Scroll down to view or select from one of the following topics.
(The Engine) (Wheels & Whitewalls) (Washing Car Body and Top)
(The Interior) (The Trunk) (The Exterior) (Final Detailing)(Conclusion)
(PRO® Product Addendum)

It is impossible to cover every problem that you may encounter in being a detailer. Each vehicle will have its own set of problems to deal with. Even so, this detailing manual is intended for use as a guide to show you the steps involved in automobile detailing. It can also be used for reference because it will tell you which products will effectively and efficiently perform each step in the auto detailing process and, in turn, teach you to achieve that professional look with every job.

Like any other profession, as you gain the experience and the confidence of detailing, you will find the problems that arise will become easier to deal with. You will also be able to increase the speed at which you can perform each section of the detailing process.

The result will be the pride that you feel in completing a job well done. That is what separates the amateur from the professional.

Automobile detailing and reconditioning have been around in some form since the invention of the automobile but now you will find that detailing is becoming a huge, fast growing business. It is moving out of the back alley shops and into elegant "state of the art" detail shops, car washes and also into fully equipped self-contained mobile units.

Virtually, every car will have some type of detailing done to it. To start with, it will receive a new car prep before it is sold. Then, it will (or should) receive washing, polishing and waxing on a regular basis by its owner until the point in time when it is no longer fit to be on the road.

The money spent on detail maintenance is a good investment. Not only will you take more pride in your well maintained vehicle, but you will also get a higher trade-in dollar when it is time to sell it. Most used car dealers use detailing and reconditioning to enhance the value of their vehicles. In so doing, the end result will be higher selling prices on those vehicles and, in addition, they will become faster selling units. Remember, the price you can get for a vehicle is based almost entirely on the appearance of the vehicle. Obviously, it makes good business sense to spend $50 - $75 so that you can profit an additional $200 - $300 on a sale.

The detailing of an automobile will include the cleaning and/or compounding, polishing and waxing of each section of the automobile. This will include the engine, trunk, interior and exterior.

The reconditioning of an automobile will usually include such things as: body work, repainting, tune-up work, new tires, glass replacement and repair or replacement of any seats, carpets or upholstery.

This manual will be dealing with information for the detailing aspect of the vehicle only. Do not be fooled! Good detailing is a hard job and it cannot be rushed. So, be prepared to work at it. Always remember that it is your personal pride that will show up in the end.

The market is huge for both new and used vehicles. If it is your desire to become part of this fast growing business, you must take a look at each step of the detailing process.

The first step is for your protection by starting with a Vehicle Condition Report (see next page). This report will protect you from any damage claims from the owner. In filling out a Vehicle Condition Report, you will (along with the owner) need to look over the vehicle and list any damages that are showing on the vehicle prior to working on it. You will list things like dents, paint chips, buffer burns, thin paint, moldings (dented or missing), broken glass, wiper blades or tail lights, etc. Also, check the interior for burns or tears. You need to note damage of any type that you could be blamed for.

This form is also used to record what is to be done on the car in the way of detailing. After the inspection, have the owner sign the form and give him a copy of it.

Before we proceed, let's talk just a bit about safety. You must keep in mind that you will be working with and around water, chemicals, and electricity, so work cautiously and use common sense. Use proper equipment and clothing. Make sure you read and follow all chemical instructions per individual container. If you pour chemicals into secondary containers, then use proper identification on each one, so that others know what is in them. The wrong application could be very expensive.

BAF Industries manufactures many products that may provide the same outcome or preferred results. However, some products are specialized to handle a specific problem or situation. For example, C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner will clean carpets as well as vinyl, plastic and convertible tops, but C-54 Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner is specialized for use on carpets providing a higher foam , less wetting shampoo. Please refer to the PRO® Product Bulletin or ask your local PRO® Distributor for detailed instructions on product usage for each situation.

Let's begin now by breaking the process of detailing down into four (4) sections, which are:
1. The Engine
2. The Interior
3. The Trunk
4. The Exterior

Begin with the engine compartment. It is usually the dirtiest area to deal with, so we prefer to clean it first. With the car in the wash rack area and the engine warmed-up, it's hoods up and let's go!

1. Warm up the engine for a couple of minutes, especially when you are in cold climates. This will help the cleaner/degreaser do its job more effectively. You don't want to warm it up too much, however, because the chemical can evaporate if it hits a super hot engine and can create a steam or condensation problem with electrical components.

2. Brush or vacuum soil from the hood insulation.

3. Before detailing, wet down everything, including fenders adjacent to the compartment. (Do not get hood insulation wet.) (If no hood insulation is present, be sure to degrease and wash underside of hood.)

4. Spray the engine compartment with C-51 Red Devil Degreaser (3:1), C-55 Non-Corrosive Cleaner/Degreaser or C-99 Green Nitro® Cleaner/Degreaser. Include the engine block, fire walls, fender wells, hood hinges and latches. Do the underside of the hood last (to keep the degreaser from dripping on you while you are working under the hood).

5. Wait 2 - 4 minutes for the degreaser to work. While we are waiting, we degrease the door hinges. Simply, open the door, spray one hinge with degreaser and flush off with water. Repeat the procedure on each door. Back to the engine. It should now be ready to be flushed off with water by using a hose or pressure washer. First start with the underside of the hood; then move on to the block, the fire wall and fender wells.

6. Inspect area for any remaining grease. Apply degreaser and flush again if needed.

7. Blow dry.

8. Repaint and/or touch up as needed. Then spray compartment with AX-721 Clear Engine Paint or with one of the PRO® Water Base Dressings.

If the vehicle has any special wheels, such as wire wheels or mag wheels, this is the time to clean them. It is vital that you review the products before hand, so that you will know which products are needed. In cleaning wheels, it may be necessary to use an acid product, C-24 PRO® Power (10:1), C-32 Wheel Brightener or C-33
Super Wheel Brightener
to remove the embedded brake dust. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO ACID BURN THE WHEELS! If an acid product for wheels is not in your plans, use C-41 Non-Acid Wheel Cleaner or C-42 Wheelie Clean.

1. Flush wheel with water to remove loose dust.

2. If needed, spray acid on the wheel. (Do not spray a dry, hot wheel with product.) Agitate with a brush to speed up the operation and help to remove embedded brake dust. Let stand only per directions on product. Flush with lots of water. Repeat if necessary.

3. Spray C-52 Whitewall Cleaner (1:1) on tires. Brush with a Nylon or Brass Whitewall Brush. Then, flush with water. C-52 Whitewall Cleaner also will neutralize any remaining acid on wheel.

4. Flush out fender well. Move to next wheel, repeat the process.

Now, that the wheels and tires are clean, it is time to do the vinyl or convertible top, if there is one.
*Always dilute products per directions on label.

1. Wet down the entire car.

2. Using C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner (30:1) and Upholstery Brush, apply cleaner to top and scrub well. Do one side. Flush with water. Repeat on the other side. (This step is for vinyl and convertible tops only).

3. Scrub any side body moldings with C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner. Then flush off.

4. Now, with C-14 Hard Water Super Suds (100:1), C-17 Foamy Meter Soap, C-19 Red Cherry Suds, C-48 Wash & Wax (64:1) or C-60 Super Car Wash Liquid (100:1), wash the remaining body. Do not forget the grill and the front rear shields under the bumpers.

5. Dry the car off using a B-90 Chamois or 100% soft, cotton towels.

Now, you are ready to move the vehicle off the wash rack and into the detailing area.
*Always dilute products per directions on label.

By cleaning the interior at this point in time, you will allow it a longer drying time before it will be delivered to its owner.

1. Remove floor mats and ash trays. Pick up any large objects. Place valuable items in a bag to be returned to the owner.

2. Blow out excess dirt from under and around seats, and seat tracks. Blow out air conditioning ducts and dashboard.

3. Vacuum well.

4. If you have a cloth or velour type headliner, it's best to use a high foaming product like our AHF-400 Aerosol Fabric Cleaner or AAO-500 Aerosol Awesome Orange. The material will not soak it up. If that happens, the glue and material could separate and fall apart. This product will save you the cost of having to replace the headliner, not to mention the embarrassment you would feel if that happened.

5. If you have a carpet cleaning extractor type machine, it will save you a lot of time. It will also do a better job. The Hot Water Extractor will remove any dirty water or sand that regular vacuuming and washing may have left behind. C-83 Extract Power™ is the perfect cleaner for this application. Its powerful combination of active cleaners, degreasers and release agents formulated to break down dirt and oils in carpets, upholstery and fabric. Its low foaming formula will not foam up the recovery tank. The “fresh air” essence leaves a very pleasant aroma. Non-Caustic formula is designed for soil extractors and power washers at dilutions of up to 40:1.

If no machine is available, then use C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner (30:1) or C-54 Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner (9:1) in a pail of water. With an Upholstery Brush, start cleaning the carpets, scrubbing and brushing until all dirt has been removed. Rinse with clean water and sponge. Towel dry to remove excess moisture. Continue cleaning until all the carpets are clean.

6. Next, clean dash and door panels with C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner. You will find that the cleaning solution (properly diluted) placed into a B-54 Spray Bottle will work quite well for this. Simply spray solution on panel and wipe dry with a clean towel. DO NOT PUT STRONG CLEANING SOLUTION ON THE CLEAR PLASTIC FACE COVERING OF THE INSTRUMENT PANELS, AS IT MAY CLOUD THE PLASTIC.

7. The last section of cleaning here will be the seats. If you do them last, you will not get wet by leaning over them to clean the carpets. Again, use the extractor machine if you have one. If not, use the same procedure as you used to clean the carpets. Scrub, rinse and wipe dry. Do not forget to clean the ash trays and floor mats.

NOTE: We consider the glove box to be a private area in the vehicle and will only clean it with the owner's permission.

Things to look for in the interior as a final check are:

1. Rear view mirrors, including visor mirrors.
2. Dome light.
3. Center console.
4. Gauges.
5. Vents.
6. Ash trays.
7. Steering wheel.
8. Door jambs and rubber moldings.
9. Visors.
10. Final vacuum.

1. Remove everything from the trunk.
2. Clean trunk jambs with PRO® Engine Degreaser as needed.
3. Vacuum trunk area.
4. Wash any area that needs it.
5. Clean carpet and/or mats with C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner.
6. Clean and dress spare tire with one of the PRO® Waterbase Dressings.
7. Replace items back in the trunk.

The first impression given from any car is usually based on the exterior finish, therefore, this is the area that will probably get the most attention. A good wash job is important but it is only the beginning in the process of detailing. In some cases, badly scratched or oxidized finishes may need more than just a cleaner. A compound should be considered, followed by a polish. Then, a topping wax or paint sealant can be applied. Detailing the exterior painted finish is a three-step process:

1) Compound
2) Polish
3) Wax

Determining what has to be done to a painted surface is probably the most difficult choice to make. How that vehicle was cared for will determine what product will be needed to restore its luster. (A list of your choices can be found on pages 11 & 12).

A majority of new cars today are painted with a basecoat/clearcoat system. A primer coat is sprayed on the metal. Then, a basecoat (color) is applied, followed by two or three coats of clear finish. It may sound like a thick finish, but in reality, on cars made in the U.S., it is only about 3 mls. thick. This will, in comparison, equal about two pages of this manual.

There are two factors to look at in dealing with the painted surface. They are:
1) Degree of oxidation
2) Depth of scratches

When paint deteriorates from weathering (oxidation), the first level of paint or clearcoat is attacked. If it goes untreated, the second level is affected as well, and eventually, the basecoat is involved. As each level is weathering, it loses its oil and begins to crack and get flaky.

A finish can also become scratched in any number of ways. The scratches can be simple surface scratches or scratches that go to the bare metal.

Buffing products containing abrasives will do two things:
1) Remove thin layer of paint
2) Replace the lost oils in the paint

If a painted surface needs to be compounded, the first thing to determine is how much paint needs to be removed to eliminate oxidation and scratches. Remember, the car has a very limited amount of paint, so you should never remove more than is absolutely necessary to correct the problem.

Start your cutting power on the mild side and move up if it does not give you the results needed. Each compound will vary in cutting ability - from a very mild abrasive on up to a sandpaper type compound.

NOTE: Before you apply any product to the finish, the finish should be cool. If the finish is too hot, the product applied could possibly stain or spot the paint.

NOTE: To keep from wasting product and having to clean up a lot of splattered product, use a wax applicator to apply the product to the finish.

NOTE: Wipe on product to a small section of the finish. Then, buff with some pressure applied to the buffer. When the product is being used up and is still wet, but drying, reduce the pressure on the buffer and burnish to a high gloss. To avoid buffer streaks, keep the buffer as flat as possible (at a 15 degree angle).

You will find that the top surfaces will require the most cleaning: the hood, the top and the trunk. This is because the flat area is the place where all contaminants come to rest: fallout, dirt, acid rain and dew. These things will lay on the surface and embed into the finish.

Normally, the sides will require a light cleaning product in order to bring the finish back to a high luster.

After compounding, the second step in a complete detail is polishing. There are a number of PRO® Products that can be utilized in this step. For example; P-21 Swirl Eliminator Polish, P-31 #1 Polish, P-33 Troubleshooter®, P-34 Progold, P-57 Miracle Wax Cream, etc . . . Please refer to pages 11 & 12 for all the available PRO® Products needed to complete this step. As the finish is already clean, it takes very little effort to do this step. The results will be well worth the time involved.

To conclude the job on the finish, it is necessary to apply a topping wax or paint sealant. Any number of products can be used at this point. That will depend on the type of finish your customer prefers. Examples are: P-35 Satin Creme Wax, P-39 Polymer II Sealant, P-79 Quickor Liquid Carnauba or W-41 Yellow Wax. Now is a good time to apply C-50-Q Aluminum & Mag Polish or C-90 All Metal Polish to the chrome & stainless steel sections of the car. Next, it is necessary to clean the glass, windshields and mirrors with C-27-Q Glass Polish, C-13 Super Glass Gleam, C-65 Glass & Windshield Cleaner or AGC-18 Aerosol Glass Cleaner.

Finally, it is a must that all tires and rubber moldings be dressed. Again, there are a variety of PRO® Dressings that are available. For example: S-68-Q Bumper Renewer, S-71 Clear Rubber Dressing, S-81 Wipe-On Vinyl Dressing, S-86 Premium Blue, S-87 Blue Gloss Dressing, S-88 Vantage Non Silicone Dressing, S-92 Premo Dressing, S-93 Prime Shine Dressing, S-94 Wet Look Dressing, S-95 Non-Silicone Rubber Dressing, and S-99 Glosso Dressing.

This step is probably the most important part of the operation, and that is final detailing. This step includes the removal of any polish or wax from moldings, door handles, name plates or any other location that may show leftover material from your final step. To do this, you can use a rag and a detail brush.

Detailing requires patience and determination if you plan to put your operation on a professional level, as opposed to that of a weekend detailer or an amateur. Every inch of the car needs to be considered. This is the quality control of your operation. If anything needs to be redone, you must do it now - before the customer comes to pick up the car. That way, you will eliminate any possible complaints that your customer may have in regard to your work.

If you are serious about learning the car care industry, this manual is just the beginning. You should know everything in this manual and then use it as a starting point to go out and really learn the industry. In the final analysis, experience is the best teacher but it helps to have a basis for evaluating the experience and the different situations you will encounter.

Factory recommended products for each designated area.

1. C-10 All Purpose Cleaner
2. C-28-Q Seat Belt Cleaner
3. C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner
4. C-54 Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner
5. C-61 PRO®-Sol
6. AHF-400 Aerosol Fabric Cleaner
1. S-44 Leather Lotion
2. S-71 Clear Rubber Dressing
3. S-81 Wipe-OnVinyl Dressing
4. S-92 Premo Dressing
5. F-54 Kookaberry™ Perfume
6. F-58 Sea Breeze™ Perfume
7. S-42 Odor-Nox
8. PG-77 PRO® Gard
9. AGC-18 Aerosol Glass Cleaner
10. ARD-472 PRO® Shine
11. C-13 Super Glass Gleam
12. C-27-Q Glass Polish
13. C-65 Glass & Windshield Cleaner

1. C-10 All Purpose Cleaner
2. C-14 Hard Water Super Suds
3. C-16 Power-Sol
4. C-27-Q Glass Polish
5. C-45 Power Lift Fallout Liquid
6. C-48 Wash & Wax
7. C-50-Q Aluminum & Mag Polish
8. C-60 Super Car Wash
9. C-61 PRO®-Sol
10. C-71 Bug Remover™

1. C-10 All Purpose Cleaner
2. C-24 PRO® Power Acid Cleaner
3. C-41 Non Acid Wheel Cleaner
4. C-50-Q Aluminum & Mag Polish
5. C-52 Whitewall Cleaner
6. C-42 Wheeli Clean Non Acid Wheel Cleaner
7. C-99 Green Nitro® Cleaner/Degreaser
8. S-71 Clear Rubber Dressing
9. S-81 Wipe-On Vinyl Dressing

1. C-10 All Purpose Cleaner
2. C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner
3. C-54 Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner
1. AVC Aerosol Vinyl & Carpet Spray
2. S-68-Q Bumper Renewer
3. S-81 Wipe-On Vinyl Dressing
4. S-86 Premium Blue Dressing
5. S-87 Blue Gloss Dressing
6. S-92 Premo™ Dressing
7. S-93 Prime Shine Dressing
8. S-94 Wet Look Dressing
9. S-99 Glosso Dressing

1. P-15 Heavy Duty Machine Cleaner
2. P-27 Ultimate Cutter
3. P-26 Clear Cut Compound
1. P-21 Swirl Eliminator Polish
2. P-31 #1 Polish
3. P-33 Troubleshooter®
4. P-34 Progold
5. P-40 Duz-All®
6. P-41 Super Acid Rain Remover
7. P-47 Auto Auction Prep
8. P-57 Miracle Wax Cream
1. P-39 Polymer II Paint Sealant
2. P-36 Cherry Finishing Wax
3. P-73 Profection Paint Sealant
4. P-79 Quickor Liquid Carnauba
5. W-41 Yellow Wax
6. S-74 Wipeout Spray Wax

1. C-10 All Purpose Cleaner
3. C-55 Non-Corrosive Cleaner/Degreaser
2. C-51 Red Devi™l Degreaser
4. C-99 Green Nitro ®Cleaner/Degreaser
1. Black Engine Paint (Lacquer)
2. 4511 Black Engine Paint (Enamel)
3. AX-721 Clear Engine Paint
4. Aerosol Engine Paints
5. S-71 Clear Rubber Dressing
6. S-81 Wipe-On Vinyl Dressing
7. S-92 Premo Dressing
8. S-99 Glosso Dressing

1. C-10 All Purpose Cleaner
2. C-49 Heavy Duty Interior Cleaner
3. C-54 Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner
4. AHF-400 Aerosol Fabric Cleaner
5. AVC Aerosol Vinyl & Carpet Spray

(Foreword) (The Engine) (Wheels & Whitewalls) (Washing Car Body and Top)
(The Interior) (The Trunk) (The Exterior) (Final Detailing)(Conclusion)
(PRO® Product Addendum)

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