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jmh328
05-06-2011, 04:08 PM
I spoke with 2 detailers about their process.
The first one said he uses a dilute solution of alcohol (50-50) after applying sealant to get rid of any stray streaks.
When I mentioned this to the second detailer, he said that alcohol is a no-no.....that it will ruin the effectiveness of the sealant.

Who is correct?

Thanks,
Jeff

dboy11
05-06-2011, 04:30 PM
I spoke with 2 detailers about their process.
The first one said he uses a dilute solution of alcohol (50-50) after applying sealant to get rid of any stray streaks.
When I mentioned this to the second detailer, he said that alcohol is a no-no.....that it will ruin the effectiveness of the sealant.

Who is correct?

Thanks,
Jeff

Jeff,

50/50 blend of water and alcohol, is used by detailers mostly during the polishing stages. The reason for this is to remove any polish so that you can see how much marring is left on the paint, the solution removes the polish and under good lighting you can see the marring / swirls that are left. Then polish again if you are trying to get as close to perfect a finish as you want. If the one detailer told you he was using it after a sealant to get a streak free finish. Two things come to mind. One he has to much product on the car or the sealant is not bonding with what he already on the car..lastly if he wants to get the streaks out in most cases a good quick detail spray with take care of that.

bmw_n00b13
05-06-2011, 04:32 PM
Generally would be dependent on the chemistry of sealant used. Properly cured it really shouldn't cause problems. I don't have a lot of experience with different sealants but I've never found that streaking is a problem that can't be solved by elbow grease. I can't think of a reason to use it actually, except at the polishing stage.

Alcohol isn't good for rubber.

jmh328
05-06-2011, 06:42 PM
Jeff,

50/50 blend of water and alcohol, is used by detailers mostly during the polishing stages. The reason for this is to remove any polish so that you can see how much marring is left on the paint, the solution removes the polish and under good lighting you can see the marring / swirls that are left. Then polish again if you are trying to get as close to perfect a finish as you want. If the one detailer told you he was using it after a sealant to get a streak free finish. Two things come to mind. One he has to much product on the car or the sealant is not bonding with what he already on the car..lastly if he wants to get the streaks out in most cases a good quick detail spray with take care of that.

Great info. Thanks. Much appreciated.
Jeff

jmh328
05-06-2011, 06:45 PM
Generally would be dependent on the chemistry of sealant used. Properly cured it really shouldn't cause problems. I don't have a lot of experience with different sealants but I've never found that streaking is a problem that can't be solved by elbow grease. I can't think of a reason to use it actually, except at the polishing stage.

Alcohol isn't good for rubber.

Thanks. Will not use it. And I'd never use it on rubber.
Jeff

chet31
05-07-2011, 12:12 AM
As a former chemist - quick rule of thumb. Organic solvents (like most petrol products) dissolve organic compounds best, and inorganic solvents (like water) dissolve inorganic compounds best. WD-40 does not dissolve salt very well, water does not dissolve tar very well. Your sealant and wax are organic, which makes sense because you don't want water to dissolve it. Alcohol is a mild organic solvent (as opposed to say, acetone, which is a strong organic solvent). Diluted alcohol may not totally remove your sealant and/or wax with one quick swipe, but it will take a layer or two. I would not use alcohol on my sealant/wax.

Johnz3mc
05-07-2011, 10:16 AM
I use it now and then. I get mine from Scotland. The Highlands, the Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, in no particular order.

Todd@properautocare.com
05-08-2011, 08:37 PM
As a former chemist - quick rule of thumb. Organic solvents (like most petrol products) dissolve organic compounds best, and inorganic solvents (like water) dissolve inorganic compounds best. WD-40 does not dissolve salt very well, water does not dissolve tar very well. Your sealant and wax are organic, which makes sense because you don't want water to dissolve it. Alcohol is a mild organic solvent (as opposed to say, acetone, which is a strong organic solvent). Diluted alcohol may not totally remove your sealant and/or wax with one quick swipe, but it will take a layer or two. I would not use alcohol on my sealant/wax.

Nice post:thumbup:

As mentioned alcohol is used to strip the paint of oils during the polishing process or used to clean the paint of any petroleum that could cause bonding issues before a wax or sealant is applied.

Using alcohol after a wax/sealant is applied is probably going to remove the majority (if not all of it) or at the very least significant reduce the durability.

TOGWT
05-09-2011, 03:27 AM
As a former chemist - quick rule of thumb. Organic solvents (like most petrol products) dissolve organic compounds best, and inorganic solvents (like water) dissolve inorganic compounds best. WD-40 does not dissolve salt very well, water does not dissolve tar very well. Your sealant and wax are organic, which makes sense because you don't want water to dissolve it. Alcohol is a mild organic solvent (as opposed to say, acetone, which is a strong organic solvent). Diluted alcohol may not totally remove your sealant and/or wax with one quick swipe, but it will take a layer or two. I would not use alcohol on my sealant/wax.

I'm confused (although that's not difficult for me) I've always understood that Water and Alcohol are both organic; a polymer sealant is a synthetic (inorganic)

Petroleum (Hydrocarbon) soils - substances that do not contain water, nor are they miscible, these soil types include, motor oils, and crease and road tar, and require a solvent-based cleaner. Water Soluble Stains- These stains can be dissolved in cool water or loosened with water-based cleaner, coffee; soft drinks, cocoa and chocolate are good examples.


Streaks or hazing is usually caused by too much product, or one that hasn't been allowed to cross-link sufficiently, alcohol will remove wax but will have only a marginal affect on a cross-linked polymer

chet31
05-12-2011, 05:38 PM
An "organic compound" by definition (in chemistry terms) has at least one carbon molecule. Water (H2O) has no carbon and is inorganic. Alcohol (isopropyl is C3H7OH for example) is organic. Organic compounds can also be gases (methane) or solids (grease).

In chemistry, any liquid that dissolves a solid is a solvent. The solid is called the solute. Solutes can also actually be other liquids or even gases. Inorganic water is a solvent when it dissolves table salt, organic gasoline is a solvent when it dissolves road tar. However, in the garage, a solvent is a slang term generally meaning a "fairly strong organic solvent." As you say, petroleum residues, like tar, will require an organic solvent for removal such as Stoner Tarminator. Anything strong enough to take the tar is going to take the sealant/wax with it. It's probably designed to be strong enough to take the tar, weak enough to leave your clearcoat alone.

This is shades of gray, not black and white. Water is closer to alcohol on the sliding scale than it is to motor oil, which is why you can mix your drink, but oil and water truly don't mix.

BTW, the beauty of soap/water or detergent/water solutions is that chemists create big molecules, one end is inorganic and mixes with water, the other end is organic, and will dissolve other organic compounds. They are like little floating balls of organic solvent within the water. So you get a solution that can cut both organic and inorganic dirt.

jmh328
05-12-2011, 06:12 PM
An "organic compound" by definition (in chemistry terms) has at least one carbon molecule. Water (H2O) has no carbon and is inorganic. Alcohol (isopropyl is C3H7OH for example) is organic. Organic compounds can also be gases (methane) or solids (grease).

In chemistry, any liquid that dissolves a solid is a solvent. The solid is called the solute. Solutes can also actually be other liquids or even gases. Inorganic water is a solvent when it dissolves table salt, organic gasoline is a solvent when it dissolves road tar. However, in the garage, a solvent is a slang term generally meaning a "fairly strong organic solvent." As you say, petroleum residues, like tar, will require an organic solvent for removal such as Stoner Tarminator. Anything strong enough to take the tar is going to take the sealant/wax with it. It's probably designed to be strong enough to take the tar, weak enough to leave your clearcoat alone.

This is shades of gray, not black and white. Water is closer to alcohol on the sliding scale than it is to motor oil, which is why you can mix your drink, but oil and water truly don't mix.

BTW, the beauty of soap/water or detergent/water solutions is that chemists create big molecules, one end is inorganic and mixes with water, the other end is organic, and will dissolve other organic compounds. They are like little floating balls of organic solvent within the water. So you get a solution that can cut both organic and inorganic dirt.

If my high school chemistry teacher explained things as simply, and clearly, and elegantly as you do, I would have done much better in chemistry. Thanks:thumbup:

Todd@properautocare.com
05-15-2011, 08:17 PM
An "organic compound" by definition (in chemistry terms) has at least one carbon molecule. Water (H2O) has no carbon and is inorganic. Alcohol (isopropyl is C3H7OH for example) is organic. Organic compounds can also be gases (methane) or solids (grease).

In chemistry, any liquid that dissolves a solid is a solvent. The solid is called the solute. Solutes can also actually be other liquids or even gases. Inorganic water is a solvent when it dissolves table salt, organic gasoline is a solvent when it dissolves road tar. However, in the garage, a solvent is a slang term generally meaning a "fairly strong organic solvent." As you say, petroleum residues, like tar, will require an organic solvent for removal such as Stoner Tarminator. Anything strong enough to take the tar is going to take the sealant/wax with it. It's probably designed to be strong enough to take the tar, weak enough to leave your clearcoat alone.

This is shades of gray, not black and white. Water is closer to alcohol on the sliding scale than it is to motor oil, which is why you can mix your drink, but oil and water truly don't mix.

BTW, the beauty of soap/water or detergent/water solutions is that chemists create big molecules, one end is inorganic and mixes with water, the other end is organic, and will dissolve other organic compounds. They are like little floating balls of organic solvent within the water. So you get a solution that can cut both organic and inorganic dirt.


Nice post Chet :thumbup:

Munich77
05-27-2011, 06:30 AM
I use rubbing alcohol to clean the surface and to remove any LSP. Rubbing alcohol will remove any LSP if you ask me at least that is how my car's paint feels after a rub down.