Remember safety! Wear safety glasses, and make sure you have ground fault (GFCI) protection, when using electric power tools and vacuums. People have died detailing vehicles…frayed extension cords and dampness/water,
Chemical Guys is a Los Angeles-based vehicle detailing product supplier, and home of Smart Detailing University. Now in Ontario, they have two stores: Mississauga and Pickering. They plan to expand to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. Their products are good value and excellent quality.
Today, there are over 1000 suppliers of car wax products! Some are mainstream and usually sold at large retail stores or auto parts supplier stores. Some are sold over the internet. Some are sold at both on-line and specific stores, like Chemical Guys.
What a great Father’s Day present!? Or, treat yourself.
In late April, I attended the 1 day Chemical Guys’ DIY Intro to Detailing Class. This is a great place to start the hobby of vehicle detailing. I’ve been detailing since my parent’s cars: ‘69 Dart Swinger; ‘72 VW Bug, etc. While I’m an amateur veteran. I still learned some new, helpful “tricks.”
Joe Sousa, was our Instructor. He has 25 years detailing experience. Joe owns 20 cars! He holds many Chemical Guys titles including:
• Co founder Chemical Guys Canada, Detail Garage Canada, and Smart Detailing University Canada
• Director of Product Training
Joe was very knowledgeable, easy going and approachable. He invited any questions throughout the day. While he will gladly sell you any wide
variety of Chemical Guys products, the day is NOT a commercial. Joe is there to help you…that day and in the future.
Melissa Piliero is their Director of Marketing. She was my precourse contact and greeted me the day of course (Saturday). Melissa has great product knowledge too.
We briefly started in the classroom, with Joe’s introduction and background. We students were quickly guided to the detailing bay. A bright yellow Honda S2000, was parked there for the following day’s Intro to Buffing & Polishing Class. I did not register, but will likely in the future. A newer, Plumb Crazy? Coloured Jeep was our practice vehicle/test subject. It looked like it just came from the mud bog. You know, where Chrysler Marketing execs want you to play, and their Engineers, don’t. Later we practised on a Ford Escape SUV and a hulking big black, Ford F-450 Platinum dually pick up.
The topics included are:
• Proper Wash Techniques, including garden hose, pressure washer, and foam cannons
• Drying options, including air blowers, and special drying “towels”
• Wheel Cleaning 101, products and use
• Trim cleaning & restoration. Non-slippery options. Leather care
• Microfiber towel use and care
• Interior cleaning (including glass) and protection techniques
• Dressings for interior/exterior
Do not wash and/or wax in direct sunlight!
Wait until late afternoon. I wondered what the thinking was with respect to pressure washers. If really dirty, Joe approves in fact, they do a great job of the nooks and crannies, door jams/frames!
Be very careful under the hood! Today’s vehicles have so many electronics, which don’t mix well
with water. Do not use car wash mitts on the wheels. There’s brake dust, etc., which will harm the body’s paint. Once soaped, hand’s on with the clean mitt. Then rinse with clean water, then dry: with an air blaster or microfibre towel.
Do not use regular bath towels.
We then briefly broke for the supplied pizza lunch. There were ice cream bars too. They did ask in advance, regarding food allergies.
Back to the wash bay. This time, we focused on the interior. Joe got us carpeted floor mats. They were covered with Ontario’s finest winter salt. Three options demonstrated were, (1) soap cannon, and wet vacuum (2) sprayed hot water, brush and elbow grease (3) steam cleaner and vacuum.
Next up was leather cleaning and conditioning. Glass cleaning was highlighted with a waffle microfiber cloth. Use vertical strokes on one side, followed by horizontal on the other. No one likes cleaning glass! Drop the side windows 1”/2 cms, to clean the top edge. If aftermarket tinted glass, do not use glass cleaner with ammonia.
We moved outside for the final exercise, which was tire dressings. Joe demonstrated four different products. Back to the classroom for a final debrief. We were offered to return in the future, to this same course, if there’s room, for no charge. We also got a 10% discount for any products. Yes, I dropped $113. Great products!
Chemical Guys Canada (near Pearson Airport: Dixie/401 area) 5775 Atlantic Drive, Mississauga, ON L4W4P3.
This course runs 10am-3pm $129.99 + HST (lunch is provided) 1-844-458-8242/416-775-9264.
Upcoming DIY Classes in Mississauga, July 21, 2018 and November 24, 2018. Visit www.chemicalguyscanada.ca for all course dates and products/prices.
In summary, it was a fun, worthwhile experience. Remember, Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, 2018. Now, get busy and cleaning.
Written and photos by Larry Barnett