Waxes and Polishes, Part II

gusgus Member Posts: 254
A continuation of the discussion in Topic .


  • georgedegeorgede Member Posts: 40
    I wonder if we lost everyone on this topic??? I hope they move it back to the first page!!!

    If you get back here, I did buy the Gold Mcguires,
    and it looks great. Thanks...
  • wstangwstang Member Posts: 35
    Any comments?
    We try not to disparage car care products made by other wax companies.
    In many cases, these companies have tried very hard to establish
    themselves in particular market niches. Additionally, every product
    will produce different results. You should compare the results among
    paste waxes and between liquid wax and paste wax. If you are concerned
    about damaging your painted surface, please be aware that regardless of
    marketing claims, a polish is an abrasive. We do not use any abrasives
    in our wax.
    We have developed a formula that easily and regularly produces a deep
    warm glow. The traditional "wet look" that so many companies tout can
    be as easily produced with a liberal coat of petroleum jelly as it is
    with their products. Other companies highlight that their products have
    long lasting protection (these products can also produce a dangerous
    adhesive bond with your paint). SurLuster has been designing,
    manufacturing, and distributing car wax for over 50 years. We private
    label products for many other wax companies and for car companies. We
    are very familiar with these formulas (you may have already used
    SurLuster without knowing it) and their claims. When we developed our
    in-house line, we decided to eliminate any compromises. Products apply
    easily, buff easily and develop a deep, even gloss. Our wax is very
    durable, but will release easily with an application of pre-wax
    cleaner. The proof is in the products. If you are not satisfied,
    return the product and we'll refund your purchase price. Our goal,
    however, is to have you as a long-term satisfied customer.
  • wstangwstang Member Posts: 35
    Forum Moderator,
    Put a message at the previous frozen forum and link them here... or some message to inform them where to go to now...
    As it is, this place is a ghost town....
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    I thought I had, but I'll try again. I noticed 1001 responses in Topic 8, but an end at topic 1000. I really hope that there isn't a glitch here.
  • jeffsjeffs Member Posts: 23
    Can't tell if you are promoting the product or just repeating something you read. However, I am interested in hearing from anyone that has tried Surluster.
  • fastdriverfastdriver Member Posts: 2,273

    "I thought I had, but I'll try again. I noticed
    1001 responses in Topic 8, but an end at topic
    1000. I really hope that there isn't a glitch

    There's no glitch. The messages start with "0". While there were 1,000 messages shown, it was really 1,001 because of the "0" starting point. Your message in the old topic is listed as 1,001, but in reality, if you look at the top where it tells you how many messages there are, it says 1,002.

  • pblevinepblevine Member Posts: 858
    Maybe you can switch these two "topics" around for the VERY obvious reasons. I've been following this subject for a while here, and was also surprised to see this switch. And/or you might be able to kill off a few of the unused topics with lower topic numbers. But please, gus, TRY SOMETHING!
  • orange606orange606 Member Posts: 32
    They finally put a link to this topic from the old one.

    Well I am not having too much lucking finding an oxidation remover. Can anybody here point me towards some thing?

    I used to use Maguire's gold class before I bought Zaino. Meguires is good, but the Zaino stuff will last longer, and be little more reflective.
  • anne4anne4 Member Posts: 35
    A guy named Chris Parrish who is a detailer and used to post a lot to this topic recommended 3M products for oxidation removal. Depending on the degree of oxidation, he recommended the following: light - 3M Foam Pad Polish; medium - 3M Finesse It; heavy - 3M Perfect It. Chris said "accept no substitutes." You may have trouble finding these products. Other 3M products are sold in regular stores like Wal Mart and auto parts places, but these 3 seem to be sold only in auto paint supply stores, and they're expensive. I tried the 3M Foam Pad Polish. It worked very well; but I couldn't buy just a small bottle. Had to buy a big bottle that cost about $30. Was worth it. Keep in mind these are polishes that contain abrasives, and they will cut thru clear coats and remove paint. If the oxidation is significant, though, you won't have any choice anyway. If the oxidation is light, you might try using Zaino Z5 and Z2 or Z3 first.
  • ejyejy Member Posts: 62
    Well, I ordered my first set of Zanio products (Z1, Z2, Z6, Z7) and some erazer clay and I'm hoping they are on my doorstep tonight. I have a few questions first though (for a Silver Solara):

    1) Can I clay in direct sunlight? I got 8oz clay and 16oz lube, how much should I expect to use per application?

    2) Can I Zanio (Z1, Z2) in direct sunlight? Again, I know I have to use it very sparingly, any good tips to do so?

    2b) How much Z7/gallon water to wash?

    2c) Should I use Z7 wash before the first application of Z1,Z2? Or stick to dawn or turtle wax car wash?

    3) I have a ton of little brown spots (acid rain, tree sap, or something) all over the finish. I have been buffing them out by hand with Meguires #2 polish. This is very time consuming (30 mins for just the trunk). Should I continue the #2, or use Step #1 cleaner before I clay or just clay?

    4) My car sits outside 24/7, is it safe to clay on a hot Saturday and let the car sit overnight before washing it and applying Zanio on Sunday? Or does the lube need washed off right away?

    Thanks in advance and keep the good advise coming!
  • orange606orange606 Member Posts: 32
    Funny you should mention Chris Parrish aka detailfreak. I remember I asked the same question a wile back so I looked up the old posts. He had replied giving me two options. The foam polishing pad glaze, or a light-rubbing compound, and then the foam polishing pad glaze. I went down to a local paint store and was able to get a 16 fl.oz bottle for $11. I tried it in a few spots, and it works great. I didn't see you post till I got back. Needless to say you are right. However, I don't think the foam polishing pad glaze is an abrasive. It seams to be a chemical based product. I have some Meguiars gold class clear coat prep that I used long ago. It didn't seem too great on oxidation. The actual product does look the same, but the ingredients are not listed on the meguiars bottle. My plan is to wash the car, clay it to remove the loose contaminates, then use the 3m product. After that I think I should wash with dawn to remove any residue from the 3m product. Then z-1, and z-2.

    What ever happened to Chris Parrish?
  • orange606orange606 Member Posts: 32
    I finally had a chance to try the Bleach Wite tire cleaner. Personally I don't like it. What I found to work the best is a standard multi purpose cleaner degreaser. I used a 50/50 water simple green mix. It worked as well, or better than the bleach wite. I hosed the tire; spray it down with simple green. Then scrub it with a regular sponge. Also, the simple green is a great wheel cleaner. It wont hurt you or your car, and it's non-toxic/bio-degradable.

    I also found a good way to apply the Z-16. I took a damp sponge, and appled a generous amount of z-16 to it. I then wiped the tire down. I let it dry, then appled another coat, but wiped it off this time. I repeat that step once leaving some dry time after each wiping. Then I appled a final coat of Z-16, and let it just dry. It really looks nice.

    I will be getting some Tire Treat soon, and I will add that to the procedure above. The tire treat should improve the finish, and help the tire stay good looking longer. I will post results as soon as I have them.
  • fastdriverfastdriver Member Posts: 2,273

    "What ever happened to Chris Parrish?"

    It got a little crowded in here with someone who knew what he was talking about and someone with an ulterior motive who had a comment about everyone and everything that was said. WHO needs that crap? Chris chose to move on to other forums.

    I wish he would come back, but I don't think that will happen.

  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    You may also find the 3M products at a NAPA auto store. They usually have an excellent selection and will order what they don't have.
  • wstangwstang Member Posts: 35
    I am merely relating what was the reply to me from the guys in Surluster. Some points mentioned in the text seemed to suggest that Zaino (covertly) will be doing harm to the paint surface by being too lasting...

    I am a pleased user of Zaino, but am constantly looking for better ones...

    Hence, I would like to hear the views from the experts here, or the people who have used Surluster, and/or Zaino.
  • blackchromeblackchrome Member Posts: 4
    Has anyone used the new Armor All Diamond Cut polish? I bought a bottle but decided to try the Nu Finish first. Nu Finish is quite amazing. I am just looking to find some feed back on other products besides ZAINO!
  • coffeebizcoffeebiz Member Posts: 13
    I have a black '97 Toyota 4Runner and am interested in waxing and trying to take care of my paint job. However, I have read a lot of good things about both Zymol and Zaino. What do you all recommend? Also, I have never waxed my car before so what would I have to do to "prep" my car when I decide to use either of the two products I end up buying?
  • powercatpowercat Member Posts: 96
    I would like to hear some input on Liquid Glass, Pros and Cons.
    Thanks, Tim
  • shomanshoman Member Posts: 97
    you asked for comments. As we have talked about before, the traditional polishes have abrasives, but they don't HAVE to have abrasives. Zaino calls their product a polish, and they have the right to do so, people should just know that most "polishes" DO contain abrasives and so do some Waxes. You always have to read the label or do some research.

    Don M.
  • jeffsjeffs Member Posts: 23

    I've posted a couple of requests on different boards and have had no reponse. I'm going to try alt.auto.merscedes because I found out about in MCA's Star magazine and if I get nothing there either I'm going to roll the dice and order some. I'll post the results.
  • waddleswaddles Member Posts: 3
    I have had my car for three weeks now and I would like to know what to use to clean it. I have a 99 ZX2 Sport, Denim Blue Clearcoat Metallic. I would like to know what to use on the inside and the outside of the car. In the past I would just go to the car wash and let it air dry. I would like to be more caring to my new car and I would like your help!!!

    Thaks Waddles
  • RichIITFRichIITF Member Posts: 17
    I too had some concerns about Zaino and its long term effects. Sal called me about these concerns and told me that his products have been in use since 1989 with no problems. Some companies feel that using plastics/polymers will cause paint to spider or crack. Sal said this is not a problem with his products.
  • pblevinepblevine Member Posts: 858
    Liquid Glass: Don't know that product. Try testing it on half a window and compare to whatever is your present standard. I've been using the Zaino Glass Polish which really works well. On the inside, it does remove the plastic residue resulting from those new parts. But most of the time, I use good old Zaino Z6. Yep, best damn window cleaner I've found yet. I don't know why, but its even better than Windex.

    On cleaning a car for the first time prior to Zaino: Please read the past postings about recommended methods. In summary: Use Dawn (once only) to remove the original wax from the clearcoat and then apply the Zaino polymer loc (Z1). The list of stuff available for interior cleaning is endless. And I don't know enough yet to make an absolute set of recommendations.
  • shomanshoman Member Posts: 97
    Letting your car air dry is not helping it. Any water has metals, contaminants etc in it and most have calcium. This stuff drys on your paint and can be very hard to get off, and some can even etch your paint permanently!
    It's best to hand wash using a gentle wash. Most "car wash" products are OK, but they sometimes go the wrong direction and don't get the dirt off, and no matter what any bottle says, it's not really possible to wash AND wax at the same time. I have used Liquid Ivory on drivers and expensive show cars for decades and it won't ever harm your paint, it won't even take off all your wax. Know that ANY washing process will remove some of your wax. That is the way things are supposed to work. Wax should give itself up instead of the paint!
    I prefer a synthetic chamois to real chamois for drying.
    If your new car has managed to get out of the dealership without swirls and minor scratches (most dealerships employ people that do more harm before the cars are sold than most owners will do in years of use!) you can just apply a good non-abrasive wax. I like high quality Carnauba waxes.
    If you car does have some swirls, you should use a very mild abrasive polish. Some products say they are "clearcoat" safe, which should mean they have little or no abrasive. This is really a poor term since clearcoat is just paint and any product that will make regular non-clearcoat paint have a high gloss will also work on clearcoat. What you want to stay away from is anything agressive. It can wear through clearcoat or regular paint.
    Plan on waxing your car more than once a year, Twice a year should be minimum depending on your climate, miles driven and if the car is parked outside a lot. If the finish looses it's slick feel, it's time for more wax!
    Meguiars makes good products that are available at most stores. Read the labels and remember to go easy with pressure and go easy with product. Less is better with most waxes and/or polishes.
    Inside the car, Lexol is best for leather and another product by Lexol called Vinylex is great for all the vinyl. Follow the instructions on the bottles. For carpet/cloth seats, a product called Blue Coral Dri-Clean works really good. Don't use buckets of soapy water on carpets or seats, it just invites mold/mildew and drives smells in deeper. spray the Blue Coral on the surface and work it in with your fingertips. Don't use a brush, it can tear fibers. Dry with a fluffy bath towel. Be sure to vac the area before and after.
    Don M.
  • georgedegeorgede Member Posts: 40
    What is the best product for a new dashboard?? I
    noticed Armour All is not well liked here. What
    is the alternative?? Thanks...
  • orange606orange606 Member Posts: 32
    I personaly like Vinylex. It's easy use, and does a great job. It's made by the same company that makes Lexol. I could find it at pep-boys, and mail order.
  • kenokeno Member Posts: 6
    What is the best type applicator to use in applying wax to a car, and where can I purchase it?
  • shomanshoman Member Posts: 97
    I buy the large synthetic sponges at my local grocery store. NOT the type that have all the tiny holes, and NOT real sponge. This type looks somewhat like real sponge with larger irregular holes, but it is rectangular, and about 2" thick by maybe 8" long and 5" wide.
    Cut it in half to make a hand/palm sized sponge. Put just a little wax or polish towards the center of the side you are using (you can use the edges for small areas) and let the sponge do the work. It will work in the product better than any cotton pad/cloth, will prevent "finger" marks better than a thin sponge/cloth and last a long time. It also doesn't soak up all your wax like most applicator pads that are designed to make you use more of the product!
    When it starts shedding, just toss and use another. I buy them for well under $3 for the big one, so it's closer to $1 per pad when cut in half.
    Be sure to rinse the sponge out, they use some chemical to keep it from drying out that should be rinsed before use. Keep it rinsed and damp when using it. Let it air dry (it will shink and look bad) Put it back in a bucket of clean water a minute or two before you need it again.

    Don M.
  • pblevinepblevine Member Posts: 858
    Again, we should complain about this switch in location. It is hard to get to. Great reward for being active and involved! :(
  • georgedegeorgede Member Posts: 40
    Very LITTLE activity on this position....
  • coffeebizcoffeebiz Member Posts: 13
    I have a black '97 Toyota 4Runner and am
    interested in waxing and trying to take care of my
    paint job. However, I have read a lot of good
    things about both Zymol and Zaino. What do you all recommend? Also, I have never waxed my car before so what would I have to do to "prep" my car when I decide to use either of the two products I end up buying (I have read about "claying" but don't know much about it)?

  • dmv71dmv71 Member Posts: 6
    Does anyone know whether we are supposed to wash the car first before "claying" the car? Also, does anyone know if Meguiar's clay any good compare to Clay Magic? Has anyone tried to prep. the car like Sal, the Zainobrother, recommends, but then use Meguiar wax or Mother's wax instead of Zaino products to see if you would get the same shine as the Zaino products? I was thinking that following Sal's recommendations in preping the car should be sufficient in getting the shine that you want when you use other wax products instead of Zaino's, since it could be that most of the work in getting the shine is in the preping not the wax iself. Any comments anyone???
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    re: new topic

    There is no way that I can change this. There is a pointer/link in that topic to this topic. Feel free to click on Topic 8 and to click on the link to this topic posted in that topic. I could unfreeze Topic 8, but that would discourage people from going back and reading what had been written in the previous 1000 responses in that topic. It seems to me that Topic 8 had reached a sort of critical mass.

    The Topic 8 discussion had become less lively, as people posted things like "I don't have time to go back and read what's been written so far, but what sort of towel should I use to wax my car?" It's not so much that the question was asked, but that person posting the item found the topic so burdensome as a read, that they either glossed over everything, or skipped it entirely.
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    Placemark it and stop whining, all topics get moved to the end of the line when they get full and are frozen, why should this one be special.
  • anne4anne4 Member Posts: 35
    DO wash the car before claying. Washing will remove dust, dirt, etc. on top of the paint. You want that removed so that the clay won't pick it up. The clay does eventually get dirty and has to be thrown out. No point in needlessly contaminating it. The clay will then "shear off" contaminants embedded in the paint. Washing won't do this. That's why you clay after washing.

    On Meguiar's clay, I haven't personally used it. However, "oldtimers" for this topic will remember posts from Chris Parrish (aka "detailfreak"). Chris seems very knowledgeable. His opinion was that Meguiars clay tended to leave streaks. He recommended Clay Magic or Erazure.

    On Zaino vs. Zymol, I also haven't personally used Zymol. One poster some time back, however, said that the Zymol paste is good, but the liquid isn't. He said the liquid was actually made by a different company and sold under the Zymol name. I don't know if this is true or not.

    Seems like no matter what wax or polymer product you use (Meguiars, Zaino, Zymol, etc.) you should do the same good prep. It's the same concept as painting your house. It doesn't matter how good or bad the paint is you use. If you don't prep the surface (i.e., leave dirt and flaking paint on it), your results won't be as good as if you do a good prep job.

    On whether Meguiars is as good as Zaino, there was a long debate on that. Go back and read previous posts and see what you think. Or just try both products and make up your own mind.
  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    There are four steps to caring for the paint exterior: Wash, Clean, Polish, and Protect.
    WASH - The seemingly most simple sounding is the most important. While most any wash from the auto store would probably do, I prefer the synthetics as they don't smear. My favorites are Sonax Gloss Shampoo from Larry Reynolds at www.carcareonline.com, Finish First car shampoo from www.liqui-tech.com, and Zaino carwash from Sal Zaino at www.zainobros.com.
    The key is to use lots of water. I rinse the car twice before washing since any adherent surface dirt will scratch the finish. I don't use a sponge since it can trap a dirt particle and scratch the finish. I use either a wool mitt from Griot's Garage at www.griotsgarage.com or a 100% cotton Cannon or Fieldcrest made in the USA terry cloth towel where the little fingers of material lift and trap the dirt away from the finish. You then rinse well and dry with 100% Cotton towels.
    The other parts will follow in separate posts.
  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    CLEAN - Now that the surface has been washed it should be cleaned. This is where the clay comes in. It acts to remove surface contamination that is on the exterior or stuck in the finish. It doesn't fill in scratches, plug paint chips, or any of the other things mentioned elesewhere. To prevent it from damaging the finish you use a lubricant such as a detailing spray or soapy water.
    Think of it as shaving. The lubricant is the shaving cream which protects the surface and the clay is the razor. I prefer to use a detailing spray because the result will really shine. The only clay I use is the yellow clay from Griot's Garage at www.griotsgarage.com. There are other clay products but be aware that clay comes in different levels of abrasiveness so know what you are buying.
    You simply spray the lubricant on a clean cool surface and rub a small piece of clay shaped into a hamburger patty in a back and forth direction gently across the finish until it feels completely smooth. Buff with a towel and be amazed by your work. Fold the clay over so the outside with the contaminants is now on the inside and move on to another section. The whole process takes only 15 to 20 minutes.
    At this point you can polish or use an additional cleaner. If you aren't going to polish try P21S Paint Cleanser from Larry Reynolds www.carcareonline.com or from Autopia Car Care. Now you polish.
  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    POLISH - Now that the surface has been washed and cleaned it is time to polish the surface to make it shine. Whatever your paint looks like after this step will then be protected by the wax or sealer.
    New cars have a clear coat system which means there is clear paint on top of colored or pigmented paint. You will be working on the clear coat to remove surface oxidation, scratches, etc. Some pros consider this just a part of the cleaning process.
    You can use a polish or a glaze. Classically a polish cleans using chemical agents to lessen the peaks and valleys of swirl marks, reduce scratches, etc. Glazes use very fine physical abrasives to help smooth the finish.
    There are many on the market. I prefer 3M Imperial Hand Glaze available from NAPA stores, auto paint stores, or www.carcareonline.com. Others like Meguiar's Showcar Glaze or One Grand's Omega Glaze. Griot's Garage also carries a series of Polishes in different levels of abrasiveness. Take your time.
  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    PROTECT - Now that it's washed, cleaned, and shining you want to protect the shine. You can use either a wax or a sealant.
    Waxes are carnauba products. Polymer sealants seal the finish and bond to the paint.
    Good wax products include Blitz Wax from One Grand Products (the easiest paste wax I have ever used), P21S which is a mix of carnauba and beeswax, Best of Show by Griot's Garage.
    Good polymer sealants include Finish First, Klasse, Zaino as well as Meguiar's Medallion wax and Eagle One. Waxes last 3 to 4 months. Polymer sealants last 6 to 8 months.
    Some free advice - you don't have to do the whole car at once. You can do the horizontal surfaces (roof, hood, and trunk) this week and do the sides next week. This will reduce the fatigue factor so you won't spend eight hours and say "Never again".
    Good luck.
  • orange606orange606 Member Posts: 32
    I believe the problem with me Meguiar's clay is that even with lube the clay will stick to the paint, leaving some on the surface of the car. Which is hard to remove.

    To all new posters, there is welth of knowledge in these detailing forums. Probably around 2000 posts worth. I would first do a serch, and see if you can find what you are looking for.

    I think some one, maby edmunds should make a FAQ that contains all the great tips that have been presented on this site. although, we all ready have a great Zaino faq that that detailfreak created long ago. I think some one posted the link just a week ago.

    I will soon be posting my results of useing shoe polish to restore black trim.
  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    After further thought I added a fifth category - Maintain.
    MAINTAIN - This is what you do between weekly washes and involves the use of detailing sprays and car dusters. This allows you to keep the car shining between washes. Some swear by the Original California Car Duster. Its wax impregnated fibers are GENTLY and LIGHTLY drawn over the surface, removing dust along the way. Personally, I worry about scratching the finish but the diehard users say it works great.
    Instead of a duster I use detail spray and a 100% cotton towel GENTLY and LIGHTLY drawn over the surface. I make one or two passes with the towel which draws the dirt up into the loops. I then take a second towel to LIGHTLY buff out the finish until it shines.
    There are many different brands. I like Speed Shine by Griot's Garage, Show Off by One Grand Products, and Z-6 by Zaino. Since I use a lot of it, I buy it in bulk by the gallon. Zaino is sold only by the pint and not in bulk. If it were sold without the sprayers this would save money (afterall, does anyone buying a dozen bottles really need 12 sprayers?).
    Detailing takes only about 10 minutes or less to do the whole car and can increase the time between washes while allowing your car to look good all the while.
    Good luck.
  • pblevinepblevine Member Posts: 858
    That was very good. All first timers and many others should go back and read of your posts.
  • fastdriverfastdriver Member Posts: 2,273
    The ZAINO FAQ's that detailfreak did can be found at http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Flats/6021/

    Hope this helps.

  • urchin34urchin34 Member Posts: 70
    Your post helped me a lot. Now, since I have been extremely neglectful about the MAINTAIN (or actually everything except washing) is it too late for a nine year-old car? White, with minimal oxidation, but there nonetheless.

    Also, my last experience with metallic paint was a 1975 car that oxidized clear through the primer in the first 3 years (in spite of faithful care). Most light colors seem to be metallic now. Have these really improved? Can they survive 350 days of sunshine a year? Special care? I'm tired of white.

    Same question about red. Always wanted a cool red sports car, but spent too many hours on the 1967 red mustang. Has this also improved with time?
  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    Paints have gotten better.
    Clearcoats seem to do better than many of their ancestors. Unfortunately, all still require work to maintain that shine. Black, dark blue, red, silver, and metallics seem more prone to oxidation than their counterparts so diligence is required but the end result is worth it.
    I would still give resurrecting your car a try. Given the age of the car, polishing will be the important step. It is better to slowly polish it - stopping every now and then to check to see if the finish is where you want it - than to jump in and polish like a whirling dervish. Overpolishing removes paint unnecessarily and does not improve the shine or luster.
    Do a little. Stop. Evaluate what you have done. If you are happy then move on to the next section. If not, then continue on a little more. Stop and reevaluate. And so on. You can always do more but you can't undo any damage from overdoing it.
    Your paint is very thin. Thickness varies from car to car. Many cars have a total paint thickness of 4 to 5 mils that includes the primer or undercoat, the base coat, and the clearcoat. A mil is one thousandth of an inch (0.001 inches).
    Good luck.
  • qibbleqibble Member Posts: 26
    hello everyone -- I got my new solara couple of weeks ago and its getting close to that first ceremonial wash. I going to try that Zaino everyone is raving about. But my questions are: 1) Where do I get that clay stuff everyones been talking about? 2) Dawn? Are you guys talking about dawn dish-washing liquid? Is it safe on the car's finish? I apologize for my ignorance but its my first car and I don't know very much. Thank you in advance.
  • urchin34urchin34 Member Posts: 70
    Do I still clay the car with the oxidation? Would you recommend polish or glaze for the polishing?
  • rpgibbsrpgibbs Member Posts: 1
    What can I use on a 1991 OEM Cadillac vinyl top
    (black) that will keep a good shine, protect
    it and not get any "wash down" on the body
    when it rains? Thanks
  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    The goal of all exterior paint work is to achieve as much gloss as possible. Gloss is the ability of paint to reflect light. Darker colors are more dramatic than lighter colors. A black car with a great shine will look like a mirror. A smooth surface reflects light better. Defects in the paint can cause the light to be absorbed or scattered, reducing the light reflection, and thus the gloss.
    When you wash, clean, polish, protect, and maintain your finish you are maximizing its ability to reflect light and thus are increasing its gloss. For paint defects you can remove them, fill them in, or conceal them.
    Paint defects include many things such as dirt and contamination on or stuck in the paint, oxidation, swirl marks, scratches, stains, problems in the paint, etc. Washing removes surface dirt. Clay removes contamination stuck on or in the surface. Polishing can remove the oxidation, stains, and light scratches. Deeper scratches and paint chips must be filled (repaired with paint). The rule of thumb is if you run your thumbnail over the scratch and it clicks or sticks, fill it. If your nail can't feel it then polish it.
    Since polish removes paint you may only be able to remove some of the scratch because to remove it all would take off too much paint. This is why waxes have "fillers" which are often oils and the like to fill in these minor surfaces defects. Bird droppings, tree sap,and bug remains can all etch and stain the paint if not removed quickly. Once damaged you may only be able to minimize the damage so prompt removal is important.
    Good luck.
  • drscopemdrscopem Member Posts: 83
    #48 - clay before polish?
    Claying the finish helps to clean it further before polishing it. So, yes, please clay it. Many places carry clay such as auto stores, NAPA stores, www.erazure.com, www.griotsgarage.com, etc. I use the yellow clay from Griot's Garage. Others like erazure and clay magic.
    polish or glaze?
    There are many excellent products available in both polishes and in glazes. I use 3M Imperial Hand Glaze available at NAPA stores or on the internet (see earlier posts). I assume you aren't using an electric polisher/buffer. If you are, 3M makes a Foam Pad Polish.
    By the way, you don't let the 3M Imperial Hand Glaze dry. You use a cloth or cotton applicator to apply it back and forth. Rub a little. Wipe off. If happy, move on. If not then reapply and wipe some more. And so on. Let the product do the work.
    Other polishes/cleaners/glazes include Meguiar's Gold Class, the Wax Shop's Safe Cut, Griot's Garage polishes, etc. It's more a question of how you use it than what you use.
    Once polished you need only repolish your car once or twice a year.
    Good luck.
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