Small equipment and some tips to all!

Discussion in 'That'll Buff Right Out' started by quamen, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. quamen

    quamen New Member

    Nov 14, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I would just like to share a Small Equipment and Supply List, I have been able to obtain from reading several manuals and wastching videos.

    Step Stool or Ladder: I will carry one of these at all times. Alot of cars and oher large vehicles have areas that most people cannot reach. Even if you can reach the roof, a step stool will reduce reaching.

    Water Hose,Reel, and Nozzle.

    Select a hose that is commercial grade strength( so it can stand being ran over)yet flexible. A reel will help in stowing the hose and is preferred over rolling up the hose by hand each time. Select a nozzle that has a multi pattern nozzle so it can be used for muliple applications. Rinsing the vehile(shower), sparying down a driveway (Jet), and filling buckets (high volume pouring).

    Extension cords. Heavy enough guage to handle the machinery to which they are connected.Consider buying cords that have built in power strips or muliple end outlets. So you only have one cord for numerous equipmen, not a whole bunch of cords around!

    Soft Scrub Sponges: Labeled as "Safe for use on non stick cooking surfaces." Handy for alot of situations, both interior and exterior, the correct type of sponge will not damage plastics and lower body panesl but will greatly increase the scrubbing effectiveness of most cleaners.

    Squeeze-top bottles. Can be used for waxes, polishes, compounds etc. Most popular size is 12oz, but other sizes are out ther. Pour off your favorite chemicals from larger, more economical, containers into squezze bottles that are easier to carry and use. it is good to fully label each bottle with contents, warnings, directions, and first aid.

    Pistol grip Spray bottles: Useful for dispensing all kinds of liquefied detailing chemicals. Spend the extra few cents and get the higher quality spray bottle tops that spray larger quantities and last longer. Label as well warnings etc!!

    Pump-Tank sprayers. Somewhat a cheap investment, but a good one. usually used for yard chemicals/fertilizers etc. However, these devices can be very handy in several detailing applications. Most have a 1-3 gallon capacity and a hand pump that allows you to pressurize the tank. This helps yeild a constant stream of water or solution. You will save time and energy if you plan on applying alot of the same chemical instead of applying by a pistol-grip sprayer for situations in which you use alot of that item. All purpose cleaner and carpet cleaner.

    Towels. As i have been reading on sites,and writting down information. I figured to do a job correctly, 3 types of towels should be used.

    1. Lint free window towels, used only to clean and wipe windows and mirrors.

    2. utility all purpose towels which are used for cleaning or wiping.

    3. "Wax off" towels. The good old Mf towel. only to wipe off or put on, products from the exterior of the vehicle painted surfaces of residue.

    Towel storage/cleaning.

    We dont want window towels to get oily residue from the other types of towels, because this might cause streaky window cleaning later.

    Wax-off towels should stay as clean as possible and free of any residue or contaminants that could scratch the paint surfact: and

    Utility towls can be laundered using heavy-duty techniques that we would not be appropriate for other types of towels.

    Cosider color coding the towels by purchasing towels of specific color for each category. This may cost extra in the beginning, but will save much confusion and accidental mixing of the towels later. Also, spend the money to buy high quality towels from a reputable vendor. Your investment will save time and effort because the towels will work much better than inexpensive types.

    Wahing. Standard laundry detergent and hot water is the best way. Utility towels may need to be pretreated using your favorite degreaser or all purpose cleaner to remove heavy grime. Consider having two "dirty" utility storage bins- one for heavily soiled towels, removal of exterior oil, bug , tar stains etc), and lightly soiled towels (wiping interior). The heavily soiled can be pre-washed and then combined with lightly soiled utility towels for the final wash. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFRENER! This will reduce the absorbency of the towel.

    Add a cup of vinegar to the wash water window towels will remove any remaining streak-causing residues from window towels.

    Small operation like myself, I plan on buying two-3 dozen of each kind so that I can wash full loads at one time. Enough to be washed on a full load, but enough to keep working as well!

    Chamois: to dry the vehicle after washing. Many pro's want to use the synthetic over the natural animal hyde. The fake is easier to use, wring, clean and store and will last longer.

    Wash mitts: A high quality wash mitt is the best way to wash a vehicle with the least amount of scratching. Do not drop the mitt on the ground for it may pickup grit from the ground.

    Brass Whitewall Brush:
    For heavy duty scrubbing on surfaces that will not scratch,such as carpeting and fabric upholstery,tires, wheel wells etc.

    Medium scrub brushes. For moderate scrubing on surfaces that maybe scratches by stiff brushes, like front grilles, wheels etc.

    Soft Bristles scrub brushes. For areas that will scratch, like lower body panels, painted wheels, and interior plastic and vinyl panels.

    Hogs hair brush. Best to use when agitiating leather cleaner on leather seats. Use it only for this purpose so you will not get any other kind of chemical on it.

    Spoke Brushes. Have a assortment of elongated brushes that you can use for wheels with deep spokes as well as other hard to reach areas in the front grill and engine compartment.

    Long handled brushes. Long handle brushe (s) with a handle 18-24". Good for scrubbing tires and lower body panesl without much stooping.

    Telescoping "truck" brush. Six or more feet of reach which is great for large vehicles and trucks. Can eliminate the use of the step ladder, and the brush should be nylon or horsehair to reduce scratching.

    Assortment of detail brushes. Small brushes like toothbrushes, paintbrushes, and other brushes that a detailer would use for finer cleaning work on the inside and outside of vehcile. 2 complete sets of brushes, one for outside and on for inside.

    Applicators. have a few dozen on hand for applying wax and dressings. seperate your interior and exterior dressing applicators.

    Buckets. For washing and other tasks where standing water is needed. Dual well buckets are the best becuase you can use on side for was solution and the other for clean risne water. or have one side to carry solution and the other for the brushes and applicators.

    Flashlight. A great tool that is important to have and great for looking under seats.

    portable lighting. Car may look great, but then not look great in the sun. There are many portable lighting fixtures that are typically used in paintless dent repair and can be useful for a mobile detailer.

    Micro pad buffing set. Usually a set of small pads, that can be used with a high speed buffer or drill. usally 3-5" diameter. Can be used for small areas and wheels.

    Steel wool. A great tool for cleaning caked on wheels, chrome bumpers and accs. use least aggressive to get the job done. I dont really use these on wheels ever, but some people do.

    Reclosable plastic bags. Storing customer belongings. use both gallon and quart size. Also good for labeling and storing small hardware parts that are removed from vehciles, licence plate bolts, or your buffing pads.

    Masking tape: have a assortment of tape for masking aganist polishing chemicals, and protecting areas from overspray when spraying trim parts

    Caddies: Great for moving equipment around the vehicle. You can seperate caddies from interior and exterior chemicals etc. Essential for a mobile operation, but also great for fixed.

    Roll carts. For fixed locations, it is a big caddie cart!!

    No i know many people will like some of the ideas in this section and some wont. Some say, I dont need a Caddie cart, or portable lightening, a flashlight etc. All these things here you can perfectly do without, but if you have the money it is worth it. These things will save you time, money and effort in the long run. I plan on getting all the stuff I mentioned in this list.

    I would like to thank the board for some info in here, Rightlook, Meguairs training videos, show and shine forum, my trial and error and whoever else I left out.

    Eye protection. Great to have and save your eyes. Dont worry about your image, but rather your health. They make some great eye wear that look like sun glasses, but protect the sides of your eyes as well.

    Gloves. Yes some chemicals are not that harmful or skin irriate, but what happens after repeated use? Yes, the products will irriate your skin on most people. Neoprene and nitrile gloes offer the best protection. Rubber gloves only protect against milder chemicals and temps. latex and vinyl offer little protection against heat and chemicals.

    Apron. apron will protect your clothes from excess water and detail chemicals. Also a great oppurtunity to advertise. You can take them off when talking to customers, and when you talk to customers with them on, you always look clean. Also, most aprons have pockets to store some tools while working.

    Knee pads. Yes you dont want to be a walking machine when working, but hey doesnt it hurt to kneel on the pavement? Just use them on the lower parts of the body when your doing the outside work. If may take a few days to get used to, but after that when you dont have them on you will feel naked. This also gives your a true professional look. Trust me, these days everyone is very preceptive about what they see!!

    Water resistant work shoes. you spend alot of time on your feet. Pay the extra money for some high quality boots or shoes that will be comfy,but protect from impact and water.

    Hat. Cover your face from the sun, collect sweat, and another way to advertise.

    Equipment management. If your truck fails or equipment you lose out period. Read those annoying manufactor labels on maintaining the equipment. have a set schedule of what you can do in the down time. Ie Bad weather. clean machines, maintain etc!

    Let me know what you guys think of this. if you hate it let me know, if you like it let me know. This not only help myself, but it will let me make changes so you and I can become sucessful!!

  2. quamen

    quamen New Member

    Nov 14, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Also, if any of you guys think this helped you I have alot more info to share. I know some of this info is all over the board, so I tired to condense it. I have alot of money invested in manuals, and videos and books I have been reading. I like to share the knowledge I have learned. I would also like to write a "pro detailer step guide". this would be the steps of how some of the professinals tend to detail a complete vehicles,also I have made a great checklist up, A paint damage and evaluation chart, and much more. Hope this helped and wasnt a waste or your time. Im putting a couple hours each day of work, so i can get my business going in March.

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