Cleaning/Detailing Advice

matt9566

Paid Member
I know there are quite a few people on here that are in to detailing and keeping their cars in impeccable condition so thought I'd ask a bit of advice, before blindly spending money.

The paintwork on my car could do with some TLC as I have always just used the local car wash and I'm not quite sure of my best/reasonably priced option to get good results.

I have looked in to getting my own cleaning stuff after looking at recommendations on here - Pressure washer, foam lance, wash mitts, shampoo etc and it's about £200 for everything.

The other option is to have the car professionally detailed/paint corrected and then just have maintenance washes at the same place. (a lot more expensive, but obviously a lot better results)

My question really is, would I ever get the paintwork in good condition by just doing my own washing, polishing, waxing etc ? Bearing in mind there a quite a few swirl marks etc.

or would I need to fork out the money to have it professionally done in the first place, then also buy the stuff to keep it maintained correctly myself ?

Thanks

Matt
 
To remove swirls they need to be machine polished, you can buy all the kit yourself or a pro will charge around £200-250 a day for paint correction from experience. You can buy yourself a decent machine polisher (id reccomend das6 pro) with everything you’d need for about £200
 
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LOCKE

Paid Member
Machine polishing isn't as easy as everyone makes out TBH, you really need a garage to work in with an ambient temperature then experiment with different pads and polish combos. If you really want to get into machine polishing buy an old panel from a scrapyard and practice on that. I would get a pro to do all the correction then you maintain the car. Detailing can take a lot of your time and money as you start buying the 'next best product'. In my experience stick to what works for you.
 

Antti O

Gold Member
You will have really, really long day with das6 polisher and Renault sport paint.
Lacquer is hard to work with.

Also 197 / 200 body is not the easieast to start, so much different curves etc.

I took my car for friend who is very good with rotary machine. He did my car, 4 full days, + ceramic coating.
It is nice now, but it was expensive.
Worth to pay, with ceramic coating washing the car is just so easy.

ps. i have done machine corrections since 2012, but clio paintwork is quite difficult to do properly. So my recommendation, pay for someone and then wash it yourself in future with correct equipment (foam lance, pressurewasher, washmitt).

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big.jpg
 

matt9566

Paid Member
To remove swirls they need to be machine polished, you can buy all the kit yourself or a pro will charge around £200-250 a day for paint correction from experience. You can buy yourself a decent machine polisher (id reccomend das6 pro) with everything you’d need for about £200
Thanks for that, I did assume this would be the case. I will call in to a few places and see how much they will want.

Machine polishing isn't as easy as everyone makes out TBH, you really need a garage to work in with an ambient temperature then experiment with different pads and polish combos. If you really want to get into machine polishing buy an old panel from a scrapyard and practice on that. I would get a pro to do all the correction then you maintain the car. Detailing can take a lot of your time and money as you start buying the 'next best product'. In my experience stick to what works for you.
After a bit of research I did come to this conclusion too, it really doesn't seem as easy as people say. I don't think I actually have the patience for it really either.

I will ask a few professionals and get a rough idea of cost, the car does look great when clean - But when close up it definitely could do with some TLC.


You will have really, really long day with das6 polisher and Renault sport paint.
Lacquer is hard to work with.

Also 197 / 200 body is not the easieast to start, so much different curves etc.

I took my car for friend who is very good with rotary machine. He did my car, 4 full days, + ceramic coating.
It is nice now, but it was expensive.
Worth to pay, with ceramic coating washing the car is just so easy.

ps. i have done machine corrections since 2012, but clio paintwork is quite difficult to do properly. So my recommendation, pay for someone and then wash it yourself in future with correct equipment (foam lance, pressurewasher, washmitt).

View attachment 133324

View attachment 133325
Thanks for that information, really does help me out!

I definitely think the best option is to pay someone to do it then maintain myself.
 

Antti O

Gold Member
I agree, but you have to choose carefully.
There is so much poor quality work which i see every day.
Too cheap, alarm bells..
In my country proper 3-step polish price starts from approx 700£ including tax.
Normal rate for professionals are something like 50£ / hour.
 
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Sibbers

Paid Member
I spent two days polishing and cleaning my car with my own gear. It’s hard work and because it was my first go, I went lighter for longer than I would have if I did it again. There are a lot of stages to do the whole thing properly. If I handed the car over to a pro it would have taken less time (a day I reckon) and they would have taken a bit more off. It does look great, but I don’t look forward to doing it again because it is hard work. The car was filthy within about 2 weeks of commuting. Rain spray, salt, diesel fumes, summer bugs - there’s always something, so maintenance washes are a perpetual thing.

I would take it to a pro for the first go and spend the money, it’s worth it. As above it’s hard work so you should expect to pay for the willing ness to do a job properly as it is requires both care and labour.

For you, the main thing is to not use abrasive materials to clean your car (like at car washes) so that it can always clean up and look good when you decide to give it a good clean and the hydrophobic finishes are pretty decent for the time they last.
 
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sevenfourate

Devotee of OCD
Paid Member
I'm an extremely keen 'detailer'.

If it's not your game; and you have little or no previous experience - have it machine polished / protected in the first instance IMO. It's hard work, you can potentially do alot of £££££ of damage; and it will never be as good as someone who is trained and experienced to do this day-in and day out.

***Plus before polishing you'll be needing to Decontaminate with Iron-X / Dragons Breath etc to remove iron / metallic particles embedded in paint - otherwise polishing will merely drag these all around your paint. You'll then need to Claybar to further refine the paintwork and prep it ready for machine polishing amongst other things perhaps.



Then wash or get washed for future washes yourself; using snow-foam / Citrus pre-cleaner etc first to drag off all you can without having to physically touch the paint at all, use a 2 bucket method to wash to protect the car from having grit rubbed in, dry sympathetically using a quality drying cloth / microfibre and protect with wax / sealant / QD etc after.

Just be ultra anal and careful in what you do - if you're interested in keeping it looking its best (Which is why i presume you posted !). It's alot easier to think first, research or ask if needed, take your time and look after the paintwork using suitable products and good technique than it is to sort the damage / swirling / scratches / holograms etc afterwards !!

GOOD LUCK.
 

matt9566

Paid Member
I spent two days polishing and cleaning my car with my own gear. It’s hard work and because it was my first go, I went lighter for longer than I would have if I did it again. There are a lot of stages to do the whole thing properly. If I handed the car over to a pro it would have taken less time (a day I reckon) and they would have taken a bit more off. It does look great, but I don’t look forward to doing it again because it is hard work. The car was filthy within about 2 weeks of commuting. Rain spray, salt, diesel fumes, summer bugs - there’s always something, so maintenance washes are a perpetual thing.

I would take it to a pro for the first go and spend the money, it’s worth it. As above it’s hard work so you should expect to pay for the willing ness to do a job properly as it is requires both care and labour.

For you, the main thing is to not use abrasive materials to clean your car (like at car washes) so that it can always clean up and look good when you decide to give it a good clean and the hydrophobic finishes are pretty decent for the time they last.
Thanks for this information! I did sort have an idea that it would be a difficult job, especially for someone like me who has never done it before. I do think the best idea moving forward would be to ask a professional and get their opinion of how to best move forward.

Also, I think I might have to treat myself to my own cleaning stuff, this way I know the car is been cleaned properly and no further 'swirling marks' are made.


I'm an extremely keen 'detailer'.

If it's not your game; and you have little or no previous experience - have it machine polished / protected in the first instance IMO. It's hard work, you can potentially do alot of £££££ of damage; and it will never be as good as someone who is trained and experienced to do this day-in and day out.

***Plus before polishing you'll be needing to Decontaminate with Iron-X / Dragons Breath etc to remove iron / metallic particles embedded in paint - otherwise polishing will merely drag these all around your paint. You'll then need to Claybar to further refine the paintwork and prep it ready for machine polishing amongst other things perhaps.



Then wash or get washed for future washes yourself; using snow-foam / Citrus pre-cleaner etc first to drag off all you can without having to physically touch the paint at all, use a 2 bucket method to wash to protect the car from having grit rubbed in, dry sympathetically using a quality drying cloth / microfibre and protect with wax / sealant / QD etc after.

Just be ultra anal and careful in what you do - if you're interested in keeping it looking its best (Which is why i presume you posted !). It's alot easier to think first, research or ask if needed, take your time and look after the paintwork using suitable products and good technique than it is to sort the damage / swirling / scratches / holograms etc afterwards !!

GOOD LUCK.
Great information as always Shuv! Thanks for this.

After everyone's comments, it's clear that the best thing to do moving forward would be to get a professional to have a look at it and get some quotes in for the paint correction/protection. I have looked briefly and can see how it can easily become very expensive, very quickly. But I will continue to research and decide which options are the best to choose.

I've done quite a bit of research (especially on your progress thread and cleaning posts) regarding the 'proper' way to clean the car if I bought my own stuff and I'm pretty sure I now have an understanding of all the correct methods.
 
Its a labour of love... but if you get a pro to do it, its less risky. Plenty people land up doing micro scratches during the clay bar phase without even knowing it. Do your homework before trying anything. GL
 
Its always best to use a paint gauge if your compounding to remove the deeper scratches in your clear coat, there is a good breakdown of the paint on this site showing the ceramic coating , for fallout removal its worth removing the iron filings otherwise rust spots occur. Its easy to notice the brown spots on lighter coloured vehicle's. After machine polishing its always worth removing the oils before you apply any coating.
 
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