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  1. #1

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    Apr 2020
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    Product application temperature recommendations

    One of the most common questions I get during the cold season refers to temperature, so here we can discuss just how cold is too cold to be performing a particular task, or using a particular product.

    My rule of thumb is... if it`s so cold it`s uncomfortable to work without a jacket, it`s probably too cold to be working on your vehicle with the exception of washing or using a mist, wipe and buff spray product -- this includes waterless wash & wax products, instant detailers, glass cleaners, spray waxes, protectants, interior care products, etc. Most of these types of products will work okay above freezing, or certainly in the low 40s F -- and this assumes surface temperature is at least that. Special note with clay bars, whether traditional bar or synthetic, even though the lubricant is safe to use at these lower temperatures, you may want to use these clay products in the mid-50s and above because they tend to stiffen up due to the cold.

    When you are dealing with products that have a "let dry to a haze" step, like liquid (pour bottle) or paste waxes, polishes, any ceramic, and the like, you really need the surface and air temperature to be around the mid 50s F and above. Temperatures any lower than that and things won`t work right. And while no harm will generally come to the surface, you should just wipe off what you can and try again another (warmer) day.

    Do note that any product that has a "cure" time, even if not generally designated, there is often a cure time of 24-plus hours before it should see rain, and the longer the better. If rain does hit a product before it cures, it may partially dissolve it, and you`ll have to fix that by re-applying it. This is especially the case with trim restoration and protectant products, but can include most "let dry to a haze" wax products as well.
    Jim Dvorak
    Public Relations, Customer Service & Technical Support
    Mothers® Polishes•Waxes•Cleaners
    Tel: 714-891-3364 x241

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    St. Louis Metro Area (Illinois)
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    Re: Product application temperature recommendations

    I`ve found 50F to be the break point for where any temperature sensitive products seem to stop working well. This is usually things like QDs, spray waxes, and waterless washes. Below 50F they seem to smear/streak and become hard to remove easily. A coating I tried to apply in the low 60`s also took forever to flash and start curing.

    Things like wheel cleaners and shampoos seem to work into the lower 50`s upper 40`s. Any colder than that and I just don`t bother. If it REALLY needs to be cleaned I`ll take the vehicle to the touchless car wash.
    Drop by to see the latest at The Car Geek Blog

  3. #3

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    Apr 2020
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    Re: Product application temperature recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertnate View Post
    I`ve found 50F to be the break point for where any temperature sensitive products seem to stop working well. This is usually things like QDs, spray waxes, and waterless washes. Below 50F they seem to smear/streak and become hard to remove easily. A coating I tried to apply in the low 60`s also took forever to flash and start curing.

    Things like wheel cleaners and shampoos seem to work into the lower 50`s upper 40`s. Any colder than that and I just don`t bother. If it REALLY needs to be cleaned I`ll take the vehicle to the touchless car wash.
    The one thing to remember about a touchless car wash is to be careful about towel drying -- while touchless is good, there`s generally still going to be a minute amount of soil remaining.

    In extreme weather conditions, sometimes you just have to grin and bear it.

    Heat is another situation that much of the country is facing now as Spring has sprun -- if the surface temperature is so hot (and this can be very different on a light color vs. dark color) that you can`t hold your hand on the surface comfortably, most products will flash too quickly, making them difficult to use. You might need to lightly mist the vehicle as you`re washing so it doesn`t dry on its own. You might need more lubricant with your claying process (or a slipperier lubricant with a synthetic clay). You might have to work in smaller areas when you`re using a detailer, spray wax, or any finish care product. If working on the interior, opening all the doors may be necessary. And cleaning the windows may just have to wait.
    Jim Dvorak
    Public Relations, Customer Service & Technical Support
    Mothers® Polishes•Waxes•Cleaners
    Tel: 714-891-3364 x241

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    Re: Product application temperature recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by jimd@mothers View Post
    The one thing to remember about a touchless car wash is to be careful about towel drying -- while touchless is good, there`s generally still going to be a minute amount of soil remaining.

    In extreme weather conditions, sometimes you just have to grin and bear it.
    Trust, me. There is no towel drying going on in those temperatures. I simply go through the touchless to remove the majority of the salt. The remaining water blows off on the dry home. The object when I get that desperate is damage control, not getting the car totally clean and looking good. Between late November and some time in March, my car is never totally clean.
    Drop by to see the latest at The Car Geek Blog

 

 

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