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September '15 Winner
A big well done to Martyn Butcher for winning our September show and shine. With his wife's new ST about to arrive, Martyn contacted us for advice about how best to go about detailing it from new. While many people leave this type of work to the valeters at the dealership, the sad reality is that many of them aren't given enough time to make a proper job of it, and often mar the paint as they rush to get things done. By following our tips and kitting himself out with quality products, Martyn was able to safely do all of the work himself ...
"We purchased our new Race Red Fiesta ST3 back in March and, having deliberated for some time, I decided to take delivery of it in an unwashed state and with the shipping wraps still in place. I have always been fanatical about looking after my cars and, having read Rich's informative article on the Polished Bliss blog about detailing his new ST, I was totally sold on the benefits of preparing the car myself. Angela at Polished Bliss was extremely helpful in responding to my enquiries and offering step by step advice, and I felt very confident that a carnauba-based approach with the Auto Finesse Desire Kit was the right choice as the last step product for the solid red bodywork.
Having carefully removed the shipping wraps, I kicked off the detail by foaming the car with Auto Finesse Avalanche. I left this to dwell for a good five minutes in order to soften the blanket of dust and grime that had accumulated during its journey from Cologne. After a really thorough rinse I cleaned all of the plastic trims, door shuts and window edges with Auto Finesse Citrus Power, using a PB Boar Hair Detail Brush Set and a Meguiar's Microfibre Wash Mitt to agitate it. I then proceeded to wash the car using the two bucket method, Auto Finesse Lather and a Microfiber Madness Incredimitt. This combination of shampoo and wash mitt produced a really generous amount of lubricating suds, thus ensuring that the wash stage was completed safely.
After rinsing with an open ended hose, each panel in turn was soaked with Autosmart Tardis and then carefully wiped down with an Atomiza Microfibre Work Towel, in order to break down any organic contaminants and remove any sticky shipping wrap residues. This was followed by a treatment with Auto Finesse Iron Out, which did an incredible job of dissolving the microscopic ferrous and sintered iron particles that had stuck to the car during transit from Cologne; by the end the plastic sheet on our garage floor was covered in pools of purple liquid, which clearly highlighted the degree of hidden contamination! Smooth panels negated the need for any claying, so I gave the car a final rinse, then pat dried it with a PB Luxury Drying Towel and garaged it just before the rain started! Drying the car is quite an irritating process as water seems to collect and run out of various places, particularly the body kit add-ons and the honeycomb grills. This does make the bodywork more vulnerable to water spotting, so my next major investment will definitely be a Metro Vac Air Force Blaster. The next day, the wheels were systematically taken off and washed, decontaminated with Tardis and Iron Out, rinsed and dried off, and then protected with three layers of Poorboy's Wheel Sealant. With other commitments pressing it was frustratingly a whole week later before the next stage of the detail was tackled.
In preparation for waxing I applied Auto Finesse Tripple in combination with a Meguiar's Microfibre Applicator Pad and PB Super Buffing Towels, which made very light work of removing the thin film of residue. This gave the car an incredibly slick, high gloss finish that made the flagship Auto Finesse Desire wax a total dream to use afterwards. The Auto Finesse Waxmate, which fits neatly into the pot, was ingenious in helping to ensure that just the right amount of wax was applied, and I soon discovered that a very small amount goes a very long way. Working on just two panels at a time, I found that the supplied Poorboy's Deluxe Mega Towels excelled at removing the wax residue, leaving behind a truly glass-like appearance to the paint; hopefully the photographs do justice to just how good this polish and wax combination is at creating a dripping wet looking finish. Taking on board the advice from Polished Bliss, I gave the car a second coat of Desire the following day, to ensure that maximum protection and durability would be achieved.
With the bodywork now gleaming I proceeded to finish off the final stages of the detail over a couple of evening sessions. Meguiar's NXT All Metal Polysh was applied to the exhaust tips and an old Autoglym product was used to clean the glass inside and out. Polished Bliss steered me towards using Nanolex Trim Rejuvenator on the exterior plastics, which proved to be a great choice; I can vouch for its outstanding water repelling action. A small amount of product went a very long way and a light buff with a Nanolex Microfiber Buffing Towel gave the plastic trims a rich satin finish. The interior was thoroughly vacuumed and all hard surfaces were wiped down with Auto Finesse Total and a pair of Atomiza Microfibre Work Towels. Cleaning wipes were used to remove a few greasy marks from the leather sections of the seats, which were then topped with an old Autoglym leather conditioner I had knocking around. As a final step to finish off the detail and remove any fingerprints, each panel was lightly misted with Auto Finesse Finale, wiped down with a Poorboy's Deluxe Mega Towel and then buffed to a high gloss shine with a PB Luxury Buffing Towel.
In total this new car protection detail took me two full weekends and a couple of evenings after work to fully complete, but I feel that the end result was well worth it. Most importantly my patient wife was delighted with the final outcome and was quick to go for a drive in her new car that had been garaged for the first fortnight of its new life with us!"