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Removing old wax

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Quasimotor, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Quasimotor

    Quasimotor Formula Junior

    Jan 4, 2004
    312
    Yonkers, NY
    Full Name:
    George Avgerakis
    I just bought a 308 and it's been heavily and badly waxed. What do you guys recommend for safely removing the old wax before doing a "first blood" detailing?
     
  2. RacerX_GTO

    RacerX_GTO F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    11,667
    Oregon
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    Gabe V.
    Your kitchen dishwash soap will get the required result.


    - Gabe


    (I cringe on that phase, but it has to be done)
     
  3. Darolls

    Darolls F1 Veteran
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    Jul 2, 2003
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    Sparky
    A great de-waxer is, ordinary dish liquid, mixed with water.

    It'll save you all of the labour intensive work required with clay bars, etc.
     
  4. FL 355

    FL 355 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2002
    1,665
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    Frank Lipinski
    It could also depend on what kind of wax is currently on the car.

    If it is a regular carb wax...then Dawn will work the best.

    If it is a synthetic wax (Zaino Klasse etc) then a 50/50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol will remove it.
     
  5. TCM

    TCM Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
    552
    Tyngsborough, MA
    Yes, I agree with the above posts. After washing with Dawn, make sure to use a good cleanser on the car. Some good ones would be P21S paintwork cleanser, Zymol HD Cleasne, Klasse AIO, etc). Hope this helps.
     
  6. Johnny Bravo

    Johnny Bravo Formula Junior

    Jul 22, 2003
    532
    DC Metro/MD
    Full Name:
    Ben
    I totally agree with the others in saying dish soap (as others said Dawn works best due to it's high alkaline content) and also using a good clay bar like Clay Magic or Meguiar's California Clay Bar will really clean the paint up super nice. It'll feel like it's brand new and as a bonus you'll have some nice strong arms too from all the work. :)
     
  7. formula1joe

    formula1joe Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    436
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Joe Bennett
    Adding dish soap helps, but if you are lucky and the car is white, you can also add in a cup of Simple Green for every 2 gallon of water in your wash bucket. This will not harm the exteriro trim and will strip the wax, dirt, and everything else that should not be on the paint and clear coat right off.

    If you feel unsafe with the dish soap or Simple Green, Griots Garage (www.griotsgarage.com) also offers a wax stripper to start your car fresh.
     
  8. Apex

    Apex Rookie

    Dec 1, 2003
    44
    Use the Dawn for the light work...

    If you really want it clean... Zymol HD Clense right down to the paint when it squeaks your clean. Takes some time, but the results will be well worth the trouble...

    http://www.zymol.com/hd2.htm

    Cheers,

    apex
     
  9. Quasimotor

    Quasimotor Formula Junior

    Jan 4, 2004
    312
    Yonkers, NY
    Full Name:
    George Avgerakis
    Thanks everyone. I'll get on this just as soon as the water in the bucket melts!! PS Can I zymol and the clay, or are the two processes mutually exclusive?
     
  10. TCM

    TCM Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
    552
    Tyngsborough, MA
    Quasimotor:

    You can do both procedures. I would recommend using the Zymol first and then clay if you need to. Remember to use a lot of lubricant with the clay. It can cause very bad damage if not lubricated properly.
     
  11. peterp

    peterp F1 Veteran

    Aug 31, 2002
    6,006
    NJ
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    Peter
    I think clay bar should be first because it pulls dirt and contaminants out of the paint -- better to do this first before sealing it in with Zymol (<- EDIT: ZYMOL CLEANER SHOULD BE BEFORE THE CLAY, ZYMOL WAX/POLISH SHOULD BE AFTER CLAY - I THINK I MISSED THE ZYMOL "CLEANER" POINT IN MY MESSAGE PRIOR TO THIS EDIT). The clay bar absolutely needs lubricant to avoid damage -- but in practice its hard to make a mistake because the bar doesn't move unless there is lubricant. If it isn't very easy to move the bar over the paint, then you are doing it wrong -- it actually doesn't feel like it's doing anything until you feel how smooth the paint is after. Waxing/polishing is much easier after claying because the surface is perfectly smooth. Thanks for the tip on Griots stripping product --I am too much of a wimp to dry Dawn for stripping because of rumors that dishwashing soap removes essential oils from the paint. I will try ordering Griots product (probably the same as Dawn, but I will feel better).
     
  12. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,058
    USA
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    Hugh G. Rection
    Actually your "average" dish soap won't remove wax, at least from my experience. For 20 years I used liquid Ivory or Palmolive dish soap to wax my cars and motorcycle (Palmolive the last 15 years). NEVER removed the wax, and always beaded very nicely. The problem was the drubbing I was taking from friends who claimed I was doing something wrong (I actually used those two products from a recommedation from a detail shop when I was in high school). So, I switched recently, and now use "car specific" wash soap...no difference in results. But much less harping from friends. :)

    I have never tried Dawn, and it MAY very well remove wax...but have never had the desire to do that.

    I'd clay it, you'll need to anyway...although I have sprayed water on my car after claying, and it still beaded well, so claying doesn't seen to remove a lot of wax either.

    Using a paint prep product like Zymol HD cleans or Griot's fine hand polish, that will definitely remove the wax. Griot's also makes a liquid "paint prep" in a spray bottle that you can use as well. I have some for painting projects, but have never used it on the car itself.
     
  13. Quasimotor

    Quasimotor Formula Junior

    Jan 4, 2004
    312
    Yonkers, NY
    Full Name:
    George Avgerakis
    I've seen that Griot's product and frankly, it scares me. I don't want to repaint the car, and any product that is intended for that specifically isn't too worried about harming the paint that is already there, right? Not a good name for a product you want just to strip wax. Need more input here, guys. Don't feel confident yet. Sorry and thanks.
     
  14. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,058
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    Hugh G. Rection
    What are you worrying about???? None of the products being recommended here are harmful to paint. All have been tested and used by us. You would have to be one "ham fisted" person to screw up that badly. There is pretty much no way you can remove a significant amount of paint with any hand applied product, without gross overuse, or abuse. Remember, it's just a car.

    Quit sweating it, and get to work! :)

    PS: I have never seen the need to "strip" the wax before applying new. Generally, the application of the new, removes much of the old anyway. I would clay bar, then apply the wax or sealant of your choice, and check the results. Do something more involved, only if necessary.
     
  15. Quasimotor

    Quasimotor Formula Junior

    Jan 4, 2004
    312
    Yonkers, NY
    Full Name:
    George Avgerakis
    Sorry Dave. I didn't want to wimp out on you guys, but I think you've read the "bonehead blob of paint" thread that I started and know how skeered ah iz about burning through my clearcoat. I thought that if the guy who owned my car before me had waxed without claying (which is most likely what he did) then contaminants would have been embedded within the wax and not come out with a new claying, as you prescribed.
    Make any sense? If not, I will, as you say, get down to work.

    Quaz
     
  16. tako

    tako Rookie

    Nov 4, 2003
    38
    Kitchen Dish Soap!!
     
  17. FL 355

    FL 355 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2002
    1,665
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    Frank Lipinski
    I'm a detail fanatic. I'm also a contributing editor on a detail site and won 2 trophys at concourse in 2003 with my 355.

    Dawn will remove wax .. ivory and other brands will not be nearly as effective.

    If paint is in good shape - Wash then Clay. Clay will not hurt paint or clear coat. Removes minor contamination like rail dust (from driving over tracks) etc. Key is to use plenty of lubricant when claying. Can use their lubricant, 50/50 mix soap and water or any quick detailing spray.

    If you can see swirl marks or spidering in the paint you will need a semi-abrassive polish with a random orbital buffer, like a porter cable 6424, to buff out the swirls and imperfections. In that case, I would skip the clay because IMHO it would be a moot point. The polish with the buffer will do what the clay did and more.

    Top with you favorite wax. Stand back and enjoy!
     
  18. peterp

    peterp F1 Veteran

    Aug 31, 2002
    6,006
    NJ
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    Peter
    Thanks for the feedback Dave. I'd be curious to hear whether people that have used Dawn see that it stops the beading. Regarding car soaps, I'm pretty sure that my refusal to use Dawn even during a once-a-year strip process is my own paranoia, but I do think that some damage will occur over time using dishwashing soap for every wash because only a small amount of oil is removed each time -- so you won't see any difference in any given wash, but you probably would see a difference if it was possible to compare 5 years later. I tried P21S car wash and I actually think it's way too mild -- I think they use natural ingredients including some kind of sugar -- I love P21S wax and pre-wax cleaner, but not their car wash. I think Meguires Gold Class car wash is quite good -- I used to buy it at car shops for about $6 per 12 oz bottle, but I found a gallon of the exact same stuff at Target for $8. Sometimes the gallon jugs at discount stores are the same brand name but not the same product -- but this is identical to the product I was buying in the car store, so the gallon jug is very convenient (you never run out) and cost effective.

    I agree that the clay bar does not remove wax. I also agree that pre-wax cleaner is the proper way to remove wax and I think it also helps remove dirt -- so I wouldn't plan to eliminate that phase, but it seems like the pre-wax cleaner will be even more effective at cleaning if the wash eliminates most of the wax. I would also like to see if the strip wash helps remove old dried wax in the nooks and crannies. I typically clay before I pre-wax clean because the super-smooth surface clay produces makes the cleaner much more effective -- but I think the clay could pull even more dirt out if the wash removes the wax. There are some diagrams in the Griots catalog that show how contaminants in the paint create tiny bumps that make the cleaner hit only the high points of the bumps rather than cleaning the entire area or removing bumps (the diagrams remind me of the old Schick twin-blade TV commercials). This is the real value of using clay and making it the first step.

    The need for a pre-wax cleaner in general is dependent upon the wax you use. Most typical off-the-shelf waxes like Turtle Wax also contain a cleaner and can be applied without pre-cleaning with fairly good results -- but if you think it through, it isn't really possible for those waxes to remove the old wax, remove the old dirt, and leave a perfect coat of clean wax all in one step. Nonetheless, they will look pretty good and are a great choice for non-fanatics that are content with 90% results. Higher end waxes like P21S have absolutely no cleaners and therefore you must clean before the first application and then maybe every 4th application thereafter. I have seen comments about high-end waxes not looking good, and I think in every the case this is the result of them being used without prep. If you use $5 Turtle Wax and $25 P21S wax on a typical dirty car without pre-cleaning, the Turtle Wax will look much better because P21S is just covering the dirt. If you use a cleaner first and then compare, both Turtle Wax and P21S will look great, but P21S will be a purer coat of wax and Turtle Wax will be much more abrasive than is necessary. I have seen paint ruined (on a low-end car) in two years by somebody who "babied" it by waxing it weekly with cleaner wax. If he had instead used a pre-wax cleaner maybe twice a year, he could wax daily with P21S wax and still not cause any problems because there are no abrassives.

    I am a fanatic about cleaning the car thoroughly (clay/pre-wax cleaner/glaze/wax) about once a year -- then I just drive it, rain or shine, and enjoy the car the rest of the year with maybe a coat of wax every 4 months.
     
  19. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    I've been using Griot's clay for a long time... with outstanding results. I've clayed:

    1. White Bimmer
    2. Steel Blue Bimmer
    3. Obsidian Black Mercedes
    4. Pewter Mercedes
    5. Silver Saab

    All colors, flat or metallic, it works great. Just take your time and read the directions. Drop it on the ground? Immediately have your dog take a poopie on it: that'll ensure it never touches your car again. Ground = bad.

    I'll even go a step further... while all clay requires a lubricant, I think using the Griot's SpeedShine is kind of a rip off. Just keep the surface nicely wet using a garden hose. Clay a small area, hose it down, clay again. It usually takes me about 3-4 passes with the clay in each 2x2 area to get things right. I'll usually clay 2-3 times a year, and my cars are baby smooth. Literally, it's like satin. Once you're done with the clay, wax and/or polish to your hearts content!

    Get the clay. It'll have a profound political/religious/sexual affect on your life.
     

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