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  1. #1
    bob m's Avatar
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    Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    I`m going to be doing my 2006 Outback and want an aggressive wash product (preferably foam) fo take off sealant. grime, etc. I would like to buy the GG Surface Prep, but only comes in gallon sizes and that would be sitting around for a loooooooooooooong time before before I could/would ever use that amount. I don`t have a foam cannon yet - only a foam gun, so not ideal but will work. Any suggestions?

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    Lightbulb Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Quote Originally Posted by bob m View Post
    I`m going to be doing my 2006 Outback and want an aggressive wash product (preferably foam) fo take off sealant. grime, etc. I would like to buy the GG Surface Prep, but only comes in gallon sizes and that would be sitting around for a loooooooooooooong time before before I could/would ever use that amount. I don`t have a foam cannon yet - only a foam gun, so not ideal but will work. Any suggestions?

    Purple Power Boat & RV from Walmart, it is a gallon but costs less than $12 including tax, here in North Texas. Shoot, even Super Clean (base ph version) works very well in a foam gun or cannon. You should be able to find the 32oz of Super Clean at your local AutoZone, make sure you get the Cleaner/Degreaser and not the wheel cleaner. 90mL cleaner to 910ml works well in the pf22, but may be too weak in the foam gun. I think more product generally needs to be used in foam guns. If using Super Clean or Purple Power, make sure to not let residue dry on the surface because removing it will add another step to the decon. Rinse both cleaners VERY well. Follow up with Duplicolor Grease and Wax Remover and you will have yourself a clean car.

    Locally OTC products for paint polishing preparation:

    Fallout Removal:
    Eagle One Black & Plasti-Coat Wheel Cleaner (I use this for maintenance fallout removal) ~$8/23oz
    Meguiar`s Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner **Stronger than the Eagle One, and Favorite of the two** ~$12/24oz

    Strip Wash or Pre-Treat:
    Purple Power Boat & RV (Walmart) **Favorite** ~$12/128oz
    Super Clean Degreaser ~$9/32oz
    Original Krud Kutter (mixed 50:50 with distilled water) ~$14/128oz
    Meguiar`s Wash Plus ~$14/24oz

    Panel Prep:
    Duplicolor Grease & Wax Remover **Favorite** (Oreilly`s only, for me) ~$10/32oz
    Rustoleum Grease & Wax Remover ~$9/32oz
    Mineral Spirits *2nd Favorite* (100% Volatility) ~$13/32oz
    IPA *Removes ALL other Residues* (Alcohol % and diluted ratio dependent on paint system of car) ~$4/10z..?

    Tar Remover:
    Goof Off Professional Strength Remover **Must Have** ~$6/16oz

    Distilled Water:
    One gallon ~$1/128oz

    Clay:
    Your choice, if the car is relatively smooth a box kit from one of the local stores will do. If the car needs to be clayed, I suggest 3M Perfect-it or Meguiar`s Professional Detailing Clay.

    All of the vehicles that I have posted photo`s of to this site, have been touched by one or many of those products, they are products that when used strategically can produce professional results all day long. Best part, is that besides clay, they are all pretty inexpensive. With the exception of clay, based on the prices in my location, I can produce spectacular results for surface prep while EASILY spending less than ~$80 all in. Just pick your combo.

    Make sure that your wash bucket contains something that will break down anything on the surface, non ph-neutral.

  3. #3

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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    i would suggest Optimum Polymer Technology`s Power Clean (OPC) mixed with your car wash soap to remove any traces of sealant or wax as an alternative to Griot`s Garage`s Surface Prep. It is NOT going to foam, but it can be used in a more traditional wash method, like a two-bucket wash if you do not use the said foam cannon/gun. I would suggest about 3 ounces per gallon of water or roughly an 8-ounce cup mixed with 2-1/2 gallons of water along with your car soap of choice.

    I know some MIGHT suggest looking at Value-Gard`s 3-step decontamination system, but that is pretty extreme and labor intensive. The other method is use a wax and grease remover like KleanStrip Prep-All Grease Remover or Car-Pro`s Eraser Panel Prep after you wash your vehicle with whatever method you use/do to clean a vehicle.

    If you want to use an inexpensive product, you could use 90% Iso-propyl Alcohol (IPA-90), but I do not think it is as effective as the grease-and-wax remover/panel preps. It also depends on how old your sealant/wax is.

    You did not state if you are going to clay the vehicle and then compound and/or polish the vehicle after this decontamination. If you have not considered claying after the wash, then a ferrous iron remover might be needed WHILE you do the washing process. Do not overlook this step. You would be surprised at how much iron exists on your vehicle, embedded in the paint (clear coat) and hidden in panel seams, even if it is a relatively newer vehicle.
    GB detailer
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  4. #4
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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Turtle Wax (yeah keep laughing!) Max Power car wash is a pretty effective wash as far as removing grime, tar, wax, but not sure how it will do on a very durable sealant. For me it has been stronger than CG Citrus wash, which is pretty strong too. Its very reasonably priced at $4.88 for 100oz.
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  5. #5
    bob m's Avatar
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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Thanks Guys. Good recommendations. On the Outback, I will do the whole 9 yards including iron and tar remover, clay and polish, then probably a coating that I have lying around. But I am not fretting about getting anywhere near perfect swirl and hologram free end result. Now, on my Audi Allroad, that`s a different story......
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  6. #6

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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    ..I know some MIGHT suggest looking at Value-Gard`s 3-step decontamination system, but that is pretty extreme and labor intensive. The other method is use a wax and grease remover like KleanStrip Prep-All Grease Remover or Car-Pro`s Eraser Panel Prep after you wash your vehicle with whatever method you use/do to clean a vehicle...
    Heh heh, should me ears be burning over the VG ABC? If I were going that route I`d probably just do the "A". But yeah...unless you have a specific reason to buy it very few will bother getting those gallon jugs.

    I kinda like the idea of using Eraser after a regular wash.
    If you want to use an inexpensive product, you could use 90% Iso-propyl Alcohol (IPA-90), but I do not think it is as effective as the grease-and-wax remover/panel preps. It also depends on how old your sealant/wax is.
    I question whether IPA will compromise LSPs, like...categorically. People have used it to *revive* waxes.

    You did not state if you are going to clay the vehicle and then compound and/or polish the vehicle after this decontamination. If you have not considered claying after the wash, then a ferrous iron remover might be needed WHILE you do the washing process. Do not overlook this step. You would be surprised at how much iron exists on your vehicle, embedded in the paint (clear coat) and hidden in panel seams, even if it is a relatively newer vehicle.
    Or not When I finally decided I should clay the Daily Drivers just, uhm....because...it turned out to be basically a waste of time with virtually zero contamination coming off despite years of use.

    While regulars here know that I`ve always been a big fan of Chemical Decontamination, and that I spot-clay at every wash, I really question whether Decontamination is as necessary as often as one might think. One of those things where it can vary a lot.

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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Heh heh, should me ears be burning over the VG ABC? If I were going that route I`d probably just do the "A". But yeah...unless you have a specific reason to buy it very few will bother getting those gallon jugs.

    I kinda like the idea of using Eraser after a regular wash.


    I question whether IPA will compromise LSPs, like...categorically. People have used it to *revive* waxes.



    Or not When I finally decided I should clay the Daily Drivers just, uhm....because...it turned out to be basically a waste of time with virtually zero contamination coming off despite years of use.

    While regulars here know that I`ve always been a big fan of Chemical Decontamination, and that I spot-clay at every wash, I really question whether Decontamination is as necessary as often as one might think. One of those things where it can vary a lot.
    But what is it you spot-clay? You basicly do decontamination at every wash. In a way I do chemical decon at every wash too if counting dedicated prewash foam as chemical decon product. Will be interesting to see how much the clay picks up when it`s time for polish and protection. Have not done it in little over 2 years now. Chemical decons have been made but no mechanical decon other than a wash mitt.


    Bob M with what you described last will get you there. Maybe ad something like Poorboy`s Strip Down Wax Stripper could be a good pre-treatment before the first wash. And a car soap that don`t leave anything behind as Carpro Reset intensive car soap.

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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Quote Originally Posted by SWETM View Post
    But what is it you spot-clay? You basicly do decontamination at every wash..
    I figure it`s not much of a Decontamination if it doesn`t compromise the LSP It`s very, *VERY* rare that I have to clay so aggressively that the LSP needs redone.

    If anything doesn`t come off with my uber-gentle wash technique, I spot-clay it off. I oughta correct myself: I`m *prepared* to spot-clay at every wash, but if there`s nothing there to do then, well..then I don`t do it. But if something doesn`t come off with basically zero applied pressure, I`ll take a minute or two to remove it with clay.

    Perfect example: A tiny speck of tar on a rocker panel, the kind of thing that would probably come right off if I pressed a little harder with my wash mitt (but I won`t do that).
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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Turtle Wax (yeah keep laughing!) Max Power car wash is a pretty effective wash as far as removing grime, tar, wax, but not sure how it will do on a very durable sealant. For me it has been stronger than CG Citrus wash, which is pretty strong too. Its very reasonably priced at $4.88 for 100oz.

    Don`t you need to use like 10oz or more of product for each wash for stripping strength?

  10. #10
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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMeanGreen View Post
    Panel Prep:
    Duplicolor Grease & Wax Remover **Favorite** (Oreilly`s only, for me) ~$10/32oz
    Rustoleum Grease & Wax Remover ~$9/32oz
    MeanGreen have you tried out Prep-All yet? I like this a ton better than the OTC Duplicolor and Rustoleum wax and grease "removers". Leagues above Duplicolor`s performance on fresh waxes and sealants and much better wipe on/off than Rustoleum. Just not sure how health safe it is in comparison. I`m using the gallon tin and run it through a spray bottle application, the aerosol can is very good as well and can be picked up at Advance, just not as cost effective as the gallon size.

    Quote Originally Posted by DBAILEY View Post
    Don`t you need to use like 10oz or more of product for each wash for stripping strength?
    9 oz per gallon! It does say for the removal of "old" waxes and sealants on the bottle which is nice. Testing against fresh products it`s not effective at any dilution. I still like Prep-All`s performance as a whole with its ability to knock down, not necessarily fully remove fresh LSP`s but prep the paint well for follow up polishing if I`m working with a durable sealant in the short term.

  11. #11
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Quote Originally Posted by DBAILEY View Post
    Don`t you need to use like 10oz or more of product for each wash for stripping strength?
    Something like that, but its $4.88 for 100oz...

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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    I figure it`s not much of a Decontamination if it doesn`t compromise the LSP It`s very, *VERY* rare that I have to clay so aggressively that the LSP needs redone.

    If anything doesn`t come off with my uber-gentle wash technique, I spot-clay it off. I oughta correct myself: I`m *prepared* to spot-clay at every wash, but if there`s nothing there to do then, well..then I don`t do it. But if something doesn`t come off with basically zero applied pressure, I`ll take a minute or two to remove it with clay.

    Perfect example: A tiny speck of tar on a rocker panel, the kind of thing that would probably come right off if I pressed a little harder with my wash mitt (but I won`t do that).
    Think we have a different view of decontamination. I don`t see it to remove the LSP. But to get contaminants off the paint. That`s what I was questioning that you remove contaminants that a normal wash don`t even if it`s very gentle. Then it also makes sense that you don`t have any or very little contaminants when you decon. No wrong in doing it the way you do though. But if you where not to spot clay and only use the wash until you are going to be decon for reapplication of LSP or polishing. You would have contaminants like everyone else I think. As would I if not useing chemical decon products as often as I do. And I will surely have more than you when it`s time for polish and protection for me.

  13. #13

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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    SWETM- IMO mine just don`t get contaminated the way others do. If I didn`t do the spot-claying my vehicles wouldn`t be my version of clean around the rockers and behind the wheels, and/but I`m really just "decontaminating the LSP" or at least that`s what I try to do. IMO most people would just use a Bug/Tar remover and reLSP instead of what I do.

    Note that when I did do a real claying-type Decontamination of the Daily Drivers, I found it was a waste of time because there just wasn`t much on there.

    I don`t even do it when reLSPing most of the time. No clay, nothing at all...just a regular wash and another coat of LSP, and I do that for years. And I don`t expect to ever do a real whole vehicle correction-type polish again in my life unless I decide to drive the Jag again.

    Yes indeed, very different experience than most people seem to have! Which I find kinda funny since I was one of the first people here to start doing Decontamination in a big way.. From Clay/ABC/the FK version to just spot-claying behind the wheels, I`ve kinda gone from one extreme to the other.
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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    Mostly I don`t reLSP either after a tar remover. Don`t even use drying aid or car soap with any protection or glossenhancers in it. The one difference I can see from them that`s doing torture testing and those thing. Is that they often wipe in the tar remover and or the ironx product with mf towels. IME that`s really does a number on the LSP. But with only spray on let it dwell and PW clean rinsing it off. If the LSP is not comprimised before it either revive it back or is like the same before. So useally I know before if LSP is needed or not. With wiping a chemical product in to excell the effectiveness from them they also take a beating on the LSP. The most impact on the LSP I get is when useing a strong diluted alkaline degreaser. Then more often than not I reapply the LSP.

    Those that use fk1000p on the domestic forum. Say it`s a good winter protection. And during the winter months here in Sweden most use what is called Cold Degreaser. Which is a tar remover basicly. Many synthetic sealants and coating products is very good to hold up to solvents. Mostly why we use it like a first step when washing. Is if the tar is not removed and is fresh it`s messes very much with the wash media. The amount of tar we get here is insane. Sure some LSP reduce the amount but no LSP is safe from it to bond to. Would be very nice to not needed to be useing so much chemicals and just wash the car LOL.

    Not looking forward to wash my car as it was at least 3 months ago last time. The soap dispenser has falling in to the inside of my PW. And have a PIA to get in to it LOL. It`s 2 screws that I don`t reach with which ever tool I have gotten. This weekend I will sacrifice a tool and DIY it to sort it out. Then my health with the nerve damage I have has been acting out and I have had a huge up in the pain levels. So maintance getting the hit from how I`m feeling now. The weather though have also been acting up here in Sweden the last months too. Now it`s a raining period that is much needed that is holding on. But I get to it when I can.

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    Re: Alternative to GG Surface Prep

    SWETM- Yes indeed, the conditions you deal with are very different from mine!

    I haven`t used a Tar Remover for ages, but all the ones I have used compromised my LSP no matter how I used them.

    And yeah, gotta prioritize...when your health isn`t optimal cleaning your car becomes a lot less important.
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