• nld-uk

Detailing terms and what they mean (Part 1)

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

To someone that doesn't work in the detailing industry it can sound like we are talking a different language when discussing work required to a car or work that we have performed. Here we are going to list some of the terms and discuss what they mean in layman's terms.


What is alkaline and what does it mean to car cleaning? Well alkaline literally means the same here as what it did back in science classes in school. The opposite of acidic on the pH scale, it provides more aggressive cleaning than pH neutral cleaners to strip wax and contaminants but should not be so high on the scale that it risks damaging paintwork and surfaces.


It's fairly common practice in the detailing industry to

"bake" coatings, sealants and waxes with infrared

heat lamps to reduce the time for the application to "cure" or set. Not all coatings require this as some have a very fast "flash point" or are multi-layered. At NLD rather than curing our coatings with heat lamps we choose to have our studio temperature and humidity controlled with air conditioning to ensure consistant results.

Ceramic Coating

It's been around for quite a long time in the detailing industry both in the UK and USA, it's been around even longer in other industries providing a protective coating to surfaces, but we still get asked, "what is ceramic coating?". Ceramic coatings are a clear liquid ceramic which once applied to a surface and subjected to the atmosphere, "flash off" to leave a hard but completely clear layer bonded to the surface.

Clay Bar

The thought of rubbing a bar of clay against your car certainly sounds counter productive when you are trying to improve the look of your paintwork, however a lubricated clay bar works wonders to remove surface contamination and even paint overspray which cannot be removed with washing alone. This prepares the paintwork ready for polishing where the contamination would otherwise end up in the polishing pads and potentially cause damage.

Ceramic Pro

Our chosen choice of ceramic coating suppliers. Ceramic Pro is a series of revolutionary protective coatings that simultaneously protect and enhances the appearance of automotive paint and interior surfaces. Manufactured by Nanoshine LTD in Taiwan, at its core unique ceramic molecular compounds (nanoceramics) forming a solid coating.

Dwell Time

Dwell time is the time referred to after a cleaner is applied where it is allowed to take effect before it is removed. Many factors such as the environmental conditions, level of soiling, pH rating of product and more can affect the dwell time a product needs or how long it is safe to be left on the surface for.


What's the difference between a regular car wash and a decontamination wash I hear you ask? Well a decontamination wash requires extra steps to be performed to remove the more ingrained, baked in and stuck on contaminates such as tar and iron fall out and is generally performed before a paint correction is performed to ensure the surface is as clean as possible preventing further damage.


Enhancement is the first stage to a paint correction where the light swirl marks and scratches are removed. This is commonly referred to as a single stage for this very reason and will in many cases bring back the majority of the gloss to a cars paintwork, however deeper scratches and imperfections may not be corrected with just this stage if a true mirror finish is desired.

There is an A to E of detailing terms however there are lots more to cover. We will be covering those in a future blog so come back soon for more.

If you would like to get in contact with us about our products or services drop us a call on 01455 377 141 or email us at contact@newlookdetailing.co.uk

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