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  1. #1

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    Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    Hi everyone. I upgraded cars, now to a white Toyota. It has a moderate to serious case of brake dust and rail dust.
    I was about to break out the `ol Riccardo clay bars, but then I found out about IronX, Sonax Fallout Cleaner and similar products.

    These products don`t make sense to me. If they are so strong and caustic that they can cook on your car`s paint, remove embedded metals from your clear coat, are they really safe for the car`s paint and trim? How can they be so strong is one sense, yet gentle in another sense?

    Even with regular polishes, if you polish a lot, it will wear down your clear coat. Yet these caustic rust removers won`t remove clear coat?! It seems illogical.

    Question:
    Let`s say I somehow went crazy and used IronX or Sonax FC on my car once per week, for a year. Would it really be totally harmless to the paint, chrome, plastic trim, and all other plastic parts? Will it wear down the clearcoat at all? Or is it actually safe? This just doesn`t make sense to me.

    Why am I asking this? It`s because, if there is a way of using the product wrong, I will find it!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    The active ingredient in these products is simply a chemical which reacts with iron and changes it into another compound. They are essentially pH neutral, and are safe for your paint. They certainly can react with other iron-containing parts of your car, although it would take a lot of product to say, dissolve your brake rotor. And they smell terrible.
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  3. #3
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    DownFlyer ---
    I have never met you, so, Welcome !

    The 80`s gift of the Claybar from Japan was easily a huge improvement on how to clean paintwork of all those evils, including brake and rail dust, embedded metal things, etc...
    How did we -ever- get along without this ???

    Fast forward around 40+ years and for sometime now, we have magic liquids that somehow remove those metal things out of paintwork..
    How did we-ever-get along without this???

    Since I have never seen proof of this working via testing, I have not been so enthused of putting something that reminds me of sulfuric acid from High School Chemistry on anything, especially the new Bentley that belongs to my Client.. Ever... All my personal vehicles have never had that chemical bath either..

    So, I don`t... And I don`t see rust spots after using a Claybar or Rubberized Towel on vehicles - even white ones..

    Perhaps there IS/ARE a place/s where the amount of "embedded metals" is the absolute horror or horrors, and I feel bad for anyone who lives there, but in my lifetime on a pretty big portion of the West Coast, and another couple decades in Texas, I never experienced the need to have to utilize those chemicals..

    I know not 1 person in the world that would ever use these chemicals on the same vehicle on a weekly basis, and if they do partake, it is only to prepare the paint for an annual/bi-annual correction, etc., or to prepare the paintwork for a Coating..

    Dan F

  4. #4

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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    DownFlyer ---
    I know not 1 person in the world that would ever use these chemicals on the same vehicle on a weekly basis, and if they do partake, it is only to prepare the paint for an annual/bi-annual correction, etc., or to prepare the paintwork for a Coating..
    Thanks... I realise there is no logical reason to use products like IronX on a weekly basis. I was just using an extreme example to try to gain information.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    DownFlyer...although I understand where Stokdgs is coming from, this class of chemicals (which is the same active ingredient in hair perm) has been around for going on 100 years, and has been used as a "rust remover" for at least 50 years. The recent introduction of them into detailing products, I attribute to some marketing professional betting that they could get enthusiasts and professionals to pay a lot more for wheel cleaner than they used to, as it is a quite expensive ingredient.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thioglycolic_acid
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  6. #6

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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    When an iron partical attach to the clearcoat it`s often from the brake rotors and pads. This has a high heat and can be melted in the clearcoat. And the nature of the iron partical is their edges is very sharp. So if you are unlucky these gets attached in a way they won`t be washed off easy or at all. When the iron partical starts to oxidize aka rust it expands and attach even harder now. So even with a clay you shave off a piece of the iron partical and it`s still in the clearcoat. This is useally not a problem as it`s not expanding down to the metall. If you get a bigger iron partical that do expand down the clearcoat and base coat layer and primer. You might get a spot where it`s starting to rust and spreads during a long time. But can also be sitting down deep in the paint and you can not remove. When you get a lot of Iron particals and industrial fallout on the paint it`s degrade the gloss. And the iron remover is for helping desolve the oxidized parts of the iron partical. So it`s can be able to be rinsed out of the crater it`s created. Some smaller iron particals desolves totaly with the iron remover and some you get left in the paint if they are fresher. As the iron remover easier desolves the oxidized part than the iron it self. <br><br>When the reaction is done the residue off the iron remover and oxidized iron gets to a water soluble solution and is that red/purple that`s runs off. The longer dwell time the more it desolves it. Even if you get a lot of bleeding it`s not certain that you are able to rinse it off. I useally test spot on the worst places to see if I get more bleeding reaction. That`s a tell that you have it left. So when see testing on YT and they only judge it by the bleeding is not usefull at all if just rinsed off and not a second application of the iron remover is used. Or a strong one that you know is great and apply that where you have tested or used another brand that`s maybe cheaper. Even the weak iron removers bleeds much. But you can be applying 3-4 times before you get all of the oxidized iron desolved and rinsed off. So go with a well knowned iron remover and Carpro IronX is like a standard for an great iron remover. <br><br>Then you have the lovely smell of rotten egg LOL. It`s also smells like when you perm hair and it`s basicly the same reaction when doing this. <br><br>Since paints gets thinner and thinner with robots painting the vehicals. I think it`s usefull to not have any iron particals in the paint I have. It`s a safety precaution for not getting the paint to fail sooner than necessary on some parts where you get a lot of iron particals. Industrial fallout is something that is smaller particals than iron particals that attach to the clearcoat and mask the paints gloss. This is not easly washed off either. And if your new vehical has been transfered by train you will have brake dust from trains on the paint. And that`s metall to metall when trains brakes and you get larger iron particals than from the vehicals brakes. So much is how the environment you live in and drive in is with iron particals and industrial fallout in there. I useally do a iron removal every 6months before the winter and when spring comes. We have a lot of studded winter tires here in Sweden on the vehicals during winter months. And also the brakes is used much more when it`s slippery ice roads and snow roads. That gives the environment I live in a perfect build up of iron particals LOL. You can see on some vehicals and especially the light colored ones when they don`t do any iron removal. Some white paints looks almost like they are yellow/orange shade on them. I test sometimes if I get any bleeding effect on a spot and if not great. If I do get a lot of bleeding then either then or in the near future I do an iron removal decon.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    I do a fallout remover prior to claying and polishing just to remove any imbedded contaminants. A claybar just shears off the top of the iron particle. A fallout remover is just cheap insurance if you are going to keep your vehicle long term. If you trade regularly then skip the fallout remover and let the next guy worry about clearcoat failure.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    Perhaps there IS/ARE a place/s where the amount of "embedded metals" is the absolute horror or horrors, and I feel bad for anyone who lives there, but in my lifetime on a pretty big portion of the West Coast, and another couple decades in Texas, I never experienced the need to have to utilize those chemicals..
    Just one more of those "price we pay for living in paradise" things, but yeah, Florida can be one of those places, especially if you have well water. I actually used the Sonax Fallout Cleaner in my shower a while back to cut through the orange stains on the tiles left by all the iron in the water. We buy cheap shower curtains and just throw them away when they turn orange. You see houses here with rust stains on the outside walls or edges of the driveway and you know that`s where the sprinkler water hits. I had a friend who lived in a community with a bunch of busy bodies on the HOA board who would send him nasty-grams every few months about the stains on his driveway. He painted the whole driveway rust colored just to shut them up. It`s crazy, but in some areas the water really is just that bad.

    Luckily, I have a self serve coin wash place close by that I use, but if I used the water at home to wash the cars on a regular basis, I`d probably have to use these kinds of products at least a few times a year, especially on our white car.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    SownFlyer- Welcome to Autopia!

    The Chemical Decontamination Chemicals that I use are made by ValuGard. These have been thoroughly tested by the Major Auto Makers and deemed safe. Perfectly safe. FWIW, they`ve also been on the market for ages, even though most consumers (and even many Detailers) never heard of `em until recently.

    Just because a chemical reacts with, say.... Ferrous Materials, that doesn`t mean it`ll do *ANYTHING AT ALL* to other materials such as plastics, autopaint, or even non-ferrous metals.

    Once you get the surface(s) in question decontaminated, using a good Last Step Product (i.e., "wax"/sealant/coating/etc.) will help keep such stuff from being as much of an issue in the future. At least as long as you`re not dealing with one of those really extreme situations.

    EDIT: Note that the ValuGard stuff (they call their system "ABC") was specifically designed to be, uhm...basically idiot-proof. It`s hard to predict just what kind of Dealership employee will be given the job of "cleaning up those contaminated cars", so they *had* to make it tough to do damage with the chemicals. This is a big part of why ValuGard trounced their once-main competitor in this particular field; the other stuff wasn`t idiot-proof (it was nice and effective though ).
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  10. #10

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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    I would give Griot’s Iron and fallout a try. Twice the active ingredient of anything else on the market. Oh neutral, will not damage anything !. I just don’t understand why the reluctance to use something that makes life easier? It is nothing like an acid or alkaline product.

  11. #11

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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    I own two late model Ford vehicles. One never, ever reacts to Iron X. The other bleeds on the wheels like crazy; I could get a result once a week if I wanted to. I`m sure the difference is the brake material (not my well water, for example).
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  12. #12
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    Re: Products like IronX and Sonax Fallout Cleaner don`t make sense to me

    I`ve not seen paint/window/trim have a specific bad reaction to having an iron remover applied on top. I did have a few weathered coatings have a negative reaction in various spots by the iron remover in terms of reduced hydrophobic behavior. But there are absolutely many cars that I`ve come across where the contamination has been so severe that there`s no way I would ever want to attempt decontamination without an iron remover, and many I`ve done in the past where I wished I had a remover prior to tackling. Some paints can have contamination that ejects itself much faster than other paints, one I worked on recently was a truck in the Chicago area, not clayed or maintained for 10 years with heavy brake/rail dust contamination, which was easily ejected with a mild claying without the use of an iron remover. And then a Chrysler with some of the worse contamination I`ve ever seen in Florida which was resisting my most aggressive clay bars prior to a chemical decon of every iron remover I had (Iron X & McKee`s) and I even brought out Dodo Juice Ferro Lube to assist while claying.

    This video is before going over everything with Iron X and McKee`s 37 Iron Remover, contamination sprayed with Dodo Juice Ferro Lube. The chemical decon process greatly improves the workability of the physical decon claying step on paint that`s this heavily contaminated.

    WaxMode - Product Testing & Reviews
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