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Car Detailing Products by Griot’s Garage: 5 Easy Steps to Perfection
A word of caution:
While some folks would prefer to just have their vehicle professionally detailed, this can be expensive. On the other hand, doing your own detail is rewarding and is an important car-care ritual that also lets you to see small nicks and scratches in your paint job.
But here’s the most important part:
I have found that a great detail starts with great car detailing products. And the family at Griot’s Garage have created high-quality detailing products, even if you’re on a tight budget.
A great detail also requires a plan of action.
Here are five steps that will take you from clueless to a perfect detail.
1. Know what your vehicle needs
This may sound obvious as a first step to selecting auto detailing supplies. Trouble is, many people waste their time, their money, or both because they set out to start a detail without knowing specifically what their vehicle needs.
If you’ve ever grocery shopped without knowing what’s already in your fridge or pantry, then you know what it’s like to buy things you don’t need.
Knowing your car is similar. Keeping in mind the products you need can save you money and time.
A common mistake in purchasing auto detailing supplies and car care products is not knowing about your wheels.
There are many types of wheel cleaners and polishes available, but some polishes are only suited to alloy wheels and some to chrome. If you have steel wheels and use wheel covers, you likely will not need polish at all. On the other hand, Griot’s Garage wheel cleaner can be used for all wheels.
While buying an all-in-one detail kit can save time and money, make sure everything suits your particular vehicle.
If a kit includes leather cleaner and your vehicle has cloth upholstery, you may be better off purchasing items separately. If you do have a leather interior, the right leather care can help protect the life and appearance of your car’s interior.
Your car may also need some specific products. A newer car likely will not need its headlights restored. But as your vehicle ages, you may find yourself needing headlight restoration products and possible a headlight re-sealant.
2. Know your budget
If you watch your pennies like me, you might be tempted to go for the lowest price without regard for quality. This is where it pays to really do your homework. In this case, research often comes down to checking online reviews and price comparisons.
3. Choose your car detailing products carefully
Careful selection of car care products is a must for most automobile enthusiasts. For instance, many companies manufacture specialized interior and exterior products.
Vinyl dressing is a good example–if you’ve ever tried using an exterior vinyl dressing on your interior, you likely found that it left a sticky residue that attracted dust or made the seats slippery.
The Subaru Ladies review linked above had this to say about the Griot s Garage interior detailer:
“It removed a stain from the headliner and sun visor of the Legacy, that had been there for 2+ years. The interior cleaner also works great on dashes.”
Like many companies, Griot s Garage offers different options for different tastes. If you prefer a traditional soap-and-water wash, then the Brilliant Finish Car Wash may be for you.
On the other hand, an interesting review of Griot’s spray-on car wash notes that the reviewer discovered it because “The city was offering either a voucher for a free car wash, or a free eight-ounce bottle of Griot’s Garage Spray-On Car Wash.” The reviewer was pleasantly surprised by the spray wash’s effectiveness at removing dirt and leaving almost no streaks.
4. Have a set order for your detailing process
Whether you choose a complete kit for detailing a car (like Griot’s Starter Car Care Kit) or opt to get the best car detailing products a la carte, making sure that you do things in a logical order will help get you the best results you can.
Some of this, of course, comes down to personal preference, but some rules simply make sense: it’s more logical to get your interior cleaned and vacuumed before applying interior vinyl dressing, as any stirring of dust will make it more likely that you’ll end up with a dust-covered dash.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if you do exterior or interior first. But if you need to restore your headlights, it’s best to do this before your exterior wash and detail. Most headlight restorations involve either sanding or a potentially corrosive ammonia formula, and these are both things you want to keep off your clear coat.
Your detail may look different, but in general, detailing a car will take the following steps. The order is suggested, but you may change as you see fit:
- Headlight restoration (if needed)
- Apply wheel cleaner
- Wash exterior (spray or water wash)
- Polish exterior
- Apply tire shine/exterior vinyl dressing
Depending on the condition of your exterior, you may wish to first perform a surface prep.
- Vacuum interior
- Clean/polish leather or clean upholstery
- Apply interior vinyl dressing
5. Be meticulous in your detail
One of the best ways to make sure you get a great detail, aside from having the best car detailing products, is to take your time.
Dusting crevices, taking time to scrub upholstery, and polishing exterior plastic as well as clear coat are all small touches that add up to a beautifully-detailed vehicle.
What does all this mean for you?
When you get your car detailing products from Griot’s Garage, you’re getting affordable, top-quality solutions that get the job done.
Do you like to enter your ride in local car shows. Check out my 7 winning tips for beating the competition at a car show.