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September 20, 2017

10 Ways to Ruin Car Paint and 1 Way to Avoid It

10 Ways to Ruin Car Paint and 1 Way to Avoid It Steve's Detailing & Hand Car Wash DenverWant your car to look its best? Today, Steve's Detailing in Denver shares 10 ways to ruin car paint and 1 way to avoid it completely! We know how much our clients love their vehicles and want to take the best care of both the interior and exterior. By practicing proper detailing techniques, you can ensure that your vehicle will withstand the tests of time.

So, let’s start with 10 sure-fire ways to ruin your car paint without even knowing it. 

  1. Nasty Finger Marks and Prints

You’ve probably written "wash me," or "please give me a bath" on the back of a dust-laden vehicle at some point or another. While it gives us a chuckle, it doesn't do anything for the paint job! In fact, it grinds in that dirt, dust, and debris, not to mention dirty fingerprint oils deeper into the paint, causing scratches that are hard to get rid of. A professional polish will need to be in order after a complete wash. 

  1. Bugs

Ever pull into a gas station and see a vehicle covered in bugs from bumper to headlights to roof? Where did he just come from? The Amazon? Well, wherever it was, he better make sure he deals with those dead bugs promptly. Bugs are acidic and stick like glue to paint, causing deterioration and more. Dealing with this situation as soon as possible is your best line of defense. Besides, it is not pretty to look at.

  1. Pebble and Stone Chips, and Everything in Between

If the road were solely yours, life would be great on your car's paint job and your frame of mind, but unfortunately life is not like that, and we have to share the road with others. That means big logging trucks that send debris of all sorts flying our way, salt and sand machines that keep our roads safe while flinging loose material, and who knows what else. Following too closely is not the greatest idea, but even if we did lag a bit behind, you likely won’t avoid the inevitable. Chips happen, so does debris. Steve's Detailing can help in more ways than you can imagine.

  1. Bird Poop

Much like bugs, this has an acidic effect on paint. And if not dealt with, bird excrement will destroy your paint quickly. The bonus with bird poo is that also carries some debris that actually scratches the surface of your nice new paint job. Because birds eat seeds and nuts, and seeds and nuts contain sharp and rough edges, guess where that result ends up? Right where you don't want it, on your car’s paint. Clean as soon as possible if you want to save your paint. 

  1. Tree Sap

This one's a doozy. Depending on where you live, and what trees are near where you park, whether at home, work or the gym, avoid parking under trees that drip sap. This stuff is deadly and sticky and will destroy paint quickly if not removed immediately. Our car detailing services will get to the bottom of this gluey mess in no time. Don't delay as this stuff is destructive. 

  1. Water Spots and Marks

So you live in a condominium, and every night the sprinklers come on to water the precious landscaping, but did you know that that water sometimes hits your vehicle because of where you are parked, and will eventually destroy your paint? Yes, it will. Minerals and chemicals in public water are usually treated, and these deposited products are left to dry on your paint. These are not easy to get rid of, and usually, have to be polished out. They can also destroy your windshields over time as well, which will need to be replaced eventually.

  1. Using Dirty Wash Products

Dirty rags, brushes, and even water buckets are filled with bits of debris that can permanently cause streaks, swirls and damage to paint quickly. Don't let this happen to you. Invest in some clean rags and products or have the professionals attend to details. By bringing your car in for an auto detailing, you can trust that we never use rags or materials that are dirty, and each vehicle is treated with products and materials that are proven to work flawlessly.

  1. Proper Washing Intervals

Just like humans, we all need a routine wash schedule, and that also includes your vehicles. Neglecting your car can cause serious paint damage in the future. Adhere to a strict regimen as often as possible for lasting paint brilliance and peace of mind.

  1. Overfilling at the Pump

Fuel stains can be hard to get rid of. Avoid overfilling your gas tank and causing spills around the receptacle. You will most likely need a detail professional to get rid of the stain permanently.

  1. Too Much Sun

Prolonged exposure to the sun is not good for anyone, or anything, and paint is most definitely going to break down rapidly. Cover your vehicle whenever possible or park in a shaded area to avoid extreme heat temperatures. The damage is almost irreversible if left unattended to for too long. Covered parking is your best option, if available.

So, we’re talking about 10 ways to ruin car paint and 1 way to avoid it. So what is that one thing? Well, that's the easy part. Take your vehicle to a reputable company like Steve's Detailing. Here you can customize your service, as well as get into a regular detailing schedule that fits your budget, lifestyle and schedule. You can trust that we use only the finest product, and our crew is experienced and knowledgeable in the art of vehicle detailing.

Steve's Detailing knows all too well about the 10 ways to ruin car paint and 1 way to avoid it is to visit us soon and ask about our special services for all sorts of vehicles, including luxury, sports cars, collectible cars, everyday drivers and more. We customize your experience by listening to your needs when it comes to your vehicle. Your paint job will look as good as new or better once we are through, so get in touch today for dependable and prompt service.

August 9, 2017

Why Am I Seeing Swirl Marks in My Car Paint?

Why Am I Seeing Swirl Marks in My Car Paint?Have you ever wondered, why am I seeing swirl marks in my car paint? Today, Steve's Detailing is here to give you the answer and how to deal with the situation. Better yet, if you want your car to gleam, simply bring it to the professionals at Steve's Detailing. Our team is highly trained and experienced in the detailing business and can take care of everything for you with no swirl marks in sight. 

What causes swirl marks?

Swirl marks are fine scratches on your car's paint job can be produced by using a dry towel on a dusty or dirty car or otherwise improperly washing and drying your vehicle. Your washing implements are usually the biggest culprits, and of course, darker vehicle colors will show more swirl marks than lighter vehicle colors. Swirl marks, unfortunately, are pretty hard to avoid forever. At some point, you will more than likely encounter them, and the older your car gets, the more it will happen. Your best defense is to use proper washing and drying practices as often as possible and use a professional detailing service. 

The facts:

The degree to which you can correct swirl marks depends on how picky you are, and the amount of time you are willing to spend getting them out. You will literally have to remove the layer of paint containing the swirls and re-level the surface, which is in microscopic layers. Modern clear-coat paints are harder than the older lacquer paints and enamel used until the 1980s. Manufacturers began using a base-coat and clear-coat system with a protective, hard, glossy clear coat on top of the color coat. These paints are more resistant to fading. Also, they last a lot longer because they are harder. 

Here are some reasons that swirl marks form:

  1. Polishers and buffers used with the wrong pad and uninformed application
  2. Harsh polishing compounds or paint cleaners
  3. Towels and applicators containing polyester threads
  4. A dirty chamois or cloth that has not been adequately cleaned and maintained
  5. Wiping down a dusty or dirty car with a dry towel
  6. Not keeping your wash mitt or sponge properly rinsed
  7. Automated car washes with brushes and other apparatuses that are not clean enough
  8. Not rinsing the car completely off before washing, or not washing your car thoroughly before drying
  9. Using a car cover when the vehicle or the cover is not completely clean 

How do I get rid of these unsightly swirl marks?

The best thing to do is head on down to the professional detailers, like Steve's Detailing, where they can polish out the swirl marks using the best products and personnel trained in doing so. Some products on the market will only mask or hide swirl marks temporarily, Steve's Detailing has the products and tools that will lift and erase the swirl marks using a polish compound to do the job correctly, and sometimes even a cutting polish, depending on the severity of the swirl marks. 

Here is a quick reference guide on eliminating swirl marks:

  • The car must be thoroughly cleaned with a de-waxer and non-abrasive microfiber cloth, to remove all contaminants, dirt, and dust
  • If the surface is rough, a liquid clay or clay bar should be used together with a water based sealer
  • A follow up with a swirl remover is recommended using buffing pads/cloth and an orbital polisher
  • Sealing is the finishing touch with an all-weather paint sealant to give you the perfect, professional, glass like look 

A quick word on Snow Foam:

Snow foam is a unique pre-wash cleaner or treatment that can help lubricate your vehicle before you start washing. It is like an added security system to help ensure you don't get swirl marks from left behind dirt and debris. A thick layer of snow foam left to sit on your car will soften the surface dirt, and when rinsed off, before hand washing, it will make a big difference in the quality of your car wash. A pressure washer with a snow foam lance will give you the best results. 

Why are buckets important?

There is a lot of evidence and reason behind using multiple buckets for washing your vehicle. Avoiding cross-contamination is the main idea. Here’s your bucket list: 1 bucket for your shampoo solution (wash) and 1 full of plain fresh water for rinsing. Simply, wash a portion with the shampoo solution then, before cleaning the next part, dip the mitt into the rinse bucket. Scrub it by hand to remove any and all dirt, then dip it back in the shampoo from the wash bucket, continue with the wash. This ensures that the dirt removed from the paint is then removed from the wash mitt, and isn’t dragged back across the car during washing.

Remember, if your vehicle is already riddled with swirl marks, you will need to first and foremost get rid of them by polishing, either by hand or machine, or by bringing it to our professional detailers. Also remember, that if not done correctly, you can add to the problem, causing MORE swirl marks than you already had. Polishing, waxing and protecting is a big job that requires a lot of elbow grease, so unless you are up for it, and willing to spend the day getting it right, it is always a good idea to check in with the professionals and let them attend to the problem.

If you head on down to Steve’s Detailing today, you won't be saying, "why am I seeing swirl marks in my car paint?" because we get it right every time and know the detailing business inside and out. Let us bring your paint color back to its original glory, free of unsightly swirl marks and lack luster shine. You'll be surprised and happy with the results, and able to maintain the longevity of your vehicle's paint job for an extended period of time.

July 26, 2017

Tips for Washing Your Car Between Details

Steve's DetailingTips for Washing Your Car Between Details offers fast, thorough and complete car detailing that will keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Here are some tips for washing your car between details so that you can get the most for your dollar, and the best treatment for your car or truck to keep it looking shiny and new.

First off, it is always wise to stay clear of the drive-thru car washes. These poorly maintained machines can damage not only paint jobs, but antennas, and a whole lot more. For example, if the previous car just came back from a muddy or dirty camping trip, guess what is left behind on those brushes? Yup, you guessed it, dirt and debris that could dig into your paint. DIY hand washes are typically the best option.

If your car is new, a wash and wax will suffice, but if it has been neglected at all, then wash, wax and polish are probably in order. Be sure to use premium microfiber cloths that are clean, and products specifically formulated for the task at hand. Some cleaners can do more damage than good.

Rinse your vehicle first to get the majority of dirt and debris off, using a pressure washer (with the proper tip) on hard to reach places and areas with caked on dirt. Use a good quality car wash soap, not just any type of dishwashing liquid or other, as this can damage the paint and strip away wax. Be sure to do sections of your vehicle and rinse promptly to avoid spots and soapy water from drying, especially on hot days. Finally, use dry clean cloths and wipe down the car from top to bottom.

You can go even further if you have the time and energy by applying wax or polish at this final stage, but you can also leave it to Steve's Detailing for the tough stuff.

How often should you detail?

Well, again, this will depend on how often the car is driven, if it has gone through some nasty driving conditions such as rain or snow, and if it spends a lot of time in the sun. It is most common to give your car a weekly wash to keep up with pollen and dirt build up from embedding in the paint, and a monthly wash and wax detailing to keep a protective barrier on the paint.

Is detailing and washing your car that important?

Of course, it is! The fine finish on your vehicle's exterior can wear down fast against the elements of weather, wear and tear, which will eventually lead to your car being nothing but a rust bucket with wheels. Most people trade in their vehicles every few years for better technology and performance. So, if you want to get the most out of your older vehicles, it is imperative that you take care of it inside and out, because no one is going to pay top dollar for a worn out car.

Steve's Detailing loves to provide tips for washing your car between details. It makes your car's value higher, and it makes our job more successful. We use only the top-quality brands and products to ensure your car detailing in perfect both inside and out.

July 13, 2017

Difference Between Car Washing and Detailing

Difference Between Car Washing and DetailingEver wondered what's the difference between car washing and detailing? Ay Steve's Detailing, we’re here to tell you that there is a huge difference between the two, yet both services are important for the longevity of your vehicle inside and out.

Today, let’s discuss a few of the key differences between car washing and car detailing. 

Car Washing

This involves removing dirt, debris, tar, and salt from your vehicles clear coat with a big bucket of soapy water. You can obtain a car wash from a detailing company, a drive through automatic wash, a pay stall DIY wash, or you can even wash your vehicle at home. Each one of these suggestions will get the surface dirt and grime off, but it will not give you the complete and perfect shine like professional detailing.

Another issue to note is that some automatic drive-through washes can do more damage than good to your car by breaking off antennas or scratching surfaces. If the vehicle before you was extremely dirty, chances are, some of that dirt will remain on the brushes for the next vehicle going through. Not only could it end up limiting your cleaning results, but large bits of dirt, rocks or debris could scratch your paint. The main point of a drive-through car-wash speed, which is not always best for your vehicle.

Car Detail

A professional vehicle detail will get into every nook and cranny of your car or truck, using the most up to date, tried and true, professional products to achieve the most stunning and shiniest of results. It may cost a little more than doing it yourself, but the end results will be well worth it and resale value of your vehicle increases because it will maintain that new car look.

Auto care experts are trained with the latest techniques and know-how for achieving the best results for your car, from engine compartment cleaning, removing stubborn carpet stains, bringing your tires and chrome back to life, headlight restoration, leather treatments, and more. You just can't get the same results as the professionals can, and let's face it, most of us do not have the time in our busy lives.

A professional detail can take anywhere from 1-6 hours depending on the size of your vehicle, package you choose, or options you wish to add. Some places have a place to sit and watch TV, others have a pickup and drop-off service. At Steve’s Detailing, we’re conveniently located in the heart of DTC, so you’re welcome to drop off your car for a “spa day” before work. For the time, effort and price it takes to keep your vehicle looking and smelling good every week or month, you’ll see that it is well worth it.

Now that you know the difference between car washing and detailing is, head on over to Steve's Detailing for information on what offer. Let the experts in making your vehicles look like new again, whether you have an antique hot rod, motorcycle, or work truck. Leave the detailing to us!

June 12, 2017

How to Clean Your Foggy Headlights

How to Clean Your Foggy HeadlightsAt Steve's Detailing, we know how to clean your foggy headlights the proper way so that you can see clearly in all weather conditions and on any terrain. We are also superb detailers for every type of vehicle, be it a motorcycle, RV, antique car, hobby car, or just your everyday to and from work vehicle.

If you don’t mind spending a good chunk of your weekend tending to your vehicle’s needs, there are a few methods for cleaning hazy, oxidized headlights. The first step is to do a thorough inspection of your headlights and look for the best solution to cleaning them. If you are unsure, always get a professional’s help. If there are extensive chips and cracks, it may be a good idea to replace them all together.

Now, let's look at the procedures for how to clean your foggy headlights.

STEP 1, CLEAN WITH SOAP AND WATER: Use a good quality car soap to get off the road grime and debris. From here you will get a much better idea of the damage.

Look for signs of hazing. This will happen when the hard coating has worn off the headlights, and the soft polycarbonate is exposed; the light will start to absorb scratches that create hazing. The lens will also be covered, if it isn't already, in a rough dark yellow crusted surface.

Yellowing is a sure sign that the all of the hard coatings is beginning to thin out and lose its adhesion to the polycarbonate lens. Peeling and cracks will need to be dealt with by a professional detailer or replaced. You may see flaking, peeling, and spotting. These may just need a resurfacing. Once you have concluded the level of damage, here are the options you can choose from to help repair the issue.

STEP 2, SANDPAPER: You will need a few different grades of wet/dry sandpaper. 3M is a good starting point and a courser grade such as 1500 or 2000. Tape off the areas of paint around the headlights to avoid damaging the paint and clean the lights once more with rubbing alcohol. Wet your sandpaper using the course grit first and start to sand in a circular motion, paying attention to areas where the coating may be lifting and flaking off. Use a good amount of pressure until you have an even, dull finish. Now you will change to a finer grit and continue sanding until you get a satin-like finish.

STEP 3, CHOOSE A POLISHING COMPOUND: Now you will determine the buffing compound that will best suit your needs. You can run to the auto parts store and pick up McGuire's, M105, or others. Aluminum compounds are the best for headlights, or you can use a more natural and cheaper approach by opting for bath and sink cleaners or even blue toothpaste without whitening additives or peroxides.

When it comes to how to clean your foggy headlights, here are some other natural options to choose from for you DIY-types:

  • Baking Soda: Yup, just like your mom told you.... this stuff works for almost everything. Just rub it on and rinse off.
  • Vinegar: Besides its great cleaning qualities, it works like a charm on headlight covers. Just take them off and soak for a few minutes and watch the crud crumble off.
  • Bug Spray: Good old "OFF" brand will work wonders in taking off bug grime and the UV plastic that is yellowing on your headlights. The chemicals in the spray do a great job.
  • Joy Dish Soap and Salt: Mix the two together for double duty cleaning and removing power.
  • Denatured Alcohol: Be sure to clean your headlights well with soap and water first, then dab some denatured alcohol on a rag and rub in a circular motion. Rinse and dry, and add some car wax for added protection to finalize.

STEP 4, POLISH: Get a nice clean microfiber cloth and add your choice of cleaning compound to it, about the size of a quarter to start. Use small circular motions and a small patch to start. Then you will repeat this cycle until the whole light is done. You can also use an automatic buffer for faster results. Keep buffing and polishing until you get the clear results you are looking for!

STEP 5, PROTECT: To prolong the life of the hard work you have just accomplished, there is a product called Bulldog, which is a plastic adhesion protector that will aid in keeping your lights protected. It is kind of like applying a top coat on your nail polish to add long-wearing shine and coverage. This procedure is something Steve's Detailing can most definitely help with.

The environment is the major issue in the deterioration of your headlights. The UV light exposure from the sun is probably the worst culprit, followed by road grime and chemicals. Road debris causes pits and marks in the lenses, water vapor trapped inside the lens also causes damage over time. So, what can you do to protect these precious and delicate lights? Well, it is wise to try and park your vehicle in the shade or a garage to avoid as much sun exposure as possible, and the second-best option is to have a professional tend to your lights quarterly to clean and protect them.

There are also several products on the market that can help prevent the damage that UV rays cause to your light system. These products have created a unique co-polymer & acrylic resin shell over headlight lenses to prevent their oxidation and fading. Your headlights remain clear and sharp and improve your nighttime visibility and your vehicle's aesthetic appearance. Of course, this is a maintenance task that you will need to adhere to for best results. But one popular brand on the market is called Optimum Opti-Lens Headlight Coating.

A word on headlight covers: These are a great way to not only protect your lights from harmful UV light, but also from chips and grime that wear down the hard plastic coating. Of course, you can't use them at night, but most definitely during the day is a great idea.

Knowing how to clean your foggy headlights is just one of the steps in a long list involved in keeping your vehicles looking good and running like new. Count on Steve's Detailing for all the latest technologies, quality products, and experienced detailers to make your car feel as good as the day you bought it! Stop in today and adhere to a regularly scheduled maintenance plan for optimum results.

 

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