Sunday, 26 July 2015

Mould (Mold) Remediation

Stachybotrys Chartarum [: fungi that grow in the form of multi- cellular filaments, called hyphae] [1]

[Many moulds can begin growing at 4 °C (39 °F), the temperature within a typical refrigerator, or less. When conditions do not enable growth, moulds may remain alive in a dormant state depending on the species, within a large range of temperatures before they die. The many different meld species vary enormously in their tolerance to temperature and humidity extremes. Certain moulds can survive harsh conditions such as the snow-covered soils of Antarctica, refrigeration, highly acidic solvents, and even petroleum products such as jet fuel. Xerophilic moulds use the humidity in the air as their only water source; other moulds need more moisture. Mold has a musty odor.] [1]

Mould in vehicle interiors is unfortunately more common than you would imagine. Although car manufacturers do their best to keep water and even moisture from getting into your vehicle, over time, seals wear out and eventually will start to allow water ingress, or something as simple as forgetting to roll up your windows or closing the sunroof during a rain storm

Without identifying and eliminating the source of the mould you can't get rid of it, there are many Counteractant type products that only mask odours; what you need to do is remove, clean and thoroughly dry the whole area; carpets, and any padding or under-carpet materials, upholstery (inc foam and etc) that is affected, including the headliner and metal floor pan (don’t forget to clean/replace the cabin air filter). 

Just like mould and mildew contamination in other areas, you cannot wash or shampoo it away. This only exasperates the problem. Mould is a form of fungus which forms anywhere there’s moisture trapped in the air, and is spread by releasing millions of tiny spores into the air. You cannot see the spores but you may be able to see moulds, grey, green or black in colour, growing on damp surfaces.

Dirt and moisture are essential to mildew propagation, which is very difficult to eradicate as mould uses enzymes to digest nutrients from organic materials, the mould forms on top of the material and also down into its fibres leaving circular or black spots in an irregular pattern. Mould / mildew needs to be neutralized as it will not dissipate without treatment as the spores are still present and moisture will regenerate them

There are hundreds of thousands of types of mould, but only about ten types cause health problems, commonly sinusitis, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions, as well as allergies. I would strongly recommend you wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) safety glasses, respirators; etc inhalation of mould could be very detrimental to your health and can cause an allergic reaction

There are many Counteractants products that only mask odours; what you need to do is remove and clean and disinfect the whole area; carpets, upholstery (including the upholstery foam and etc) that is affected, including the headliner and metal floor pan. Don’t forget to clean/replace the cabin air filter.

Remove the seats and thoroughly clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner and a disinfectant. Then let it air dry, or use a heater to ensure that they are completely dry. To neutralize mould use 10:1 Distiller water / (non-chlorine) bleach solution, use a syringe to inject solution into seating foam, you may need to remove and replace the carpet padding.

Test the solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it will not remove the dye. Some carpet cleaning solutions also contain a fungicide

Bactoshield- is an all in one safe antimicrobial dry cleaner, stain blocker and deodoriser for carpets -

Sporicidin® Enzyme Mold Stain Cleaner - concentrate is a blend of enzymes in a low foaming solution formulated to loosen and remove dried debris, protein, blood and mucin deposits. It effectively cleans both natural and synthetic fibres that have been soiled with organic and inorganic debris. Ideal for use as a pre-cleaner for mould remediation, and restoration applications
Clean the carpet using a steam extractor’s upholstery attachment, this will eliminate the bacteria that create mildew, ensure the carpets and upholstery is thoroughly dry before you re-install the seats

Microban Mildew & Mold Remover - an environmentally-safe, anti-microbial formula that destroys mould, mildew, and other bacterial odours on contact, when you cannot use chlorine The formula is a water-based, non-flammable bactericide, fungicide, deodorant and anti-microbial, all in one unique formulation

It eliminates the spores instantly, and has a long-lasting, residual effect. It may be sprayed by hand on any surface, or injected into carpet and upholstery padding with our hypodermic syringe. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved for both spray and fogging applications (cannot be shipped to CA)

Leather Upholstery – Leather Master’s Mold Remover (N-Nubuck / Alcantara®) (A-Aniline / Non-Coated) (P-Protected / Coated) you may notice dark or white blotches where two areas of the leather touch or areas not used.

If the contamination is not removed, the fungus will dissolve the leather, forming small pits. Just like mould and mildew contamination in other areas, you cannot wash or shampoo it away. This only makes the problem worse. The fungus is caused by living organisms that must be killed before the leather is cleaned. This product is effective on most forms of bacterial or fungus growth.

Carpets, Mats and Fabric and Vinyl covered upholstery Microban Mildew & Mold Remover is an environmentally-safe, anti-microbial formula that destroys mould, mildew, and other bacterial odours on contact. When you cannot use chlorine, Microban is a very effective solution. The formula is a water-based, non-flammable bactericide, fungicide, deodorant and anti-microbial, all in one formulation (Don't neglect to treat the underlay)

Application - do not dilute, use full strength, apply via sprayer to porous surfaces until moist, no not over wet, brush into carpeting, allow to dry 10-20 minutes. Due to VOC Regulations Microban cannot ship to California

The presence of bacteria and mould in vehicle interiors

Dr. Charles P. Gerba and Sheri L. Maxwell set out to test the presence of bacteria and mould in vehicle interiors. There were 100 vehicles involved in the test in the states of Illinois, Arizona, Florida, California and Washington, D.C., to provide a good cross-section of climatic conditions across the country. 

The following lists some of the results of their testing’s. “Testing for bacteria and mold” by Dr Charles P Gerba and Sheri L Maxwell (Professional Carwashing & Detailing – July 2009)

Most germs present:
1.        Radio knob
1.        Seat belt
2.        Window opener
3.        Steering wheel
4.        Car seat

Places with most Staphylococcus Aureus (most common form of Staph infections:
1.        Steering wheel
2.        Seat belt
3.        Cup holder
4.        Dash board
5.        Window opener

Most mould spores:
1.        Cup holder
2.        Food spills
3.        Change holder
4.        Dash board 
5.        Steering wheel

Cities with the most bacteria in vehicles (from a select sample):
1.        Tucson, AZ
2.        Oakland/Pleasanton, CA
3.        Chicago
4.        Washington, D.C.
5.        Tampa, FL

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Protection from Potential Health Hazards
1.        Warning: Always use ground fault protection interruption (GFPI) when using any electrical device around water
2.        Eye Protection: I would strongly advise the wearing of safety glasses or visor when operating any machine polisher.
3.        Ear Protection; the constant pitch of a polishing machine could affect your hearing so wearing ear plugs would be wise to protect you from hearing loss.
4.        Hand Protection; Gloves- with the verity of chemicals a detailer uses on a daily basis wearing chemical-resistant gloves resist penetration and permeation, and will provide protection against dermatitis and chemical burns. Gloves can provide protection, but they must be chosen with care, the proper selection matched to the hazard is critical. Chemical-resistant gloves resist penetration and permeation, and cam protect against dermatitis, chemical burns and corrosion.
5.        Respiratory Protection (N95): Materials such as aluminium oxide (Aluminium oxide is on EPA's TRI list if it is a fibrous form) or silicon carbide (Nuisance particulate-Accumulation in lungs) used in polishes and compounds, and powdered fillers (Crystalline silica poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis) and Isocyanate clear coat residue represent a hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress. Use  a NIOSH-approved half face respirator equipped with a combination filter cartridge should be worn while using them
6.        Consult the current 3M Respiratory Selection Guide for additional information or call 1-800-243-4630 for 3M technical assistance.
7.        Material Safety Data Sheets:  Use a ring binder or other filing system to ensure the appropriate MSDS is always available to identify hazardous substances
8.        Work Hygienic Practices: Rinse cloves under running water before removing them
9.        Protect yourself, work safe. As in all things, allow common sense to prevail and proceed with due caution

Information resources:
1.        Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation, published by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) also contains valuable information
2.        The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides free brochures to anyone who asks.
3.        The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and a few other organizations can be considered unbiased and reliable sources.
4.        The National Institute of Safety & Health (NIOSH) is also an excellent source of unbiased information.

Protect yourself, work safe. Respiratory Protection; mould spores represent a health hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress so wear Respiratory Protection. Consult the current 3M Respiratory Selection Guide for additional information or call 1-800-243-4630 for 3M technical assistance hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress. As in all things, allow common sense to prevail and proceed with due caution

Professional detailers – as your you’re dealing with health-related issues,  bear in mind that we are living in a litigious society, so document the process / procedures used on this type of remediation.

Related Articles

1.        “Allergen, Odour and Germ removal Systems” -

2.        Odour Elimination” -

Friday, 24 July 2015

A Brief History of Leather

Primitive people, who lived during the Ice Age some 500,000 years ago, were likely the first to use the skins of animals to protect their bodies from the elements. Just as leather today is a by-product, our ancient ancestor’s hunted animals primarily for food, but once they had eaten the meat, they would clean the skin by scraping off the flesh and then sling it over their shoulders as a crude form of a coat. They also made footwear to protect their bare feet from rocks and thorns by taking smaller pieces of animal skin made to fit loosely over the foot and tied at the ankle with thin strips of skin or even vines.

The main problem that primitive man encountered was that after a relatively short time the skins decayed and rotted away. With his limited knowledge and experience, primitive man had no idea how to preserve these hides. As centuries passed it was noticed that several things could slow down the decay of leather. If the skins were stretched out and allowed to dry in the sun, it made them stiff and hard but they lasted much longer. Various oily substances were then rubbed into the skins to soften them. 

As time passed, it was eventually discovered that the bark of certain trees contained "tannin" or tannic acid which could be used to convert raw skins into what we recognize today as leather.
It is quite hard to substantiate chronologically at exactly what time this tanning method materialized, but the famous "Iceman" dating from at least 5,000 BC discovered in the Italian Alps several years ago, was clothed in very durable leather. Taking a look at the system and tools that were once used to work leather. We immediately discover that from Palaeolithic times, almost to the present day, the processes and tools remained almost unchanged, gaining only in efficiency and comfort

Leather tanning is without a doubt one of the oldest human activities.  In the beginning, skins obtained from hunting and livestock breeding could be used for clothing or tents, but they became stiff at low temperatures, while they rotted with heat.  It was probably then that attempts were made to render them more flexible and stronger by rubbing in animal fats, the first rudimental tanning process is mentioned in Assyrian texts and in Homers Iliad.       

 Another process was smoking, which almost certainly started by accident, and which later became formaldehyde tanning, as this substance is found in the vapours produced by burning green leaves and branches. It was soon discovered that the rotting process could also be stopped by drying, carried out by exposure to the sun or by the dehydrating action of salt. Vegetable tanning was also known in very ancient times although it is not clear how the tanning action of the tannin contained in the bark of some plants (especially oak) was discovered. Another method known since the earliest times is tanning, based on the use of alum, a mineral which is fairly widespread in nature, particularly in volcanic areas.      

These methods, which gradually became more refined and efficient, allowed skins to be used in the ancient world and continued to do so for century after century up to the present day.  That the use of these techniques was widespread is witnessed by numerous written documents and paintings as well as archaeological finds.  In Mesopotamia between the fifth and the third millennium B.C., for example, the Sumerians used skins for long dresses and diadems for ladies. The Assyrians used leather for footwear but also for liquid containers and as inflated floats for rafts.  

The ancient Indian civilization first processed the type of leather known as the "Morocco" today.
In recorded history, pieces of leather dating from 1300 B.C. have been found in Egypt. Primitive societies in Europe, Asia and North America all developed the technique of turning skins into leather goods independently of one another. The Greeks were using leather garments in the age of the Homeric heroes (circa 1200 B.C.) and the use of leather later spread throughout the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, the Chinese knew the art of making leather.

North American Indians - also had developed great skills in leather work, they took the ashes from their campfires, put water on them and soaked the skins in this solution. In a few weeks the hair and bits of flesh came off, leaving only the raw hide. This tanning method, which used a solution of hemlock and oak bark, took about three months to complete after which the leather was worked by hand to make the hide soft and pliable.

The Making of Leather
The tanning of leather was used by mankind in numerous geographical areas throughout the early periods of human civilization; the first rudimental tanning process is mentioned in Assyrian texts and in Homers Iliad. As certain leather characteristics began to emerge, men realized leather could be used for many purposes besides footwear and clothing. The uses and importance of leather increased greatly. For example, it was discovered that water would keep fresh and cool in a leather bag. It was also found suitable for such other items as tents, beds, rugs, carpet, armour and harnesses.

An early Nubian predynastic grave has revealed a leather vessel at the head of the occupant where a pottery one would normally be expected.

Ancient Egypt - one of the most developed civilizations in this early period, valued leather as an important item of trade. The Egyptians made leather, the historian, Strabo, tells of an interesting use developed by Phoenicians who made water pipes from it. They also made sandals, belts, bags, shields, harness, cushions and chair seats from tanned skins. Many of these items are in fact still made from leather today. The Egyptians also achieved considerable skill in processing leather, which they used for clothing (even for gloves), tools, and arms or simply for ornament.  

The historian, Strabo, tells of an interesting use developed by Phoenicians who made water pipes from it.  During Roman times, leather was widely used in all the provinces of the empire, and more efficient tanning techniques were introduced where they had not been developed locally.

The Hittites - one of the oldest civilizations in Anatolia, which is known as the leather production centre since the very old times, developed the art of tannery with aluminium during their civilization's brightest period between the years 2000-1200 B.C. These lands were rich in aluminium compounds and vegetal dressing pelts, and that made it possible for the tannery process to be completed under perfect conditions. During the excavations in Bogazkoy and Alisar, leather pieces were found in a boy's grave belongs to year 2800 B.C. The Hittites used gallnut and alum as dressing pelts in leather works.

Greeks and Romans - used leather to make many different styles of sandals, boots and shoes, when the Roman legions marched in conquest across Europe, they were well attired in leather by wetting the leather and forming it to the warrior’s body forming armour and leather capes. In fact, right up until the early 18th century, the shield carried by the ordinary soldier was more likely to be made of leather than metal.

The ancient Greeks refer to eight basic guilds of artisans, which included both shoemakers and tanners. Although tanning was originally a cottage trade, the Greeks had full-time professional tanners who were at first employed in leather processing establishments and became independent some time later. The barks of conifers and alder were used as tannin sources and so were the peel of the pomegranate, sumac leaves, walnut, cups of acorns as well as an Egyptian heritage - mimosa bark.

The Greeks were also familiar with alum tanning and it appears they knew something about tanning with fish oil. The types of leathers used were as diversified as the end users. Homer refers to the use of cowhide, goat and weasel leather by the Greeks.

A tannery was uncovered amid the ruins of Pompeii and the same equipment of the kind still in use for centuries thereafter was found in it. The edict issued by the Roman emperor Diocletian which fixed ceiling prices for all kinds of goods and services included skins and leather prepared from goats, sheep, lambs, hyenas, deer, wild sheep, wolves, martens, beaver, bears, jackals, seals, leopards and lions. 

Under the edict, cowhide was even classified according to groups and qualities. The Romans used leather both for footwear and clothing and for making shields and harnesses.  A complete tannery in the famous ash-preserved ruins of Pompeii was unearthed in 1873.

In the 8th century Spain, then under the dominion of the Moors, we have the development of the production of "Cordovan", thanks to important progress in tanning, a type of leather famous throughout Europe for centuries. That skill in leather tanning was not a prerogative of the western world as recounted by Marco Polo. In his "Travels" he tells us that the Mongols used leather flasks, covers, masks, and caps, decorated artistically, and it was him who coined the expression "Russia Leather" to indicate a type with a characteristic fragrance.   
 A considerable improvement in processing techniques occurred in the 12th century with the result being that between then and the last century, there were no substantial changes to tanning systems.  Even oil tanning was used to produce protective garments while tawing was widespread although the results were not always satisfactory. Often, finishing operations were carried out to improve the malleability of the leather and improve its appearance, especially by dyeing.  The products, though essentially practical, also met decorative requirements.

 Middle Ages
As we move into the middle ages, leather continued to increase in popularity. By far the cleverest craftsmen with leather in medieval times were the Arabs. The Moors developed remarkable skill primarily in the preparation of beautiful goatskin still known as morocco leather after the country of its origin. In fact the description 'genuine morocco' is still very highly regarded today, particularly in the manufacture of small leather goods.

Medieval England - ancient Britons had many uses for leather from footwear, clothing and leather bags, to articles of warfare. The hulls of the early boats, known as coracles, were also covered in leather. Through the centuries leather manufacture expanded steadily and by mediaeval times most towns and villages had a tannery, situated on the local stream or river, which they used as a source of water for processing and as a source of power for their water wheel driven machines

All kinds of containers were made from leather, such as sword cases and dagger sheaths, box coverings and water bottles, many of them beautifully decorated by punching and incising. Leather was also a favourite medium for decorative art. Leather was used to cover books. In those days, when the horse was the principal means of transport, saddler and harness making were important uses of leather.

Britain has been the home of leather vessels for longer and in higher numbers than anywhere else in history and their existence has become quintessentially British. In the fourteenth century, for instance, leather was being used in combination with wood in chairs, arm-chairs, and settles with craftsmanship that reached the levels of an art-form.  

This was also the case later on with tapestries (especially in Venice in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries) with chests and cases, and of course, with book bindings, perhaps the most lasting and refined use of the material.  Going back to tanning techniques, it is more or less in the Middle Ages that the depilating action of quick lime was discovered, a technique which is still valid and normally used today.       
 A radical shake-up was provided in the middle of the last century with the discovery of the tanning power of chrome salts which led to a drastic improvement in production and was applied in practice in industrial production towards the end of the century.  Another revolutionary element was the substitution of the tanning pit with the rotating drum, along with the discovery of new types of tannins.

The Black Jack`s name is derived from the materials used in its construction. Leather that has been soaked in hot water and dried is known as Jack leather. The same source can be attributed to the name for German Jackboots and Medieval Arming Jacks. This is also the origin of the modern word for jacket. Jacks were originally black because the black material used to line the inside, was used on the outside of the vessel thus colouring it.

In the early 1900s, the brown leather flight jackets worn by aviators and members of the military, commonly called "bomber jackets", were prized for their comfort and durability. The jacket was often part of an overall uniform ensemble meant to protect fliers from exposure to the extreme climate conditions found at high altitude, and sometimes incorporated sheepskin, using the intact fleece on the inside for warmth.

Modern Day
Until the later part of the 19th century, there were relatively few changes in the methods used to produce leather. In fact, the process had changed very little in over 200 years. However, the industrial revolution did not bypass tanning - one of the oldest and most basic forms of manufacturing. Science was quickly introduced to the art and craft of leather making. As a result of all these innovations, the time required for tanning was shortened incredibly from eight months to a year, to a period of a few days today.

A wider range of dyestuffs, synthetic tanning agents and oils were introduced. Together with precision machinery, these changes and continued innovations to the present day have combined to make tanning into a viable, modern manufacturing industry.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Engine Bay Detailing

Many vehicle owners wonder if washing an engine bay is a necessity due to the inherent risk involved. We have all heard the tales of damage caused by engine washing. The fact is that modern engines are made to be water resistant, weather-tight connectors, distributor-less ignitions and newer gasket technology, the water sensitive devices are well protected and will easily resist frequent washing; however care should be taken when using a pressure washer or hose.


I would recommend wearing a pair of latex cloves while working on the engine compartment. Road grime, tar and grease are very difficult to remove from underneath your fingernails. Outside of the garage your hands shouldn't look like you need lessons in personal grooming.

Permatex® Disposable Nitrile Gloves are made from a 100% synthetic rubber that provides superior resistance to a wide range of solvents and hazardous chemicals. Nitrile gloves are suitable for users with natural rubber latex sensitivity. They feature textured fingers that provide a secure grip on dirty parts and tools. These gloves are lightly powdered, which makes them easier to put on and take off. When superior chemical resistance is required, these disposable gloves provide mechanics with ideal heavy-duty hand protection. Excellent protection from greases, oil, diesel fuel, acids and many petroleum-based products

Disposal of Aqueous Solutions

One should never assume that aqueous solutions can be disposed of down the drain. Your local water treatment authority or publicly owned treatment works will have information on treatment and disposal of these cleaners. Adjustment of pH and dilution are usually required before disposal to a drain.

Do not use a solvent based product for engine compartment detailing as solvents have a low flash point and could start a flash fire in the engine, solvents also deteriorates and expands rubber, which may have a detrimental effect on belts and hoses.

Protection of Electrical Components

Avoid the [I cleaned engine and now it won't start] scenario by covering electrical / electronic and various other parts prior to using any cleaning products, sprays or water. If you’re unsure either protect with a covering and /or use WD-40 water repellent

The most important electrical components are sealed to be ‘water resistant’ or splash proof to resist water ingress that is to say against low pressure, water splashing upwards from the road that is encountered in the course of daily driving conditions, despite their coverings they are not ‘waterproof’. Rain or water splashed up into the engine is at very low pressure, very different from a pressurised hose or steam

Allow the engine to cool down; cold water on a hot engine will cause thermal shock, which could cause the block to fracture. Allow the engine to run while you are using a water spray. Then leave it running for approx five minutes after you are finished spraying.  This allows any water that remains to evaporate with the heat from combustion
As long as you use common sense by avoiding a direct strong stream of water (or a pressure washer / steamer at close range) directly into these components, you will be fine.

·         Alternator
·         Alarm Housing
·         Intercooler
·         Battery terminals (if not covered already)
·         Induction kit cone (if you have one)
·         Coil packs
·         Electronic control units (ECU)
·         GM Opti-Spark Distributor
·         On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)  port
·         Air intake systems (exposed air filters) can be covered with plastic wrap and a rubber band
·         Avoid getting water in the spark plug recesses or the dip-stick opening (seal with foil)
1.        This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it marque specific, if in doubt use a water repellent (WD-40) and exercise common sense
2.        Use cling-film and then tin foil for the alternator, alarm housing etc as the foil is easier to mould and has greater protection properties. I suggest you use a plastic bag for the induction kit and just wrap it tight over the end to stop any water ingress.
3.        For the intercooler the best way to cover is to get a flat sheet of cardboard and just cut it to size so it fits and covers the fins. Cardboard will normally protect the fins for the duration of the washing. It will get soaked so discard after the wash.
4.        If you are uncertain of how to proceed on something not included here; talk with somebody who has marque /model /year specific knowledge.

Electronic Control Unit (ECU)
Disconnecting the battery will cause the radio pre-sets and the seat position memory to be lost (disconnect ground first then live terminal). Once the battery is re-connected (live first and then ground terminal) the engine control unit (ECU) will reset automatically; this is a good thing to do occasionally anyway.

Modern ECUs use a microprocessor which can process the inputs from the engine sensors in real time. An electronic control unit contains the hardware and software (firmware). The hardware consists of electronic components on a printed circuit board (PCB), ceramic substrate or a thin laminate substrate. The main component on this circuit board is a microcontroller chip (CPU). 

The software is stored in the microcontroller or other chips on the PCB, typically in EPROMs or flash memory so the CPU can be re-programmed by uploading updated code or replacing chips. This is also referred to as an (electronic) Engine Management System (EMS).

Cleaning Methodology

1.        Do not open the hood while the wiper arms are in an up position; the result could be a cracked windshield
2.        Work on a warm engine, if it’s hot; allow it to cool down (cold water on a hot engines casting may cause it to fracture)
3.        Remove any excess debris, leaves and etc from the hood, grille or air-vent openings
4.        Spray electrical connectors with WD40 which repels moisture / water (avoid spraying on belts)
5.        Use cling-film or Saran wrap elastic covers to cover any sensors, electrical black boxes, electrical devises that could cause an electrical short-circuits if subjected to water spray.
6.        This will not guarantee that you won’t cause a problem when cleaning an engine bay but it will greatly reduce the risks.
7.        An emphasis on a warm engine as (heat) reactivity will accelerate the strength of the cleaner and it can cause much more harm than good.
8.        Start and run the engine to get it warm, not hot, this will enable the de-greaser to work more efficiently on a warm surface.
9.        Unless you have leaking fluids, you shouldn't need an aggressive degreaser or a high-pressure washer / steamer.
10.     Apply a de-greaser or an all purpose cleaner (P21S®® Total Auto Wash or Optimum Power Clean All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser) or a solvent free, water based cleaner (Wurth Engine Cleaner and Degreaser or Simple Green® Aircraft & Precision Cleaner, for cleaning engines, aircraft, vehicles and equipment. most of these engines don't really need the use of harsh degreasers. These product is safe for painted surfaces, gel coat, aluminium, carbon fibre and other composite materials) by lightly spraying the lower parts of the engine first and then working upwards.

11.     Enable the cleaner to work by allowing remain in place time (but do not allow to completely dry) or to remain on painted surfaces, and be sure to dilute with water before drying with a cloth.
12.     For heavily soiled areas agitate with a nylon engine cleaning brush and a undiluted   cleaner  or degreaser (Wurth Engine Cleaner and Degreaser or Optimum Power Clean All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser)
13.     When the grease and grime is dissolved and you're ready to remove it, spray with a light (garden type) fan-spray pattern pressure water an hose and then agitate with a Mini E-Z Detail Brush.
14.     To shine aluminium engine block / parts use # 0000 synthetic bronze wool and a metal polish, English Custom Polishing – ECP

15.     Use the blower side of a vacuum (avoid area that may be sensitive to a forced air flow) or allow the engine compartment to air dry and then thoroughly wipe down all accessible surfaces
16.     Make sure you have removed the cling-film, aluminium foil or saran wrap and all other products used to cover or protect sensitive parts from the engine bay. Start the engine and let is run for at least 1 – 2 minutes to help dry some of the water. Be careful touching the vehicle after because it can get hot fast.
17.     Then finish drying anything that may need it.
18.     When everything is dry apply a vinyl/rubber protection to hoses, shields and wires, and wipe engine parts with Autoglym Vinyl & Rubber Care  or 303™ Aerospace Protectant
19.     Clean hard plastic and protect with 1z Plastik Reiniger
20.     Wipe off any excess with a clean cloth and apply a wipe on, walk away Clear Sealant (Zaino Clear Seal Z-CS) or a spray wax protection to all painted surfaces.
21.     Remove all component coverings that you’ve applied
22.     Turn on the engine and allow it to run for about five minutes to heat up; this should dry any remaining water 

CliffNotes Version

1.        Warm up the engine
2.        Cover water sensitive components
3.        Apply a mild degreaser and agitate
4.        Rinse away residue
5.        Remove any applied component protection (cling film, foil, etc)
6.        Apply protection to rubber / vinyl parts
7.        Start and allow engine to warm up and dry engine bay

Cast Aluminium surfaces

The best methods for Concours cleaning of cast aluminium is by bead blasting, but if you just need to clean use an acidic cleaner. Do not use a strong alkali as it will cause carbon spots that are very difficult, if not impossible to remove.
·         Thoroughly de-grease the surfaces using Optimum Power Clean ™ and then rinse with clean water
·         Clean surfaces with P21S Polishing Soap or Total Auto Wash
·         Using a brass wire brush and Optimum Metal Polish scrub the aluminium surfaces
·         Thoroughly rinse with clean water and then dry
·         Use a polymer clear coating (Z-8 Grand Finale™ Spray Seal)

Safe Degreaser

Modern engines do not require a harsh degreaser, if you want to safely degrease your vehicles engine bay, Optimum Power Clean or Wurth Citrus Degreaser are both excellent choices. Environmentally safe product that can also clean your paint, wheels, tires, engine bay, wheel wells, trim and etc The strong cleaning agents break down bug smear, road grime, brake dust, dirt, etc. Optimum Power Clean is also a great value because you can dilute it 3:1 with distilled water or use it full strength.

1.        Apply a vinyl dressing to hoses etc (no diethyl silicone fluid based dressings (DS) should be applied in the engine compartment. Use only water based Polydimethylsiloxane (PDS) dressings and do not directly spray on to engine parts, spray a cloth and wipe contains no Clean Air Act Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) nor is it a RCRA hazardous waste in and of itself when disposed.
2.        Aluminium -remove any surface oil / grease etc, polish the part, spray on a coat of VHT FlameProof clear coat, and allow to dry- Caswell Inc.

Quick Engine Cleaning
·         Mix up some ONR (QD strength i.e. 8 oz per gallon) in a spray bottle or a garden pest pump spray
·         You’ll need a few small brushes and old terry cloth towels.
·         Use a pre-cleaner solution, 10:1 distilled hot water/ P21S® Total Auto Wash
·         Spray the engine and let the solution remain in place for a few minutes. 
·         Agitate with brushes to loosen road dirt, oil and grime as needed.
·         Re-spray with ONR solution, then wipe dry.
·         Start engine and let it run until completely dry.
·         Use Iz einszett Gummipflege or CD-2 for all hoses etc.

Note - Do not direct spray to any sensitive electrical components (see “Protection of Electrical Components for details)

Spray on Optimums Heavy Duty Degreaser and allow to dwell and then with a water hose or power washer hose radiator to remove road dirt and grime.  To clean off insects and bugs simply spray on Iz einszett Anti-Insekt, allow to work for 3 minutes then hose off to remove debris.  Iz einszett Anti-Insekt contains special cleaners which loosens insects and grime from paintwork, chrome, glass, rubber and plastic gently and safely without harsh chemical solvents. 

Formula does not contain enzymes, which can irritate skin, is biodegradable, formalin-free, and environmentally safe. For stubborn carcasses use a soft radiator brush that won't damage the fins

Always be willing to learn; because the more you learn, the more you’ll realize what you don’t know. It is said that knowledge is power, with the caveat that it includes access to a reliable information sources. I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professional’s alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.

I hope these articles are informative. They are based on the current status of technical development as well as my experience with the products.

By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.

I would appreciate it if you would share these articles as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.

As always if you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer; bear in mind the only stupid questions is the one that was unasked. Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated

Copyright © 2002 - 2015 TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved