The £7,200 car wash that goes beyond the bucket and sponge
How much would you pay for a car wash? Three quid at the local jetwash? A tenner to the men with a trolley at the local supermarket? A fiver to next door's kid?
Well it appears that there are some car owners that are willing to pay a little more than that – a man in Derbyshire is charging up to £7,200 per vehicle.
Gurcharn Sahota, 30, takes as long as 250 hours on each car, and uses an array of equipment that includes a digital microscope that picks up dirt that the human eye can't see. He also has more than 100 cleaning fluids at his disposal and a wax that costs a staggering £8,200 per tub.
The full £7,200 treatment involves washing, polishing and buffing every inch of the car as many as five times – inside and out.
Having started out washing his neighbours' cars with a simple bucket and sponge, Sahota now counts a string of celebrities among his clients, and deals with some of the world's most exotic supercars.
He starts by washing the car with a lambswool mitten and clean soapy water, then uses a £5,000 computerised microscope to examine the bodywork for blemishes. He then uses a buffer that is linked to a gauge that calculates the depth of the paintwork, before going over the panels with a clay bar to remove imperfections.
Sahota runs his own company, Elite Detailing, which was started after he begged an Aston Martin dealership to allow him to clean a car for free. Once they agreed, and were impressed with his work, his reputation grew and the quality of cars he worked on shot up.
"I have my processes which I go through and I am meticulous about each one," said Sahota.
"If you're paying £150,000 for a car then you're going to want it to be perfect. The first time I cleaned a Ferrari Enzo it took a week and when I tried to sleep all I could see was Ferrari red. The car has to be free from all contaminants like dust and dirt before you start otherwise it's going to get scratched.
"I just want perfection. Finishing is the best part because you know what it was like when you started. That gives me great satisfaction."
Sahota's top car washing tips are as follows:
1. Use warm soapy water.
2. Add warm water mixed with a PH neutral shampoo in one and plain water in the other.
3. Use a lamb's wool wash mitt which only costs £8 and is better than a sponge.
4. Always wash from the top down.
5. Use different cloths on the bodywork and wheels.
6. Avoid acidic and high-alkaline wheel cleaners and any silicone-based products because they stain.
7. Use a towel instead of a chamois leather to dry the car.
8. Always check the cleaning materials regularly to make sure there's no dirt in them.
9. Always dry the bodywork in small circles to prevent streaking.
10. Take your time and enjoy washing the car.