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  #1  
Old 12-13-2002, 08:30 AM
Adrian 330Ci'01 Adrian 330Ci'01 is offline
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Will Windex damage paint?

I was cleaning up a fine layer of dust on my car before I put it away for the winter and since I have no hose handy (highrise life sucks) and the quantity of dirt didn't justify a full wash, I just used some windex and lint-free cloths to clean the car.

I noticed some streaking on the hood. I noticed there was a white film on my cloth. I suspect it might be the teflon that my usual wash detergent deposits, but maybe not...

Does anyone know if Windex or similar ammonia based cleaners are a no-no for car paint surfaces?

Can anyone recommend a cleaner to get rid of wax/teflon deposits so that I can put a nice new layer of wax on?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2002, 08:53 AM
AF AF is offline
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Windex is very good for healing wounds and poisen ivy . . . at least that's what the father from the movie 'My big fat Greek wedding' used


BTW you'd have to see that movie to understand my joking.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2002, 08:54 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Not a good idea. These cleaners are acidic, and that's never good for paint. If you want something you can use to "spray and wipe" the car with-- get a "quick detailer". Griot's makes a product called Speed Shine, Meguiar's makes a product called "Quik Detailer", etc. I'd also recommend buying microfiber cloths for this purpose, as they're less likely to scratch. You might also consider a car duster like the California Car duster. ITs basically a mop-like device whose fibers are coated with wax so as to pick up dust. I've never used one, but many members here seem to have good luck.
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2002, 09:02 AM
ARCHER ARCHER is offline
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I agree with robg. The California Car Duster works very well in situations like yours.
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2002, 09:11 AM
eugeneDC/TX eugeneDC/TX is offline
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glass cleaners will strip wax, but like posted above, are too harsh on your car. if you want to strip wax you can polish the car, or spray and wipe a mix of 50/50 alcohol and water....
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2002, 09:14 AM
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Re: Will Windex damage paint?

Quote:
Originally posted by Adrian 330Ci'01
I noticed some streaking on the hood. I noticed there was a white film on my cloth. I suspect it might be the teflon that my usual wash detergent deposits, but maybe not...
I would stay away from Windex as well. Either use a California Car Duster (I have one and it works well for light dust), wait it out and wash it later, or (last resort) use a quick detailer spray. I say last resourt because I'm still pretty sure that any quick detailer has the potential to scratch your paint and leaves swirls, more so than a regular wash.

BTW, if you're happy with your car wash solution then that's fine, but do realize that the teflon in it or any other wax/polish is pretty much useless for protecting your finish. Teflon does absolutely nothing to enhance shine, and it won't protect anything until it's been properly heated and "baked" to a temperature that would melt the vinyl in your car. It's great for bullets and frying pans, and other applications where it's been properly cured...but in other applications it's pure marketing.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2002, 10:16 AM
ff ff is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robg
Not a good idea. These cleaners are acidic, ...
Glass cleaners are acidic? I know they contain alcohol, but I didn't know they were acidic.

If it were harmful to a car's finish, I'm sure that:
1) Glass cleaner mfg's would warn people to never use their product on your car

2) Paint mfg's would find a formulation that doesn't get destroyed when windex hits it (or warn people if such a formulation couldn't be found).

I've used windex on my cars, interior and exterior, for as long as I've been old enough to reach the windows, and have never had paint damage as a result. Wax stripping? Yes, but paint damage? No.

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Kalifornia Duster did more damage to your paint than windex. After all, what's worse than dragging a dry mop head over a dusty/dirty painted surface?
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2002, 10:42 AM
Adrian 330Ci'01 Adrian 330Ci'01 is offline
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Thanks for all the great feedback!

I will look into the car duster. I will look into the alcohol solution as well, since I don't want to add more wax-etc. until I get a chance to do a proper wax job.

Jetfire: I don't think the teflon does much except to help water beading on the surface. It seems to make it easier to clean the car subsequently as well.

On a related note, it may help rims re. brake dust, although this may also be due to spending the time to wax them (another great idea I got on this board).

Again, thanks!!
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2002, 10:50 AM
Adrian 330Ci'01 Adrian 330Ci'01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ff
Glass cleaners are acidic? I know they contain alcohol, but I didn't know they were acidic.

If it were harmful to a car's finish, I'm sure that:
1) Glass cleaner mfg's would warn people to never use their product on your car

2) Paint mfg's would find a formulation that doesn't get destroyed when windex hits it (or warn people if such a formulation couldn't be found).

I've used windex on my cars, interior and exterior, for as long as I've been old enough to reach the windows, and have never had paint damage as a result. Wax stripping? Yes, but paint damage? No.

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Kalifornia Duster did more damage to your paint than windex. After all, what's worse than dragging a dry mop head over a dusty/dirty painted surface?
I think the main ingredient in Windex is ammonia... however it is definitely true that some do have alcohol (that great clear stuff they ship the bimmers with for example).

I used the same logic that you just used to make my original go-ahead decision. It was the resulting white residue on my towel that caused me concern. If it is teflon, fine, clearcoat, AAARRRGGHH!!!

In other words, I hope the logic is sound. They do recommend it for glass (which the car has a lot of) and chrome (same). So it is inevitable that you will get some on the car. But in intentionally applied quite a bit.

I did use those micro-fiber cloths as robg suggested so at least I don't think I scratched the surface much.

On a related note, is it good practice to regularly strip the wax buildup off your car and start over?
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2002, 10:53 AM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Actually ammonia is basic, not acidic. FWIW soap is also basic.

It'll probably strip wax, but I doubt it'll hurt the paint unless it sat on it a long time. The factory windshield washer seems to be ammonia based, so BMW would be liable if the washer fluid stripped the paint.
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  #11  
Old 12-13-2002, 10:58 AM
ff ff is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adrian 330Ci'01
On a related note, is it good practice to regularly strip the wax buildup off your car and start over?
Some people might think so, but I don't. I just can't imagine wax building up on the car's surface, unless you waxed once every 2 hours for 10 straight years.

I've always applied wax right over the top of the existing wax, and ended up with perfect results.
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  #12  
Old 12-13-2002, 11:03 AM
Adrian 330Ci'01 Adrian 330Ci'01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ff
Some people might think so, but I don't. I just can't imagine wax building up on the car's surface, unless you waxed once every 2 hours for 10 straight years.

I've always applied wax right over the top of the existing wax, and ended up with perfect results.
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2002, 12:12 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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One other idea-- I read your original post too fast and missed the part about wanting to strip wax deposits off. Griot's make a paint cleaner/prep product for this exact purpose. I'm sure other companies make similar products that are also good- but i used the Griot's product and was happy with it. If you don't use it too often, some Dawn dishwashing detergent will also remove wax quite well (i'm sure i'll get flamed for suggesting that).
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2002, 12:16 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaz
Actually ammonia is basic, not acidic. FWIW soap is also basic.

It'll probably strip wax, but I doubt it'll hurt the paint unless it sat on it a long time. The factory windshield washer seems to be ammonia based, so BMW would be liable if the washer fluid stripped the paint.
True. I was thinking of some versions of Windex and other glass cleaners that have vinegar or alcohol in them.
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2002, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by robg
[...]If you don't use it too often, some Dawn dishwashing detergent will also remove wax quite well (i'm sure i'll get flamed for suggesting that).
Isn't this what Zaino recommends?
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2002, 12:43 PM
ff ff is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robg
One other idea-- I read your original post too fast and missed the part about wanting to strip wax deposits off. Griot's make a paint cleaner/prep product for this exact purpose. I'm sure other companies make similar products that are also good- but i used the Griot's product and was happy with it. If you don't use it too often, some Dawn dishwashing detergent will also remove wax quite well (i'm sure i'll get flamed for suggesting that).
I'm just curious why anyone would want to remove wax from a car's finish? Seems counterproductive.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2002, 12:49 PM
Adrian 330Ci'01 Adrian 330Ci'01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ff
I'm just curious why anyone would want to remove wax from a car's finish? Seems counterproductive.
Well, that was part of the reason I asked the question. If there is no good reason, then problem solved!

I was aware that products to do this were available, so next question would be... why?

robg: I noticed that on Griot's they refer to a 3M 'adhesive removing product' is that what you used, or was it branded as 'Griot's'?

Also, it seems that Griot's only sells online, is that true?
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2002, 02:28 PM
AF AF is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan F
Windex is very good for healing wounds and poisen ivy . . . at least that's what the father from the movie 'My big fat Greek wedding' used


BTW you'd have to see that movie to understand my joking.
Didn't anyone here get my joke ? ? ? That movie was really funny !!!
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2002, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan F
Didn't anyone here get my joke ? ? ? That movie was really funny !!!
I got it.

Great movie!

--SONET
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2002, 03:37 PM
bluer1 bluer1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ff
Glass cleaners are acidic? I know they contain alcohol, but I didn't know they were acidic.

If it were harmful to a car's finish, I'm sure that:
1) Glass cleaner mfg's would warn people to never use their product on your car

2) Paint mfg's would find a formulation that doesn't get destroyed when windex hits it (or warn people if such a formulation couldn't be found).

I've used windex on my cars, interior and exterior, for as long as I've been old enough to reach the windows, and have never had paint damage as a result. Wax stripping? Yes, but paint damage? No.

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Kalifornia Duster did more damage to your paint than windex. After all, what's worse than dragging a dry mop head over a dusty/dirty painted surface?
Nah - that logic doesn't quite follow for me.

If it did, it would be a sound argument that muriatic acid and
oven cleaner cans should have a warning about auto finishes.
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  #21  
Old 12-13-2002, 04:04 PM
ff ff is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluer1
Nah - that logic doesn't quite follow for me.

If it did, it would be a sound argument that muriatic acid and
oven cleaner cans should have a warning about auto finishes.
Please tell me you're not serious. Please? When's the last time you've seen someone use one of those products to clean their car?

Given your logic, we'd also have to require condom makers to warn consumers about the dangers of whacking off while driving. The difference in my statement, is that Windex markets their product to clean things like glass and chrome. In fact, I'll bet that they even show a picture of a car (with sparkling windows) in the instructions on the back of the bottle.
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  #22  
Old 12-13-2002, 05:13 PM
bluer1 bluer1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ff
Please tell me you're not serious. Please? When's the last time you've seen someone use one of those products to clean their car?

Given your logic, we'd also have to require condom makers to warn consumers about the dangers of whacking off while driving. The difference in my statement, is that Windex markets their product to clean things like glass and chrome. In fact, I'll bet that they even show a picture of a car (with sparkling windows) in the instructions on the back of the bottle.
It does - right above the warning to "spot test other surfaces before using."

The last time I saw someone using those products to clean a car?
Probably around the same time I saw someone using Windex on paint.
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2002, 08:05 AM
vern vern is offline
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windex

do you realy think that windex or any other glass cleaner or wind shield washer fluid mfg.or even deicing spray would damage your paint ? After all there are millions off people out there that use those products every day of the year.If it were so that damage would happen to your paint the mfg. would have law suits up the gazue.
vern
my $.02
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  #24  
Old 12-17-2002, 08:56 AM
bluer1 bluer1 is offline
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Yeah - I actually do. I've seen what ammonia-based cleaners
can do to clear coat. It's a shame too as it was a nice Porsche
with a ruined hood.
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  #25  
Old 12-17-2002, 10:47 AM
rwg rwg is offline
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Believe it or not, they say you shouldn't use products like Windex on your glass, either. Apparently the ammonia in the glass cleaner isn't good for tinted windows. I don't remember exactly why, but I do know that most car care product lines make glass cleaner that is clear and doesn't contain something or another. Most hand car washes use a clear fluid on windows too, but they seem to use the same liquid on all the interior parts, so who knows?

Adrian, how hard is the water where you live? Maybe it was calcium deposits? I seem to have those even when they aren't visible. Maybe it was just wax . . .
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