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Car Care & Detailing
Get detailing answers and tips here

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Old 09-15-2002, 02:01 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: California
Posts: 733
My Ride: 330ci
ive had enough of the car care threads here where people have gotten bad advice SO...

Ive had enough of the car care threads here where people have gotten bad advice SO im making a thread to help you guys out.

Im also pissed off that the owners of this website made a "ICE" forum instead of a detailing one... BLAH

STEP 1: Washing

Keeping your car clean by washing it provides the biggest benifit in keeping your paint looking just new. When washing, you remove the top layer of loose dirt and road film from your car's paint finish.

Car shampoos today are extremely gentle on paint, rubber, and plastic. Good shampoos give lubrication that prevents scratching, while the conditioners in it give your car a glossy shine.

Washing and drying tools:

Cotton: thicker is better. If you can, go to a local bath towel store and buy some 100% egyptian cotton bath towels. These will REDUCE the amount of swirls that you put into your car by about 80%. Old, thrown out bath towels just wont cut it.

Microfiber towels are also very popular these days, but are very expensive. Unless you are a car care freak that waxes his/her car every other week (like me), you do not need these. But if you do intend to become serious about car care, many people have recommended towels from www.pakshak.com and http://yosteve.homestead.com/startpage2.html .

Cotton and Microfiber towels you buy from costco in a 40 pack are NOT recommended for your paint.

Wash tools
Though there are not many "right" wash tools to use, the recommended ones are
Cotton Chenille Wash Sponge

Sheepskin Wash Mitts

Natural Sea Sponge-recommended by most professional car detailers
Microfiber Wash Mitt - very safe


Wash the wheels, tires, and wheel wells first. DO NOT USE THE SAME WASH MITT FOR THE REST OF THE CAR!!! You may use the spray on wheel cleaners that you find at target or walmart, but it is recommended to use a chenille wash mitt with a good sudsy car shampoo.


Fill your bucket up again with your car shampoo and get another wash mitt. The reason why you need to do this is because the wash mitt you used on the wheels will still have micro "rocks" stuck to them that will SCRATCH your paint finish.

Use front to back motions ONLY. Clean half of a panel at a time, flipping the wash mitt in between. Start with the roof, rinse that off. Move down to the trunk and hood, rinse. Then do the sides. Keep the car wet at all times to prevent water spotting!

Take the nozzle off your hose. Let the water pour over body panels. The water will sheet off. Move the hose down to increase the amount of flowing water coming off your car. This will get rid of about 95% of the water.

Now, take a nice fluffy 100% cotton bath towel and BLOT - do not rub- the surface. This gets rid of all the remaining drops and wont leave any moisture behind.

Glass cleaning is probably one of the most annoying things about car care for me. I would recommend using Stoners Invisible Glass and (if you bought it) a microfiber towel.

I am definately NOT a pro about glass cleaning so go here to learn about it.

Polishing and Waxing
Ah, the topic you all have been waiting for. Here is some basic information:

1. There are 3 steps of waxing your car. a. PREP b. POLISH c. PROTECT

2. Many people think polish and waxing are the exact same thing, but they are two very different processes.


4. There are two types of polishes: a polish and a glaze. Polishes usually contain abrasives that will remove minor swirl marks and may usually contain high amounts of "cleaners" in it. Glazes do not contain any abrasives or cleaners. They will fill in swirl marks for a very short period of time. Glazes will create a VERY glossy and it will make your paint look "wet"

Prepping and polishing your car account for 80% of the final shine. This is a VERY important stage to waxing your car.

1. Wash your car with DAWN dish soap to remove any remaining wax.

2. Clay your car to remove embedded contaminants to your paint finish such as rail dust and paint overspray. This will leave your paint smooth as glass and it will make your car ready for polish and wax.

3. This step can usually be omitted if you do step 2 carefully. Use a good paint cleaner such as Meguiars Medaillion Paint Cleaner to clean you paint deep down and remove minor swirl marks.

Note: If you are using a synthetic wax such as klasse or zaino, then skip this part. Wash your car with dawn after the "prep" step to ensure bonding ability. If you are using Klasse, the equivalent of this step would be AIO.

There are many, many polishes on the market for different uses. First, you have evaluate your paint to decide on which polish or glaze to get. If you have swirls or scratches, you would need to use an abrasive polish to remove them. Abrasive polishes will level out your clearcoat to the bottom of the scratches and completely remove them.
Recommended polishes for scratched/swirled clearcoats are:

3M SMR for dark colors(Swirl Remover)
3M SMR for light colors
Meguiars #9 Swirl Remover 2.0

The easiest to use out of those 3 is the Meguairs #9 and it has GREAT results.

If your paint finish is not scratched at all, use a glaze. These will polish your paint deep down and will provide a very "wet-looking" surface. Glazes will not remove scratches or swirls, but the oils inside will fill them im for a very short period of time. The recommended glazes are:

3M Imperial Hand Glaze
Meguiars #7 Show Car Glaze
P21S Paintwork Cleansing Lotion

Waxing and Sealing
OK GUYS.. IM getting really really tired so if this step seems rushed, just tell me.

Natural (Caranuba) Wax vs. Synthetic Wax
Caranuba is natures hardest, purest, and most transparent wax. Caranuba car waxes often leave your paint finish a dark, deep, and glossy shine that people people tend to call it a "wet look shine." Show Car owners and car enthusiasts prefer Caranuba car waxes because of the deep shine found in red, black, and other dark colors. Natural waxes will bead water, fill in some minor swirl marks, and resist water spots.

Some of the best caranuba waxes available:
Meguiars #26 Paste Wax
One Grand Blitz Wax
S100 Paste Wax (same as P21s Paste wax but $10 cheaper. You can find S100 at your local harley dealership)
Pinnacle Paste Glaz Great for light color cars!
Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax Possibly the best wax ever made. Extremely easy to use... VERY VERY shiny... Good Durability

All of those waxes CAN be layered. Layering natural waxes will only add more oils and gloss to the paint. No increase in protection whatsoever. If you want to layer a caranuba wax, you will have to wait a day or two between each layer (depending on the humidity. higher humidity= longer time in between layers.

Downsides to Caranuba:
1. 60 day durability
2. Can be hard to apply/remove
3. Can streak under high humidity/temperatures

Synthetic waxes provide extremely good durability and very easy to use application. Some good sealants can last six to nine months or longer.

The downsides to Synthetic Waxes are:
1. Not as deep or rich of a shine as a Caranuba Wax
2. Can highlight Paint Flaws
3. "Sterile" shine on dark cars

Some good sealant waxes are:

Ah yes.. i am finally finished... Interior and other car care tips will be posted tomorrow..

Any questions... PM me

JFawwaz is offline   Reply With Quote
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