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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

I am pleased to see that a Detailing section was added to this forum as detailing is a major hobby of mine and the object of my obsession happens to be my Midnight Blue 300C. I figured I could pass along what I've learned to my fellow 300C enthusiasts by explaining the difference between a wax and polish as these terms are often used interchangably (and often incorrectly).

Pure Polish
A pure polish is designed for removing swirl marks, scratches, cleaning the paint surface, leveling paint (i.e., blending repairs & removing orange peel), and finally for improving surface gloss. There are two different types of pure polishes, abrasive and chemical. The abrasive type contains very small abrasives that break down as the polish is worked into the paint. There are many different grades of polish. The same polish (more coarse) used to fix a scratch is not the same as that used to improve surface gloss (very fine).

The chemical type is relys on chemical cleaning of the paint surface and as a result has very limited in it's ability to correct surface imperfections.

There is one key point about a pure polish and that is that it does not add any protection to the surface. A pure polish always needs to be followed up with a layer of wax in order complete the job.

Pure Wax
A pure wax has NO cleaning ability and is basically a "top coat" that helps protect the paint and adds depth and shine to the surface. There are actually two types of wax, Carnauba (derived from nature) and Synthetic (born in a labe). Each one of these has it's own set of pro's and con's. The Carnauba offers more depth while it's less durable. The Synthetic offers more durability while providing possibly more shine (albiet at the expense of depth).
Good examples of a pure polish are: P21S, Meguiars #16, Pinnacle Souveran

One step wax products (a.k.a. cleaner/wax)
This is the most commonly used type as it combines a wax and polish in one product. The advantage is one application and you're done. However, you won't get the same level of depth and shine or durability as compared to using two discreet products.

Most "over the counter" stuff you get at Pep Boys is labeled "Wax" but has some cleaning capabilities as it's design for the non-enthusiast. The following are some good examples of cleaner/wax products:
Mothers Carnauba Cleaner Wax, Meguiars Cleaner Wax, Klasse All-in-one (while not available in retail stores, Klasse All-in-one is a chemical based cleaner with a synthetic-acrylic wax that has the best durability combined with great ease of use, a favorite among detailers).
 

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steps?????

Thanks to this site I've learned alot.

There are many products out there where it can overwhelming.

My question is what is the best product concerning soaps and and applicators(towels)

I have a BB C, are there products that are better for black?

My last question... what is the best for the snow and ice?


Thanks
 

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Agreed. Zaino is wonderful stuff! If it's a bit out of your price range also try the Maguires NXT.


Here's a pic of my stang after i used NXT for the first time this past summer.



 

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jrgreen said:
I am a big fan of Zaino Brothers, with the ZFX it is very easy to use and looks fantastic. It is not cheap and may seem like there are alot of steps, but you will be impressed.

http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc
I have done tons of research on Zaino as its not very common up here. I want to buy it but my expectations might be high. If its as good as it sounds im into spending the 100ish.
Question is ...how good is it? I have black and I want my car to look incredible in the sun ...is it possible?
 

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vineuh said:
I have done tons of research on Zaino as its not very common up here. I want to buy it but my expectations might be high. If its as good as it sounds im into spending the 100ish.
Question is ...how good is it? I have black and I want my car to look incredible in the sun ...is it possible?
Works for me - and a little goes a long way.
 

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One of my vehicles is a 2003 Expy EB that was a theft recovery. It sat out in a salvage yard for 9 months that was next to a coal mine in KY. I buffed it and applied a couple coats of Zaino in Aug, it still looks like glass today. It may be me, but even with the dirt seems to come off easier once you apply it. You will see a difference.
 

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jrgreen said:
One of my vehicles is a 2003 Expy EB that was a theft recovery. It sat out in a salvage yard for 9 months that was next to a coal mine in KY. I buffed it and applied a couple coats of Zaino in Aug, it still looks like glass today. It may be me, but even with the dirt seems to come off easier once you apply it. You will see a difference.
It's not just you - that's what Zaino does. When I wash my car, I start by hosing it down and often I'm so tempted to just stop right there. All the dirt floats right off with a simple hose down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
While I haven't used Zaino, it is unversally accepted as "the holy grail" of synthetic waxes. Durability on Zaino is tops. Meg's NXT has also received very good reviews in terms of appearance. However, I haven't heard many great things it's durability. It's my guess if you use the NXT wax and follow up with thier wash and quick detailer, you'll exend the protection much further. I firmly believe this to be the case with any system. I like to apply a quick detailer containing carnauba wax after I wash. This has given me pretty good results.

Regarding black cars or very dark colored cars and how to make them look thier best, I have a bit of experience in that area. My previous car was a very dark green Q45 and my 300C is Midnight blue. Such dark colors present a major challenge (they're a pain in the butt!). The problem is every swirl mark, ever water spot stands out like crazy. My first and formost recommendation is (IF POSSIBLE) wash the car yourself. Those car wash places use the same towel to dry the lower (dirtier) parts of the care and with the same motion move to the upper parts of the doors, hood, etc... It makes me cringe when I'm forced to go these places.

I recomend a car shampoo that has lots of lubrication so the wash mit (lamb's wool) glides over the surface. I use a two buck, two wash mit method. I have one bucked for soapy water and the other plain water for rinsing the wash mit after you've washed a panel. That way, I'm always dipping a clean mit into the soapy bucket.

I use second (usually older) wash mit to clean the really dirty areas on the lower extremeties of the car and around the lip of the wheel wheel. Keep in mind folks this process is used because of a dark colored car. My wife's silver Odyssey get a one bucket, one mit job.

For the price and performance, I recommend you go to Target and buy a 1/2 gallon of Meguiars Gold Class Car Shampoo. It's very cheap and it's REALLY slick.

For drying I used a microfiber cloth (called Big Blue, it's about 24 x 36). It's incredible but I don't have to ring out the towel even once while drying my car.

I actually use microfiber for everything. It's a very good technology product it actually helps prevent scratching due to it's design.

Some waxes actually help the metallic particles in metalic pain "pop" more. I use Blackfire wax. Pinnacle Signature Wax is another good wax for metallic colors and it's actually designed metalic colors. I recall the Brilliant Black being a metalic paint.
 

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vineuh said:
I have done tons of research on Zaino as its not very common up here. I want to buy it but my expectations might be high. If its as good as it sounds im into spending the 100ish.
Question is ...how good is it? I have black and I want my car to look incredible in the sun ...is it possible?
Yes.

I've used Zaino since 1995 on my Impala SS (replaced by the hemi) and my vette. The prep for the initial coating is the most time-consuming, however, it's well worth it. Make no mistake... this is show-quality stuff. It will make crap shine like a diamond, so imagine how it will make your new paint shine.

One thing not mentioned is this... you want your car to look AMAZING... here's what I recommend you do your first time out...

Now everyone has their favorite recipies... this is mine. No flames please!

1. Wash your car with a good dishwashing detergent soap. That's right, detergent to clean off any old wax, etc. Dry your car. If you need to clean road tar off, use mineral spirits diluted 50/50 with water (a dealer prep trick) on a soft towel. Do not use an abrasive bug & tar remover. This will remove all the road tar. If you use this method, wash these areas again with the soap and water just to be sure you've got virgin clearcoat exposed.

Run your hand over your paint now. Feel all the grit embedded in the clear coat? It's like sandpaper!

(This is the good part)

2. Go buy a Mother's Clay Bar kit. Expensive yes. Worth it? Yes. Sure you can buy clay bars elsewhere, but the Mother's kit is available everywhere and it's idiot-proof for first-timers (as I was once an idiot a long time ago).

3. Using Mother's Showtime spray wax, and working in 2' square areas, GENEROUSLY spray the paint and gently work the clay bar along the surface of the paint. If the bar sticks; STOP immediately and spray more wax. As you work the clay bar on the paint, make sure you flip it and knead it as dirt builds up in it. You will be picking up sand and other grit. If you drag that back across the paint, you will scratch the clear coat and it will be polishing compound time. Wipe the paint with a clean cotton T-shirt.

Now, if you've never driven a clay bar across your paint, then you are in for a BIG surprise. Get used to having the best looking, shiniest car in your neighborhood.

Now run your hand over your paint again... Amazing isn't it? As Mr. Pelton once said in shop class; "Smooth as a newborn baby's behind."

If you're not using Zaino, wax your car now and you're done... OR go for it!

4. Apply the tan Zaino prep stuff as instructed.
5. Apply the cherry Zaino polish as instructed.

You're done.

Do the full treatment once per year and your paint will still look showroom-new 10 years from now.

Oh, and one more PS: Zaino doesn't "dust" like other waxes when you take it off, and you can use it and buff it immediately for touch-ups. Personally, I use the Mother's Showtime spray on top of the Zaino when I want to shine it up after sitting in the garage. No need to use Zaino over Zaino if the base is intact.

Happy shining!
 

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First time I used Zaino was today and my car looks excellent. And vineuh you can't buy Zaino locally, you have to buy it from Toronto. You can order it from Zaino.ca/carpolishes.ca. I spent about $130 Canadian and my car looks amazing, you'll be very impressed if you have a dark colored car.
 

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developerx said:
Yes.

I've used Zaino since 1995 on my Impala SS (replaced by the hemi) and my vette. The prep for the initial coating is the most time-consuming, however, it's well worth it. Make no mistake... this is show-quality stuff. It will make crap shine like a diamond, so imagine how it will make your new paint shine.

One thing not mentioned is this... you want your car to look AMAZING... here's what I recommend you do your first time out...

Now everyone has their favorite recipies... this is mine. No flames please!

1. Wash your car with a good dishwashing detergent soap. That's right, detergent to clean off any old wax, etc. Dry your car. If you need to clean road tar off, use mineral spirits diluted 50/50 with water (a dealer prep trick) on a soft towel. Do not use an abrasive bug & tar remover. This will remove all the road tar. If you use this method, wash these areas again with the soap and water just to be sure you've got virgin clearcoat exposed.

Run your hand over your paint now. Feel all the grit embedded in the clear coat? It's like sandpaper!

(This is the good part)

2. Go buy a Mother's Clay Bar kit. Expensive yes. Worth it? Yes. Sure you can buy clay bars elsewhere, but the Mother's kit is available everywhere and it's idiot-proof for first-timers (as I was once an idiot a long time ago).

3. Using Mother's Showtime spray wax, and working in 2' square areas, GENEROUSLY spray the paint and gently work the clay bar along the surface of the paint. If the bar sticks; STOP immediately and spray more wax. As you work the clay bar on the paint, make sure you flip it and knead it as dirt builds up in it. You will be picking up sand and other grit. If you drag that back across the paint, you will scratch the clear coat and it will be polishing compound time. Wipe the paint with a clean cotton T-shirt.

Now, if you've never driven a clay bar across your paint, then you are in for a BIG surprise. Get used to having the best looking, shiniest car in your neighborhood.

Now run your hand over your paint again... Amazing isn't it? As Mr. Pelton once said in shop class; "Smooth as a newborn baby's behind."

If you're not using Zaino, wax your car now and you're done... OR go for it!

4. Apply the tan Zaino prep stuff as instructed.
5. Apply the cherry Zaino polish as instructed.

You're done.

Do the full treatment once per year and your paint will still look showroom-new 10 years from now.

Oh, and one more PS: Zaino doesn't "dust" like other waxes when you take it off, and you can use it and buff it immediately for touch-ups. Personally, I use the Mother's Showtime spray on top of the Zaino when I want to shine it up after sitting in the garage. No need to use Zaino over Zaino if the base is intact.

Happy shining!
Wow. What a great post, developerx. I just started using Zaino when I bought my black C. It is the best car finish I have ever used. A bit of work at the beginning but really pays off in appearance and protection down the road.

You can use it on lights, chrome, and the plastic bits (unlike wax). And be sure to get big 100% cotton US made towels like Uncle Sal Zaino tells you to do.
 

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Thanks. I should mention for the purist that washing a second time after the clay bar treatment can be done to remove the spray wax from the clear coat prior to using Zaino for the first time due to the need for the first part (tan) to bond with the clear coat.

Some other pointers (sigh... I'm giving away my trade secrets but again, YMMV)...

Don't wax your car unless it's at least a month since production, otherwise you run the risk of capturing chemicals which must release to the air for the paint to properly cure.

Never use warmed water in that bucket on a cold car. Your hands will love it, but you run the risk of cracking your paint (and possibly your windows).

As your car ages, you can use the clay bar treatment on all the glass except the front windshield. For that, Zaino makes a special windshield polish.

To remove minor scratches in the clear coat, I recommend 3M Imperial (auto body supply only). I would not use anything over the counter, perhaps with the exception of Mother's Sealer & Glaze.

Also (very important) you can use a buffer with confidence (and you should), however, never ever use a grinder or drill with a buffer wheel/pad on it - never, ever! You've heard of "wheel marks" on cars, and probably seen cars with them on it. Those are never supposed to be there in the first place. That means someone did something wrong. If you use a setup like that and sneeze or pause for a moment, you'll burn right through the paint and you'll feel awful and probably cry too, especially if you have a dark colored car. Why risk it?

Always use a light random orbital buffer with around a 6-8" pad. These move in random fashion so you can't burn into the clear coat or paint. Even though it's random, keep the buffer moving (no need to press down), and never sit it on a painted edge for more than a few seconds. Painted edges can get cut through very fast with any type of power device. You will need an extension cord for the buffer. Make sure to wrap the cord with old soft towels or t-shirts (secure with duct tape). Cords drawn along the car can (and will) scuff the clear coat. Oh, change pads frequently. On a 300, I'd expect to use 3-4 bonnets per session.

Need to clean plastic? Don't touch anti-glare plastic (or flat black plastic) with a plastic polish or you will make it shine. Only use a cleaner. Windex is safe for that.

Do you need to take a scratch out of a head or tail lens? Need to clean the lens on the instrument panel? Or perhaps you just want to make them all shine more than they did when new? One product does it for me; Mother's Plastic Polish. It is easy and it works so well you won't believe your eyes.

Cleaning the NAV LCD? Spray Windex on an old t-shirt and wipe gently - DO NOT PRESS HARD. Never spray the screen directly (you already knew that). Dust in the corners? That's what Q-Tips are for.

Chrome? Only one way to go for me... Flitz metal polish. Yes there are others, but Flitz has provided outstanding results for me. Find it at West Marine. Use the squeeze tube, not the liquid bottle.

Leather? Mother's Leather Cleaner followed by Mother's Leather Conditioner. Great products. No mink or neatsfoot oils needed. Paper towel to apply and remove cleaner (check out the dirt this stuff gets out). Paper towel to apply conditioner, then buff with a t-shirt after using the conditioner. Smells good, not greasy, and shines perfectly.

Vinyl? ABC Cleaner by Norcross Industries (800) 223-6212. Chances are that you won't find this at the corner store. This is simply the best cleaner I've found (I buy it by the case). Works on boat interiors, patio cushions and other similar stuff too. Spray a paper towel with it, wipe it on-wipe it off. Then, protect with Meguire's (did I spell that right?) #57 by coating via paper towel and buff (yes, it is "buffable") with a t-shirt. #57 is really, really good stuff. If you prefer Armor All and won't try this method, then you need to own a few more cars before you learn your lesson.

Door hinges, hood hinges, cables, linkages, etc... CRC 656 (West Marine). If you have billet parts (T-Rex grille perhaps?), coat them with this in winter to stop salt corrosion. If you use Highly Flammable WD40, I recommend you try this instead. Yes, I will convert you to CRC. Try it. It is much, much better IMHO.

Cleaning carpets? Sears used to make a wet vac with a spray attachment. That's what I use - once a year on each car in springtime. If you can get something similar, I'd say get it. No one will clean your car like you will, and nothing will clean your carpet like a wet-spray/vacuum combo, plus if you do decide to get a new puppy, this will come in very handy in the living room too. Foams & powders are a waste of time and money. If you can't find a device like this, then use carpet cleaner & deodorizer mixed with warm water in a spray bottle and just get an inexpensive wet vac. Spray the carpet and vac right up. You will not believe how much dirt carpet collects.

Oh, when washing rags, t-shirts, towels, buffing bonnets, etc., use fabric softener.. use fabric softener.. use fabric softener. Did I mention fabric softener? Use it because if you don't, your cloth items can (and probably will) scratch your finish.

And before I forget... If you have a garage and you've done all this shining up, make sure to peek at your car before you go to sleep, and then once again when you wake up in the morning. It should be like looking at a mirror with 4 wheels. Enjoy the fruits of your labor! :p
 

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developerx - great post lots of good info and yes I know I am pulling up an old old thread. The wonders of using the search features :)

I have one thing I wanted to mention. Fabric Softener, I use cloth rags to clean the lens of my goggles and the on going rule is never use Fabric Softener as it makes the fibers more ridged and MORE likley to scratch our lexan lenes. I would think this would also be true for car finishes.

One reason I drug this up is that I did a clay job on the car this weekend and I wanted to read up on it a bit more. I was rather surprised with the lack of crap that ended up in the bar ( othr than the leaf clutter I was fighting all day ). Car was manufactured 5/05 I bought 8/20/05 and I had a detail shop throw down a outside detail job and wax it. Let the pros lay the base.

From what I saw while waiting for my car they never used a machine on my car but what ever they used went on hazed and came off quik and looked awsome.

When I finsihed up today the car looked awsome except for leaf cutter ( again and dust ). I need to work on my windows next they still look like ass for some reason.


Anyways Thanks for the detailing info and how to's

-Robert
 

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Northern Rider said:
You can use it on lights, chrome, and the plastic bits (unlike wax).
Not true. There are quite a few waxes out there that can go on the lights chrome and plastic bits as well. Not sure why you would do the lights though.
 

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Most Zaino users are my best customers. The problem is many Z users are stubborn and not open minded. However the ones that are open and try my pro line, they become X zaino users. I had one guy that spent over $150 on a Z kit. He complained about how many items they carry, and how confusing it was to use. I basically told him to try my line and if he wasn't 100% satisfied I would send him a refund no questions asked. He is one my loyal customers now. He spend under $50 for the amount of products he spent $150 on. I will say this till I die, chemicals are NOT that expensive. I'd rather keep a customer long term than make 200% profit on one sale. That is whe I sell at wholesale. So everyone can can buy like a pro. Gary


RobAGD said:
I am a tard
 

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turbomangt said:
He complained about how many items they carry, and how confusing it was to use.
To be honest, Zaino was my first exposure to polymer stuff and that is the exact reason I never got interested in it. Yours does seem simple...and I did forget to bring wax with me to school (forgot paint cleaner - no you won't get me to try yours, the one I found is magic - and MF towels too).
 

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Richard, glad we agree on the Zaino issue. I'm not forcing anyone to try my products, I'm just here to offer better choices. speaking of Micro fiber, mine the are best around, bar none. I had a women come to me and say she bouhgt some at Cosco's and they fell apart after a dozen washes. I sold her some of mine and she has bought them as gifts for birthdays for her friends and family. Gary


marlinspike said:
To be honest, Zaino was my first exposure to polymer stuff and that is the exact reason I never got interested in it. Yours does seem simple...and I did forget to bring wax with me to school (forgot paint cleaner - no you won't get me to try yours, the one I found is magic - and MF towels too).
 
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