Washing your car
Everyone knows how to wash a car, don't they? But there are ways of making
the job easier.
Use a hose or powerwasher
(carefully) to loosen dirt and mud and, finally, to rinse the car.
using a bucket & sponge and a mild car shampoo (from a reputable
manufacturer). Best avoid car shampoos which include ' wax'.
the car thoroughly
ideally using one or two old, soft bath towels. Chamois leathers are fine
but require a great deal more work than a towel.
Don't use household detergents washing up liquids or
abrasive household cleaners on an automobile! Some products may damage
rubber seals, paintwork and clear coat finishes.
Don't use automatic car washes unless you really must.
Contact types can scratch paint, while non-contact (automatic high pressure
water washers) can drive grit into the paintwork. If you use a manual car
wash, dry the car afterwards. If you don't, water spots will be a problem
when you apply wax.
Start by soaking
the whole car using a hose or powerwasher to
loosen dirt. Use a hose or powerwasher to remove mud and dirt from the lower
bodywork, wheels and wheel arches, but be very careful. Using a high powered
washer too close to the car can damage paint and tyres.
Use a bucket and sponge
to wash the car with mild diluted shampoo. Wash the windscreen and windows
first so as to avoid transferring traces of wax from the bodywork to the
glass. Wash the car from roof down; this helps avoid grit from the lower
bodywork being caught in the sponge and causing scratches.
Wash wheels last using
car shampoo. Use a different sponge and a wheel brush to reach tricky areas.
If your wheels are badly marked with brake dust use a wheel cleaner
recommended by the car's maker. Be careful with wheel cleaners - some types
corrode wheel studs, a big problem with some Porsches.
Rinse the car thoroughly
with clean water. If you can, use filtered water. It will reduce water
Dry the car completely.
Start with the windscreen and windows. Use one or two old, soft bath
towels. Water left on the bodywork will almost certainly form water
spots which are surprisingly tough to remove. Ideally, launder the
towels for future use.
Cleaning & conditioning paintwork
After washing, carefully inspect the
paint finish. It should look clean and shiny. Run your fingers over
the surface - it should feel pretty smooth.Unfortunately,
you may find some imperfections.
if the paintwork looks really clean and shiny,
apply Valentine's Concours Carnauba right away.
Here's what to do if your car's paint finish shows
Water spots - wash and rinse the area and dry off immediately.
Tar spots - use a tar remover from a reputable manufacturer. Lehm
klay works well also but can be a bit of a hassle to use. Tar
removers are generally easy to use and very mild. At least one
Ferrari agency uses tar remover as its standard pre-cleaner before
applying wax or polish.
Dead insects & tree sap - if washing with car
shampoo doesn't solve the problem, tar remover or lehm klay will.
Stains from dead bugs can be hard to get off. Be patient and gentle.
Fortunately, it's a whole lot easier if the car has been waxed with
Valentine's Carnauba which leaves an ultra smooth, tough, slippery
- about the hardest thing in the world to remove from a car's
bodywork is cow shit. If possible, hose off as soon as you get home. If left
to dry this stuff sets like concrete. Hose and soak with water, then use car
shampoo and clean off with an old sponge. If necessary, use a brush - but
carefully. Tar remover will generally help. The good news: like insect
stains, cow shit comes off very much more easily if your car has previously
been treated with Valentine's Carnauba...
Swirl marks & light
- try this: look closely
at your paintwork with direct sunlight reflecting off the surface. You may
well see networks of fine, circular scratches in the surface. You can even
find these on a new car straight out of the showroom. The bad news:
despite what some polish makers claim, swirl marks and scratches are almost
impossible to remove without stripping off a layer of paint or clear coat -
which really is a professional job. Fortunately, it's possible to disguise
the problem to some extent.
What most 'scratch removers' do is try to hide the scratch by building up a
layer of product in the fine grooves. Unfortunately, nothing works perfectly
because, to be 100% effective, the material filling the scratch would have
to be the same - or have the same refractive index - as the paint surface.
A specialist detailing company, whose people prepare cars for international
motor shows, tell us that there is no magic solution; no product entirely
hides swirl marks. Even brand new show cars can have swirl marks which show
up badly under directional display lighting. Their solution is to work with
the stand and lighting designers to minimize the problem.
We have consulted research scientists who specialise in examining surfaces
at atomic level. We've looked at swirl marks through their optical
microscopes which magnify more than 1000 times - light scratches look like
the grand canyon. The build-up of wax can be clearly seen. The more wax in
the scratch, the less visible the scratch becomes. To the naked eye, some
scratches seem to disappear completely.
don't claim that Valentine's Carnauba 'removes scratches'. What it does do
is help disguise them. Wax builds up in the fine grooves, making swirl marks
and light scratches seem to disappear - but the effectiveness will vary with
different paint colours or clear coat types.
Dull paintwork- the surface of the paint may be oxidised or
obscured by traffic film. You will need a pre-cleaner or, if the paintwork
is really bad, a 'cutting polish'. Fortunately, there are a host of
excellent products on the market. Almost all are abrasive and work by
removing a thin layer of dirty, oxidised paint to reveal clean, new-looking
Cutting polishes come in different grades - try the mildest first. When
using pre-cleaners, paint renovators or cutting polishes, always read the
instructions. It's surprisingly easy to rub right through layers of paint or
clear coat, particularly on edges. Be careful. Over-enthusiasm can cause
serious damage or at least leave swirl marks or scratches in the surface.
Applying Valentine's Concours Carnauba Wax
Once you have cleaned and prepared your paintwork it should look shiny and
new - BUT what you now have is a raw surface which needs protection. It's
time to apply Valentine's Concours Carnauba Wax... you'll be amazed how easy this is.
Use the applicator provided. Very little wax
is needed. Apply in straight lines - don’t swirl in circles. Make
sure the surface is evenly covered. Treat a small area at a time -
one quarter to one third of a body panel.
Do not allow our wax to dry out on the car! – ideally, polish off
immediately. If you leave it too long and it sets, don't try
to rub it off. Just apply a little more to soften the first
coat and polish off as usual.
Polish off using Valentine’s microfibre
polishing cloths or clean, dry terry towelling. Polish gently (in
circles if you wish) turning the cloth frequently. Now, stand back
and admire the deepest gloss you've ever seen.