What is the status of my order?
All orders are shipped from our warehouse within one business day of purchase, unless we have contacted you and specified otherwise. You can check on the status of your order by visiting the Order Status page. If you have an account with us, you can also log in to your My Account page to review and track your orders. We also created a page outlining exactly what happens after you place your order to ensure that it arrives safely at your doorstep.
I am unable to check out. What do I do?
If you are having trouble submitting payment, please contact your bank to ensure that you are using a valid payment method. If you are paying with PayPal funds, please check their Help Center for payment help. You might also want to try attempting your purchase in a different web browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc) or on a different computer or device. If you are still unable to check out or if you're having other difficulties checking out, please fill out the contact form on our contact page and we will be in touch with you shortly.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept payment via credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Venmo.
Credit cards accepted include MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover. This includes prepaid gift cards with the MasterCard, VISA, American Express, or Discover logo on them.
If you select PayPal during checkout you'll also have the option of paying with PayPal Credit. PayPal Credit offers no payments and no interest on purchases of $99 or more when paid in full within 6 months. Visit the PayPal Credit website for full details.
Please note that some orders may be restricted to PayPal as the only payment option to ensure that the order meets the requirements of PayPal's Seller Protection.
What is PayPal Credit?
With PayPal Credit you can finance your Detailed Image purchase. To use PayPal credit, select PayPal during checkout and then select PayPal Credit as your payment method. Visit the PayPal Credit website to learn about current promotional offers available with PayPal Checkout.
Below is the current promotional offer from PayPal:
Do you accept prepaid gift cards?
Yes, we accept prepaid gift cards with the MasterCard, VISA, American Express, or Discover logo on them.
If you're unable to get your prepaid gift card to work, try selecting PayPal as your payment method and entering your prepaid gift card on the PayPal website.
If you're still having trouble getting it to work, please visit the PayPal Prepaid Gift Card page for more information on why your card is potentially being declined.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes, visit our Gift Certificates page for more information.
I have a gift certificate that covers the full value of my purchase. How do I complete the order without paying?
After applying your gift certificate on the Checkout page the payment methods will be replaced with a Gift Certificate button that you can select to bypass having to enter any payment information for your order.
Can I order over the phone?
We would highly recommend placing an order online instead of over the phone.
If you place an order over the phone we process your order on our website the exact same way that you would. Our website meets high industry security standards and for your security we don't have any access to your credit card information when you place an order online, keeping your information as secure as possible.
If you would still prefer to place an order over the phone you can contact us at 518-861-8811 between the hours of 9 - 4 EST Monday - Friday. If you miss us on the phone please leave a detailed voicemail with your name, number and the best time to reach you.
Do you offer wholesale pricing for businesses?
Yes! If you're a professional detailer or a reseller, our Wholesale program can offer you discounted prices on your detailing supplies. To learn more, visit our Wholesale page.
How do I return an item?
Visit our Returns page for instructions on how to make a return. In general, we accept most unopened and unused product returns within 30 days of purchase. If you are looking to return a tool or have warranty work performed, please visit our Tool Returns page for more information.
How do I return a tool (buffer, polisher, steamer, extractor, etc)?
We are happy to help you coordinate service directly with the manufacturer of your tool, however Detailed Image does not accept the return of any tool or machine at this time. Please visit our Tool Returns page for more information on Tool Returns and for all manufacturer contact information/policies.
My tool (buffer, polisher, steamer, extractor, etc) stopped working. Who do I contact for warranty work?
Each manufacturer has specific guidelines that need to be followed to help you resolve any issues in a timely manner. Most manufacturers have set up warranty and repair centers that have specialists to help ensure your tool will be working great again. Please visit our Tool Returns page for more information on Tool Returns and for all manufacturer contact information/policies.
Why do some items ship directly from the manufacturer?
A small select number of items ship to our customers directly from the manufacturer instead of shipping from Detailed Image. Generally these are very heavy or large items that we are unable to ship safely. When you have one of these items in your shopping cart you'll notice a separate shipping charge on the checkout page specifically for these items. These items are not eligible for coupon codes, however coupon codes can be applied to the remainder of your order.
After your purchase we will contact the manufacturer to ship your order within one business day. These items typically ship from the manufacturer within 2-3 business days. You'll receive email updates from us throughout the entire process. If the manufacturer provides us with tracking information we will email it to you as soon as we receive it.
If you have any questions related to your order please contact us and we'll be happy to help.
What does "DI Verified Purchase" mean on a product review?
The "DI Verified Purchase" badge means that the reviewer has purchased the product from Detailed Image. Knowing that someone actually purchased a product gives their review added credibility.
What is the difference between a Wishlist and a Saved Cart?
Wishlists and Saved Carts are both great ways to save products that you might be interested in buying at a later time. They can both easily be shared with friends or family looking for gift ideas as well!
If you have a Detailed Image account and are logged in, you can add any item to your Wishlist by visiting the product page and clicking the "Add to Wishlist" button. Your Wishlist is available by visiting your My Account page. From there, you can get a link to share your wishlist with family and friends.
Saved Carts don't require a Detailed Image account and therefore can be used by anyone with items in their shopping cart. After adding items to your cart, proceed to your Cart page and click the "Save" button. You'll be brought to a page for your Saved Cart that can be bookmarked or shared.
Even if you use a Wishlist, Saved Carts are a great way to create smaller lists of products for specific situations. For instance, a Saved Cart is a great way to create a birthday list to share with friends and family containing exactly the products you're interested in receiving.
Both Wishlists and Saved Cart pages have "Add to Cart" buttons conveniently located on the page, making shopping quicker and easier.
When do you charge my credit card?
All orders are charged immediately upon purchase. This includes orders containing backordered items and/or items available for pre-order.
Can I change the breakdown of pads in a package?
With all of our DI Packages you can select any combination of pads that you desire. Simply add a note with your preferred combination in the "Comments or Special Instructions" field at the bottom of the checkout page. Please note that all pads can only be swapped for pads of the same size and from the same manufacturer.
Do you offer tax exemptions for business orders?
Unfortunately our system is not set up for tax exemptions at this time. There is however a way for you to claim a credit/refund for the sales tax you paid when you file your sales tax return through NY State. Simply visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance site for more information and links to the documents required to claim your tax exemption.
How do I get the best deal on my purchase?
We've put together a Deals page with all of our best current deals. To be notified of our best specials, we recommend signing up for our newsletter. Additionally, you can become our fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, follow us on Instagram, and circle us on Google+ for exclusive coupons, detailing tips, photo albums of some amazing cars, and more.
Can you extend a sale or promotion for me?
Something come up and spoiled your plans to make your purchase during our current sale? Maybe you're away on vacation or waiting for that next paycheck and you can't make the purchase right now. Contact us and we will be happy to extend the expiration date for you. This way you can take advantage of our current promotion at a later date! Please note that customers must contact us during the sale in question and Detailed Image reserves the right to extend or not extend the sale to any individual. You will not be able to combine multiple promotions. If the sale has already expired unfortunately we can't extend it for you.
What is the Daily Special?
Each day we pick one item and put it on sale for 24 hours only. The savings is different for each product, but you will generally save over 20% off of the normal retail price! You can visit our home page every day to see what item is on sale, or sign up to receive notifications. You can opt-in to receive the Daily Specials emails on your My Account page. You can also track our Daily Specials by visiting our home page, subscribing to the Daily Special RSS Feed in your feed reader, or by following us on Facebook or Twitter. The special runs from 12:01 AM until 11:59 PM Eastern Time. The discounted price is valid only for the 24 hours we run the special, no exceptions.
What is the Weekly Special?
Each Wednesday we pick a new product to give away if you spend a minimum amount, which is based upon the value of the product. Simply enter the coupon code during checkout and the item will be added to your order automatically! You can track our Weekly Specials by visiting our home page, Free Stuff page, by subscribing to the Weekly Special RSS Feed in your feed reader, or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.
How do I use a coupon code?
Coupon codes can be applied to your order on the Checkout page by clicking the "Add Coupon" link, entering the coupon code, and then clicking the "Redeem" button.
If you are having trouble applying a coupon code to your order please make sure that you are clicking the "Redeem" button after the code has been entered. We allow one coupon code per order and coupon codes are not valid on tools, DI Packages, items shipping directly from the manufacturer, and already discounted items. There are no exceptions to these policies. For more information on coupon codes please visit our Coupon Codes page.
Can I use more than one coupon code?
No. There is a limit of one coupon code per order, no exceptions.
Can I use coupon codes with my wholesale account?
Coupon codes that you find on our homepage, our Free Stuff page, in our newsletter, and on social media cannot be used in conjunction with a wholesale account unless it is specifically mentioned that the promotion applies to wholesale customers.
We do however offer exclusive wholesale codes to our wholesalers on a regular basis. These codes can be applied to your order during checkout by clicking the "Add Wholesale Code" link, entering the code, and then clicking the "Redeem" button. In the past these promotions have included free products, bonus gift certificates, free shipping, and more. To be notified of these offers, make sure that you're subscribed to our wholesale newsletter by visiting your My Account page and clicking the "Manage My Email Preferences" link.
In general, the everyday savings of the wholesale account will be much greater than any other promotion that we are running. You have the added benefit of being able to shop whenever you want without having to wait for a sale. Occasionally there can be some instances when we are running a sale where you can save more with a coupon code. For those cases, we ask that you create a second account with a different email address to make the purchase with the coupon code. If you do make any purchases with a different account, we will be happy to count those purchases towards your required wholesale spend. To do this please contact us and we'll make a note on your wholesale account.
What types of newsletters do you have and how do I subscribe?
We encourage you to sign up for our newsletter. You'll be the first to know about our sales, receive special newsletter-only offers, learn about detailing, and more. We also offer a Daily Special Newsletter that notifies you of the Daily Special item every day. You can sign up for our Newsletter and Daily Special Newsletter when you Register with us. You can also sign up for our Newsletter by visiting our Newsletter page. If you already have an account with us, you can sign up on your My Account page.
Do you offer a military discount?
Yes! We here at Detailed Image are extremely thankful to the dedicated men and women who serve in the US Military.
You can use coupon code 10offUSA during checkout to receive 10% off of your order.
Please note that this offer is subject to our standard Promotion Restrictions.
Do you offer a senior citizen discount?
Yes! You can use coupon code Senior10 during checkout to receive 10% off of your order.
Please note that this offer is subject to our standard Promotion Restrictions.
What shipping options are available?
We offer FedEx and USPS options for United States domestic orders, including Hawaii and Alaska, PO Boxes, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. We offer standard shipping options, as well as expedited options if you need your package sooner. You can learn more by visiting our Shipping Information page.
How do I get a shipping quote?
You can get a shipping quote by adding products to your cart, proceeding to the View Cart page, and entering your location. You will not be required to log in or give up any of your personal information. Please remember that this is just an estimate. To receive an exact quote and to see expedited shipping options please proceed to the checkout page. You can learn more by visiting our Shipping Information page.
Do you offer free shipping?
We offer free and low cost shipping with our DI Ship & Save coupon codes. Simply spend $49 or more, enter coupon code DI499 during checkout, and you'll receive $4.99 shipping on your order. Spend $149 or more and use coupon code DIFREE for free shipping. These codes are subject to our standard promo restrictions.
We also run limited time free shipping promotions in our newsletter and on social media. You can subscribe to our newsletter by visiting our Newsletter page. You can become our fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, follow us on Instagram, and circle us on Google+.
Do you ship internationally?
We ship to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands using USPS and FedEx Ground Economy (formerly SmartPost). At this time we do not ship to international addresses, APO addresses, or U.S. Territories that require customs forms. You can learn more by visiting our Shipping Information page.
How long will it take to receive my package?
Orders placed before 1 PM ET Monday through Friday will ship out that same business day. We offer various shipping options from both USPS and FedEx, which all have different delivery estimates. Please add the desired products to your cart and proceed to the checkout page. There you will find the prices and delivery estimates for each shipping method specific to your exact order. Our Shipping page has more information about our shipping options.
Is FedEx Ground Economy the same as FedEx SmartPost?
Yes. In 2021 FedEx renamed FedEx SmartPost to FedEx Ground Economy.
In the past, final delivery was made by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), however FedEx is now often delivering these packages directly.
This service can be the most cost-effective option for small and light packages, packages being shipped to Alaska or Hawaii, or packages being shipped to locations that FedEx normally does not ship to. These would include PO Boxes, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands (please note that we currently do not ship to APO addresses or U.S. Territories that require customs forms).
Packages are typically delivered in 2 - 7 business days. Shipments outside the contiguous 48 states may take up to 3 weeks.
For more information, visit FedEx's official Ground Economy page.
Why is my USPS shipment taking so long to be delivered?
Unfortunately with USPS we have seen delays during shipping and/or with tracking numbers updating, but the orders do move eventually and are delivered. Please keep an eye on your order and if you do not see it within 7 business days please Contact Us and we will be happy to take care of you.
If you are ever pressed for time in the future, we highly recommend choosing a FedEx shipping option. These options are generally more expensive, but they are much more reliable with their estimates.
I am unable to log in. Can you email me my password?
To have a new password emailed to you visit the Login page and click the link that says "Forgot your password? Click here to have a new one emailed to you." We highly recommend that you change your password as soon as you log back in.
If you do not receive the email within a few minutes please check your spam folder. If you're still unable to access your account, please contact us and we'll gladly help.
How do I change the email or password on my account?
You can change your email and/or password by visiting your My Account page.
How do I change the billing or shipping address on my account?
You can permanently change your saved billing or shipping address on your My Account page. You can change your billing or shipping address for individual orders during the checkout process.
How do I unsubscribe from your newsletters?
You can click the "Unsubscribe" links at the top and bottom of all of our newsletters. If you have an account with us, you can also manage your newsletter subscriptions on your My Account page.
I'm signed up for your newsletter. Why am I not receiving it?
It's possible that they're getting filtered out by your email service. Check your spam folder and any other folders that contain automatically filtered email. We recommend adding our email addresses to your address book to avoid our emails from being marked as spam. If you're still unable to determine why you're not receiving our emails, please contact us.
What are the requirements of using your site?
What web browsers do you recommend for optimum use of Detailed Image?
We have done our best to develop a site that works with all web browsers on all operating systems. That said, we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of your browser to take advantage of the latest features. For a list of recommended browsers, visit our Web Browsers page.
How secure is your site?
We have taken extensive security measures to ensure that our shopping experience is extremely safe for you.
Our entire site is encrypted using high-grade secure socket layer (SSL) technology. Our servers are fully Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant, meaning that we comply with a strict set of standards for our infrastructure and server setup.
We store only the information that you give to us when you register or make a purchase, such as your name, email address, and physical address. We do not store your credit card information, nor do we ever see or have access to your credit card number.
All payment information is processed by the extremely safe and secure PayPal Braintree service. During an order, PayPal simply tells us whether the information you entered is correct (in which case we process the order) or incorrect (in which case we tell you that there has been an error). PayPal charges your card in our name and deposits the funds into our account.
Similarly, when you save a credit card or PayPal account to make checkout faster on future purchases, we do not store your credit card number. PayPal saves your card securely using a feature called PayPal Vault, which we are able to access securely in the future to charge your card when you place an order. Saved payment methods can be deleted at any time on your My Account page.
We believe that these policies result in the safest shopping experience possible for our customers.
How do I save my payment information for faster purchases?
To securely save your payment method for faster purchases, check the "Save my payment methods for future purchases" box when paying with a credit card or PayPal during checkout.
You can save multiple credit cards and/or PayPal accounts, however other payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Venmo cannot be saved at this time.
When you save a payment method we do not store any personally identifiable information, such as your credit card number. PayPal, our payment processor, saves your payment method securely using a feature called PayPal Vault, which we are able to access securely in the future to charge that payment method again when you place an order.
Individual payment methods can be deleted during checkout by clicking the "Edit" button within the "Payment Method" section of the page.
You can remove all payment methods and opt out of saving future payment methods in the "Saved Payment Methods" section of your My Account page.
We believe that this is the safest and most secure way to offer this feature to our customers.
How safe is my personal information?
Is your site accessible to to people with disabilities?
We strive to make Detailed Image accessible to people with disabilities. We make available the UserWay Website Accessibility Widget that is powered by a dedicated accessibility server. To activate this widget, click the "Accessibility View" on the bottom of any page or visit DetailedImage.com/Accessibility in your browser. You can then use the accessibility menu by clicking the icon in the lower-right of your screen. The widget will be available for the remainder of your session. If you are having trouble with any content on or require assistance with any part of our site, please call us at 518-861-8811 or email support [at] detailedimage [dot] com and we will be happy to help.
What is Google reCAPTCHA v3 and how does Detailed Image use it?
To help protect our site from spam and abuse, we use reCAPTCHA v3 from Google. Unlike previous versions of reCAPTCHA that require you to select images or check a box to prove that you are not a robot, this works in the background to help us detect abusive traffic on our website without user interaction.
If you're unable to submit a form on our site, such as registering for an account, it may be because we are receiving a failing reCAPTCHA score from Google. Here are a few suggestions to try:
- Disable ad blockers and other browser extensions that can modify or restrict content
- Turn off any VPNs
- Try a different web browser
- Try a different network
- Try a different device or computer
If you continue to have issues, please contact us and we'll be happy to assist.
I'm new to detailing. Where do I get started?
We recommend reading our Auto Detailing Guide. You'll learn how to properly wash & dry, polish, apply a wax, care for your interior, and much more. The Guide is available to read on our website or can be downloaded as a PDF so that you can read it offline or print it out and keep a copy handy in your garage.
You'll also want to check out our Ask-a-Pro Detailer Blog where you'll learn tips and tricks from some of the very best professional detailers in the world.
When deciding what products to purchase, our customer Product Reviews can also be extremely insightful.
We're here to help throughout the entire process so don't hesitate to contact us for assistance.
I am looking to wash and dry my car, what are your recommendations?
When washing you want to be extra careful. Most swirls come from this process so be sure to use good technique and quality products. We recommend picking up a shampoo like the Chemical Guys Maxi Suds. This shampoo has lots of foam, great lubricity, and it gentle cleaning power. If you pair it with a good wash media like the Sheepskin Wash Mitt you will be able to lift contaminants off your paint safely and easily. For more washing and drying information you can check out the Washing and Drying section on our Detailing Guide.
How do I use a clay bar correctly?
A clay bar is actually very safe and easy to use to help you deep clean the paint. Simply mist some of the clay lube on a small section of paint and glide the bar side to side with very light pressure. It will pull contaminants away from the paint easily so your paint is much cleaner at the microscopic level. Our Gentle Fine Grade Clay Bar & Clay Lube Kit gives you an excellent clay bar and lube at a discounted price.
If you are looking for some more in depth information on Clay Bars you can check out our Detailing Guide and Ask-A-Pro Blog. We have worked hard to provide you with all the information you can think of to walk you through using a clay bar, and every other step in the detailing process.
I am looking to start polishing my car. Can you guide me in the right direction?
Polishing is the step where you actually remove the swirls, oxidation and ultra fine scratches for good and restore that like new shine again! Polishing is generally regarded as the most important step in the detailing process because it creates an optically clear surface so you get that deep shine back where as the sealant and wax can only enhance the way the paint already looks.
We generally recommend a two step process with a light and medium polish and pad combo for best results. However if you only have light imperfections, we would recommend a one step polish. The Menzerna SF 4000 with a white or black pad is a great polish combo that will remove these light imperfections while finishing down extremely well.
These polishing steps generally work best with a buffer. We have a completely safe and highly effective option if desired in the Porter Cable 7424 XP. If you don't want to use a buffer we generally recommend a one step process with the Meguiar's Ultra Finishing Polish M205.
We also have various other resources to help you learn more about polishing. Check out the polishing sections of our Detailing Guide and Ask-A-Pro Blog.
With all the various options for Quick Detailers, I am having trouble deciding on what one is best for me. Can you highlight some of them and recommend what one you like the best?
When it comes to choosing an instant detailer we have a few options.
The Poorboy's World Spray and Wipe is a great instant detailer that will allow you to remove dirt and dust easily and safely, but it doesn't add protection or shine.
If you are looking for an instant detailer that will add protection, we would recommend either the Dodo Juice Red Mist Tropical Protection Detailer or the Blackfire Wet Diamond Polymer Spray. Both of these products are great at adding a fresh appearance to the surface while leaving behind some protection.
The Chemical Guys Synthetic Quick Detailer is also a great option. This instant detailer will not leave behind any protection, but it has anti-static properties that will help repel dirt and dust from sticking to the surface. It will also leave behind an outstanding shine that will enhance the depth and gloss of your paint.
If you are looking for a quick clean the Synthetic Quick would be our choice, with the Red Mist or Blackfire to be used as a topper with the protection they leave behind.
Looking for more information on Quick Detailers? Check out our Detailing Guide and Ask-A-Pro Blog Quick Detailer sections!
What is a glaze and should I use one?
Glaze is probably the most misused word in detailing. In general they are ultra fine polishes that have oils in them that can fill in ultra fine imperfections, but they can detract from a sealant's ability to bond to the paint 100%. In short, we think this is the least essential step in the process and we generally skip it. However applying a glaze can really make your paint look amazing. For more information on Glazes check out the Glaze section of our Detailing Guide.
How do waxes, sealants and coatings compare, and which one is best for me?
Sealants are much more durable than waxes (3-4 months of protection compared to 3-4 weeks with waxes) and very easy to work with so most detailers prefer a sealant, especially on daily drivers. They look great on all colors and can be applied by hand or with a buffer. A sealant provides more than enough protection and an outstanding shine so you can certainly stop there, however adding a wax on top can really add another layer of gloss, depth and protection to take your detail to the next level.
If you are looking for the deepest, wettest look out there we would highly recommend a coating. Semi-permanent coatings take more effort and time to apply, but the results are worth it. Coatings will provide an amazing level of gloss and shine, while protecting your paint for up to 24 months! You can also top the coating with any wax or sealant to add more depth, gloss, and protection to the paint.
For more information on all of these great protection options check out our Ask-A-Pro Blog and Auto Detailing Guide. In particular, you might enjoy The Case Against series of posts that discuss the pros and cons of sealants, waxes, and coatings.
How many and what type of microfiber towels should I use for each detailing step?
Below are the type and number of towels broken up for each detailing step. This way it is easier to determine your specific microfiber needs.
Washing (Wheels): If you use a microfiber towel to clean your wheels, use up to one All-Purpose Towel per wheel. Using microfiber to clean wheels is one of the safest methods, but it can stain and contaminate them, rendering the towels useless for other purposes. It is best to keep these towels separated at all times from your other prized microfiber.
Washing (Car): 1 or 2 Sheepskin Wash Mitts or Microfiber Wash Mitts, one for upper portions of the vehicle, one for lower, dirtiest portions. Always wash from cleanest area to dirtiest. Using one mitt specifically for the dirtiest areas will assure both mitts stay cleaner over time, and will reduce the risk of swirling significantly. When drying your car, you will want to invest in 2 or 3 Waffle Weave Drying Towels. These are super absorbent and minimize adding swirls and imperfections due to the waffle like texture.
Cleaning (Door Jambs): Estimate 1 or 2 All Purpose Towels per door opening. If this is the first time you clean the jambs, expect some staining from grease. These towels should not be used for exterior paint anymore. They will be okay to use for other purposes after a proper wash.
Cleaning (Interior Plastic Surfaces): 3 All-Purpose Towels for the interior cleaner, 3 more for the interior protectant. There are products that do both steps in one application, and can slightly reduce your microfiber requirements.
Cleaning (Leather Seats): 3 All-Purpose Towels per seat. Final buffing with a clean towel will assure the leather conditioners don't feel gummy to the touch.
Polishing: 1 Ultra Plush Two-Sided Towel per panel per polishing step. For example, if you do a two step polish on a coupe, you will want to have about 18 towels ready.
Quick Detail or Final Wipe: 2 to 4 reTHICKulous Towels per car. Use a "one wet, one dry" technique for final wiping to achieve a streak free finish.
Wax Removal: 4 reTHICKulous Towels per car. Fold the towel in quarters and use a quarter for a few wipes, then change sides, exposing fresh towel as much as possible for a streak free shine.
Cleaning Glass: 2 Glass Polishing Towels per side, more if you have dirty or large windows. It is always good to have extra glass towels, and a few stored in the vehicle at all times for quick clean ups of smears and fingermarks.
All-Purpose Towels: 10 to 20
Ultra Plush Towels: At least 18
reTHICKulous Towels: 6 to 8
Glass Towels: 4 to 8
Waffle Weave Drying Towels: 2 to 3
That should be enough to maximize your results. Remember that this is a big investment, and as such, should be cared for religiously. Give your towels the best treatment possible. Treat them also as a collection. You can add and subtract from the collection, but you should always have a base, enough to work on your car. Microfiber is a detailer's largest non-consumable material expense, costing in total more than power tools.
This information was adapted from our Ask-a-Pro Detailer Blog post How To Determine YOUR Microfiber Needs. More information on Microfiber and Microfiber care can be found in the Microfiber section of our Auto Detailing Guide.
How do I choose the correct buffer or polisher for me?
Choosing the best buffer/polisher really all comes down to personal preference. From the super popular Porter Cable to the incredible Rupes, we have many different buffers to meet your needs. For a complete breakdown of each buffer side by side check out our Buffer Comparison Chart.
How long do products last?
Generally speaking most products will stay in perfect condition for 4 - 5 years, assuming they were not exposed to very high or low temperatures. If a product is left in a hot garage or in freezing conditions there is a good chance there can be some separation of the ingredients that cannot be fixed by shaking the bottle. If the product is over 4 - 5 years old it will start to lose it's potency. If the product is less than 4 - 5 years old and it was stored in temperatures closer to room temperature give it a good shake before testing it. Assuming the product looks normal in both color and consistency test it on a less visible area. If the product is working in good condition with no ill effects it should be safe to keep using.
How do I remove sap from a car?
Sap can be one of the most challenging things to remove, especially if it's been dried on there for long periods of time. We recommend giving the Stoner Tarminator a try. With one quick treatment you can remove the vast majority of contaminants on your vehicle's exterior surfaces and it's pretty effective on fresh tar. Simply mist this product onto the contaminated area, let it dwell, and wash it off thoroughly. If that doesn't work, spray again and agitate with a clean and soft cloth, which should work on most fresh sap. If you still have leftover sap we'd suggest using a medium grade clay bar to help remove it safely. If that doesn't work you can move up to something really strong like mineral spirits, just be sure to thoroughly wash the vehicle afterward.
What do you recommend to remove spots or etchings caused by bird droppings?
The problem with bird droppings is that they are often acidic and they can etch in to the clear coat within minutes. As soon as possible you should wash the area and remove all the physical debris left behind.
To remove the etchings we have two suggestions. The Chemical Guys Water Spot Remover can be used to remove light etchings that are hard to see or feel. The more traditional option is to polish that area, starting from a less aggressive polish moving up to a stronger one as needed. We would suggest starting with medium pressure and a polish like the Meguiar's M205 and move up to the M105 if need be. If that doesn't work you may need the extra power of a buffer to help work those polishes in. With the help of a buffer you can remove the vast majority of surface imperfections from bird droppings.
How do I remove water marks or water spots?
Typically a washing, white vinegar and water solution, or a clay bar will not remove the water marks, they only work when it's a light residue on the surface. Unfortunately many water marks actually lightly etch in to the surface and in these instances you'll need a stronger option.
The Chemical Guys Water Spot Remover can be used to remove light etchings that are hard to see or feel. This is a really strong cleaning formula that should be used with care.
The more traditional option is to polish that area, starting with a less aggressive polish to a stronger one. I would suggest starting with medium pressure and a polish like the Meguiar's M205 and move up to the M105 if need be.
If that doesn't work you may need the extra power of a buffer to help work those polishes in. With the help of a buffer you can remove the majority of the surface imperfections from water marks and you'll also remove some of the swirls and oxidation so the entire surface looks like new again.
For the glass we recommend the Glass Science Glass Scrub, which does a great job of deep cleaning the exterior glass and removing water marks.
How do I remove cigarette smoke smell from a car?
Removing the smell and residue from a smoker can be challenging but it's definitely possible. You have to plan on cleaning virtually everything.
To start, give a quick vacuum picking up the most obvious and heavy debris. Wiping down all the interior pieces with the 303 Spot Cleaner will remove smoke residue that has built up everywhere in the car no matter how hard it is to see. It's a great formula that is very gentle and easy to work with. Take your time and do every section of the dashboard, console, trim, doors, arm rest, etc. working the product and towel into every crevice, corner, etc. Now remove the mats and spray down the mats and the carpets with the 303 Spot Cleaner and agitate them with a medium to firm bristle brush. The brush is critical here because you need to get in between the fibers, so work it in multiple different directions. If you are getting a lot of debris work it in one direction to be vacuumed up.
If you have fabric seats repeat the process there working top down. If you have leather seats clean them as well, we recommend the Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil and Prestine Clean.
To thoroughly clean the glass you can use one of our glass cleaners. Use at least 2 - 4 microfiber towels for a thorough job. We generally recommend cleaning with one towel and then buffing off any residue with a separate clean towel. If they are streaking replace the towels with fresh ones for best results.
Next we recommend spraying the Chemical Guys Sofast Odor Eater on the carpets and wiping down the interior with it. It helps kill any remaining bacteria that can cause the bad smell. It has a pleasant smell that it leaves behind for a couple of days as well.
Finally, we recommend using the Einszett Klima Cleaner AC Odor Remover to remove odors trapped in the AC filter and vents. Simply spray it in the vents and the formula penetrates the entire system leaving it odor free. Many people will skip this step and the first time you turn on the AC you get that smoke smell again. It's well worth doing as it really makes a difference and it's the perfect finishing touch.
How do I remove "wet dog" smell from a car?
We suggest a thorough cleaning of the whole interior literally cleaning every surface as dog hair and dander has likely gone everywhere.
Give a quick vacuum to areas with heavy build ups to remove the worst build ups. Remove the mats from the car and then spray the 303 Spot Cleaner directly on the carpets and mats and use a brush to work it in. Make sure you use a brush on the fabrics (i.e. fabric seats, carpets, trim, etc.) to get out the dander and hairs trapped in the fibers. This will take time and patience to be done well so don't rush this step.
Inside the car, especially if you have fabric seats, start on the top and work your way down the vehicle. Spray the 303 Cleaner and Spot Remover on the your microfiber towel and wipe down the dashboard, doors, console, trim, headliner, etc. Quality microfiber towels do a great job of grabbing and collecting particles instead of just pushing them around. Paper towels and rags often just push the particles in to the air and then they circulate around and land on the interior again.
After that use a good leather care product on the seats like the Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil and Prestine Clean, which do an amazing job of deep cleaning and conditioning leather and leatherette seats. This is our favorite combo but if you need a one step product check out the Sonax Leather Foam.
Then clean the windows with a glass cleaner and a clean microfiber towel. Use one towel to clean the glass and a separate clean towel to remove any remaining residue.
Lastly we would recommend spraying the Chemical Guys Sofast Odor Eater on the carpets and on a microfiber towel and wipe down the interior. This product kills bacteria and other sources of odors that cause foul smells. It has a pleasant sour apple scent that usually lasts a couple of days.
Another detailing secret is using the Einszett Klima Cleaner AC Odor Remover on the AC vents. In short the air filter can collect dander, mildew, dust, dirt, etc. so the AC may smell bad, especially when you just turn it on. You just simply spray it in the vents and it basically does it's own thing so it couldn't be any easier.
Upon completion the interior should look and smell great!
How do I remove lovebug etchings from my paint?
Love bugs can be a real problem, within minutes they can etch in to the paint.
For most build ups we would recommend using a degreaser on the front bumper and other problems areas to help loosen up the bug splats. There are a lot of great options like the Einszett Anti-Insekt Bug + Tar Remover, Poorboy's World Bug Squash, and Chemical Guys Bug Bugger. You can just rinse it off but sometimes you'll need a wash mitt to agitate the surface.
If you want our strongest degreasing formula try the Stoner Tarminator, however we do recommend a thorough washing afterward to remove the residue left behind. It's an outstanding product for this job that is strong yet safe on the paint.
If you want to wash faster or not do a full wash we suggest using the Optimum No Rinse (ONR) which is a washing solution that doesn't involve any rinsing afterward.
Unfortunately all of these products will remove some or all of the sealant or wax you put on the surface. After you are done we recommend applying a strong coat of protection to protect against the love bugs, ideally a sealant and a wax. We generally recommend the Klasse All In One, wait an hour and then apply a wax. This strong barrier of protection can help repel the bug splats and prevent etchings in the clear coat and it make future cleanings easier.
How do I clean suede in a car?
Ultra suede is a sensitive material that requires very careful cleaning. First you are going to want to use a soft to medium brush, like the DI Brushes Leather and Vinyl Scrub Brush, and simply brush the suede with light pressure for a light cleaning. This will help remove any lose builds ups and dust. After this you can spot treat any problem areas/stains with a product like the 303 Spot Cleaner. You also do not want to get the suede really wet so if possible you may want to use as little cleaner as possible. After this you can take the same scrub brush and give it another gentle brushing. This will remove any remaining contamination and help air out the suede. We would also recommend leaving the windows open for a few hours to help promote air flow and dry out the suede.
How do I clean Alcantara in a car?
Alcantara is one of the toughest materials to clean and we generally recommend being pretty conservative with it. We typically use a very soft brush like our horse hair upholstery brush with light to medium pressure. Work the brush in different directions on stubborn build ups. We recommend using a cleaner like the 303 Spot Cleaner to spot treat stains and use as little as possible. Brush that area to work the cleaner in lightly and it will also help move some of the moisture. Leave the doors open afterward letting air circulate so the moisture evaporates more readily. Alcantara is also known as ultra suede and it's very sensitive to moisture.
Where are you located and what is your address?
We're located in Albany, NY. Our warehouse address is:
Pure Adapt, Inc / Detailed Image
2 Van Buren Blvd.
Bldg 19, Bay 1A
Guilderland Ctr., NY 12085
Please note that we do not allow walk-in visitors to our warehouse. If you're sending us a return please follow the instructions on our Returns page to ensure that your return is processed as fast as possible.
What is your phone number?
Our phone number is 518-861-8811. Calls are generally sent directly to our voicemail. We will reply to you either via email or phone as soon as we receive your message.
For the fastest and most accurate response we request that contact us through our contact form. In general, we're much quicker and much more effective at helping our customers over email. We are able to provide much more valuable detailing support as we can link customers to how-to guides, articles, products and informative videos. We also save all emails for our reference so we can provide you better support with any future inquiries. Best of all we are able to answer questions via email 7 days a week so your questions can be taken care of in a timelier manner.
Do you allow in-store pick-ups?
No, we do not offer in-store pick-ups at this time.
How can I learn more about you as a company?
To learn more about Detailed Image, read our About page, check out our blog, or visit the Pure Adapt, Inc website.
Do you have an affiliate program?
Yes! You can earn store credit that can be used towards detailing products by promoting Detailed Image! Visit our Affiliates page for more information on our Affiliate Program.
How does your Refer a Friend program work?
You can earn free detailing supplies by referring your friends to the Detailed Image newsletter! Learn more by visiting our Refer a Friend page.
Why aren't my Refer a Friend referrals showing up in My Account?
Refer a Friend credits are applied once daily so it may take up to 24 hours to appear on your account. Please remember to adhere to the guidelines on our Refer a Friend page and Promo Restrictions page to ensure that your referrals are approved.
How do I get my business added to your Find a Detailer Map?
Our Find a Detailer Map is a great way to publicize your detailing business to potential clients in your area. Only active members of our wholesale program are eligible to have their businesses listed on the map. To find out more about our wholesale program visit our Wholesale page.
I have a question that isn't answered here. How do I contact you?
Please visit our Contact page to contact us.