The Home Detailer
As a self confessed petrol head I often find myself with a phone or tablet in hand searching various websites for cars that are both in and out from reach of my own constraints. The same applies for YouTube, watching new car reviews and many people clowning around with vehicles seems to fill much of my spare time.
Occasionally though I sit and stare into the abyss deep in thought from the armchair, this week’s moment was all around the home detail and how this has changed personally for me and many others over the years.
Starting way back as a young boy and washing my dad’s company car, the term detailing didn’t exist to me then, I was simply filling an old bucket found in the garage or garden shed with some washing up liquid and warm water and carrying out a basic wash followed by drying it with a chamois leather. The results of said wash were quite remarkable I thought at the time for the simplicity of the products being used.
As time moved on I learnt differently and became a young man joining the motor trade, this took me to a whole new level of what products were available. Machine polishing was something that was introduced to me and I was wowed by its ability with a bottle of compound at my side to bring paint back from the deep beyond to a shiny sparkle once more! By this point in my life my father had a red cavalier that had started to fade, I convinced him with my new skills in machine polishing to let me loose on it, the results were amazing although it also highlighted how many stone chips his vehicle had which he tried to blame on me and my new found techniques..
No longer was I washing up liquid the go to recipe and I could barely get to grips with my own mind why I ever thought this was a good idea to begin with. New shampoo with integrated wax was now available, making your hands super smooth in the process whilst using a sponge the same size as my right arm! The home detail was evolving.
Time continued to pass and a whole array of products appeared on the market, snow foam fired through lancers attached to your pressure washer along with wheel cleaners, tyre shines, dash shine, polishes, waxes, glass cleaners and clay bars. All of these were in different guises and claimed to do wonders to the vehicle you had on your driveway.
As I built a small army of products I was finding my own way in what worked for me forming opinions on different brands that either did or didn’t take my breath away.
I started to notice “detailers” popping up in various areas, people and organisations specialising in providing protection to your vehicles paint from the elements. Using PH Neutral products and giving advice on why certain pop up car washes or products shouldn’t be used due to the processes and chemical make up which could result in lasting damage to your pride and joy. Additionally no longer was a coat of polish and some wax sufficient, there was now also ceramic coatings on the market.
Whilst these can be carried out at home with knowledge gained through multiple internet channels and own brands training sessions I decided that for the first time I was going to give my own car to an industry professional to have a ceramic coating applied. My reason for my decision in the main was as a dark coloured car It is stunning when clean and not so when covered in road debris and puddle splashes!
Having dropped it off one summer’s morning I continually wondered if I had done the right thing. I’ve always made my cars go from dirty stop outs to becoming stunning princesses with my processes honed over many years of tried and tested results.
A few days later I received a call, my car was ready! On arrival at the detailers my car was parked outside the workshop, it was simply stunning. The level of craftsmanship by the detailer had decontaminated the vehicle, removed all the holograms, swirls and light scratches to the paint surface and then applied a high gloss level ceramic coating to give it protection for a period of two years.
I could have spent all evening walking round the car in that moment, the shine, the way the light bounced off it, I was overjoyed with the results and couldn’t thank the detailer enough.
On reflection of this process I had changed my opinion on home detailing, It will always have a place in my heart and I will continue to wash and clean my own cars as I did on the driveway many times before but it was clear a professional can and will take it to the next level.
My own experience now leaves me with a vehicle that is well protected and continues to be well cared for, only using PH neutral shampoo to maintain the coating applied with a simple drying method of clean microfiber drying towels.
I no longer have the requirement of polish or wax as the ceramic coating locks in the paint finish and sits above it in a translucent state. I have a greater understanding of products in the marketplace, why they exist and how I can use them correctly to get the best from them.
I have also learnt that a professional cares to make my car be the best it can and also enhance my own love of car cleaning through further guidance and aftercare advice. My vehicle is in a better place for their involvement but it remains my role to maintain it as it always has.
At Vint-tro we offer some excellent professional detailing packages via our website, all carried out in our own secure and well lit facility, we have over 250 detailing products within our store from top end product designer Cartec UK which are available to all members at discounted prices.
So if like me you class yourself as a dab-handed home detailer then we wish you all joy in the world keeping your vehicle protected, however also like me don’t be afraid to reach out and let our team of professionals help you too, its the new future of working side by side to enjoy our vehicles come rain or shine.
www.vint-tro.com is where it’s all at.