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Cosmetic Maintenance: Washing, Waxing, Detailing, Bodywork, Protection Anything related to keeping your Camaro clean and in good cosmetic condition.

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Old 10-17-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
OUTATIME
 
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Frustrated with waxing the car

Whenever I wax, it looks great for maybe 2 days, and then the car is coated in a layer of dust. I keep it garaged, and I never drive it in the rain. Is this normal?

Furthermore, I can't seem to wax without swirling the paint, it's starting to look terrible. I follow all the rules when it comes to microfiber towels - only use clean towels, if they hit the ground then they're unusable, change towels often, make sure i'm not picking up dirt and spreading it with the towel, etc.

Can anyone recommend better towels?
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
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Dust is totally normal....wax cannot keep dust off getcha a California duster AND watch junk mans How to on the duster or you will introduce more swirls

I recommend Adams towels but are you using a two bucket wash technique? If not that is probably the reason why you have swirls...more information about your washing technique could help us help you it really is a science detailing
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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It really depends on the exact methods you use in cleaning your car. A lot more detail on your process is required for anyone of us to help you.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:43 PM   #4
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I think the washing method and technique is more important than the towels in this case... so how do you wash your car?

Btw, if anything, wax will fill in those scratches. Not sure how waxing will make you have scratches, unless you are working on a dirty car.

Also, the wax you used matters. Some waxes attract dust, others don't. What wax do you use?
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #5
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I have not been using a 2 bucket technique. I'll change that.

However, what I do is that I hose off the sponge first, rotating to make sure the sponge is clean before I put it back in the bucket. The sponge does not ever touch the ground.

I dry the car using microfiber rags - I go through them rather quickly because once they get wet, I move onto a dry one. I keep doing this until the car has no streaks.

I have never claybar'd. I assumed the car doesn't need it since it's pretty young, and I never drive it in the rain, and it stays relatively clean and smooth to the touch after a wash.

When I wax, I use a detailing pad(?). It's a white sorta-micro-fiber thingy about 4 inches in diameter. I wax on in circular motions until the car is covered in a haze of wax. I then wax off in circular motions until the haze is gone. I find myself having to press fairly hard to get it off - and I hope I'm doing that right.

I never re-use towels/pads/sponges from wash to wash. I actually put them in the washing machine (never with any other clothes, of course) and dryer - dryer is smart, and it won't burn them.

I've been using Turtle Wax Ice for about 2 years, and the last time I waxed, I switched to a Meguire's product (I don't know the name).

What I'm thinking of doing more and more is how detailer's domain does things. I don't think they actually touch the cars when they're washing - it looks like the soap they use is sprayed on and washed off without a single sponge. I'd invest in a good spray nozzle that will do that for me.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:16 PM   #6
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Definitely some room for improvement in your process, but thats just all part of the game really. A couple of recommendations I'd make -


Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post
I have not been using a 2 bucket technique. I'll change that.
2 bucket wash with grit guards is essential for a good safe wash. Separating grit from the paint and wash media is very much a key!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post
However, what I do is that I hose off the sponge first, rotating to make sure the sponge is clean before I put it back in the bucket. The sponge does not ever touch the ground.

Quality wash materials - a lot of times the 'sponge' you get from the local autoparts store isn't really ideal for car washing. Personally I'm not a fan of sponges, I stick more to plush mitts and pads. We offer a couple of options:

Merino Wool Wash Mitt

11" x 11" synthetic wash pad

9" x 9" synthetic wash pad

Taking that a step further I recommend segmenting the car into 2 parts: Upper 2/3rds and Lower 1/3rd. Use a separate mitt or wash pad for either section to prevent cross contamination or any other issues from the lower (often more dirty) parts of the car up above the belt line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post
I dry the car using microfiber rags - I go through them rather quickly because once they get wet, I move onto a dry one. I keep doing this until the car has no streaks.
What kind of towels are you using? Plush or waffle weave? Microfiber is one of those things that if you don't get a high quality towel you can end up making things worse. Not all microfiber is created equal. Make sure you're buying a QUALITY towel from a reputable company... many sold at the autoparts store are not exactly ideal. Our towel for example (Adam's Great White Drying Towel) is an option you might look at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post
I have never claybar'd. I assumed the car doesn't need it since it's pretty young, and I never drive it in the rain, and it stays relatively clean and smooth to the touch after a wash.
You'd be surprised how much contamination is on the paint just from the manufacturing and transport to the dealer. Add any time it sat at the dealership and theres even more... then any time the car is driven, even in dry conditions there is all manner of things sticking to the paint (metallic particles, overspray, fallout, etc) that you may not be able to feel with your hand, but are very much still there. The baggy test demonstrated in this video will help shed some light on how to diagnose your paint:



Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post
When I wax, I use a detailing pad(?). It's a white sorta-micro-fiber thingy about 4 inches in diameter. I wax on in circular motions until the car is covered in a haze of wax. I then wax off in circular motions until the haze is gone. I find myself having to press fairly hard to get it off - and I hope I'm doing that right.
It could be a couple of things or a combination of things:

The product choice might have something to do with it (some waxes are more difficult to work with than others) and often times people use way more product than is actually necessary. If you're not interested in changing products make sure you try thinning out your application a bit.

As far as the app itself, I prefer foam, but so long as you're using a quality microfiber app theres nothing wrong there. If you want to try something different: Adam's Yellow Hex Grip Wax Applicator and our super easy to use Buttery Wax is a nice place to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post
I never re-use towels/pads/sponges from wash to wash. I actually put them in the washing machine (never with any other clothes, of course) and dryer - dryer is smart, and it won't burn them.
Sponges typically don't take too kindly to machine washing. Hand washing is recommended. For your microfiber towels there are a few guidelines you should follow. Below is a link to proper towel care that you might find helpful:

http://www.adamsforums.com/forums/mi...ucts/14121.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post
What I'm thinking of doing more and more is how detailer's domain does things. I don't think they actually touch the cars when they're washing - it looks like the soap they use is sprayed on and washed off without a single sponge. I'd invest in a good spray nozzle that will do that for me.
Always a good idea to reduce the amount of touching you do to the paint. Sheet rinsing, using air to blow water out, and using quality materials when you do touch are key. Heres a couple more videos on washing specifically you might find helpful:






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Old 10-18-2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post

I've been using Turtle Wax Ice for about 2 years, and the last time I waxed, I switched to a Meguire's product (I don't know the name).

I then wax off in circular motions until the haze is gone. I find myself having to press fairly hard to get it off - and I hope I'm doing that right.
To answer this small question (why the wax is hard to come off), is because you are

1) using turtle wax
2) probably applying WAY too thick!


What you need is a proper wash setup to stop inducing swirls

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Old 10-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #8
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Nice multiquote Dylan
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:54 PM   #9
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Which wax are you are using? and of course there is pollution and you will get this all the time. How bout trying a product that has some type of anti-static properties repel dust and keep it from sticking? I would recommend going with what alot of folks run into using Finish Kare 425 Extra Slick Final Body Shine. This is one product that works very well but remember no matter what you do there's always some dust that will fall on your ride's paint. But with this product you notice less of it and easy to take off the dust with good microfiber towel from the Autopia Car Care Store.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
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I find after a wax job, you think all of it is off and a day or so later you find wax still on it; that you could have swarn wasn't there previously. I have made it a point to get a clean micro fiber and whip her down once again throughly as a last step. sometimes I use a quality detail spray as well. I don't have nearly the left over wax I once did. Just my thought!
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:56 PM   #11
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Dylan@Adams, I have my work cut out for me in watching all those videos and buying all that stuff, which I think I'm going to do at some point.

My microfiber towels are plain cheap. I got them from Pepboys. I didn't realize there's a difference between towels.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTATIME View Post
Dylan@Adams, I have my work cut out for me in watching all those videos and buying all that stuff, which I think I'm going to do at some point.

My microfiber towels are plain cheap. I got them from Pepboys. I didn't realize there's a difference between towels.
Dylan hit a homerun answer.

There is a huge difference in the quality of microfiber towels, this could be one of many problems. Also wax should never be difficult to remove, if you are scrubbing the paint you are scratching it.
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