What Is A Decontamination Wash?

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

The “secret” that makes the results of our Signature Exterior detail stand out so much against a typical wash or a car wash is the decontamination process. That sounds great, but what is it? It may sound like a mystery, but its actually exactly what it sounds like. It eliminates contaminants, or things that are harmful to your paint. There are plenty of contaminants that get stuck in your paint. These include dirt, oil, road tar, road paint, sap, brake dust and even iron from trains and railroad tracks. On a microscopic level, your paint is just like the pores on your face. If not regularly cleaned, they will clog and lead to blackheads. Each of these contaminants requires a different product and process for removal.

We have to wash the car and remove all of the surface dirt before we can truly see the extent of contamination on the paint. Our decontamination wash is a multi-step process. We always apply an iron and fallout remover, which comes in a liquid form. You’ve probably seen the cool photos and videos of the purple streaks running down the side of the car. If not, continue reading 😉. This will remove brake dust particles and rail dust from trains and factories. Unless you have recently used this type of product on your car, your paint has brake dust embedded in it. Sad, we know!

After the iron removal, we need to assess if there are bugs, road paint or tar embedded in the paint. If any of these are present, we grab our chemicals and get to work. There isn’t a particular order in which these need to be attacked, but they will each need a dedicated cleaner to effectively remove them. Unfortunately, we probably weren’t able to remove each and every little spec of contamination. This is why we follow up this process with a clay bar. Remember the blackheads? The clay bar is the equivalent of exfoliating your skin after washing it. We will give the clay bar treatment its own post. These are the reasons a car detail is so much more than an automatic or tunnel car wash. Automatic washes and car detailing are literally two different services and that is reflected in the price.

We will talk more about clay in the next post. In the meantime, enjoy some brake dust removal! So satisfying.

Thank you all so much for continuing to read these blog posts! It means a lot to know we are helping you save time and save money by properly and effectively maintaining your vehicles.

Thanks for reading,

Eric McKeown

SpeeDetail Mobile Auto Detailing


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