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Wax, Rinse, and Repeat with 3M Automotive

crash courses in automotive | Posted: 8/10/2022

3M’s automotive line is a favorite among body shop professionals, expert detailers, and motor enthusiasts throughout the world. These products help restore your vehicle to its very best with straightforward, easy application. That’s why we’re going to focus on showing you how the professionals detail your car using 3M!

3M Auto-detailing

Two Major Types of Auto Detailing

Exterior Detailing

3M Auto-detailing

Detailing professionals begin by inspecting, washing, and drying your vehicle—this provides the perfect starting point! If there are vinyl decals, striping tape, or double-sided foam attachment tape that you want to be removed, a stripe off wheel will make the job easy. Think of it as a big eraser. It’s mounted on a drill, and with moderate pressure, the stripe off wheel can remove decals and tape in a fraction of the time as other methods.

Next, the vehicle is clayed with a good, clean, and new clay barWhat’s a clay bar? Well, it’s a staple of car detailing! It’s an engineered resin compound that’s used to remove contaminants from the surface of your car’s paint, glass, fiberglass, and metal. It does this by gliding along the surface and “grabbing” anything that sticks out. The particles stick to the clay and get removed from your vehicle. But be careful! The surface being clayed must always be wet with plenty of lubricants, such as car soap, to prevent loose debris from scratching the vehicle. The bar is reshaped as needed to expose a clean surface. It can also be broken into smaller, more workable pieces to make kneading it more manageable. But if there is a build-up of grit and grime or a color change on the bar, it’s time to get a new piece!

3M Auto-detailing
Shop 3M™ Perfect-It™ Ultrafine Machine Polish

Once all the grit and grime are gone, it’s time to polish! Polishing will make the vehicle shine like new, and 3M’s got everything needed for this process, including compoundpolish, and foam or wool pads. To prep the vehicle for polishing, a general-purpose adhesive cleaner is used. It removes any debris you might come into contact with, despite your best efforts—things like wax, grease, tree sap, dirt, road tar, oil, and bugs. All residue must be removed to avoid cross-contamination.

With an orbital buffer, and a three-step system, getting that perfect gleam on the finish is a snap. First, detailing professionals to take the rubbing compound and buff the surface until any small scratches are removed. Used with a foam or wool pad, this rubbing compound will take care of the initial defects. Continuing with the machine polish, they buff until all of the compound swirls are removed. Used in combination with a foam polishing pad, a great finish is just around the corner!

Last is the ultrafine machine polish, which takes care of all the extremely fine polishing swirls or halos. Just be careful not to buff this last polish dry! Instead, clean up any remaining residue with a microfiber cloth. After polishing, the paint is protected with a wax or sealant, like the performance finish. This will give the surface a high-gloss shine. This wax is either applied by hand, or with a machine.

Interior Detailing

3M Auto-detailing
Shop 3M™ Leather and Vinyl Restorer

It’s time to tackle the inside of the vehicle to give the wax or sealant time to cure. Professionals start by vacuuming and, if needed, shampooing the carpet. Then, it’s time for fabric treatment. For leather, they’ll apply the lemon-scented leather and vinyl restorer, which cleans, shines, conditions and protects in one easy step. Carpet, mat, and upholstery stain guard is often also applied for added protection. Then, they move on to the windows, mirrors, and lights—cleaning them with a streak-free glass cleaner. Now, it’s time for the final step!

Not a single detail will be left out! After all, it wouldn’t really be “detailing” without the finer details also being cleaned. The door jambs and the creases around the hood and trunk are cleaned and clayed before the trim and other areas are finished with a protectant to keep them clean and shiny. Then it’s time for the final inspection to ensure nothing was missed.

If your vehicle is glistening like new, then we’ve done our job! But if you have any other questions about automotive detailing or 3M, please free feel to contact us and we would be more than happy to help you out. Also, make sure to subscribe to our email list so you’re always in the loop for the latest deals and giveaways!

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