DIY Spray Detailer Cadillac experiment

While Jims_97_ETC was in town to pick up his 2011 Cadillac CTS-V,  we were discussing the  topic of spray detailer.  I actually meant to pick up a bottle of spray detailer to tuck in his Cadillac for the drive back, but didn’t get that done by Saturday.

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Spray Detailer is a product used for touch-up clean-up of an automobile when you don’t have time or need a full wash.  So let’s say you get a new, clean car, and get one spot on it on the way back home.  You’d spray just that spot with the spray detailer, then wipe off with a micro-fiber towel, and the car would be clean again.  No muss, no fuss.

The spray detailer provides a quick spot-rinse, soap to lubricate and lift the dirt, and liquid wax to provide some shine.  A microfiber towel helps pull the dirt off the vehicle without scratching the paint.

Spray Detailer is relatively expensive, costing around $8 for 16 oz of the stuff.  When I was trying to describe to Jim the goodness of Spray Detailer it occurred to me that I should have been able to just hand him a spray bottle with water, wash & wax concentrate, and mark it ‘done’!  Why buy when you can DIY (do it yourself)?

Materials:

  • Professional quality spray bottles (Around $5 for 6 at Sam’s Club)
  • Car wash concentrated solution, especially a wash & wax solution
  • Clean Water
  • Microfiber towel

Recipe:

Follow directions on the car wash solution for dilution — basically add 1 or 2 ounces of car wash solution then fill up the rest of the spray bottle with water.
Mix thoroughly.  I actually used Turtle Wax Concentrated Car Wash (will not spot or streak) that I had a gallon of in the garage, and tap water.  Filtered water would be a reasonable mod here.

Use:

Spray the DIY Spray Detailer on the problem area / bird poop / dirt.
Wipe away with a microfiber towel.

Okay Bruce, but How do you know DIY Spray Detailer works?

My first test was on my own prized 2008 Cadillac STS-V of course.  In the photo above you can see the ‘after’ shot.  The back of the Cadillac gets a light film of dirt due to the aero parts working — the back catches dirt that can’t come off the spoiler with the air and stays there.

As soon as I sprayed on the DIY Spray Detailer I could see dirt lift and stream down the paint in tiny brown rivulets.  One quick wipe with a handy microfiber towel, which along with the soap lubrication in the DIY Spray Detailer lifts dirt away from the paint, and the back of my Cadillac was shiney and clean.

I also did a quick-round of wheel cleaning, using the tight spray control to just hit the wheels and a microfiber towel to clean them off.  This worked great for cleaning the wheels, but basically blackened the microfiber towel.  I started with a used / almost done towel.  In the future I might use the DIY Spray Detailer and a wheel brush instead of a microfiber towel on tires/wheels.

Summary

if you are heading to a car show, consider an off-the-shelf spray detailer solution designed for this purpose.  If you are just trying to keep your Cadillac clean and looking good, consider mixing up some DIY Spray Detailer when needed.

I am pleased with my result and plan to continue to use my DIY Spray Detailer for spot clean-up.

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