protection. Once you apply sealant or wax, you can follow
with a spray wax if you choose. Good spray waxes to use are InstaWax, or a
spray sealant like Hybrid V7, or BLITZ. Spray waxes and sealants are quick and easy
to use, they’re great for enhancing the finish and
your paint sealant/wax coat. If you’ve applied your wax coat or your paint
sealant a month ago or a few weeks ago, you can follow up with a spray wax or spray
sealant to make sure it looks extra fresh and brings some life back into that coat. You can also use spray waxes to clean out door jambs, trunk jambs, and under the hood. Last up is quick detailer sprays. You always use quick detailers last to remove
things like fingerprints, or light blemishes left from the oils on your
hands. If you detail your car, and you missed a spot,
or get a little dust, or water spots, you can clean them up using a quick detail
spray like ProDetail spray, Speed Wipe, or Synthetic
Detail spray. P40 Detail Spray is also great to make the
surface look amazing and fresh. Now you’ve seen the whole entire chart to
make sure you know how to detail your car from start to finish. If you follow this cart and observe all the
steps, your car is gonna look amazing no matter what. Just make sure you don’t skip steps: so if you have moderate paint, make sure you
use a swirl remover and finishing polish followed by the rest of the flowchart. If you have bad paint, compound before you
use the lighter polishes for a swirl-free finish every time. If you have any questions about the Detailing
Flowchart, download it from the link below and keep it
for your own education needs. Subscribe to our YouTube account where we have hundreds of videos that teach you everything you need to know about detailing to make your friends extremely jealous
with how clean your car is! If you have any more questions about detailing, you can find us on our YouTube account, or our Facebook, or you can find me and all these cool detailing
steps and products at ChemicalGuys.com

About the Author: Michael Flood

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