It might be a bank holiday but current situation means we should all still be staying at home, so time to show your car some TLC…
For all you auto Italian car enthusiasts out there, whether you’re from Club Fiat 500, the Alfa Club or have a beautiful Ferrari on the driveway, this guide will help ensure that after driving your classic car or Italian car around on a beautiful summers day, that you can also maintain the bodywork to ensure a swirl free, beautiful shining finish that really brings out the colour of your car!
Our safest guide on how to get a swirl free car wash and detailing session!
There are many great products out there and lines which ensure that you get the perfect finish every time when washing your car. When washing your Italian Car, we recommend using Auto Finesse. Car washing is without a doubt an incredibly important step before the detailing process actually begins. It prepares the foundations of the car body but also prepares for all subsequent detailing products including polishing and waxing. Maintaining your car to a high standard will ensure it keeps a higher sell value in the future.
Section 1: Washing
The Golden Rule
Remember – always wash your car from top to bottom. Start with the roof and work your way down to the side skirts and bumpers of the car. If you start the opposite way… all that work you did on the bottom will be ruined when you start to wash the top sections of the car. Gravity is your friend here!
Part 1: Pre-Rinse
This is the initial stage of the car washing and detailing process, often people rush this stage but it is one of the most crucial parts to the process for loosening the dirt on your car and the silt. The pre-rinse process ensures that when you begin using the wash mitt or sponge that dirt caught in any grooves or gaps doesn’t cause marring on the paint work. If you have a hose pipe or pressure washer then remember the golden rule – start on the roof and work down. Expect this stage of the process to take around 15 minutes if done correctly, you need to ensure dirt in all the gaps has been removed from the pre wash, removing as much loose dirt as possible will ensure the best results later on.
Part 2: Pre-Wash
This is always missed out but this is the second step is actually a small detailing process begin you begin washing the car and it’s also vital to getting that all important swirl-free look in the paintwork. The point of a pre-wash ensures that you begin to get rid of any light contaminants including road grime and tar, salts and all that bug splatter on the front bumper. If you leave these on your paintwork while going into the main wash stage, you’ll end up inflicting swirl marks and marring which is not what we want for the perfect results! Auto Finesse created something called Citrus Power. Citrus Power is a cleaning aid which is citrus infused that you very simply spray onto the surface of your car and leave it to dwell on the paint work. Most of the light contaminants that we mentioned will be found on the lower half of your car due to the wheels flicking up all the grime and dirt onto the body while driving, the Citrus Power breaks down these light contaminants at which point you can then wash the car down with water before moving onto the next step.
Remember – This stage is also where you can pay more attention to the hard to reach places such as the fuel cap, the door gaps and also the rubber edging around the windows. We recommend using a Dog Hair Detailing Brush with Citrus Power then simply wash away with fresh clean water when done.
Part 3: The Two Bucket Wash
The most crucial part of the process, the actual washing! It’s a well known trick to use the two bucket wash method. The best way to wash the car is by using a wash mitt or a sponge with a good quality car shampoo (Whatever you do, don’t use washing up liquid! Your car isn’t a bowl or a plate!). With the two bucket method, fill the first bucket with fresh water only, this will be for rinsing your sponge or wash mitt. In the second bucket, fill it about 75% full with clean fresh water then add Lather Car Shampoo and mix it all together. You will know when you’ve added enough car shampoo because the mixture will feel slick to the touch. Then top the bucket up with water until it’s full.
Remember the golden rule! Start on the roof and wash there then work your way down the car all the way down to the side skirts and bumpers, this will ensure you don’t have dirty water running over clean areas of the car. Saturate your sponge or wash mitt in the Lather Car Shampoo mixture that you have and with a light pressure, from side to side sweep the wash mitt to remove any remaining dirt on the car. Once you have done that area, squeeze the water out of the mitt onto the paintwork and then wipe backwards and forwards making sure that you are using a lot of the car shampoo mixture. Don’t apply extra pressure to any stubborn marks, they just need extra time. Before you put your wash mitt or sponge back into the main bucket, make sure to put it into your first rinse bucket, if you’re using a mitt – run your fingers through the swollen side to release any trapped dirt. Once you are sure the mitt is clear, then put it back into the mixture with Car Shampoo and continue working around the car until it’s complete all the way down. By following the golden rule, you also ensure that the dirtiest areas are cleaned last around the wheel arches and the side skirts so it won’t make your buckets dirty early on and you won’t be washing your car in dirty water.
Part 4: Rinsing
You can pair this up with the previous panel if you decide to wash panel by panel or if not, follow after you washed the whole car. If it’s a hot day then we recommend using the panel by panel technique, however if the weather is pretty cool and you’re not washing in direct sunlight you can probably get away with washing the whole body at once. The trick to this is having a steady stream of water from a hose or a pressure washer to ensure that the water sheets off the car. If the car has already been recently polished, waxed and sealed then the water will sheet off leaving the car almost dry. If this process starts to slow down or you notice the results aren’t as good it means that your car needs a new coat of wax and resealing. If you don’t have a hose or pressure washer, you’ll probably need around 5 buckets of water to ensure you full rinse the car.
Step 5: Drying
Drying has to be done properly, else you will inflict damage onto the paint work so complete this step with care! Using a water blade can cause cause huge scratches if theres a small piece of grit blown onto the paint while you’re drying. This would require machine polishing to remove so it’s not worth the trouble! When drying the car start using a microfibre towel and start from the roof and work your way downwards on the car, a chamois can also do a really good job as long as the chamois leather is cared for! Gently wipe all of the surfaces with not much pressure, and you may also want to pat the surface rather than wiping to minimise any chances of scratching the bodywork or marring the paintwork.