Author: Quality Revealed

DYI vs. Professional Ceramic Coating

DYI vs. Professional Ceramic Coating

We know lots of car enthusiasts like to tinker with their cars and will perform a lot of work themselves. Many will even handle their own maintenance washes and minor at-home detailing. While it is certainly possible to apply a ceramic coating to a car by yourself, it might not be the best idea. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of doing a DIY ceramic coating compared to using a professional shop.

DYI Ceramic Coating

To get a better understanding of what’s involved in a do-it-yourself ceramic coating application we will first briefly review the ceramic coating process. Before even getting to apply the actual ceramic coating a do-it-yourselfer must be able to perform the below steps. Note: this is not intended to be a guide on how to perform the ceramic coating process!

  1. Thorough 2-bucket wash
  2. Decontamination – Usually, this process involves a hand wash, iron removal, rinse, and clay bar decontamination.
  3. Paint correction – The current condition of the paint will determine how much or little paint correction is needed. Most vehicles will need at least a 2 stage paint correction. A 2 stage paint correction involves a cutting polish to remove light swirl marks and a finishing polish to restore depth and shine.
  4. Prepare for coating – To prepare for the coating application and to get the best bonding usually the car is wiped with an isopropyl alcohol type solution. Sometimes this is referred to as an IPA wipe. The IPA wipe will make sure all the oils are removed from the polishing phase leaving the car ready for the actual ceramic coating.

After completing the above steps, the car is ready for the ceramic coating application. The process will vary slightly between coating manufacturers. Generally, the process is to evenly apply the coating using a microsuede cloth and foam block while trying to keep the coating as level as possible. The excess coating will then be wiped away and after the car is complete a silica spray is used to help the coating set and protect the car while it cures. With a better understanding of the work involved in applying a ceramic coating lets take a look at some of the pros and cons of doing it yourself.

Do-it-yourself Pros

  • Cost – it is significantly cheaper to do-it-yourself (assuming you don’t do any damage during the process).
  • Satisfaction – if working on cars is one of your hobbies and you have the time and skill to perform the ceramic coating process, the end result can be very satisfying.
  • Attention to detail – There is no one that cares about your car as much as you. If you are a skilled detailer you will be able to spend as much time on every step of the process as you’d like.

Do-it-yourself Cons

  • Time – There is a lot of effort that goes into applying a ceramic coating and it is a lengthy process, even for detailers that have done these hundreds of time.
  • Quality – There is definitely a learning curve to paint correction. If this is your first time performing any of the steps, the results simply will not be as good as using a professional shop.
  • Damage – Related to quality, it is possible to damage your vehicle – especially during the paint correction.
  • Tools – To correctly perform the ceramic coating and paint correction process you will need lots of tools and products. If you don’t already have these you could end up spending as much money on equipment as it would cost to have a professional perform the service.

Professional Ceramic Coating

Using a professional detail shop to perform the ceramic coating can be a lot less stressful and get you a high-quality result. Now we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of using a professional detail shop for the ceramic coating process.

Detail Shop Pros

  • Quality – If you use a reputable detail shop, you can almost be guaranteed the outcome is going to be excellent.
  • Time – Professional shops can often turn around the vehicle much faster than a do-it-yourselfer
  • Warranty – Many ceramic coatings come with a warranty when installed and maintained by a professional detail shop
  • Overlap savings – If you are also getting a clear bra there can often be some savings to get the coating and clear bra installed at the same time due to an overlap in the process.

Detail Shop Cons

  • Cost – A professional shop will cost quite a bit more than a do-it-yourself ceramic coating.

For the majority of people, it will make sense to use a professional detail shop instead of the do-it-yourself approach. Do-it-yourself should be skilled in paint correction and have a bit of detail work under their belt before attempting to perform this service. If you are looking to give it a try, we suggest starting with a vehicle where you won’t be too upset with a subpar outcome. We’ve also included a video below that shows the ceramic coating process in greater detail.

How to Choose a Detail Shop

How to Choose a Detail Shop

There can be a lot of options when looking for a car detail shop near you, making it difficult to pick the right one. Many people often choose the closet or cheapest detailer but can be disappointed in the results. There are many factors to consider when trying to find the best car detail shop. In this post, we will walk you through the main things we look for – quality, pricing, and convenience.

Car Detail Shop Quality

To us, the quality of work is the most important part of choosing the best car detail shop. But, it is important to balance the quality of the shop with your individual needs. For example, it probably is not necessary to take the family minivan to a detail shop that primarily focuses on high-end exotic cars. Let’s take a look at how you get a sense of the quality of the detail shop.

  • Detail shop reviews – A great place to start is with online reviews. A shop that does not care about their online reputation is a major red flag. When evaluating a shop take a look at their recent reviews especially ones where the reviewer purchased the same service you are looking for.
  • Past examples – Most shops will have before and after photos on their website to help you visualize their capabilities.
  • Talk to the shop – One of the best ways to get a better idea of the detail shop’s quality is to call or visit the shop and talk with the owner and employees. Most reputable shops will be happy to walk you through their process, different levels of service, and answer any questions you may have.

Car Detail Pricing

Once you’ve narrowed your search to a few shops that meet your quality needs, it is time to start looking at the detail shop’s pricing. Each shop will have slightly different packages and names for their detail services. They may also have differing opinions on the level of service you need. To compare pricing, you will want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples as much as possible. For example, if shop A is more expensive and going to perform a multistage paint correction but shop B is cheaper and is only planning on a quick polish it does not make sense to directly compare their prices. Also, it is OK to be transparent if you find a shop that you love but they are a few hundred dollars more expensive than another shop you considering, give your preferred shop a call and see if they have any deals or promotions to win your business.


Most people think of convenience as the location of the shop, but there are other factors that are part of the convenience. Depending on the service you are looking to get done, many shops offer mobile detailing services. Mobile detailing services can be great, especially for a simple service like a maintenance wash. Another convenience factor to consider is how quickly the detail shop will be able to start work on your vehicle. If you have a brand new car and you are looking to get a ceramic coating or clear bra on it quickly, you might not be willing to wait a week or two if a shop is backed up. The last piece of convenience we like to look at is the time it takes to perform the work. You don’t want to choose the fastest shop but you also don’t want to have your car sitting at the shop idle for a week. Talk to the shop owner and make sure you are both on the same page regarding timelines.

Conclusion – Finding the Best Detail Shop Near You

Overall, finding the best car detail shop near you isn’t too difficult. With a little time spent upfront, you can make sure you are making the best decision.

Levels of Paint Correction

Levels of Paint Correction

What is a Paint Correction

Paint correction is a service performed by auto detailing shops to remove imperfections in the paint. For example, a paint correction would try to fix swirls, scratches, water spots, etching, and many other defects. It is a labor-intensive process with many steps that lead can lead to near perfect paint. A paint correction is often a required first step before a car is able to be protected by a ceramic coating. Below we will take a deeper look at paint correction benefits, how to determine if your car needs a paint correction, and paint correction cost.

Paint Correction Benefits

The overall benefit of a paint correction is to restore the paint, often to the best condition possible. Here’s a breakdown of some of the main paint correction benefits.

  • Reduced spiderwebbing
  • Leveled paint
  • Reduced paint orange peel
  • Improved clarity
  • Added color depth
  • Water spot removal
  • Etching removal

Paint Correction Process

Every detail shop will have a slightly different approach to paint correction. In general, the process will usually follow the steps below. Be aware you want to use the least amount of wet sanding and compounding as possible to achieve your paint goals as there is a limited amount of paint and clear coat on your vehicle that you can cut into. A good deatiler with work you to balance the longevity of the paint along with your correction goals.

  1. Inspection & consultation – In this step, a detailer will inspect the vehicle and talk to the owner about their goals with the paint correction and set proper expectations. The level of paint correction needed will vary for each car depending on current paint condition, budget, and desired outcome.
  2. Two-bucket wash – Most paint corrections will start with a detail wash or two-bucket wash. This is a thorough wash that will help the detailer get a better idea of the paint’s condition and prepare the car for the decontamination stage.
  3. Decontamination – At a minimum, this step usually involves clay barring the car to remove stubborn surface contaminants. It is also common and we recommend iron removal during the decontamination phase. The goal is to remove as many rough, gritty contaminants as possible so that they are not ground into the paint during the later steps (compounding and polishing). The clay barring is usually done by spraying a lubricant on the vehicle and then rubbing a clay bar across the paint.
  4. Wet sanding (if needed) – Many cars will not need this step. Wet sanding is used to remove heavy imperfections or level paint. It is only performed on specific areas that need it. For example, heavy scratches, orange peel paint, or spots that require paint leveling are candidates for wet sanding. The process involves using lubricated automotive sandpaper to remove some of the clear coat imperfections which are later buffed and polished.
  5. Compounding (if needed) – Compounding is pretty common in a paint correction and more vehicles will need it than wet sanding. The amount of clear coat left on the paint and the depth or severity of the imperfections will be taken into account to determine if compounding is needed. Compounding can be thought of as a much gentler version of wet sanding. Instead of sandpaper, an abrasive compound is used with an electric buffer/polisher. There are many compounds with different levels of abrasiveness that can be used depending on the state of the paint.
  6. Polishing – The polishing step is used to bring out the high gloss and shine of the paint. This is used to remove light swirling and fix any abrasions from the compounding stage.
  7. Sealant – The final step of the paint correction process is to seal the vehicle to protect the paint. Traditionally, this was usually done with a premium car wax. Today, a ceramic coating is often recommended as the best way to seal and protect the paint correction. Ceramic coatings provide more benefits and last much longer. You can read more about ceramic coatings here.

Does My Car Need a Paint Correction?

Determining whether or not your car needs a paint correction can be a tricky question to answer. Let’s look at a few common situations below.

Are you planning to get a ceramic coating?

If you are looking to get a ceramic coating and the vehicle isn’t brand new, you’ll probably need a paint correction. Ceramic coatings can be thought of as semi-permanent or in some cases permanent so you want to make sure your car looks its best before investing in the coating.

Does your paint have significant spiderwebbing, etching, or is starting to fade?

If your car is starting to visually deteriorate and any of the above apply it might be time to invest in a paint correction. Stopping the problem before it gets too bad and sealing the paint is a great way to restore and preserve your vehicle!

Is your car any of the following: exotic, high-end, a collector’s car, special heirloom, or a historic vehicle?

If the car is significantly more valuable than your average car (sentimental value counts too) it might be a good idea to invest in a paint correction and ceramic coating. Keeping the car in top-notch condition will help maintain the value, especially in the car collecting world where a few imperfections can drastically change the value.

Are you planning to show your car?

If you have a show car, you probably don’t need to be asking us if you need a paint correction. Chances are you already got one or will be getting one soon – show cars need to be looking perfect all the time!

Paint Correction Costs

The costs of a paint correction are directly related to the amount or level of paint correction needed. Generally we see paint correction prices ranging from $500 – $2,500. The low-end of the range would probably look like a detail wash with light polishing and a wax. The high-end of the range would typically include chemical and mechanical decontamination, wet sanding, multistage polishing, ceramic coating, and an interior detail.

Maintenance Car Wash Routine

Maintenance Car Wash Routine

A proper maintenance car wash routine is an important part of keeping your car’s paint in great shape. Cars with ceramic coatings can be a bit quicker and easier to wash. However, our maintenance wash process is the same whether or not the vehicle has a ceramic coating. The goal of a maintenance wash is to keep the car looking as good as possible between detail washes without spending tons of time or breaking the bank. Here’s a look at our preferred maintenance wash routine and a few of the products we like.

2-Bucket Wash Process

To avoid smearing dirt across the vehicle, we think a two-bucket wash is a must. The two-bucket method simply uses a separate wash bucket (with soap) and a rinse bucket (with water). After each section of the car is cleaned, the wash mitt is first dipped into the rinse bucket before being loaded up with suds. Here are the steps for our typical two-bucket wash.

  1. Wheels first – The wheels are usually the dirtiest part of the car which is why we like to hit them first. To begin, give them a good rinse using either a pressure washer or garden hose with a jet nozzle. Next, spray the tires with a rubber cleaner and give them a quick scrub with a tire brush. After cleaning the rubber, spray a generous amount of wheel cleaner and use an EZ detail brush to remove all the dirt and brake dust from the barrel of the wheel. To finish the wheel, give it a good rinse and repeat the process on the remaining wheels.
  2. Rinse – Now that the wheels are clean, give the car a good rinse. Make sure to use high pressure on areas with lots of dirt or particles stuck to the paint.
  3. Foam gun (Optional) – If you have a foam gun it’s time to cover the vehicle in foam. We like to start with the top the vehicle and work toward the bottom. We like to think of the foam as a lubricant for our cleaning with a wash mitt, so we don’t rinse it off the car before the next step.
  4. Hand wash – With the car already covered in foam it’s time to get the wash mitt, soap bucket, and rinse bucket out. Starting at the top of the car and working toward the bottom load the mitt up with soapy suds and work in sections, rinsing and reloading the mitt as needed. We prefer to start at the top because most of the dirt tends to be at the bottom and we want to avoid grinding any grit into the paint.
  5. Rinse – A quick rinse using light pressure (ex. shower setting on an adjustable hose nozzle).
  6. Dry – There are a few options to drying. Either first blow the vehicle with a blower to remove the majority of the water or use large waffle weave towels. Next, using a drying aid and high-quality microfiber towel to remove any water spots and add a nice shine.
  7. Wheels – To finish this wheels, we like to use a microfiber and dry them while removing any dirt that wasn’t picked up in step 1.
  8. Finishing Details – In this step it’s time to wrap up the maintenance wash and hit any of the final details. Tire dressing, glass, mirrors, and door jambs are all little details that you don’t want to forget!

Maintenance Wash Tips

Here are a few tips to consider when performing a maintenance wash.

  • To avoid water spots, perform the wash in the shade and preferably cooler weather.
  • Use high-quality microfiber towels and wash mitts to keep from scratching the paint.
  • Have dedicated microfiber towels for different parts of the car (ex. wheels, paint, interior).
  • Don’t use too much pressure – let the cleaning products do the work!
  • Use a high-quality car shampoo, not dish soap – especially if your car does not have a ceramic coating.

Wash Products

High-quality wash products are an important part of a maintenance car wash. Below you’ll find a list of some of the products we like to use.

Why You Should Live Within Your Means

Why You Should Live Within Your Means

With more and more people today are focused on obtaining material objects instead of freedom. Think about how much time people are spending doing things they do not want to do in order to have things that they don’t need. In this article, we’ll explore why we think it makes sense to live within your means and a few tips on how to start.

What Does It Mean To Live Within Your Means?

Everyone has a slightly different definition of living your means. To us, it means to enjoy life as much as possible without sacrificing your long-term freedom. Let’s break that down a bit more to understand what long-term freedom is. Long-term freedom is the ability to do what you want while maintaining your quality of living. This could be retirement for some or working for others but either way, it is life without the necessity of a paycheck. To earn your long-term freedom, you want to be allocating your spare income toward saving and investing instead of material expenses.

How Do You Live Within Your Means?

Living within your means does not mean taking away all the fun in life. It simply means removing unnecessary expenses that do not provide a long-term benefit. As Seneca said, “Slavery resides under marble and gold.” Here are a few tips that can help you cut out unnecessary spending so that you can live within your means.

  • If you are making a significant purchase ask yourself “Why am I buying this?”. You want to make sure purchases are for the right reason. For example, are you buying that brand new Mercedes because you are an enthusiast that loves the brand or are you buying it because you think it enhances your image? Regardless of whether or not you can afford it, you want to be buying things for the right reason.
  • Living within your means isn’t only about money, it’s also about time. It’s great to have goals and push yourself but avoid work for the sake of working.
  • Sometimes a mindset shift is needed. If you find yourself having thoughts like “I’ll be happy once I have a beach house” it might be time for a mindset change. As Epictetus said, “Freedom isn’t secured by filling up on your heart’s desires but by removing your desire.”

Where Do I Start?

It’s important to understand that this isn’t easy or a switch that you can suddenly flip. With all the social media and marketing in the world, we are being conditioned to spend. Here are a few tips to help you change your mindset.

  • Realize that social media is a highlight reel. People are posting what they want you to see which can be quite different than their day to day life.
  • Examine your life and possessions, ask yourself “What is this really costing me?”, you might be surprised by some of the hidden costs.
  • Set your freedom goal. Figure out what freedom means to you and begin to build a plan around obtaining that. It is much easier to obtain something when you have a clear definition of what that something is.
  • Separate your personal value from the monetary value of the possessions that you own. That Rolex or Ferrari does not make you any different, there is nothing wrong with having nice things but do not chase them to patch your self-worth.
  • Understand this is a long-term goal and it will take conscious effort over many years to obtain and that’s okay. The fun is always in the journey, not the end result.

If there is only one thing to take away from this article – don’t work for possessions, work hard for freedom.

The Best Foam Gun For A Garden Hose And Car Wash

The Best Foam Gun For A Garden Hose And Car Wash

Don’t have a high-pressure washer but still looking for the extra suds from a foam gun when washing your car? No need to worry, as long as your garden hose has decent water pressure Gilmour’s Foamaster II will give you most of the same benefits at a fraction of the price. In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of using a foam gun, how to use them, and why we think the Foammaster II is the best garden hose foam gun.

Foam Gun Benefits

As we have mentioned in some of our previous posts, washing a car is all about providing lubrication between the wash mitt and the paint. Foam guns provide a quick and easy way to coat the car with the sudsy foam lubrication from the car shampoo. Typically, foam guns are used with high-pressure wash systems which professional detailers use but we managed to find one that attaches to a garden hose and works surprisingly well. The foam gun is also great for covering hard to reach areas like the wheels and wheel wells. Even though you may not be able to scrub back there just applying the soap and rinsing helps remove some of the build-ups.

How To Use A Foam Gun

The Gilmour Foamaster II is very easy to use. The foam gun comes with a screw on attachment to your garden hose, the fluid reservoir, and the foam sprayer. The foam sprayer has a quick disconnect attachment to switch between water and foam quickly. To use this for a car wash, we fill the reservoir with car shampoo – we use enough to have 3/4 inch – 1 inch of the container filled. Next, twist on the foam sprayer top and connect the foam gun to your garden hose. The foam sprayer has a dial setting with 5 different levels, labeled “A” through “E”. The “A” setting is the lightest and “D” or “E” seems to give us the best foam production.

Foam Gun Car Washing Tips

  • Don’t mix the car soap/shampoo with water, just pour it into the container.
  • When foaming the car, spray the top first and work toward the bottom last.
  • Use enough soap, you don’t want to have to add more part way through.
  • Hold the container upright when spraying for maximum foam.
  • Spray the wheels and tires with soap.
  • Use the “D” or “E” setting on the foam sprayer.

If you’re looking to improve your wash without spending tons of cash on a high-pressure wash system, make sure to check out the Foamaster II on Amazon. Also, if you need help with finding the best car wash mitt checkout our recommendation.

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter (2017) Takeaways

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter (2017) Takeaways

The Oracle of Omaha has recently shared his 2017 annual letter and just like recent years, it is filled with wisdom. Here are some of our favorite lines from his letter, you can read the entire letter on Berkshire Hathaway’s site found here.

Our Favorites From Buffett’s 2017 Annual Letter

  • “Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut.”
  • “It is insane to risk what you have and need in order to obtain what you don’t need”
  • “In America, equity investors have the wind at their back.”
  • “In the short run, the market is a voting machine, in the long run, however, it becomes a weighing machine.”
  • “Investing is an activity in which consumption today is foregone in an attempt to allow greater consumption at a later date. “Risk” is the probability that this objective won’t be attained.”
  • Kipling’s if –
    • If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs
    • If you can wait and not be tired by waiting
    • If you can think – and not make thought your aim
    • If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
    • Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it

Our Takeaways

Buffett’s letter always serves as a good reminder to come back to the underlying value despite all the market noise. It also helps us to stay grounded, with all the leverage and derivative products we find too many people are chasing things they don’t need. Lastly, it is important to have conviction in the positions we hold and understand our risk tolerance. If you enjoyed this, you might like Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders which is a compilation of Warren’s unedited annual letters.

Best Garden Hose For Everyday Use

Best Garden Hose For Everyday Use

Are you tired of dealing with a hose that is always kinked and looking for the best garden hose (with a reasonable budget)? Garden hoses are one of those products where spending slightly more can save you a lot of headache and money in the long run. We’ve found cheap hoses to kink and burst open more often than a high-quality rubber hose. The time savings alone from having fewer kinks makes the upgraded hose worth it!

In a hurry and just want our recommendation on the best garden hose? We like the Craftsman 50′ Rubber Garden Hose from Amazon.

What Makes The Best Garden Hose?

Let’s take a look at what we considered when looking for the best garden hose.

  1. Relatively affordable, we understand price and quality tend to be related but at a certain price point, it makes sense to pick a cheaper and replaceable option. Our budget was $1 per foot of hose length.
  2. Easily obtainable, we want our selection to be available regardless of location.
  3. Long lasting, we’ve all had hoses that last less than 2 years. We want a minimum of 5 years out of our garden hose.
  4. Kink resistant, the amount of kinking a hose has is often related to how easy it is coil when you’re done. The easier it is to coil, the more likely it is to kink. We think the rubber used in the Craftsman 50′ Rubber Garden Hose is the right balance.
  5. Warranty, the Craftsman hose comes up with a lifetime warranty. The details are included with the hose but Craftsman is known for having a fast and easy warranty process.

Why We Think The Craftsman Rubber Garden Hose Is The Best

We think the best garden hose is the Craftsman rubber garden hose. It hits on all of our all of our requirements.

  1. It’s relatively affordable the 50-foot rubber hose and the 100-foot rubber hose are both less than a dollar per foot.
  2. You don’t have to go to a specialty store or site to find this hose. It’s available at Amazon, Ace Hardware, Sears, and many other retailers.
  3. Rubber hoses are designed to be more durable and last longer than the typical garden hose. Your average garden hose is made of vinyl and reinforced with a radial cord – these are prone to kinking, cracking, and splitting.
  4. The Craftsman rubber garden hose is sturdier than a lightweight, flexible garden hose. It does take a little more force to maneuver but overall the durability and fewer kinks are worth it.
  5. As we mentioned above, Craftsman has a nice warranty program and this hose comes with the longest warranty period you can get – lifetime.

What’s The Best Hose Length

When it comes to hoses, bigger isn’t always better. However, we like to err on the side of slightly too large than too small. There is nothing worse than having to straighten your entire garden hose to reach all the areas of you’re working on. Our general rule is to look at the max distance you want to extend your hose to and add about 20% – 30% to it. For example, if you will typically be extending your hose to 25 – 30 feet, we’d recommend a 50-foot garden hose.

Get yours here Craftsman 50′ Rubber Garden Hose or the longer 100-foot Craftsman Rubber Hose (Amazon).

Weekend Wash – Top 10 Car Wash Supplies

Weekend Wash – Top 10 Car Wash Supplies

Want a little extra shine out of that weekend car wash? Our top 10 car wash supply list will get your car looking showroom ready without breaking the bank! Or if you’re feeling lazy, this car wash kit from Adam’s is a pretty good start.

Top 10 Car Wash Supplies

  1. Microfiber Wash Mitt / Wash Pad


    • A high-quality microfiber wash mitt is essential for anyone serious about taking care of their vehicles.Using the wrong mitt can leave your car with swirling and scratches in the paint. The mitt is one area you don’t want to cheap out on. We recommend the  2-pack Premium CYCLONE Korean Microfiber Wash Mitt and Huge 10″ x 10″ CYCLONE 10X Wash Pad by THE RAG COMPANY. You can read more about why we think this is The Best Car Wash Mitt & Pad.
  2. Adam’s Car Shampoo


    • Car shampoo is all about suds, lubrication, and water spots. This shampoo is great for all 3 – cleaning power, it doesn’t scratch, and it’s water spot resistant.
  3. Wash and Rinse Buckets (2-Bucket Wash)


    • The two bucket car wash method is a must. It is the simplest change you can make to your car washing process to achieve some of the best results. If you are using one bucket, then you’re smearing your grit across your paint causing swirl marks and marring.
  4. Waffle Weave Drying Towels


    • Similar to using a high-quality wash mitt (see #1), waffle weave drying towels are designed to remove water quickly and without scratching. The faster you are able to dry the car, the less likely you are to have water spots.
  5. Microfiber Towels


    • After removing all the majority of water with a waffle towel, we like to use a drying aid (see #6) and a microfiber towel to give the car a bit of protection and shine. We love these microfiber towels from THE RAG COMPANY.
  6. Optimum Car Wax (Drying Aid)


    • It’s tough to dry a car and avoid spotting, especially in the heat of summer. We use Optimum Car Wax as a drying aid leaving us with a nice shine and no water spots. After removing most of the water with waffle weave towels, we work panel by panel using a few squirts of Optimum Car Wax and wiping it down with a microfiber towel.
  7. EZ Detail Brush


    • Ever wondered how car detailers clean the barrel or inside of the wheel? Their secret is a brush like this – the EZ Detail Brush makes it easy to clean wheels, wheel wells, and exhaust.
  8. Car Pro Perl (Rubber/Plastic Protectant)


    • Car Pro Perl leaves your tires looking new but not wet. It’ll restore that deep black color to your rubber without giving you all wet shine.
  9. Chemical Guys Foam Block (Dressing Applicator)


    • We use these foam blocks from The Chemical Guys to help us apply Perl to our tires. The foam blocks are great, a quick rinse with the hose after each use and they are ready for your next car wash!
  10. Adam’s Wheel Cleaner


    • The wheels are usually the direst part of the car, filled with brake dust and grit. A few squirts of Adam’s Wheel Cleaner before getting in their with your EZ Detail Brush makes this process quick.

Now that you’ve got the top products, make sure you aren’t committing any of the Top 10 Car Wash Mistakes.

Why You Need A Foam Roller And Some Balls

Why You Need A Foam Roller And Some Balls

We all sit too much and develop some overly tight muscles that need a foam roller. Kelly Starrett, the famous physical therapist, author, and speaker calls this “Death By Desk” in his books Deskbound and Becoming A Supple Leopard. When we sit for extended periods of time, our muscles continually contract and shorten. Essentially we are locking ourselves into this poor posture.

Some of the most common places you’ll need a foam roller to help release are the hips, shoulders, and upper back. The good news is once you are armed with a foam roller and some balls you can spend a few minutes each day reversing your tight muscles and fixing your posture problems. When we say balls we mean high-density foam balls like these foam balls from Amazon. However, once you start attacking your tight muscles you might realize you need the other kind of balls too – it can hurt!

After buying your foam roller and foam massage balls you’ll want to learn how to loosen some of the tightest muscles. We really like this book by Kelly Starrett, Becoming A Supple Leopard. Kelly also has some great videos on YouTube like the one shown below.

Tight Muscle Gear

Here’s a quick checklist of all the gear we recommend to get started reversing your tight muscles and fixing your posture.

  • High-density foam roller – You’ll definitely need a foam roller to get started. Foam rollers can be found incredibly cheap on Amazon and brand does not matter.
  • Foam massage balls – We are a bit pickier on the foam balls we recommend. These foam balls we have found to be the best bang for your buck and you get 3 different sizes to be able to target different muscles.
  • Becoming A Supple Leopard – You don’t necessarily need a book to get started, especially with all the foam rolling guides on YouTube. But, if you are serious about fixing your posture Kelly’s book is The Bible of stretching and foam rolling exercises.
  • Resistance band (exercise band) – As you get more advanced you’ll want to incorporate some additional resistance into your stretching routine and a cheap resistance band is a great addition.

Example Stretching / Release Video