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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read a post earlier about washing and waxing and noticed some things "not to do," so here's what I do. It takes time and patience but the end result will be remarkable. This is long so get ready to memorize ;)

Hard supplies needed:

Wet/Dry vac-1.5hp and up is sufficient
Assortment of vacuum nozzles-including a thin crevice tool
Bucket
Spray nozzle
Foam or Terry Cloth covered wash pads
Wheel brush, body & bumper brush, thin brush for tight areas, interior brush (soft bristles)
Terry cloth towels (bath towels)
Foam hand wax applicators
California exterior and interior car dusters
Q-tips (for cleaning vents)

Waxes:

Waxes are primarily to seal and protect the paint. They will add some shine, but not as much as a polish will. I recommend the following based on actual use:
Meguairs High Tech Yellow wax #26, Meguiars Polymer Sealant #20, 3Ms Perfect it Show Car Wax (paste only), Mother's Carnuba Wax, Wax Shop's Super Glaze (desspite the name, it is a wax). Zymol is a good wax, but it is a ***** to use and leaves blue residue in the cracks and emblems. The other waxes listed won't.

Polishes and Glazes:

Polishes and glazes are used to add oils to the paint for more shine and smooth the surface for more reflection. I use Meguiars Pro Body Shop line, but if there is not a Meguairs distributer in your area, you will have to order them from Meguairs I have used and recommend the following:
Meguairs Hand Polish (Pro Body Shop) and Meguairs Show Car Glaze or Machine Glaze (Mirror Glaze line), Wax Shops's Safe Cut and 3Ms Imperial Hand Glaze. None of these will dry white or haze the rubber or plastic. All will add shine and clarity to the paint surface, but will not remove serious paint defects-that is not their purpose.

Cleaners/Compounds and Swirl Removers :

Cleaners and compounds are made to remove serious paint defects, like oxidation, scratches, etc, and swirl removers are used to smooth the surface after using a cleaner/compound and to remove any swirl or scratch marks made by the cleaner/compounds. Always start with the lightest cleaner or compound, and use a stronger one only when necessary. Try any of the following:
Meguairs Dual Action cleaner/polish and Diamond Cut cleaner (Pro Body Shop), Meguiars Fine, Medium or Heavy Cut cleaners (Mirror Glaze line), or any of 3Ms or Wax Shops cleaners and compounds.

For swirl removers, there is Meguairs Swirl Free Polish (PBS) and Swirl Remover (MGL) or 3Ms swirl remover.

Spray Detailers:

These are used to clean your car when it is only dusty (after dusting with you car duster), or after washing or waxing to make sure no residue is left on the paint. Meguiars Final Inspection, Quick Detailer, or Wax Shops Slick Stuff all work very well.

Glass Cleaners:

Only one recommendation: Eagle's 20/20 Glass cleaner. Works great, is cheap, and repels water almost as well as Rain X. Windex is good also since it's mostly water.

Interior Cleaners:

Woolite-yes, the same Woolite used to gently wash sweaters and stuff like that. Mix it in a spray bottle at 6 parts water and 1 part Woolite. Spray liberally on the surface, use a small plastic brush, scrub the surface and dry with a cloth towel. It works great on all fabrics, carpets, vinyl and yes, leather-in fact, it will leave the leather very soft after using.

Vinyl, Rubber and Leather dressings

Vinyl and Rubber can use the same products; Meguairs Rubber and Vinyl cleaner and conditioner, Meguairs W-Dressing (PBS), STP's Son of a Gun, Armor All-I would discourage using the real shiny and greasy stuff on the interior-it attracts dust and makes the sun reflect the dash into the windshield while driving towards the sun.

For leather, use a dedicated leather conditioner, like Meguairs Gold Class for Leather, Tanners Preserves, Lexol or Eagles leather conditioner.

Miscellaneous

When using Meguiars products, only use the Mirror Glaze or Pro Body Shop lines, not the burgandy bottle stuff like the deep crystal system or Cleaner wax. They are for the casual user, not someone who wants the ultimate in shine.

You do not have to glob on a bunch of wax or polish-a blob the size of a quarter should be enough to cover your entire hood-a 16 oz bottle of wax is enough to wax your car at least 30 times-use just enough to lightly cover the surface of the paint.

When using a polish or glaze, rub into the paint until it looks almost clear, and let sit for 20-30 minutes so the oils can soak in and it is easier to remove.

You do not need a buffer, especially one with a wool pad. The swirl marks are not worth it-and you can do just as good a job by hand without risking swirl marks, burnt paint and the mess the buffers make by slinging wax all over the place.

Do not waste your money on any wax that claims to have Teflon® in it. Unless you are able to apply the wax at 600+ degrees, the telfon is not a viable ingredient-and this is straight from Dupont.

Clay Bars

Detailing clay is used to remove imbedded dirt, grime, overspray, etc from the paint without the use of abrasives. If after washing and waxing, you run your hand over the paint and it has a gritty feel, you need to use a clay bar. Meguiars, Mothers and Clay Magic all make good systems, and they come with everything you need except a towel to dry the paint after claying. Just follow the package directions and wax after finishing. Your paint will be super slick and smooth like glass.

Now go shopping :D Moderator should make this a sticky or make a "Detailing Forum"
 

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meber
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Thanks for the info. Just another question. What order do you do everything in?

Wash
Wax
Polish
Swirl Removers


or is there a different order?
 

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jmckell said:
Thanks for the info. Just another question. What order do you do everything in?

Wash
Wax
Polish
Swirl Removers

or is there a different order?
I would wash it, let it dry fully, remove scratches & swirls, wax & polish.

Latin.....................
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just did a timing belt/water pump tutorial so go check it out. Took me a whole hour. Who owns this forum anyways? I am still registered as being born after 1989.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would wash it, let it dry fully, remove scratches & swirls, wax & polish.
Here's the order:
Wash
remove swirls
polish
wax

Polishing on top of wax defeats the purpose of wax. Polish is abrasive and will remove the wax and you no long have protectant on top. BTW the polish can even buff out very fine surface scratches w/ an orbital buffer. Why are you getting scrathes? Always use terry towels that are never dropped. Once it falls throw it away b/c small particles of dirt will stick to the cloth.
 

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5spdLegend said:
I just did a timing belt/water pump tutorial so go check it out. Took me a whole hour. Who owns this forum anyways? I am still registered as being born after 1989.
still??? heh heh heh:D
 

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5spdLegend said:


Here's the order:
Wash
remove swirls
polish
wax

My bad hehehehehe
 

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5spdLegend said:
I just did a timing belt/water pump tutorial so go check it out. Took me a whole hour. Who owns this forum anyways? I am still registered as being born after 1989.
For 13 years old, you are quite the mechanic:D .... geesh....
 

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... and if you are planning to do an engine cleaning, do it prior to the full detail. You would not won't to get splatter on your fresh new wax.
 
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