Proper Clean / Polish / Wax - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Proper Clean / Polish / Wax

Hi Guys,

So the Alfa whispered to me yesterday that it would like a proper clean!

I got some good cleaning products, but just have a question on Polishing.

Am I best to use an electric polisher for a deep shine?

Any any recommendation on polisher / polish to use? (Rosso Red)

Got some good Wax that I can apply afterwards by hand.

Cheers
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Wash, rinse
Wash, rinse
Claybar the entire car
Wash, rinse

If you are going to use an electric machine to polish your car

a) buy a Dual Action or Orbital one
b) practice on a scrap panel
c) practice on a scrap panel
d) repeat steps b&c until you have perfected process.

Use Menzerna polish & pads, very good quality.
After polishing, remove residue with DoDo Juice Lime Prime Lite.
Seal your freshly polished and very shiney paint with a couple of coats of your preferred wax, applied as per makers instructions.
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If you have a lot of swirls then removing them will give you a deeper shine.

A machine polisher will give you better and faster results because it whizzes round at 500rpm and because the heat that this generates allows you to use more specialised polishing products that start off relatively abrasive and then break down into finer compounds.

By hand you have to rub away for hours using an abrasive polish and then switch to a finer one. It's all too much of a drag basically.

Use a dual-action polisher rather than a rotary .. they're safer for a novice and it's practically impossible to wreck the paint. Rotary's are more lary and you need to know what you're doing or you'll trash the paint.

Use the mildest polish that you need to get the job done. Start with the mildest there is, in the range you're using (unless you see the paint is really bad already) and see what happens. If it's taking too long to get anywhere, go to a more abrasive polish instead, then finish off with the milder one.

If you want to go all anoraky you can also vary the pad/polish combo's to give you different combinations of "cut".. but save that one for later.

There's millions of machine polishes out there. I use Poorboys as their system is easy to understand. SSR1 is mild, SSR2 is slightly less mild and SSR2.5 is a teeny bit more than less mild.. you get the idea.

You can still get good results by hand.. but choose a polish that is designed or doesn't mind being applied by hand. Autoglym Super Resin Polish is mildly abrasive and contains fillers that mask the swirls it doesn't remove (though obviously they'll appear again later on). I'd avoid T-Cut or cutting comppunds ,.. they'll be way too fierce (in Poorboys terms T-cut would be like SSR3).

The coloured polishes (Colour Magic etc) can give good results too by hand. They're less abrasive than T-Cut, a bit more abrasive than AG Super Resin Polish and are filler-heavy, so you'll get a gleaming result on red in particular.

Whatever system you use, wash teh car thoroughly before you start, clay it, polish it and then stick a wax over the top. Even the "cheapo" tins of Simoniz or Turtle Wax they sell in Halfords will do the job.. but you may want to try Autoglym HD Wax () or (slightly cheaper) something like AG's Extra Gloss Protection, which is a fluid that keeps the AG SRP fillers in place a bit longer than otherwise.

But you're into the realms of alchemy now.. different people will tell you all sorts of their preferences.. but the fun part is finding your own.


Ralf S.

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Nice post ralf s, im actually wanting to take the big step up and buy a DA. Its between this:
Meguiars Dual Action Polisher G220 and this
CleanYourCar DAS-6 Dual Action Polisher
My heart says G220 but my head says DAS-6 as ive been told theyre pretty much the same, Megs slightly better build, DAS quieter but hey, if i go DAS i could buy the polishes and pads with the spare cash saved.
In addition to AG SRP theres Dodo Juices Lime Prime which i have. Its meant to be wicked applied by machine for swirl correction etc. Im going to North East Detailings open day in Chester-Lee Street on sunday and hes got some dody panels in for us to practice on.
I have quite a collection of products so far but hope to get a Snow Foam Lance and Grit Guard Buckets on the day as i want to get the most important part of the process sorted 1st. As far as ive seen its the washing part that can give the most grief as in damaging your paint with swirls etc. Once ive sussed that i'll get the DA. Cant bloody wait though! Poorboys have some great waxes and theyre very cheap compared to Dodo Juice etc. Also i got my AG HD Wax for 20 + 6 del off an ebay shop! Half the price of most other retailers



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I use a Bilt and Hamber kit.
Comes with wash, very concentrated, leaves little residue.
A clay, had to be brave using it the first time, but my word it fetches some gunk and grit off!
Then a resin based "wax". Takes a bit of elbow grease and needs to be used very sparingly, but great results.
Just my choice!
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I've got a G220 but that was before the DAS-6 came out and the only real alternative was the Porter Cable doodah (US, 110v jobbie needing a transformer etc.). DAS-6 does look to be good value though and I would probably have got one of those instead (though I have to hastily add that the G220 is a very impressive and "quality" bit of kit.. can't fault it really).

I'd venture you don't need to mess about with a scrap panel. I washed and clayed Tarquini first .. then I bunged the G220 I got, plus some Poorboys SSR1 onto the bonnet (the Younger Mrs S. might say that then I did use a scrap panel! ) and whizzed away on setting 3-4-5... stopping for a look in between speeds.

There's absolutely no way you can damage the paint like that. I think I'd struggle to damage it, even if I wanted to. As long as the pad is "damp" and has polish on it, a DA polisher won't knack the paintwork. Just use mild mild polish until you're confident and sure you really do need to go more abrasive.

For washing, the 2-bucket will give you better results than just using a grit-guard in a single bucket. Get another bucket and 3/4 fill it with warm water. Rinse your mitt in there and squeeze it out before you dip it into the main (soapy) bucket to re-charge the mitt with more suds. You'll be amazed how clean the water in the soapy bucket stays.


Ralf S.
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