Black's Magic Detailing


Highland, CA, USA

Detailing Tips

Make sure to wash your vehicle in the shade. If you absolutely can't do it in the shade, keep the car sprayed down to keep it from drying. Make sure to wash the side away from the sun first and dry the side facing the sun first. This will help prevent the car from drying and forming water spots.

Buy an Easy-Up. They are relatively inexpensive way to get instant shade.

Using a synthetic squeegie or chamois to dry your vehicle. They are the best. Don't use towel on the exterior except for microfiber towels.

Place a couple dryer sheets under the seats of your car. They make excellent air fresheners.

Use ultimate Orange or Gojo on hard to clean stains on boat upholstery. These contain a mild pumice which gets into the grain of the upholstery and cleans great. Make sure to use a protectant when done. This will moisturize and protect the upholstery.

If your vehicle is egged, clean it immediately. If not dealt with, it will damage your vehicle's clear coat and paint because of it's chemical composition.

Consider taking pictures of the vehicle with the egg on it and report it to your insurance agency. You don't have to file a claim, but if down the road you notice damage where it was egged, they will have record of you reporting it. 

Detailing Don'ts

Don't wash your vehicle with dish soap or laundry detergent unless your goal is to strip all existing wax off. There is a reason they sell car wash.

Don't use any abrasive materials to clean bugs, tar  sap, or debris off any painted surface. This will scratch the clear coat and require paint correction to fix.

Don't allow your vehicle to dry in the sun or spray your vehicle down for a quick rinse, without drying it off. Hard water spots actually etch the clear coat and require extra work to remove them. Extra work for us means extra money for you. We want to save you money!

Don't allow your vehicle to dry in the sun. Again, hard water spots are difficult to remove and require compounding to remove. Washing or waxing alone WILL NOT remove hard water spots.

Don't leave bugs or bird droppings on your paint longer than 36 hours. Both of these cause damage the clear coat that will require correction which means more expensive.  

Don't use window cleaner or ammonia on window tinting. It will dry and damage the tint. It's not a myth!

Don't use  just any cleaner on aluminum. Make sure it's aluminum safe or the appearance will be ruined and require machine polishing to restore.

Detailing Do's

Wash car at least every two weeks. Helps remove surface contaminants and fallout before they damage the clear coat.

Wax vehicle AT LEAST every 2-3 months. The more the merrier. We do our own every month. Don't let the equity in your vehicle fade away, literally!


Wipe down any excess tire shine products after application. If you don't, when you drive the car, the excess is going to fly up onto the side of your vehicle.

Clean and protect leather every wash. Helps leather stay moist and not crack/tear. Use a protectant on leather, but not Armor All. Not a good chemical for leather.


Vacuum car every wash. Removes dirt, food and debris which can damage carpet. Clean carpet at least once per year. Keeps carpet clean and avoids odors.

Clean rims when they are cool, not hot. Seems like hot would be easier, but it's not!

Check your vehicle's horizontal surfaces often for contamination. After washing, place plastic baggy over fingers and rub your hand across paint. If it feels rough or gritty, there are contaminants stuck in the clear coat and a clay bar in necessary to remove the contaminants.

Doing it Yourself Detailing

Do's, Don't Do's and tips

Clay Bar

By Jim Black

Black's Magic Detailing

People often ask about different services that we provide and what exactly they are for. The question we get the most is "What is a clay bar treatment?" Many people have never heard of it. I will discuss how to perform a clay bar treatment later in this article, but here is the long and short of it. When I refer to a clay bar, I am talking about detailing clay which is a synthetic, resin compound resembling Play-Doh. You can find natural detailing clay but the most common clay bars on the market today are synthetic. Detailing clay removes contaminants from the surface of your vehicle that washing alone can't. It can be used on paint, metal, fiberglass, and glass surfaces. Used properly, detailing clay is completely safe and non-abrasive. There are two different grades available to the public. One is a medium grade detailing clay to be used once or twice a year. This grade of clay will remove wax along with the contaminants on the vehicle. Your other option is a fine grade and can be used to clay your vehicle as often as you would like to keep that perfect finish.

As we drive our cars down the street or have them parked outside, different materials are deposited onto the surface. The materials deposited consist of fallout, airborne pollution, brake dust, rail dust, exhaust film, roadway debris, and more. These contaminants actually pierce the paint finishes, glass and metal and remain stuck to the vehicle deteriorating the clear coat, making the paint below suceptable to deterioration. These contaminants will oxidize and if untreated, will lead to total paint failure. Detailing clay removes these contaminants in order to keep the paint clean, healthy and shining. Clay bars will remove the contaminants without removing any of the clear coat and/or paint. Most people think that if you wash your vehicle, whatever is on the surface will be washed away. Washing the vehicle will not remove the contaminants. Not even polishing will remove them. One way to illustrate my point is to wash your car, boat, motorcycle, etc. After you have completely dried your vehicle, run the palm of your hand across the hood. Better yet, put your hand inside a plastic sandwich bag and run you hand and fingertips across the hood, trunk or roof. It should fell very smooth as you slide your hand across the surface if it is contaminant free. Most likely, it will feel rough or gritty. if so, your paint is contaminated. These are the contaminants which are stuck in the surface, damaging to your vehicle.


Now we get to the clay bar treatment. As with anything we do for our car's exterior, never do it in direct sunlight or when it is very hot outside. First you must start off by washing your vehicle thoroughly. I prefer to start with Prep Wash from Performance Wax Industries. After you thoroughly wash and dry your vehicle then it is time for the clay bar. You will need a clay lubricant to prevent loose debris from scratching the vehicle and a clay bar. Get a piece of clay that is large enough that you can flatten out to about the size of your four fingers. I like to spray my hands with the clay lubricant to prevent the clay bar from sticking to them. Liberally spray the clay lubricant onto the clay and the area you are going to work on (No more than 2 sq. ft. at a time). The surface being clayed should always be wet because the detailing clay needs to glide along the surface to pick up contaminants that protrude from the surface. Run the clay across the surface of the area you are working on in a back and forth motion. The particles stick to the clay and are removed from your vehicle. When the contaminants are removed the surface will feel smooth. Detailing Clay also remove bug debris, sap, and tar and works great on glass and chrome as well. After using a clay bar, you will need to follow up with a wax or sealant. Clay will removing existing wax and may leave small holes where the contaminants had been. They must be sealed in order to protect the paint from corrosion.

There are many good clay kits available on the market today for around 25-30 dollars. A good kit will include the detailing clay and clay lubricant. People ask me, "Why do you write how to articles? Then people will do it on their own and not pay you to do it." I can't speak for other detailers, but our goal is to help everyone keep their vehicles looking great and in excellent condition for as long as they own them. If someone wants to do it on their own, and we can help them out, I am happy. If you try clay bar yourself, please drop me an email and let me know how it works out.

Buying a New Car
What to do?

Many people think that when they buy a new car, their car is in the best possible condition. This couldn't be further from the truth. The most detrimental types of contaminants that will start breaking down a vehicle's paint system or surface is industrial fallout, brake dust and rail dust. Rail dust is microscopic fragments of metal created by friction of a trains metal wheels on the metal rails. Rail dust is created while the train is moving and especially when the train is braking. 90% of vehicles are shipped to their destination on trains and will have traveled through numerous types of environments and will have been subjected to contaminants and harmful industrial fallout from factories and plants as well. Therefore, your car will have been subjected to some of the most harmful elements before it even reaches its destination. Then it sits on the car lot for a unknown period of time waiting to be sold. During that time, it gets dirty, rained on, and again the fallout. The dealership will do the bare minimum to make the car look presentable to sell but they definitely aren't detailing it. When you buy the car, they have someone wash it before you drive it off the lot. Your paint is already being broken down before you even own it.

Clearcoat is not bullet proof. Clear coat is just paint with no color in it. We recommend that when you purchases a new vehicle, you should either detail the vehicle yourself or have a detailer clay bar, polish and wax the vehicle. This will remove all contaminants, minor scratches and swirlmarks from the clear coat. This will also ensure that the paint system is in optimal condition and protected so that the vehicle's new appearance will stay that way for the life of the vehicle. We also offer carpet and upholstery shield to protect your new carpet and upholstery from stains and premature wear. Don't pay a dealership thousands of dollars for paint, carpet and upholstery protection because we can do it for a fraction of the cost. Call Black's Magic Detailing today to protect your investment and ensure that you get the most money for your car when you decide to sell it or trade it in.

Do It Yourself

I doubt there is anyone out there who wants their vehicles to be dirty, scratched and dull, or to lose their value. Our lives can be very hectic!! Between work, school, kids and everything else we have on our schedules, some people just don't have the time to detail their vehicles themselves which is why they call us. Some people do have the time and would like to do it, but don't know how to do it properly. Many people don't know the difference between compounds, polishes and waxes. This page is dedicated to those of you who like to or want to know how to properly detail and care for your cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles and more. We will post articles, give advice, detailed step by step instruction and explain what is needed for certain projects. There is no substitute for hands on training and instruction however, with our help, you could make your vehicle look great and protect it from the harsh evironment.