Detailing Cleaning up on a budget

Discussion in 'Detailing & Cleaning' started by legend-ary, Friday 25th Mar, 2016.

  1. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

    As per title I am trying to figure out the best way to restore the paintwork on poor Katto - within a reasonable budget. I know reasonable translates differently according to each individual but lets say under £40. There are many great products for £12-£15 each so putting a top kit together will run well past the budget. Ofcourse I can carry on just washing the car with whatever but I don't want to.. I don't have access to running water or any sort of machine but I want to do the best job I can in whatever budget I have but unless someone is willing to lend me their equipment or help me out I am on my own.

    OR I can start with a couple of most important things and buy others later..

    As you can see in the photos of the paintwork there are numerous types of scratches and marks and tar like black spots behind wheels and under bumpers.

    What I already have but planning to throw away....
    * numerous unknown tyre dressings (found in boot of cars I have bought)
    * cheap interior spray & glass cleaners
    * TCut metallic
    * Cheap Wash & Wax Liquids

    The only good stuff I have got is
    * Turtle Wax Liquid Wax

    Clay - ?
    Tar Remover - Trix?
    Wash - ?
    Polish - Meguire's Ultimate Compound or Polish?
    Wax - Turtle Wax Liquid Wax
    Interior Plastics/ Dash - ?
    Black Bumper Strips - ?

    Condition of the paint.
    Photo 25-03-2016, 4 04 15 pm. Photo 25-03-2016, 4 04 55 pm. Photo 25-03-2016, 4 05 07 pm. Photo 25-03-2016, 4 05 15 pm. Photo 25-03-2016, 4 05 15 pm_.
    Last edited: Friday 25th Mar, 2016
  2. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    I'm no expert, but here are a few thoughts to start you off.
    I don't like buying cheap products as they often don't do the job as well and just get binned. Therefore, time and money wasted.
    I prefer to get a one quality product at a time and build up my collection gradually.

    Dealing with those marks on your paintwork by hand can be done, but it will take time and plenty of elbow grease.

    - Yes, just get whatever you can. It will go a long way, but keep it wet and just use a small piece at a time. Start on the cleanest panels and end on the worst ones.
    Tar Remover - Trix? If you are going to polish and wax fairly soon after, then you could use IPA, meths or white spirits, but don't soak the paintwork. A little, repeated over and over will work, but there will be no protection left on the clear coat. The propriety product are better, but you are restricted by your budget.
    Wash - ? Everyone's got there own favourite. If you're working within a tight budget, just use what you've got for now, and then get something better when you can.
    Polish - Meguire's Ultimate Compound or Polish? Really depends on what the paintwork is like. The deeper marks will need the harsher products. I start with mild and work my way up. I often mix a small amount of a harsher product with the smoother ones when tackling the more troublesome areas. This helps to step up gradually. I don't have a huge range, but I can tailor what I've got for the job in hand.
    Wax - Turtle Wax Liquid Wax That will work fine for now. I used to use this, and it was fine Again, everyone has there own favourites. Just get a good one later when you can. (I read up on here and the web before splashing out. I've got a few Farecla products from my local paint specialist and I mix liquid and hard waxes. I like experimenting!)
    Interior Plastics/ Dash - ? For now, a damp microfiber cloth will keep it clean until you can get something better. (Poorboys, Natural Look, as used by @FirstHonda. You only need a tiny amount.)
    Black Bumper Strips - ? I've got some Autoglym. Works fine and again, a little goes a long way.

    To an extent, you do get what you pay for. The question only you can answer is 'How much do you want to spend overall?'

    I would suggest, that if you can, get a DAS 6 polisher. If not now, then as soon as you can. It really does make all of this so much easier and the results are fantastic.
    I hope that helps. I'm sure the guys will chip in later on.
    FirstHonda and legend-ary like this.
  3. StuH Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Stuart Lancashire
    Well you're the other end of country or I'd help you out. Would say as above really. For shampoo I'd use use Optimum No Rinse, this is really good when you don't have a hose or power wash. Clay is essential but don't waste your money on expensive quick detailers to use as lubricant, you can use the Optimum No Rinse mixed with water or plenty use ordinary washing up liquid mixed with water. For panel wipes use an IPA mixture ( 4 parts water 1 IPA) and you can use neat IPA on tar. Really recommend a fallout product to dissolve the iron deposits. Megs Ultimate Compound is a very good product to use by hand just make sure you use decent pads. Your Turtle Wax will be okay to go over the UC. Get plenty of microfibre towels, they're cheap.
    FirstHonda and legend-ary like this.
  4. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

    Thanks @Nels for the super detailed reply. You are absolutely right in saying that I should only buy one thing but a quality thing and that is what I will do.
    Some scratches are deep specially on the bonnet. Would you class Ultimate compound as harsh or medium? TCut I suppose is the harshest?

    Thanks @StuH IPA seems to be quite a versatile thing.. No Rinse shampoo sounds like the ideal solution. Question.. when you say panel wipe.. that means exterior panel right? so the idea would be to strip panel of all impurities before applying polish and then using wax to seal everything?
  5. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom
    I order my stuff from Car Care Products | Detailing Products | UK - Clean Your Car

    Personally, I use AutoGlym products, (If they are good enough for Aston Martin, they are good enough for my Accord) however the course of action for my cars this April are as follows:

    1 - Full and complete wash - two bucket method with jet washer and lots of foam

    2 - Clay bar - Bilt Hamber - Auto Clay Medium (200g) - Clean Your Car
    This only requires water as lubrication, whereas most others require a special lubricant which costs extra. Used this a few times and its been fantastic. Incidentally, when you have finished doing your body work with it, before you bin it, use it to clean your alloys - works brilliantly.

    3 - Iron X - this is a brilliant product which removes iron contamination. Its a dark red when it goes on and looks like the car is bleeding - CarPro Iron X | Iron Remover - Clean Your Car

    Again, this stuff is awesome on alloys as its designed to remove ingrain contaniments

    (Ohhh just seen this - CarPro - Snow Soap 500ml - Clean Your Car

    4 - DAS6 DA Polisher time - some correction of any lacquer minor scratches and the application of some Poor Boys Black Hole to add some more depth - again with the DA polisher.

    5 - Application of AutoGlym High Definition Wax

    Obviously the alloys etc are all done as well.

    Internally, I use Autoglym Leather Balm for the seats and the leather on the doors, Autoglym vinyl and rubber care for the dashboard etc. Seats will be done after I have wet shampooed them and the car carpet too. I use this on the engine bay too along with Autoglym engine degreaser

    Takes me around 2 days - I do this twice a year
    FirstHonda and legend-ary like this.
  6. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    I've not tried Ultimate Compound, so I can't answer that, but I have used T-Cut Metallic diluted with Liquid Turtle Wax and that was fine. Just keep it wet. I've sprayed my pad/cloth with a mist of water to keep it lubricated.
    @wanner69 is our resident detailing guru.
    @Nighthawk is also very, very good with bodywork.
    @FirstHonda has been a great help in recommending things.
    @StuH has also done a super job on his Accord today.

    The things I wrote earlier are based on only having a limited budget. If you're not in an immediate hurry, get her clayed first and then slap a coat of Turtle Wax on to protest the paintwork in the short term.
    Then tackle the deeper scratches and then re-TW those areas. That way, you could just buy one or two good products at a time.

    Whilst writing this, I see @Nighthawk has posted a reply. I would be more than happy to use any of the products he's suggested...Once I've used up my current stock.
    I bought my AutoGlym Vinyl and Rubber care after @Nighthawk recommended it. A smashing product.

    One last thing. It's well worth shopping around for these things as the prices vary quite a bit. Also, it's worth keeping an eye on Halfords as they often have 3 for 2 on cleaning or car care.
    FirstHonda and legend-ary like this.
  7. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom
    @Nels - would you mind removing my double post please mate. Hit the button twice.

    And thanks for the kind words :blush:. Im ok at fixing stuff, but certainly not an expert on detailing
    legend-ary likes this.
  8. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    Ha,ha, I just did it before seeing your post #7
    Nighthawk likes this.
  9. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom
    Nels likes this.
  10. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    It's a shame we are all so far apart. It would be quite fun if we could have a Detailing Meetup and maybe give one of the cars a good going over.
    Maybe in the summer. :cleaning:
    FirstHonda and legend-ary like this.
  11. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

    @Nels I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your post. :salute: You are right that I want to do this on a budget so as you suggested I will take get one good product at a time. Some pretty good recommendations comings in interms of products so will keep an eye and buy one of these.

    Clay it will be as first step
    FirstHonda likes this.
  12. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

    Yeah yeah we can all see what a novice you are :Wink: :nodding:
  13. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter


    I can only agree with what has already been said. In terms of advice on products, everybody has their own favourites, and some of that will depend on what car they are using them on, colour, and just personal preference.

    I'm fortunate that my cars are always new, or nearly new, so I haven't ever had to (really) correct paintwork i.e. I've always started with a good base. What I would say is that if you have a fixed budget, IMHO you'd be better prioritising a few better products first and then building from there.

    With that in mind I'd prioritise paintwork and worry about trims and tyres later.

    I use Elite Car Care for my kit who I've always found very good. Unlike @Nighthawk I'm not a great fan of Autoglym, although some of their products are good. Just an opinion though, that's the trouble with this - everybody has their own 'go to' products or manufacturers. Mind you, over the last couple of years I've been using up old products from my collection, and I haven't found a real duffer yet...

    One other thing - the better manufacturers often do sample sizes, so look for those first to keep costs down!

    1. For the wash, as @Nels says, use what you already have or just get a cheap generic car shampoo.
    2. Don't forget to buy a wash mitt and PLENTY of microfibre towels.
    3. Clay is essential. Like others here I use Bilt-Hamber. I think it is well worth the investment, and as @StuH says, you only need to use water as a lubricant.
    4. For scratches, tbh you could use the T-Cut you already have (just be careful!). For me, the key will be a paint cleanser after clay/T-Cut and before a final wax. I've used Dodo Lime Prime with good effect.
    5. Wax. Hundreds available, personally I'd take a punt on a small size bottle and then go from there as you can.
    6. Glass cleaner - use an in house spray for now if you have one. If not, Meguiars do the best one I've used.

    For £40, I'd go for the following:

    Elite Pro Soft Synthetic Wool Wash Mitt - Elite Car Care

    auto-clay | Decontaminate and remove iron particles from your cars paintwork - Bilt Hamber
    Auto Clay Regular, £11. Personally I'd go for clay rather than clay AND the IronX for now. Clay should get rid of iron particles too, and for now this is about priorities and budget, right?

    Dodo Juice - Lime & Light Sample Kit - Elite Car Care
    Dodo Lime Prime and two Dodo sampler waxes £24. @AccordCU2 used two pots of wax like this and you'll get four or five waxes out of each - at least. Quality stuff IMHO.

    That's the budget gone without a wheel cleaner, but for now that's what I'd do.

    Just an opinion...have fun, that's what it is all about!
    legend-ary, Nels and Nighthawk like this.
  14. StuH Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Stuart Lancashire
    I'd definitely chuck in a fallout remover before clay. I use the Bilt Hamber clay but I do like a little bit of soap in the lubricant, I find it helps work the clay better.

    I use the IPA mix to make sure the panels are as clean as possible before polishing. You don't need that much IPA in the water (4:1 is my favourite) to be effective.
    - - - Updated - - -
    Oh and don't use the red t-cut on metallics!
  15. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    Absolutely don't use original T-Cut on a metallic - but I think @legend-ary said he has the Metallic version. Even then I'd be very careful!

    Btw, they all come in red bottles these days, just to confuse matters...:Laughing:

    T-Cut Metallic Colour Restorer 500m...

    I've never used a fall-out remover - it is on my list - my point was that if the budget is fixed and you have to choose one, I'd choose clay first.

    The other option would be to downscale on the final LSP (the wax). I'd stay with a quality paint cleanser personally.

    All you can do is get some appropriate stuff and give it a try. You probably won't find your ideal mix of products for a while...if ever!

    I would suggest you look at Detailing World - lots of great advice there - but as here even with only three or four opinions, what you'll see there are lots more opinions...which may just confuse matters further.
    legend-ary likes this.
  16. StuH Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Stuart Lancashire
    It's about 20 years since I last looked at T-Cut!

    I love the fallout stuff, really brings life back to tired paint.
  17. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    I have a very old bottle of Metallic T-Cut, but as said earlier, it is only ever used diluted down with Liquid Turtle Wax and then only when there was a particularly troublesome scratch.
    I expect things like Megs Ultimate would do the job just as well.

    There are so many products out there nowadays that will give smashing results and there are very few decent comparison tests carried out.
    Maybe that's a new topic for TG. Then again, I really want a fair and objective comparison...
  18. StuH Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Stuart Lancashire
    Got memories of my grandad t-cutting his Triumph Acclaim with my nana's old tea towels! I think he cut the t-cut with something but can't remember what, it was over 30 years a go.
    legend-ary, Nels and FirstHonda like this.
  19. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

    well tbh .. I have had some great results with TCut Original on solid paint on a friend's micra but as you and Nels say even the metallic is quite harsh so I am not going to use that unless absolutely necessary, mixed with TW if required.
    Nels likes this.
  20. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    There were far more car with solid colours back then. Clear coat is much easier to maintain but more difficult to colour match when painting.

    I'm sure there are plenty of combinations of modern products that will work.
    I have a jar with a liquid wax emulsion and hard wax mixture for use in warmer weather. It gives me a little more time before it hazes so I can cover a larger area before buffing it off.
    - - - Updated - - -
    When you get a DAS 6, you can just use the milder compounds most of the time, as the machine does all the hard work.
    legend-ary likes this.