Kitchen Design 101 – Getting Started

Section 1 – The Beginning

We’ve gathered the best small kitchen design ideas to help you add storage and style.

Once you have made the decision to build a new facility with a commercial kitchen, or remodel/expand the existing kitchen facility in your building, you will need to take one of the following steps to begin:

1. You go directly to the Architect to develop the location and preliminary design for the facility.

2. You request that several Architectural firms provide information on their firms and requests information on the Subtrades (i.e., Electrical/Plumbing/ Mechanical Engineers, Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer),etc.) to evaluate and select a firm to assist you with the project.

3. You hire an Architect or Project Control firm to develop the location and the preliminary design of the facility and prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) for other Architectural firms to provide the Architectural services for the design of your new facility.

Request for Proposal

The Architect developing the RFP may or may not be requested to provide a proposal for this work. The RFP should provide basic information on the project by the owner or architect as to type and size of building, etc. and generally requires information on all of the team members; the architect needs to provide information on:

• Personnel to be assigned to the project and their resumes

• Finances to ensure that the company is financially capable of handling the project

• Firm history

• Similar projects, with examples and pictures

• Methods of operations, explain how they do business

• Resumes and information on Consultants, i.e., Engineers, Landscaping, IT, Foodservice, etc.

Foodservice Consultant

The Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) should also be brought in as early as possible in the planning process to ensure there is adequate space provided to meet your vision of the foodservice area. This does not always happen, and by the time the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) is brought,in most of the floor spaces have been designed or allocated for other purposes.

Section 2 – Kitchen Design 101 – Concept

Architect plus a Kitchen Designer (Foodservice Consultant)

You may have already done a preliminary programming exercise with either an architect or programming firm to develop a location and a preliminary concept for the building. You may have done some of the concept for the facility and foodservice areas (kitchen and servery) but this is just the beginning.

Once you have selected the architectural firm to work with you on the project, they will have further meetings with you to develop and finalize the program for the building that will include the kitchen design. During these meetings, they will assist you with the continuing development of the required areas within the building and the overall footprint of the building.

The Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) is normally not included in the design and programming of the facility at this point. We feel that this is an error in the design process!

Why a Foodservice Consultant?

We believe that the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) should be part of this early design process. We will work with you and the Architect to identify the number of potential customers and operational functions, which will significantly impact the design process.

We will work with you and/or the chef/operator to develop the type of service and food products that will be provided.

We will do preliminary block plans and a sketch of the necessary functional area(s) to allow for the proper amount of square footage. This will allow the square footage required for the kitchen design to be programmed into the project as part of early planning, not as an afterthought.

The information gathered during this stage will be further developed and expanded during the Design Development phase.

Section 3 – Kitchen Design 101 – Program

Foodservice Consultant

Five Oaks Kitchen Design’s approach to a project is to address all planning issues during the pre-design or Concept Development portion of the project.

Five Oaks Kitchen Design will provide the Owner and Architect a “Foodservice Program Questionnaire Form” designed for your facility. (See Appendix)

The program questionnaire will include statements of planning facts, goals, special owner/operator requests, operational characteristics and assumptions, area allocations, and cost estimates.

Unless these items are discussed early and resolved, unspoken assumptions could result in problems as the project develops.


The Foodservice Program Questionnaire approach gives the Owner, Architect, and the design team the opportunity to understand, in detail, how the foodservice facility will operate and is the basis for the design assumptions. This program is reaction-oriented and we ask all of the team members to review the program, to confirm, refine or expand on any part of the program.

For a design to be effective in the early planning stages, it is important to explicitly state what the directives and proprieties are, so a well coordinated and approved program can be the basis for developing the most successful design.

Foodservice/Planning Considerations

• Corporate Goals & Policies (Operational Objectives/directives)

Has the owner pre-established foodservice guidelines, operational profile, or specific financial targets.

• Demand Requirements (Who/How Many we feed)

We need to analyze populations by employee categories, location within the facility, and likely participation.

• Serving/Dining Format (How are we serving the employees)

Do we need multiple, complementary-format foodservice entities? What are the serving requirements, training/conference center, private dining, executive dining, employee cafeterias, patient feeding, school/institutional feeding, etc?

• Operational Characteristics (How are we going to prepare the food)

Should there be an in-house bakery, meat/vegetable preparation area, etc.?
Do we need an ingredient control room?
Staging areas for remote feeding areas or transport equipment, etc.?
How do we encourage self-bussing?

• Functional Relationships (Proximity and adjacency relationships, process flow workstation organization)

How can process flow be shortened and streamlined for food preparation, service, warewash, and trash.
How can cross-flows or flow restrictions be eliminated or minimized?
Have we met all the program objectives?

• Equipment Costs (Capital initial cost)

What is the initial foodservice equipment budget and what is the basis for the estimate?
How can it be reduced and if necessary, still maintain the design of the project?
Long term quality equipment vs less expensive short life equipment.

• Operational Efficiency (Equipment life cycle & labor/staffing costs)

In most applications, a 10+ year life cycle is an appropriate factor. Can the facility be designed to use fewer workers, can one person work two stations easily?

• Project Schedule (Planning and Construction management)

An early assessment of the project milestones needs to be done to see if there are any constraints on the foodservice planning, bidding, or construction schedules.

• Growth Considerations ( Future Employee Growth)

Do we need to develop “soft” spaces for future growth in certain foodservice component areas?
Should we size the cold storage assemblies for future growth?

Section 4 – Kitchen Design -101 Schematic Design

Bubble Diagrams

During the schematic design phase, the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) will work with you, and the chef or operator, as well as the architectural team, to develop a floor plan layout using bubble diagrams, of the major functional areas and work stations:

• Receiving

• Storage (Dry, Refrigerator, Freezer, Non-Food, Disposable Paper Goods Storage)

• Preparation Area, dry, vegetable and meat

• Production Area (s) (hot & cold), a la carte cooking/grille

• Waiter pick-up/beverage area (s)

• Serving counters/serving lines

• Warewashing / Potwashing / Pulping

• Other/Specialty Areas

Office (s)
Service Bar
Service Pantries
Executive Kitchens
Banquet Kitchen, Dish-up, Staging
Tray assembly area
Cart Wash

• Seating Areas

By reorganizing the bubble diagram, as necessary, and relocating the relationships of the work areas and flow from one work area to another (with minimal counter flow of product or crossing traffic), we can create a bubble diagram that works.

Block Plans

Once the bubble diagram is completed, we will create a block plan which shows the required square footage for each functional space. This will also further define the space requirements; we will reorganize blocks, as necessary, to incorporate the ideas and fit within the overall plan.

Keep in mind that gross square feet (the sum of all areas on all floors of a building included within the outside faces of its exterior walls, including all vertical penetration areas, for circulation and shaft areas that connect one floor to another.) is larger than net square feet (Net square feet is computed by physically measuring or scaling measurements from the inside faces of surfaces that form the boundaries of the designated areas. Areas defined as building service, circulation, mechanical, and structural should not be included).

Once we have an approved block plan we will create a schematic plan (a drawing intended to explain how something works; a drawing showing the relation between the parts) for your review and approval. We will provide a budget estimate for review based on the estimated cost per square foot.

After the schematic plan is approved, we will move on to laying out the basic equipment as part of the Kitchen Design Development.

To be continued.

Bob Pursell is the owner of Five Oaks Kitchen Design in Houston Texas, Bob has over 35 years in Providing Commercial and Restaurant Kitchen Design Services.

We have the experience and talent to handle world class projects with the dedication to detail of larger firms; being a small firm, we provide hands-on for every project, including yours. We bring in dedicated people as needed, to provide the best possible support for your project.

Five Oaks Kitchen Design is unbiased when it comes to selecting equipment for your project; we look for the best piece of equipment for the best price to meet your needs. We are not affiliated with any of the equipment manufacturers; we are hired by either the architect or you the owner.

Five Oaks Kitchen Design is a specialty design firm providing consulting and design services, call us for more information.

For more information about Five Oaks Kitchen Design contact:

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Waste to Energy – A Proven Green Non-Toxic Process That WORKS

Over the last 18 months, since I was first introduced to the concept of a totally green waste to energy solution, I have been looking for the ” that could at a stroke:-

Green waste disposal is available in the larger townships and where land size does not encourage residents to compost their green waste on their own properties.

* Solve massive pollution and health issue from an ever-growing amount of waste

* Recycle as much rare raw materials from our waste as possible

* Create as much energy from our waste as possible, reducing our reliance on ever-decreasing fossil fuels

* Remove the need for waste landfill sites, with their inherent potential health hazards.

* Reduce the amount of air pollution from incineration of waste

* Reduce the amount of pollution entering our rivers and oceans

* Turn massive stocks of oily sludge into clean energy

* Manage to clean up and decontaminate toxic landfills with asbestos and heavy metals (especially those found in batteries and other household electrical products)

* Reduce the number of illness and deaths in young children in third-world countries, who either play or scavenge on old toxic waste dumps (usually illegally tipped there by the more ‘advanced’ nations).

* Create renewable energy in the form of electricity, hydrogen, or heat (Steam). This should also take advantage of the various carbon credit systems that are in operation in different parts of the world.

Unfortunately, I have travelled down a number of dead end roads in my search for this particular Holy Grail, as all solutions that I looked at, although full of hype and promise, did not contain a fully working, operational and proven site.

During my researches, I became very particular in the definition of the parameters of the solutions that I was looking for.

Too many times, I was told that the technology to be used was more important than the outcome – how absurd. Whether it is Pyrolysis, gasification, plasma, or even incineration, the cost and the levels of green energy and lack of toxic waste have to be the prime factors.

The over-riding need was for sorted and/or unsorted waste to be fed into a system that would genuinely produce no toxic waste, no toxic stack output, and be as efficient as possible in the production of energy.

Also, the system would need to be scalable, and if possible have the option of a portable facility, as well as being able to handle say up to 25 tons of unsorted waste a day. It also should be capable of being delivered and commissioned in less than a year wherever possible.

On top of this, the system should be able to bring employment, electricity, and sustainable funding to many third-world countries, adding yet another dimension to the world environment, and a massive contribution to world peace and stability.

OK, look at the list here that incineration plants mostly can not handle, and then think about what is really important that this rubbish IS processed properly:

– Residue from composting plant
– Sewage sludge
– Toxic ash from incinerators
– Liquid industrial waste
– Asbestos and Catalytic converters
– Dangerous hospital waste
– Veterinary waste
– Catering waste
– Hairdressing waste
– Other toxic waste
– Metallic residues
– Chicken slurry
– Waste oils
– Coal
– Coal dust from spoil heaps
– Tyres
– Reclaim from landfill

So Who Still Wants Incineration?

Another limitation that I saw with earlier systems I examined, was the preponderance of massive systems, with a throughput in the region of 100,000 tons of waste per annum. The problem as I saw it with this concept, is that these waste management systems should really take travel logistics into account. There is no point in saving with the waste products but spending a fortune on a major logistical problem. Far better to have a larger number of smaller regional plants, where the electricity produced, or the heat produced, can be used in that same locality.

On top of that, a lot of waste will be created at many locations, especially potentially toxic waste, created by hospitals, veterinary surgeries and abattoirs, and even commercial food and catering waste, from restaurants and even supermarkets etc. Rather than transport such toxic waste through populated areas to a central waste management point, a local preparation of this waste in to inert, sterile material, would be a boon. I have seen such a solution that could actually turn this sort of waste into an actual asset of that business.

Due to all of the dead-ends that I travelled down, I was not particularly interested in unproven systems that wanted to charge an arm and a leg in terms of a waste analysis process. You know, a quarter million pound bill here, or in some cases, well over a million, just to get an analysis of such rubbish, without proof that the proposed systems could handle my rubbish anyway. And what happened if the composition of the waste changed? Would you find yourself to blame then if the system purchased never functioned properly? Many of the supposed guaranteed performance contracts from some suppliers were not worth the paper that they were written on. I came across a few such agreements, where the parent company set up a local subsidiary then pulled the plug when things got too hot.

So – is there an actual solution to this massive waste issue, or is everybody still looking at futures that are still unproven and untested?

I can tell you from experience, that to go down the route of being the first intrepid user will be a nerve-wracking experience at the least, and at the most may soon suck every penny from your coffers.

Unfortunately there is only one solution for most people, and that is to wait until a technology is proven, and there is a working site to crawl all over. Pity about the mountain of toxic, rotting and festering waste getting taller and smellier, or the landfills filling up, or the toxic smoke-belching smokestacks continuing to puther all sorts of nasty, food-chain modifying poisons over our countryside.

So, before you make any decision on your waste management, make sure there is a fully operational and tested plant – anywhere in the world – that is fully functional and proven, and all the relevant operating licences have already been granted and are fully in place.

Without that – Caveat Emptor is the name of the game…

Geoff Morris has been examining the issues of waste management solutions for some considerable time now, both for sustainable humanitarian projects, as well as full on commercial enterprises. If you would like to know what is really available and proven out there, just get in touch with us.

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How to Choose the Right Signs for Your Business

Signs play a vital role in promoting the personality, products and or/services of your business. Signage isn’t simply a means of decoration or identification but a method of communication that can significantly influence customer perceptions. As signs are often the first feature of your business that customers experience, they are also your first chance to make the right impression and as first impressions are crucial, your signs need to present a strong and correct message about who you are and what you do. With all this is mind, choosing the right signage can seem intimidating. Whether you’re baffled by where to start or looking for some handy tips, this article breaks down the decision-making process into five simple steps, helping you to select the most effective signage strategies for your business. We combine current technology, innovative design and experienced knowledgeable staff, and are well equipped to meet all signs Sydney requirements.

Step 1: Choosing the right type of signage

Available business signage varies from external building signs and ground mounted signs to interior, workplace and promotional signs. As a business owner or marketing manager, you are responsible for deciding which types of signs your business requires. A useful tip to help you with this process is to regard choosing types of signs as akin to choosing opportunities. See each type of sign as acting as an advertisement which raises the profile and awareness of business. Remember that each type of sign has a different purpose and function – do you need to install signage to introduce your business from the exterior or display a promotion inside to visiting customers? Your signs are powerful tools that invite and persuade customers so think about what message you want to convey and what impact you want to make.

Step 2: Choosing the right location for your signage

Once you have chosen a suitable type of sign, you are likely to have an idea about its location. Sometimes, the location of your sign is obvious, for instance, an exterior shop banner sign is placed over the shop windows. However, when you can choose the location of your sign, make sure you choose correctly. Remember that a sign’s purpose is to be seen. Consider how you can position your sign to be seen by the most potential customers – for example, the most striking position inside your premises. Additionally, if you are installing exterior signage, ensure that it is visible from a distance. People are often on the move when passing exterior signage and whether they are walking or driving, your sign needs to be in a position that stands out and can be easily read. Taking into account the location of your sign will also inform you of the size you require. Finally, you will often need to refer to planning guidelines before installing exterior signage.

Step 3: Considering your competitors

As soon as you know which signs you require and where they need to be placed, the next step is to decide what the sign will look like. Before you can make informed, strong and successful decisions, you need to do a little research. To gain inspiration and awareness, find out about your competitors’ signage. How effective is their signage and how can you improve on their ideas? Aiming to prevail over your competitions is a great way to boost the power of your signage from the start.

Step 4: Choosing your signage content

The text content included on your signage varies depending on the function and purpose of the particular sign. For instance, a promotional sign might contain a lot more information than an exterior shop front banner. Once you understand the amount of content you need, a key thing to remember is that this content must correspond with your overall business identity. Do you need to adhere to a particular writing style or use certain keywords or slogans that are represented by your other marketing materials? While consistency is important, the way you say things is often more important than what you say. Judge a suitable number of words and sentences to include in your sign – less is often more. Do not overwhelm your reader with information; write short sentences that are simple and to the point to ensure the content of your signs adheres to their function. Simple and condensed information is best to attract and maintain customer attention whether they’re sat in a waiting room or passing by. Your signs should display one clear message that can be easily understood.

Step 5: Choosing your signage design

Equally as important as the content of your signs is their design. Signage text can be futile unless it is combined with appealing graphic arrangements and colour schemes. Settling on the correct and most effective designs for your signage can be a daunting prospect so this step is broken down into multiple points that require your thought and attention.

1. Branding

An integral factor in achieving signage success is branding. If your business is established, you will already have a brand design-identity. Incorporate this identity throughout your signage to maintain the consistency and familiarity of your business marketing. Cohere to your business’s branding colours and designs and include your logo in a coherent fashion. If signage is the first step in branding your business, ensure that you begin your marketing campaign in the image of how you wish it to expand. To construct an effective and interesting brand identity by choosing signage that represents your business personality and appeals to your target market. If your signage is your means of introducing yourself to potential customers, ensure it’s attractive and represents the correct image of your business.

2. Colour-scheme

Choosing a colour scheme for your signage will often depend on the colours of your business branding. You need to ensure that your signage maintains the brand identity displayed by all your other marketing material. However, when choosing colour shades, think about their effect on your representation. For example, whereas bland colours are less effective, bright colours stand out the most but do they reflect or damage your brand personality? Contrasting dark and light colours is often effective but again, what do these colours say about you? Remember, colours can have specific psychological effects.

3. Visibility

Intrinsic to choosing signage colours is regarding visibility. If your sign is an interior placement, consider the colours of its surroundings – do the colours of the sign stand out or blend in to where it’s placed? Additionally, choosing too similar colours within the design can cause them to blend and become less striking while dark colours are not as effective at night. Furthermore, if you are choosing signage for the exterior of your business, you may want to install lighting. Illuminated signs are effective as they continue your signage and brand visibility into the night while allowing signs to stand out more during the day. Make sure your signage is clear and stands out as a point of engagement for the customer.

4. Text

The position, size and visibility of the text on your signage are vital to its success. Obscure fonts and bland colours can damage the ability for potential customers to take interest in and read the content of your signs. Depending on the type of sign, ensure the text is a suitable size to be read from a suitable distance. Additionally, when considering the choice of font, ensure it correlates with the font displayed across your other marketing material and presents an accurate message about your brand personality. Take great care when designing this area of your signage – your text is, after all, what contains your message.

Hopefully, this article has convinced you that choosing the right signage for your business isn’t so intimidating after all. However, you’re not expected to be a pro in all things sign and design so signs that is your one-stop shop for professional assistance. Signs That Sell can provide an all round service to assist you in choosing, designing and installing the most powerful signs for your business. Powerfully promote your business personality with a quality service and support from a company that commits to investment in training and innovative product development. Experience value for money while experiencing a valuable service from a company that understands signs are not just fixtures but first and foremost, a communications tool. For signage tools that we are using get in touch with us.

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How to Remove Fine Scratches From Car Wash Brushes

Fine smudges and scratches in the shiny new paint of your car can be the bane of a new car owners existence. Unfortunately accidents happen, and there is not much you can do to prevent it. However, you can take steps to try and fix the blemish with the use of best car polish. You can even do it yourself.

Getting Rid Of Those Scratches!

Wash your car. This will remove any external dust, dirt and chemicals that maybe be on the surface. Be sure to dry the car’s surface thoroughly with the shammy. You may have to ring the shammy out a few times before you are done. Make sure there is no water left on the car.

Apply the rubbing compound to the microfiber applicator pad. Rub across the scratch at a right angle, applying moderate pressure. No need to break out the elbow grease yet. Rubbing compound essentially strips paint, so you want to start off with the less is more mentality.

Wipe the scratch clean with your micro fiber towel. Eyeball the spot, and if the scratch is still there, repeat the process, rubbing a bit more vigorously. This is where you may want to apply a bit of that elbow grease!

Continue this process until you can’t see any more improvement in the scratched spot. Afterwards, fill in the smudged spot with the car polish of your choice. Z2 Pro Show Car Polish is one to try. Just add the polish to your other microfiber applicator pad, and rub over area until the spot is almost dry.

Use your microfiber towel to buff off any remaining residue, and follow up with your favorite wax. I recommend Meguire’s brand, but you can check out your local auto shop if you want to bargain shop and compare prices.

Another alternative, is to put in the hard part of getting rid of the scratches yourself, and then take your baby to a professional detail shop. A good detail should only run you about 50 or 60 bucks, and then you are good to go! A bonus is that even your interior will get a good scrub down!

Tips & Warnings

This method is only meant for fine scratches. Scratches that you can feel with your fingernail, may not be effectively removed in this manner.
Another alternative, is to put in the hard part of getting rid of the scratches yourself, and then take your baby to a professional detail shop. A good detail should only run you about 50 or 60 bucks, and then you are good to go. A bonus is that even your interior will get a good scrub down.

Don’t attempt to remove scratches that cut all the way through your paint and clear coats. An expert is needed in those cases. Also, scratches removed by hand may still be slightly visible in certain lights. For even better results you can invest in a small circular polisher and you may get in touch with us.

How To Make The Smartest Car Decisions

Some people enjoy looking around for cars, while others feel stressed and daunted by the experience. If you can’t stand shopping for a new car, it’s a good idea to learn all you can about searching for one so you have a pleasant time. Read the information below article for some excellent knowledge on how to make the shopping process. Car paint protection in Melbourne always protect your car you always do an uphill battle everyday.

When shopping for a car, you need to figure out what you’re looking for first. How much of a budget do you spend? How many seats do you need to drive around? What are you desire? Do you need four or will two doors? Make a list of all the things that you want in your car.

You can save thousands by searching online. When you locate the model you want, either go to the dealership selling the car or have your own dealer get the car for you. If the dealership that has the vehicle is not too long of a drive, make the drive to save the most money.

If you’re buying your vehicle through a private party, get your mechanic to see the vehicle before you purchase it. If the owner balks at this, this is cause for real concern. The car may have been in a wreck.You want to avoid falling into these without figuring out who they are first.

Bring a friend on your car shopping trip. This company could be your life partner, from a family member to a close friend.

You don’t want to rush yourself into purchasing a vehicle if you aren’t sure about. You should allocate at least an entire afternoon.If you are pressed for time, just come back later.

Ask your friends for tips and recommendations from others. Are they impressed with the car choices they have? Do they have regrets about the decisions they had something else? What things are they hearing about other cars that are out there?

When car shopping, don’t go above a set maximum no matter what you’re getting told by the dealer.

Test drive any car before you buy.

Safety features and specifications are extremely important feature you should look for in your new vehicle. Anti-lock brakes or ABS are an absolute must for any car.Safety is important since you are often in the car alot.

When shopping for a car, take into consideration the fuel economy of the vehicle and the impact it will have on your budget. You may be yearning for a big V-8 that can tow things.

Never discuss down payments, incentives, or what you want until you have a price ironed out. These items should all be subtracted from the rock bottom line price. This will help you get the best deal.

Salespeople have monthly quotas to make. Use this system to your advantage by shopping at month end. Salesmen short on sales will give you a great deal to meet the quota. This gives you have more leverage in your bargaining.

Rent cars to test it out. This will give you a good idea of what it is like to drive. Go on a long road trip in that car stands up to the abuse. This is an effective way to get acquainted with a vehicle before buying one.

The salesperson is making all the money from you as he can. This should be obvious, but it can easily be lost when faced with a pro. Be on the extra costs and additions that can be attached to a sale. Even a car that’s cheap can rise up in price fast.

Wait a bit before purchasing brand new models of any car. Getting one the minute they hit the market will be costlier than if you paying much more money. Give it a while so that all the hype to ease up then go looking to buy one.

Be sure you’ve discovered rebates before you go. Lots of car sales places give you a rebate to make the sale a little quicker in order to encourage fast decisions.

Buying at the end may be your best bet. All dealerships need to meet monthly quotas. This can sometimes be used to your benefit and end up pushing the price your way.

This allows you to find out if there are any apparent mechanical or electrical problems that will affect your car. If the mechanic finds some problems, you may want a different car, or at least haggling for a lower price.

Begin having negotiations at the wholesale or invoice pricing. You can do this using one of many websites. Plan to get your car at invoice price or maybe slightly higher. Once you have reached a bottom line price, ask about financing and incentives. This is the most effective way to know you are getting a great deal.

Some people love the adventure involved with buiyng a new or used vehicle while others are fearful of the process. To make shopping for a car more favorable, you need to have as much knowledge as possible. Utilize the knowledge you’ve just read, and you are certain to be ready to make the best decision for you. Before you make decision in applying a car paint protection from your car get in touch with us first.

Ideas To Take The Fear Out Of Auto Repairs

Have you long wanted to deal with the need for auto repair? Have you thought about handling parts and labor yourself? Maybe you just want to learn a good mechanic. Read on so you have. Your first step is to wash the rest of your car, either with a garden hose or car wash the apply it with a car window cleaner.

Referrals will lead you to a trustworthy mechanic.Ask around for their recommendations. You can find out great information about prices and value that way. People will let you what type of things they had and whether the person was honest or not.

Look for online body shop’s reviews online. This will let you know how other people who have tried this mechanic before have felt about their experience. You can find a place you’ll feel comfortable enough with to fix your money at.

Keep a DIY tool kit in the car at all times. Your car came with equipment needed for changing a tire and other necessary items. You need to purchase a lug wrench and a jack if you don’t already have them. You should have a few screwdrivers with various shapes as well as different wrenches like for this kit.

Speak with friends about where they get their auto shop recommendations before you pick a shop. Your family and friends may have a few recommendations for you to check out. You should still do your research on the person they tell you about. Check online reviews about the shop in question.

Be certain to understand when your oil change schedule. You have to change it regularly to keep your vehicle runs smoothly. If you don’t change it, your car may not last as long as it could.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash your vehicle. Winter can ruin the quality of your car. Salt and sand lead to rust spots and other flaws.

Check the tire pressure every time you fill up on gas. Look at them and make sure they there is nothing embedded in them.You don’t want to have to drive around with weak tires.

Do not diagnose difficult auto repair problems yourself. What may seem to be a simple task can be very complex, especially if the vehicle is newer. Let repair shop diagnose the problem. Tell them everything you can about the issue, and then let them do their job.

Some shops will give you old tires in the place of your tired with even older ones. They can make money off of those who do not know enough to check. Mark your tires before taking your car to an auto shop. If you don’t have the chalk on your tires still when you pick the car up, you have probably been swindled.

Don’t let anyone tell you into getting your car’s engine flushed is something that normally needs to be done during maintenance. This service is expensive and it may not something that is typically done during the course of normal maintenance.

It is not uncommon to find out about other problems when collecting a car from an auto shop. They do this to make it look like you are getting a deal. Tell them you can seek out better pricing.

It is possible that there was a recall issue if multiple people report the same problem.The manufacturer may even fix the problem at no cost to you.

Ask your trusted friends for a good auto mechanic. This is really a great way to locate services because the person’s skills have been recommended by a person you know. It’s much better than hoping the mechanic is reliable.

Do not put regular water for the windshield wiper reservoir. Water can clean the windshield, but the car’s system is meant to handle only washer fluid. You should check this on a regular basis for refill it regularly. Do not insist when the reservoir appears to be empty.

The mechanic is the first barrier you face with auto repair. You never want to give your business with a shady mechanic. Watch for negative body language like lack of eye contact, not answering your questions, and ignore your questions.

This can prevent your car safe from things like slush and dirt. These are a big help during winter and rainy seasons.

When you are washing your car, remove the mats and beat them a few times with the water hose. Dirt particles are easily lodged inside the rubber surfaces and over time they will tear holes. Holes are unsightly and let dirt through.

Modern cars are fitted with all types of warning lights and sensors that will tell you if problems are detected. Sometimes the sensors themselves may malfunction, so check on your car manually once in a while.

Keep a detailed record of all the repairs that have been done on your car. Try to keep this record inside your car. This will be of great help the mechanic figure out any issues. It can even save a bunch of time and costly diagnostic testing.

Don’t try to start working on your car unless you are absolutely sure of how to fix it yourself. You could end up voiding your warranty by doing the work yourself. This also means you are financially responsible for all repairs associated with your cost.

Don’t get stuck thinking you’re at a loss regarding repairing your vehicle. Make a point to learn how you can do it by reading the information in this article or get in touch with us. Now, you’re aware of the things you can do yourself.

The Best Way To Clean Car Windows Without Leaving Streaks

Clean car windows look better and improve visibility while driving. However, many car owners get frustrated by the ugly streaks which form after every cleaning session. Learn the best way to clean car windows. The irregular shape and angle of your car windows can make cleaning difficult but with window cleaner I used that’s easy to remove.

Many people have tried all manner of cleaning solutions in a bid to find out the best way to clean car windows. In addition, recently tinted car windows can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days before they completely dry out in summer. During winter it can take a few weeks before the window film dries up. Any water moisture trapped in between the film and glass will create a blistery and hazy appearance. However, there are several car window cleaning techniques that you can use to achieve the perfect clean and gleaming look – tinted windows or not.

Cleaning windows is only a small part of a detailing project. You HAVE to read our Complete Professional Car Detailing Step by Step Process.

The Truth about Ammonia

There are many glass cleaning products available in the market which contain ammonia. Vehicle owners should avoid such products since ammonia does not bode well with common car surfaces such as rubber, leather, and vinyl. Ammonia fumes are dangerous and should not be inhaled in a closed environment. In addition, glass cleaners with ammonia compounds cannot be used to clean tinted windows – they pose a damage risk to the film itself.

Microfiber Towels

Microfiber towels can be used to clean even the most stubborn stains and produce great results. It is advisable to choose a microfiber towel with a tight weave as it would give you a better scrubbing capability. You should be wary of cheap microfiber products since most of them shed fibers easily. When cleaning car windows, dip one side of the towel in water and clean the glass. After you have finished cleaning, use the dry side and gently remove any signs of streaking. The majority of high-quality microfiber materials will eliminate any residual streaks. Again, this method is mainly for the outside of the glass. You must be much more gentle when cleaning the inside, especially if your car has tinted film.

Taking Care of Your Windshield Wipers

Your car windshield wipers should be maintained in good working order. It is impossible to drive in rain, dust, or snow without them being in good working condition. Optimum performance is achieved if the rubber and glass are well-maintained. This means that wiper blades should be cleaned whenever you are cleaning the window glass. Never use rubber dressing on the wiper blades as this will only result in streaking. Use a dampened cloth to wipe the blades clean and remove any dirt formation. The best product which can prolong the life of your wiper blades is the 303 wiper treatment. Treating your wipers will ensure that the blade rubber hugs the glass eliminating the noise caused by dry blades. In addition, the use of good additives will enhance the dirt removing properties of your washer fluid. If you are worried by winter weather conditions, choose an additive with antifreeze protection.

Cleaning Tinted Car Windows

As mentioned earlier, extreme care should be taken when cleaning tinted car windows since the film scratches easily. Learning how to clean car windows properly takes patience and practice. It is also not wise to use ammonia-based glass cleaning products on tinted windows. Use a soft damp cloth to clean tinted glass. In place of products which contain ammonia, soapy water will work fine. You can also purchase spray foam glass cleaners to clean the tint material without streaking. Otherwise, there are plenty of ammonia-free glass cleaners on the market.

Proper Wipe Down Tips

You can have quality products and still fail in washing windows without streaks forming. It is important for car owners to use the right technique when cleaning. If you are using a spray, do not spray directly on the glass as most of it will be will be lost to the surrounding air. Instead, you should spray the cleaner on a towel and then proceed to wipe the windows using the towel. This should be done in a rhythmic and spreading motion to ensure that the entire glass surface comes into contact with the cleaner. After clearing all the dirty grime, use a microfiber towel to wipe the glass surface and remove any remaining dirt residue and streaks. Remember that while the windshield receives added attention, all other windows should also be cleaned thoroughly. If you usually smoke inside your car, regular window cleaning will clear the resultant haze. It is recommended to use a good quality soft cloth material instead of used rags which might be carrying dirt particles capable of scratching glass. A soft cloth will not leave any scratch marks on tint film material. During waxing, try to steer clear of the windows since any marks will result in a grimy appearance. However, some waxes actually work on glass – read the label for the recommendations for the product you are using.

Cleaning Water Spots

After working tirelessly to clean your car, it is common for minor water spot contamination to occur during the week. These dirty water spots can ruin the shiny look that you toiled to perfect. Most of these contaminants which you pick while driving can be quite hard to remove with normal glass cleaners. The best way to clean glass with such spots is by using quality glass polish products. All you have to do is use a foam applicator and then finish off by buffing with a microfiber towel. Removing water spots every now and then will prevent noticeable etch marks from forming. Know more about the latest car window cleaner for your car.

Make sure that you always carry out a close inspection of windows if your car is more than one year old. Dirt buildup normally occurs around the trim of your rear window and windshield. This dirt can be removed by scrubbing with an old toothbrush or using a detailing brush. Apply window cleaner to the brush and scrub gently along the trim edges to break off the caked-on grime. If you encounter stubborn gunk spots, use a sharp edged instrument such as a razor blade. However, care should be taken not to scratch the glass or break the rubber seals.

Electric Problems Inspection Service

The battery, and the rest of the electrical system is an absolutely essential component of a vehicle. It not only starts the vehicle but also powers all of the comfort accessories such as the air conditioning, the radio and power windows. Electrician Brisbane 24 hours have helped many Brisbane businesses and families in times of electrical emergency.

Problems with the electrical system can quickly escalate and affect other components of your vehicle. Electrical system problems should be dealt with quickly and by a professional.

How this system works:

The basic components of the electrical system are the battery, starter and alternator.

The battery provides the entire electrical current to the vehicle before the vehicle is started, including the fuel and ignition systems, which are responsible for starting the vehicle.

The starter uses a small amount of power from the battery to rotate the flywheel, which turns the crankshaft, moving the pistons. Once the vehicle is running, the alternator takes over and keeps the battery charged and the electrical system working. While a vehicle will start with a malfunctioning alternator it won’t run for long.

Common reasons for this to happen:

  • Battery Issues: If the vehicle does not start or even try to turn over there is a very good chance the battery is the problem. Most vehicles have a Battery warning light that will come on if there is an issue with the battery or one of the other electrical system components. In many cases a drained battery is due to the lights being left on. Over time batteries will go bad and need to be replaced. Expect to get three to four years out of a typical battery. Corrosion on the battery can speed up its demise, so keeping a clean battery can help extend its life.
  • Corroded Battery Cables: The battery cables are responsible for transferring the current from the battery to the electrical components in the vehicle. If the vehicle will not start, makes a clicking sound or the radio and other electrical components do not work, the cables could be the problem. Again, corrosion can corrode the cable and the battery terminals. In most cases battery cables cannot be repaired and need to be replaced.
  • Malfunctioning Alternator: The alternator converts the power the crankshaft is generating into electrical energy, which charges the battery. If the alternator is not producing enough voltage the battery can go dead. In most cases a failing alternator will trigger the Battery light to come on. If the alternator completely fails the car will eventually stop running as the battery is not being recharged. Dim lights, a grinding or whirring noise can all be symptoms of a failing alternator.
  • Malfunctioning Voltage Regulator: The voltage regulator is connected to the alternator, it controls how much voltage the alternator sends to the battery. If this component is malfunctioning, the alternator will not send the correct voltage to the battery. Symptoms of a failing voltage regulator include the Battery light coming on, dim lights, dashboard lights that dim or flicker and the engine may start to hesitate.
  • Broken Serpentine Belt: The serpentine belt helps drive the alternator and if it breaks the alternator will no longer function.
  • Blown Fuse: If one specific accessory is not functioning, such as the radio or power windows a blown fuse could be the culprit.
  • Failed or Burnt Out Fusible Link: Fusible links are a high-capacity connector, which protect accessories that are wired directly to the battery. Over time they will fail and in some cases will suddenly burn out. Common symptoms include a pause before the starter turns and slow functioning accessories.

What to expect:

A top­-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the source and cause of the electrical system issue, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.

How important is this service?

The electrical system not only powers convenience systems like the air conditioner and power windows it also is essential to safety systems such as headlight and brake lights. A malfunctioning electrical system can affect many other vehicle components and in many cases, the vehicle will stop running altogether. Electrical system problems should be addressed immediately. Check out the importance of electrical services.

5 Tips to Increase Readership for Artists Email Newsletters!

In our recent Seminar for marketing artists, I touched on the topic of creating interesting newsletters. Storyboard artists take ideas and interpret them into visual media.

Now why would an artist need to send out a newsletter? Isn’t seeing the art enough? I’m not sure just when the fantasy of “paint it, and they will come” first gathered steam, but the savvy art marketer today knows that in order to build and keep a relationship with their audience/prospects, they need to stay in touch!

So, with that in mind, there are many programs available which make it easy, affordable and convenient to send out email newsletters, in quantity, and without it being labeled by the Internet as spam.

I use Streamsend to send out over 1200 email newsletter for my Art Clients each month. It helps to research the newsletters that you receive and like, or do an online search, and you’ll see the names of other applications such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, aWeber, etc. See which ones fit within the parameters of what you are or would be doing. In the past, artists spent hundreds and thousands of dollars annually on just postage for newsletter distribution. In comparison, the cost of monthly newsletter programs, taken in context, is nominal. In other words, the $20.00 a month it now costs me to send out 1200 monthly email newsletters would be…oh, around $500.00 or up a month in postage! All the programs available are less than $49.00 a month.

The other, HUGE advantage is that through these programs you can see the results! Not only can you can see who opened your newsletter, but which areas were viewed most often, which links were most popular and all offer easy opt in or out subscriptions for readers. Faulty and duplicate email addresses are weeded out automatically and that is a valuable tool!

But after the first newsletter goes out, how do you keep the reader’s interest month after month?

Here are 5 things that you can do to capture and maintain the interest of your audience.

#1 Make your newsletter helpful and worthwhile.

Nothing says BORING like a newsletter that is all about you! A common mistake is to think your newsletter is all about promotion. Nothing screams SALES like a “ME, ME,and all about ME” newsletter. If that is what you’re doing, then you might as well just be sending out advertising because that’s how your newsletter readers are taking it. The biggest thing you can do to get more people reading your email newsletter is to make it helpful and worth their time. Content has to be useful to your readers.

The point of an email newsletter is NOT to use the whole format to promote your art. Just as the concept behind Social Networking sites is to promote a relationship, your email newsletter is also about forming those relationships with your prospects. The idea is to have interesting tips and topics that create a bond or a following of your art and your journey. Think of it as sharing a cup of coffee with a friend. WHat would you talk about or share?

There is nothing wrong with letting your readers know that you have a new workshop coming up or a Gallery opening or an open house at your studio but add a little something extra such as a mini-art lesson or a captivating story about your walk in the woods that inspired your latest painting.

Make the content of your newsletter something helpful they can use and they’ll open it every time. Need ideas? Take any or all of these ideas and tie it in with your artist’s life:

  • funny video
  • crossword puzzle
  • word game
  • charity/rescue/donation of the month/quarter, etc.
  • garden/wildlife/pet tips
  • interesting facts you didn’t know
  • jokes
  • add another voice speaking-your dog, your paintbrush, your sculpture
  • how to video of you creating something each newsletter
  • recipes
  • now you think of something!

#2 Share your artist’s life in your newsletter.

The artists who are selling their art successfully are doing so because they have mastered the art of sharing a little of the “artist mystique” with their collectors. Writers learn early in their careers that “Words tell, stories sell.” Artists are no different.

People view your art or buy it because both the image and the story behind the image spoke to them. That’s you! A newsletter is no different than a blog in that respect. People will open it and read it because they find it entertaining, educational, or useful. To make it more entertaining, use your artist’s voice. Be you. Be natural. Give the reader a tidbit of the life they envision an artist lives. In your art newsletter keep the tone light and warm and fuzzy. Stay away from serious and introspectively depressing news and thoughts! There’s enough of that in the news!

Remember, there are millions of images of art on the Internet. What can YOU do to take the static image of your artwork and turn it into an interesting event? Which brings us to number 3!

#3 Use Photos and images in your newsletter

There is simply no way an artist can send out any newsletter without images! Include your art, you at work, an image of something that inspired you. Only use the very best images of your work. Everyone knows the journey from studio to Internet diminishes the WOW factor from your original art but do what you can to compensate for that!

So, add videos, photos of work in progress, photos of an inspiring trip… add visuals!

#4 You need to have a call to action.

The interesting thing about readers of all ages is that you discover shortly that you have to tell them what to do! Seriously. Make it easy and convenient to do so. Asking your readers to do something is a “Call to Action.” A call to action can achieve results that a sales letter never would simply because by the time you ask for a call to action, your readers know MORE about who you are through your ongoing chatty and friendly style and newsletters:-)

A Call to Action can be as simple as asking the reader to go to a link. Do not assume because it is in convenient blue, that they will click on it! Tell them what and why they should click on that link and what they will find that will benefit them.

Do you want a poll of recent art work from your readers? Then ask them, “write back to me and tell me what you liked or did not like about my sculpture/river/glass, etc., series of art.” People love to give their opinions! Let them know that you value their opinions and find them truly helpful:-).

Do you want them to buy your art? Then tell them! “Click here to purchase my art.” Sure, occasional strangers might do it, but the readers who have been following your newsletters, feel by now that they know you and are far more willing to buy your art directly from the Internet.

You might also want to alter those PayPal buttons to say something like “Collect my Art!” or “Add this to my art Collection” or some chatty sentence that is YOU.

#5 Be consistent!

If you are putting your newsletter out here and there, or when you remember, you’re losing readers. And you’re not alone. Most newsletters are not consistent in their release schedule. Get a schedule. It can be once a quarter, on the first or fifteenth of the month, or every Wednesday. Just pick something and be consistent with it and you’ll improve your readership response.

Use the same heading each time so that readers know it’s from you!

Summary-Bringing it all together

It takes perseverance and dedication to write your newsletters. So make each one count by maximizing your response rate. Most of all-stick with it! Follow these five tips, and not only will you start getting more responses to your newsletters, a format/template to follow to make it easier each time, but an increase in online sales!

by M Theresa Brown

Artist Entrepreneur and art career expert, M Theresa Brown has been one of a very small minority of artists successfully selling her visual art as her livelihood for 20 years as Although she is now married to an artist, she supported herself and her four children as a single mom artist for years!

For the past 10 years she has worked with, helped and advised artists on every aspect of taking control of their artist career through utilizing her methods of marketing, promoting and selling their creative art. Want to know more? Join her marketing forum and enjoy the articles, blogs and newsletters on her artist marketing website,

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How To Wash and Wax Your Car

It may seem counterintuitive, but frequently washing and waxing your vehicle is the best way to maintain its exterior paint finish for years to come, regardless of the constant wiping and rubbing it entails — but only as long as you’re using the right products in the correct order. All major brands of car washes, car waxes and related detailing products are specially formulated to work gently on the clear-coat paint finishes found on every car built since the mid-1990s. They’re ideal for removing dirt above and below the surface, eliminating swirls and other imperfections and leaving a high-gloss shine. If you are in the market for car cleaning products that actually deliver great results, look no further.

Such obsessive-compulsive labor need not be arduous, however. While there are multiple procedures involved in washing and waxing a car to perfection, it’s not necessary to do them all at once. Some steps should be taken weekly. Others can be employed every few months or annually. If you want to watch some pros using the techniques described in this story, check out the instructional videos from car-care product companies Meguiar’s and Mothers.

At all times, there are some simple car wash rules to keep in mind:

No matter which stage you’re at in the car wash and wax process, it’s always best to have the car parked in a cool, shady place.

If the water you’re using to wash the car is hard — meaning that it contains a lot of minerals — it will leave spots on the paint’s finish when it evaporates. That happens more quickly in hot sunlight. And although many modern, synthetic polymer-based car waxes are sun-friendly since they won’t dry too quickly and become difficult to remove, you’ll expend less effort if you use them on a cool surface. For best results, the car’s surface should be no more than warm to the touch.

Be sure to have a good stock of microfiber towels on hand for washing and drying the car, and for applying and removing car wax and related car-care products.

A microfiber towel is gentler to a car’s finish than a cotton towel or chamois, which could mar the finish, creating slight scratches or ruts that accumulate over time. Microfiber towels require special care, however. Wash them separately from all other laundry and especially not with linty cotton towels. Use hot water and don’t use fabric softener. Run them through at least one additional rinse cycle in the washing machine. Then dry them on a low-heat setting. Finally, stop using them on painted or glass surfaces when they begin to show their age by, for example, shedding lint. Instead, use them for polishing wheels and, later, for polishing stainless steel exhaust pipe tips.

Keep the car’s paint in showroom condition through a four-step process: washing, cleaning, polishing and waxing.

It’s important to use the correct products at the correct stages. This will prevent unnecessary damage to your car’s finish.

The most critical of the four steps is washing, which removes the loose contaminants that gradually accumulate on the surface of the finish, creating a gritty residue that could cause scratches in later steps if it’s not removed properly first. This requires a genuine car wash product (such as Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash, Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash and Wax or Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Car Wash). These products are pH-balanced and formulated to loosen and lift surface contaminants without stripping away waxes.

You should avoid normal dish soap, laundry soap and household cleaners. They are designed to remove and dissolve grease and oil, and they will strip away the waxes and in some instances could damage the car’s finish.

Wash the car thoroughly, working from the top down and utilizing a lamb’s wool or microfiber washing mitt. Professional car detailers prefer these because the nap of the lamb’s wool or microfiber draws the dirt particles away from the paint. Re-dip the mitt in the bucket after each panel of the car is washed. That cleans the mitt and ensures that you’re again working with fresh suds.

For soft convertible tops, dip a soft bristle brush in the suds and work the dirt out of the grain using small, circular strokes. If the top is heavily soiled or stained, use a product designed for convertible tops, such as Meguiar’s Convertible Top Cleaner. These products are pH-balanced to safely lift dirt from cloth and vinyl tops without damaging the stitching.

Dry the car thoroughly with a soft, absorbent waffle-weave microfiber drying towel. Do not store the top in the down position if it is still wet, says the Haartz Corporation, a leading manufacturer of convertible tops. Make sure the top is completely dry before storing.

Experts recommend washing a car this way weekly.

For casual touch-ups between washes, you can use a spray-on product called a detailer (such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Detailer, Mothers California Gold Showtime Instant Detailer and Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Spray Detailer). Detailer products slough off light surface dirt, but don’t offer any protection.

Cleaning the Gunk
Next, inspect the paint, searching for above-the-surface bonded contaminants such as a thin film of tree sap, bird droppings or pollen and below-the-surface defects such as swirls, oxidation caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation or etching from acid rain.

Lightly sweep your flat hand along the paint. If it does not feel as smooth as glass, you have above-the-surface contaminants. A clay bar designed for car care (such as the one included in Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit or in Mothers California Gold Clay Bar Kit) is mildly abrasive to shear off and remove these contaminants. It should be the first product you use to try to remove them. Rub it over the affected area, kneading and turning it to expose a clean area when necessary.

For below-the-surface defects, you can use a cleaner with mild abrasives (such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound or Mothers California Gold Pure Polish). Use a microfiber-covered or foam applicator pad to apply it, using small circular, overlapping strokes. Never use hard pressure.

Cleaning a section of the vehicle at a time, remove the cleaner with a microfiber towel that you’ve folded into fourths. Use one side to break up and wipe away the hazy product, then flip the towel over to a clean side to remove any additional residue. Your paint should now feel smooth and should be free of swirls and defects.

If upon the initial inspection you do not find any defects — either above or below the surface — you can skip the cleaning step altogether and go straight to polishing and waxing. However, experts say that use of a clay bar probably will be necessary every six months.

Polishes and glazes add luster but do not protect the finish, so using them is entirely optional, especially since clear-coat finishes are highly resistant to oxidation. Even years-old cars generally retain their shine today.

Nevertheless, products such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish and Mothers California Gold Micro-Polishing Glaze can restore the natural oils your paint once had, making the car’s surface more reflective and shiny. Using a polish or glaze once a year may be helpful. Although light-colored paints such as white, silver and tan may not display much change, darker colors such as black, burgundy and navy blue will reflect light like a mirror after proper polishing.

As you did during the cleaning process, apply the polish or glaze by hand, using small circular, overlapping strokes with a microfiber-covered or foam applicator pad on one section of the car at a time, removing the polish with a microfiber towel after the product becomes hazy. Don’t allow the polish to dry completely. Trying to remove dry polish will almost certainly result in scratches to the finish.

For protection, you need to apply a car wax, and experts recommend that this be done at least every three months. However, there are varieties of wax that can be used much more frequently. If you’re really obsessive, some can be used as often as every few days.

The newest synthetic polymer-based waxes (such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax, Mothers California Gold Synthetic Wax and Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Liquid Wax) generally provide longer-lasting protection and are easier to use in the sun than older-style carnauba-based waxes (such as Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Wax and Mothers California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Wax).

Normally, the newer liquid or paste waxes provide the longest-lasting protection — usually three or four months if the car is kept in a garage and not exposed to a harsh environment.

When applying a liquid or paste wax, you’ll use the same technique: small, circular, overlapping strokes, using a microfiber-covered or foam applicator pad and working one section of the vehicle at a time. As in the other steps, remove the wax with a microfiber towel that you’ve folded into fourths, using one side to break the waxy surface, then flipping the towel over to a clean side to remove any additional residue.

Spray waxes (such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax, Mothers California Gold Spray Wax and Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Spray Wax) are designed for quick application but generally don’t offer the same long-lasting protection as the liquids or pastes. Experts say that spray waxes should be used as a booster between the quarterly applications of the liquid or paste waxes. Some car-care experts recommend using these spray waxes as often as twice per week. Some say once a month is sufficient.

A Special Caution on Matte Finishes
Except for washing with a car wash product, nothing should be done to or applied to a car covered in a matte paint with a flat finish, such as Mercedes-Benz’s “designo Magno” series. These matte paints also can be cleaned in a brushless automated car wash as long as the machine does not apply any shine agents. And as with a car that sports a glossy finish, it is important to clean bird droppings, tree sap and other surface contaminants from a matte paint finish immediately.

Your Car Wax Mileage May Vary
Despite their suggestions for how often owners should clean and wax, product manufacturers won’t make any firm promises for how long any of their products will actually protect a vehicle.

“How long a wax lasts on Car A is not necessarily true how long it lasts on Car B,” says Michael Deddo, senior research chemist at Turtle Wax in Willowbrook, Illinois. “Every car is like its own paint canvas. Every one is different.” Know more the benefits of washing your car.