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Car Wash, Clay Bar, Polish and Wax - What Say You?   Non-Golf Folder (General)

Started Oct-10 by Luvpings (luvpings1); 1678 views.

Washed and waxed my car a couple weeks ago. Three years old and not garaged.  Third time waxing it and now the paint seems a bit "rough".  I figure it is time for a Clay/Polish/Was routine.

I recall a lively discussion here years ago on the best products on the market for doing this.  Walmart and AutoZone locally have the McQuires and Mothers productions  Anything better out there?  Anything to stay away from?  I don't have a favorite brand and don't really care if the wax is liquid or paste.

I plan to wash/clay/wash/polish/wax in that order.  

BOGEYSBGONE

From: BOGEYSBGONE

Oct-10

Luvpings (luvpings1) said...

 

Washed and waxed my car a couple weeks ago. Three years old and not garaged.  Third time waxing it and now the paint seems a bit "rough".  I figure it is time for a Clay/Polish/Was routine.

I recall a lively discussion here years ago on the best products on the market for doing this.  Walmart and AutoZone locally have the McQuires and Mothers productions  Anything better out there?  Anything to stay away from?  I don't have a favorite brand and don't really care if the wax is liquid or paste.

I plan to wash/clay/wash/polish/wax in that order.  

 

I love this stuff - but I will try to give a short version:   I assume you just want to take care of the car?  Or do you want it to LOOK clean and shiny?  IMO you can do both - easily.   But you seem like a no-fuss no muss kinda guy.  So here's what I'd suggest - and I lived in Houston for a while:  For most cars sold in the US within the last 20 years- you really don't need to do much to the paint to keep it looking clean.  They don't oxidize and they don't break down like they used to.   Plenty of folks wash it once every couple of months or 2-4 times a year and are happy.  

My biggest tip to maintain a  "clean looking car" longest:  

1) Clean and wax your wheels; and for the tires - use a tire shine product.  My favorite is Mcguiars Endurance.  A bottle will last years.   I have had up to 4 cars at a time and I use this stuff after a "big clean" like you're doing - and before I go out to a nice place.    Hit the tires with it - and it will make a dirty car look cleaner than a clean car without the tire shine.  And it smells like grape soda.  :)

2) to maintain a clean car - clay.   I buy Mcguiars clay.  It usually comes in a kit on sale it's about $15 - (you can throw away the towel and the cleaning fluid- they aren't very good) but they give you 2 pieces of good sized clay and a box that you can store it.    You can use any clay - but over time I learned to like the McGuiars.   Big tip for Texas:  I use a constant stream of water (strong trickle) and let water form a sheet over the part of the car I'm claying - and let the clay slide over the water.  I does the same thing as the fluid - but you don't have to wash the car again.   The fluid is basically water and soap so that the clay slides.  Water does just as good and is easier.  WATER ALSO COOLS - and in Texas sometimes the paint is hotter - so the clay (depending on which one you buy) tends to stick and clot or tear.   Again - using water eliminates that possible challenge.

If you've never clayed a car - break the bar into 1/3's  - and smash a piece into about 2-3 inch pancake.  Slide it over the water - and watch the edges - it will get darker.  Turn it  to a clean side and keep using it until the car is done.  ***You only have to clay surfaces that face the sky.   Hood/trunk/roof and some edges around the mod level - but you can skip the sides.   YOU WILL PROBABLY DROP THE CLAY (that's why you break it up). THROW AWAY THE DROPPED CLAY.  I know you like to save money - but dropped clay has a very high probability of trapping a small stone or "something" that will turn the clay into a scouring pad that will leave spiderwebs (scratches) all over your surface - and then you have to do more work to remove the spiderwebs.  :) 

3) Polish/Wax.  IMO you probably don't need to polish anything.  If you do - it's because something damaged your paint (see section above).  But generally the sun won't do it anymore.  But if think you do - just use a combination Cleaner/Wax - there are a bunch of them.  

For Wax there are a bazillion -and none of them do an incredibly different job.  Pick one that REMOVES the easist...that's what will tire out your muscles and ruin your golf round.  LOL   My favorite "wax" is NuFinish - you can't screw it up - can't use too much and if the surface is prepped with clay - it will remove easily.   ALL waxes last about the same; and none of them clearly outshine any of them.   Pick one that is easy to use.   Your muscles will appreciate it.  DO NOT rub it on black plastic bumpers or mirrors if the black is "textured" as it might leave some residue.

4) If you live where there is tree sap - try Purell - it melts the stuff off.   I live where there are pine trees - and sometimes a gob drops onto the surface - and you literally need a screwdriver or metal blade to remove it....don't.   Use alcohol - and Purell is great.  Let it sit for a minute and rub it gently with a towel from the edges.

5) Last thing:  vacuum your car. Clean the inside glass.

6) Zaino Clear Seal - is a product I use that basically adds a last layer of protection that seals in the shine.  Spray it on, wipe it around to smooth it out - let it dry - and it makes your work last longer.

Ask any questions you want.   The above products are my goto - and these days I do the "clean routine" about twice a year.  I don't have time anymore.   LOL

Robb

Charlie6D

From: Charlie6D

Oct-10

Good post, Robb.  I'll confess to never having heard of "claying" a car.  Hell, in many parts of the country, clay is what you're trying to get OFF the car.  :)

Charlie------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have "clayed" a couple of my cars in the past, and even with copious amounts of liquid, you can really tell when the clay has done it job...it just glides across the paint.  I have used NuFinish in the past (orange bottle..correct?) but that is a polish/sealant, not a wax...or so I thought.  Is there really a difference anymore?  I was planning on doing this in my garage...shade and all that so not sure about letting a hose run the entire time.  

As for #6...you are talking about the paint and not the interior...correct?

I am not afraid of the effort of using a good old fashion paste wax..I plan to make a day of it...Yeti, Music, and occasional snack.  I think I can fit it in.

Thanks!

BOGEYSBGONE

From: BOGEYSBGONE

Oct-10

Charlie6D said...

 

Good post, Robb.  I'll confess to never having heard of "claying" a car.  Hell, in many parts of the country, clay is what you're trying to get OFF the car.  :)

Charlie------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

It makes the car surface feel slickerish!!!   :)

Robb

BOGEYSBGONE

From: BOGEYSBGONE

Oct-10

Luvpings (luvpings1) said...

 

I have "clayed" a couple of my cars in the past, and even with copious amounts of liquid, you can really tell when the clay has done it job...it just glides across the paint.  I have used NuFinish in the past (orange bottle..correct?) but that is a polish/sealant, not a wax...or so I thought.  Is there really a difference anymore?  I was planning on doing this in my garage...shade and all that so not sure about letting a hose run the entire time.  

As for #6...you are talking about the paint and not the interior...correct?

I am not afraid of the effort of using a good old fashion paste wax..I plan to make a day of it...Yeti, Music, and occasional snack.  I think I can fit it in.

 

Thanks!

 

Cool.  I just checked on Amazon - and they have a bunch of multi-piece clay bars only for under $15 that's great.   The detailer liquid is bogus IMO - it adds stuff that you have to wash away - so I don't see the purpose.   Water has always been what I've used - albeit if you're inside the garage it could get wet.   Claying in the heat doesn't matter - but waxing will.   For me - claying takes about 10-20 mins - 20 mins is for something like a Tahoe...b/c I'm short and I need a ladder or a step stool to reach the middle of the hood, or roof!   LOL   But it's fast.

NuFinish is the stuff in the orange bottle - I use the liquid.  It's a polymer - as most of the good waxes/sealers are today.  It's easy on - but more importantly - easy off.    Old fashioned paste waxes simply aren't as good.  They break down faster than the polymer waxes, and are harder to layer; and harder to remove - and can actually scratch your car as they tend to clump/harden/scratch.   Old waxes like Kit; or Carnauba paste sound awesome - but they actually break down much faster than polymers - particularly in Texas.  You get 'beading' for a couple weeks.  In Lubbock Texas it was horrible b/c of all the dust - didn't last more than 2 weeks.  I've used $100+ waxes, and stuff from virgin-bees and stuff - and frankly - none of it made that much better difference - so I stuck with NuFinish.   On a clayed car - you can dampen a towel and take about a dime or quarter sized bit of Nufinish liquid (or any polymer wax/sealer) and get a normal sized car done in about 15 mins. This won't take all day at all.  If you can't find NuFinish (I can get that stuff for like $8) then I'd suggest Car Guys Hybrid (Amazon), Mcguiars Ultimate or Griots Garage.  But honestly - I don't think any of them make a huge difference. 

Yes - #6 is after you've waxed on and waxed off - I hit the paint spritz of "sealer" and the Zaino one is by far the easiest.  Spray it lightly on a towel - it goes a very long way - wipe it over the surface thoroughly - and just walk away.      You can layer on another layer of NuFinish or any quick-wax product and it will make the car feel slick.  But then you can go crazy doing all that stuff.

Oh - that Endurance tire shine - it lasts for weeks....not days.

Unless your paint is damaged - I'd say you could get it done in an hour.   This isn't the 80s or 90s - it's not a tough chore.

If you want the car to attract pimps and whores - then you need to consider machining the wax with a buffer tool...but that's a lot of work - but that will make the car look wet.   But then you can't really drive it b/c every fleck of dust is shown...  

Have fun - I used to love doing that stuff.

Robb

EricM (TERICM)

From: EricM (TERICM)

Oct-12

Funny you should post this. I was thinking about doing this to my car a couple of weeks ago, so I researched, and saw where Car Guys have very popular and highly rated products that are sold on Amazon. I just received them late last week so I haven't had time to use them, but I plan to wash, clay and then apply the liquid wax, and then for a about a year, just wash, and apply the hybrid wax sealant. Next fall I'll start the process over, maybe minus the clay, until needed again.

 

Eric

Art.. (ArtMBGolf)

From: Art.. (ArtMBGolf)

Oct-12

I have used Liquid Glass for years.  It's now out of business, occasionally showing up on Ebay at high prices.  
Finish First + MPT Argos are good replacements I have used.   I like these polishes, since they build up over time. 
If used when car is new, a clay bar isn't needed.   Dirt doesn't stick very well, so fewer car washes are needed.  

In reply toRe: msg 8
Charlie6D

From: Charlie6D

Oct-13

In my view, car waxing and car polishing and all that sort of stuff is highly overrated.  I guess if it makes you feel good, then do it, but it doesn't do much for me or the car either (long term), IMO.

I just sold a 2004 Toyota Highlander that I bought in 2004.  I listed it on Craigslist about a week ago for a fairly high price and yet I had buyers practically fighting over it.  I could have sold at least a half dozen of them within a week if I'd had them.

All the buyers were raving over how great the car looked and how great the condition was, yet I NEVER waxed the thing a single time.  I would occasionally run it through a car wash, but even that was fairly rare.  Once in a great while I would wash it myself at home, but did nothing special to it.  Other times I would just use the garden hose to spray it down and called it good.

Keeping my motorcycles clean and looking good was a different story, but spending excessive time cleaning and polishing on a car which I might have to run through mud puddles the next day just isn't high on my list of "must do" things.  YMMV.  :)

Charlie--------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Edited October 13, 2020 7:39 am  by  Charlie6D
BOGEYSBGONE

From: BOGEYSBGONE

Oct-13

Charlie6D said...

 

In my view, car waxing and car polishing and all that sort of stuff is highly overrated.  I guess if it makes you feel good, then do it, but it doesn't do much for me or the car either (long term), IMO.

I just sold a 2004 Toyota Highlander that I bought in 2004.  I listed it on Craigslist about a week ago for a fairly high price and yet I had buyers practically fighting over it.  I could have sold at least a half dozen of them within a week if I'd had them.

All the buyers were raving over how great the car looked and how great the condition was, yet I NEVER waxed the thing a single time.  I would occasionally run it through a car wash, but even that was fairly rare.  Once in a great while I would wash it myself at home, but did nothing special to it.  Other times I would just use the garden hose to spray it down and called it good.

Keeping my motorcycles clean and looking good was a different story, but spending excessive time cleaning and polishing on a car which I might have to run through mud puddles the next day just isn't high on my list of "must do" things.  YMMV.  :)

Charlie--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Motorcycles are where this mania started for me!   Dad beat it into me to "take care of the stuff that takes care of you."  Heck I wax my driver and clean my clubs all the time.    I've had so many cars and toys - that speed is more important than longevity (expensive for nothing I can notice...).   Clean cars sell better.   Like bikes - if you take time to clean the bike - you pay attention to details that you'd probably miss.   Failure of small parts on bikes is more dangerous than on cars.  But it was just a habit that translated over to cars.   I check tire pressure on my car every day...another habit from motorcycles.  :) 

Robb

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