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  1. #1

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    Question Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    I`m trying to understand whether pre-wax cleaners (sometimes called pure polishes apparently) removes any contaminants that any abrasive polish would not remove. I`ve seen suggestions for some routines where after washing and claying you use cleaner and THEN use abrasive polishes as needed.

    This would imply that even though the cleaner has no abrasives, it is still removing something that an abrasive would not remove.

    So my question is whether I should see pure polishes/cleaners as something to use when I`m not doing any other polishing, or perhaps as a final step AFTER all the abrasive polishes - or do they genuinely play a different role than abrasive polishes, such that it makes sense to use them right after wash/clay?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    Quote Originally Posted by ultradianguy View Post
    I`m trying to understand whether pre-wax cleaners (sometimes called pure polishes apparently) removes any contaminants that any abrasive polish would not remove. I`ve seen suggestions for some routines where after washing and claying you use cleaner and THEN use abrasive polishes as needed.

    This would imply that even though the cleaner has no abrasives, it is still removing something that an abrasive would not remove.

    So my question is whether I should see pure polishes/cleaners as something to use when I`m not doing any other polishing, or perhaps as a final step AFTER all the abrasive polishes - or do they genuinely play a different role than abrasive polishes, such that it makes sense to use them right after wash/clay?

    Thanks!
    Never heard of that. Iíve read where people use after polishing but that makes no sense either.

    My research and understanding is it is used when paint doesnít need any correction.


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  3. #3

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    Some polishes may not have many abrasives but are used to lubricate a pad and the pad does most of the correcting work. A non-abrasive polish could also be used to remove a sealant or similar though maybe not a strong coating that may need actual abrasives but the end result after a prep wipe would be a pristine surface ready for your LSP (last step product) such as a sealant or coating. The paint cleanser polish could also be called a jeweling wax that is for correcting very minor paint issues or getting maximum gloss using a soft polishing pad.

    Last thing I`ll say and I alluded to it in my previous paragraph, correcting capability is a combination of the polish/compound as well as the pad used so you can try various combinations of pads and polishes to find out what combo is needed to correct a given vehicle`s paint. I will sometimes go with a more aggressive compound such as Griot`s Fast Correcting Cream but with a less aggressive pad to get nice correcting ability that finishes well. I`ve also used more aggressive pads with light polishes to correct as well. All depends on the feedback provided by the vehicle`s paint after trying various combinations to determine the correcting combo for that given situation.

  4. #4

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    Those "pre-wax cleaners" almost always had "fillers" in them, which could hide some defects, and wouldn`t be removed (hopefully) when you put wax over them. They usually had some solvents, and some very mild abrasives which might also act as fillers (kaolin clay was one). So generally they were removing dirt/contaminants, and leaving something behind to fill (oils and clay, perhaps). There was a fine line between these pre-wax cleaners and "glazes".

    As forum science progressed, it was questioned whether these products were really compatible with sealants, and a few products were developed/adapted to be a "pre-sealant cleaner", like Danase Wet Glaze, Poorboy`s Black Hole and White Diamond, and Prima Amigo.

    As other posters have noted, using a pre-wax cleaner BEFORE a more abrasive polish doesn`t really make any sense. The advent of better machines, pads, and compounds/polishes has really kind of removed the perceived need for glazes and other products with fillers.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    There aren’t many pure chemical cleaners used in this way. Of course there is the chemical cleaning element in all in one products like Meguiars 3 in 1 wax or Prima Amigo, but these aren’t the same thing. Typically, the chemical cleaning ‘polish’ won’t be abrasive, leave fillers or any protection. It’s job is entirely to clean the paint - removing tar, fallout, sap etc very effectively, leaving a smooth, clean surface for wax.

    Going back 10 years or more these were more popular as people weren’t so interested in removing swirls and imperfections and fallout removers, tar removers and clay products were not as popular. These chemical only cleaners pretty effectively did the whole job, but it’s hard to find any on the market now.

    The one that springs to mind to me is the Meguiars Step 1 Paint Cleaner in the Deep Crystal 3 Step product system, which I still have and find excellent for that particular purpose. Step 1 - Deep Crystal Paint Cleaner 473ML Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?-a3016_deepcrystalcleaner_medium_1.png

    There’s no sense in using such a product prior to abrasive polishing, if you have already done a decontamination. If you haven’t, then it would be an idea as it will remove the contaminants and old protection that might clog up your pads as it provides a similar service.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    Roscopervis, all those Meg`s products had the "trade secret" oils/fillers in them, even if they had more solvents than the Meg`s glazes. They were great for house paint transfers though.

  7. #7
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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    They really shined before clays were mainstream. Awesome for making paint smooth by hand. Also excellent at removing oxidized paint, much more so than a polish that would just load up pads.

    I still use mother`s step 1 as a water spot remover and sealant or coating prep. It gets rid of hard water spots faster than anything I`ve used. It also leaves paint squeaky clean. Perfect for removing old wax/sealant or for applying a coating (I know a lot of people will cringe at that but no impact to durability from what I`ve seen).
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  8. #8

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    Products like KAIO, which are functionally non-abrasive on autopaint, can be very useful, at least IME. Just being able to thoroughly clean surfaces that can`t be abraded is enough to keep it on my shelf, but that`s just me.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    I just used KAIO on my sons GMC Terrain today. I clayed it first, and still the KAIO pulled dirt out of the paint. I seal it with a Ceramic sealer .The car is dark blue and it now stands out.

  10. #10
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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    Roscopervis, all those Meg`s products had the "trade secret" oils/fillers in them, even if they had more solvents than the Meg`s glazes. They were great for house paint transfers though.
    All of those Megs products? I know what they are like with their crossover products and itís important to know exactly what the product they describe as a wax, that is actually a sealant or a polish that is a glaze etc, works in the bigger system.

    Itís a great paint cleaner, pulls out staining and oxidation out of paint like nothing else and from my tests, leaves a nice surface for waxes. I would do a panel wipe before applying durable sealants, but it is no worse than most polishes which also leave oils behind.
    Mae gan un o fy nghar ddau silindr a gyriant pedair olwyn. Mae gan y llall yr injan yn y canol. Dwi ddim yn hoffi rheolaidd.

  11. #11

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    That was good to get mentioned here, how *chemical* cleaning (via KAIO/etc.) is different from *mechanical* cleaning (via clay/etc.). Both have their places...

    And yeah...the, uhm...inventive...ways that Meguiar`s uses words can make for a *LOT* of confusion!
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  12. #12
    wannafbody
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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    A really good cleaning, mild polish is ZPC. I think most of these products need to be applied by machine to do much on clear coat. By hand it ain`t gonna cut it.

  13. #13

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    Thank you all for these great responses - very helpful and as usual, I`m impressed by how knowledgeable folks are about these products.

  14. #14

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    I really like P21s Paintwork Cleanser. Excellent product for prepping before applying a wax/sealant if you don`t want to polish with a DA. Easy to use by hand, likely does have fillers but that`s a non issue if you use a paint prep. Leaves paint looking fantastic.

  15. #15

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    Re: Pre-Wax Cleaner - does it do anything a light polish doesn`t do?

    Quote Originally Posted by CleanIt View Post
    I really like P21s Paintwork Cleanser. Excellent product for prepping before applying a wax/sealant if you don`t want to polish with a DA. Easy to use by hand, likely does have fillers but that`s a non issue if you use a paint prep. Leaves paint looking fantastic.
    I would still use this product with a DA and a light polish pad as it will be justcas gentle but a lot faster


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