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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Advise a newbie on basic detailing regimen!



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      11-03-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Advise a newbie on basic detailing regimen!

Hey guys,

Looking for some basic advice from the experts. I've always enjoyed washing my cars and generally know what I'm doing, but I have a new one now, so I'm revamping my methods to make sure I'm taking care of it as well as possible.

Just bought my car CPO from a local dealership. I have no idea what the previous owner did to maintain the paint and interior, so I found a good local guy to do a basic exterior detail for $300 or so. He'll hand wash, clay, polish, and apply a sealant that will give me 6 months to a year of protection. I'm just trying to work out a good maintenance routine that I can do a couple times a month as needed. The big limitation is that I live in an apartment, where storage space is limited (so I need to minimize my total amount of supplies), and with no good place to wash a car (no access to a hose or outlet).

What do you think of the following process? Let me know if I should use different products or methods:

EXTERIOR
* coin-op spray wash first if very dirty (no brushing or sponging here)
* pre-soak with Optimum Instant Detailer (right product to use?)
* wash panel by panel with ONR, using two bucket method
* blot dry panel by panel with waffle weave microfiber towel
* apply Dodo Juice Red Mist Tropical (should this be applied during the drying step to assist drying, or just come after the car is totally dry? should i treat glass and headlights too?)
* clean wheels with ONR and separate sponge / soft brush (I think I need to do this last so I don't have to change out my wash and rinse buckets half way through the whole process... I guess I'll just be careful not to splash dirty water on the paint?)

INTERIOR
* dust with damp cloth / spray compressed air where needed
* go over plastic, wood trim, and screens with Meg's Quik Interior Detailer
* use Meg's Rich Leather spray on seats (or is Leatherique Pristine Clean better?)
* clean glass with Stoner's Invisible Glass
* vacuum floor mats (is there something in between vacuuming and a full wet clean?)

I'd really appreciate any thoughts you might have.

Thanks!
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      11-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SF Space Grey View Post
Hey guys,

Looking for some basic advice from the experts. I've always enjoyed washing my cars and generally know what I'm doing, but I have a new one now, so I'm revamping my methods to make sure I'm taking care of it as well as possible.

Just bought my car CPO from a local dealership. I have no idea what the previous owner did to maintain the paint and interior, so I found a good local guy to do a basic exterior detail for $300 or so. He'll hand wash, clay, polish, and apply a sealant that will give me 6 months to a year of protection. I'm just trying to work out a good maintenance routine that I can do a couple times a month as needed. The big limitation is that I live in an apartment, where storage space is limited (so I need to minimize my total amount of supplies), and with no good place to wash a car (no access to a hose or outlet).

What do you think of the following process? Let me know if I should use different products or methods:

EXTERIOR
* coin-op spray wash first if very dirty (no brushing or sponging here)
* pre-soak with Optimum Instant Detailer (right product to use?)
* wash panel by panel with ONR, using two bucket method
* blot dry panel by panel with waffle weave microfiber towel
* apply Dodo Juice Red Mist Tropical (should this be applied during the drying step to assist drying, or just come after the car is totally dry? should i treat glass and headlights too?)
* clean wheels with ONR and separate sponge / soft brush (I think I need to do this last so I don't have to change out my wash and rinse buckets half way through the whole process... I guess I'll just be careful not to splash dirty water on the paint?)

INTERIOR
* dust with damp cloth / spray compressed air where needed
* go over plastic, wood trim, and screens with Meg's Quik Interior Detailer
* use Meg's Rich Leather spray on seats (or is Leatherique Pristine Clean better?)
* clean glass with Stoner's Invisible Glass
* vacuum floor mats (is there something in between vacuuming and a full wet clean?)

I'd really appreciate any thoughts you might have.

Thanks!
I detail cars both as a hobby and as a side job. If you like.... we could meet up next week and I show you what to do. I work in downtown and I live in the Sunset.

PM me.
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      11-04-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
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Thanks for that great offer! I need to let my guy work his magic on the paint before it's ready for me to wash it, but I'll let you know what it's ready.

In the meantime, hoping to crowdsource some advice on these basic steps--and hear what people think of these products vs the competition.
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      11-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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if you are already at a coin op you can just do a regular wash.

EXTERIOR
* coin-op spray wash first if very dirty (no brushing or sponging here)
* pre-soak with Optimum Instant Detailer (right product to use?) -- I would use a soap to pre soak the car if you are at the coin op
* wash panel by panel with ONR, using two bucket method - ONR would be great to use in a 2 bucket method - use a ton of towels (new and clean)
* blot dry panel by panel with waffle weave microfiber towel - correct
* apply Dodo Juice Red Mist Tropical (should this be applied during the drying step to assist drying, or just come after the car is totally dry? should i treat glass and headlights too?) - you can use a quick detail to use to dry the car or you can do this when the car is dry.

* clean wheels with ONR and separate sponge / soft brush (I think I need to do this last so I don't have to change out my wash and rinse buckets half way through the whole process... I guess I'll just be careful not to splash dirty water on the paint?) - if the wheels are clean onr would be great then hit it with a detail spray - if they are dirty and you are at the coin op some Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner and some good wheel brushes would do a great job.


INTERIOR
* dust with damp cloth / spray compressed air where needed - compressors are great , I would use 1Z einszett Cockpit Premium for the interior plastics or vinyl

* go over plastic, wood trim, and screens with Meg's Quik Interior Detailer
* use Meg's Rich Leather spray on seats (or is Leatherique Pristine Clean better?) -Leatherique is great or you can use something quick like Sonax Leather Foam.

* clean glass with Stoner's Invisible Glass - great choice.
* vacuum floor mats (is there something in between vacuuming and a full wet clean?) - for new mats you should be good with just a vac.
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      11-07-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
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^ awesome reply!

Just a couple other things, try and get a good wash mitt. This will make the world of difference in protecting the car. For the interior, you can use Cockpit Premium or 303. I like both honestly but 303 is a 2 step.

-Clean wheels first to avoid getting it on the car
-Use a blower to help dry the car (helps with crack and excess water. Got mine for $25 a home depot)
-Do both the Rejuv. Oil and PC for the leather, leather will feel very clean.
-Try collinite as a second layer of protection on top of the sealant (optional but i love collinite )

Hope this helps
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      11-07-2012, 11:59 AM   #6
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A good wash mitt that many love including our shop.

Uber Genuine Wool Wash Mitt.


Collinite 845 is a great wax.
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      11-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericruiz911 View Post
^ awesome reply!

Just a couple other things, try and get a good wash mitt. This will make the world of difference in protecting the car. For the interior, you can use Cockpit Premium or 303. I like both honestly but 303 is a 2 step.

-Clean wheels first to avoid getting it on the car
-Use a blower to help dry the car (helps with crack and excess water. Got mine for $25 a home depot)
-Do both the Rejuv. Oil and PC for the leather, leather will feel very clean.
-Try collinite as a second layer of protection on top of the sealant (optional but i love collinite )

Hope this helps
Thanks for the advice! The problem is that I live in an apartment, so to wash, I'm going to have to fill up a bucket (maybe two) with water and go park my car on a side street away from water and electricity sources. I don't think I can do the wheels first, b/c that will ruin my wash and rinse buckets, forcing me to go back home and refill them before continuing to the paint, right? Similarly, I'll probably skip the blower, as I don't have a garage to keep it in or an outlet to plug it into.

Is the Leatherette Rejuv oil really needed on a 3 year old car with sealed leather?
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      11-07-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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If you like see more discussions on waterless or rinseless wash... check out Autopia.org. It is a dedicated forum for car detailing. Many Pros and hard core hobbyists hang out there.

Gary Dean is a detailer in Florida and he is also one of the sponsor vendor (just like Detailer Domain from post #4- also a sponsor) on that forum. He had developed a method to do a rinseless wash with minimal products and equipment. I tried it on a few cars and it seemed to work well. He pushes his product on his video but you can use the same method for ONR.

As for the wheels.... once your car has been detailed ask your detailer to apply a coat of sealant (some would even use Opti-coat) on the rims. This would help tremendously the next time you wash the car. Dirt and grime would just wipe off with ONR and a MF towel.

I mentioned this to you on another post. His method might be the best approach to take in your situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_S1l...EhTNXXZcK_dM_A
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      11-08-2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericruiz911
^ awesome reply!

Just a couple other things, try and get a good wash mitt. This will make the world of difference in protecting the car. For the interior, you can use Cockpit Premium or 303. I like both honestly but 303 is a 2 step.

-Clean wheels first to avoid getting it on the car
-Use a blower to help dry the car (helps with crack and excess water. Got mine for $25 a home depot)
-Do both the Rejuv. Oil and PC for the leather, leather will feel very clean.
-Try collinite as a second layer of protection on top of the sealant (optional but i love collinite )

Hope this helps
How is 303 a two step process? Spray on, wipe off as I understand it? Am I missing something?
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      11-17-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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If you don't have a garage at home just drive to a coin op when they aren't busy and use their water. Follow the same process with the two bucket method, etc.. An added bonus for the coin op is that they are typically covered so you don't have to worry about the sun.

Also, if you are applying products to your car a lot, you might want to invest in a mask that will filter out the smells/chemicals and gloves. Chemical smells drive me nuts and I have found these to be helpful.

Last edited by asus389; 11-18-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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