In a market bloated with “quick shines” and “5 minute details” it’s easy to pick up bad detailing habits that ultimately lead to improper car care. If you haven’t by now, you should definitely read our detailing guide to proper car care. It will help set the table for this article where I’ll walk you through four simple ways to break any bad detailing habit you’re facing.
Common Bad Detailing Habits
As I said, bad habits are easy to pick up. This is increasingly true if you’re a busy person, have kids, or live in an area where detailing isn’t totally accessible (like the city). Some common habits that must be broken are, but aren’t limited to: waterless car washing, using all-purpose cleaners, washing with dish soap, and “quick-wax treatments.” Regardless of your personal habits, here’s how you can turn the tables and start practicing better car care today.
1. Improve Your Detailing IQ
The number one advice I can give any detailer, whether amateur or professional, is to always be learning. There are always new products, new techniques, new tools, and new concepts that pop up in the world of car care—staying on top of these trends and innovations will help you beef up your overall detailing knowledge and thus contribute to your becoming a better detailer. Additionally, read detailing articles, how-tos, and join some forums… you’ll find that there are many ways to do any given detailing task, but the right ways tend to stand out from the crowd.
2. Look Past The Label / Use Quality Car Care Products
Marketing gimmicks are just that: gimmicks. Chances are “the easiest wax you’ll ever apply” has downsides (for example a terrible longevity and not-so-great shine a few days after application). Do your research, read reviews, and trust the companies that have turned their time, effort, and passion for cars into products designed to give you optimal results. Yes, this does usually mean a small price hike in your detailing products, but believe me when I say it’s worth the extra few dollars to get a better product. Your hard work pays off, results are evident long after the detail, and the products last longer, too. Buy better products, be a better detailer.
3. Take Your Time
Every detail takes time. One of the worst habits you can succumb to is expecting results in record-breaking time. I don’t care if you’re cleaning your windows or polishing your car’s finish, you’ve got to put the time in to do it right. If you expect to hand wash your car in 5 minutes, you’re in for a bad car wash. Think about it this way: you wouldn’t brush your teeth for 5 seconds and expect fresh breath all day. Same goes for detailing. Along these same lines and just as important is to have a plan of attack when you decide to detail your car…
4. Have A Plan
Having a plan for your detail means you’re prepared. Being prepared decreases your chances of falling into bad detailing habits, promotes better car care, and will save you time down the road. One way of doing this is to make sure you’ve got all the detailing products and accessories you need. As stated in the paragraph above, plan out your time, too. Set an hour (or more) aside and get the job done methodically and in a well organized manner. You’ll thank me later.
If you’re facing bad detailing habits, don’t worry about it. They’ll pass if you follow the above four tips and invest in becoming a better detailer. Learn from the pros, stay tuned on Behind the Detail (which will soon be debuting an all new design!), and most importantly: ask questions.
Drop us a line or comment below… we’re always here to help!