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Detailing tips

Old 9/20/06, 12:50 AM
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Detailing tips

I'm the owner of a new GT and I'm being really ****, probably too ****, about keeping it cleaned, covered, etc.

Having said that, I'm no expert at what it takes to maintain that show-car shine.

What do you folks use to wash, clean, polish your cars? What supplies and tools are must-haves?

Thanks. This is a great site with a bunch of great people.
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Old 9/20/06, 01:17 AM
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Check the car care section here are some threads where I responded to similar questions:

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=53623 -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Stang
I am going to the store tommorrow to get some Meguiars products to wash and wax my black mustang. I really don't have any clue on what to get. This will be my first time waxing it and it has some swirl marks in the paint so what Meguiars products should I get? Thank you.

ALL OF THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS ARE MEGUIARS UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED:

clay bar (only if you need it, after car is washed run your hand across paint and if you can feel any ABOVE SURFACE CONTAMINANTS then you need it, if its glassy smooth then you dont; pits and scratches and below surface problems dont apply): SMOOTH SURFACE KIT (has my car on the box...lol) and comes with 2 clay bars, case, detailer and microfiber

Ultra Plush wash mit

2 good size buckets with 2 grit gaurds (2 bucket wash method, PM me for details)

either the versa-angle face brush or a dedicated wash mit (make sure its soft) for the wheels

soap: gold class or nxt shampoo

wheel cleaner: depends on the wheels you have but to be on the safe side; Hot Rims ALL WHEEL CLEANER OR MULTI PIECE

drying:
- 1-2 water magnets
- 1-2 super suede drying cloths (microfiber like chamois)

windows:
- duo-fiber glass super towel (microfiber/cloth)
- Turtle wax Clear-Vue (not sure on the spelling)

Tires:
- Endurance High Gloss Tire Gel
- Curved (to the wheel contour) Sponge applicator

Several Supreme Shine MicroFibers
and several more regular microfibers (anybrand on these)

4-5 High Tech Applicator Pads

Any Billet, or polished/non-chrome metal (also non-clear coated; ie. stock wheels): Mothers Billet Polish, great for tail pipes or any metal surface you want to shine bright

Chrome: Mothers Chrome Polish

For those swirls and scratches: Scratch X

Polish: Show Car Glaze #7

Wax: High Tech Yellow #26

Detailer: Either the Quick Detailer or NXT Speed Detailer

Vynll and trim: (assuming its not faded) Black Magic's Professional Protectant, also works great on the inside once the interior has been cleaned as a nice UV protectant and shiney/wet finish, also use cheese cloth towels to apply, this doesnt leave behind lint. (so get 2-3 of those)

2-3 cloth diaper towels (to apply metal polishes)

and a couple of rags for whatever may come up...lol

Is it a vert?

for some reason I feel like I missing something, but that should get you going on the outside of your car, if you want a list for the interior let me know, I can also give you some helpful pointers and some other neat tools I find to work real well that are very helpful but not essential.

Good luck

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=52663 -
"new to car shows what items should you take to clean with."

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=52543 -
some more tips

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=51803 -
Meguiars detail day

Threads of some of my work:
http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=52996
http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=53419
http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=53665
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Old 9/20/06, 01:24 AM
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answered in some PMs to people

2 bucket wash technique:
its actually quiet simple, the two buckets are so that there is a reduced risk of scratching your car.

one bucket for soapy water and the second is just clean water, hopefully both have grit gaurds as this helps A LOT.

use the soapy water to wash the car and before you dip your mit back into that buck it, rinse it in the clean water bucket, just swirl it around and kind of scrub it with your hands, this will get all of the dirt you just pulled off the car and onto the mit off of the mit and settle in a bucket of water that you wont be putting back on the car

a third bucket is often good for wheels, or do them first then clean bucket

always work from top to bottom and in sections, rinse soapy water off car often and wash in shade or cool area when you can

do not scrub the car with the mit, simply wipe it over the paint, make sure you thoroughly rinsed the car off with the hose this will get most of the loose dirt off before you wash it with the mit. The key is the least invasive method possible to avoid scratching and swirls

any above surface contaminants that were bonded to the paint and would not come off during a wash (ie. road tar, tree sap, overspray, ect.) can then be removed with a clay bar and should be before polishing and waxing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flashfearless
Thanks for the feedback. I was asking for my wife's Black '97 Mercury Sable. I saw that demo page before. I didn't have a lot of luck with ScratchX removing swirl marks. As a matter of fact, should you not allow ScratchX to dry completely? I had a problem removing scratchX when applied to her entire hood...

How can I order the Pro Mequilars stuff? Online only?



yeah the only thing that you should ever let dry is wax, the scratch x you should rub in and keep rubbing until it is almost gone then wipe off the excess with a clean microfiber depending on how hard the paint it you may need several passes at least 3 to start seeing results, it is a major PIA on a black car.

you can order the meguiars online through them, they have a store locator that will also tell you where you can get it near you.

Scratch X technique

you can use scratch x by hand and get great results but for the best results you really do need to use a machine, click that link in that thread and go the meguiar day there is a picture of a hood taped off into 3 parts, the top was untouched, the right is scratch x by hand and the left is a machine done in less passes than the scratch x. If you want an easy, almost fool proof method by machine, I recommend (assuming since your car is fairly new that the swirls arent ridiculously bad) using the Meguiars G100A DA buffer with Meguiars #80 in their professional line. There are many other techniques I use for worse case scenarios but this is the least agressive and quick fix for light blemishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mail906
rrobello -

Hello. I saw your recent post and thought I'd ask you a question.

I have a new 07 vert. I've had it a month and I've wanted to wax it, but have been trying to decide on which wax to use. I am thinking it will be Mequires.

Here are a couple of questions I have if you can take the time to answer. My car is black.

1. For the first wax, do I need to go thru the 3-step process of paint cleaner, clear coat whatever, and then the wax?

2. If I go with NXT do I just use it in place of canuba wax for the 3rd step?

3. Or should I just go with a 1-step NXT application?

The car is virtually showroom fresh with one exception. I believe there was a slight scratch on the hood that someone (probably the dealer) took car of. They must have put something on it because I have about a 2 inch round "cloud spot" on my hood where the scratch was. You can only see it at night typically under the lights. This is really the only spot I want to clean up on the car.

I have read about the whole clay bar thing, but I am reluctant to try it on a brand new vehicle. I am not sure I need it, and I am thinking I will do it when the car is older. Any thoughts?

And finally, my last question,

4. What do you use on your interior?

5. Do you put it on both the leather and the vinyl?

Thanks for all the help. Walt.


1. For the first wax, do I need to go thru the 3-step process of paint cleaner, clear coat whatever, and then the wax?

in short, No. Would I recommend doing it anyways yes. a brand new car shouldnt need any kind of paint cleaner, just wash it properly, then examine the paint (under both flourescent light and direct sunlight), if you have above surface contaminants (crud that wont come off from a simple wash) then claybar it, if not then skip this step, if it is clean and has swirls or light scratches then you might want to ScratchX it, follow directions on bottle, apply by hand and work small section at a time, you might need to do 2-3 applications for best results, the paint on these cars isnt very hard so it shouldnt take much more than that but it depends on your car, do not let the ScratchX dry, just rub in until it is clear and then wipe off with a clean microfiber. If this step is not needed then skip this step as well. But I would definately do the next step for sure, polish. I recommend Meguiars Show Car Glaze #7, but if you find it too difficult to remove (often due to humidity) then try Meguiars New Car Glaze #5, again polish does not need to dry. Rub it in with an applicator pad, it will start white and rub until it starts to go clear, you will still see it kind of hazy look on the car, at this point with another clean microfiber wipe it off. Then follow up with a wax. You might want to try a couple to see which works best for you; the new Synthetics like NXT work real well but Ive found that on dark cars (especially black) it leaves real deep haze swipe marks in the finish that just take longer to buff out, but looks awesome. I recommend using a couple good coats of High Tech Yellow #26. Wax is the only thing that you will put on your paint that needs to dry, to tell if its dry swipe your finger across a small section, if it wipes off clean then it is dry if it wipes off and is hazy and wet stil, well then its not dry yet...lol. Use another clean microfiber to remove the wax. (Always make sure everything that touches your car is clean and contaminant free so it doesnt put scratches in your paint, to propperly clean rags, towels, microfibers, ect, throw in wash and make sure you use a liquid detergent, NO POWDERS!!!) Once the wax is removed you might notice a small amount of light, hazy residue on the paint, leave this on as long as you can before buffing out with a microfiber, I like to let mine sit over night in a garage. If you cant do this dont worry, but this layer of wax is what will help give the car long lasting protection as it soaks into the paint. After you can do whatever you want with it, wipe it all you want or quickdetail, but doing this will make it easier and faster in the future everytime you clean your car. I like to then apply a second coat of the #26 in the morning and then follow up with Synthetic Sealant #21 to lock in the finish, then hit it once over with either Meguiars quickdetailer or the final inspection detailer.

of course this can be overkill for most, to answer your question you do not NEED to cleaner wax, or even polish a new car, just make sure you apply some good wax on there to protect it.

remember a small amount goes a long way, do not overapply a large amount of anything, it will take forever taking it off and not look as good, this is a lot of peoples mistake when they say Meguiars is too hard to take off or it doesnt shine as nice, theyve put too much on. A thin even coat is all that is needed with all waxes. Also always work in the shade, a cool place if available.

2. If I go with NXT do I just use it in place of canuba wax for the 3rd step?

Yes NXT is a synthetic polymer wax but it is a wax, no need to use both, chose one or the other to wax with.

3. Or should I just go with a 1-step NXT application?

Since your car is new, this is officially all you NEED to do to the car. See my first answer.

ScratchX will take care of that haze spot on your hood nicely, follow the directions, use a little and apply with a applicator pad like you use for the wax, rub until it goes clear, work a small section at a time and do not let dry on car, if it does dont worry just apply some more and remove. wipe off with microfiber

I like these applicators or something like them.....

Claybaring:
look at your paint to determine if you need it. Wash it, then look at it closely, run your hand across it, if you feel stuff sticking to the surface or if it is rough, then you need to clay bar, if not and it is smooth then you can skip this. To propperly claybar, flatten the clay into a small round pancake and with your fingers together lay your palm flat on it with the tips of your fingers just hanging over the top edge of the clay to keep it completely flat (I do the same with applicator pads but use my thumb to hold it on the bottom edge of the underside so it doesnt drop to the ground; cuz if it does its ruined dont touch it to your paint again apply a small amount of polish/wax on the top edge of the pad where it will make contact with the paint). Use plenty of detail spray to keep the surface lubricated, you will be able to feel when the surface is clean and smooth like glass.

4. What do you use on your interior?
I use a couple different things, to clean the surface I usually go with a damp, soapy rag but their are many good cleaners on the market, then I use a protectant to lock in a shine and give the material a UV protectant. I like Black Magic's Professional Protectant (I think thats what it is called) on vynll and on leather I like to use Lexol leather cleaner and conditioner. The wipes suprisingly work really well, but if you like the spray spray it into a soft cloth or microfiber and wipe that onto the surface, this helps prevent it from soaking into the perferated areas and seams, but remember that only the centers of our seats are leather.

5. Do you put it on both the leather and the vinyl?
the Lexol Leather cleaner and conditioner you can get on the vynll parts of the seat but keep the vynll cleaner and protectants off the leather.

I hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 9/20/06, 01:25 AM
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I hope that answers most of your questions but if you still have any just ask!
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Old 9/20/06, 07:02 AM
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REALLY want to know how to keep you car looking it's VERY best?
www.autopia.com
Lots of good info
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Old 9/20/06, 07:27 AM
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Microfiber is your friend!
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Old 9/20/06, 07:40 AM
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Umm Billr, thanks for the info on how to keep my TEETH cleaned now how about my car???? Link you gave us was for a dental software company.
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Old 9/20/06, 10:29 AM
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You mean TMS doesn't stand for The Molar Source?
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Old 9/20/06, 11:25 AM
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He meant www.autopia.org -it's awesome!
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Old 9/21/06, 08:54 AM
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I want to pin this topic, there is way too much good information here
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Old 9/21/06, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Galaxie
I want to pin this topic, there is way too much good information here
No kidding, awesome post Rich!!!
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Old 9/21/06, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Scothew
No kidding, awesome post Rich!!!
thanks, kind of makes me wish I made it clearer and more organized if you are gonna sticky it.
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Old 9/21/06, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rrobello
thanks, kind of makes me wish I made it clearer and more organized if you are gonna sticky it.
If you feel froggy and want to make a new thread with the info in a better organized fashion, we can always sticky the new one. Completely up to you.
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Old 9/30/06, 12:58 AM
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perhaps one day when I am bored, too many cars and shows this week
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Old 10/11/06, 11:33 AM
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where's the best place to buy these products cause this stuff can certainly add up in cost.. anyone found cheaper online dealers or anything? or a discount code for meguiars.com.. lol.. thanks for the help..
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Old 10/28/09, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rrobello View Post
Check the car care section here are some threads where I responded to similar questions:

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=53623 -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Stang
I am going to the store tommorrow to get some Meguiars products to wash and wax my black mustang. I really don't have any clue on what to get. This will be my first time waxing it and it has some swirl marks in the paint so what Meguiars products should I get? Thank you.

ALL OF THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS ARE MEGUIARS UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED:

clay bar (only if you need it, after car is washed run your hand across paint and if you can feel any ABOVE SURFACE CONTAMINANTS then you need it, if its glassy smooth then you dont; pits and scratches and below surface problems dont apply): SMOOTH SURFACE KIT (has my car on the box...lol) and comes with 2 clay bars, case, detailer and microfiber

Ultra Plush wash mit

2 good size buckets with 2 grit gaurds (2 bucket wash method, PM me for details)

either the versa-angle face brush or a dedicated wash mit (make sure its soft) for the wheels

soap: gold class or nxt shampoo

wheel cleaner: depends on the wheels you have but to be on the safe side; Hot Rims ALL WHEEL CLEANER OR MULTI PIECE

drying:
- 1-2 water magnets
- 1-2 super suede drying cloths (microfiber like chamois)

windows:
- duo-fiber glass super towel (microfiber/cloth)
- Turtle wax Clear-Vue (not sure on the spelling)

Tires:
- Endurance High Gloss Tire Gel
- Curved (to the wheel contour) Sponge applicator

Several Supreme Shine MicroFibers
and several more regular microfibers (anybrand on these)

4-5 High Tech Applicator Pads

Any Billet, or polished/non-chrome metal (also non-clear coated; ie. stock wheels): Mothers Billet Polish, great for tail pipes or any metal surface you want to shine bright

Chrome: Mothers Chrome Polish

For those swirls and scratches: Scratch X

Polish: Show Car Glaze #7

Wax: High Tech Yellow #26

Detailer: Either the Quick Detailer or NXT Speed Detailer

Vynll and trim: (assuming its not faded) Black Magic's Professional Protectant, also works great on the inside once the interior has been cleaned as a nice UV protectant and shiney/wet finish, also use cheese cloth towels to apply, this doesnt leave behind lint. (so get 2-3 of those)

2-3 cloth diaper towels (to apply metal polishes)

and a couple of rags for whatever may come up...lol

Is it a vert?

for some reason I feel like I missing something, but that should get you going on the outside of your car, if you want a list for the interior let me know, I can also give you some helpful pointers and some other neat tools I find to work real well that are very helpful but not essential.

Good luck

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=52663 -
"new to car shows what items should you take to clean with."

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=52543 -
some more tips

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=51803 -
Meguiars detail day

Threads of some of my work:
http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=52996
http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=53419
http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=53665
Hi dude,

I would like to thanks for suggest nice information here, next time i'll follow this tips..
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Old 11/1/09, 08:38 PM
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Very good tips, how do you keep the vert cloth top a rich dark black color, any secrets you can share??
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Old 1/23/10, 08:35 AM
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Just a side note to all of the great information.

NXT 2.0 is technically not a wax. It is a sealant as it is the consumer version of #21 sealant. It achieves the same outcome but will last longer than using a pure carnauba wax.

A number of people I know use NXT 2.0 followed by a coat of Mirror Glaze #16. It is personal preference and really won't offer any additional protection but I have done it and it seems to give the car a deeper shine and gets rid of the slight hazing RRobello mentioned. If you can find #16 as it is not sold in the US anymore due to the VOC's in it, apply it by hand or DA very, very, very thinly. Almost as if it is not there. Trust me, if you use too much you'll know as your arm will be working for hours to remove it.

Also, if you can afford it I recommend purchasing a G110 v2 dual action polisher and Soft buff 2.0 cutting, polishing, and finishing pads and M105 cutting compound and M205. The dual action polisher allows you to "cut" into the paint better and remove more defects and it is safer than applying the product by hand as it evenly distributes it over the surface. Using your hand you can accidentally apply too much pressure with your finger tips if you are not careful and make extra work for yourself. It's all personal preference though.

Always remember though to start out with the least aggressive product and work your way up!!!

For more great info visit http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/index.php as I don't have the time or space to convey everything I have learned from them.

RRobello, great write-up and I totally agree on the two bucket method. That is the first line of defense against swirl marks and scratches!
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Old 6/6/12, 05:00 AM
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Get a few rolls of either 3M blue painters tape or 3M green automotive painters tape get the half inch, one inch and two inch sizes

Before you polish and wax your car, tape off any trim, such as the plastic trim at the base of the windows and emblems and anywhere you want to prevent the polish and wax from getting on, in and between those surfaces. If you have a convertible, you will want to cover it with newspaper or plastic and use the painters tape to seal it.

The time spent taping saves the time of trying to remove wax from where it shouldn't be!

Last edited by DaGonz; 4/18/14 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 7/9/14, 09:46 PM
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I know this is an old thread but since it's a sticky I thought I would chime in with my own washing method and opinion. I am by no means a show and shine guy and unfortunately my car is presently parked under and open carport and has to drive down a couple hundred yards of dirt road to get to the pavement. Now with the disclaimer out of the way.

I have heard people claim the two bucket method is the way to go for years but I feel the no bucket method is better. The first thing I do is rinse, rinse, and rinse again. Then I use a liquid fertilizer spreader full of car wash to suds down the top. I will wash lightly with a clean sponge and rinse then move to the hood and so on till it's done. The very last area I do is the rocker panels where I am most likely to pick up dirt in my sponge. I keep a close eye out for that and make sure I clean or change to a clean sponge if it gets any color or soiled look to it. I have a mitt dedicated to the wheels and I soap them the same way I do the car, wash with the mitt and rinse. If there is a lot of brake dust I might spray the wheels with 409 first and let it soak a minute. The only thing I use buckets for is to store my cleaning products in them. I never stick a sponge in a bucket of dirty soapy water then apply it to my car. When I am soaping with the sprayer I lay the sponge on the cowl. If it gets dropped it usually gets changed. They don't cost that much so I keep new ones in the wrapper.

I have gone back and forth on drying from a silicone squeegee to using a blower then I finish up with a plush 100% cotton towel. I wash the towels after every use so they don't accumulate any dirt or grit in them. The last time I used my Makita gas blower and it did such a good job I will probably continue with that method. After I get the car good and dry I use the damp drying towel to wipe out all the door jams and under the hood and trunk areas.

I won't go into waxing and sealing because I think that has been covered to death and the mentioned methods in this thread are good enough for anyone. I will echo the taping off of any plastic or trim before starting to prevent those areas from getting wax on them as it's impossible to get out of the new grainy surfaces.
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