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Do Supercars Need Super Cleaning
We’ve all done it…bought a car because it looked amazing in the showroom and thought it would look fantastic in our driveway.
We imagine how jealous our neighbors will be when we get home to show off our new wheels!
But the harsh reality is that after two weeks of sitting the car has lost all of its original shiny appearance under the dirt and grime of everyday motoring.
Imagine then that you’ve spent a Kings ransom on a supercar, a car that mere mortals could only dream of and when you show it off to all your friends, you (or your chauffeur) have to clean it up.
So what car cleaners do you use to make your paint look new again without causing the ubiquitous swirl marks and fading usually associated with traditional car washing?
Because supercars are special cars, special care must be taken to keep them clean. The trick is to not be afraid to clean your supercar.
Paint: The first step is a routine wash to remove dust, road grime and other contaminants. The second is a more thorough cleaning process to prepare your car’s paint for a protective coating (such as wax).
Supercars should always be washed by hand, never with an automated machine like you’d find at a gas station. Taking the time to properly wash the paint will pay off with fewer scratches and swirl marks on the paint. When washing, you’ll need a few simple items: a hose with an adjustable spray nozzle, a wash mitt, a bucket, and some soap. Sheepskin wash gloves are a great option for cleaning your supercar, but don’t settle for faux sheepskin. Natural sheepskin lasts longer, holds more water and is safer to use in paint. Make sure your wash glove has been thoroughly cleaned since you last used it. Pine needles, rocks, sand and other debris that may be caught in the wash mitt will scratch the paint.
“The soap you choose when washing your car is important. Don’t use dish soap or other abrasive cleaners. Use a specialized car cleaner that’s designed to remove road grime and grime without damaging your paint.” , says Jonathan Copping of Special Cars. cleaning supplier Croftgate “Make sure your bucket is clean, put some soap on it and then run the hose into the bucket to create some suds.”
“If a shaded spot is available, it’s best to wash your car here. This will help slow the drying process and allow you to manually dry your car to remove water spots,” he continued.
“Before you start washing, be sure to give your car a light rinse with the spray nozzle. Use a mist setting or a gentle shower setting, but don’t spray the paint with a full spray nozzle. remove dust and dirt loose, and will reduce the chances of scratching the paint with the wash mitt.”
“Wet your glove and soap it up and then wash the car, starting at the top. This will save time as you won’t have to wash off the soap from the areas you’ve already cleaned, and it will help retain water. and wash gloves, as the cars tend to be dirtier on the bottom and near the wheels.”
“Don’t worry about cleaning the wheels yet. Wash all painted surfaces first. Work on a small section at a time, then rinse with a gentle stream of water. Continue until all painted surfaces are washed and rinsed.”
After washing the car, you should dry it by hand to ensure that there are no dried water stains on the paint. If you like to use towels, make sure they are 100% cotton (including the edge seams) to reduce the possibility of swirl marks. However, the best and safest option for drying paint is a chamois. If you’re a suede user, keep a few terry cloths on hand to dry off dirty areas like door jams, wheel arches, and other areas that might stain the suede.
To use a cardigan, simply wet it, wring it out, and gently wipe it across the painted surfaces. It will act like a sponge and soak up water. Once it is full of water, drain it and continue until the paint is dry.
Wheels: Supercar wheels come in a variety of shapes and finishes. Some wheels are painted and clear coated, just like your car. These should be cleaned and treated like the rest of your car’s paintwork. Other wheel types include clear coated aluminum, anodized; Non-transparent coated aluminum polished chrome and magnesium.
Wheels tend to get dirty faster than other areas of your car due to brake dust. When choosing a cleaner, stay away from the “spray and hose” products available at traditional car care stores. They are too hard to use with the more expensive wheels.
For chrome wheels, use a non-abrasive chrome polish specially designed for this purpose. For non-chrome wheels, use a non-abrasive wheel cleaner. Use a sponge or wash mitt along with your cleaning product to remove all brake dust and grime. For intricately patterned wheels, try using a boar bristle brush to get to all the nooks and crannies that hide dirt. Dry the wheels with a soft terry towel when finished. Croftgate recently received a rare approval from Alcan Europe, one of the world’s leading alloy manufacturers for the safety of its alloy wheel cleaner.
Tires: There are almost as many varieties of tire sales available in the market as there are tires. Which product you use depends a lot on how you want your tires to be finished. Maybe you like the “wet” look, or maybe you want to restore the original black look of your tires, but without excessive shine.
Regardless of the coating product you choose, you should be careful to apply the coating only to the outer edge of the tire. If tire coating accidentally drips, runs, or sprays onto the tire tread, your tires can become slippery and create a dangerous situation for the driver.
Glass: Keeping your windshield and windows clean is an essential element of Ferrari detailing. There are a number of cleaning products available, but choose a product that does not have dyes, perfumes or any other chemicals that can lead to hazing on window surfaces. Make sure it is safe for use on window tint film and prevents fogging when used on the inside of windows. Use lint-free towels, microfiber, or newspaper when cleaning glass cleaners to prevent streaks.
Once your windshield is clean, try using a window polish to keep the rain off the windshield while you drive. Apply a liberal amount in a circular, overlapping motion. Let it dry to a mist, then sprinkle a small amount of water on the windshield and then wipe it off with a clean towel.
Protective Coatings: To keep your paint protected, it is essential to apply some type of protective coating periodically, such as wax or polymer protective finish. How often you apply paint protection depends largely on the product you choose, how often you drive your car, and the weather conditions in your area. However, a general rule of thumb is that your car’s paint should be protected at least every 6 months.
However, before applying a protective coating, you must prepare the surface of the paint. Surface preparation begins with a good wash following the guidelines above, but additional preparation will improve the results of your protective coating. Surface preparation removes old wax, thoroughly cleans the paint, and helps your protective coating adhere to the paint surface when you apply it in the next step.
If you decide to wax your supercar, make sure you use a very high quality Carnauba wax. Waxes can be applied by hand or by machine. Machine application helps ensure the wax is applied evenly, but can damage the paint if the wrong type of machine is used. If you plan on using a machine, make sure it’s a random orbital buffer. If you plan to apply your wax by hand, make sure you have plenty of time and patience to do the job right.
Proper waxing involves applying the wax evenly, giving the wax time to create a mist over the surface of the paint, and then buffing the mist to a shiny, glossy finish. Use a high-quality sponge applicator to apply the wax and use 100% lint-free cotton polishing cloths to remove it. Follow the directions that come with your wax products to ensure the best results.
Although waxing can provide good results and adequate protection for your supercars paintwork, there are many problems with waxing. Wax removal should be done properly so that you don’t have too much trouble removing the remaining haze from the dry wax. Wax build-up is a consideration, especially since waxes will turn yellow over time. It takes a lot of work to get the wax out of emblems, lights, rubber and other difficult places on your car. And a coat of wax doesn’t last long under normal driving conditions. In general, waxes make for good protection and we’ve been conditioned to like the way water forms on a layer of fresh wax. A fresh wax job also has a nice shine when the sunlight hits it.
But wax technology hasn’t changed significantly over the years, while paint formulation technology has. For this reason, many supercar owners are switching to a polymer-based protective finish as a replacement for wax. A polymer-based product can bond to a clean paint surface; the waxes do not. Applying a polymer based product is more like adding a clear coat to your car. Buildup is not a problem as multiple coats of finish will protect the paint even better and make the finish look brighter.
This can be applied by wiping a thin coat of polish in a non-circular fashion over the entire painted surface of your car. For the first application, let the polish cure at least overnight. Theoretically, you could allow the polish to dry for months, and it would still clean easily with no ill effects. As the glaze cures, it turns into a white mist. After it is fully cured, it can be cleaned quickly and easily with a soft cotton polishing cloth. You should reapply the polish every 6-8 months, and each application creates stronger protection for your car’s paintwork. Follow-up applications only require 15 to 20 minutes of cure time.
Engines: Just because your engine bay isn’t in plain sight doesn’t mean you should leave it dirty. Grease, oil, dirt, dust, grime and other contaminants can make a beautiful engine look dull and uncared for.
However, before using liquid cleaners in the engine compartment, make sure the electrical contacts are covered. Spray a degreasing agent on your engine and let it run for 5-10 minutes. For stubborn stains, use a detailing brush to remove dirt. Rinse off the degreasing agent and allow to air dry. Do not use flammable dressings on hoses, wires, or any other surface in the engine compartment, as they may cause a fire if exposed to high temperatures.
The only part left from your detailing project is the black trim that adorns your supercar. Most tire wraps are also good choices for dressing up the black rubber, plastic and vinyl finishes on your vehicle.
To try Croftgates supercar cleaning products go to their website http://www.croftgate.com or contact them direct on 0044 (0)1200 420 198.
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