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Interior Detailing Part I


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#1 TOGWT

TOGWT

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:59 AM

All loose items (spare change, mints, and etc) should be placed in a Ziploc bag and placed on the rear seat, use a separate bag for glove box and one for console and one for side pockets.

Evaluate your car's interior. Does it need heavy or light vacuuming? Is it dusty? Does the upholstery need cleaning? Is the leather dry? Do you have stains or spills to clean?

All kinds of dust, fumes, smoke and dirt builds up inside of a car’s interior, much of it is brought in by the driver and passengers, but traffic fumes and air-borne dirt enters via the vehicles ventilation system. Every single interior surface is affected.

Periodically it needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove pollutants and preserve the original surfaces, ensuring the vehicles like-new condition. The surfaces involved in this cleaning are; glass, vinyl, leather, plastics, fabric, carpets and various acrylic surfaces. The Swissvax Detail Brush is perfect for the interior. Reaches into and clears out dust from inaccessible areas around knobs, air vents etc
A thorough interior detailing can take as much time or even longer than the exterior. Vacuum regularly (twice a month); it takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes.

If you wipe down the interior of your car (3 to 5 minutes) each time you wash the exterior, keeping the dash and upholstery clean is a very simple. Doing a little interior detailing maintenance every time you wash the car is a lot easier than trying to do a full interior detailing once or twice a year.

The most important part of the interior detailing process includes applying protection against things like UV radiation to your dash and other vinyl and leather surfaces need regular protection. Vinyl and rubber dressings protect and beautify, leather needs re-hydration on a regular basis. For best results products should be used sparingly and frequently.


Pre-test Spot Procedures

Diagnosis is the key, not guess work. Before using a cleaning product a detailer needs to know the material they are working on, what they are trying to remove and wither the product chosen is compatible with the material and will not damage it. With all cleaning products, always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it won't discolour or stain the surface, and ensure that the pH of the product is suitable for the material. As can be seen stain removal requires some knowledge of basic chemistry.

Read the product labels and manufacturers safety data sheets (MSDS) to obtain a basic idea of contents, pH levels etc.
Depending on the pH of the product you use you should return the surface to neutral (pH 7.0) before you apply any dressing or protective products. Always select a chemical / cleaner that are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and safe to use by observing any precautions recommended so that they won’t harm you, your vehicle or the environment. Read the product labels and manufacturers safety data sheets (MSDS) to obtain a basic idea of contents, pH levels etc.

A pH scale 0 – 14 with pH 7 being neutral; pH controlled means it follows the major automotive manufacturer’s guidelines for exterior cleaners; the control limit being pH 10.0<. An acidic soil can be neutralized with an alkaline solution, this is why most so-called all purpose cleaners (APC) are alkaline. An acidic based cleaner will counteract alkaline contamination. Most cleaner’s contain detergents and surfactants and are acid or alkaline-based to solve a specific cleaning problem. There are also other things to consider besides its pH value when choosing a cleaner


Interior trim; plastic coated or bare aluminium, check in an inconspicuous area, by gently rubbing a clean, damp towel on the surface and see if you pull up any gray or black.

Test cleaner on an inconspicuous area then allowing it to dry to make sure the solution does not react with the surface, is the best way to ensure there are no surprises as to its affect, but be cognizant that it may not react in exactly the same way as a heavily soiled area or that has been subjected to UV-B radiation (faded)

Providing the cleaning product selected is suitable, apply several drops of the selected cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area and rub gently with a clean, white micro fibre towel. Do not over wet. Use small amounts of the product and blot frequently, do not rub or use too much pressure. Do not use the product if it adversely changes your fabric's colour or texture.


Basic Cleaning Requirements

As with all detailing tasks; surface preparation is the most important step to achieving e a flawless finish. The final result can only be as good as the surface it’s applied to; so surface preparation is of paramount importance. Products will properly bond to a substrate and that will ensure it works correctly, and has both durability and desired aesthetics

Three types of energy are required;
• Chemical energy- provided by the synthetic cleaner
• Kinetic (abrasion) energy provided by machine or hand
• Thermal energy -provided by warm or hot water

Test cleaner on an inconspicuous area then allowing it to dry to make sure the solution does not react with the surface, is the best way to ensure there are no surprises as to its affect, but be cognizant that it may not react in exactly the same way as a heavily soiled area or that has been subjected to UV-B radiation (faded)

Providing the cleaning product selected is suitable, apply several drops of the selected cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area and rub gently with a clean, white micro fibre towel. Do not over wet. Use small amounts of the product and blot frequently, do not rub or use too much pressure. Do not use the product if it adversely changes your fabric's colour or texture.

Cleaning products (with the exception of glass cleaners) should be sprayed on to a folded 100% micro fibre cotton towel, do not spray any cleaning product directly to the surface, as this may cause ‘spot or streak’ clean patches on the surface

Use a high-quality cleaner, formulated without strong solvents and one that has a pH value between 4 and 10 (neither strongly acidic nor strongly alkaline).


Headliner

If there are areas where your head touches the ceiling you will probably notice that these areas accumulate dirt and the like because of the oils that come from your hair and your skin that are now on the headliner.

Vacuum the headliner making you apply pressure, but not too much. Not only can you set the stains in this way, you may tear what can be very fragile upholstery if you press too hard. Vacuum thoroughly to make sure that you get all of the loose dust fragments


Cleaning - Duragloss 451 Fabric & Carpet Cleaner Aerosol Foam (FC) is a blend of surfactants, which gently foam away soil, oil and grease from fabric and carpet surfaces. Spot cleaning can be done without leaving rings on fabrics, carpet and velour. Use Dr Joe dedicated Lint-Free 100% Cotton Blue Huck Surgical Towels, using very light pressure and wipe the headliner following the cleaning with the water based cleaner (do not soak or use hot water on the headliner fabric as it may delaminate) Dry by blotting with a clean, dry surgical huck towel Griot’s Garage Ultimate Carpet & Cloth Brush - the "V" shaped bristles are made out of Caoutchouc, an elastic latex sap from Hevea and Ficus trees. The sap is vulcanized and moulded in a "V" shape giving each bristle a larger surface area to trap dirt and debris. It extracts fine particles like dust, sand, dirt and pet hair much better than traditional bristles.

Great on tightly woven fabric or textured surfaces like carpet and floor mats. The brush also features a 5" squeegee on one side for fast removal of snow or water on glass. The comfortable handle rotates and locks in four positions every 90° for increased leverage and easy use in tight areas. The brush head is 7" wide x 1 3/4" deep with 1 1/4" long "V" bristles.


All Purpose Cleaner (APC)

Cleaners are one basic formula diluted with water to a desired strength. To remove stains the surface tension that bonds them must be released, then the stain encapsulated and held in suspension to be removed. I’m repeatedly asked which product is the best interior cleaner. There is no one-product answer; as the so-called all purpose cleaners (APC) do not remove every stain, different stains require different solvents to remove them.

Undiluted; works well on wheels with caked-on brake dust and tires with deep-in brown stains. It makes quick work of greasy door jambs, dirty white walls, stained vinyl tops, grimy trunk lids and engine compartments.

Diluted; it's a great spot cleaner for removing embedded insect residues, road grime and white wax stains on paint and around emblems. Diluted even more, it cleans interior vinyl, carpet and fabric upholstery.

P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash is a safe and effective Limonene (citrus) based cleaner, is gentle yet powerful on the surface, and the citrus solvent will lift the toughest of grime with one swipe of your sponge or towel. Citrus has long been used in stain removing formulas.

Optimum Opti™ Clean is a one-step product that cleans and protects all automotive surfaces in a single step, paint, vinyl, rubber, metals, plastics, and even glass.


Product Application

Test cleaner on an inconspicuous area then allowing it to dry to make sure the solution does not react with the surface, is the best way to ensure there are no surprises as to its affect, but be cognizant that it may not react in exactly the same way as a heavily soiled area or that has been subjected to UV-B radiation (faded)

Providing the cleaning product selected is suitable, apply several drops of the selected cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area and rub gently with a clean, white micro fibre towel. Do not over wet. Use small amounts of the product and blot frequently, do not rub or use too much pressure. Do not use the product if it adversely changes your fabric's colour or texture.

Cleaning products (with the exception of glass cleaners) should be sprayed on to a folded 100% micro fibre cotton towel, do not spray any cleaning product directly to the surface, as this may cause ‘spot or streak’ clean patches on the surface


Zaino Custom Polish Applicator – a specially designed 100% virgin cotton polish applicator, approximately 4 x 5 - inches square, with special reversed stitching to prevent scratching of paint surfaces.

The 100% virgin cotton material features the finest texture and softest nap available. The cotton surface surrounds a special silicone free, sponge insert. Slightly dampen your applicator with a light mist of water, before applying wax to the applicator. This technique will make product spread further and more evenly and ensure that applicator is soft. After use, hand wash applicator

Washing - After using foam pads place in some water with P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash or Optimum Power Clean; this keeps your pads moist and begins the cleaning process while you finish detailing; pads can be rotated by soaking and squeezing out reside. Never allow a used application pad to air dry before it is washed
.

Rubber Window Seals

The seals on most vehicles are no longer made of natural rubber; vehicle manufacturers use a specialized synthetic material called ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). Natural rubber, or blends containing natural rubber, just cannot endure the direct exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet light) and the harmful-to-rubber oxidizing gases in our atmosphere.

The soft seals around doors, windows, sunroof, hood and trunk are constantly being flexed and compressed all the while being subjected to a hostile environment. For maintenance use a product that contains glycerine to maintain the look and feel of the rubber

Alternative products


1. 1z einszett Gummi-Pflege - for use on clean or pre-cleaned rubber; protective, with durability measured in months it has a little sponge on top of the bottle so you always get the right amount of product on your weather-stripping or rubber seals. Once applied to rubber they will take on a dark but natural shine. Use bi-annually to provide protection to avoid rubber from hardening or freezing. Highly recommended Iz enzett Gummi Pflege (Rubber Care) – Drivewerks

2. Zymol Seal - a natural plant anti-oxidizing agent, it will prolong the useful life of the seal by restoring the original moisture and resist tearing and sticking

3. Wurth Rubber Care Gel Stick - a silicone-free, biodegradable, and water repellent


Pre-test Spot Procedures

With all cleaning products, always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it won't discolour or stain the surface, and ensure that the pH of the product is suitable for the material. As can be seen stain removal requires some knowledge of basic chemistry.

Read the product labels and manufacturers safety data sheets (MSDS) to obtain a basic idea of contents, pH levels etc. Depending on the pH of the product you use you should return the surface to neutral (pH 7.0) before you apply any dressing or protective products.
Always select a chemical / cleaner that are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and safe to use by observing any precautions recommended so that they won’t harm you, your vehicle or the environment. Read the product labels and manufacturers safety data sheets (MSDS) to obtain a basic idea of contents, pH levels etc.

Providing the cleaning product selected is suitable, apply several drops of the selected cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area and rub gently with a clean, white micro fibre towel.

Do not over wet. Use small amounts of the product and blot frequently, do not rub or use too much pressure. Do not use the product if it adversely changes your fabric's colour or texture.


Cabin Air Filter

We all know the problem. The fans blow in everything that belongs outside; gaseous pollutants like ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, hydrocarbons, as well as dust, soot and pollen all have free access to the vehicle. Cabin filters, on the other hand, clean the incoming airflow before they reach the vehicle's interior, thus guaranteeing healthy fresh air

Cabin air filters first appeared back in the mid-1980s on Audi and other European makes. Today, about 80 percent of all new import and domestic vehicles have a cabin air filter.

They absorb up to 100% of all pollen, dust particles and harmful substances. This results in a noticeable improvement in the air quality inside the vehicle. Cabin filters are generally found in one of three locations: under the hood, inside the glove box or under the dashboard.

The filter can trap pollen, dust, smoke and other pollutants that would otherwise enter the vehicle through the outside vents causing allergy and discomfort due to undesirable smells.

Maintenance – remove filter and brush lightly with a soft brush in-between the folds and then use a light spray of Ozium® air sanitizer
The recommended replacement interval for a cabin air filter depends on the type of filter being replaced. (Carbon or paper) and the cabins filter exposure to the environment and mileage driven.

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing a paper or carbon activated filter once a year or every 10,000 to 12,000 miles to keep the cabin filter working at its highest efficiency. Check vehicle owner’s manual for location

Activated charcoal cabin filters. These filters have an extra layer of activated carbon that reacts with odours and other airborne pollutants to neutralize them before they enter the vehicle. The charcoal activated filters will also reduce the levels of CO2 (carbon monoxide) and NO2 (oxides of nitrogen) from the emissions of other vehicles on the road.


Bosch Cabin Filters - and charcoal activated filters absorb up to 100% of all pollen, dust particles and harmful substances. Cabin Filter recommended replacement is every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or once a year will keep the cabin filter working at its highest efficiency – Autobarn - Bosch Cabin Air Filters -Bosch Cabin Filter Location Finder - http://www.bosch.com...n_Filter_A4.pdf[/COLOR]

Counteractants

Odour Neutralizer / DeodorizingMany odours are caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria, mould, and mildew. First start by cleaning all the interior surfaces; but remember shampooing alone will not eradicate these odours. You eliminate dour-causing organisms with very specialized chemicals.

Look for stains, if there are no stains, use the process of elimination; it is very effective when searching for the source of an odour; floor or seats, mats or carpet? If the vehicle has velour upholstery, a spill can penetrate on contact. If it is vinyl or leather, it will run to the deepest seam. Pay special attention to the headliner and all glass surfaces

The use of an air freshener can often mask but will not remove unpleasant odours, but will require frequent reapplication to remain effective. Stubborn lingering odours require a more focused solution. These products don't just freshen or perfume the air; they completely eliminates bad odours and leave your car with a fresh smelling interior.

a) Aquartz - So2Pure (CleanAir), this is not a perfume cover-up type product but an advanced high grade air purification coating based on the latest nano-science technology photo catalyst. In the presence of light, active oxygen is formed and excited on the treated surfaces to destroy all micro-sized air pollutants, including petro fumes, smog, diesel smoke, exhaust gases, industrial smoke, chemical off-gassing or VOCs from car fabric, leather and plastic materials, air toxins, cigarette odours, etc.

B) PŪRWorld is a spray application deodorizing product (not a cover-up sent); hydroxyl radicals are among the strongest oxidizing species, even much stronger than chlorine, ozone, and peroxide. They act as very powerful disinfecting agents by oxidizing the cells of microorganisms, causing rupture and leakage of vital composition.

They accelerate the breakdown by destroying the molecular bonds. This will help combine the organic gases to form a single molecule that is not harmful to humans thus enhance the air cleaning efficiency.

Symptom that occurs from prolonged exposure to microbes that grow in automobile interiors, the presence of the microbes causes similar reactions as sick building syndrome. Some of the examples of odour molecules are: tobacco odour, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, urine odour, gasoline, and many other hydrocarbon molecules in the atmosphere.

Generally speaking, disinfections by titanium oxides are three times stronger than chlorination, and 1.5 times stronger than ozone treatment. PŪRWorld provides photo catalyst surface coating for long-lasting effects of deodorization, sterilization, and anti-soiling purposes.

DrivePur is a three step process:
• Changes the chemistry of tar and nicotine as well as working on high pH odours
• Antibacterial odour neutralizers for low pH odours
• Tio2 - "The insurance policy the odour will not comeback.

Using specialized spray-coating equipments (Tornador) a fine mist <5 µ of a water-based Ti02 photo catalyst that can be applied on different types of surface material that forms a nano structure of protection and guarantees the maximum result. DrivePur Protection Systems

c) Biocide Systems - Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) is a potent oxidizer that literally uses oxygen to break up odour molecules. This sort of oxidizing action is found in many chemicals, but ClO2 is one of the most effective. ClO2 gas is especially good at oxidizing organic odour-causing substances, including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). It does not mask them like perfumes do, it neutralizes them through oxidation and is very effective – Biocide Systems

d) Ozium® air sanitizer - does not cover up the odours associated with pets, cooking and smoking. The original air purifier is a chemical agent that actually eliminates smoke and unpleasant odours and reduces airborne bacteria. It actually cleanses the air through glycolized action. The glycolized formula acts directly on odour causing particles in the air. Ozium is an EPA registered air sanitizer and is safe to use residentially or commercially in homes, rental property, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, veterinary clinics, restaurants, bars, laundry rooms, cars, mobile homes, offices, and just about anywhere there might be an odour problem.

Application method- spray product onto cleaned surfaces, turn the AC to recirculation mode, spray return air ducts (clean or change cabin air filter) allow to run for approx 5 minutes, allow the deodorizer to permeate the various surfaces for about an hour before using the vehicle.


The devil is in the (smallest) detail

Some areas of the interior that are sometimes overlooked (the little details make all the difference)
• Seat guide rails
• Areas under the dash and the inside of the glove box
• Emergency (handbrake) brake and gear shifter to get the areas that are hidden when parked, but clearly visible when in Drive or when the emergency brake is engaged.
• Sun visor mirrors and sun visor
• Rear-view mirror
• Open the sun-roof inside cover and clean glass and rubber seals


Dog Hair Removal

For removing pet hair from upholstery in your house and car an easy method is to use rubber upholstery napping brush or glove, those with a raised grip work better. Put the glove on and run it under the tap to make it wet then shake off excess moisture. Run your fingers over the pet hair areas in short scraping strokes. You will find that the hair is easily removed and it is especially easy to get into nooks and crannies

Use a synthetic lava rock or a large pore pumice stone (CarPet Pet Hair Remover) Use a lint roller or masking tape wrapped around your hand for the hard to reach places.


Interior Trim Materials

Bi-laminates - PVC and TPO coated olefin foams, Vinyl, Tri-laminates - PVC and TPO coated olefin foams with protective back-skin, ALURA® - Soft leather replacement for seating and door trim

Like all detailing tasks proper surface preparation is necessary to obtain the desired outcome. Using the wrong vinyl "protectant" product is worse than using no vinyl treatment product at all.

Avoid vinyl treatment products that contain any type of oil, have an oily or greasy feeling, contain petroleum distillates or leave a coating that dries like wax. If a product label says "flammable or contains petroleum distillates", do not use on vinyl


1z Plastic Cleaner (Plastik-Reiniger) - an intensive, non-corrosive, non-acidic two-phase deep cleaner that removes grime build-up, scuff marks, bitumen (tar) and nicotine thoroughly and effortlessly with dust-resistant anti-static action. Use to clean armrests, door handles, shift knobs, vinyl seats, pedals, dashboard, storage compartments, tires, rocker panels, wheel wells, and etc. Water-based formula is biodegradable, silicone and formalin-free as well as environmentally friendly.

Iz Cockpit Premium – an interior care and protectant developed specifically for that original matte-satin factory finish. This is a treatment spray for all interior components including the dash, finished leather and vinyl seats, door handles, trim, navigation screens, stereo head units, and clear plastic. It has very limited cleaning ability but it provides UV protection for interior materials. The gentle formula is water-based and free of oils providing a non-slip finish, which allows for application on the steering wheel, shift knob and both finished leather and vinyl upholstery.

There is no such thing as a permanent UV stabilizer, it a matter of physics, not chemistry. Providing protection (303 Space Protectant) from ultra violet radiation (UV) is very important to avoid photo degradation (colour fading) particularly in an open-air roadster/convertible UV protection is a sacrificial / renewable component; this is due to the UV protection layer being degraded by exposure to the elements (sun, sand, road or sea salt, and etc); so it is imperative that you renew it and needs to be re-applied on a regular 45 to 60 day basis (dependent upon location climatic condition)


Brushes

Griot’s Garage Two Boar's Hair Detail Brushes -delicate brushes for interior and exterior detailing, nothing beats these Boar's Hair Brushes for quick, safe, scratch free cleaning. The round brush seems best for out-of-the-way crevices and really helps out interiors. I use the "flat" one to detail oily doorjambs and exterior trim where wax tends to accumulate. The boar's hair is epoxy-set in nice wooden handles; safe for the most delicate interior surfaces.

Ultimate DA Polisher Shampoo Brush - turn your orbital polisher into an interior shampooer, for its ease of use and high quality results it produces when shampooing carpeting and upholstery. Scrubbing by hand with a brush takes time and effort, is designed to fit all most orbital polishers, the 5/16 shaft easily screws directly into your polisher. Heavy duty built construction for long lasting performance
Griot’s Garage Boar's Hair Detail Brushes -delicate brushes for interior and exterior detailing, nothing beats these Boar's Hair Brushes for quick, safe, scratch free cleaning.

The round brush seems best for out-of-the-way crevices and really helps out interiors. I use the "flat" one to detail oily doorjambs and exterior trim where wax tends to accumulate. The boar's hair is epoxy-set in nice wooden handles; safe for the most delicate interior surfaces.


Swissvax Leather Brush - made from durable natural bristles in optimum length, strength and rigidity and is highly recommended for cleaning finished leather and vinyl.

Griot’s Garage Ultimate Carpet & Cloth Brush - the bristles are vulcanized and moulded in a "V" shape giving each bristle a larger surface area to trap dirt and debris. It extracts fine particles like dust, sand, dirt and pet hair much better than traditional bristles. Great on tightly woven fabric or textured surfaces like convertible fabric tops, carpet and floor mats. The comfortable handle rotates and locks in four positions every 90° for increased leverage and easy use in tight areas.

Speaker Grille

Use a small boar’s hair brush to loosen any debris and then vacuum with soft bristle brush attachment. Apply 1z Plastic Cleaner at an angle to the grille but do not spray directly at the mesh, allow to dwell for a few minutes and then apply Iz Cockpit Premium for final cleaning and to provide a matte finish.

Carpets and Fabric Mats

Autoglym Interior Shampoo/Cleaner easily cleans through dirt and oils on hard to clean panels like door handles or seats, safely cleans finished leather surfaces, Alcantara® and etc, and effectively removes stains from carpets without any fear of bleaching, leaving soapy residue, or lingering scent behind. The name suggests shampoo, but this product is an actual cleaner.

Recommended interior maintenance schedule

Weekly
• Remove floor mats, shake and then brush with a stiff nylon carpet brush to remove dirt / debris (for stains use a spot cleaner)
• Remove any loose items/trash from interior
• Brush upholstery (for leather-use a boars hair brush Fabric- use an nylon upholstery brush)
• Brush carpets to loosen any dirt/debris before vacuuming thoroughly
• Using a damp Microfiber towel wipe down leather seats, plastic, vinyl and wood surfaces
• With a clean, damp Micro fibre (Corsa) glass cleaning cloth wipe down windows, interior mirror, vanity mirrors, instrument panel and navigation screen.


Monthly
• In addition to the weekly routine
• Vinyl and leather surfaces should be cleaned and a suitable dressing and/or conditioner applied
• Using a damp Micro fibre (Corsa) towel clean all glass surfaces and mirrors with a glass cleaner
• Use a clean Microfiber towel to clean all plastic surfaces (wood trim, instrument panel, etc) with a plastic cleaner / polish (Plexus)
• With a Microfiber towel apply a glycerine dressing (Zymol Seal) to all `rubber' seals (windows, doors, trunk and hood)

Quarterly
• In addition to the monthly routine
• Clean all fabric surfaces using a carpet extractor
• To hand clean fabric and carpet surfaces, use a spray-on cleaner that penetrates and lifts dirt from the fabric, and then rinse away debris with very damp terry towelling.
• Rinsing is very important, more especially for upholstery fabric.
• Dry thoroughly before use.
• Using a clean damp Microfiber towel apply a conditioner to all leather surfaces
• Lightly spray a fabric protector to all fabric surfaces (inc. floor mats)
• Using a clean damp Microfiber towel apply a dressing to all Vinyl surfaces
• Apply ultra violet radiation (UVR) protection to all interior surfaces


Basic Cleaning Requirements

As with all detailing tasks; surface preparation is the most important step to achieving e a flawless finish. The final result can only be as good as the surface it’s applied to; so surface preparation is of paramount importance. Products will properly bond to a substrate and that will ensure it works correctly, and has both durability and desired aesthetics

Three types of energy are required; • Chemical energy- provided by the synthetic cleaner
• Kinetic (abrasion) energy provided by machine or hand
• Thermal energy -provided by warm or hot water

Test cleaner on an inconspicuous area then allowing it to dry to make sure the solution does not react with the surface, is the best way to ensure there are no surprises as to its affect, but be cognizant that it may not react in exactly the same way as a heavily soiled area or that has been subjected to UV-B radiation (faded)

Providing the cleaning product selected is suitable, apply several drops of the selected cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area and rub gently with a clean, white micro fibre towel. Do not over wet. Use small amounts of the product and blot frequently, do not rub or use too much pressure. Do not use the product if it adversely changes your fabric's colour or texture.

Cleaning products (with the exception of glass cleaners) should be sprayed on to a folded 100% micro fibre cotton towel, do not spray any cleaning product directly to the surface, as this may cause ‘spot or streak’ clean patches on the surface
Use a high-quality cleaner, formulated without strong solvents and one that has a pH value between 4 and 10 (neither strongly acidic nor strongly alkaline


Using a micro fibre towel

Fold the towel into four quarters when using towels; it’s best to wipe in a single direction until all visible contamination is removed, flipping the towel frequently; micro fibre enables you to clean almost everything with just the towel and hot water. They eliminate the need to carry around different cleaners for different uses. These cloths are a great environmentally friendly healthy alternative to cleaning with chemicals.

What is equally important with any micro fibre towel is the way they are used; they need to be turned frequently, and don’t apply too much pressure, especially at the edges. Fold the micro fibre towel in half, then in half again, using very little downward pressure, gently wipe the surface and then flip the towel to a clean surface and wipe again. When you see the towel start to show a line of dirt, flip it around and use a different, clean section.

With it folded properly you'll get a couple of first wipe / second wipe sections out of it. It usually takes 4 or 5 towels to wipe down an average vehicle. When you are ready to clean them, rinse well, re-wash and leave to air-dry (See Micro Fibre Washing / Care)


Carpet Stripe Pattern

To obtain a ‘stripe pattern’ on (freshly cleaned, damp) carpets / mats; alternate the direction of the extractor (pull towards you to make one line, then push away from you on next) The reasoning behind it apparently is that it give the customer an assurance that all of the carpeting was vacuumed and not just "Spot" cleaned. Personally I prefer the look of a vapour cleaned carpet with the nap raised and lightly brushed to attain uniformity.

Food

Eating while you drive is one of the most distracting things you can do, according to several recent surveys by insurance companies and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Insurance companies analyzing what people eat? And you wonder why we're paying such high insurance rates. Anyway, here goes... the top 10 food offenders in a car are:

1. Coffee
2. Hot soup
3. Tacos
4. Chilli
5. Hamburgers
6. Barbecued food
7. Fried chicken
8. Jelly or cream-filled donuts
9. Soft drinks
10. Chocolate


Order of Cleaning

On the basis of dirtiest first; carpets, air vents (check cabin air filter) dash, interior glass surfaces, seats, interior trim inc instrument cluster and satellite navigation screen, steering wheel, etc
Leather upholstery; weekly; lightly brush surfaces, vacuum and then wipe down with distilled water on a micro fibre towel.

Bi-weekly – as above plus 303™ Space Protectant for UV radiation protection

Monthly – apply leather protection Leather Masters Leather Protection Cream to provide protection against oil and water stains, as well as providing resistance to the effects of daily soiling.

Carpets;

Weekly - spot clean to remove stains as necessary and vacuum

Monthly – use hot-water extractor


General purpose APC - dilute Optimum Power Clean™ or P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash up to 3:1 to safely clean vinyl, paint, and plastics. Remove old dash dressings and tough residues from interior panels and wheel surfaces. Special polymers and emulsifiers break down contaminants with minimal agitation.

Carpeted floor mats: Floor mats take a majority of the wear away from the interior carpet. However, this leaves floor mats with soiling as well as oily stains. Inspect for oily stains.

Use a solvent-based spot remover to remove oily stains. Spot treat really bad stains (303™ Cleaner & Spot Remover or Woolite®


Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam)

Pour a small amount of cleaner onto a terry towel and wiping toward the centre of the stain to remove the spot. Clean normal to heavy soiling as described above. Floor mats may get as wet as necessary to properly clean them.

Normal cleaning- brush loose dirt/dust with a stiff brush, lightly spray surface with a carpet cleaner (Woolite® Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam) and let the foam to remain in place for 5-10 minutes and then remove residue.

Heavily soiled- brush loose dirt/dust with a stiff brush, use a citrus-based pre-cleaner P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash 10:1 distilled hot water, let solution to remain in place for 5-10 minutes to enable cleaners to react, and then use a carpet extractor

The rubber backing and the ability to relocate them to a warm place (not direct sunlight) for quick drying aids their cleaning. After mats are clean and dried, brush them to raise the fibres and apply stain guard (303 High Tech Fabric Guard) to repel grease, dirt and oil based stains and provide UV protection against fabric fading.


Use caution- if using Oxy-Clean™ is an oxygen bleach that is also a strong alkaline ( pH 10) as it may discolour or leave a ‘bleach’ type stain if not thoroughly rinsed / removed as its active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide which is considered a corrosive.

Rubber Floor Mats

Clean with an all purpose cleaner (P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash-its active ingredient is Limonene solvent (citrus) a safe all purpose cleaner, use a fairly stiff tyre brush for the first application and a spray and rinse and thoroughly dry, do not apply any dressing that will make them slippery, I would suggest 303™ Space Protectant or Iz einszett Cockpit Premium Apply and rub well with a terry towel until dry

The porous nature of rubber attracts oils, dirt and road grime. First remove any road tar, grease and grime, silicone and oxidized rubber from the surface to properly clean it. A rubber cleaner needs to be strong enough to tackle a heavy build-up of road dirt and grime, but not damage the surface

The key to durability is deep cleaning the rubber, spray or apply your cleaner allow to soak in for a minute or two and then scrub with a fairly stiff brush, once clean you should be able to take an old white dry terry towel and rub the surface, it should be almost pristine (if not repeat).


Alternative products – Optimum™ Polymer Technologies - Power Clean (diluted 3:1: to 5:1) or Griot's Garage - Rubber Cleaner

A rubber cleaner (Menzerna Wheel Surface and Tyre Cleaner or 3M Tyre & Wheel Cleaner -39036) will remove any dead rubber as the porous nature of rubber and polymers attracts dirt, dust, and brake dust and road grime.


Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) Seat belts

[: A seatbelt is a safety harness designed to secure the occupant of a vehicle against harmful movement that may result from a collision or a sudden stop. As part of an overall automobile passive safety system, seat belts are intended to reduce injuries by stopping the wearer from hitting hard interior elements of the vehicle, or other passengers (the so-called second impact), are in the correct position for the airbag to deploy and prevent the passenger from being thrown from the vehicle. Seat belts also absorb energy by being designed to stretch during any sudden deceleration, so that there is less speed differential between the passenger's body and their vehicle interior, and also to spread the loading of impact on the passenger’s body] [1].

For spot stains use a fabric cleaner (303 Cleaner & Spot Remover™)

1. Pull the belts from the retractor and gently close the door on the belt, clean with a Limonene-based cleaner (P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash) and a med-stiff brush.

2. Allow to air dry before opening the door and retracting the belt. Do not use bleach, strong detergents, or dye on the seat belts as this may severely weaken them and render them ineffective in a crash.

3. Dry vapour steam or a Tornador® are alternative methods for cleaning.

4. Once fabric is dry apply a fabric protection (303™ High Tech Fabric Guard)

5. While you are cleaning the belts, take the opportunity to closely inspect them for damage and security of attachment, ensure here are no cuts, tears or abrasions (you should always inspect for damage etc if they get caught by a closing door)

6. After a while the seat belt mechanism becomes slow and / or will not retract when released. This can be avoided by cleaning the upper anchor; as the seatbelt retracts it leaves behind a film of dirt, which builds up over time. Use compressed air to remove dust and then using a Q- tip and some Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) you can clean the seat belt anchor / retracting mechanism. Once clean add some Plexus Plastic Cleaner to provide lubrication.


Maintenance - clean seat belts with a 5:1 P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash / distilled water solution, ensure they are thoroughly dried before use

Alternative products – C-28 Seat Belt Cleaner and Spot Remover from PRO® is a non-flammable and non hazardous concentrated cleaner that safely removes dirt, oil, grease and stains from seat belts

Caution: Do not use bleach, solvents or other strong chemicals on the seatbelts as these may compromise the webbing leading to subsequent failure.

You can be severely injured or killed in a car crash unless you wear a seat belt, even if the vehicle is fitted with air bags. They are supplemental restrains only and will not deploy under all accident circumstances. Always use seat belts and seat children only in the rear, using restraint and seat belts systems appropriate for their size and age.


Seat Removal

Removal of the seats will make cleaning the upholstery much easier, allowing access too hard to reach areas; it’s relatively easy if you take your time and are careful. Disconnect the battery before starting. Remove the battery terminals (negative - connection first and then positive +) and always put them back in the reverse order.

Some vehicles have airbags sensors in the seats but when you unplug the seat wiring harness with airbags or airbag sensors, the computer senses this and trips the light (s) and/or message, which must be reset by the dealer when you’ve re-installed the seats wiring harness

Front bucket seats are typically held down by four bolts on the ends of the runners at the base of the seat, two in the front and two in the back, these bolts are usually torque down hard (when replacing start the bolt by hand, being very careful not to cross-thread them) These are removed using a socket wrench. Sometimes the bolts are covered by a decorative plastic moulding, which is held in place by a screw or just pops off using a prying action with a slotted screwdriver.

First, slide the seats to its rear-most position, exposing the front Torx head bolts, remove, then, sliding the seat to its forward position, exposing the rear bolts, remove.

When all four bolts have been removed, gently tilt the seat either forward or back to reveal any wires that are connected to the underside of the seat (seat position controls, heaters, seat belt and air bag sensors, etc.)

Carefully unplug these wires, and remove the seat from the vehicle, taking care not to scratch leather or paint surfaces as you lift out the seat. Cover the remaining wire harness with a plastic bag and then aluminium foil; this will prevent water and / or pigmentation solution from entering the wiring harness.


Caution- It may be necessary to have a dealership ‘reset’ safety air bag sensors and disarm / rearm the side-impact air bags (SAB) as they are installed in the seat. Improper disarming may result in injury if the side air bags should deploy

Professional detailer's (unless this is personal vehicle) you should be cautious if removing seats as this may raise safety liability issues

Door sills / panels (scuff plates) - Wash with a diluted 3:1 all purpose cleaner (APC) P21S® High Performance Total Auto Wash or Optimum Opti™ Clean (See also "Door Jambs")

Griot's Garage sells a transparent tape that is similar to a clear bra but it is easily removable. It is designed for paint and uses a mild adhesive so it won't harm the surfaces and can be removed without adhesive residue.


Dashboard

Periodically clean using Iz einszett 'Plastik-Reiniger' an intensive, non-corrosive, non-acidic two-phase deep cleaner for urethane covered upholstery and vinyl trim, that removes grime build-up thoroughly and effortlessly, these chemicals restore the original texture, tactile feel and resiliency or Sonax Dashboard Cleaner are both Silicon-free

(Silicon oil formulations are build-up type products which accelerate heat damage) interior cleaners for all vinyl / plastic parts reliably prevent electrostatic charges creating a dust repellent surface. The white residue sometimes found on a vinyl dashboard is the plastizers out gassing, use a cleaner as above

And then apply a suitable matte type dressing (G Techniq C4 Trim Restorer or Iz Cockpit Premium) to ensure that there is no reflection on the windshield, thus reducing visibility.

Alternate with a UVR protection (303™ Space Protectant or Optimum Protectant Plus) especially to the dash and any other surface that is subjected to sunlight on a regular basis. Note that there are no surface cleaners in these products

The white residue sometimes found on a vinyl dashboard is the plastizers out gassing, use a cleaner as above


Wood Trim

The ‘wood’ trim in most vehicles (some Aston Martin, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus and Mercedes Benz models use real wood) which is protected with a urethane clear coat, polyurethane or a thin lacquer, which is very easily scratched.

• Clean with a chemical cleaner (Klasse All-In-One or Zaino Z-AIO) and then buff with a clean micro fibre towel
• Remove scratches with a fine polish (Menzerna PO85RDor 3M Plastic Polish and Cleaner)


Maintenance-COLOR="#0000CD"] use an anti-static plastic cleaner (Iz einszett Cockpit Premium) which includes UV protection, alternate by using a clean damp micro fibre towel[/COLOR]

Aluminium Trim

Wipe with a damp micro fibre towel to remove dust and then use Klasse AIO to clean. To remove fine surface scratches use Menzerna Polishing Cream, as this is a non-abrasive polish I suggest you use a 100% cotton terry weave towel

Wipes

Using ‘wipes’ for the application of products is not recommended; as the first 'wipe' uses most of the available product leaving little or none at all for the rest of the surfaces. To treat all the upholstery surfaces will take many wipes to be effective, making them both inefficient and uneconomical

Instrument (Gauges) Cluster Screen

After washing and drying the surface; use Plexus® Plastic Cleaner to clean and protect the surface. It will seal the tint material and keep it clean. It contains anti-static so it repels the dust and dirt normally attracted to plastic.

It also leaves an invisible, micro-thin layer of protection, sealing the porous surface, making it more resistant to dirt, dust and other contaminants. Regular use will help prevent crazing, yellowing and oxidation which diminishes the plastic's lustre, and appearance, non-streaking, and it dries crystal clear.

Surface Scratches - plastic polish will not remove clarity defects that are within the plastic but it will remove external/surface scratching and oxidation (yellowing). Prior to application of a plastic polish ensure that the surface is clean and free from dust particles by washing with a soft cloth and warm water.

Be cognizant that a highly abrasive cleaner may impair any anti-glare/reflective coating.

Use a plastic polish that is safe for all types of clear and coloured (polycarbonate) type plastics i.e. Lexan, Perspex, Lucite and most clear acrylics - Novus 1or 2

Novus 1 - gently cleans all plastics without scratching, leaves a lustrous shine that resists fogging, repels dust, and eliminates static.

Novus 2 - removes fine scratches, haziness, and abrasions from most plastics (exceptional for removing scratches from Plexiglas). Use repeatedly and restore faded and discoloured plastics.



Related articles

1. Glass Cleaning Process - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1468969

2. “Carpet Cleaning” - http://www.autopia.o...aning-care.html

3. Stain Identification and Removal - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1447914

4. Door Jambs (Door Shuts) - http://www.autopia.o...door-shuts.html

5. Cleaning and Care of Wilton (Wool) Carpets - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1454022

6. Interior Cleaning using Dry-steam Vapour - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1455919

7. “Fabric Upholstery cleaning - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1487683

8. Cleaning Seat Belts - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1456908

9. “Air Conditioner Cleaning” - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1447731

10. “Odour Elimination” - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1476120

11. “Proper Finished Leather Cleaning and Care” - http://www.autopia.o...aning-care.html

12. “Leather Surface Identification” - http://www.autopia.o...tml#post1451654

13."Various Leather Surface Conditions and Correction" - http://www.autopia.o...correction.html





[Edit: 'Related articles' - added 03.07.2012]

Edited by TOGWT, 10 March 2012 - 03:59 AM.

Detailing Art; where applicable Chemistry meets Aesthetics See Autopia Detailing Wiki




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