Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Art and Science of Detailing
The Art and Science of Detailing, as far as I know the first detailer to use this description was a detailer from Texas, Anthony Orosco. I decided to adopt it as the title for my book and detailing articles as I feel it aptly describes today’s detailing industry 

Science meets Aesthetics.

Science - includes such elements as chemicals, equipment, and knowledge of vehicle surfaces, industry standards, and customer requirements.

Art - many detailers can polish; but only a few have sufficient talent to polish like Rembrandt can paint. Presentation is also a very important part of detailing and their art is shown by their photographic composition and the backdrops chosen

Aesthetics - is the activity of combining these elements into the proper application methodologies that produce an aesthetically pleasing outcome for each specific situation

Our growth is unique because the series of detailing articles have no commercial bias and it has all come from word of mouth, passed on by creditable people who have nothing to gain except the enjoyment and gratification of gaining knowledge and technical insights into detailing. My only agenda is the dissemination of accurate, unbiased information; I've always believed that Knowledge and Understanding unshared is Experience wasted.

I have posted some extracts from these articles on   TOGWT® Autopia Detailing Wiki

It is my intent to educate, based on five plus decades of experience; “Experience is said to be the best teacher” so I'm passing on to my readers the dynamics that take place; the cause and effect, as well as an explanation of the scientific terminology and chemicals involved with detailing products. I hope to be an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to both the professionals and hobbyist detailer’s who seek to advance their knowledge of detailing; Knowledge Management - Treating experience as a shared asset

These articles are college level  material that is and a wealth of factual discussion that is easily understood and very informative. These articles vary in length and range from 5 to 60 (web) pages, with an average of 10 (web) pages. I have included some short extracts (see index) from the series of in-depth technical articles that make up the Art and Science of Detailing, and some do not include the reference source listing; if this is required please advice and I will forward it

 If these articles cover some things you are already aware of through experience, deductive reasoning or your own research, my apologies, but perhaps they will refresh your knowledge or challenge you to seek alternative answers

The information in these articles is factual rather than subjective; detailing science meets art. . It is not intended to be a source of opinion but rather knowledge attained by verifiable means, based on tried and proven techniques, methodologies and facts about detailing and the chemicals and products used. The misinformation and myths that are so prevalent on the Internet and in the detailing industry is the reason that detailers need to do research on their own. I would strongly suggest that you verify any information that I or anyone else shares with you.

As a semi-professional detailer with five plus decades of knowledge and experience of detailing to Concours d’élégance level as both entrant and senior judge, I’ve been providing unbiased opinions that professionals, experienced, enthusiast and neophyte detailer’s use and trust on various leading detailing forums in the United States, UK, Canada, South America, Australia, South Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Scandinavia and the EU for about twelve or so years

I began detailing Mercedes-Benz / BMW helping out at my Father’s dealership where we would spend three or four days or more detailing vehicles, this included paint renovation, leather repair and restoration on both classic automobiles and Concours level vehicles. As well as his Jag collection back in the late 50's, which he used to enter in Concours d’élégance events (detailing to another level) and as such I’m used to a large number of high-end new and used cars. The one thing I learned (and still have that last 98% to learn, mind you) way back then still holds true today “ It’s the surface preparation that makes the difference, not the product”.

I try to write in a way that helps the reader to understand not only "How" to do something, but "Why" they are doing it, along with the technical, scientific facts and any chemical and other relevant information. I am also a regular contributor to Wikipedia encyclopaedia and a ‘ghost’ writer for various automotive publications. If you’ve read any of my forum posts / threads you'll already understand just what I mean. I only attempt to share well researched, validated information, not conjecture or opinion, but it is up to the individual as to what they choose to do with it. In the final analysis; it’s your vehicle, your hard earned money and ultimately - your choice

It was through these early interactions with car forum members that I began to see the same questions asked over and over again. To relieve myself of the repetition, I decided to create a series of articles covering the most frequently asked questions, which would help detailers reach an intelligent and logical understanding of the many chemicals, products and their application methodologies used in detailing and in a way that makes it relevant to them.

To be of real practical use; a subject like automotive detailing requires a great deal of research, and updating as new products become available. The advent of materials like neutralised acids for paint decontamination, the advances in polymer technologies and the use of vinyl wraps for automobile paint, finely milled micro abrasives suitable for the newer dense paints like CeramiClear® and the new nano-technology coatings are just a few examples of why it’s so important to monitor the industries new products, chemical technologies and ideas that are constantly being introduced, as are the techniques for applying them.

Unbiased information written by a detailer with extensive experience allied with a chemical technical background, without the need to meet corporate goals or sales quotas, requires a dynamic learning tool like a web based articles that can be revised, updated and re-issued on an as-needed basis. There is also a need for the ability to seek clarification or ask questions in 'real time'. Research others opinions and products, test them and then make an objective decision based upon factual information not marketing hype or brand loyalty.

I have always thought that the more facts and information you have at hand the easier it is to judge what information you are being given. After all, how can you fully understand and properly use any product unless you have all the facts?

With detailing advice you should always consider its source; the most valuable information comes from experienced detailers offering unbiased advice, a product vendor will of course recommend their own products, some detailers are vendor affiliates that are paid for product recommendations and some detailers work directly for product vendors.

This type of commercialism brings with it concerns of honesty and true representation. In other words, it’s difficult to know what is true when someone is motivated by income, i.e. directly targeted at product sales, more so than an unbiased opinion. Marketing has little if anything to do with the truth or what was really in the products

Professional or Neophyte detailer or even a Concours d’élégance entrant, or just someone who likes a well maintained and cared for automobile not only looks good but has a higher resale value when the time comes to sell it. Regardless of how neglected or soiled the vehicle has become you will find the methodology and products in these articles to restore that ‘as-new’ look again.

Always keep an open mind and I would also strongly suggest that you verify any information that I or anyone else shares with you. No one is trying to persuade you to use anything you don’t want; to if you found something that works for you use it. I’m only offering advice on what the manufacture claims for their product and what the contained chemicals are capable of. In the final analysis; it’s your vehicle, your hard earned money and ultimately - your choice

Having been involved in detailing some of the world’s finest classic and high-end exotic and luxury automobiles for five decades TOGWT® is the first place both Professional and Enthusiast detailer’s look to for an uncompromising level of unbiased technical and scientific knowledge. Working closely with the industry’s leading-edge product manufacturers from around the world means the best technology and product advice is available to enable you to care for your automobile.

Chances are you own a fine automobile, maybe even an expensive one and you want to give it the best care. Our harsh environment isn’t concerned with how fine an automobile you own, but these tips are mythologies are written for those who do. A well maintained and cared for automobile not only looks good, but it also has a higher resale value when the time comes to sell it. Regardless of how neglected or soiled the vehicle has become you will find the methodology and products in these articles to restore that ‘as-new’ look again.

Every week-end you’ll find people washing and cleaning their vehicles, some doing the bare minimum and some who find it therapeutic; washing away the stress of daily life (some have even called it their ‘golf’, in my case it a good job I can detail better than I play golf)

By using the right tools, methods and products, a simple car wash can be achieved in very little time; using very little water Optimum No Rinse (ONR) or Optimum Waterless Wash and a just detailed look with Quick Detailing (QD) For the person who wants a more thorough cleaning or the perfectionist you’ll find a range of products and methodologies to produce an ‘optically perfect shine’.

A detailer combines chemicals, equipment as well as a knowledge of 'vehicle surfaces, ‘chemicals’, refers to the cleaning and protection products used, ‘equipment,’ refers to the tools used, for example, random orbital polishers, high-speed rotary polishers, extractors and power washers, to name a few. ‘vehicle surfaces’, requires a basic understanding of chemistry and how to rejuvenate and protect each of the many and varied material surfaces, regardless of its specific surface composition making objectives observations based upon the results obtained, and adjusting the techniques used as necessary

You'll learn something about detailing if you read any of these; although these articles will not improve your detailing skills, lead to a successful business or change your life. Applying what you learn from it, however, will. That's where your commitment comes in - you need to make a commitment to yourself right now that you will take action on what you learn. If you learn something from these articles, please pass it along and "pay it forward".

Suggested reading -

Neophyte  detailer –“Detailing 101, the basics” and “Orbital Buffer or Rotary Polisher”

Concours d’élégance entrant – “Concours d’élégance Vehicle Preparation” "Automotive Leather Repair and Renovation", "Finessing the Finish"

Automotive Renovation and Restoration-  “Renovation and Restoration Automotive Headlights”, “Automotive Carpets Renovation and Restoration”, “Automotive Leather Upholstery Repair” and  “Renovation and Restoration and Wheel Surface Repair”
Hobbyist detailer – “Detailer’s Automotive Clay”, “Detailing Tips”, “Waterless and Rinseless Car washing”, “Foam Pads, Selection and Use”, “Orbital Buffer or Rotary Polisher” and “Environmental Pollutants” and “Using the Flex XC3401VRG Dual-Action Polisher”

Professional detailer – “Business Marketing”, Essentials for Starting a Business, “Becoming a Professional Detailer”, “Wet-Sanding (Colour Sanding)”, “Wool Pads”, “Rotary polisher usage tips” and "Using a Metabo® PE12-175 Rotary Polisher", "Automotive Leather Repair and Renovation"
Specialised subjects –“Detailing for the Physically Challenged”, “Exercises to Minimize or Prevent Back Pain”, “Personal Protective Equipment”, “The Health Risks of Detailing” and “Vehicle Condition and Resale Price”, Aircraft Detailing
Classic Car Renovation – Aluminium Surface Re-finishing and Painting”, “Automotive Leather 1 – Repair and Renovation”, “Interior Detailing”, “Odour, Smoke and Mould Removal”, “Paint Surface Problems-Correction”, “Polishing Paint (Surface Correction / Renovation)”, Polishing / Renovation of Various Metal Surfaces”, “Repairing / Renovation of Scratched or Curbed Wheels”, “Long Term (Winter) Vehicle Storage”
Specific material cleaning and care –I am asked questions on these subjects more than any of the others- “Automotive Leather Upholstery Care”, “Carpet Cleaning and Care”, Glass Cleaning Process”, Paint Surface Problems and Correction”, “Stain Identification and Removal”, "Automotive Leather Repair" and Renovation", “Removing Water Marks”and "Winter Vehicle Preparation / Driving", "Corrosion Prevention"
What should you use to protect your vehicle - “Polymers and Carnauba wax differences?” Crystalline Nanotechnology Coatings”, “Carnauba (Brasilia) Wax” or a “Car Covers-Selection, Care and Maintenance”

And there are many other subjects covered or perhaps an informative page overview like “Automotive Detailing; Inside and Out”, a knowledge base for the perfectionist, a 400 page A-Z encyclopaedia of detailing

In-depth Articles

[: extensive, thorough, or profound: an in-depth analysis of the subject]
The following series of articles will soon be available on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore and Google eBooks electronic reader systems and represent the most comprehensive, in-depth information on detailing available anywhere. I know there is a lot of great information already on some forums; and I hope these articles will keep these detailing resources growing

These in-depth articles cover the specifics of the subject to enable a better understanding; I try to write in a way that helps the reader to understand not only "How" to do something, but "Why" they are doing it, along with the technical, scientific facts along with any relevant chemical information, as well as some recommended products. with that in mind I probably respond with more detail than some think is necessary, but if you’ve read any of my forum posts / threads you'll already understand just what I mean. They range from between five (5) to sixty (60) pages, the average being fifteen (15)

The purpose of these articles is to show you various ways, utilizing various skills and experience levels, on how to retrieve the original or better appearance / finish to your vehicles bodywork and its interior and how to preserve and maintain it, along with product recommendations and there correct application methods. With constant advances in products and procedures, a standard published book would be out of date very quickly due to the publishing procedures and printing requirements.
List of Articles Available

1. A B C of UV Radiation

2. A Brief History of Automotive Detailing -

3. A Brief History of the GT Automobile

4. Acid, pH and Alkalinity -

5. Allow me to introduce myself

6. Aluminium Surface Re-finishing and Painting

7. Automotive Leather Repair and Renovation

8. Automotive Leather Upholstery Care / Maintenance

9. Automotive Paint Systems

10. Basic Soap and Detergent Chemistry

11. Becoming a Professional Detailer

12. Bird Excrement (Safe removal) -

13. Boat Detailing -

14. Business Marketing –

15. Car Care Product Vendors

16. Car Covers -

17. Carnauba (Brasília) Wax -

18. Carpet Cleaning - Carpet Cleaning

19. Clear Coat BC_CC Paint Systems

20. Complete Vehicle Valeting

21. Concours d’ elegance Vehicle Preparation Part 1 -

22. Connolly™ Leather

23. Convertible Top Detailing -

24. Copyright Intellectual Property -

25. Cross linking (Monocular) Bonds

26. Crystalline Nanotechnology Coatings

27. Detailer’s Automotive Clay -

28. Detailing 101 Basics - Detailing 101; Basics

29. Detailing Bay Lighting -

30. Detailing Chemical Identification

31. Detailing Defined -

32. Detailing Training Courses -

33. Detailing Chemicals Identification -

34. Detailing for the Physically Challenged –

35. Detailing Forums

36. Detailing Myth Buster (Lies, damn lies and folklore)

37. Detailing Tips -

38. Detailing Tools – Choosing an Air Compressor

39. Detailing Tools – Miscellaneous small tools

40. Detailing Tools – Miscellaneous large items

41. Detailing Training Courses

42. Diminishing Abrasives

43. Drying a Vehicles Paint Surface

44. Durability and Paint Beading

45. Eco Friendly(Green) Detailing - Eco Friendly Detailing

46. Emblem, Trim Moulding and Window Tint Removal-

47. Engine Bay Detailing -

48. Environmental Pollutants -

49. Exercises to Minimize or Prevent Back Pain -

50. Essentials for Starting a New Business -

51. Foam Pads, Selection and Use -

52. Frequently Asked Questions

53. Glass Cleaning Process –

54. Hard and Soft Paints –

55. Health Hazards of Detailing

56. How to make your vehicle worth more when you sell it

57. Industry Terms & Acronyms Definitions

58. Information Resources

59. Interior Detailing –

60. Isocyanate Clear Coat Paint

61. Klasse Acrylic Polymer System

62. Layering Wax and ‘Spit’ Shining

63. Leather Manufacture

64. Leather Tanning Process –

65. Light Reflectance

66. Menzerna Polishes - Menzerna Polishes

67. Micro fibre (Micofiber) Towels - Micro fibre Towels

68. Most Common Causes of Paint Surface Scratches

69. Motorcycle Detailing - Motorcycle Detailing

70. New Vehicle Care

71. Odour, Smoke and Mould Removal

72. Optically Perfect Shine

73. Orbital Buffer or Rotary Polisher –

74. Organic Solvents - Solvents used in detailing products

75. Organic Wax- It’s Origins – Waxes

76. Paint Chip Repair -

77. Paint Decontamination

78. Paint Film Thickness –

79. Paint Film Protection PPF

80. Paint Surface Preparation

81. Paint Surface Problems / Correction

82. Paint Surface Scratches (Cause & Effect) and Repair

83. Paint Thickness Gauge (PTG) –

84. Personal Protection (PPE) Equipment

85. Petroleum Distillates -

86. Polish and Compounds

87. Polishing Glass

88. Polishing Paint (Surface Correction / Renovation)

89. Polishing Various Metal Surfaces -

90. Pollen- Micro gametophutes -

91. Polymer – Polymerisation -Polymer:

92. Polymer - Carnauba wax differences –

93. Porter-Cable 7424 XP Random Orbital Buffer - Random Orbital Buffer

94. Potential of Hydrogen (pH) -

95. Product Directional Application Methods

96. Profile of a Professional Detailing

97. Professional Detailing

98. Questions & Answers

99. Quick Detailer (QD) - Quick Detailers (QD)

100. Removing Oxidation from Vehicle Headlights –

101. Removing ‘Water Marks' –

102. Repairing Scratched Alloy Wheels (Curb Rash) -

103. Rotary Usage Tips

104. Sacrificial (Paint) Protection

105. Selecting a Steam Vapour Cleaner –

106. Silicone - polymerized siloxanes –

107. Solvents Used in Detailing Products

108. Stain Identification and Removal

109. Science of Detailing, Technical Article Series Extracts

110. Timeline_ Automotive Paint Finishes

111. 'Touch less' Car Wash

112. Terms Used and their Meaning –

113. Tyre Cleaning and Care -

114. Using a Cyclo Rotary Polisher –

115. Using the Flex XC3401VRG Dual-Action Polisher

116. Using a Metabo PE12-175 Rotary Polisher

117. Using Acids for Cleaning - Using Acid Cleaners

118. Using Detailing Products

119. Vehicle Condition and its Resale Value

120. Vehicle Long Term Storage -

121. Vehicle Upholstery Cleaning and Care -

122. Vinyl-Plastic and Rubber Care

123. Washing a Vehicle Paint Surface -

124. Water (Purification) Filters

125. Waterless and Rinseless Car washing

126. Wax Application

127. Wet-Sanding (Colour-Sanding)

128. What Detailer’s should know and the Skills Required

129. Wheel Surface Cleaning

130. Wheel Wells and Undercarriage Cleaning

131. White and Light Colour Paint Detailing and Care

132. Winter Vehicle Preparation - Winterize your car

133. Wool Pads

134. Writing a Detailing Article

135. Zanio Show Car Products Application

136. Automotive Carpet Dyeing and Colour Restoration

137. Automotive Leather Repair and Renovation

138. Detailing Newly painted Vehicle

139. Prepare your Vehicle for Spring / Summer

140. Corrosion Prevention (Removing Road Salt)

141. Aircraft detailing

This list is constantly being added to and the aricles up-dated...

Other Publications

“Automotive Detailing; Inside and Out”, a knowledge base for the perfectionist, a 400 page A-Z encyclopaedia of detailing

Copyright © 2002-2011, TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved)

I have included some short extracts from the series of in-depth technical articles that make up the Art and Science of Detailing, these extracts don't  include the reference source listing that is included in the main articles; if this is required please advice and I will forward it

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Alfa-Romeo 8C 2900B

TOGWT, I love you're extensive technical/chemical knowledge on the subject matter. Been reading your insightful and important replies for years. Thanks.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Autopia Forum

Originally Posted by TOGWT

“Proper Finished Leather Cleaning and Care” -

I'm really enjoying reading your blog. I wish I had seen it before today.

I find your scientific approach to detailing really interesting
Location: Montreal, Canada

I am a detailer in northern ca. My name is Ben. You are the most informed person on detailing Ive ever read. Thank you for your in depth informative articles.
Ben Smith

Wow! I love threads like this. I need to just dedicate a full week just to sit down and read TOGWT's articles, lol. so much to learn. and lots of other info such as the griots cleaners and preps from other members too. thanks guys

Knoxville, TN
Autopia Form

After washing (and as TOGWT mentioned, pressure washers are a no no), we used an AeroShell polishing compound (it was pretty much a rocks-in-a-bottle compound with strong chemical cleaning action) either by hand or by rotary with an 8" wool pad.

We used extra soft bristled tooth brushes to remove polish/wax from around rivets. While this would be enough to make the average Autopian cringe, it was pretty much the only way to do it at the time.

TOGWT's above post is pretty much spot on, IMO. He's pretty well covered it.

Originally Posted by TOGWT

Their main food source in summer is mostly insects and seeds, in the winter/ spring it’s berries, which are very acidic, and if left for any length of time the will cause the porous clear coat to occlude (a non-transparent ‘clouded’ area) or may cause etching (a depression in the paint or glass surfaces)

Birds use gravel to help digest their food, predatory birds (owls, hawks, etc hunt and kill mice and small animals, so ground light weight bone fragments, sand and grit are some of the major components, which can cause scratching.

Avoid using a quick detailer (QD) spray or a sealant to flush residue, as they usually contain either carnauba wax or polymers, which will seal in the acid and not allow it to dissipate. Take your time and be careful with its removal, these acids should be removed as quickly as possible. If the affected paintwork is not neutralized any remaining acid residue will be reactivated by moisture and heat.

• Limonene (citrus-based) cleaner (P21S Total Auto Wash) will both emulsify and neutralize the acid or use an alkaline rinse of baking soda and water as soon as is practical is highly recommended.
Autopia Forum

Bird Excrement -

Great info!

i feel I'm becoming more smarter hanging around with G37 friends here haha~ its more like a science learning opportunity!
G37 Forum

It is always good to be acknowledged for the work you do - it is good that all our hard work over the years is beginning to pay off when articles like this are written by accepted voices of the industry.

Much praise

Professional Leather Care Consultant 
Technical Director and Resident Instructor LTT
Autopia Forum

I would just like to extend my thanks to you for consistently posting unbiased detailing information for the masses here and everywhere else you post. Someday I hope to have the chance to meet you and shake your hand with your extensive knowledge of the materials we work on and the products we use to clean, polish, degrease each substrate. Exactly how my grandpa taught me how to detail. Identify, Test, Use, Review, etc.
Blake S
NorthWest Auto Salon
Luxury4Play Forum

Originally Posted by TOGWT 
Detailing and Care of White / Silver Paint -

kick ass post on autopia.could not reitterate this combo enough. Collinite #845 Liquid Insulator Wax or #476s Super Doublecoat Auto Wax
super happy with them
CF Senior Member
Corvette Forum

Wow! Thanks. Any advice coming from you...I know it's the best.
Also, I've used color-plus products and own the conditioner oil. I toured their home office and met the family (husband & wife--nice people) who owns the company years ago when our BMW CCA chapter hosted a event there.

I'll be sure to get both of these products along with a professional masking tape to avoid scrubbing/rubbing wear on the seam which is adjacent to the stain.
Location: Davie, FL
BMW Forum

Another great read by TOGWT
Detailers World


I think it is great that you help educate people on these complicated issues. I agree with you that you should look for other sources than the manufacturers for information and that is the reason I do not usually get involved with forum discussions. That is why I never get involved in discussions relating to product performance.
David Ghodoussi
Autopia Forum

This is an "excellent" presentation!
I can not recommend enough, that everyone who truly wishes to understand the finishes they are so concerned about, take the time to read this, not once, not twice, but at least three times, then print it out and keep it for reference

Very, very fine presentation of real facts!
I commend you!
Ron Ketchum
Autopia Forum

First and foremost, this is a great thread and many thanks to Jon for taking the time to post and share some of his valuable information with the community: always a pleasure to read what he has to say. This is meant with no offense to any of the gentleman that I hold in high regard. Jon, Ron, Dr. G, etc all have great backgrounds and have likely done more for professional car care than I ever will.
Autopia Forum

Totally agree with above. If it's an obscure detailing question TOWGT usually has the answer.
BMW3 Series Forum

"You rock".
Thank you for all the post about leather care your knowledge is amazing!
6speedonline forum

As usual, your posts are great. This one though, was a revelation. Thanks for all the info, keep it coming. I always learn something from you
Autopia Forum

Location Seattle, Washington

Amazing! togwt has probably forgotten more about detailing than I will ever know!
Thank you for posting this!

Detailing Bliss
Location Oregon City, OR

Thank U for continuing to educate us in each and every aspect of car care

6speedonline Forum

Everything I've ever read that TOGWT has written about detailing and car care has been extremely accurate, understandable to owners, and are easy to implement with great results. Keep up the great work!

Bob Jones

Thank you TOGWT.....I’m honored.

I’m sure most of you have read "TOGWT"s replies in various threads, here and as well as other well known detailing forums. His threads are always concise, and very well constructed. His signature of "knowledge unshared is wasted" is provoking to say the least.
TOGWT is allowing to host some of his documents online, for all to view, on my website link called "Quick Tips". He will attempt to provide me with these valuable tips and information tidbits, at his convenience, upon which i will add to the Excel "Quick Tips" page. This will grow to an online reference source for all Acurazine members as well as detail enthusiasts.
I wanted to express my sincerest appreciation to Jon for allowing me this opportunity.

Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

Originally Posted by TOGWT - Black Chrome
Damn, I've now read 2 posts from you and I now know more new things about detailing than I could have imagined! Thanks for the professional advice.

My G37 Forum
Location: SoCal 90125

I've enjoyed TOGWT's posts for years and give the guy great respect for his knowledge.
If there ever is a Detailer's Hall of Fame, TOGWT should be the first member, he knows that much, and besides, he owns one of the most beautiful vehicles in the world, the Jag. XKE.
I'm just terribly envious!

Detailers World
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Hey TOGWT, I really enjoy reading your authoritative and informative information. Keep it up!

Bimmerfest Forum

Thank you so much for the effort to share so many good articles in detailing school. I have also read many of your article in detailing Wiki. I have been reading a lot on your articles but got to refer back from time to time to re-confirm and re-digest certain info. Is there by any chance do you have a compile version regarding detailing or even thought of making a e-book? It would be extremely handy and beneficial...

Detailing Bliss Forum

Hello have helped me so many times with your vast knowledge and expertise. I followed you direction and put the pinnacle wax over my zaino'd finish on my jet black BMW, and i must say it is stunning...I was wondering if I could now go over it with z-8 and then back over it with the sovereign? Thanks so much.

Detailing Bliss Forum

Superior write-up of how to put a Vette in storage, this is the best overall coverage of the topic that I've seen. Thanks!

CF Senior Member (Corvette Forum)

thank you this is what I was looking for outstanding

Lexus Owners Club

Hi togwt,
I'm a noob to Autopia, but have been a lurker for several months.
While all the threads and members are pretty great, there appear to be some who are more experienced than others and whose opinions seem to be based upon reality over perception to a greater degree. In a post last Jan. you stated :"I used polyester Micro fibre when they first came out (Pinnacle brand from Autogeek) and compared them with 100% cotton (DFTowel) micro fibre using an adaptation of “Dark field microscopy”, this did show micro scratches from both materials but far less for the cotton towels. Needless to say they have been * my * towel of choice ever since."
Which towels and source do you personally use? Thanks,

Mike (Mike_88Z51)

wow, that was exactly what i was looking for.. thanks very much TOGWT. have you done this personally? what were your results? close to brand new leather?

Autopia Forum

TOGWT, Please let me know if you obtain the melting point and polymer info from Collinite. I would really like to try it, but with 100 degree summers in Memphis, I remain concerned about durability.
Thanks for your informed and imminently logical posts.

Steve Anderson
slawinlaw (Autopia)

Dream Machines
Jedi Nuba Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Australia

Thanks TOGWT, you help us all out so much with your articles

Detailing Bliss

Thank you so much for the effort to share so many good articles in detailing school. I have also read many of your article in detailing Wiki. I have been reading a lot on your articles but got to refer back from time to time to re-confirm and re-digest certain info. Is there by any chance do you have a compile version regarding detailing or even thought of making a e-book? It would be extremely handy and beneficial...

Truth in Detailing

Glad to see you over here. All hobbyists and professionals alike can use the wealth of information you provide.

Truth in Detailing

Wow Jon, absolutely floored that you are here!!! You have SO MUCH information to share, I hope you will do this forum an honor (honour ) and share it for all!!!
Thanks for joining up!

Truth in Detailing

Welcome! Every time you post, I learn something... glad to see you made it here!

Location: Windsor, Ontario

Originally Posted by Solidsnake
This dude has an answer for everything, wow I'm impressed.
That dude, Jon, has a wealth of knowledge from many years of detailing and I have learned so much from him, as a lot of us have. I am grateful to him for participating in this forum so much. I appreciate his time and effort.

Originally Posted by PresidentialDetails
TOGWT welcome to luxury for play. I enjoy reading your stuff, hopefully others here will catch on to your vast amount of knowledge!!! thanks for joining.
Barry this is an understatement!!!!! Togwt has forgot more than we all know combined

Location: Central Illinois Join Date: Feb 2006

TOGWT, your information is always the most comprehensive and entirely relevant material vis-a-vis a given issue that i read anywhere on the web. Please keep it up and thanks for the effort.

Detailing Sponsor

hi there
I just wanted to say that every time you post something i read it, and study it. I often go to truth in detailing just to your writings. After 11 years I have this stuff down to a science, but you really give me the reason why things work and I love that. When your book comes out please tell me. I want a copy. Anyway thanks for all your knowledge.
Barry Theal

Ferrari Forum

Your post brightens my minds and i understand now about oxidation. Thanks for sharing this article.

Detailing Paradise

We would be honoured to have you as our resident expert in your field, and I am more than happy for you to promote your manual. It looks like it makes for some interesting reading!
Yours (lesser educated!) John

Flash Gordon
Senior Member

TOGWT you are a tremendous asset to Truth In Detailing. I have learned more from you then any other person on any other site. You are Tha Man

Hi, Sorry I don't know your first name, I just wanted to say thanks for all your very informative post!
I can't tell you how much I have learned over just the past couple of months from your posts.
Much thanks and have a great weekend.

Bob Ficucell @ Detail Dr.


Togwt, thanks for your ongoing posts of these awesome articles. I've learnt a lot from them & I always find them very informative & extremely helpful.
It would be wise if you could posts all your articles under one section, which either Nica (Carlos) or any admin/moderator can make a stickie; that way it will be easily accessible for reference.
Once again, thanks for your contributions &, please, keep up the good work!

Rickrack - Truth in Detailing

Very informative write-up Jon!
I really enjoy reading your posts. They are always filled with lots of useful information. Thanks for sharing it with us

Senior Member Autogeek

Originally Posted by TOGWT
These are both 'safe' to use (human contact or paint / trim etc) as FK1 are no longer using Oxalic acid
Jon, once again you are a treasure trove of very valuable information! Thank you!

Truth in Detailing

Great info! I agree with everything.

Johnny Quid
Detailing Bliss

As always TOGWT your advices are clear, concise and very useful.
Thank you very much.

Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

I am curious to see how the new IICRC training compares to the one i had years ago. The reason i signed up for the training was your posts. I put a lot of weight into what you have to say. you have given me some things to think about and research, so off to class i go.

Rennlist Member

Hi, I find your posts in the Concours and Car Care Forum very insightful and a real service to the P-car community. You often cite excerpts from your "Technical Detailing Papers". Would it be possible to obtain a copy of said papers, please. Many thanks in advance. /alex

Registered Member

TOGWT, just wanted to chime in and thank you for the detailed information you provide and in a way even I can understand. I seem to get a big "ah ha" when you explain things we have all wondered about........

Detailing Bliss

This could be the boble!
WOW! You really did your homework. This is an outstanding source of detailed information on the entire gamut of leather and leather care. It's well written, well researched and extremely informative, and worth the time it takes to read it. Thank you for the exceptional effort!

Dr. Bob
Detailing Bliss

This was posted here and has the most definitive answers to leather I have seen!
Also has a bunch of great other links. TOGWT™ Detailing Article Series DB Hyperlinks


Quote: Originally Posted by togwt - Automotive paint is porous, by using an acid salt solution on the paint surface the micro-fissures (‘pores’) are expanded by an exothermic reaction (heat is evolved when water and acid mix together) This releases ferrous particles and caustic compounds that have developed in the paint's subsurface means it agitates and loosens the particles allowing them to be rinsed away.

Hi Jon
thank you for the well chemistry process explanations.

Bimmerfest Forum
Location: Tennessee will do well (as well anyone else) to read and understand TOGWT's words. Follow his links and you will find that to follow his advise you must become educated in the essential science of the production of the products used to maintain you automobile. If you are lazy then you will just buy what is popular and recommend it based on the smell. If you really want to understand what products to use for the various details of maintaining your expensive car then this man is a wealth of knowledge. And not always does it cost an arm and a leg. Contrary, many (most) times his advise will save you money and time.

Truth in Detailing

Although this isn't exactly what you asked for it does help explain the differences when polishing different hardness paints - and

This and many other helpful articles were written by Jon Miller (aka TOGWT) and are available at The man is a walking encyclopaedia of detailing.

Bimmerfest forum

Originally Posted by TOGWT
See this article -
If you're not sure of the leather finish in your car see this article -

THANKS!!! You're the man. I read alot of your posts on leather care in this section too and I'm very appreciative of your knowledge, even it some of it's over my head

Detailing Bliss
Location: Memphis, TN ~ U.S.A.

Wow Jon, if you would've type out a couple more paragraphs you would've taken an entire page
Thanks for posting this info. I see threads all the time asking "How to become a Professional Detailer" now I have a link

Location: Oregon City, OR

Amazing! togwt has probably forgotten more about detailing than I will ever know!
Thank you for posting this!

Hello from Greg @ Detailed Image

First and foremost I just want to thank you for your positive contributions to this forum and detailing in general. It's always a pleasure to read your posts and learn something new.
Someone recently asked a question under the thread "Ask a Professional Detailer" about removing painted pin stripes. By any chance do you have a good write up on this process? Any input you have on the subject would be appreciated by me and the person who posted the question.
Thanks again for all your great posts and I look forward to see what you might have for this question.

MBWorld Fanatic!

Originally Posted by supo
I have 2006 SL500 base model. That's the kind of leather I have.
How's that saying go? You can give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. But teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever.
Follow TOGWT's easy how-to info and you'll be living large.

Shea's Luxury Detail

^^^^^^^+1TOGWT is here! Seen you before on DW. Welcome to the boards! Another detail guru! Your wealth of knowledge is sure to be more than welcome here. Welcome again.

Senior Member

Welcome! Good to see you here. I always enjoy your articles, they are very informative and I always learn something new from them.


RE: Science of Detailing
I've learned a lot from many of your posts - can you send be the url for “The Science of Detailing” articles to which you've referred. I think those articles would make for some great reading.

Detailing Bliss

Thanks Togwt for all the great and useful posts you make. I love reading the posts you make and they are very informative. So im just saying thanks and i hope you continue to do some of your posts.

Rennlist Member

TOGWT - Five decades....and your experience shines through. No one else provides the detail that you do. Thanks a million.

Dream Machines
Detailers World
Location: South Australia

Good on ya TOGWT. Your an excellent source of info for those in the game
Sticky paint can be overcome quite easily and as TOGWT explained, that is the main cause

Bimmerfest Forum

gotta hand it to togwt, he gets down into it on all his responses!

Dream Machines
Detailers World
Location: South Australia

I love you TOGWT. Another great article
This is the exact reason why I used Finish Kare Decon system and still use silicone removers from standox, glasurit etc prior to polishing
One ingredient in my own decon system gravitates into the pores and removes a tonne of impurities. It definately works as it is used prior to painting/blending in many crash shops

Mary S
Meguiar's Online Forum

TOGWT, I love the informative articles you post. May I ask how one would gain access to the Detailing Technical Papers library? I had no success trying to search the internet to find it.

Platinum Sponsor 6speedonline
Location: San Diego

^^I like this guy. I couldn't have said it better. I must say I have tried the products you have recommended and they work great. I grabbed some junk parts from our service department, used the polishing soap on some neglected parts and then also sprayed on the wheel cleaners. I let them sit in the sun for half a day with no etching.
Great input

Marine Blue
Rennlist Member

As always a very detailed reply and very helpful The comment about buying the brass version is especially important, it's the plastic parts of my Griot’s Foamer which are falling apart.

of AutoLavish Fame
Location: SE Michigan


You're one of the best voices in detailing education. I've learned a lot from some of your articles and the knowledge you help spread and I have a lot of respect for you and your opinions.

Rennlist Member
Location: GTA, Ontario

Ok.... that makes sense... You have obviously done this more than a few times. Thanks for a heaping of expertise.

Lamborghini Forum Senior Member
Posts: 3,585

^^^ wow.. a "Lambogenis"!


Luxury4Play Forum Gold Sponsor – Northwest

Much praise

I would just like to extend my thanks to you for consistently posting unbiased detailing information

for the masses here and everywhere else you post. Someday I hope to have the chance to meet you

and shake your hand with your extensive knowledge of the materials we work on and the products

we use to clean, polish, degrease each substrate. Exactly how my grandpa taught me how to detail.

Identify, Test, Use, Review, etc.

Happy Christmas to you, Jon and thanks for sharing your considerable knowledge with the rest of us. I've learned a lot from your posts. Jeff