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  1. #1

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    I`ve always maintained a clean and healthy car with regular washes and the occasional waxing but I usually spent more time on the interior and never bothered with clay bars or even polishing because "it`s just going to get dirty again". Now that my daughter has gotten older I`ve got more time on my hands so I figured I`d start devoting more time to the appearance.



    I`ve read through a lot of the articles on techniques and notice that the appropriate order for a good stripping seems to be washing with Dawn, clay detailing, and then washing again. If I want to add a polishing in there, would I want to do it before or after the clay? I just wonder if I do the clay first and then polish, if that would bring more dirt to the surface that would need to be cleaned once more.



    Another question is... before I spend a bunch of money on high-end products for the optimal result, I`d like to start out with entry-level stuff to practice with so that I`m not wasting money. I`ve seen several threads on "favorite" products, but could anyone suggest some of the tried-and-true items that I could pick up at Walmart?



    I could probably go through and pick them out but I don`t know which ones work good and which ones don`t. I bought a bottle of Eagle One Tire & Wheel cleaner last week because it said something to along the lines of "#1 rated" but it didn`t even touch the brake dust on my wheels.



    I appreciate any assistance

  2. #2
    Eliot Ness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceezer
    .................If I want to add a polishing in there, would I want to do it before or after the clay? I just wonder if I do the clay first and then polish, if that would bring more dirt to the surface that would need to be cleaned once more............
    You want to polish after the clay. At that point your paint should be very clean and the polish will remove any marring that might have been induced by the clay.
    Another question is... before I spend a bunch of money on high-end products for the optimal result, I`d like to start out with entry-level stuff to practice with so that I`m not wasting money. I`ve seen several threads on "favorite" products, but could anyone suggest some of the tried-and-true items that I could pick up at Walmart?
    I can`t really think of any polishes you can get from Wal-Mart except for Meg`s ScratchX...... are you doing this by hand or with a PC?



    As far as a wax if you want to stay at Wal-Mart then Meg`s NXT might be one of your better choices. If you go to an auto parts store like CarQuest you might be able to find some Mother`s or the Duragloss line locally. Check out this thread, it has a lot of OTC products listed.
    I bought a bottle of Eagle One Tire & Wheel cleaner last week because it said something to along the lines of "#1 rated" but it didn`t even touch the brake dust on my wheels.
    That is actually pretty good stuff and about the best that you`ll find OTC.... your wheels must have been pretty bad. You will most likely have to use at least a brush on them after you let the cleaner sit for a short period of time. Brake dust, if left for an extended peroid of time, can etch into the wheel. You might also want to try some clay to get as much off as possible..... but please don`t reuse that clay on your paint! This recent thread talks about cleaning some really bad wheels.



    When you read more, like the Autopia Detailing How-To Guide, and decide on some products to try check out the site sponsors like Autopia and Danase.
    John

  3. #3

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    The eagle one cleaner you got is about as good as it gets unless you order through the internet. I myself have found nothing better yet. Again, even though it says otherwise, you do have to agitate the brake dust with a brush. It`s a great product really.

  4. #4

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    The wheels weren`t that bad (wheels themselves are only 6 months old and it`d just been 2 weeks since last cleaning them), but I guess my big issue was that I was expecting it to spray on and spray off as the bottle was labled.



    Thanks for all the other information

  5. #5

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    In my experience, there is no such thing as spray on, hose off. They might say that, but it is never actually true.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lemans23
    In my experience, there is no such thing as spray on, hose off. They might say that, but it is never actually true.


    QFT (as they say Quoted for Truth)

  7. #7

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    Ceezer- Welcome to Autopia. I`d look in the yellow pages and find an autobody/paint supply store in your area. It will greatly expand your definition of "OTC" products

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the welcome.



    I spent 9 hours out there last night detailing (wash with dawn, clay, wash with dawn, polish, wax) and it looks pretty good but I guess the results aren`t as dramatic as I was expecting but I was doing it all by hand whiich might be a big factor. Plus even after all that and 2 previous washes, the forward facing panels of my car are still caked in lovebug stains/streaks/splats from my trip to Tampa last month. I even used bug & tar remover 3 times (before first wash, after first wash, and after 2nd wash before polishing) to try and work them out but I think the effort was in vain.



    The sides and back look great, though!

  9. #9

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    ceezer- Doing stuff by hand can be tough!



    If the claying and bug solvent didn`t get the bugs off, then more polishing and/or a paint cleaner is called for. You might want to work on that some more as the remaining bug guts will eat away at the paint.



    Oh, and when working by hand, nothing on the market compares with 1Z brand polishes (OK, just IMO but I`ve tried a few products over the years ). That`s the only stuff I`d even consider recommending in a situation like yours, might be worth checking out.

 

 

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