Washing, waxing, and polishing advice - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Detailing & Appearance Discuss washing, waxing and detailing information as well as interior/exterior cosmetic modifications. This includes neons, body, cosmetic wheels, etc. Even under the hood detailing.

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Old 03-19-2007, 06:26 PM   #1
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Default Washing, waxing, and polishing advice

Now that I finally have a decent car, with decent paint, I want to know how to properly care for it now that the warmer weather is coming along.

As far as I can understand with the "proper" way to clean and wax a car, I am wondering if this order would work, or if I am misled: First wash, shamois, wax, then polish. Is this how to do it? or do you ONLY use either wax or polish?

As well, could somebody tell me what type of wax or polish is the best/lasts?

For a final question, there are very minor scuff marks on the car, what'* the best way to eliminate these marks?
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Old 03-19-2007, 06:45 PM   #2
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Liquid glass and claybar combo seems to be the winner as far as the bias goes on the forums here..I've never used either but have seen the results on a few other cars here and they look great.


I should clarify..claybar first then liquid glass

I like my turtle wax, its like $2 a tub and lasts 10 uses or so. It does not last over a month it seems. I have heard liquid glass lasts longer.

I go cheap when it comes to wax and go pricey when it comes to other cleaning items like wheel/tire cleaner, leather cleaner, etc.

make sure you are using nothing but microfiber towels to buff it out with, do not use cotton or you will get swirls, I learned this the hard way on my 2000
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:02 PM   #3
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Has anyone tried Eagle 1 nanowax?? I use it all the time and love it!! Great for a quick wax job, lasts a long time also + it can be used on glass as well.
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:26 PM   #4
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I use Meguiars Gold Class. Then two or three times a summer I use Meguiars Quik Detailer. Go to my "my ride" topic under 2000SSEi and you'll see the results. The car has been thru 4 Ohio winters I know of but it still looks great.
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:48 PM   #5
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The best method goes as follows for a FULL paint detail:

Wash
Clay
Wash
Polish
Glaze (optional)
Wax or Sealant

A polish is abrasive. There are various forms and brands. They can remove many scratches and swirls.

A glaze will fill in the paint and hide some scratches and blemishes. Meguiars makes a good glaze.

There is a big difference between waxes and sealants. Waxes do not last as long, but will offer decent protection with a great deep shine. Sealants do not offer a shine as nice as waxes, but will last a long time and provide the best protection. LG is a good sealant, but there are many more brands out there.

If you want the ultimate shine, use a nice wax and then top it with a coat of sealant.

This is all a lot of work. If you want to cut corners, a clay then sealant/wax is fine. However, the sealant will not hide any swirls or scratches. LG offers a decent shine and good protection, but it will not hide anything.

Oh yea, and stick with the microfiber for everything. Washing, drying, detailing. This will prevent swirls.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:10 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone! keep the info coming! the more info I get, the better, so then I will have a good idea of what everyone generally does, and then can apply it for my own use!

I appreciate the feedback. If anyone also agrees with someone else'* statement, let me know so there can be support for a certain method or product!
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:54 PM   #7
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Sol is right on the money. The best waxes usually last only 2 months. Some only last two weeks. Sealants usually last 4 to 6 months.

This is my wash routine which I usually do on a Friday night so I can add a coat of Zaino on Saturday morning. I generally do not put any Zaino on the car in the wintertime.

I am over the top with my process but it does not tale all that long.

Tools to wash and clean car:
Two buckets- one for wash solution and one with clean water to rinse cleaning tool.
Boars Hair Brush
High Quality sheepskin wool mitt.
Old worn out sheepskin wool mitt.
Chenille wash mitt.
Three waffle weave micro fiber drying towels.
Two micro fiber glass cleaning towels.
Five ultra plush micro fiber towels.
Worn out Zaino cotton product applicator.
Boars Hair 1 inch paint brush.
Vacuum cleaner.
Leaf Blower

Product I use to clean car.
Zaino Z7 car wash.
Zaino Z16 perfect tire gloss.
Zaino Z6 ultra clean gloss enhancer spray.
Bon Ami window cleaner
Pledge
Eagle 1 A2Z tire cleaner

Wash and clean routine:
Use 1 in Boars hair brush to clean cracks and crevices in the interior of the car.

Use pledge to clean wood dash kit.

Clean interior windows using Bon Ami and micro fiber glass cleaning towel.

Vacuum car and clean mats.

If tires are really dirty I will use Eagle 1 A2Z to clean tires. Otherwise Zaino Z16 will be all I use.

Wash exterior or the car using a Boars hair brush to clean the hood, top, trunk and doors down to the rocker panels. Use a high quality sheep skin wool mitt to clean rocker panels and body panels that lie under the car. Use worn out sheep skin wool mitt to clean wheels and finally use a chenille mitt to clean the wheel wells. Before I replenish the cleaning solution on the tool that I am using I rinse the tool off in the clean water.

Use leaf blower to blow off excess water from car.

Use the three waffle weave micro fiber towels to blot dry the car including the underside of the trunk and hood. Also open the doors and do the door jambs.

Use Zaino Z6 and remove with Ultra Plush micro fiber towels.

Use worn out Zaino product applicator to apply Zaino Z16 to tires.

Use Bon Ami and micro fiber glass cleaning towel to clean exterior glass.

This process takes me about an hour and a half from start to finish. When this is finished if I choose to do so I can now apply another coat of Zaino Z2 or Z5. The application of Zaino takes me about an hour and a half to do the entire car including under the hood, trunk, and the door jambs. I also use Zaino on my wheels as a carnauba wax will melt once the wheel heats up in the summer time.
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:28 AM   #8
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that reminds me of another question that I meant to ask. 95SLE mentions the use of Bon Ami window cleaner for the interior and exterior glass cleaning.

I've tried very few products with cleaning glass, only to get disappointed and scared to try anything new (seeing as how my last bottle of glass cleaner cost about $7 on sale, regular $11 only to leave MASSIVE streaks ). What is a good glass cleaner, and is a very important tool to use a microfiber cloth to prevent streaking on windows?

I've been upset enough with cleaning car windows to want to know what works best...

Thanks yet again folks!
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Old 03-20-2007, 08:32 AM   #9
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This may sound funny, but I find that Invisible Glass with old crumpled newspaper works really well.
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol
This may sound funny, but I find that Invisible Glass with old crumpled newspaper works really well.
Best combo on the market.


Quality cotton towls are still better than microfiber IMO, but they come at a price.

I normally do:
wash
clay
polish
wax

If its a dark car with swirls that need removing, then I use scratchX or similar before the polish.
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