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How to get wax off


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#1 Mcthings

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 04:24 PM

So as I understand, to get the wax off a car, you wash with Dawn Dish Detergent or something similar, right?

Well, after doing that, and before I wax again, do I need to wash it with real car wash shampoo or can I go straight to the wax?

#2 bluzman

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 04:28 PM

You can go straight to the wax. If your paint is not in really good shape, you should polish it before you apply wax.

#3 MCA

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 08:29 AM

Although Dawn is a strong soap, I feel that people still over-rate it's cleaning power. It may remove some wax but I have encountered waxes and sealants that still "stick" (Ex: #16, SG). In addition, Dawn tends to dry out plastic and rubber-trimming. I would advise that you wash with a dedicated, high-quality car wash and then follow that up with an Isopropyl Alcohol / water mixture wipedown. This IA wipedown WILL remove leftover remaining wax/sealants. Of course, if you plan on mechanically/chemically polishing (#83, #80, AIO, SSR's, IP, FP, etc.), then just wash with car wash and go straight to polishing. The polishing step will remove any wax leftover as well. Hope this helps.

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#4 Intel486

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:38 AM

May I ask the reason you are wanting to strip your previous wax off?

I would personally not do it unless you are planning on applying a synthetic wax directly afterward. You didn't mention what you were going to be using so I thought I'd throw that information in.

If you are planning on doing a full compounding/polishing before you apply a wax, then I also would not bother with washing with DAWN as the compounding/polishing will remove the old layer of wax.

And as MCA mentioned, depending on what your last coat of wax was and how long ago you applied it, then DAWN might not remove it. This is mainly in mention of if you used a synthetic wax previously. I haven't had a problem with DAWN not washing off a coat of Carnauba wax.

I don't recommend using DAWN really at all either for reasons MCA mentioned.

Edit: typos
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#5 Mcthings

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:10 AM

Well, All I have on there now is that NU Finish stuff, and I'm ready to actually use some quality products. So I was assuming I could use DAWN and be able to start over using quality stuff like Klasse

#6 Mcthings

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:12 AM

Also, I might add that I plan to clay the car, as well. As I understand this is to be done before I wax it. Will claying it take off the NU Finish, so that way I don't have to use DAWN or a similar idea?

#7 Steve02SLT

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:17 AM

Claying will possibly remove some of the wax. Sometimes it'll take it all off, and sometimes it doesn't. You need to wash the vehicle with a nice car wash soap, clay it, wash again, then polish with the klasse AIO, then either wax, or use klasse SG if you have that also.

#8 Mcthings

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:25 AM

Well this was my plan. I have a white 97 toyota camry XLE
wash [get the NU Finish off]
clay
wash with Sonus Gloss Shampoo
Ultimate Paint Cleanser
Klasse ALL-IN-ONE
[what should go here? wax?]
[wash again???]

I probably won't do this until the middle of the week or so, so please feel free to fix any boneheaded mistakes I have made, or make suggestions. I'm still super new to this 'autopia' way. But I like it!!

#9 wannafbody

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 11:06 AM

a good paint cleaner will remove the old wax more effectively than multiple DAWN washes ever could
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#10 lbls1

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 11:31 AM

Dawn is harsh, and it will not get all of the wax off of the car. You will need a paint cleaning polish to do this. Clays will not remove all of the wax either. Wax will sit on top of the paint indefinitely if it isn't removed with a paint cleaner and/or with polishing (much longer than the shine enhancing components like silicone have dissolved from the finish). There are other methods such as an alcohol mix, retail and body shop solvents that are supposed to dissolve wax (IMO I don't feel that these solvents are as effective in removing wax as paint cleaning with a pc or rotary or even via hand). In most detailing only situations, you won't need these solvents with an effective paint cleaner.

IMO, the best and surest method of getting all of the wax off of the car (which is more involved than a lot of people seem to think) is liberal use of a good paint cleaner, either by hand or pc/rotary.
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#11 sumptimwong

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:11 PM

Sorry for the newb question:

Why is it necessary to remove old wax? If there's any left, what's the harm in just layering OVER it?
:2thumbs:

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#12 Intel486

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:19 PM

Sorry for the newb question:

Why is it necessary to remove old wax? If there's any left, what's the harm in just layering OVER it?


The only time I see the need for fully removing an old layer of wax is if you have been using a carnauba wax and will be switching to a synthetic wax and will be applying it directly after washing.

Otherwise there is absolutely no reason to even worry about it. Wash your vehicle, clay, polish, etc. Even if you have been using a carnauba wax, about to switch to a synthetic, but plan on doing a full paint prep (clay, compound, polish), then don't worry about stripping the old wax off. The paint prep for the new wax will remove the old wax.
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#13 sumptimwong

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:30 PM

You know, interesting you mention that. I recently (about 2 months ago) switched to synthetic, and have waxed once with NXT, and twice with Reflections. I was previously using Mother's CG carnauba. I'm not sure if I clayed my car before the wax, but I definitely didn't polish.

Any harm in this? Anything I need to do to remedy the situation? 2005 Graphite Accord, the paint still looks fabulous.

(OP: sorry I hi-jacked your thread!)
:2thumbs:

- wong

#14 Vw Gti

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 07:33 AM

When I was putting my clear bra on i had to remove the old wax and i used 3m adhesive remover. Worked wonders.

#15 D Tailor

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 07:52 AM

I just removed mine this morning. I wanted to switch LSP's from Souveran to Zaino Z5. Last night I washed and today I polished with Optimum and followed with ZPC. Squeaky Clean! Then I followed with 3 layers of Z5 + ZFX. Slick!

#16 lbls1

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 03:11 PM

Leaving old wax on the car also leaves in old dirt and oxidized wax or synthetic lsp and paint/clear layers. You will be doing your paint an injustice by just piling it on without strip cleaning the old stuff. There is so much more to a finish than just sheen. The best finishes should have mirror sharp clarity, depth of reflection and color sharpness in addition to a sheen.

It is crucial that you strip clean the paint from old lsp's (at least on a yearly basis) before starting a regimen of layering with a wax or synthetic. It is better not to add an lsp than to put it on old wax or an old sealant base.

If the pc/rotary route proves to be labor intensive or time consuming, then you should at least remove the wax by hand with a good cleaner. That used to be my yearly ritual of stripping the wax via the hand....that is until I discovered the wonders of the PC and the research of good polishes and cleaners. Detailing is an on-going journey of discovery and trial and error, and success!!
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