How do you deal with foreign contamination?

How do you deal with foreign contamination?

What happens when your vehicle has stuff on it that you simply don’t know what it is? This can be frustrating for a vehicle owner and even for a detailer. When you don’t know what it is. You really can’t confidently say you know how to remove it! This is why we always talk about hiring an experienced detailer. 

Even with years of experience we still run into this scenario and find things on vehicles that we have never seen before. The key in safely removing contaminants is to start with your least aggressive methods first. Understanding that the more aggressive you get, the higher the likelihood you’re causing damage to the vehicle. 

There are endless examples, but let’s talk about paint for the sake of a quick read. Let’s say you have something foreign on your paint. A great example is a vehicle we have in the shop today. It actually has bee poop all over it. The least aggressive method is to start with a wash, but why do we do this? 

Starting with a wash is going to clean all the other easy contaminants off of the vehicle’s surface like dirt and debris. If we go right to attempting removal of the contaminant, we drive the dirt into the paint creating damage. So, we start with a good thorough wash. This will consist of a typical wash and be followed with a foam bath and a stronger cleaner like Waxedshine Citrus. This will hopefully break down the contaminant and allow us to wash it off. 

What if the contaminant is still there? Well, it is time for the next step. In this bee poop scenario, the contaminant was still there. This happens when something is not addressed fast enough. The sun will bake things right into your clear coat and cause a more aggressive method to be needed for removal. 

We will move onto a clay service to remove contaminants. This is a little more aggressive and will cause minor marring on the vehicle’s surface. It is always good to polish after a clay service to get the best paint finish. Now, if that doesn’t work, you move into aggressive chemicals like tar removers, acetones and stronger chemicals. At this point you for sure will want to follow with a final wash and polish. 

Just remember, your goal is never to get it off as fast as possible and jump right to the most aggressive methods. Aggressive, quick methods nearly always leave behind damage. It is our goal as detailers to  preserve at all costs. The biggest cost we incur is our time. When you read this, if you are thinking to yourself, “I don’t have this kind of time”, I would recommend hiring a detailer. It is in fact what we do every day. 

Should you ever have questions regarding foreign contaminants, feel free to reach out. We are always happy to answer questions and assist whenever we can.

Jonathan Monson
Dirty2Dreamy@gmail.com
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