Prepping your vehicle is more important that most people think. Although it is possible to complete the following detailing stages without doing this stage, you will create more problems and headaches towards the middle and end of the detailing process (believe me, I've tried both ways). In order for you car to look its best, and to reduce the frustration on your behalf, complete the following steps in order, before proceeding to Stage 2:
- Gather your materials: hose, bucket, soap, auto brush/hand mit, spray bottle, degreaser, clay bar, chamois.
- Place soap in your bucket, and fill with water using your hose.
- Fill your spray bottle with degreaser (half water, half degreaser).
- Hose off your vehicle completely (which will remove loose dirt, etc.).
- Spray your vehicle with the degreaser mix in your spray bottle. Try to avoid rubber, such as window moldings and windshield wipers. Pay more attention to the lower parts of the vehicle where tar and grime build up the most.
- Using your vehicle brush or mit, scrub your vehicle with soap. Don't be afraid to use a little force to remove all grime.
- While your vehicle is covered in soap, use the clay bar on painted surfaces, paying most attention to the hood, roof, trunk, and tops of bumpers. This will remove environmental fallout that is embedded in the paint. CAUTION: Make sure you keep the clay and the paint lubricated at ALL times.
- Completely rinse all soap off of the vehicle.
- Soak the chamois with water, then wring out. Dry the car with the chamois.
Your vehicle is now properly prepped to begin the next stage! Good Luck!