University of Detailing with Chemical Guys Canada
I love my car. I really do. It has its quirks, sure, and they can be annoying to deal with at times but find me a car that isn’t like that. You have to take the good with the not so good.
Because I love my car, I try to keep it as clean as I can. Living in Canada, doing so can be difficult. With long winters that leave our roads looking like impassable snow and slush-covered trails, there are times when many cars in this country share the same dirty shade of salt-stained white.
Thankfully, we are now well into the season where keeping one’s car clean north of the 49th isn’t an exercise in futility. Because I don’t have a driveway,
I often take my car to a coin-op wash booth (usually on the weekend) for a pressure wash bath and a good vacuuming. I’ve done so for years and my cars have been kept reasonably clean as a result.
Recently, however, I discovered that there’s a lot more one can do in order to keep a car looking like new. The good folks at Chemical Guys Canada offer a one-day course called the University of Detailing, a program designed to educate car owners about the finer points of keeping their cars spick and span.
I enrolled in the course on behalf of Ignition, offering up my 2010 Honda Civic Si Coupe for a thorough cleaning – and I do mean thorough.
The Chemical Guys approach to car detailing is holistic, covering everything inside and out, including the engine bay (home to a lot of grime, in my case).
First up, my car was thoroughly rinsed to get some of the surface dirt off and prepare it for washing. Because it hadn’t been thoroughly cleaned like this before (at least since I’ve owned it), the paint needed to be inspected, which is done by putting one’s hand in a plastic bag and running it over the car’s surface. If it feels rough to the touch, it should be cleaned with a clay bar.
Chemical Guys recommend inspecting the paint at the beginning of the summer driving season in order to determine whether it needs to be cleaned with a clay bar. In most cases, the answer is yes, and it was in mine as well.
A clay bar removes layers of dirt from the paint so the finish can be properly cleaned. The clay bar should never be used on a dry surface, hence the need for Clay Bar Lube, a Chemical Guys product that helps the clay bar pick up dirt. After using it, the surface of my car was noticeably smoother and ready to be washed.
After a thorough rinsing from the use of the clay bar, it was time to get my hands wet and wash my car.
Chemical Guys recommends using a two-bucket system – one bucket with soap and water (Chemical Guys’ Citrus Wash & Gloss, in this instance) and one with only water, which will be used for rinsing. The reason for doing so is simple: it keeps the dirty water (and the harsh abrasives it contains) from coming into contact with the car’s surface, which can damage the paint.
After washing and rinsing the car a few times, including a couple that involved the use of a foam cannon hooked up to an air compressor (a first for me), my car was looking much, much cleaner than it had ever been before. Chemical Guys used a wheel dressing product (Black on Black Instant Shine) to make my rubber shine like new.
A quick application of Orange Degreaser with a pressure washer removed a thick layer of greasy dirt that had built up on the engine cover and other components in the engine bay.
With things looking better on the outside and under the hood, our attention shifted to the interior. Generally, my car’s interior is pretty clean, but the one area that needed some attention was the carpet and floor mat on the driver’s side. Stubborn salt stains had attached themselves to the mat and the carpet and, despite my best efforts, I hadn’t been able to get them out.
Not a problem, Chemical Guys have just the tool for the job – a high-pressure rotating air tool called the Tornador (that’s its real name), which is remarkably good at blasting away dirt... and salt stains.
I’m not sure what rpm the Torndaor spins at, but watching it blast through the accumulated dirt and grime was one of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed. After only a few minutes, my floor mat, footwell and pedals were sparkling. Amazing!
With the car thoroughly refreshed, the finishing touch was applied in the form of Black Frost Scent air freshener to give my ride a scent as clean as the car itself.
Inevitably my car will get dirty again, but as the Chemical Guys point out, it should be easier to restore the shine thanks to the University of Detailing process.
My car is indeed grateful.
Want to restore your ride’s shine? To order Chemical Guys car care products or to register for University of Detailing classes go to ChemicalGuysCanada.ca