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Suggestions for Express or Mini Detail

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I'm preparing to start a part time detailing business using primarily Optimum products. I'm working on my menu for my website and would like some suggestions for what to include in an express or mini detail. I'm especially interested in what products to use on the exterior that would give some basic protection and also be very fast to apply. We all know that time is money and I'm wanting to provide a good service in the shortest amount of time giving my clients good value. Please be specific in your list of Optimum products and also your suggested procedures. Thanks so much!

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I was amazed how quickly and easily I was able to apply Opti-Seal. It's a Wipe On, Walk Away product, which means you eliminate buffing time. Also, it doesn't dry white if it gets on trim, so you won't have those headaches. In fact, I like it on black plastic, as it helps restore that like-new look. Plus, the nice shine it provides will make it clear to your customers that you truly put something on. And if it's a customer whose car you do often, you'll be glad you used the Opti-Seal as it will make the next cleaning a good bit faster. I was really impressed how easily brake dust came off the last time I washed my car, which was the first time since I applied Opti-Seal (yes, it's great on wheels, paint, plastic, you name it!)

 

There is a video on YouTube showing somebody using Power Clean to loosen up the tough stuff, followed by an Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine, and then using Opti-Seal during the drying phase. (There is a thread in the Opti-Seal forum here which shows that video). I haven't tried that approach, as I worry that I would have to use too much Opti-Seal. Plus, I like using a separate drying towel without any sealant, as I sometimes get some left-over dirt up, which I wouldn't want to seal in. But the Power Clean in a 3:1 dilution is a great pre-soak, especially on wheels and lower panels, or for bugs and bird bombs. But the Optimum No Rinse is excellent for washing cars, especially in places where you don't have access to a hose.

 

Other folks like Optimum Car Wax, which leaves a more carnuba-like look. If you have customers who want that look, it's a good compromise, as it's part sealant and part wax. It's probably just personal preference, but I definitely like Opti-Seal more. Yes, it's expensive, but a little bit goes a LONG way if you apply it correctly. Just spray a little bit on an applicator and wipe. It takes a while to fully appreciate just how thinly it should go on. If you look at the product description, it says that each ounce is enough to cover 4 to 5 cars. So even the little 8 ounce bottle can cover 32 to 40 cars.

 

Even a super-thin coating should last most customers a good 5 months, even in rough conditions. Plus, you can honestly tell your customers that Opti-Seal provides UV protection, a claim many competitor products cannot make. That's a lot of protection (on top of what other sealants provide) that you can deliver for something like 70 cents cost to you per car. Hard to beat that!

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One more thought: The video I referenced in my post above shows somebody doing the one-bucket method: Dip a washing mitt in Optimum No Rinse, clean part of the car, rinse the mitt (preferably with a grit guard in the bottom of the bucket) and repeat. This can be a somewhat time-intensive method if you're carefully cleaning your mitt every time (rubbing against the grit guard to get all the dirt off, wringing out any excess, etc.)

 

What worked MUCH better for me this last time is the so-called Garry Dean method (again, plenty of links on YouTube). Soak a bunch of decent microfiber towels in one bucket. Fold the towel in fourths, which allows you to clean with one side, flip to the other, then "open up" the towel and use the other two surfaces. (I don't use the side of the towels with the short nap, as I don't trust it to keep dirt particles away from the surface of the paint.) Then, when you have dirtied all four sections of that towel, throw it in a second bucket with water and Dawn. Then just grab another towel from the clean supply.

 

There are several advantages to this approach. For one, you have a clean towel for each section. Two, you save all that time trying to get a mitt safely clean before going to the next panel. Third, the Dawn allows you to begin the presoaking process to get your towels clean easily in the washing machine later. Four, if your customers see you, they will really appreciate the care you're giving their car, never reusing the same towel in one wash.

 

Yes, the initial investment in microfiber towels is high, but you'll be glad in the end. It will definitely distinguish your company's services, as very few customers would buy that many microfiber towels for themselves. Just be sure to use separate towels for the wheels! If you do, you can keep the towels reserved for the paint nice and clean, which gives the customer confidence in the quality of materials you're using on their car.

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Another variation on the theme, wash with ONR, allow ONR to sit on car, clay or decontaminate surface with a mild Speedy Prep Towel that you keep soaking in a bucket of ONR dilution, lubricated with Optim Spray Wax., Dry and enjoy. If claying is not in the cards, wash with ONR, spritz on one shot of Opti Seal per wet panel, and dry as normal.

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