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The BoatMan
04-21-2002, 11:57 AM
Well, my car is finally on a boat. Since I have some time to relax I wanted to research the tools necessary to clean my car properly. Previously, I'm ashamed to say, I was an automatic car wash user. Since my new car is Jet Black, I want to take the time to treat it properly. I searched the archives and visited the car detailer web sites. The below list is what I came up with. Tell me what you think. I'm open to all suggestions. Quick note, this will be an everyday driver and unfortunately I have no garage. I thank you all in advance for your help.

Car wash Detergent: Meguiars Gold Class
Car wash tools: Detailerís Choice super-soft wash mit
Drying: P21S Super absorbing drying towel and microfiber towels

After washing if not waxing: Meguiarís #34 Final Inspection

In between car washings: California Car Duster and Meguiarís #34 Final Inspection

Polish: 3M Imperial Hand Glaze
Wax: Blitz Wax

Wheel Cleaner: P21S
Wheel Wax: Blitz Wax
Tires: Meguiar's Endurance High Gloss

Leather: Lexol Leather Cleaner and Lexol Leather Conditioner and lexol applicator sponges
Dash, Vinyl and bumper: Lexol Vinylex
Glass: Stoner Invisible Glass Window
Carpet: Blue Coral Dri-Clean Carpet Cleaner
Tar remover: One Grand Tar, Wax and Gum Remover

<u><b>Bird Shat Emergency Kit, to be kept in car at all times</b></u>
Bottle distilled water or seltzer water
Meguiarís #34 Final Inspection
Disposable Wax Removal Towels, instead of wasting cotton towels.<br><br>

JPinTO
04-21-2002, 02:02 PM
#1 Tip for car cleaning advice: DONT GET BLACK! :D

#2 If ignoring tip #1, then don't bother keeping it clean. It will rain right after you clean it, rendering it dirty again, so the trick is just leave it dirty all the time! :D :D

#3: If you ignore tip#2 and actually attempt to keep it clean, then you will be rewarded with many, many nasty looking swirl marks. :D :D :D

PS: Note my signature picture. Tips#1-3 come from a decade of owning black cars. Hence my current car being silver. I rarely clean it and it looks better than a black car 90% of the time.

SONET
04-21-2002, 02:36 PM
Heh sorry to go off-topic here, but I just have to comment on your 'What I drive'.

I'm in the same place as you are... I'm borrowing cars all the time. This takes some serious dedication. This is especially true when the car that you end up using most of the time is a total hunk of junk. I appreciate having a car to drive (it sure beats walking several miles, which I have had to do...), but this thing is a serious POS. The one I usually get to use is a 1985 Ford Thunderbird that is falling apart.

Imagine driving with a sagging headliner draped over your head in a black car with no A/C or vents with broken power windows that don't go down (can you say suffocation?). This is especially fun when the owner was a heavy smoker and you're allergic to smoke (my throat bleeds regularly after I drive the car). Then whenever you make a right turn at anything over 12mph, you get a nice large serving of hot coolant on your right foot. By the time you drive 20 miles there's a pool of coolant in the footwell, your shoe is soaked, and the windows are all fogged up from the steam. Let me tell you... I only drive when I have to.

I just feel the need to say... I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MY CAR!!! I will appreciate it sooo much. Six more weeks. :confused:

Anyways, your list looks good to me... :D

--SONET

JPinTO
04-21-2002, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by SONET
This is especially fun when the owner was a heavy smoker and you're allergic to smoke (my throat bleeds regularly after I drive the car).

I think I'd #1: rather walk or #2: Stay home.

SONET
04-21-2002, 03:02 PM
Like I said, I only drive when it is absolutely necessary.

The problem is, being a consultant I need to drive places. I must say though, I have been turning away new business lately and have been discouraging my clients from giving me projects that aren't critical. I'm probably working 1/4 as much as I normally do (which is why I'm here so much!). :eek:

You should see my clients when they see me pull up in the car. It is so 'not me', they just can't get over it. heh

--SONET

Mr. The Edge
04-21-2002, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by 02330ci
Well, my car is finally on a boat. Since I have some time to relax I wanted to research the tools necessary to clean my car properly. Previously, I'm ashamed to say, I was an automatic car wash user. Since my new car is Jet Black, I want to take the time to treat it properly. I searched the archives and visited the car detailer web sites. The below list is what I came up with. Tell me what you think. I'm open to all suggestions. Quick note, this will be an everyday driver and unfortunately I have no garage. I thank you all in advance for your help.

Car wash Detergent: Meguiars Gold Class
Car wash tools: Detailerís Choice super-soft wash mit
Drying: P21S Super absorbing drying towel and microfiber towels

After washing if not waxing: Meguiarís #34 Final Inspection

In between car washings: California Car Duster and Meguiarís #34 Final Inspection

Polish: 3M Imperial Hand Glaze
Wax: Blitz Wax

Wheel Cleaner: P21S
Wheel Wax: Blitz Wax
Tires: Meguiar's Endurance High Gloss

Leather: Lexol Leather Cleaner and Lexol Leather Conditioner and lexol applicator sponges
Dash, Vinyl and bumper: Lexol Vinylex
Glass: Stoner Invisible Glass Window
Carpet: Blue Coral Dri-Clean Carpet Cleaner
Tar remover: One Grand Tar, Wax and Gum Remover

<u><b>Bird Shat Emergency Kit, to be kept in car at all times</b></u>
Bottle distilled water or seltzer water
Meguiarís #34 Final Inspection
Disposable Wax Removal Towels, instead of wasting cotton towels.<br><br>


You sound like you're in great shape--you can't go wrong with any of that stuff, IMO.

Guest84
04-22-2002, 06:41 AM
I agree with atyclb! Remember, finish preparation, and product application/removal is the more important than the products themselves. The only thing I can add is that you'll want to get some claybar too. Your car will have some contaminents in the paint even being new (rail dust comes to mind, when they transport it from the factory to the shipping line in Germany) and a quick once ove with clay will clean the finish up.

Nat Brown
04-22-2002, 08:34 AM
My experience with Jet Black, the most unforgiving color known to man, tells me that the following details are important:


California Water Blade. To avoid drying the car with towels.
Alcohol Based Glass Cleaner. Stoner's leaves a nasty film, but it cleans the dirtiest windows (windshield)
Very small nylon brush. Gets rid of wax residue. A Kleen-bore gun cleaning brush is the best I could find.


Sounds like you've got all the best-of-breed products.

--gary

The BoatMan
04-22-2002, 09:14 AM
Nat, I read posts here from some that the california water blade may scratch. Is this untrue? Seems like a great time saver for drying the car, I'll add it to my list. Thanks.

Nat Brown
04-22-2002, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by 02330ci
Nat, I read posts here from some that the california water blade may scratch. Is this untrue? Seems like a great time saver for drying the car, I'll add it to my list. Thanks.

I have yet to see anything about the water blade scratching, although everyone worries that it could happen, including me.

I figure it this way. If the water blade, in a freak accident, scratches the paint, I'll fix the scratch. Towels, on the other hand, leave microscratches everywhere, and there's a 100% certainty you'll get scratches. So it's the remote risk of a single scratch versus the absolute certainty of many scratches.

--gary

awd330
04-22-2002, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by Nat Brown
I have yet to see anything about the water blade scratching, although everyone worries that it could happen, including me.

I've been using a CWB for a couple years with no problems. I'm always careful to rinse the blade before using it, and I use my fingers to clean off the blade after each swipe. However, I recently decided to try out a Big Blue Drying Towel. I simply lay the towel on the surface and then lift off. Completely dries without having to drag or rub the towel across the paint. Oh, I still use the water blade but only on the windows.

Nat Brown
04-22-2002, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by awd330


I've been using a CWB for a couple years with no problems. I'm always careful to rinse the blade before using it, and I use my fingers to clean off the blade after each swipe. However, I recently decided to try out a Big Blue Drying Towel. I simply lay the towel on the surface and then lift off. Completely dries without having to drag or rub the towel across the paint. Oh, I still use the water blade but only on the windows.

How does the BBDT compare to The Absorber? I bought two Absorbers and don't care for them. I was so convinced The Absorber was the answer that I got two.

So here's my twice a year detailing procedure:


Spray Wheels. I use P21S Wheel Cleaner and let it sit on the wheels until second washing.
Wash with Dawn. This removes wax, polish, road grime, and everything else. It's harsh to the finish, so you don't want to leave this on the car for long.
Wash with Car Wash Soap. This removes the harsh detergent and prepares the car for the clay bar. I use Zaino Z7, but P21S Bodywash is excellent.
Clay Bar. With car still wet, clay bar car using lots of lubrication. A solution of Z7 with water is good for Zaino clay (Z18), while Mother's comes with lubrication. McGuires Final Inspection works well too as a lubricant. Using a clay bar takes about an hour.
Dry Car. I use a California Water Blade. For wet spots I mop up carefully with YoSteve.com microfiber towels.
Polish. If I were waxing, I would use 3M Imperial Hand Glaze to fill in micro scratches (evident if you use cotton towels, non-existent with microfiber towels). With Zaino, I apply Polish Lok (Z1) after a quick spray down with Z6 Gloss Enhancer Spray. Note that with the Zaino system you don't remove the Polish Lok, a significant time and labor advantage compared to standard polishes.
Polish/Wax. If I were using carnauba wax, I would apply it now (I like Blitz for its durability). With Zaino apply Z5 or Z2.
Spray Down. McGuires Final Inspection/Quick Detailer works great to remove residue and improve shine. Zaino Z6 Gloss Enhancer Spray serves this purpose with the Zaino system.


--gary

awd330
04-22-2002, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by Nat Brown
How does the BBDT compare to The Absorber? I bought two Absorbers and don't care for them. I was so convinced The Absorber was the answer that I got two.

I've used an Absorber for about as long as I've used the CWB. I'd use the Absorber to pick up the drops left behind by the CWB, but there was always some streaking which required a second pass with a small microfiber or cotton towel. For me, the new Big Blue towel just seems to work much better than the Absorber. It picks up everything in one pass.

I still use the Absorber, but only on the door jams. I have a P21S towel too. Works about as well as the Absorber, and I use it to dry my wheels and tires.

If I were building a new car care kit from scratch, I'd take 2 BBDTs and forget the Absorber and P21S Drying Towel.

The BoatMan
04-22-2002, 12:58 PM
Nat, what would you recommend for removing the final inspection spray and blitz wax? Disposable wax removal towels? And where would you recomment buying from on the internet, carcareonline?

Dr. Phil
04-22-2002, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by 02330ci
Nat, what would you recommend for removing the final inspection spray and blitz wax? Disposable wax removal towels? And where would you recomment buying from on the internet, carcareonline?
For wax removal I like these flannel cloths (http://www.carcareonline.com/polishing_cloth_17608.html) from carcareonline. They do not work quite as well on detail sprays. For that I really like these cotton cloths (http://www.griotsgarage.com/images/products/lg/14600_LG.jpg) from Griots. You can get similar cloths from proper autocare too.

Nat Brown
04-22-2002, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by 02330ci
Nat, what would you recommend for removing the final inspection spray and blitz wax? Disposable wax removal towels? And where would you recomment buying from on the internet, carcareonline?

Dawn will remove the wax and other residue. As for towels for drying, applying wax, etc., I only use microfiber to avoid scratches. Yosteve.com (http://www.yosteveshop.homestead.com/order.html) sells both microfiber towels and microfiber applicators that work extremely well. Avoid the microfiber towels from Griot's Garage, as they tend to lint badly, especially on windows. Also, I only wipe the car in up/down motions rather than circles, to avoid scratches and to make the inevitable scratches less noticable. It seems totally obsessive, but it's not a big deal.

I saw many competition quality cars at Bimmerfest that were detailed poorly. Some looked like they just needed more time, likely because they were driven to the event, but others had been improperly detailed with buffers, leaving nasty swirl marks. I think an amateur should have no problem detailing a car at a professional level if they use the correct products and procedures.

--gary

larhode
04-24-2002, 10:48 AM
Instruct your dealership not to wash or wax your car. If you let them wash it you'll end up with swirl marks from day one.

Since you don't have a garage, you might want to consider using Zaino products as they do last longer then regular wax.

AKwhite330i
04-26-2002, 10:14 AM
You live in NJ, so getting Zaino shouldn't be too difficult. Check out www.zainbros.com and find out who a local distributor is in your area. You'll be pleased with the results.