Chances are fairly good that if you’re a novice auto detailer, you’re not fully up to speed just yet on the differences between spray-on and sponge-on dressings. What we offer here is a short write-up on the many varieties of dressings that you’re likely to find that serve a variety of tasks, depending on which particular part of the vehicle you’re concentrating on at the moment.
Probably the best rule of thumb regarding spray-on versus sponge-on is this:
- Spray-ons come in handy when you’re moving through vehicles quickly, or when you have a deadline, or you’re performing a simple express detail.
- If you’ve got the time, or you fear overspray will damage the vehicle, or you’re working on high-end automobiles, then a sponge-on dressing is the way to go.
Below we’ve addressed the advantages of several of spray-on dressings, as well as sponge-on products:
Interior vinyl dressing
Everybody’s got an opinion when it comes to the look of an automobile’s interior. Some enjoy the shiny look while others are satisfied with the appearance of a clean matte finish. What you’re going to need is a dressing that you can dilute for a matte finish or use full strength for the shine that many customers may prefer.
Detail King Pearl Gloss enables you to cut the product down and create multiple mixes from one bottle, whether that be a high-gloss or low-matte finish. Voila! You’ve become a mixologist — a detailing gourmet.
The best way to use a water-based dressing like Black Out is to spray this dressing in the wheel wells and plastic trims, giving a clean shine to tires, rubber moldings, trim and bumpers. This great all-around dressing can also be diluted, spreading the wealth from a one-gallon purchase to a two-gallon product. The savings are yours to pass on to your customers or keep for yourself.
But before you go guns out with this product, we suggest you apply Super Blue with an auto detailing dressing applicator to reduce splatter and save product. Many times detailers will inadvertently spray on too much product, which isn’t very cost efficient and often results in customers returning to complain about silicone dressing splattered all over their vehicle.
Here’s the thing about silicone: It’s always a bad choice to use a silicone-based dressing on the engine of any vehicle. That goes double for a car’s running boards. Problems arise when silicone is applied to running boards because they become very slippery, and you certainly don’t want your customers falling on the asphalt minutes after paying you for a detail job.
When it comes to sprucing up the appearance of an engine, silicone-based dressings will make the engine pretty and can add a nice shine. But when water meets silicone, it’s like introducing sugar to a gas tank. Disaster! Water runoff from the shiny engine can make its way into electrical components such as the O2 sensor. And that’s an expensive part to have to replace on a customer’s vehicle.
This is where DK’s Non Silicone Engine & Tire Dressing comes into play. There’s no silicon to run off and ruin sensors in the engine, and when sprayed onto running boards, it creates a beautiful finish with a no-slip factor.
Sponge-on tire dressings come in real handy when there’s the possibility of sling and overspray. We’ve got a pair of concoctions to prevent that mess, including our Laguna Beach Dressing and TNT dressings. Both can be applied without sling or spray and both offer a high-gloss. They also stay shiny way past the lifetime of a spray-on application.
Warning: TNT Dressing — officially called TNT Treatment Gel For Tires — does splatter. The only way it will not splatter if you allow it to set up for approximately 30 minutes or so. It’s well worth the wait though… hands down, it’s the best shining tire dressing we carry, and since it’s bubble gum scented, well, it just smells like fun!
To be sure, a sponge-on application will take a little longer than a spray-on, and they require some time to setup on the rubber tire. The reward, of course, is better results and that always counts for something.
Vinyl and Plastic Trim Dressing
Many dressings work just fine in giving exterior vinyl and plastic trim work a nice shine. Problem is, most of them tend to run off and leave streaks on the vehicle when they get wet. Our bumper and trim cream dressing is called Revival, and it’s perfect for giving vinyl and plastic trim a nice gloss shine. Best of all, it won’t wash off the first time it comes in contact with water, whether that be from a car wash or rainfall.
Revival is so simple to apply and it dries so fast, you almost feel guilty for charging your customer for the work. But go ahead and take their card anyway, because they’re getting a detailing that restores their dry and dead-looking plastic, making it look like it did the day the owner drove it off the dealership lot.Tags: Laguna Beach Dressing, Non Silicone Engine & Tire Dressing, Pearl Gloss, Revival Dressing, Super Blue, TNT Treatment