Decontamination - What is it? Why should I do it?
Decontamination - So what is it? Why should you do it?
Decontamination is the second most important step when preparing your vehicle; whether it be a used or brand new it will more than likely benefit from this.
What Is Decontamination?
Decontamination is the removal of bonded contaminants from the surface of your vehicle. Contaminants include: road tar, iron deposits, tree sap and many more industrial/natural contaminants which cannot be removed when washed normally.
2 Steps of Decontamination
There are 2 steps to decontamination. Chemical and Physical.
Chemical Decontamination is done by using chemical products to soften/dissolve/remove contaminants from surfaces.
This process is usually carried out after a safe wash. This will usually include Tar Removal using a dedicated tar removal product. Removing Tar is important as Tar can cover other contaminants which may be underneath. So removing Tar is the first step of this process.
After removing any Tar, you should then use a Fallout Remover. The purpose of this product is to remove Iron particles and most other contaminants found on your surface. Fallout Remover is commonly known for removing fallout and brake dust from wheels but it is also suitable for removing said contaminants from other surfaces on your vehicle. This product is so easy to use; simply spray onto vehicle and watch as it reacts with the contaminants turning it purple (when you see purple it means there is contaminants there on your surfaces and that the product is doing its job).
Before using any product always read the label and instructions!
Physical Decontamination requires the use of a clay bar or clay mitt to physically remove any contaminants from the clearcoat on your vehicle. Using a clay bar/clay mitt also requires you to use a dedicated clay lubricant; which then allows the clay to glide over surfaces whilst hitting contaminants which are sticking up and pulling them out as it glides backwards and forwards.
Carrying out a physical decontamination is an important step to carry out before machine polishing! If you do not carry out the physical decontamination you are putting your machine polishing pads and clearcoat at risk of being damaged; as the contaminants would still be there the machine polishing pad will take the contaminants into the pad and will then scratch/swirl your paintwork.
What if I have a brand new car? or I don't want to machine polish?
Claying any vehicle is not just a process for if you're wanting to machine polish. 99% of brand new vehicles will have contaminants on them as during the vehicles life before reaching you it will probably have been sat in a compound and then transported; meaning the vehicle will have picked up contaminants from the air or transport related contaminants (i.e. if transported by road it will have been exposed to other cars brake dust particles as well as the vehicle's it has been transported on).
If you're wanting paintwork that is as smooth as glass and looking its best, we highly recommend you use this process. You can also use this process to remove old protection which is becoming defective before applying a new layer of protection or different product i.e. ceramic coating.
We hope this has given you the answers as to what decontamination is, why we should do it and how it improves the appearance and feel of your paintwork.