Jump to content
HybridZ

The right way to clean your ride


Recommended Posts

Well, having just gotten into the world of cleaning a black car, I've found some tips that really work... I did buy a $40 bucket from griots, which has a sediment trap and a shelf to lay the spong/rag/mit so it isn't sitting in dirty water. Zaino is the best stuff on the planet in my opinion, but you need to have someone show you the proper way to prep the car, and how NOT to wipe the car when washing, polishing, or drying... The Karate Kid "wax on/Wax off" theory is the best way to MAKE swirls... Wipe all horizontal surfaces front to rear in a straigh motion, and all vertical surfaces in an up/down motion... no swirls... Do it when washing, drying, washing, polishing... Whatever... the depth of my 6 year old paint is AMAZING and it only gets better with each polish!

 

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a little experience with Zaino, but not much. Didn't like it. Too much work for the same results. I dove head first into car detailing about three years ago, and have been jobs every once and a while for people ever since.

 

Tools needed to make a decent paint job look awesome:

 

Porter Cable 7424 random action buffer

Good pads

High quality claybar from any reputable company with good lube

Good polish

Good glaze

Klasse or a really nice sealant

High quality pure carnuba wax (no cleaner waxes)

Really high quality microfiber mitt(s) and towels.

 

Here's what I do:

 

1) Bust out my pressure washer and go to town. This really helps to get all the lose, big crap on your paint off. Its the stuff that will get in your mitt and scratch the heck out of the car. If you don't have a pressure washer or access to one, get a nice sprayer that can do the job.

 

2) Use a clean spray bottle, mix some soap in, and start with the top of the car. The soap is there to lubricate your wash tool, so it won't scratch the paint. Use a lot. Make sure your high quality microfiber mitt is soaked with a soapy solution also.

 

When washing, don't "buff" with the mitt. Work in straight lines as its much harder to see a straight scratch then one that forms a circle. Every so often spray the mitt out with the hose (I do this while its on my hand) to get all the crap out. Make sure to spray down each panel as you go to keep the soap from drying.

 

I use the spray bottle and hose, because I'm not dipping in a bucket. Even with a grit guard (or two buckets), stuff floats around and gets caught up in the mitt again. Not to mention, that when spraying the mitt off with pressurized water, it removes most of the stuff better than shaking it around in a bucket.

 

3) Finish rinsing, making sure to get all the soap out of cracks and crevices. Take sprayer off of hose and rinse the car. If you're panels are even slightly sloped, the water should gather and flow off the car leaving only droplets behind.

 

4) Dry car. I start with the roof, then windows, then the rest of the car. Don't rub your microfiber towel onto the paint. Open it up completely and drag it along. Keeps scratches to a minimum.

 

5) Claybar. Start from the top and work down. I use lots of lube and work each area until I feel little or no drag on the bar. Each area should feel very smooth after doing this. If not, repeat. You can also do your windows, headlights, tail lights, and clear-coated wheels if you desire. Doing the headlights will help keep them from hazing over. Also wipe the lube off after finishing an area. Some lubricants are soap based and not fun to clean once dry. If its starting to dry, spray a little more lube on it and wipe (with a microfiber towel).

 

6) Polishing. There are all kinds of polishes, rubbing compounds, glazes, etc... Rule of thumb for those products: Compounds -> Polishes -> Glazes in order of most aggressive to least. Use compounds to get out sanding marks or deep scratches. Polish to get the paint to remove swirls and become reflective again (some are also cleaners to remove odixation). Glaze to add luster and fill tiny scratches and spider-webbing.

 

I've always really liked Meguiar's products. They're easy to use and hard to screw up. I really like the Speed Glaze, Dual Action Cleaner/Polish, and Swirl Remover 2.0. I do have a new favorite though. Sonus makes something called the SwirlBuster. You can almost work it until dry and repeat. It gets some pretty bad swirls out and all the tiny hairline scratches. Use in conjunction with their SwirlBuster pad, and it really cleans up the paint. Great for newer cars or ones that have been decently taken care of.

 

7) This depends on what you did in step 6. If I used the SwirlBuster stuff, I have to use a sealant that is of the non-cleaning variety. SwirlBuster, like many other products, has a little bit of filler in it. This fills in those hairline scratches that are very hard to get out with the buffer (or by hand). If using a cleaner sealant, or wax, it will remove all of the filler, leaving you with the scratches exposed again. My favorite product for this step is Klasse's acrylic sealant. It lasts, and lasts, and lasts. Not to mention you can also layer it for more protection. Wait about 24 hours between coats (and don't get the car wet) to make sure its had time "seal".

 

8) This is the fun part and is by no means necessary. After you've let the car sit for a day, come back with a nice pure carnuba wax. Again, you don't want anything of the cleaner variety, because it will remove the sealant that you spent all that time putting on. The sealant gives you the protection and makes the car look a little plasticy for lack of a better word. That's what a Zaino'ed car looks like to me. Adding a good wax on top will give you that depth of shine back. Won't last long, but for the look, it works.

 

Here's a great site for learning (and also sells Sonus products):

 

http://www.autopia-carcare.com/how-to.html

 

A few other tips: Try to wash, polish, wax, etc... out of the sun. The car will clean and dry easier, and products will setup better. Washing and drying in straight line is important. It helps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever works for you Moridin...

 

For those interested in Zaino, do NOT use microfiber cloths to apply their polish. Micro fiber does a great job of removing the product. You must use a 100% cotton, shed-free towel to apply their Z5/6/8 after using the standard buffing pads to apply their first two stages of prep/polish.

 

Zaino takes a fair amount of time the first time you apply it. After that, it's all good...

 

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites
Whatever works for you Moridin...

 

For those interested in Zaino, do NOT use microfiber cloths to apply their polish. Micro fiber does a great job of removing the product. You must use a 100% cotton, shed-free towel to apply their Z5/6/8 after using the standard buffing pads to apply their first two stages of prep/polish.

 

Zaino takes a fair amount of time the first time you apply it. After that, it's all good...

 

Mike

 

Sorry, didn't mean to sound like I was attacking your choice. I just wanted to express my experiences, hopefully in a positive way, which I obviously didn't do.

 

If you get a chance, try Klasse. Great stuff and lasts longer than Zaino without all the work IMO. Do half your hood with Zaino, and half in Klasse.

 

 

Here's another site that develops most of the smaller car care products out there:

 

http://www.chemicalguys.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Moridin,

I don't think your post sounded like you were attacking anyone.

 

I have Zaino products, and they are good stuff. But you are right it is a ton of work, and best used on something that is worthy of that time. Right now, I nothing that is worth that time.

 

I am wondering about using a microfiber. I would think it would take almost everything off. I know most products tell you to use 100% cotton (u.s. made not import because they will say 100% and not be). Interesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't take it that way at all.

 

What I find is, much like oil brands or other preferences, people have their own preference to waxing/detailing. I'm new to the game of detailing, but have so far had much better results with Zaino than the Meguires and Mothers brand waxes.

 

Mike

 

Sorry, didn't mean to sound like I was attacking your choice. I just wanted to express my experiences, hopefully in a positive way, which I obviously didn't do.

 

If you get a chance, try Klasse. Great stuff and lasts longer than Zaino without all the work IMO. Do half your hood with Zaino, and half in Klasse.

 

 

Here's another site that develops most of the smaller car care products out there:

 

http://www.chemicalguys.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...