wax and polishing tips | FerrariChat

wax and polishing tips

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by schackman, Jan 10, 2004.

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  1. schackman

    schackman Formula Junior

    Jan 6, 2004
    Full Name:
    Greetings to all!

    I have just purchased a Black Metallic Challenge Stradale.
    I shyed away from Black cars years ago, not because they are not georgous, but because of the up keep.

    But this car looks absolutley stunning in the Metallic paint.

    My question is to all Black paint owners. What type of wax, polish and detail products are you fellas finding great results with?

    Ive heard of a few, but I have no hands on knowledge of the best for only the best look.

    Any info would gladly be welcome !

    Thanks !!!
  2. Teenferrarifan

    Teenferrarifan F1 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2003
    Media, PA
    Full Name:
    Post pictures of your car first!!!!!!!We have to see it!!!!!!!
  3. sindo308qv

    sindo308qv F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Full Name:
    I have a black metallic 308 and use either Meguiars or more recently,with great results, Griots Garage Best of Show wax.
  4. TCM

    TCM Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
    Tyngsborough, MA
    Congratulations on the Stradale! Before you start worrying about what products to use, you need to make sure you know the proper technique to wash and apply wax with. Also, you need to understand that everything is going to scratch your car when it touches it unless you can build up a barrier between the object and your paint (water and soap during washing, etc). I suggest you check out www.autopia.org for the do's and don'ts of car washing and and applying product. It is basically common sense if you remember that you are scratching your car when touching it. Therefore, you minimize the visual appearance of swirls by only using a back and forth motion when washing or applying product. Side panels you go up and down, and roof, hood, rear trunk are all front to back. That way you can only see the swirls in one particular direction instead of from every direction as is the case with circular motions. Same goes for wahing, use plently of water and at least two buckets to wash the car (one with just water for rinsing the spingem and one with the soap) to prevent dirt from scratching the paint. Check out autopia and you should get the paint points of it.

    You also need to determine what look you want from the paint. Do you want a very shinny reflective paint that lasts long or would you rather have a very deep rich depth of color and shine that wears out faster? If you would rather have a shinny. long lasting shine, you should use a polymer or sealant (Zaino, Klasse, Crystal Guard, Blackfire, etc). If you want a deep depth of color, you need to use a white carnauba (Zymol, P21S, Pinnacle, Meguiars, etc).

    If you can pick up these habits, you will make your life much easier down the road since you will not have to deal with as many swirls or scratches. Enjoy the 360CS and please post some pictures.
  5. spyderman33

    spyderman33 Formula Junior

    Jan 9, 2004
    Full Name:
    Congrats on your fine purchase.. I also have a black car and it is challenging.. I would never buy a daily driver in black.. Been there and it is very time consuming..

    As a pleasure car, black is awesome.

    I use Zaino products on mine and it keeps it scratch/swirl free. I must agree with TCM in that you should really know how to wash in order to avoid the problems in the first place.. But undoubtedly, you will always find some swirls.. I stopped letting people wash my car because they were not getting the message as to what I wanted so I decided to do it myself.. I cover my car when not in use to avoid the dust build-up during the week.

    good luck.
  6. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    Marin Calif
    The best tip I can offer, as a black car veteran, is "do not to touch the paint"

    So here are my tricks.

    1 - A "California" Duster to remove dust (daily). Don't drag it across just light touch the surface.
    2 - A Leaf Blower to remove (blow off) water after you wash the car.

    Also, synthetic chamois seem softer than real chamois, so I go synthetic.
    Plus, also use a chamois and a very fluffy wash mitt and use new ones often.

    There is a lot of work and tips to maintaining black,yet the reward can be satisfying.
  7. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    For great car care tips, watch The Karate Kid.
  8. Steve Darrah

    Steve Darrah Rookie

    Nov 5, 2003
    Midlothian, Virginia
    Full Name:
    Stephen C. Darrah
    Everyone will have an opinion on all the "how, what, when" etc related to car care. I am by no means an expert in this area, but I have been taking care of a variety of cars for a long time.A couple of thoughts.
    I fully agree with all the comments about the importance of washing and drying. I would suggest, however, that using a wash liquid with water is dependant on how you store the car, covered or not, how dirty, type of dirt..... I rarely use a wash liquid-only water, unless the car has a lot of mud, dirt etc.Always use a 100% lambs wool wash mit and clean it frequently. Just toss it into the 'ol washing machine. For years, I used a non-synthetic chamois for drying but have now changed to 100% cotton towels. The chamois pick up dirt too quickly and are difficult to keep clean vs. the towels-again, pop 'em in the washer.
    I would not use a Ca. Duster regardless of how lightly you drag it over the surface of the car or how "clean" the surface may seem.The Duster will pick up and retain small particles of dirt which will eventually place minute scratches on your surface over time.
    As for polishes and waxes, I have primarily used Zymol and P21s products over the years. I have found that Zymol's HD Cleanse is great as a pre-wax cleaner for all colors and metal types-easy on and off,swirls etc out.I ahve used Zymol's Ital carnuba wax for my 550 and NSX wax for my '92 NSX, which is black on black. Both work well but are a real time consuming project-have to be applied by hand, lots of rubbing after application, can only do small areas at one time, but they do last.I have tried the P21s on the Ferrari, and I believe it provides a comparable appearance as the Zymol product, plus it is much easier to apply and remove. Suggestion-always use a 100% cotton material when removing any pre-wax or wax from your car. Anything with an amount of poyester in it can and will scratch the surface. Old t-shirts are o.k.,especially after they have been washed a lot as they become softer, but be careful of the seams as they usually contain a certain amount of polyester, regardless of the 100% cotton label.Clean whatever material you use frequently.Check Griot's stuff for cleaning cloths etc.
    I would try both the Zymol and P21s products on your car and see which one or combination you prefer. The Zymol NSX carnuba wax is supposedly designed for the paint application and aluminum metal of the car, is expensive{$150.00},and may have more marketing hype than real content.But it and especially the HD cleanse are worth a try.
    Congrats on your new "baby!" Hope you have many, many hours of fun and enjoyment driving it and taking care of it. Funny thing. I alwys felt my cars ran "better" after a couple of days of detailing work.
  9. Congrats on your purchase.

    First off start but useing good car wash soaps from Meguiars,Sonax,P21S etc that are highly lubricated so they dont scratch. Always use microfiber wash mitts and towels they are far better then chamois. If your car is swirl free a lit polish will be enough Meguiars #9 swirl remover is very delicate and does a good job of gettin small marrying out of paint after washing or just swirls that are there from different types of use. Wax I would use Polymer or Synthetic sealents they last longer and are not effected by enviroment as much as regular carnuba wax. After you seal top with a carnuba for the extra slickness and ummph.

    Here are some great places to ask.


    Online Stores

    the list goes on. My favorite brands are Meguiars for almost everything and Menzerna for really good swirl removing compounds.
  10. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    Black Hawk, CO
    Full Name:
    I've tried before to do an extensive write up on what I do, what I use, and why. This is going to be a long post, but I'll try to be as brief as possible in each segment so it won't be so much to digest, LOL.

    Detailing is like playing music. The more you practice the better you get at it. In detailing, there is always a new product to try and quicken the process and save you time. What it boils down to is, you can only save so much time before you have more products than you need instead of putting more time into using the few that you have.

    You will always be improving your technique. The saying that a majority of it is in the prepwork, it is true. Like a great paint job, its the time you invest prior and using the product as close to you can as intended.

    I have a lot of stuff in my trunk, I'll include the full product list at the end of the post.

    ** Primary rule #1. You must remember at all times. If it touches the ground, consider it useless unless its a wheel brush, and especially the clay bar! This also includes a car cover. Touching the ground picks up glass, gravel, dirt, quartz, and other kinds of crap and you can rub this into your paint with the lightest of pressure and it will create scratches. This happens the most to wash mitts, applicators, and drying/buffing microfiber cloths. These things are covered below. **

    People will disagree with me on the use of a car cover, I tell them to bite me. It works if used appropriately.

    ** Primary rule #2. You must remember at all times. Never use moderate or heavy pressure. If you need moderate or heavy pressure, your doing something wrong. Use a lubicant, a spritz of water, remove the product and try again with a thinner coat. **

    ** Primary rule #3. Have a bottle of water or gatorade or something to drink. You can't dehydrate because you read this thread and printed it out to wash your car with and then try to come after me. **

    Show cars, "First Blood" wash where you just got the car, completely grimy cross country drive, etc.

    - Stick a automotive clay bar in its plastic still your pocket to warm it up.

    Automotive clay is designed to "pull" contaminants from the paint that are invisible to the naked eye and adhere to the surface of the clay. Your paint is like your teeth, it may be smooth, but its definitely porous under extremely close scrutiny. Scratches also hold contaminants in them. Even after a through through job washing the car the first time, stuff will still be in the paint. The clay bar helps remove fallout/pollution, sap, and embedded road grime.

    - Rinse the car with a high pressure garden nozzle, rinse the wheels using a dense stream.

    This will remove loose dirt and remove the first layer of brake dust off.

    - Fill a bucket with a heavy concentration of Dawn and fill with water. Put in your first microfiber wash mitt to soak.

    Dawn has a high alkali content which is good for removing stubborn debris and some layers of wax with each wash. I call it, the "First Blood" car washing liquid. If the car has been heavily waxed prior, you will need to use a wax remover and this will take anywhere from 1-2 hours. The benefit is you have a "clean" surface from wax and polish, kind of like a painter using a new canvas and not one scrubbed clean of paint.

    - Rinse the car again. Gently wash with lots and lots of soap.

    Stay away from the lower 1/3 around the entire car as this is where it tends to really get grimy, especially along wheel wells and bumpers. Rinse the car.

    - Change the soap out and wash the same upper 2/3 again, this time, wash the lower 1/3 and change out soap and the wash mitt if it starts getting funky fast. Rinse and repeat.

    The goal at this point is to be able to wash it with a clean untouched mitt and not discolor the wash mitt.

    - Spray the wheels with a gentle cleaner. Using the bucket of soap that should still be clean, use a soft brush and soak it in the soap, lightly scrub the rims and rinse. The tires will be wet, which is fine. Take a disposable sponge or a tire dressing with an adjustable spray nozzle, or a spray bottle filled with tire dressing, and spray around the wheel.

    This stuff is SLICK, so don't soak the tread. Show cars that do this are obviously GARAGE QUEENS. Blah. Once you hit the road, it will be like having a super thin coat of oil over half of each wheel and that spells danger!! It will quickly rub off but you can just as quickly lose control if you forgot and you dropped the clutch at a few thousand RPM. If you overspray on the rim, immediately wash the affected area and rinse. The dressing is water resistant and will dry to a shine.

    - Now the clay bar. Flatten it like a pancake. With a spray bottle of lubricant (small concentration of soap, the rest water, most clay bar kits come with a bottle), spray a 8x8 inch section so its nice and wet and in a straight motion up and, rub the clab on the paint using plenty of lubricant and do this to the entire car, top 2/3 first. A clay bar should be able to do 2 medium size cars or one bad off car.

    - After claying, rinse the car and wash it once using the still pristine wash mitt and a new bucket of soap.

    - Rinse and dry with a microfiber drying towel. Use a small damp microfiber to get the door jambs, the rubber seals, the area between the doors and around the hinges, and the bumpers in case you slip.

    Microfiber is an artifical nylon/polyester weave that has under a microscope split fibers like split hairs, except, it has anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 per square INCH. This is what helps trap dirt it comes in contact with inside the fibers and why it is preferred by detailers to leave the least amount of scratches when drying, applying, and removing products. It makes human hair look like a piece of rebar compared to a single strand of cotton.

    - Compound the surface to remove any scratches using a part polish and scratch remover with a 3M, Meguiar's, or Mother's compound.

    3M's make some of the most widely used and proven compounds. A compound is used to remove wax or remove scratches. For scratches, its essentially a liquid that has the ability of 1200-2000 grit sandpaper. Ultra fine and used carefully. Best left to a professional unless you practice on junk yard panels. If not needed, your ready to glaze.

    A glaze is a pure polish, it doesn't contain wax or if does, in very minute traces to give it consistancy. Its used to bring out the best possible shine of the paint and used in conjunction with a wax. Synthetic waxes have their own prep polish or glaze and follow different steps from here on out to apply and remove. In this case, lets assume we're using a wax to seal this good stuff in. Two of my favorite glazes are Omega One Glaze and Meguiar's #7. You do NOT glaze with Zaino. Very important.

    - Lightly glaze the surface, which is applied in the same way a wax is, with a microfiber applicator.

    You want to apply a wax on the vertical surfaces (doors, pillars) in a straight up and down motion with light pressure. You want to apply the glaze to horizontal paint surfaces in straight back and forth motion from one side of the car to the other, not front to back, with light pressure. The reason you do this is, most cars are washed and prepared using a back and forth motion, or even worse, circular motions which case scratches that are harder to remove.

    If you apply a substance using a up and down motion you minimize and control the cloth to prevent scratches. When removing the substances, you use a front to back motion, going against the "grain" of how you applied it. If you have circular scratches, you can see how hard they are to hide but using this method of applying a glaze or sctatch removing substance, you get the most effective coverage.

    You do not want to let a glaze "cure" or dry on the paint unless the directions specifically call for it. They are more difficult to remove since they are not designed in the same way as a wax. You want to apply as thin a coat as possible in a small area, then remove 10-20 seconds after and repeat over the whole car.

    ** Wax. What a subject! I'm not talking about the F-chat poster, but the layer of protectant between your paint, the world, and the shine that is underneath grabbing your attention. There are a few truly superior products out there and I've used a lot of them. **

    ** Wax is like picking a girlfriend. A group of them might share a lot in common, but there will usually be one girl that EVERYONE goes after and for different reasons. Pick your wax the same way. **

    These have been tested repeatedly against one another by detailers, by magazines, and finally in my own experience. I showed my car at least 6 times a year for two years and I never took less than 1st place except once. I came in 2nd only to a sand bagging garage queen that rarely saw use. These were all Jag shows so there was no other marque comparisons. Just me and mine against my brothers and sisters, all of them older, with more experience.

    I've used these extensively, and in our So Cal climate which is pretty light except for sun and dust. Those products in no particular order are below.

    P21S paste wax, Pinnacle Souveran paste wax, Meguiar's Gold Class, Mother's Carnuba Cleaner, and Zaino.

    The best looking are P21S, Pinnacle Souveran, and Zaino.
    The least expensive is the Meguiar's and Mothers.
    The most durable by far is the Zaino followed by Meguiar's, Mother's, P21S, and Pinnacle.
    The easiest to apply and remove are P21S and Pinnacle followed by Meguiar's, Mother's, and Zaino.
    If you want 'strong like bull' durability with in the middle optics, Zaino is your product.
    If you want the best possible look with moderate water resistance, P21S is your wax. These two are pound for pound the best of the list.

    Meguiar's and Mother's you can find anywhere at any decent auto store chain and its the least expensive. The others you order online or through specialty dealers. They resist water better than the two premium waxes.

    Pinnacle is expensive, but it smells so delicious you want to eat it and is a hair easier to remove than P21S. It has lower water resistance than P21S but it is designed for red and black cars only. All waxes can be layered, and layered, and layered, and layered again to increase the depth of the finish for that always wet look. P21S is excellent on all colors and formulated to be that way. Pinnacle gives you that edge for dark ones.

    You need to choose one that best suits your driving style and climate conditions.

    - Now that is out of the way, how to apply and remove it.

    P21S and Pinnacle are wipe on and then wipe off waxes. By FAR the easiest to apply and remove. With practice, I'm able to wax my Jag in 35-45 minutes start to finish by hand after a rinse, wash, rinse, wash, do the tires, dry cycle. Meguiar's and Mother's take 30-45 seconds for a section to cure but once your in the cycle, 45-60 minutes.

    Use the waxes sparingly. Thicker doesn't do anything except take longer to cure and is harder to wipe off, especially if a wax that must cure. Use a consistant coat across each panel. Use a slightly damp microfiber applicator and remove with a microfiber cloth. Its applied in the same up and down and side to side motion as the glaze and is removed with a back and forth motion. Allowing it to cure after you removed the residue based on the instructions for each will provide the best results.

    - How to apply and remove Zaino.

    Once the surface is prepped, apply as thin as possible and let sit for 20-30 minutes. This is the quick curing Zaino if you purchased the $15 additive, otherwise it could take 2-4 hours. You can Zaino and remove in just over an hour providing your finished and the first area you began with is cured. Zaino is a liquid, a trick to applying this is to use a plastic syringe with a plastic tip, apply directly to a slightly damp microfiber applicator and spread across the paint. Kal from F-chat showed me this and it was a great trick for my bag of tricks.

    Since you can Zaino the entire car, you remove it with either a large porous microfiber towel or a beach towel, yes, a beach towel. Microfiber is so 'smooth' and gentle that its slow to remove the synthetic polish without pressure, since its so 'slick' in nature. something you want to avoid applying at ALL times to your paint. You have to use a more porous, not course, material and a beach towel is what they recommend. A good porous microfiber can also work too and is a little more gentle than a soft beach towel. Don't grab just any one. Find a good one the spouse won't miss and use it exclusively for this. Remove in the same front to back motions. You applied it in up/down and side/side.

    - Final wipe.

    The most supreme of microfiber cloths are used for this purpose. It removes any remaining residue from wax or Zaino. It gives a uniform sheen to the wax or synthetic by removing the residue you can't see.

    - Windows.

    The best way is to have a small clean shop rag. Use glass cleaner sparingly and wipe. Or, a damp shop rag and a dry shop rag, both clean, will also give you a streak free window.

    - Trim.

    Do you have chrome? Aluminum? A gentle chrome/aluminum formulated polish and a microfiber used gently and in small sections, removed with a slightly damp microfiber. Chrome polishes are a pain to remove, more than a glaze, because they cure fast, and even if gentle, they can cut with pressure and a course cloth.

    - Interior.

    Use a damp microfiber to wipe down seats, dash, instrument clusters, door panels, door pockets especially. Save the rear deck for last. If you remember how air flows especially if you like driving with the windows open, this is the dustiest part of the interior. Beat the rugs against an ugly tree or slap with your fist. Vaccuum if you can and use that in the footwells. Take an applicator and lightly apply some Mother's Leather/Vinyl protectant and use a light coat over the door panels, dash, and rear deck.

    - Clean up your mess, put things away.

    Wash the wash mitts together, the applicators together, the microfiber towels together. Its a pain, but it keeps out the chemical interactions and the really grimy stuff from the wash mitts away from the 'cleaner' stuff. The applicators are next followed by the microfibers. This stuff will get dirty the first time you do this, such as buying a car, cross country drive, etc.

    If your in "Maintenance" mode they can all be washed together in one batch. Make sure you do a load of "darks" because if the spouse puts in their "whites" afterwards, you might be in for a little hell and you'll be sleeping with your girlfriend or boyfriend in the garage that night!

    ** Get the camera, snap some pictures, park that beauty in the sun, and light up a stogie. Pull up a chair and relax. Oh, and grab your favorite drink because you've graduated to Maintenance mode. What you just went through you want to do once a year. Its much simpler in Maintenance mode. **

    - I'm in Maintenance mode. Its dirty, what do I do now?

    Get the car wash made for the wax/glaze products your using! Don't use Dawn, it will remove what you tried so hard to apply. Dawn's for "First Blood" and the car wash put out by the wax/glaze will not remove itself. Wash, rinse, rinse rims, wash, rinse, wash rims, rinse rims, apply tire dressing, dry the paint, apply and remove the wax, and do the mirrors. Clean up. Do the trim and interior as needed, usually every 2-3 washes depending on how dusty it gets.

    - When to use a quick detailer.

    A quick detailer is part liquid wax, part water, part alcohol, part gloss enhancer, and part anti-static chemical. It comes in a spray bottle right off the shelf. Its used for light dust only, say, after a quick run and your going right back into the garage. Or your at a show and darn it, something landed on the paint and its almost "rags down" for judging to begin.

    Spritz the quick detailer on the area, gently wipe in the same motions you used above, up/down or side/side and then front/back to finish and the alcohol base will evaporate and leave you with a clean scratch free waxed surface. There is a quick detailer made by each manufacturer, I strongly recommend using that. The wax ones can be interchanged usually, but the Zaino one you do NOT want to use with a wax quick detailer. Since Zaino is not a wax, you'll put wax in between your Zaino and the next coat of Zaino, haha!

    - Dusters are evil.

    A duster does one thing, remove dust and leave imperfections by scraping across the top layer of wax. Its like taking your fingers and rubbing a mirror, it leaves oils and stuff behind. Hurts the wax/glaze optics, collects more dirt by leaving oil from the duster behind. Dusters can leave very fine scratches behind. Use a quick detailer instead.

    - Use a car cover.

    Knowing when is most important. After a quick run, yes, or stationary in the garage for long periods, double yes. For daily drivers, if the commute is quick, yes during the day in or out of a parking garage. Not after a long run, a city to city drive, etc. Sliding a car cover across your dusty paint, even if its a specialty cover which I recommend (compact, washable, protect against UV, waterproof but breathable). You UNFOLD a cover on your paint, you don't slide it around, so you want to apply and remove it using a method. Once applied, you can "peel" the cover up and back from part of the car at a time. Using and removing a cover literally takes 1-2 minutes to put on and 1-2 to put away. After you went through hell above, I guarantee you, proper use of a cover will greatly stretch the time between washes, especially if not daily driver.

    - How do I keep my leather and vinyl in good shape.

    WATER only to clean, sometimes a coat of Mother's Vinyl protectant on vinyl, and use a leather conditioner like Leatherique once every 6 months. Spray bottles are the most effective way to apply it and a gentle swipe of a microfiber applicator, allow to soak in the longer the better and the warmer the better, and remove with their cleaner with a microfiber cloth.

    - I'm cranky, old, tired, sore, busy, the honey do list is long, I'm poor, I'm travelling, and I can't wash the car. But I can fit in a quick detail. If thats you, keep this in mind.

    How often you want to wash is up to you. The more you use a quick detailer, the more careful you will have to be since your substituting a full wash cycle with nothing but a little liquid and a microfiber cloth. You can quickly reach the point of no return where you can't cover, its too dusty to microfiber quick detail it, so you need to wash it. Let it be dirty a couple days, then go through a Maintenance mode wash cycle.

    - Is a chamois good?

    No. If its a soft (old), thick, not flat but porous one 2ft by 2ft or more, they can be used for drying in place of a porous large microfiber cloth. Otherwise, tie them up and let the dog bury it somewhere.

    - Claying is good for the soul.

    If you have your maintenance mode down, once every year is plenty and you will barely pick up anything by doing it.

    - Is there a show mode?

    Yes, it involves a wash cycle, stripping the wax, applying the glaze, and rewaxing. No claying needed unless its been a year.

    - Nasty, dirty, rarely see the light of day nooks and crannys.

    All cars have them, the areas that just get really grimy. Fender lips turned in to face the tire, extremely nasty, use a soapy shop rag to get these areas and wash them with the shop rags used for the mirrors. Bumpers, some suck the dirt like a Corvette right into the tail lights. Ferrari's are very dusty babies. Bumpers are low and they get funky quick. High performance cars have to deal with melted rubber as well. This usually is removed using the car wash, but Dawn if necessary. Quickly glaze the affected area before waxing.

    - How long does wax last?

    Which one did you pick? I've found 30 days in So Cal with a wash once a week and 1 rain storm. No rain? 45 days with a wash once a week. Zaino? 3-4 months with a wash once a week and a rain storm once a month. Its got big balls durability.

    - I live in a snowy climate, what product do I 'wax' with?

    Zaino. Zaino and and Collonite Super Double Coat or some silly name which is a wax, are the only two that can. Especally Zaino though, it can survive sleet, rain, and snow, for a month straight and after you wash the car, it feels like it was applied the day before. Its the durability king and it looks good too.

    - I just got caught by a sprinkler or sprinklers or puddles, what do I do?

    Microfiber that off with a quick detailer as necessary as soon as you can without "appearing disturbed" to other drivers, your spouse, friends, family, or co-workers! Unpurified water will leave a film, the sun will bake that spot into the paint too. If the spot is already dry but didn't bake in there, a quick detailer will lubricate the surface first.

    - I washed my windshield with washer fluid and it landed on the paint, is this ok?

    Worse than water! It can stain paint quicker than unpurified water baking in the sun. Quick detail it to lubricate it and remove with a microfiber ASAP unless its raining or snowing lol.

    Maybe it would have been easier to show you in person. Cest la vie.

  11. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    Black Hawk, CO
    Full Name:
    Here are the results from the infamous wax test. If you are not using one of the top waxes on this list, then you are not using the best for your needs. Might as well get a plain white can called "Paste Wax" for 99 cents.

    If you say to me that one wax is better than another, be prepared to prove WHY. Otherwise you might want to take it from an independant group of testers not sponsored with one dime from any manufacturer.

    I consider myself a detailer. I talk with other detailers. I'm always trying to improve my trade because caring for automobile finishes gives me as much pleasure as driving them.

    Some of the results are shocking, some aren't, but here they are.

    I've used nearly ever product on this list and can stand by it.

    Here's how I used the products: http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2620

    All the products were bought off the shelf or online where they could find them. There was no advertising or sponsorship from any of the manufacturers, they purchased everything with their own money. Each product was compared in the exact same conditions daily for a 6 week period.

    The products were eval'ed on:

    amount of water beads using 500ml of water
    bead size
    color enhancement
    overall impression, and
    given a final grade in GPA format.
    Edit: durability was also measured for each product and showed results after each week of environmentaly abuse (all at the same time) and after washing.

    Dizzy yet? Good.

    Road grime was not a factor in the tests unfortuantely, thats in the round two tests being conducted/prepared.

    The grading was done in an A+ to F- fashion to form a GPA, and the results are below. This is not a bible, but its a very good indication real world how they perform against one another and how far your dollar really stretches.


    1. Zaino Brother's Polish - second best looking and most durable of
    all of the products. One of the only products to survive a week
    long snow storm. Still provided protection after 7 months in the
    elements. Most superior product and in the top 3 for ''looks'' too.

    2. P21S Concours-look Carnuba - first best looking, then Zaino's
    durability takes over after 3 weeks
    3. Klasse All-in-One and Sealant Glaze
    4. Armor All Protective Barrier
    5. Pinnacle Souveran - third best looking, smells like
    cocanut/banana and downright edible, Zaino's durability takes over
    after 3 weeks
    6. Pinnacle Paste Glaz Carnuba
    7. Rain Dance Premium - name doesn't imply best protection, go for
    8. Mother's California Gold Carnuba Cleaner - availability is
    9. Collinite Marque D'Elegance
    10. Mother's California Gold Pure Carnuba
    11. Blackfire
    12. Collinite Super Doublecoat - good for at lesat 3 months of
    protection, even through ''touch'' drive through car washes several
    times a month, on par with a synthetic for protection
    13. Blitz One Grand
    14. Turtle Wax Finish 2001
    15. Eagle One Wet Polish and Wax
    16. Griot's Garage Carnuba Paste Wax
    17. Nu Finish
    18. Meguiar's Gold Class
    19. Turtle Wax Emerald Series
    20. Prestone Bullet Eax
    21. Griot's Garage Best of Show
    22. Meguiar's Medallion
    23. Turtle Eax Super Hard Shell
    24. 3M Perfect-IT Show Car Paste
    25. Meguiar's #26 Hi-Tech
    26. Meguiar's #16 Paste Wax
    27. Turtle Eax Extreme Cleaner Wax
    28. Eagle One Pure Carnuba
    29. Zymol Carbon Carnuba
    30. Finish First World Class Auto Polish
    31. Liquid Glass Ultimate Auto Polish
    32. Kit Carnuba Paste
    33. Meguiar's #19 Professional Cleaner/Wax
    34. Formula 113
    35. Zymol SUV Zurtle Natural Liquid
    36. Zymol Titanium Carnuba
    37. Malm's Carnuba
    38. Wizards Shine Master
    39. Race Glaze
    40. Zymol Concours Carnuba
    41. The Wax Shop Super Glaze Liquid
    42. Gliptone Original Carnuba Paste
    43. Rally Cream Wax
    44. Gliptone Platnium Series Paste
    45. Meguiar's Quik Wax - not a polish, used to take off dust and
    small particles during show or protect from rubber/track residue or
    chain/bike grease
    46. Lemon Pledge - not a polish, used to take off dust and small
    particles during show

  12. schackman

    schackman Formula Junior

    Jan 6, 2004
    Full Name:
    Thanks alot guys !!

    Some of you went well over and beyond. I really appreciate it. Will look into Zaino I think. I will give them a call Monday and pick up one of their packages they sell along with their cotton towels.


  13. TG3

    TG3 Karting

    Mar 27, 2005
    New Orleans, LA
    Full Name:
    Teddy Solomon III
    JaguarXJ6, there are a few different Z bros polishes, Which one was used that took #1 inn the test? Thanks.
  14. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave F1 World Champ

    Jul 26, 2004
    Full Name:
    Excellent info Sunny!


    I just bought a brand new truck. Using quick detailer and a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints, bugs, etc between washes.

    Microfiber cloths are cheap, but I can't see buying a 6 pack every other week. I thought about tossing them in the washing machine, but I thought I'd heard this was not a good idea with respect to car covers, so why do it to micrfiber cloths?

    How do you clean your microfiber cloths so that they arent contaminated with soap film and dirt?
  15. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    Black Hawk, CO
    Full Name:
    Hey, I just noticed this thread was brought back to life... I answered the Zaino question in a PM.

    I personally use very light laundry detergent and soak them for an hour or two and then rinse them twice. The secret to prongling the life of your microfibers is to not dry them in the washing machine and delegate which microfibers will be the ones to clean the worst parts of the car with (rims, sills/ground effects, bumpers, grills, etc). I keep a couple dozen on hand, half of which are used for wax removal and light dust/quick detailing only. I have a half dozen used for removing compounds, another few for the 'final wipe' after you've removed the wax, and I use the Pep Boys 3 for 5 buck specials for cleaning the dirtiest sections highlighted above.

    Bleach and heavy concentrations of soap will shorten their life. If I didn't keep giving them away, I have a few of the more expensive microfibers that are almost perfect after a year of regular use, removing dust, mud, polishes, and waxes before I bought more for specific tasks.

    I hope this helps!

  16. whart

    whart F1 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2001
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    Man, there's almost nothing that Sunny didn't cover. I will not pretend to add, but to amplify a couple points that he and TCM made. First, touching the car with anything affects the paint/finish- it's like the Hippocratic oath- try to do as little damage as possible when it is necessary to do something.
    That means that unless the car got splashed, shat on by a bird, etc. i don't wash it- you will see every mark you leave when you wash.

    I have tried all kinds of products and still come down pretty close to Sunny- l like PS21 Polish- i find the Zymol HD Cleanse too strong. On waxes, i agree that a good carnuba is wonderful and also usually use the PS21 product- although i have some Pinnacle Souveran which i am going to try because it supposedly shines well on red cars.
    I know that the wax is intended to protect, but given how little some of these cars are driven, don't you get more shine from polish and no wax?

    I am totally afraid to take a machine to any of my cars- i bought a Porter Cable thingy several years ago, and wound up using it to polish some Venetian marble in one of my bathrooms.

    The best spray detailer i have used- on a black car no less- is Wurtz Zebra spray. I don't know if it's available at retail stores, but i know you can order it by the case directly from the manufacturer. I also use it to clean up my wheels after i have washed them using PS Body Wash if they are really dirty, or just the PS shampoo if they are not.

    I like the water absorption of the synthetic microfibre waffleweave things, but i'm still afraid of scratching. I have a pretty air big compressor that i use with various attachments to blow water off the car- it works especially well on all the panel edges, around sidemarkers, etc.

    I am a fanatic about glass and find that i have to position the car in the sunlight to see the glare left from unwiped product. I typically use invisible glass spray and those blue surgical towels.

    Those little metro-vacs are terrific and are cheaper if you get them from the manufacturer, or a retailer that sells them under the real brand, rather than from Griot's, which rebrands them and marks them up.

    I think the biggest wrong i've seen watching the pro's, is that people tend to use too much product.

    When my black 550 barchetta was featured in R & T, i had it detailed by the Paterak Bros. They hand polished and waxed the car, put about 36 hours into the paint surfaces- didn't even touch the interior or the engine compartment (the car at that time was still almost brand new). I never saw it look better- it glowed almost purple.
    I think the biggest drag about a black car isn't just that you have to keep after it more to make it look like it should, but also, the temptation is to wash it almost every day. I think that's a mistake, given the above. Good luck and enjoy your car.
  17. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave F1 World Champ

    Jul 26, 2004
    Full Name:
    Thanks for the tips!
  18. richard

    richard Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Richard Thompson III
    That was your car?! Wow, I've wondered about that for _years_ since I read the article. Cool! I remember the article saying you guys went out for a drive at like 5AM or something, and they made some fuss about the temporary top. Is this the same article I'm thinkng of?
  19. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    I just used P21S for the very first time today and all I can say is OMG !!!!

    The paint surface of my black 348 spider looks like wet glass it is soooo shiny and deep.....everything said about this wax is true. The stuff is incredible....!!
  20. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave F1 World Champ

    Jul 26, 2004
    Full Name:
    Hey Sunny, just wanted to let you know I've been following your prescription to the letter and having great results.

    This is one of the all time great Fchat threads!
  21. ghost

    ghost F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    No advice on detailing is complete unless Sunny weighs in. Period.
  22. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    Cumming, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Franklin E. Parker
    In my over 32 years of owning and detailing my cars I have never found a better wax product than the Scuderia wax at www.swissol.com Try it-you'll like it! I have heard that Zymol makes a similar quality product.
  23. jamie140

    jamie140 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2004
    GTA/Marco Island, fl
    Full Name:
    Guys, can I weigh in on this. First: black car = no. Like a crazy nutbar who's great in bed, it will only break your heart in the end.

    Second: If your car ever gets soiled, take it to the coin spray wash first and spray the snot out of it with the high pressure soap option. Clean the shiit off without beating it into your paint.

    Third: drying. Get 5 or 6 big 100% cotton towels without edges. Rinse as usual - sunny side last, then drape the towels over the flat surfaces. Got to each towel and just press it flat on the car (like if you were finishing making a bed). Lift it off and, voila! dry car without rubbing. IMVHO, never use any kind of shammy, rubbing that sucker back and forth inevitably leads to swirls.
  24. AutoConcierge

    AutoConcierge Formula Junior

    Sep 10, 2004
    Pleasanton, CA
    Full Name:
    Robert Willis
    the tips covered in this thread are better than pro detail forums that i run thru daily, black cars are tuff and as a pro detailer who specializes in ferrari ,and the owner of 12 black cars in a row the advice sunny gives is right on the money. however any dark colored car will need to be machine polished, glazed and then waxed.ps21 is the best carnauba on the market, but eagle one nano wax is a great one step, especially after the car has been clayed, my 2$ (sunny need a job in the bay area?) just kidding. bob willis auto concierge auto detailing
  25. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    Black Hawk, CO
    Full Name:
    We all have our "thing" to do when we detail and I'm happy that someone was able to pick up a tip or two especially when it comes to black.

    I don't need a job up that way, but if you're expanding the business down here with a solid business model to work off of, look me up!

    For the record, dusters/mops are "straight out of the dark side." :)

    Since that post above is old, I tweaked the article a bunch a few months ago and expanded the discussion about compounding, added a few steps, shortened the length with the added content, you get the idea.


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