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 Post subject: Waxing Tips an Such
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:19 pm
Posts: 1483
Location: South Point Ohio
Authors Warning: The information contained in this article is intended for show use only. Use of the techniques and products described in this article on a daily driver could result in glare blindness from highly reflective surfaces, injury due to slippage when leaning on friction free car surfaces, or loss of ego from observing one's reflections in mirror-like finish. The author offers this information "as is, where is". Use it at your own risk. If your car finish ends up looking like you polished it with a Brillo pad or your palms turn permanently green, don't sue ME. You have been warned.

We all love our cars. Most of us think of them as high art. We each like to think the world is looking at our ride with jaws agape, stunned by the sheer magnificence of its beauty. Well, one sure way to get your ride some attention is with a show quality finish. At the other end of the spectrum, you can spoil the cool yet tasteful look you spent big bucks to create by letting the finish go to hell or by running around with 20 pounds of dirt and grime on your car.

A good shine is easier than ever. Regardless of the amount of effort you are willing to put into the care of your car's finish or the results you hope to achieve, there are products readily available today that are light-years ahead of anything available even to professional detailers just a few years ago. Better living through chemistry!

The major players: There are three premium product lines today that seem to be favored by most enthusiasts. The old school brand is Meguair's, who provide a wide range of products in bulk to professional detailers and who now offer a variety of very respected products in retail packaging at your local Pep Boys or WalMart. The cool brand is Mothers, from Bundee, International This is a newer player in the car care arena that also makes other surface protection and cleaning products including a CD/Laser Disc Repair and Protection System. The cult brand is Zaino Bros, a family operation out of New Jersey that grew out of a car customizing shop. You can call their customer service line and ask to speak to Sal Zaino and you will probably catch him in.

There are a number of other fine products out there from companies like Excaliber, Eagle One, Turtle Wax, 3M, etc. My experience has been that, as a rule, this is an area where you can count on getting more if you spend more. HOWEVER, there is also a great deal of controversy in the car detailing world, from the merits of carnauba wax to the possibility of over-detailing at venues like the Pebble Beach Concourse. My rule about getting more by spending more will, no doubt, create a new firestorm of controversy among Si owners and others who may stumble across this article.

Some personal observations and painfully gained knowledge: Meguair's polishes and waxes go on nicely and come off easily. The resulting shine is impressive, showing a noticeable improvement over the brand new factory finish. I suspect the level of protection is equally impressive.

The only Mothers product I have tried so far is the car wash and I was very impressed. The wash created a nice lather that easily cleaned heavy soil without stripping the wax.

I am now using Zaino and it is nothing short of incredible in terms of the depth of shine you can achieve. But the products are not inexpensive and a number of applications may be required to achieve the desired results. Still, if you want to outshine the rest...

Polishing compounds are NOT like car polishes. They WILL scratch your clear coat if used improperly. If you aren't a pro, talk to one before using a polishing compound. Clay bars will often solve the same problem without risking your finish.

RUBBING compound should ONLY be used if you WANT to remove your paint or fog your plastic, glass, and chrome.

Now some tips:

Let your car cool off before washing, especially the hood. Wash your car in the shade. Dry it before it water spots.

Wash your car with a car wash concentrate used according to label directions. Start at the roof, then do the hood and trunk. Do the sides, then the bumper covers. Finally, grab a different rag and do the bottom edges, wheel wells, exhaust tip, and wheels. Do not use this rag in the future except on the bottom edges, wheel wells, wheels, etc.

Don't wash your car with dishwashing detergent. Harsh detergents remove waxes and polishes. (Exception: Use Dawn or a similar liquid if you WANT to strip the wax so you can start your protection program over. Actually this is not a bad idea every year or two.)

Don't use nozzles or otherwise increase the pressure of the water stream from your wash hose, especially when rinsing. Just let the water flow out. The water will sheet off the car better leaving behind fewer water beads. This will make drying your car a lot easier. This technique also seems provide a faster and more complete rinse.

Be careful what you use on your tires, if anything. Many products will cause your tires to turn brown faster or to deteriorate prematurely. Meguair's has a new gel product that has received good reviews for avoiding these problems. Also, because it is a gel, you won't have to worry about overspray on your wheels and fenders.

You can (and should) wax your car when it is brand new. The paint is baked at high temperature by the factory and is fully cured by the time the car leaves the assembly plant. Unlike the old days, you don't have to wait three months, unless you are waxing over a non-factory paint job.

Don't apply wax over surface problems like water spots, metallic micro dust, tree sap mist, etc. You will only lock these imperfections in until you strip off all the wax at some point in the future.

Wax and polish are NOT the same things. See some of the resources below for details.

NEVER rub a dirty car or use a rag you have dropped on the ground, ever, ever (unless you LIKE scratches). Some people say, if you drop a rag on the ground you should throw it away or put it in the oil change rag bin.

Use CLEAN, lightly moistened sponges to apply waxes and polishes unless the product directions specify otherwise. Use a big sponge mitt made for the purpose to wash your car.

Use ONLY white 100% cotton brand name towels that are made in the USA to dry your car and to wipe off polishes and waxes (unless you are using an orbital buffer.) Wash these towels at least twice before you use them the first time and (once) again after EVERY use. Use a LIQUID detergent and DO NOT use fabric softener to wash the towels. Trust me. It only costs a few bucks to do this and it will be more than worth it. All the detailing and product web sites recommend towels. Zaino does a good job of explaining why. They are fanatics on the subject and have me convinced.

If you want to find out how clean your finish REALLY is, get a jewelers loop or other magnifier for a closer look. Then rub your clean dry hand over the surface. You may be surprised.

Read product directions, even if you don't follow them. You will save yourself a lot of time and trouble.

Don't let any of this make you a car appearance fanatic. You have a life. Live it.

If you are ALREADY a car appearance fanatic and your car IS your life, be sure to check out the links below. Then go to Search on the keywords "car polish reviews" and "auto detailing".

More help found here. There is a LOT of really good information available on the Internet that will help you achieve the results you want no matter how demanding your tastes may be. You can begin by checking out these additional resources:

Auto Detailing Secrets of the Experts Tips and more tips from how to wash your car to hints like covering your windshield washer nozzles with masking tape when applying wax and polish. A must visit site.

Meguiar's: Great site with lots of info including an application that will construct a customized car care program based on your habits, location, environmental problems in your area, and your personal preferences. The results always suggest Meguiar products, of course, but the information provided is useful no matter whose products you decide to use.

Mother's Another good resource with info on car covers and interior and wheel care as well as exterior care. Also, for the true car trivia nut, check out the "History of Carauba" in the Car Care section.

Zaino Bros. No splashy graphics or fancy frames. Just lots of product info and some interesting 'insider' tips to achieve that ten tenths show look. The information on towels alone makes this site worth a visit.

Car product reviews This site includes user reviews of various car products including cleaners, polishes, and waxes.

If you spot any blatant goofs, lies, screw ups, cover-ups, typos, or signs of cult behavior in this article, email me at I will try to post your corrections and give you a shout out to boot. If you just have a difference of opinion, post it on the General forum at you have just as much right to your opinion as I do, even though mine is right.


 Post subject: Re: Waxing Tips an Such
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:30 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:21 am
Posts: 2
Location: Oklahoma City
I know that my post here is too late and do apologize for that. I just want to say thank you for your post here. It really helps me a lot. I keep on looking and looking here online to look for tips and fortunately for me I found this one. My unlce used Mothers car wax last month and its really effective. It is really shiny specially under the sun. :D

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