Have car scratches, want to polish & wax it. What products should I use? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 25 Old 07-08-16 Thread Starter
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Have car scratches, want to polish & wax it. What products should I use?

My car has gotten pretty scratched up. I may have an enemy scratching my car when I'm not looking, or, more realistically, it's caused by the branches and rocks flying all over the place, since I pop to the countryside a few times a month.

I have never done anything of the sort. I have never polished a car, or waxed it, or did anything more complicated than a car wash (pressure wash). But I want to learn. I watched videos on removing scratches and polishing, and I think I could do it, even without the tools. If you guys recommend me to just pay someone to do it, I'll do it if it's the better option. But keep in mind that the guys offering these services do not wax it after polishing, and they charge extra for it. I have a coupon for polishing/deep-cleaning seats, which brings it down to 20€ from 40€, and by using that service I also get 30% discount on waxing, but I don't know how much that costs. And they are a fairly reputable shop.

But I'd prefer doing it myself and learning. I have looked for the items that I need and found these:

- The wax applicators are very cheap at 3€ for a pack of five.
- Sonax Wax + Polish - 250 ml = 6€ (I need suggestions for this, is this brand any good, and most importantly, should the wax and polish be separate from each other or should I just apply it once and consider it both polished and waxed?)
- Sonax Wax - 500 ml = 12€
- 3M Wax (doesn't say how big is the bottle, guessing 500ml) = 25€

Obviously the 3M is going to be best, but it's more than what I expected this whole thing to be. Also, can't find Sonax polish, it seems to only come in Wax + Polish form, AND all of these bottles have a designated color to them, e.g. white, red, blue. Does this mean it can only be used on cars of that color? I'm guessing that's what it means. My car is green and there isn't a green one for sale.

Can't find any polish other than 3M, which is 27€, quite a bit more than I'm happy to pay.

What do you guys think? Should I just get it down to the shop and use my discount codes (which I got for free) and risk not being happy with it, or do it myself till there are no scratches and the car is shiny?

Also, wheels have brake dust that just won't come off at the car wash. Do they require sanding or just shampoo them? Also, I can't wash my cars by hand because I live in an apartment complex and we are literally forbidden by law to do it on the street without a drain on the road, which it doesn't have.

Thanks and sorry for the dumb questions.

Found these "durance" ones from Shop4Parts, but they don't seem to ship to my country. Asked them if they can ship here.

Hoping this thread gets some kind of a reply. Also, can you tell me the order I should be doing things (if doing them myself). Should I also get a claybar? There's a 3M 100g one that's quite affordable. When should I clay the car?

Example:

1. Wash
2. Clay
3. Polish
4. Wax
5. Wash again?

Last edited by gijst; 07-08-16 at 23:35.
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If you have scratches, then polishing or waxing won't generally remove these, unless the polish also contains and abrasive compound, which I don't recommend. Also some polishes have coloured pigment added that can disguise very light scratches, but not very successfully overall. Best to use a fine cutting compound to remove the scratch before polishing. All depends on what country you are from as for the supply / availability of the products, but MER, Maguires or Autoglym are decent brands and cover the full product range. I would clay before cutting, to remove and paint contaminants to avoid possible rescratching while cutting. Clay basically works by grabbing onto any surface contaminates or pollutants and lifting off the paintwork. All in one polishes and waxes are ok for the lazy man for a quick job, but not as effective as a separate polish and wax, Carnuba blended waxes being the best. Detailing wax spray can be used in between full polish/waxing, but best not to use if there is any dirt on the car, because of risk in re-scratching the surface.
Wash / clay/ compound / wash / clay / polish / wax.
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Originally Posted by alfahemi View Post
If you have scratches, then polishing or waxing won't generally remove these, unless the polish also contains and abrasive compound, which I don't recommend. Also some polishes have coloured pigment added that can disguise very light scratches, but not very successfully overall. Best to use a fine cutting compound to remove the scratch before polishing. All depends on what country you are from as for the supply / availability of the products, but MER, Maguires or Autoglym are decent brands and cover the full product range. I would clay before cutting, to remove and paint contaminants to avoid possible rescratching while cutting. Clay basically works by grabbing onto any surface contaminates or pollutants and lifting off the paintwork. All in one polishes and waxes are ok for the lazy man for a quick job, but not as effective as a separate polish and wax, Carnuba blended waxes being the best. Detailing wax spray can be used in between full polish/waxing, but best not to use if there is any dirt on the car, because of risk in re-scratching the surface.
Wash / clay/ compound / wash / clay / polish / wax.
I'm from Bosnia (gotta put it in my name so I don't have to mention that every time), and online and in a store closeby I can only find that Sonax thing and the 3M which is a bit out of the budget. Regardless of which, I will look for one of these other brands in car part shops and will buy separate wax and polish. Clay is easy to find, so thank God for that. However, I have no idea what this compound is called here. I will see what it looks like and try to ask a few friends who may know about this.

Also, do you know about the scratch removing method "ChrisFix" used? If not, I'll explain. Tell me what you think about it.

Needed: 3000 and 5000 grit sandpaper, polish, wax, and shampoo + water.

Spray shampoo and water to lubricate, and put some tape around the scratch so you know where to work. Rub it with 3000 grit sandpaper, until you can't see the scratch anymore. Wash it off and move the tapes higher. Take the 5000 grit paper and rub in circular motion so you blend the paint from the top with the sanded area. After that, polish it and apply some wax. Here's a video if you have time (11 mins long). I want to do this because it looks easy and it looks pretty good after. Also, I have MANY scratches. I just counted them and on the hood alone I have about five. However, I'm not sure if it's good for the paint (probably not) because it takes the clear coat off. Does the wax protect it in this case?

I really want someone's opinions on this, because YT comments don't say anything useful.
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Sonax have some great products. Personally when I started to attack my 147 I got some Megs UC, PB SSR and some other things. To remove swirls and scratches by hand is doable but extremely hard. If I was you I would invest in a DA polisher. Our cars have soft paint so unless you have polished by machine before a rotary could do major damage.

My routine on a major wash is as follows.
  • Rinse car
  • Auto Glanz - Spritzer
  • Auto Glanz - Spar-Tar or OCD Finish - Orange Peel depending on which I reach for first
  • Snow foam
  • Wash
  • Clay
  • Wash Then dry with a proper drying towel
  • Meguiars Ultimate compound on a Lake Country Orange CCS pad or PB SSR depending on how bad marks are.
  • Polish with ether optimum finish polish or Poorboys Professional polish, on a green Lake Country CCS ( Two coats )
  • Poorboy's White Diamond glaze on a Black Lake Country CCS pad ( Two Coats )
  • Poorboys EX Sealant on a blue Lake Country CCS Pad
  • Wax ( I am currently floaring between Dodo Juice, Nattys and Mothers FX Supreme synthetic ) ( Two Coats )
  • For the glass I use AG Glass polish
  • On the plastic trims ( and the black of the door ) I use Black WoW
  • For the Tyres I use Poorboys Natural look ( Although I have just bought some Griots to try )
  • For the wheels I use BB Dragons breath and Tardis

Slowly but surely I am getting her to shine nicely.
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Originally Posted by systemshock View Post
Sonax have some great products. Personally when I started to attack my 147 I got some Megs UC, PB SSR and some other things. To remove swirls and scratches by hand is doable but extremely hard. If I was you I would invest in a DA polisher. Our cars have soft paint so unless you have polished by machine before a rotary could do major damage.

My routine on a major wash is as follows.
  • Rinse car
  • Auto Glanz - Spritzer
  • Auto Glanz - Spar-Tar or OCD Finish - Orange Peel depending on which I reach for first
  • Snow foam
  • Wash
  • Clay
  • Wash Then dry with a proper drying towel
  • Meguiars Ultimate compound on a Lake Country Orange CCS pad or PB SSR depending on how bad marks are.
  • Polish with ether optimum finish polish or Poorboys Professional polish, on a green Lake Country CCS ( Two coats )
  • Poorboy's White Diamond glaze on a Black Lake Country CCS pad ( Two Coats )
  • Poorboys EX Sealant on a blue Lake Country CCS Pad
  • Wax ( I am currently floaring between Dodo Juice, Nattys and Mothers FX Supreme synthetic ) ( Two Coats )
  • For the glass I use AG Glass polish
  • On the plastic trims ( and the black of the door ) I use Black WoW
  • For the Tyres I use Poorboys Natural look ( Although I have just bought some Griots to try )
  • For the wheels I use BB Dragons breath and Tardis

Slowly but surely I am getting her to shine nicely.
Thank you for your reply, but wow, that sounds so complicated. How many products are there? I doubt I'll be able to find most of them, but I will try near the end of the month. If I can't find the majority of them I'll just go get it professionally polished and waxed, in hopes that would remove the scratches. Either that, or go to a guy who removes scratches. Only one guy in my country that does that tho (at least the only one I can find online) and he's 200 km away, but hey, don't matter!
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Originally Posted by gijst View Post
Thank you for your reply, but wow, that sounds so complicated. How many products are there? I doubt I'll be able to find most of them, but I will try near the end of the month. If I can't find the majority of them I'll just go get it professionally polished and waxed, in hopes that would remove the scratches. Either that, or go to a guy who removes scratches. Only one guy in my country that does that tho (at least the only one I can find online) and he's 200 km away, but hey, don't matter!
The wife thinks I have a problem due to me cleaning the car so much lol. I am sure we could get some of the products to you if you wanted them. I live near to Motorgeek , Car Washing, Cleaning, Polishing and Detailing Products and get most of my things from there ( Plus Car Care Products | Detailing Products | UK - Clean Your Car is only a short drive away as well ). If you are stuck on what to go for, as a lot of it can be down to car colour and what products work for you, have a look a www.sample-this.co.uk or Clean Your Ride - Trial Sized Detailing Products. Two great sites to get small samples from.

Once you have your scratches sorted could I suggest a QD spray as a way to help keep the car going inbetween washes

I am not a pro by a long shot but I will help you with everything I have learnt
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The wife thinks I have a problem due to me cleaning the car so much lol. I am sure we could get some of the products to you if you wanted them. I live near to Motorgeek , Car Washing, Cleaning, Polishing and Detailing Products and get most of my things from there ( Plus Car Care Products | Detailing Products | UK - Clean Your Car is only a short drive away as well ). If you are stuck on what to go for, as a lot of it can be down to car colour and what products work for you, have a look a www.sample-this.co.uk or Clean Your Ride - Trial Sized Detailing Products. Two great sites to get small samples from.

Once you have your scratches sorted could I suggest a QD spray as a way to help keep the car going inbetween washes

I am not a pro by a long shot but I will help you with everything I have learnt
I want them but I'm in Bosnia. I asked alfisti.shop and another parts shop about the prices of shipping, both said 30€ for 1kg. That's too much, I don't know if there are any cheaper shipping options on these sites. How much do all of these items you use cost? I'll try finding some of them but the problem is I don't know what most of them actually are, and I doubt they're selling these brands in here. For example, if I told the worker at a carpart shop if he has QD spray, he'd just look at me like "what the hell is that, bro?". I'm pretty sure I can find the AutoGlanz, tho. I think I recall seeing their products. Lake Country and Meguiars will probably be impossible to find tho, as well as dodo juice and the other waxes.
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I want them but I'm in Bosnia. I asked alfisti.shop and another parts shop about the prices of shipping, both said 30€ for 1kg. That's too much, I don't know if there are any cheaper shipping options on these sites. How much do all of these items you use cost? I'll try finding some of them but the problem is I don't know what most of them actually are, and I doubt they're selling these brands in here. For example, if I told the worker at a carpart shop if he has QD spray, he'd just look at me like "what the hell is that, bro?". I'm pretty sure I can find the AutoGlanz, tho. I think I recall seeing their products. Lake Country and Meguiars will probably be impossible to find tho, as well as dodo juice and the other waxes.
Have a look at what you would like on the websites I mentioned then look at www.parcel2go.com for cheap shipping options. I dont mind going to motorgeek to collect them and pop them in to one box for you

QD = Quick detail spray I have tried poorboys QD+ ( Which smells devine....it reminds me of fresh blueberries ) and Mothers QD. I have heard good reviews of the Sonax QD spray as well.
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Have a look at what you would like on the websites I mentioned then look at www.parcel2go.com for cheap shipping options. I dont mind going to motorgeek to collect them and pop them in to one box for you

QD = Quick detail spray I have tried poorboys QD+ ( Which smells devine....it reminds me of fresh blueberries ) and Mothers QD. I have heard good reviews of the Sonax QD spray as well.
Wow man, this is a lot more than I'm ready to pay, hahaha! (Basket) also the shipping seems to be over 150 pounds for 3 kg (that's how much I'm estimating the weight), and parcel size is also an estimate. I'll just try and find some of these items here and start buying them gradually. I can't afford all of them now. I'm looking at a budget of about 30€ (22 pounds or so) that I can spend on this. Car insurance expired 20 days ago and that is not helping at all! :P

What would you suggest for just removing the scratches and cleaning the car properly, first. After that's done, I may get the other products to make it really shine, but right now it's just too expensive.
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There is nothing wrong with the sonax product,will do the job no problem,if you want to polish the car cheaply,and its your first time polishing a car yourself,practice with the sonax product,and polish it by hand with old teashirts ripped it rags,use a sonax product a try a small area at a time,dont go covering a whole wing or door with polish then try kill yourself polishing it,just a small square area each time.use elbowgrease and after you clean off the residue you will see the difference,dont use polishing machines unless your trained on them first,buy the 5 euro sonax and an old teashirt,and get down to some hard work and sweat and your car will look far better,dont try polish your car in a sunny day,polish in cool dry conditions,you can spend hundreds on products,but at end off day your saying you have a budget,so try my way,it works,i have been polishing cars over 30 years in my day it was done with just hard work and a bottle off t-cut,and cars still came up perfect if scratches not to deep.
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Being as you are a novice I do not recommend using the wet and dry sandpaper method to remove the scratches....too easy to go right through your topcoat if you don't know what you are doing. Use T Cut, which you should be able to get in Bosnia.
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There is nothing wrong with the sonax product,will do the job no problem,if you want to polish the car cheaply,and its your first time polishing a car yourself,practice with the sonax product,and polish it by hand with old teashirts ripped it rags,use a sonax product a try a small area at a time,dont go covering a whole wing or door with polish then try kill yourself polishing it,just a small square area each time.use elbowgrease and after you clean off the residue you will see the difference,dont use polishing machines unless your trained on them first,buy the 5 euro sonax and an old teashirt,and get down to some hard work and sweat and your car will look far better,dont try polish your car in a sunny day,polish in cool dry conditions,you can spend hundreds on products,but at end off day your saying you have a budget,so try my way,it works,i have been polishing cars over 30 years in my day it was done with just hard work and a bottle off t-cut,and cars still came up perfect if scratches not to deep.
Should I buy a cloth for polishing, or one of those circular polishing applicators? Sounds better than using a shirt to do it which could scratch the car more possibly. As for the applicators, there are "soft" "medium" and "rough". Which one of those should I get, or should I stick to the t-shirt?

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Yes, I can definitely find that here!

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Being as you are a novice I do not recommend using the wet and dry sandpaper method to remove the scratches....too easy to go right through your topcoat if you don't know what you are doing. Use T Cut, which you should be able to get in Bosnia.
I'll look for T-Cut, can't find it in online store, but will ask for it when I go on a shopping spree. How should I use it? Same as polish?
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Should I buy a cloth for polishing, or one of those circular polishing applicators? Sounds better than using a shirt to do it which could scratch the car more possibly. As for the applicators, there are "soft" "medium" and "rough". Which one of those should I get, or should I stick to the t-shirt?


Yes, I can definitely find that here!



I'll look for T-Cut, can't find it in online store, but will ask for it when I go on a shopping spree. How should I use it? Same as polish?
t-cut is an older product,use the sonax product,sonax make some great polishes,so that will be perfect for a modern car,sonax is low cost but by no means a cheap bad product.
POWER WASH your car,let dry then
Use A TAR remover if needed,your local store should have this,
Then start polishing down small area by hand and wipe off residue,complete untill all car is done,
Then give your car a wax by hand,same way as you polished it up,small sections at a time,
Ask your store which sonax product they have for sale,they will advice you if and which sonax product to use for your car,but trust me,sonax works and is easy to use,and perfect for somebody just learning and practicing how to polish there own car,back off bottles even have great info on how each product should be used,my best advice is buy a bottle,go out today and start polishing one off your front wings on your alfa,you will see how easy it is.
Any pound store,will sell microfibre cloths these days,so buy your cloths there to save money,you dont need to be going off buying expensive name brand microfibre cloths to polish a car while your just learning,those applicators pads just for putting on a finishing wax or polish,you will need a tougher rag or cloth to do your first hard polish with the sonax product,its why i mentioned a t-shirt,an old cotton teeshirt will work perfect for first polishing down,im just giving you examples off what to use to save money,its up to you at end off day how much you want to spend and overthink things,polishing a car can be made simple,buy product,get cloths go out and do some hard work,2- 3 hours later your car will look like new again.

Last edited by jock_94; 14-08-16 at 08:58. Reason: on cloths
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Thank you! I'm probably making a fuss out of nothing, hahaha. I just don't want it having marks or anything after all is done.
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Also, when I washed my car at a pressure carwash, I wiped it with one of these, and the cloth was black after one wipe. Does tar remover remove this? Is this considered tar or what?
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Tar will generally not come off after using a pressure washer. It is more likely to be dirt. Pressure washers are fine at removing large amounts of dirt but should be followed by a hand wash. Tar sticks very firmly to paint and needs a solvent cleaner to remove it. Before any polishing, the paint needs to be as clean as possible. Any dirt which is left on the paint will also act as an abrasive and will cause more problems.

I guess one of the difficulties in living in your part of the world is most of us are in western europe where brands like Meguiars are very easy to buy. There are no doubt local brands which would also do a good job, its just most of us will not really be able to offer technical support for products which we do not know about.

As said above, polishing is hard work and a polishing machine would make a big difference if your budget allows. This does not mean hand polishing won't work, it will but it is hard work. At a basic level, a hand polish like Meguiars Ultimate Compound (small 8oz bottle) with some dedicated (foam) polishing pads will be required. In the West these are cheap and easy to buy. Using a t-shirt or some other product which is not designed to do the job is most likely to lead to a poor finish.

On a broader note of overall car cleaning, as this is a hobby for many, you can use as many products and processes as you like. I take a much more simplified approach to cleaning but it is all about finding out how important is a clean car to you.

Out of interest, what car is it?
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UPDATE: Dodo Juice products are now available in my local shop. The prices are a little bit higher, but they're nothing crazy. There are light and hard waxes available, for 15-20€ per 30ml. Is 30ml enough to wax the whole car?

What products would you recommend out of these. Also, just watched a new "ChrisFix" video on how to super clean your car. I will try to find a pressure washer in stores and do as he did to remove the tiny scratches and buff the paint a bit. However he said not to use a "drying shammy" for drying your car because it can get grit on it, and a drying shammy is the only thing I have. Guess I'll go and buy a few MF towels!

So guys, should I get the Sonax polish and Sonax wax (which seem liquidy) or some of these Dodo Juice. Both are at affordable prices!

EDIT: Why are these MF towels so expensive? 20€ for a single towel?
EDIT2: These are the brands another shop (a bit far but I can order) is offering: Chemical Guys, Menzerna, Soft99, ValetPro, Gyeon, AutoBrite Direct, Dodo Juice, Bilt Hamber, Vikan . What's a good abrasive polish I can get from either of these brands for 15-20€?
EDIT3: They seem to offer "Chemical Guys - The Workhorse MF towels" for 10€ a piece. A bit expensive but close to being affordable.

Last edited by gijst; 17-08-16 at 21:55.
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UPDATE: Dodo Juice products are now available in my local shop. The prices are a little bit higher, but they're nothing crazy. There are light and hard waxes available, for 15-20€ per 30ml. Is 30ml enough to wax the whole car?

What products would you recommend out of these. Also, just watched a new "ChrisFix" video on how to super clean your car. I will try to find a pressure washer in stores and do as he did to remove the tiny scratches and buff the paint a bit. However he said not to use a "drying shammy" for drying your car because it can get grit on it, and a drying shammy is the only thing I have. Guess I'll go and buy a few MF towels!

So guys, should I get the Sonax polish and Sonax wax (which seem liquidy) or some of these Dodo Juice. Both are at affordable prices!

EDIT: Why are these MF towels so expensive? 20€ for a single towel?
EDIT2: These are the brands another shop (a bit far but I can order) is offering: Chemical Guys, Menzerna, Soft99, ValetPro, Gyeon, AutoBrite Direct, Dodo Juice, Bilt Hamber, Vikan . What's a good abrasive polish I can get from either of these brands for 15-20€?
I have had some great results with dodo juice, if its your first time, get one of the softer ones, it wont last as long on the paint work but will be easier for a first time to remove. You should get at least 2-3 cars coated with the 30ml no problem.
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Originally Posted by A_Venables View Post
I have had some great results with dodo juice, if its your first time, get one of the softer ones, it wont last as long on the paint work but will be easier for a first time to remove. You should get at least 2-3 cars coated with the 30ml no problem.
There's a selection of these for the soft ones: Purple Haze "Hybrid", Orange Crush, Double Wax, Supernatural. Does it matter which one I choose or it's just a matter of smell or something.

Also, there's an "Autobrite Enrich" medium-abrasive polish. Any good?

Also, my paint is pretty faded especially on the doors. Pretty much like the mustang in this
. Do I need to snow-foam my car like he did, or can I just do everything apart from that? Snow foam is pretty expensive and gets me beyond the budget even more. I have however found some Autobrite Citrus Wash, which as advertised by the shop selling it, can be used as a shampoo and as snow foam? Even so, do I need the snow foamer thing? I have found a used one for 15€ and brand new ones for 50-200€.

EDIT: Think I solved the microfiber towels and wash mitts problem. There's a "Goodyear washing set" for 12.5€ which has 1x MF towel, 1x wash mitt, 2x towels for washing and wiping, 1x brush and 3 kinds of sponges, as the seller advertises.

Last edited by gijst; 17-08-16 at 22:14.
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I wouldn't worry about snow foam. I don't do it. I still get great results. Out of the ones you've listed, the Orange Crush is very easy to work with. The waxes for dodo juice are colour charged and smell of different scents. From experience the colour charging is supposed to give a colour a lift, but really doesn't do much. Orange Crush is nice and soft, oily and will give you a fantastic easy shine with next to no effort. You need to do a lot of prep work before this though. 90% of the wet look is in the prep. Take a look here for a good guide with step by step stages. Some can be skipped. It all depends on how good the finish you want.

DODO JUICE FORUMS ? View topic - I want a wet/glossy Look!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Venables View Post
I wouldn't worry about snow foam. I don't do it. I still get great results. Out of the ones you've listed, the Orange Crush is very easy to work with. The waxes for dodo juice are colour charged and smell of different scents. From experience the colour charging is supposed to give a colour a lift, but really doesn't do much. Orange Crush is nice and soft, oily and will give you a fantastic easy shine with next to no effort. You need to do a lot of prep work before this though. 90% of the wet look is in the prep. Take a look here for a good guide with step by step stages. Some can be skipped. It all depends on how good the finish you want.

DODO JUICE FORUMS ? View topic - I want a wet/glossy Look!!!
The seller says the orange crush is for red, yellow and orange cars. Mine is a dark green. Any others I can use or does this not matter?
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The seller says the orange crush is for red, yellow and orange cars. Mine is a dark green. Any others I can use or does this not matter?
It is marketed as that, the one for your car would be Rainforest Rub (green).
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I have used a few Bilt Hamber products and think there are a very good brand. They don't do a polish but their products are highly recommended on Detailingworld. The Menzerna products might work by hand. They are designed for a polisher but maybe some of the milder polishes would work. It would require some effort as the abrasives break down under pressure
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Forgot to add about snow foaming. This is a popular thing to do but it is not necessary, I do not use a snow foam as it is not practical for me nor do I use two buckets and grit guards but many people do.

Quick comment on the video. When claying, light pressure is all that is required, applying medium pressure is more likely to inflict damage. If someone want to polish a panel to remove swirls marks then polish the entire panel, it is unlikely swirls only exist on part of a panel and I would use a dedicated foam polishing pad rather than a MF cloth. Ultimately people will spend as much time and add as many processes as they wish but I prefer the simpler approach to cleaning
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