Detailing Steps & Info
When it comes to Vehicle Detailing & Car Care Products we know that it's easy to get lost in a sea of products and end up buying products that just aren't needed or simply don't work. 🤷♂️
Often we watch DIYers stand in the car care section of Major Retail Stores with mass confusion on their faces! The brightly coloured labels, the "Buy Me" and "I'm the Best" product!.
Sadly, a lot of those products just won't give you Professional results!. There's no "step-by-step", no guidance or nothing to even suggest that their products work in a Professional Detailing Environment.
With many products screaming "Look at me!" & "This is what you need!" you find yourself totally confused & annoyed.. It's not a nice experience and we call this the "Head-On-A-Stick" syndrome..
We've washed & detailed thousands of vehicles ranging from complete bombs through to high-end exotic super-cars! We know what works & what doesn't!
We've nailed the process for maximum efficiency & we know the essential products needed to get breathtaking professional results!
We want to average car enthusiast & DIYer to get the results WE do! so...
We're here to help!
Build your own Essential Product Detailing Bundle Kits based on our knowledge, recommendations, extensive product testing and manufacturing experience.
You'll be using the exact products & procedures that WE use so you too can achieve Professional results without the confusion!
Step 1 - (Exterior) WASH
The wash is the easiest & quickest part of detailing right? Just fill a big bucket of water with some "sink soapies", dunk that ol' sponge and start washing right? 👌
😎NOT ON OUR WATCH YOU DONT! 😎
Pre-soaking, decontamination & Washing is one of the most over-looked & under-appreciated part of the whole detailing & maintenance process.
Incorrect washing technique & products may be quicker in the short-term but they WILL cause you dearly in the future by inducing swirls & scratches in your paint & surfaces!
Proper pre-soaking, decontamination and washing is conducted primarily to remove or dissolve any dirt, debris or fallout that sits either on the surface or baked into a surface (ie Brake Dust & Iron Fallout on wheels & paint) and cannot be removed by the "Bucket Full of Sink Soapies" method.... 😢
Our aim with the Refract Car Care Products method is remove & dissolve AS-MUCH top surface debris & Contaminants (Iron Fallout, brake carbons, factory exhausts, road tar, bore-water) before we physically touch that surface.
The following Refract Car Care Products are designed to help safely soak, lift, dissolve and remove dirt & debris! This therefore reduces the risk of dragging particles across the surface with your wash towel or mitt . 🤢
Below is a selection of products that are staple in the vehicle detailing world and a few that make life a whole lot more enjoyable & easier! 👍
Here's a quick process overview what you'll need to do to conduct your own proper safe-wash.
Standard Stuff Procedures & Precautions
- Ensure your vehicle is in a cool, shaded area (to stop water-spotting). Ideally a carport or garage.
- If your vehicle is full-tonka-tuff-dirty, go & use the local coin-op pressure washer bay so u don't dirty up your driveway or garage. (Don't even THINK about staying there & "Using their Scratch-Wash-Brush-Services"..... ) Big Brother Refract is watching....
- Hose & Pressure Washer (For Pre-Soak Snow Foam Cannon)
Refract Product Procedure In-Order (Exterior)
(Product Directions in descriptions)
- Refract TAR REMOVER (if required) (Power wash off)
- Refract DECON CLEANER then use
- Refract PRO-DETAILING BRUSH KIT followed by
- Refract RAPID WHEEL BRUSH and/or
- Refract MICROFIBER WHEEL BRUSH
(Power-Rinse or strong water jet after each complete wheel)
- Refract MULTI-CLEAN then use
- Refract TYRE-TUFF-BRUSH
(Power-Rinse or strong water jet after each complete wheel)
- UNDERCARRIAGE/WHEEL ARCHES/ENGINE BAY/DOOR JAMS
- Refract MULTI-CLEAN/Refract DECON CLEANER then use
- Refract TYRE-TUFF and/or
- Refract PRO-DETAILING BRUSH KIT
(Power-Rinse or strong water jet after each complete section)
PAINT (Remove Fallout & Contaminants - TURNS PURPLE)
- Refract DECON CLEANER (Power rinse off) then use
- Refract TAR REMOVER (if required) (Power rinse off)
PAINT (PRE SOAK)
- Refract PRE-SOAKING SNOW FOAM CANNON) with
- Refract AVALANCHE SNOW FOAM & WASH
(Pre-Soak Entire Vehicle, Including wheels (5-8 Minute Soak/Dwell) and in this time
- Quickly & Gently agitate trims, grilles & badges from top to bottom with
- Refract PRO-DETAILING BRUSH KIT and/or Refract PRO-DETAILING DELICATE KIT
(Power-Rinse or strong water jet after on completion)
- Refract 2 Bucket Wash/Rinse System
- Refract AVALANCHE SNOW FOAM & WASH
- Refract PRO-WASH Microfiber Towels
- Wash from Top to Bottom then Rinse on completion
- Refract PRO-DRY 1 (Rapid)
- Refract PRO-DRY 2 (Final)
(If not continuing to polishing then proceed to Step-3 PROTECT (for Windows, Trim Protection & Paint Treatments)
Step 2 - (Exterior) CLAY
When most people hear the word "Clay" they either think about that pottery wheel scene in the Movie "Ghost" or those strange "Gumby & Pokey" characters.
- We suppose Clay could be looked upon as sensual or strange thing but in the Professional Detailing World it is one of the most important & useful tools to have!
Basically without going into too much depth (more can be read here tho) the Automotive Claybar, Pad, Mitt & Block is a miracle product that removes embedded particles like paint over-spray, carbon deposits (from truck & vehicle exhausts) and things like tree sap, transfer marks from shopping trolleys and a heap of other things!
- Clay Products work by grabbing embedded particles IN & ON the surface and safely extract them away.
- When used with proper lubrication on a properly-washed vehicle (ahem...aka Step 1) a clay product with safely lift those nasty embedded particles which are unsightly and can't be removed with normal washing techniques.
They're reasonably cheap and can be used up to 30 times! Be warned though.. not all Clay Products are equal. Beware the ultra-cheap knock-offs that WILL scratch your surfaces & simply crumble apart when using.
- Carrying out a simple "clay" bar, mitt, block or pad treatment will leave your paint silky smooth & contaminant-free. Another benefit is that your wax, sealants, nano coatings and ceramic coatings to adhere better for longer with higher gloss & protection too!
- Refract have some really special Clay Products for you to try!
- All our Refract Clay & Lubrication Products are Patented for your assurance of quality & guarantee! They are all made with the highest quality, A-Graded Natural & Synthetic ingredients & outperform any other clay product in the market!
The Refract SPEED CLAY MITT backing material is made from the softest Korean Microfiber, SPEED BLOCK comes with 2 replacement NANO pads & REFRACTS COMPLETE CLAY KIT has everything you need in one convenient kit!
(try & find any other brand that can say that!!!) 👌😎
Did we mention that Refract also has Patent Clay-Lubrication Tablets? Like a BLUE Berocca!
Step 3 - (Exterior) CORRECT
Ok, Here's where Refracts Car Care Products Detailing Process really starts to show its colours!
- Paint correction, polishing, compounding or buffing. Call it what you like but we like to call Step 3; CORRECT. (ie Dictionary meaning "to put right")(an error or fault).
- As the name implies you are Correcting something that isn't right or could look a whole lot better!
The process of Paint Correcting or Paint Correction (we will refer throughout our website with both pre & post-tense terms) is often something that the average DIYer normally isn't comfortable doing and here's why!
As Professional Detailers we know that there is an abundance of information in the Interwebs about Paint Correction & Detailing. There are literally thousands of different videos & tutorials all using different products, liquids, tools, machines, methods & how you should hold your tongue.
No wonder people are scared off! Luckily we've managed to sift through all of that over the years & condense them into our own product manufacturing with much simpler way of doing it!. This means you too can achieve Professional Results like we do!.
"OH YEAH?" How So REFRACT??
Well.. glad you asked!
Our Dual Action & Rotary Polishers have more than enough power to Correct Paint Properly. They aren't under-powered Mixmasters like you get off most Retail Shelves.
- The Dual Action Polishers are extremely diy friendly, have low vibration and are very well built for Australian Conditions.
- Our "Polishing" or "Correction" pads won't fall apart or crumble even under extreme conditions. We use Top Quality German Foam, Australia Wool & Korean Microfibers whilst carrying a Patent for the special construction materials we use!.
- We only have 2 Liquid "Compounds". INFINITY-A & INFINITY-B.
Refract INFINITY-A is for European & USA vehicles (Hard Paint)
Refract INFINITY-B is for Japanese & Australian vehicles (Med/Soft Paint)
Both are Water-Based and contain a secret sauce recipe that produce amazing results.
Does not contain any fillers or silicone & is Body-Shop Safe!
- You only need ONE bottle not 3 or 4 like some brands make you buy!
INFINITY Safely Cuts through Heavy Swirls & Defects like a knife through butter with our carefully matched Starting WOOL or HEAVY FOAM Cutting Pads and then Finishes to perfection with the same Compound with our Matched Finishing FOAM Pads! TWO SIMPLE STEPS!
We've also had many cases where only 1 Stage of Cutting (Starting) was needed!
Step 4 - (Exterior) PROTECT
Ahh the Glossy Bit! The Final "Icing on the Cake" moment!
This is where you get to really show-off all your hard work & reveal that head-turning competition-shine!
Just Like spraying a clear coat over a dull surface to bring out its gloss you are essentially doing the same thing here but you already have an extremely glossy surface to add to! 😎😁 (Assuming you've followed all the Steps up to here!)
Here's a little info & Run-Down on your next choices!
REFRACT QUICK CLEAN & GLOSS - UV Protectant Spray & Wipe
As the name implies it's a high strength Quick-Detailing Spray that doubles as a Rinse-Less-Wash.
Great for the glove-box when birds attack!, On-the-fly maintenance or when water restrictions are in force.
QUICK CLEAN & GLOSS contains high levels of lubricity and is Filled with natural & synthetic gloss enhancers whilst also providing UV protection from our harsh Aussie Sun!
It's Hydrophobic meaning it repels water and can be used on all surfaces
It's Easy to Spray-on and Wipe-off with our selected microfiber towels and can last for a month if the surface has been well prepped!
Silicone Free! Environmentally Friendly & can be used over any of our protection products if desired.
REFRACT HYPER GLOSS - NANO Infused Paint Sealant
Cool name, even cooler results!
Sliding into our protection range is HYPER GLOSS! It's a 2 part formula in one bottle and when thoroughly shaken (or stirred) combines to form a very easy to apply, slick, tight bonding, Hyper Gloss Sealant!
Can last over 6 months. Repels water like a duck & out-performs any sealant we've ever used!
Yep its got that NANO word we all love to hate but the fact is that it HYPER GLOSS contains very microscopic particles and when formed together create a high-strength covalent bond! #NERDLIFE 😎
We highly recommend REFRACT DYE-BACK to permanently* restore your black, grey or new hard exterior plastics! 😮😮😮
It's a "Game Changer" & we hate that phrase but we think we've nailed the technology and deserve the phrase.
It restores the black in faded black, grey in faded grey and our transparent option is used to protect new or near new plastics from fading occurring!
It has Ceramic Coating Type Properties like water-beading. It's non-greasy, doesn't rub off or transfer. It smashes the current leading brand in the USA & Australia for Depth, Longevity and Non-streak finish!
We've had it on our Detailing Van (Which lives-outside the poor thing) now for nearly 2 years. the 50/50 of "ours vs them" is Night & Day! (we think theirs actually washed off)
* Current Australian Environment Exposure Testing continuing to show evidence of zero colour deterioration or product degradation after 2 years.
* Will not restore previously heavily silicone-soaked plastics or irreversibly damaged "Tiger Striping".
For more information have a read through each product & decide whats the right protection for you!
Step 5 Clean & Protect (interior)
We generally leave Interior Detailing until after the Exterior Washing & Correction has been done!
We do this for quite a few reasons (mainly habit) but the main being that you WILL need to open windows & doors occasionally which exposes the cabin to possible polishing dust or small amounts of water when your cleaning the door jams and sills.
- It's just easier to do the interior last and reduces the risk of having to do it twice!
- We keep Interior Detailing really simple. Because it is..
- You don't need a million different liquids & sprays. (Although we are all guilty of it.. but you're gonna stop that now aren't you?) Good..Ok..
What's an Interior generally made up of anyway? Some Plastic, leather(ette), carpet, upholstery & glass! Although every brand of vehicle has different types of these materials. Some plastics are very soft & sensitive which scratches by sneezing-on and some are extremely tough & durable. However the detail process is the same!
Here's a Run-Down of a typical maintenance detail. (ie well kept, not neglected)
- Open all doors, Including the Boot! - Remove EVERYTHING! Cables, coins, mats, last weeks Maccas wrappers... EVERYTHING. (Ill just make it easier & also give u the chance to reduce clutter. (As we're all bit OCD at heart aren't we?)
- Now, the haters will hate here but we're stubborn & make valid points..😛
- Vacuum First! (Including the Carpets)
(we have the Refract modified, Australia-Only Vacmaster BEAST Vacs btw. 5 x Straight Years International Award Winner for Sucking! just sayin....)
- Take your vacuum, turn it on, put earphones in, play some Will-Smith Classics and "Get Jiggy With It"...
Start in the Boot or Rear Cabin!
- Because you're about to own your own full set of detailing brushes then you'll have all the correct brushes you need.
- Start sweeping the dust out of vents and on top of surfaces into your BEAST (ahem sorry, your brand vacuum, which is proven to not be as good...send hate email...happy to beat & be beaten...) 🤣😆 Jokes..
Jokes aside.. It IS really important that you use a good vacuum with a clean bag and/or HEPA filter. Interior cabins are subject to all kinds of dust & debris. You don't need to be re-circulating those nasty particles around your garage or family just because your vacuum is sub-standard or dirty. (or sucks... there!... we said it!.. )
Start from the Top-Rear-Cabin parcel shelf or Wagon boot, move the front seats forwards or Rear Seats down & Forward if you can!
- Work from back to front vacuuming the carpets and re-positioning seats as you go for best access!. Push, pull, kneel & stretch fabrics and seams where you can to gently sweep debris into the suction.
- Repeat the similar process in the Front Cabin but be mindful what brush you are using and on what surface!
- Once everything is reasonably-dust free and the carpets are 95% clean then you can start with your plastics, leathers & upholstery where needed.
Take your REFRACT PRO WIPE - Leveling, Polish Removal & General Purpose Microfiber Towel & get it moist! 😬 with REFRACT INTERIOR CLEAN (Leather & Plastic Cleaner) onto-the-towel-only. Resist the urge to spray the surface directly as this avoids any "Shock-Spotting" & "Over-Spray" which can happen with ANYTHING you spray inside your vehicle! (Ask your local Shopping Center Car Wash about this!... It's all bad news....)
Start giving those surfaces a wipe. Try & keep your REFRACT PRO WIPE Microfiber Towel Flat. Keep an eye on how dirty it's getting & fold out and reveal a fresh surface when needed.. There's no need to go overboard with the moisture but you will need a clean dry, second towel to flatten & completely dry the surface. (That's why we only offer most of our Microfiber Towels in Twin Packs!) Because we don't want you using some dag-RAG as an alternative!
Move through the cabin wiping over everything you can. Do the plastics first & use your REFRACT Leather & Plastic Scrub Pads - Cleans Deep into Grains & Textured Surfaces where & when needed. Be careful not to get grease or heavy debris from seat rails or heavy spills on our TOWELS (Sorry, your towels...😁).
Use your Dag-RAGS, Non-Lint-Paper-Towel or Hardware-Store-RAGS for that kind of stuff...
Next is protection, enhancement & nourishing.
Take a REFRACT EASY APPLY - Foam Applicator and massage your REFRACT PLASTIC PROTECT and REFRACT LEATHER PROTECT onto each surface & wipe excess with another clean, flat REFRACT PRO WIPE MICROFIBER TOWEL.
Once your happy with the level of cleanliness go and take a 5 minute break, tidy & re stow your brushes & tools in their place and look-over the Interior once again. A detailing light will help. We advise doing this as it's easy to miss obvious spots when you're knee-deep IN the cabin!
Conduct a Light-Final Vacuum! - There shouldn't be too much dirt & debris left on the carpets or surfaces.... We'd hate you to flick dust & debris everywhere. Ahh, there's our Valid-Point for Pre-Vacuuming Carpets Reasoning...
Window & Glass is ALWAYS the FINAL Thing you touch or DO!
- Read our Window Cleaning Method in the REFRACT PRO WIPE (GLASS) - Clean & Polish, Glass Cleaning Waffle Towel description.
Right! Time to go and show-off your freshly detailed ride out on the streets and enjoy that fresh feeling we all enjoy but can't explain.....