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12 Steps to Clean Your Car Withouth Damaging The Paintwork

Most people damage their cars paintwork when cleaning their car. The process below is followed by detailing professionals to clean cars safely without damaging paintwork and achieve the ultimate finish

01. Learn to Detail Like a Pro

FREE Detail Like a Pro Guide worth £19.95

Most detailers use products incorrectly and end up damaging the paintwork of their car. Make sure you don't make the same mistakes by getting our step-by-step guide on how to detail your car.

DLAP Guide
02. Heavy Dirt Pre Wash

Remove dirt and grime without touching the car.

The Heavy Dirt Citrus Pre-Wash is designed to remove 97% of bugs, bird lime, and stubborn contamination from all exterior surfaces of the vehicle. This process helps to soften and remove surface debris before the contact wash, minimising the risk of surface damage. Play VideoPlay Video

Useful accessories

  • Mixing Bottle (£4.95): This will allow you to mix and dilute your detailing chemicals with ease.
  • 30mm Detailing Brush (£6.95): A high quality brush that will allow you to agitate hard to reach areas.
heavu dirt
03. Snow Foam

Soften dirt for safe removal

The Snow Foam safely removes traffic film, dirt and other harmful deposits with a concentrated pre-wash. A thick citrus infused quilt of foam clings for an extended dwell time, softening dirt on the surface to help prevent marring or scratching the paint during the contact wash process.

Useful accessories

  • Snow Foam Lance (£44.90): A professional snow foam lance for the application of our SNOW FOAM with a Karcher quick release adapter.
shampooing car
04. Alloy Cleaner

Clean the standout feature of your car

Clean your wheels before the contact wash process to avoid the risk of dirt being sprayed onto your newly cleaned paint surfaces. The Alloy Cleaner is a ready to use, non-acidic wheel cleaner which will aggressively destroy brake dust and contaminants whilst remaining safe for all wheel types.

Useful accessories

  • 30m Detailing Brush (£3.95): A high quality detailing brush that will help you agitate and loosen contamination.
  • Squall Wheel Brush (£17.95): A professional, high quality wheel brush to wash wheels. Has high absorbancy and dense microfibre.
  • Hurrican WHeel Mitt (£7.95): Highest quality mitt to wash the wheels safely and effectively. Has dense microfibre and offers a large cleaning surface.
  • Gauntlet Drying Towel for Wheels (£5.95): A 12" x 12" highly absorbant drying towel for wheels made by the Rag Company.
Drying Car
05. Acid Wheel Cleaner

When the going gets tough

If the wheels have heavy contamination which is difficult to remove use the Acid Wheel Cleaner. It's a concentrated acidic wheel cleaner which will help obliterate the heaviest brake dust residue and other deposits.

Drying Car
06. Contact Wash

Wash your car without damaging the paintwork

Time to throw away the yellow sponge and upgrade your contact wash process. Microfibre wash-mitts are designed to pull dirt, grit, and contamination away from the surface. Reducing the risk of damage.

A high quality shampoo is essential, cleaning a small part of the car with the shampoo-covered wash mitt and regularly returning to the rinse bucket to soak and rinse the wash mitt will remove excess grit and debris. This reduces the risk of causing damage to the paintwork.

Useful accessories

  • Microfibre Wash Mitt (£9.95): Quality microfibre/cotton wash mitt with ultra fine micro fibres that provide a soft and delicate clean.
  • 20" x 24" Liquid8r Drying Towel (£11.95):A twisted loop drying towel that feels substantial and absorbs everything that it touches.
Leather Coating
07. Tar Gel

Bring back your cars gloss

Tar and tree sap are unseen menaces to car paintwork which can lead to it losing its gloss. The Tar Gel removes tar deposits from paintwork with ease. It has a unique gel like consistency which decreases product run off and drying out, meaning less product it required.

The Tar Gel is used before the iron remover as the tar deposits are larger so tend to sit on top of the iron particles. We recommend a decontamination wash every three months.

Alloy Coating
08. Iron Remover

Bring back your cars gloss

Airborne iron particle fallout is everywhere and gets attached to cars. A thorough application of Iron Remover will remove iron fragment contamination and brake dust leaving the surface ready for the final stages. You will visibly see iron bleed from the surfaces of your vehicle.

Alloy Coating
09. Polish

Make paintwork look as good as new

This slightly abrasive category of products will remove light scratches and imperfections. Micro-abrasive cleansing polish can be applied by hand or machine, preparing the vehicle’s paintwork perfectly and ready to apply your chosen protection, like a ceramic coating or wax.

Polish is an abrasive that removes a thin surface layer and imperfections so a car should not be polished every time you wash it.

Useful accessories

  • Polish & Wax Applicator (£1.95): Our super plush applicator pad fits perfectly in the palm of your hand to apply your favourite polishes, waxes and sealants.
Polishing Car
10. Apply Protection

Keep paintwork looking its best for longer

Once you have cleaned and polished your car to make the paintwork look like new, it is important to lock in your hard work!

As well as protecting the paintwork, a protective layer will add several performance benefits, such as water beading, amplified gloss, simplified future maintenance, and UV protection. Protection options include Spray on, Wax or a Ceramic Coating.

Useful accessories

  • Two 40x40cm Premium Seamless Microfibre Cloths (£3.99): High quality seamless premium microfibre cloths ideal for applying spray protection products to sensitive surfaces and paintwork.
  • Eagle Edgeless 16"x16" Buffing Towel (£5.50): This flagship towel is perfect to use when buffing detailing sprays, waxes and sealants with ease.
Alloy Coating
11. Tyre Dressing

Make your tyres shine

Revitalise your tyres to provide a fresh, flexible finish and protect them from uv rays and cracking. This gel based anti-sling sealant contains high quality silicone to dress and protect tyre rubber.

Useful accessories

  • Polish & Wax Applicator (£1.95): This applicator pad fits perfectly in the palm of your hand making it easy to apply the Tyre Dressing.
Polishing Car
12. Glass Cleaner

A crystal clear finish

Clean glass surfaces will give your car the extra shine to really stand out and improve visibility while driving. The Glass Cleaners superior cleaning ability will effortlessly cut through grime, bug splats, bird droppings, tree sap and smoker’s film and leave a crystal clear, streak free finish with hydrophobic protection. It is safe for use on glass inside and out as well as mirrored surfaces, chrome, polished metal, and tinted glass.

Useful accessories

  • Premium Glass Towel (£5.95): A premium towel with twist loop weave materual that achieves perfectly clean and clear glass finish.
Polishing Car