As a car detailer, based in West Sussex and Hampshire, I need a vast array of tools, equipment and products to carry out a full detail to a high standard. So, this week, I decided to share the secrets of my car detailer’s tool kit. In this article, I’ve included a quick summary of the main items I use, from start to finish, during any of our paint correction details.
A car detailer’s essential tool kit:
Wash & Decontamination:
First, let’s talk about what’s used during the wash & decontamination stage. When we carry out this initial part of the detail, we use a lot of equipment. We have three buckets with three microfiber wash mitts, three grit guards and one washboard. Additionally, we use about ten different wheel cleaning tools. These include a pressure wash and a filter for the water. Finally, we need to gather all our products. The paint shampoo, wheel shampoo, wheel cleaner, snow foam and lance, all purpose cleaner, iron and fallout remover, paint decon clay and tar remover. We also need the pressurised sprayers for the products.
During this initial stage, we remove the wheels to clean them thoroughly. To facilitate this process, we use hydraulic jacks; axle stands, torque wrenches, impact wrenches, sockets sets, wheel stud pilot pins, and so on.
We also need a fair few bits just for drying the vehicle. These include a specialist high volume air vehicle dryer that removes trapped water from around badges and seams. We also need ultra-plush drying towels along with a multitude of various other microfiber towels.
This part of the process is where our car detailer’s tool kit gets technical! So, firstly we have our polishing machines. The Rupes IBrid Nano, Rupes Bigfoot Mini and the Rupes Bigfoot 21 Mark II. Additionally, we use an assortment of pads in all different sizes to match the different backing plates for the machines. We use an air compressor fitted with a tool that blasts compressed air into the pad while extracting the loosened dust at the same time via a Festool extractor.
At this stage, we also use a host of different compounds and polishes to allow for different paint types and defects. The daylight colour matched high CRI lighting is used for paint inspection during machine polishing, along with a paint depth gauge to ensure safe defect removal.
We also use a specialist masking tape, made in Japan, to tape off trims and delicate areas. We need two different types of panel wipe to ensure the paint is perfectly clean. This process allows us to see the exact condition of the paint without having to look through waxes and fillers.
Finally, it’s safety first for car detailer’s. Safety equipment must be used whenever operating the machines.
Even though the ceramic coatings process is fairly simple, there are still a fair few tools we use to ensure a perfect application.
The ceramic coating itself is counted in our tool kit. Customers can choose from several different coatings. The air compressor is used to ensure no harmful media that could scratch the paint is on the suede applicator. A respirator is worn during the process to protect against the fumes given off by the coating, along with gloves used at all times. The applicator block is specially made to allow it to conform to the contours of the paint. Multiple microfiber towels are used then thrown away after application since they can’t be used again. We also like to have the car under soft diffused lighting during the coating process as this ensures no coating residue is missed.
When our West Sussex and Hampshire clients visit us for interior detailing. We delve deep into our car detailer’s tool kit. I’m going to share the main ones here that we use most often.
First, we have all the machines: the commercial steam cleaner, Festool vacuum, air compressor and the carpet washer. There are various tools that attach to each machine. Additionally, we use certain products. These include distilled water and Ph neutral cleaners for all the different materials. We also use an assortment of brushes and scrub pads to ensure we can get into all the tight, hard to reach areas.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into a car detailer’s tool kit. Keep in mind; this is only a summary of what we use on a day to day basis. We use other tools and products for specialist work!
If you want to know the results we can achieve with our car detailer’s tool kit, then drop us an email or give us a call. We are professional detailers based on the Hampshire and West Sussex border.