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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I live in an apartment and there's no hose but we do have this powerful spray to wash cars. Since I've gotten my car I've used terry cloths and bucket of warm water and automotive soap to wash the car, and scrape off the water using the california blade and occasionally put on wax or polish stuff. I couldn't avoid the swirls and i kept ketting more scratches.

Well I just got the car back on friday and the hood and front bumper were cherry so I decided to try wash it today. I bought a scrubbing sponge for headlights/taillights/windshield and windows. And I bought the absorber, I've tried using a chamois but it always left lint and stuff. Anyways, I decided to try something different, I used a wool mit (i hope) that had the wool on one side and the net type surface on the other side. I got the terry cloth and tranferred the water/soap onto the car let it sit for like a minute and wiped down with the wool side. I just washed all the soap off and carefully used the cali blade and dried off with the absorber. The results? The hood had some scratches from the water blade but it still looks awesome. Thanks to the masks gary gave I immediately dried as much as I could and covered the car. So I think the wool seems the best to wash the car with, but i think it still left some gunk but I guess better than scratching into the paint.

So does my method seem ok? Clint, u have a show car so I was wondering what tips and tricks you could suggest me. My car's paint has lots of swirls and stuff so I just wanna make sure I'm not damaging the car more than I should. Oh and gary u said that once in a great while u buffer ur car, maybe u could buffer my car and I'll pay? I'll trust the owner of a celica over anyone else :-D
 

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From afar my carbon blue looks nice but up close you can see a ton of nicks, scratches, swirls and waterspots. You got scratches from the water blade? Try wiping that everytime you swipe, to get any dirt off. Also don't use terry cloths...scratches too much. And don't ever wipe hard with anything. And when the car is dusty/dirty, don't touch the paint cuz it will scratch oh so easily.
 

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J, black cars are very hard to upkeep no matter what you do. Swirl marks are actually quite unavoidable... but there are things you can do to minimize them and restore your glossy finish.

My CRX was custom painted triple Jet Black, so it was a nightmare. It would be absolutely stunning after a good cleaning/polishing, but it would actually get dirty from the dust just sitting still in my enclosed garage.

I've found that a good synthetic fiber handmit works well to minimize swirls during regular car washes. I don't use a wool mitt, they tend to pick up dirt and other foreign objects easily and keep them there for you to rub against your car. The synthetic mitts (the one I use has yellow fluffy fibers) seem to be easier to keep clean.

First, always make sure you rinse your car down thoroughly with a good strong spray of water before washing it by hand with a mitt and soap. It helps to get rid of some of the loose dirt on the car before you go an rub it into your paint with the wash mitt.

Second, I always use a high quality automotive car wash solution. Something that lathers really well. I'm using Maguire's Gold Class right now, but I used to always use Zymol car wash -- the Zymol stuff lathered really well. I had a hard time finding the stuff the last time and bought a big jug of this Gold Class stuff and haven't had to shop for car wash in awhile... it seems to work well enough for me.

Try not to press too hard onto the surface of the car while washing... let the soap do the work of lifting the dirt off the surface. Rinse your wash mitt often during the course of lathering up the car, to keep from rubbing accumulated debris over the rest of the car.

I never use a California Blade to sheet water off the car. Some ppl claim it works well, but if it picks up a solid piece of something or other it will scratch your car up good. Not worth the risk. The Absorber does a very decent job of removing water quickly. At first it can leave streaks, but after you wear it in a little it starts to work better.

But no matter how careful you are, you're bound to get some swirling on black. When you do, you'll have to bust out the elbow grease to restore your paint's finish.

Start with a good clay bar. I prefer the yellow Mother's Gold clay bar... it works very well. The bar will usually come with instructions but if you need info on how to use it, just ask. After clay barring the whole car down, you can use a mild polish. On my black car, I used a product called "Wizards" -- we have some bottles of it at the shop that you can purchase (or they have it at some select Napa locations) and it does an excellent job with little hard work. Make sure you have some nice VERY CLEAN 100% cotton terry cloths to buff the polish out. A big towel makes it easy.

I used to recommend Zymol Japon (Zymol Carbon would work best for dark cars) as a wax, but Scotty introduced my to Zaino Bros and that stuff kicks ass big time. You may actually find everything you need there: http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc

With my Celica, I think most ppl would be surprised to find out that I don't do too much in the way of cleaning and polishing it. Silver hides dirt and scratches amazingly well. It always looks clean even when it's kinda dirty. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hey clint i found a yellow rag that says 20% Polyamide and 80% Polyester, you think i could use this to wipe down the car? or is it used to take off wax?
 

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Originally posted by QWKsilvr808
J, black cars are very hard to upkeep no matter what you do. Swirl marks are actually quite unavoidable... but there are things you can do to minimize them and restore your glossy finish.

My CRX was custom painted triple Jet Black, so it was a nightmare. It would be absolutely stunning after a good cleaning/polishing, but it would actually get dirty from the dust just sitting still in my enclosed garage.

I've found that a good synthetic fiber handmit works well to minimize swirls during regular car washes. I don't use a wool mitt, they tend to pick up dirt and other foreign objects easily and keep them there for you to rub against your car. The synthetic mitts (the one I use has yellow fluffy fibers) seem to be easier to keep clean.

First, always make sure you rinse your car down thoroughly with a good strong spray of water before washing it by hand with a mitt and soap. It helps to get rid of some of the loose dirt on the car before you go an rub it into your paint with the wash mitt.

Second, I always use a high quality automotive car wash solution. Something that lathers really well. I'm using Maguire's Gold Class right now, but I used to always use Zymol car wash -- the Zymol stuff lathered really well. I had a hard time finding the stuff the last time and bought a big jug of this Gold Class stuff and haven't had to shop for car wash in awhile... it seems to work well enough for me.

Try not to press too hard onto the surface of the car while washing... let the soap do the work of lifting the dirt off the surface. Rinse your wash mitt often during the course of lathering up the car, to keep from rubbing accumulated debris over the rest of the car.

I never use a California Blade to sheet water off the car. Some ppl claim it works well, but if it picks up a solid piece of something or other it will scratch your car up good. Not worth the risk. The Absorber does a very decent job of removing water quickly. At first it can leave streaks, but after you wear it in a little it starts to work better.

But no matter how careful you are, you're bound to get some swirling on black. When you do, you'll have to bust out the elbow grease to restore your paint's finish.

Start with a good clay bar. I prefer the yellow Mother's Gold clay bar... it works very well. The bar will usually come with instructions but if you need info on how to use it, just ask. After clay barring the whole car down, you can use a mild polish. On my black car, I used a product called "Wizards" -- we have some bottles of it at the shop that you can purchase (or they have it at some select Napa locations) and it does an excellent job with little hard work. Make sure you have some nice VERY CLEAN 100% cotton terry cloths to buff the polish out. A big towel makes it easy.

I used to recommend Zymol Japon (Zymol Carbon would work best for dark cars) as a wax, but Scotty introduced my to Zaino Bros and that stuff kicks ass big time. You may actually find everything you need there: http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc

With my Celica, I think most ppl would be surprised to find out that I don't do too much in the way of cleaning and polishing it. Silver hides dirt and scratches amazingly well. It always looks clean even when it's kinda dirty. :)
cliff notes??
 

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Originally posted by steak
hey clint i found a yellow rag that says 20% Polyamide and 80% Polyester, you think i could use this to wipe down the car? or is it used to take off wax?
Rags are to take off wax/buff the car. Use a 100% cotton terry towel instead tho. :)
 

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- use 2 buckets of water
- use a good soap and a good sponge
- nothing abrasive EVER goes on your car
- if you see bird doo doo or junk on your paint do not scrub! soak with water first the get a microfiber cloth that is damp and wipe lightly and fold then wet surface again. repeat until the gunk is off.
- buy yourself a zaino bros. kit and do your whole car once.
- use a good plastic polish for your headlights and tails
- if you dont wanna spend bank on the zaino bros go three stage: clay bar, a good glaze and then a carnuba wax. Glaze is gonna be killer hard to apply on black so be sure to take out all water spots first!
- spend some money on a makita buffer and some good 3m chemicals. it pays to do so with a black or dark colored car.
 

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I think unexperienced detailers should stay away from an orbital buffer tho... I've seen a couple of my friends burn the surface of their paint by using one without knowing what they're doing. :eek:
 

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I used an orbital buffer on my celica and it worked great. On a darker color I'd be more careful like Clint said. Especially on the curved or concave surfaces of the car.

I've seen Enterprise Rent-a-car use the blade on their cars and ALL of their cars have scratches running from the front to back of their cars. I don't know what idiot came up with that stupid device. It should be used to frost giant cakes instead.
 

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mackeywatson said:
From afar my carbon blue looks nice but up close you can see a ton of nicks, scratches, swirls and waterspots. You got scratches from the water blade? Try wiping that everytime you swipe, to get any dirt off. Also don't use terry cloths...scratches too much. And don't ever wipe hard with anything. And when the car is dusty/dirty, don't touch the paint cuz it will scratch oh so easily.
mines carbon blue too.. what a beeeeeeatch.. everytime i wash it i notice new knicks and dings that weren't there last time i washed it. :confused:
 

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I almost bought carbon blue... when I was shopping for a GT-S they had one in stock with the options I wanted in that color. I really wanted the hassle free silver tho, so I custom ordered mine to the spec I wanted and waited 3 months.

I often think my car would be nicer if I had gone with the Carbon Blue tho. But I'm glad you can't see rock chips in silver. :)
 
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