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A couple of questions -- general detailing ?'s

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Old 15 May 2005, 04:16 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Florida.
Posts: 11
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Default A couple of questions -- general detailing ?'s

I'm very new to car detailing (I needed a new hobby anyway), and so I know virtually nothing about keeping a car in top condition.

I've picked up a LOT of information from this website and others (including some sites recommended by the friendly and helpful people here). Two weeks ago (before I got my PT) I thought washing with dish detergent and slapping on a wax was all that was necessary. But now I know that there's a lot more to be done.

But with a lot more knowledge comes a lot more questions.

And since I'm new and very inexperienced, I thought it best to ask the questions straight-out so I don't misinterpret something important.

Some things to note:
- My car is black; from what I understand, black is the hardest to keep looking good
- I need stuff that's clearcoat-safe
- I'm interested in what's best for the car, not what's most convenient; convenience is good, but not at the expense of performance
- Money is somewhat of an issue, but a few dollars is irrelevant; I'm don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for something, but if a better product is a few bucks more, I'll buy the better product.

Questions . . .

1. Is longevity the only difference between wax and sealant, or does sealant offer other advantages besides lasting longer?

2. Are microfiber towels good? I've heard from some that microfiber is the best, and from others that it's bad and will scratch my car.

3. If I use a clay bar, do I need a paint cleaner too? From what I can tell, paint cleaner is abrasive and a clay bar does the same job more safely. Do I need both, or is a claybar alone good enough?

4. I understand that I go through all the steps before the wax to get rid of any contaminants, but I've seen some websites say that I should apply a quick wax between washes. Is this a good idea, or would this just lock in the contaminants? Should I only wax after a full clean?

5. I know to use good quality towels (microfiber?) to dry my car and to remove wax residue, but what about washing? Can I wash my car with microfiber towels, or should I use a regular sponge or washing mitt?

Thanks for your help!

By the way, from the various websites I've visited, here's what I've determined that the process should be:

1. Wash
2. Clay Bar
3. Wash again
4. Paint Cleaner
5. Polish
6. Wax/Sealant

Is that about right, or is there anything that I should add/subtract?
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Old 15 May 2005, 07:34 pm
Dedicated Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago, IL.
Posts: 2,667

Mike, don't USE DISH SOAP ON YOUR CAR!!!!!!!! that is the first rule in detailing. The surfactants in dish soap is much too strong for your car. With that said you have many questions. First thing you should do is check my web site and read the "tips" section, that will answer most of your questions. claying is also covered there. Micro fiber is the safest clothe you can use on your car, the only way they will scratch is if you use a dirty one. Wax vs Sealants. Wax has been around for 100 years, comes from trees and has not evolved much over the years. On the other hand Synthetic sealants have changed as much as paint chemistry has changed, so it only makes sense to use a good qaulity sealant on your car. It will react better in terms of depth, shine, but will also give you longer protection. Look on my web site and read the feedback section to get reviews on my sealant. Then decide for yourself.. If you have momre questions after you read my tips, pm me and I will try to help more. Gary
2003 Turbo GT 5-speed/
Founder/ Chicagoland PT Cruiser Club
Contributing Editor,
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Old 15 May 2005, 09:16 pm
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: MN.
Posts: 91

I know NOTHING about detailing... to me, detailing a car was running it thru the car wash... LOL!

But Gary's stuff is AWESOME!! I got the paint cleaner, sealant and dressing... did both my cars one day and hubby about fell over when he got home they looked so good!!

And Gary is incredibly knowledgable, as well as patient with all the stupid questions people email him with !

I have nothing but the best to say about him and his products, and am planning on ordering more.

SO... get to his website, print off the order form... AND ORDER TOMORROW!!!
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Old 16 May 2005, 12:16 am
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Florida.
Posts: 11
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quote:Originally posted by rocketsigntist

And Gary is incredibly knowledgable, as well as patient with all the stupid questions people email him with !
EVERYONE here has been great. If this website didn't exist, and if the people here weren't so friendly and helpful, I'd probably be in the driveway right now slapping on Armor All wash and wax without any knowledge that Armor All is bad or any idea about claybar and other pre-wax steps.

I'm sure glad I put all those Armor All products back on the shelf last week and decided to do a little research before making a purchase.

You guys have already saved my car from sure doom!
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