Detailing attire is a topic that has been virtually untouched. The average person isn’t going to care much about what they’re wearing while cleaning their car, but they should. Simple accessories and dress choices can wind up costing you hundreds in repair costs or thousands if you need to repaint because of a scratch you accidentally left on the hood. Most of the time you’re going to be in the garage or driveway when detailing your car, so unnecessary items such as your new watch don’t need to be included in your wardrobe choice.
Though some seem obvious, here’s what you need to look out for and why:
Watches are often forgotten about due to their frequent use. In some cases, the watch is a part of the human body and isn’t even taken off to shower. Whether it be a Rolex or a Timex, it has no place during a detail. Ever. Most watches are metal or have metal components, and as you should know, metal and car paint do not mix well. If you choose to leave your watch on, even for a simple car wash, you’re putting your car at risk of a major scratch that you might not be able to remove.
Rings are similar to watches in that they are very common accessories that almost nobody cares to think about taking off. If you refuse to remove your wedding ring, at least put tape over it to mimic a barrier between the ring and the vehicle’s paint. Rings are metal, and diamond rings are even worse; both will cut deeply into paint with ease and shouldn’t be overlooked during a wash or detail.
Belt Buckles seems obvious, but they are also overlooked. You may not think of it, especially if your shirt hangs low, but during a wash or detail your shirt lifts up often as you are constantly using your full arm’s reach. A belt buckle can be detrimental to your car’s paint if you happen to lean on the car for a certain reason, so it’s always best practice to remove the belt entirely or make sure that all metal has no chance of exposure.
Key Rings are often clipped to belt loops for easy access. What seems like a convenience can once again lead to scratches with little effort. Even minor contact from a key will scrape a car’s paint as if it were butter, leaving you with no option but to touch up the paint or repaint it. Toss them on a shelf or leave them inside the car; whatever you do just don’t keep them on you.
Necklaces are hit or miss depending on how tight they are on your neck. Still, it’s a good idea to keep them securely tucked underneath your shirt or don’t wear one. While you’re leaning over a car during a wash or wax, necklaces have a good chance of slipping out, and if they’re long enough will come into contact with the painted surface. This should be avoided, but as long as you are conscious of your necklace it might be okay.
Bracelets should be obvious by now. Don’t wear them. Even twine can cause micro-scratches in car paint, so metal isn’t the only thing to worry about here. If it is a dearly held heirloom and can’t be removed, make sure you are conscious of its position at all times. You wouldn’t want your bracelet dragging across the surface while you’re drying the car, would you?
Zippers can be the worst and often the most ignored dangers in a person’s wardrobe. Whether on a sweater, a jacket or a pocket, zippers are commonly made of sturdy metal that isn’t about to give in to paintwork. These clever clasps can render your paint useless if forgetting about, so always be aware of where your zippers are and whether or not you can change into something without zippers.