Reference Detailing How-To Articles

Since I regularly get asked by enthusiasts and other professional detailers about techniques, procedures and products that I have already written about, I decided to put all of what I consider to be “reference” detailing articles together in one place. These are by far my most popular in terms of how many times they have been read, how many comments are posted on them, and how important the subject matter is to proper detailing.

All of these articles have been written by me over the past year with a few exceptions (other authors noted accordingly). When I have new articles come up that I feel deserve to be on this list, I will be sure to update this page as necessary. I would recommend that you bookmark this page! :)

Washing, Drying, and Maintenance Articles:

How to Properly Wash and Dry a Car (without causing swirls): Detailing and proper appearance care revolves around this subject, and here you will find all of the tips, tricks, and recommended products necessary to keep your car looking its absolute best. This article has been featured on many different automotive websites, and a condensed version was recently featured in FORZA Magazine.

The Grit Guard 2×4 Wash Method: Proper washing technique requires the use of the Grit Guard, and this article shows how to take advantage of the protective benefits by doubling the amount of Grit Guards used in the traditional 2-bucket method.

The Importance of Proper Washing Techniques: A perfect finish can be ruined in 15 minutes if not washed properly. See the difference it can make!

Maintaining your Wash Mitt: If you want your wash media to take care of your car’s perfect finish, then you need to take care of your wash media. How do you take care of yours?

Proper Microfiber Care: (by Marc Harris) Your microfiber towels require special care to keep them from damaging your finish. Follow Marc’s guide to keep them in top shape.

Rinseless Car Wash using Optimum No Rinse: (by DJ Mayo) If you have local water restrictions, or need to hand wash your vehicle in the winter, Optimum No Rinse is the way to go.

How to Detail your Wheels, Wheel Wells, and Tires: A detailed car isn’t complete unless your wheels, wheel wells, and tires are finished properly. Follow this guide to learn the right techniques and tools for the job.

How to Detail your Engine Bay: Keep your engine compartment looking as good as the outside of the car by following this simple guide.

How to use a Clay Bar: Claying is an essential part of maintaining a clean and smooth finish.

How to Wax like a Pro: (by David Bibiloni) If you learned your technique by watching The Karate Kid, then you need to read this tutorial to learn the right way to do it!

Leather Care:

Leather Cleaning and Conditioning using Leatherique: For deep cleaning, conditioning, and preservation of leather…nothing beats Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil and Prestine Clean!

Full Detailing Guides:

Complete Detail from Start to Finish: This 4-part article takes an Acura TL through a major detail from start to finish including machine polishing processes. This is my largest and most read (and referenced) article I have produced to date.

New Car Prep Detail: Featuring the amazing new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, this article goes through the products and processes required to detail a brand new car.

Restorative Detail featuring a Ferrari F40: The restorative-level detail requires a tremendous amount of skill and time, and this article showcases a 60-hour detail performed on a classic Ferrari F40 to restore the finish and engine compartment to like-new condition.

How to Prep a Car for Polishing: There are a lot of steps that need to be taken before polishing can begin. Be sure to follow this guide to maximize your results.

How to use Meguiar’s M105 / M205 Polishing System: This tutorial will take you through the proper steps and procedures to use the game-changing polishing system by Meguiar’s.

Miscellaneous Detailing:

How to Choose a Professional Detailer: (by Marc Harris) All detailers are NOT created equal, and only a small percentage have the skills to properly restore a car’s finish to like-new condition. Follow Marc’s tips to find the right detailer the first time!

The Difference a Professional Detailer can make: (by Marc Harris) “If you think a professional is expensive, you should see what the amateurs can cost you”. See how a hack-job detail is saved by a real pro (paint correction specialist).

Just Showing Off!

Mini-Restoration Detail featuring a Ferrari 355 GTS: If you like seeing major transformations and amazing before and after photos, then this is the full-detail article for you!

Factory Fix on a brand new Ferrari 458 Italia: Just because you paid $300K for a brand new exotic it doesn’t mean that it’s going to look good! After 25 hours worth of paint correction detail, this Ferrari finally shines the way it should. 

Chevrolet Corvette in Crystal Red Metallic: This car was sold as “new”, but it was far from it! Follow along the investigative process to find out what happened to the car, and how it was fixed the right way.

Rolls Royce Phantom Paint Correction Detail: Some paint systems really pose a challenge, and this behemoth  was one of them. Read about the processes that were used over a 36-hour detail to bring this Rolls Royce back to factory condition.

Ferrari-specific articles: This is a collection of all Ferrari-specific articles I have produced on Detailed Image.

Thanks for taking the time to review my articles, and please feel free to post any comments or questions you may have in the comment box below. Also feel free to share this post with your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc by clicking on the respective icons below under “Share The Knowledge”.

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3 Responses to Reference Detailing How-To Articles

  1. Gabe says:

    Awesome, Todd! Very helpful. I was finding myself having to click through the multiple pages on DI to find the thread that I wanted…

    • Thanks Gabe! I found myself doing a lot of the same when I would be asked for information, so now I can just send people to this one post and have them bookmark it. Feel free to share this post with others!

  2. Marco says:

    Thanks for sharing Todd! This is probably the most comprehensive post ever!

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