Paint decontamination is the critical process of removing embedded contaminates from a vehicle’s paint surface. Your car’s clear coat is constantly defending against bird droppings, bugs, road tar, brake dust, road salt, debris, and so much more. While regular washes help clear the paint surface of most fresh contaminates, other contaminates will penetrate and embed themselves into the clear coat. Vehicles that are infrequently washed, especially during the winter, allow the contaminates more time to bond to the paint surface.
Don’t be fooled though, even the cleanest of regularly driven cars are often full of embedded contaminates. They are almost always impossible to see, though a trained hand could tell the severity of the paint contamination by feeling the texture of the paint surface. Paint decontamination, performed using a clay bar and/or a chemical decontamination spray, is an extremely important step in the detailing process. Let’s review why the process is so important.
The Main Reasons Why Paint Decontamination Is Important
1) Embedded contaminates can accelerate paint degradation and lead to premature clear coat failure. It is important that these contaminates are removed to ensure your vehicle maintains a healthy clear coat.
2) Embedded contaminates cause pitting in the clear coat that will diminish the overall visual appearance of the paint surface, preventing a perfectly smooth and deep shine.
3) The contaminates must be removed prior to any significant machine polishing in order to ensure no contaminates are released into the pad or compound during polishing. The contaminates could then act as an abrasive that would scratch the paint surface with the movement of the polisher.
While every step in the detailing process is important and has a specific purpose, a proper paint decontamination is the footing to achieving that show car finish.