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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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  #26  
Old 05-29-2003, 01:53 PM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by in_d_haus
This was a joke Pinecone...one of Rips buddies came on here awhile ago and was spouting that Red BMWs don't have clearcoat and he "didn't care if the CEO of BMW told him himself!"
Aaahhh. I understand.
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  #27  
Old 06-02-2003, 09:19 AM
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Another Nick’s unsolicited Claying Tip


Are you a little worried about claying your beautiful paint for the first time? Don’t be! Here’s a tried and true way for a first time clayer to safely learn about claying and get a very clean windshield to boot.

Wait until your windshield has collected a few bugs and some road dirt, then gather up your clay, a bottle of QD or dedicated lubricant, a spray bottle of shampoo/water solution, your favorite glass cleaner, a clean microfiber towel, and a sheet of old newspaper.

Do a quick wash and rinse of your windshield to get rid of most of the debris so that you won’t really trash your clay. Now start claying one side of the glass using QD or your dedicated lube. Use plenty of lube! Start with a very light pressure, then gradually increase the pressure to fairly heavy - pay attention to the feedback that the clay is providing to your hand. Try using only a small amount of lube on one area - feel the difference! Rinse with clean water.

Now repeat on the other side of the windshield using the shampoo/water solution as your lubricant. Note the difference between the QD (or dedicated lube) and the shampoo/water solution. Rinse with clean water when finished.

After this quick, safe, and easy experiment you will know how the clay feels, how it works, and which lube is best for you. You’ll now have the experience and confidence needed to safely and effectively clay your beautiful paint!

Now to finish: Use your glass cleaner and the microfiber towel and clean the glass as usual to get rid of any remaining lubricant residue. For the final step very lightly mist the glass with your glass cleaner and do a final buffing with the newspaper. No smears, no smudges, no streaks, and no lint!
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Last edited by Nick T.; 06-02-2003 at 09:27 AM.
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  #28  
Old 06-09-2003, 06:54 AM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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Another way to "practice" claying is to use it on your glass shower doors, if ya got them, it works great! I use my "old" clay for this but a first timer could do it as well
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  #29  
Old 06-09-2003, 07:28 AM
Lansing Lansing is offline
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Claying Questions

I've used clay a few times, but this weekend, I ran into a few new dilemnas. Anyone ever had this happen, and if so, what's the deal?

1) Hadn't clayed my BMW yet (now 8 months old and starting to feel the contaminants on the rear deck/bumper). Have multiple Zaino layers and then clayed the car using Z clay.

Had better results with Clay Magic. Is Clay Magic superior to Z clay?

Most of the bumps came off, but there are still some left! I didn't strip the car's Z, but did use the clay pretty agressively. What gives?

2) Friend tried Clay Magic this weekend on a 5 year old Explorer. Worked but left some smudges. He used Meguiars cleaner/wax to remove and prep for Zaino. Common?

Thanks, all.

Lansing
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  #30  
Old 06-09-2003, 07:37 AM
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I’ve used both Clay Magic and Z-18 and haven’t noticed much of any difference except the color. Others have reported smudging problem with Clay Magic, but as yet it hasn’t happened to me - no idea what may cause the smudging.
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  #31  
Old 06-09-2003, 08:29 AM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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Zaino does not manufacture their own clay, they farm it out. Clay magic may be the guys who manufacture Zainos clay though I'm not sure of this.
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  #32  
Old 06-09-2003, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nick T.
no idea what may cause the smudging.
Under utilization of lubricant will cause smudging.

Did I just say that
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  #33  
Old 06-09-2003, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sp330i
Under utilization of lubricant will cause smudging.

Did I just say that
That's what I suspected, but most people who've complained about smudging swear that they used adequate lube.
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  #34  
Old 06-09-2003, 06:21 PM
Lansing Lansing is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by in_d_haus
Zaino does not manufacture their own clay, they farm it out. Clay magic may be the guys who manufacture Zainos clay though I'm not sure of this.
Really?

The Clay Magic I used was blue and a little less porous than the Zaino stuff that's yellow. Could be my imagination or a number of different variables, but it seems like the Clay Magic was a little more pliable and picked up the crap better. Could also be my imagination.

Hey, Nick...or anyone...possible that multiple coats of Z made it harder for me to clay the particulates off my well-protected car?

Lansing
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  #35  
Old 06-11-2003, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lansing
Hey, Nick...or anyone...possible that multiple coats of Z made it harder for me to clay the particulates off my well-protected car?
In my experience claying multi-layered Zaino goes okay, but if you had embedded stuff under the Zaino there might be problems.
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  #36  
Old 06-29-2003, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nick T.
That's what I suspected, but most people who've complained about smudging swear that they used adequate lube.
Then too much pressure. The clay should be just run over the surface wihtout any hand pressure.
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  #37  
Old 07-03-2003, 09:35 AM
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Here's a simple question?

Why do you clay? What is it's purpose?
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  #38  
Old 07-03-2003, 09:51 AM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by beware_phog
Here's a simple question?

Why do you clay? What is it's purpose?
It removes the dirt that is imbedded in the paint that washing can't get out. You can feel the difference
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  #39  
Old 07-03-2003, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by beware_phog
Here's a simple question?

Why do you clay? What is it's purpose?
'Cuz it makes the paint so smooooooooooth!
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2003, 10:58 AM
Drag'nGT Drag'nGT is offline
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If I don't have an orbital buffer. How would I be able to get that 'brand new' no swirls look? Just wax it after I clay it? Or do you guys suggest that new color coded wax to hide the little lines?
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  #41  
Old 10-31-2003, 12:13 PM
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RKT BMR RKT BMR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drag'nGT
If I don't have an orbital buffer. How would I be able to get that 'brand new' no swirls look? Just wax it after I clay it? Or do you guys suggest that new color coded wax to hide the little lines?
Veeeeeeerrrrrrry difficult without a buffer. Especially if the swirls are in the clearcoat, and not just in the wax. If the former, you really need to polish them out, and while this can be done by hand, again doing it and not leaving behind other swirls is a monumental task without a buffer.

That said, start by stripping the wax completely off (a good washing with detergent, like Dawn, would do it). Then clay the entire surface of the car to get the paint super clean.

Next, using a very mild hand polish, polish the worst 2 sq ft (1.4' x 1.4') area first according to the instructions for the polish, clean it off, and inspect. If you technique is leaving swirls, polish again and try to modify your technique to eliminate the swirls you are adding.

You won't be able to get it perfect. Get it as good as you can, then use a filler, like a glaze, to cover up the minor swirling that may still be there. Then wax.

This is where you'll get swirls again, but this time in the wax!! So once again, technique is critical.

A random orbita buffer makes all this childsplay, so I personally wouldn't even bother to try by hand. The PCRO is pretty inexpensive, especially in light of what you paid for the car, mousenuts.

The cost of one detailing will pay for the PCRO, some pads, and necessary car care products.
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  #42  
Old 05-22-2004, 01:06 PM
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So I clay-bar'd the 3er today for the first time.

I am a newbie to the OCD philosophy, but I'm learning...would be interested in any constructive criticism to this regime:

First step was washing the car. I did it at 7AM, so no water spots. Washed wheels first, using 2 caps of car wash liquid (ok, its turtle wax car wash stuff from costco, but I have a lot of it so I'm going to use it up ). Took car around block to make sure water was off the rotors.

Emptied bucket. Fill new bucket with one cap of car wash stuff; wash car; dry with water blade, then synthetic chamois. Went through inside with damp MF towel for dust etc. Cleaned windows inside and out using Autoglym Glass Polish on a MF towel. Remove glass polish with new MF towel.

Sprayed tires with tire dressing (the foamy kind). (I had some of the goppy stuff and I was going to make them "jet focking black" but decided not to j/k)

Ok, so car is basically as clean as I usually have it, and I run my hand over the paint. Its clean but doesn't feel very smooth i.e. its not gritty but not smoooooooth...

I got out my Meguires clay bar and QD spray kit I'd bought. I kneaded the bar into two small patties. I dropped the first pattie on the ground ( ) and threw it away. since I did not want to pick up dirt and put it on the car.

I was surprised how little pressure I ended up using on the bar. A few quick spritz's of the QD spray and basically "wiped" the bar on the paint was all I did. I covered a small area at a time, then wiped off the excess using a clean MF towel.

I WAS STUNNED AT THE RESULTS.

The paint was smoother than a woman's ... erm, sorry, I mean, the paint was extremely smooth. It was like, I don't know, glass, maybe, but very clean. You could really tell that the clay bar had removed a "layer" of gunk on the paint. I find it astonishing that the clay bar using the QD spray and just lightly holding it on the surface could have such an effect on the finish, but it did. For example, on the trunk lid and hood I just guided the bar along, letting gravity hold it on the finish.

I finished up by applying a layer of the last of my remaining MBZ car wax and threw the empty container in recycling (Time for new wax). Job done!
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Last edited by MMME30W; 05-22-2004 at 01:09 PM.
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  #43  
Old 05-23-2004, 12:25 AM
04ZHPGuy 04ZHPGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alee
This is the official thread for sharing your claying tricks, techniques and ideas. This is critical car care step that many people skip because it is either misunderstood or because people are afraid of trying it. Sharing your techniques and ideas here may encourage more people to try claying.

Rules of the thread:
Let's keep it constructive! There is no single right way to clay your car! If you have a technique that works for you, share it with the group. If there is a particular product you like, let everyone know what it is, and more importantly, why you like it. If you have questions, ask away.

Anyone caught claiming to be the sole authority on clay techniques, or anyone caught bashing another person's technique because it isn't like his/her own technique, will have their post removed, no exceptions.

Do you "clay bar" a new car, or just older cars?
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  #44  
Old 05-23-2004, 05:39 AM
JetBlack330i JetBlack330i is offline
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The OCD people will tell you to clay every other wash.
There is no need to clay until your car fails the bag test (and fail miserably, after it's been thoroughly washed, I might add).
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  #45  
Old 05-26-2004, 06:40 AM
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~One man’s opinion / observations ~

Place some saran wrap or a zip lock bag over your hand and rub across the finish lightly. Every snag you feel is below surface contaminant that the Detailers Clay bar can remove but you may not be able to see. The best way to describe the proper method for using detailer clay is to use plenty of the lubricant and aquaplane the clay bar over the surface in straight-line motions.

Detailer’s Clay Application

·Divide the Detailer’s Clay into equal pieces and knead into a ball to ensure pliability
·Take one of the pieces and flatten it out into a circle, approximately enough that it will fit into the foam clay holding pad.
·Place the kneaded clay into a damp pad (Cleaning Clay Pad Groit’s P/N 11204) spray with a lubricating solution (Woolite™ or Dreft™/Water 5:1) the foam clay holder will retain moisture and enable an even pressure to be applied to the paint surface while using it.
·Spray evenly onto a two square foot section with the lubrication solution, ensure that the surface being clayed is always wet
·Glide the Clay across the area in a front to back in a straight-line aquaplaning type motion
·Use an imaginary two-foot by two-foot square area to work on.
·Use a light to medium even pressure until the surface becomes smooth and silent.
·If the Clay is streaking on the paint, you need more to apply more lubricating solution, it is better to over lubricate the paint film surface than let it dry-out
·When the Clay is moved across the paint film surface you should hear a friction sound and some resistance. This is the grit being lifted from the paint. When the resistance and noise stops, dry the solution off with 100% cotton Alpine DF Microfiber cloth.
·If you drop the clay do not try to clean it, discard it or it may cause micro scratches in your paint film surface.
·To avoid wasting detailer’s clay because you probably will drop it, place a towel on the ground under the area you're claying so the clay will fall onto the towel without picking up gravel etc.
·Rinse of any clay residue and ensure there is no more contamination to remove
·Move onto the next two-foot by two foot square area and repeat the process.
·Once half the section is completed turn the clay over to a fresh, clean side and complete the remaining section.
·Check the surface of the clay often, once it becomes contaminated fold to a clean surface.
·Wash, rinse and dry each section and ensure all imbedded surface contaminants have been removed before moving on to the next panel / section
·When complete wash, rinse and dry the vehicle to ensure removal of any clay / lubricant residue

When the detailing clay becomes somewhat soiled from using it on the paint surface, set it aside for use on glass surfaces only, then when it becomes very soiled use it on the wheel surfaces. After this cycling discard it (do not use clay on class or wheel surfaces and then paint as it will contaminate the paint surface)


~Hope this helps~

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justadumbarchitect *so I question everything*
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  #46  
Old 05-26-2004, 06:44 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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Why do you clay? What is it's purpose?[/

Quote:
Originally Posted by beware_phog
Here's a simple question?

Why do you clay? What is it's purpose?
~One man’s opinion / observations ~

Acid rain, road salt, tree sap and airborne contaminants are very detrimental to a vehicles paint film surface.
Brake dust or rail dust are very small, almost microscopic particles of steel, iron or their alloys. These particles carry a negative charge while the vehicles they land on are carrying a positive charge. The vehicle surface becomes a magnet, attracting and bonding the ferrous metal particles to the vehicle surface. Moisture and temperature create a corrosive chemical reaction with the metal particles. The corrosive chemical compounds generated then proceed to etch (corrode) the clear coat, penetrating and spreading the corrosives through the paint film surface (and the sheet metal), which results in both erosion of the paint surface and corrosion

Water and car wash concentrate will wash away the loose particles but not the embedded pollution. The sun acts as a catalyst to help these paint-toxic pollutants penetrate and destroy your paint film surface. Regardless of how clean you think your paint is there are still contaminants stuck on the paint that you need to remove before pre-wax cleaning, polishing or applying a protection to your paint. Detailer’s Cleaning Clay leaves behind an ultra-smooth surface that will make your paint protection adhere better and improve its durability. It also makes the pre-wax cleaning more efficient and much easier.

~Hope this helps~

Experience unshared; is knowledge wasted…/ Jon
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  #47  
Old 05-26-2004, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan
So I clay-bar'd the 3er today for the first time.

I am a newbie to the OCD philosophy, but I'm learning...
Welcome to the club! Note that within six months or so you will need to be on regular meds of some sort...
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan
Emptied bucket. Fill new bucket with one cap of car wash stuff; wash car; dry with water blade, then synthetic chamois.
DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind that car care product preferences are very subjective, and have a healthy dose of pure personal appeal. There are many excellent products on the market, so don't take anyone's individual endorsement as some sort of indication of "the best" out there, even though some will insist as much.

That said, there are some basic principles that apply to all products. In the case of car wash soap, the following rules of thumb apply:
  • Do not use detergent for ordinary washing. It will strip off the wax. In my ignorant days, before I became an OCD car care fanatic as a consequence of getting my bimmer, I used to routinely wash our cars with Dawn (Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Corolla, Honda CRX, etc.). Didn't know I was taking the wax right off. Explains, though, why they didn't look so nice and glossy after 4 or 5 years. Oxidation.

  • Use a quality car wash soap that is specifically formulated to be gentle to wax, and very slippery. Slipperiness is the most important characteristic of a carwash product. The car gets clean primarily from the mechanical action of wiping the sponge, towel, or brush over the surface. The bucket-o-carwash diluted with water serves mostly the cleaning purpose of loosing the dirt as a solvent (mostly the water). The main purpose of the soap is to provide as friction-free a film on the surface as you drag your cleaning implement of choice over the surface, so that the dirt, dust, and grime you are removing doesn't scratch the clearcoat as your dragging it along.

  • Don't be stingy with the soap. A capful? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It's hard to use too much, provided you are using a quality soap that won't cut the wax. The more slippery, the better. See above. I'm a big fan of Griots car wash -- it meets the criteria I'm talking about here. I have a gallon bottle of the stuff. I'm quite generous with it, using about 0.25-0.5oz per gallon in a 5gal bucket. This is a bit more than Griots says to use, but I'm biasing against scratching during the washing process. Took me a year plus to use up the 16oz bottle I first bought before I ordered a gallon (thirty bucks).

  • Rinse your washing implement in the wash solution VERY FREQUENTLY. If I don't use all 4+ gallons of solution when I wash my car, I'm a failure.

  • Use warm water for the wash solution. Not hot!! Warm. Helps loosen the dirt.
As you experienced, no matter what you do to wash the car, you can't get everything off the paint. Clay is the only way, short of rubbing hard, which will just scratch it up.
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  #48  
Old 05-26-2004, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04ZHPGuy
Do you "clay bar" a new car, or just older cars?
You use clay on any car of any age before you are going to perform a task that will require rubbing the surface (like apply and removing wax).

Failing to do so will almost guarantee some scratching due to the microcontaminants that are stuck on the paint surface and won't come off with washing.

You pick up some of this stuff on the paint just by driving it home from the dealer after taking delivery. However, that's insignificant compared to what it's picked up on its journey from the factory, to the VPC, and then to your dealer before you got it. Even though the dealer "details" the car before you get it, this doesn't include a pass with a claybar. If they wax it as part of their detailing, you might find microscratching and swirls (and rarely, worse!!) on your new car because they don't generally do a clay pass before waxing.

I instructed my salesdroid to ensure that they did not wax my car prior to delivery, and that they could only wash it. I told him I wouldn't accept it otherwise. Also told him the same thing if they drilled the front bumper and attached a license plate frame. Thankfully, they followed my instructions, and were able to complete the sale
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  #49  
Old 05-26-2004, 06:18 PM
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My experience tells me that washing/drying is the step that is most likely to cause marring to your paint. Claying is relatively risk free if - - 1) the paint is CLEAN before claying, and 2) you use plenty of lubricant. Washing is risky because your are rubbing the paint with contaminants they may easily mar or scratch the paint.

Check this thread for claying tips and tricks.

1) Keep in mind that rubbing grit across your paint causes marring!

2) When washing use TWO buckets - - one for your shampoo/water solution and one with clean water for rinsing your washing tool(s). When the rinse water gets dirty, then dump it and refill.

3) Keep in mind that rubbing grit across your paint causes marring!

4) Rinse your wash tool frequently. I prefer MF towels instead of a wash mitt for washing because it gives you a better feel for the paint’s surface. I generally use 4 to 6 towels for either of my small cars.

5) Keep in mind that rubbing grit across your paint causes marring!

6) In my experience there is little or no difference between the various “standard brand” car shampoos. Follow the directions on the label - - use less if the car isn’t very dirty.

7) Keep in mind that rubbing grit across your paint causes marring!

8) Use lots of wash solution on the towel. Wipe, do not rub. Follow the wipe with a low pressure rinse from the hose.

9) Keep in mind that rubbing grit across your paint causes marring!

10) If there are any spots that resist cleaning with just light pressure, then let them go and come back to them later and deal with them on an individual basis. Do NOT rub.

11) Keep in mind that rubbing grit across your paint causes marring!

12) Difficult to remove things like baked on bugs often will come off more easily if you lay a soaking wet towel on the spot for a few minutes.

13) Keep in mind that rubbing grit across your paint causes marring!

14) Do not let the rinse water dry on the car! Dry each section as you go. Use a waffle weave MF towel for drying. Blot, don’t wipe.

15) Keep in mind that rubbing grit across your paint causes marring!
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  #50  
Old 05-26-2004, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick T.
14) Do not let the rinse water dry on the car! Dry each section as you go. Use a waffle weave MF towel for drying. Blot, don’t wipe.
Somehow I always manage to rewet parts of the car, even if it's just splashes. I see your point about drying in sections, but that one seems easier said than done.
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