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    How to get the Best Finish for Your Car

    How to get the Best Finish for Your Car

    Polishing your car is not about compromise; it's about getting the very best results possible. This means deploying all the tools, car products, materials, and techniques required to achieve a finish you can be proud of. Read on to know more about how this is done and learn how to get the best polish for your car.

    Step 1. Choose Your Spot

    Ensure your car is out of direct sunlight and that there is no danger of the vehicle being showered with rain. Rain is likely to leave debris on your vehicle, counteracting your hard work, while direct sunlight can hinder the polishing compounds, preventing them from working at their best.

    Get the best results

    Utilise a specially-designed towel to help get rid of more stubborn grim deposits.

    Step 2. Clean the Wheels and Scrub the Tyres

    Though not technically part of the polishing process, this is still crucial — make sure your wheels are clean! Dirt and debris are particularly likely to collect on the wheels and tyres, which can ruin all your hard work by tarnishing the polish.

    Get the best results

    Heavy-duty wheel cleaners will give the best clean. However, note that they may not be suitable for electro-plated wheels.

    Step 3. Prepare the Paintwork and Wash

    Make sure the paintwork is prepared ahead of polishing. Wash the car using an automotive soap with no wax or polish additives.

    Get the best results

    A foam cannon can make the washing process a bit easier, and a lot more fun!

    Step 4. Get Ready to Polish

    Apply polishing/cutting compound to the polishing pad. Apply pea size drops of polishing compound to the pad.

    Get the best results

    Miniature pad kits can help you polish more delicate areas of the car's bodywork.

    Step 5. Polish the Surface One Panel at a Time

    Run the polishing pad across the car's paintwork, covering the surface evenly and consistently. Complete each panel of the vehicle before moving on to the next, to achieve a comprehensive finish across the whole car. When you can see the natural lustre of the paint shining through each panel, you will know this section is complete. Once you have polished each panel, use an IPA or Pre Protection Prep to remove residual oils and polishing compounds before you apply waxes or coatings.

    Get the best results

    A polishing machine, combined with the best car polish for your vehicle, will make the process easier and achieve better consistency. Apply a high-quality compound to enhance results.

    Step 6. Protect the Finish

    Apply some wax to a specifically designed wax pad and then apply an even, protective coat across the whole surface. This will protect the polish from damage caused by the sun and other weather elements.

    Get the best results

    A spray coating and coating wax offer more consistent and reliable results.

    Step 7. Buff the Surface

    Allow the wax to dry, and then test the surface by wiping it with your finger. If the wax comes off easily on your finger, it is fully dry. Use a microfibre towel to buff the surface and remove the wax.

    Get the best results

    Use a microfibre mitt for additional control and consistency.

    Add to Your Car Polishing Toolkit and Get the Best Finish Possible

    Check out our range of car products and find the best car polish for your project. Reach out to our team to learn more.

    Top 5 Products to Keep Your Car Looking Its Best

    Top 5 Products to Keep Your Car Looking Its Best

    We're all looking for that perfect finish — a finish that stands the test of time. But with so many different car detailing and finishing products out there, how do you know where to begin?

    To help you in your quest, we've compiled a list of the top five products to keep your car looking its best for longer. Take a look.

    5. Wheel and Glass Cleaners

    We include wheel and glass cleaning products on this list because keeping your car looking its best should be a comprehensive process. The slightest blemish here and there can make all your hard work come to nothing. This is why it's important to get the wheels and glass of your vehicle in perfect condition.

    Your vehicle's glass is tough and hard-wearing. You can rely upon it to stand up to heavy weather conditions, remaining strong and doing its job throughout. However, rain can leave water spots on your glasswork. Mineral deposits in rainwater get left behind on the glass even after the water itself has been wiped away.

    A good-quality water spot cleaner is crucial to keeping your glass looking its best for longer. Use the water spot cleaner to remove these mineral deposits and restore your glass to its original condition. Water spots can also appear on your car's bodywork — use a specifically-designed water spot cleaner, rated for use on painted surfaces, to remove these.

    So, what about the wheels? After all, wheels bear the brunt of your adventures in your vehicle, remaining in contact with road or off-road surfaces and sustaining more than their fair share of wear and tear. It's no surprise, then, that you need a quality wheel cleaner solution to get those hard-working components looking their best. 

    This solution will cut through the often caked-on dirt and grime that can be difficult to remove with ordinary cleaning materials. Incorporating these car finishing products into your regular cleaning repertoire will yield professional-level results for your vehicle.

    4. Protection Prep

    Preparation and a forward-thinking approach are critical when it comes to keeping your car looking its best. This is why protection prep is such a key addition to your car finishing products toolkit.

    The prep itself works by removing any oils or dust found on the car's bodywork. Make sure you use protection prep after cutting and polishing your car, ready for the application of a protective coating.

    Use a spraying tool or affix a spray-head attachment to your prep bottle. Then, apply the solution evenly to your surface. Most prep solutions will also work great as glass cleaners or on delicate components. However, always check the instructions and guidance on the bottle label.

    After applying the solution, wipe the surface down with a damp towel to remove any excess. You can then use a dry cloth to buff the surface, completing the final step of the prep process. The vehicle is now ready for polishing and finishing, and you will be able to get the best results from your car products when you use a high-quality preparation solution. 

    3. Polishing Machines

    So far on this list, we've looked at the kinds of cleaning fluids and solutions you can use to get a great quality finish. But for the number three slot, we're going in a slightly different direction. This car product is a piece of hardware that helps you go that bit further with your car detailing project.

    We know you love your car, and you're more than willing to put in the 'elbow grease' required to get the best results possible. However, we also know that there's nothing wrong with getting a bit of mechanical help where it matters. This is exactly what polishing machines provide to New Zealand's car enthusiasts.

    You'll find that the whole process becomes much easier and more convenient when you have a good-quality polishing machine on your side. But this is only part of the advantage of these handy pieces of kit. When you use a polisher, you'll find that you are able to achieve a far more even and more consistent polish across the whole surface of your vehicle. And, you'll discover that the results you achieve are noticeably better than if you had polished the vehicle by hand.

    2. Polishing and Cutting Pads

    You want to achieve an optimal finish for your car, and you want this finish to last. With this in mind, we've included polishing and cutting pads at number two on our list of the top car finishing products. These pads provide you with an array of different capabilities and finishing options. This versatility is invaluable as you target the best results possible for your car detailing.

    Cutting pads are the heavy-duty pad option. They are designed to remove imperfections on the surface of your car's paintwork, including those that may be stubborn and difficult to remove by other means. Despite their aggressive action, these pads should be suitable for most painted surfaces on your vehicle. Still, it is always important to read the labelling or usage guide carefully and to seek professional assistance where required.

    Polishing pads, on the other hand, work more on the light-duty side of things. Their construction is a little less aggressive than that of the cutting pad, and they are not designed to remove blemishes and imperfections in the same way. Instead, they are intended to polish and bring your vehicle's paintwork to a brilliant sheen.

    Pads can be combined with the polishing machines mentioned above to achieve a comprehensive set of results. 

    1. Polishing Compounds

    It's difficult to choose an out-and-out winner on a list like this. All of the car detailing products listed here are assets in your quest for a vehicle that looks its best and stays looking its best. However, we do need to choose a number one, so here it is — a good-quality polishing compound.

    The polishing compound is the 'special sauce' that gives you optimal results from your finishing. It is a thick, waxy substance that contains an abrasive element, intended to achieve polishing that goes above and beyond the normal. Just like pads, there are different grades of compounds available, depending on your needs.

    Cutting or rubbing compounds tend to be more abrasive, and they are formulated to remove noticeable blemishes and marks on the surface. Again, always check out the guidelines included in the product's packaging before use. Seek professional assistance if in doubt.

    Polishing compounds themselves are a little less coarse, containing less of the abrasive element that makes cutting compounds so aggressive. These compounds are what will really make your car's sleek lines shine on through.

    Find the Car Finishing Products You Need and Get the Best Results for Your Vehicle

    It's almost impossible to distil all the great car products available to you down to a neat top five. To learn more about the different products and options at your disposal, check out our listings here or reach out to our team today.

    How to Detail a Car Like a Pro?

    When it comes to car detailing, you might be amazed by the results you can achieve in the comfort of your own home – or at least in the comfort of your garage or driveway. All you need are the right materials and the right approach. Take a look at our tips and discover more about how to detail your car like a pro.

    Be Aware of Your Conditions

    To get the best from your car detailing, you need to make sure the conditions are perfect. Never wash your car in direct sunlight as this can accelerate drying, which can result in water spotting.

    Adopt the Two-Bucket Method

    Use one bucket for clean water and one bucket for your favourite car wash soap. Dip your wash mitt into the clean water bucket after each panel for the best results, as well as maximum efficiency during washing.

    Get the Wheels and Tyres Sorted First

    Start the process by washing your wheels and tyres first. These parts of your car tend to be the dirtiest, with the biggest deposits of caked-on grime and other contaminants. This can dirty other areas of your car while you clean the wheels, so make sure you clean this area of the car before you start on the rest.

    Use Detailing Brushes

    Detailing brushes provide your car with a professional-quality finish. Make sure you use these brushes on both the interior and exterior of your vehicle for the best results.

    Consider the pH Balance of Your Cleaning Materials

    The relative acidity or alkalinity of your cleaning solution can affect the results. Use a pH-balanced soap to achieve the right pH level, supporting great results from cleaning and detailing.

    Foam Cannons Are Useful and a Lot of Fun

    Foam cannons provide a bit of extra power and capability with a lot less effort, and they tend to make life much easier when cleaning your car. They are also good fun to use, and they help inject a bit of enjoyment into what is often just a chore.

    Use Specific Interior Cleaners

    When cleaning the inside of your car, use cleaning products that are specifically formulated for interior usage. This means you get a great clean and detail inside while also protecting potentially vulnerable interior surfaces.

    Use All-purpose Cleaners in Key Areas

    All-purpose cleaners also have a part to play in a professional-quality detailing project. Use these all-purpose cleaners on doorjambs and on the engine bay – i.e., anywhere where a heavy-duty clean needs to be carried out and where the finish and aesthetic is not quite so important.

    A Microfibre Drying Towel Is a Key Piece of Kit

    Invest in a super plush microfibre drying towel. This is a great piece of kit that will help you get professional-quality results from your detailing and finishing.

    Use the Applicator Pad for Wax

    In the same way that you need a microfibre towel for drying, you need an applicator pad to get the best results when you wax. Be sure to use a professional-grade pad to avoid losing any of the benefits of a great waxing progress.

    Don't Forget to Buff

    Remember to buff the wax off. This will provide a great finishing touch when waxing and help you get the best possible aesthetic and results from your finishing project.

    Remember to Take Care of Your Tyres

    Your tyres need love, too, perhaps even more so than other parts of your vehicle. Use a high-quality tyre gel to keep your wheels performing and looking their very best.

    Professional Detailing, Achieved at Home

    You can leave your car looking great for longer as long as you have the right kit. Take a look at our range of professional-grade products or reach out to our team to learn more.

    Ceramic Coating vs Graphene Coating

    You want to keep your vehicle safe from harm and protected from anything the elements or the road can throw its way. This is where coatings come into play – these durable, effective solutions create a strong and lasting barrier between your vehicle's surfaces and the outside world.

    But there is more than one choice available to you when you search for a coating. You will find that both ceramic and graphene coatings can provide you with the protection you need. But which one is more effective? We'll be taking a look at this in more detail below.

    Understanding the Coating Types

    Before we can get into examining the different types of coating and exploring the differences between the two materials, we first need to understand what each term refers to exactly.

    In basic terms, both materials are forms of coating that are applied to surfaces of both the exterior and interior of your auto. They are designed to protect these surfaces while still allowing the car to function in the right way and look its best. The difference lies in the composition of each material.

    Ceramic coating includes the active ingredient of a liquid polymer, which is delivered within a clear liquid. The polymer within the liquid is designed to chemically bond with the vehicle's paint to create a long-lasting coat. The strong bond means that the ceramic coating cannot be removed via chemical means, and it can only be abraded or mechanically removed.

    Graphene coating also includes this ceramic polymer ingredient. However, the ceramic has graphene molecules bonded to it. These molecules do not bond with the surface or the paintwork. Instead, they form the outer layer of the coating. The ceramic polymer still forms its bond with the vehicle.

    The Differences Between Ceramic Coating and Graphene Coating

    While both types of coating work in very similar ways and offer similar results, the difference in their molecular makeup gives each of them somewhat unique properties. Such properties may be important as you decide which coating to use.

    We've covered some of the key points of difference below to help you select the best kind of coating for your vehicle and your project.

    • Abrasion resistance

    One of the major benefits of a ceramic coating is that it is resistant to chemical corrosion and erosion. However, while the vehicle is in operation, the coating remains at risk of damage from other sources. A significant proportion of this risk comes from abrasion and pressure placed upon the surface. 

    In the face of this kind of pressure, ceramic coating begins to fail. Over time, the abrasion will remove the coating from the surface, leaving areas of paintwork or material unprotected. 

    The graphene coating is designed to resist this kind of wear and tear from abrasion. It is also intended to be a better option for those looking for a more durable coating for their vehicle.

    • Chemical resistance

    One of the defining points of both types of coating is that a chemical bond is formed between the coatings and the surface that is being protected. This bond is formed between chemicals on a molecular level and is designed to protect against the removal of the coating.

    This function is built into the composition of both ceramic and graphene coatings, so both offer chemical resistance by their very nature. However, it could be argued that the additional layer of graphene molecules makes the graphene coating more resistant to chemicals.

    • Hydrophobia

    Water damage is a key concern for car owners in New Zealand. While paintwork and treatments keep water at bay, if gaps begin to open up, problems can quickly begin to appear. This is why hydrophobia is such a key measure for any automotive coating.

    Both graphene and standard ceramic coatings repel and get rid of water effectively. However, in order to be removed, this water still needs to travel across the surface of the vehicle – just like rainwater will flow quickly off a near-vertical car door but may stick around on a roof surface at near-horizontal.

    Graphene coverings will allow water to travel off the surface more easily, reducing the angle of tilt that is required to make water "slide" off the vehicle. The graphene layer also makes the surface less resistant to the water as it travels over the surface, reducing the effects of erosion that may take place over time.

    • Usability

    Both ceramic and graphene coatings are applied in the same way, either via a spray or via direct liquid application. In this sense, both products provide the same levels of usability to car owners. 

    However, the graphene coating may cure more rapidly than the ceramic coating will. This can be a good thing, as it means the coating is quick to start acting. However, it also means the user needs to act quickly during application, as it is difficult to make adjustments to the coating once the bond between the ceramic layer and surface has been formed.

    This fast-curing property was found to be particularly noticeable in areas with hot, humid or tropical climates. For the majority of New Zealanders, this will not be a problem but is perhaps something to bear in mind, particularly during hotter times of the year or in more humid locations.

    • Versatility

    Coatings are designed to do more than just protect metalwork from corrosion. They need to be applicable to a variety of different surfaces, adhering to each with effectiveness and durability. This is why versatility is such an important quality in a coating. Users need coatings that will adhere to a number of different materials and surfaces – and that will remain effective across all of these surfaces.

    Graphene coatings appear to offer more in this area, and they can be used with great effect across various surface types. These include metalwork itself, paintwork, wheel components and surfaces, plastics and trim materials, chrome, glass or rubber. The ceramic layer can adhere effectively to these surfaces, providing the graphene molecule layer with the sturdy foundation upon which to build.

    The ceramic coating alone will also adhere to most of these surfaces and provide the protective effect that users need. However, the composition of the graphene coating makes it more versatile. 

    • Maintenance

    Both types of coating are designed to be easy to maintain, although the abrasion resistance of the graphene coating makes it more suitable for regular cleaning, particularly when the cleaning becomes a little more heavy-duty.

    Both coating types can be backed up with a silicone oxide-based (SiO2) protection that will provide additional support and defence to the look and function of the car's components. Some coatings – both graphene and ceramic versions – already contain this silicone component, providing double protection for vehicles while also helping surfaces look their best.

    The Right Coating for Your Vehicle

    Most people find that the additional protection offered by the graphene coating makes it the superior choice. Speak to our team to find out more about this coating or to make a purchase. We are the first in New Zealand to bring graphene to the country, and we can guide you further on how the graphene layer can provide a distinct advantage to your own vehicle and project.

    Welcome to Detail Tonic

    Welcome to Detail Tonic

    We look forward to growing as a company and providing our customers with outstanding detailing products!