Top 4 Detailing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Car Care Products, Detailing mistakes, swirl, claying, microfiber

Whether you’ve been detailing your car for months or years, or are justing getting ready to start with the new BMW you just bought; you’d do well to ensure you’re not going to be making these same mistakes. Detailing isn’t a job for just professionals, though there are aspects to detailing that do require special knowledge for use of specific equipment (like machine polishers). Read on for tips which are beneficial for you do it at home detailers, as well as those of you who have it professionally done.

Not Claying Before Polishing

Polishing is an aggressive process that is meant to clear up surface scratches and other contaminants in the clear coat of your paint. This is done by removing a small amount of the clear coat which evens out the scratches.  But did you know that there are little bits of debris that are often stuck in your paint? If you take a buffer straight to the surface you’re going to scratch the paint and leave swirl marks. It’s a terrible look if you haven’t seen it already. That’s why after you properly wash your car and clean it, you’ll want to take a clay bar and some clay lubricant to remove those contaminants from the paint.  This will leave your paint fully prepped and ready to polish.

Allowing Proper Curing Time for your Sealant

Your paint is a surface that of course should be protected. But if you don’t do your research, it’s not going to be protected properly no matter how much paint sealant you put on it.  When researching your paint sealant, look at the cure time. Some say a few hours while some say 1-2 days.  During this time you’ll need to refrain from layering the paint with wax or exposing it to elements in the weather like rain and wind otherwise the sealant won’t bond to the paint correctly. This will leave your paint about as protected as a Chihuahua as a guard dog. If you are the impatient type, there is a fast bonding poly sealant available. This will cure in a matter of minutes and turn a two day detailing job into just one afternoon.

Air Out Your Car After Carpet Shampooing

This tip is not just for home detailers, but for those who get it done professionally as well. After you shampoo you carpets and/or your floor mats, you want to dry them out as much as possible. Floor mats can be dried out by hanging them up overnight while the carpet in the car that can’t be removed should be left uncovered and the windows cracked. So make sure that if you have this done at the detail shop, you’ll still need to leave your windows open and carpet uncovered overnight.

Drying Your Car with Anything but a Microfiber Cloth

No matter how thick your paint is or how durable you were told; your paint is fragile. It can and will scratch if you’re not using the right materials. When drying your car, don’t use anything but a microfiber cloth. Better yet, a waffle weave microfiber cloth because it is the most absorbent. Microfibers specifically soft cloths that will not scratch your paint surface. Regular rags and towels from your laundry room are going to be too rough on your paint and can leave micro-scratches on the surface. Some people will suggest using a chamois, we do not recommend chamois and you can read further about that from one of our previous posts.


Are you having problems detailing your car? Or maybe questioning your detailer’s methods? Leave us a comment and we’ll help you out. Otherwise, there are plenty of articles with many issues, tips, and situations discussed right here in this blog.

If you require a little extra help, feel free to tweet us @drbeasleys or call us to help you out.