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(Post Link) post #1 of 13 Old 05-02-10 Thread Starter
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Help for a novice

With the weather getting a bit better I am planning a good clean up of my silver Alfa in coming weeks.

In my garage I have a complete mix of products that I have gathered over the years so I am hoping for some advice from you guys on what I should use, what I should replace stuff with when it runs out, anythtng I should chuck etc and anything missing.

My car is parked under a tree during the summer nights so I am also looking to protect it and make sure it is easy to clean.

Here is the list of stuff (sorry about the length!)

Normal Garden hose
Rinse bucket and grit gaurd
wash bucket and grit gaurd
Lambswool mitt (few months old)
Microfibre mitt (few months old)
Car plan - triple wax wash an wax shampoo
Turtle wax - wax it wet
Turtle wax easy shine car wax (few years old, red bottle)
Turtel wax protective extra gloss
Mequirs speed detailer
Turtle wax tree sap and insect remover
Mequirs Quik clay sytem (unopened)
Turtle wax alloy wheel cleaner
Poorboys world wheel sealant (unopened)
Halfords leather cleaner (almost finished)
Halfords leather conditioner (almost finished)
Turtle wax glass clean
halfords dashboard wipes
Car plan silver T cut metallic paint restorer

There are some pads somewhere too for applying wax.

Cheers
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Compliments of the Meguiars website, here's a quick introduction of what you need to do:

There are five basic steps in ensuring your car remains in show room condition. These can be defined as follows:

Washing – the process of removing above surface contaminants such as dust and mud.
Cleaning – the process of removing bonded contaminants such as tree sap, insect splatter and bird droppings.
Polishing – the process of removing fine scratches and swirls and producing a mirror smooth surface, thus enhancing the gloss and “depth” of the paint.
Protecting – preservation and sealing of the paint surface, resulting in a long lasting brilliant gloss appearance.
Maintaining – frequent removal of contaminants before they have a chance to bond to the paint surface.


I'm not familiar with all the products in your arsenal, but it sounds like you have most of the basics with some glaring ommisions.

Normal Garden hose - Good. Does it have a decent nozzle to allow you to spray the paintwork, wheels and arches etc?
Rinse bucket and grit gaurd - Good
wash bucket and grit gaurd - Good (You are obviously applying the "two bucket method")
Lambswool mitt (few months old) - Good
Microfibre mitt (few months old) - Good
Car plan - triple wax wash an wax shampoo - Hmm? You need a good car shampoo. Forget about the "wash n wax" part. It will probably suffice.
Turtle wax - wax it wet. - Ok. Keep it for the future
Turtle wax easy shine car wax (few years old, red bottle) - Can't comment
Turtel wax protective extra gloss - Can't comment
Mequirs speed detailer - Ok. Not the greatest Meguiars product. Keep for the future.
Turtle wax tree sap and insect remover - Good (You park under a tree)
Mequirs Quik clay sytem (unopened) - Very good. You need this.
Turtle wax alloy wheel cleaner - BAD. THROW AWAY. IT WILL RUIN YOUR ALLOYS!!!!
Poorboys world wheel sealant (unopened) - Very good. You need this.
Halfords leather cleaner (almost finished) - Can't comment. There are better products
Halfords leather conditioner (almost finished) - Don't like "conditioners".
Turtle wax glass clean - Good.
halfords dashboard wipes - Can be useful.
Car plan silver T cut metallic paint restorer - Can't comment as I don't really know the product. Is it a polish?

You need a good wheel brush for cleaning those alloys.
You need a good drying cloth the dry the car after you have washed it. Not a chamois!. A microfibre waffle weave is best.
By pads do you mean the small round foam applicator pads? If so, you need them.
You need a whole lot of good quality microfibre polishing cloths to remove whatever products you apply. Not old t-shirts or rags.
By far the best trim detailer (IMHO of course) is Aerospace 303. You can use it for all plastic trim, interior, exterior, engine compartment, leather etc.

Right, so you need to do the following:

1. Wash the car really well and dry it
2. Clay the car - You have the kit
3. Polish the car - You seem to have polish
4. Wax or seal the car - You seem to have wax
5. Maintain the paint on an ongoing basis - You have some detailer but there is better.

May I reommend the following websites which will give you all the info you ever need

Detailing World - Very hardcore, you might get lost in there
Clean your car - Nice guys and a good online shop. I have used them many times. All the products you will need are on there.

I hope this helps. There are sooooo many products and everybody has there own opinion. At the end of the day it is not really about what brand you use, it is about how you apply the product. i.e. technique.

Last edited by springbok; 06-02-10 at 12:37.
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There are so many products out there these days is does get a bit confusing.

I tend to get most stuff online now, from specialist suppliers like - Elite Car Care so have a browse of that site or similar and read reviews, that will give you some ideas.

I have various products from -

Meguiars
Autoglym
Chemical Guys
Clearkote
Poorboys
Mothers
ValetPro
Wheel Wax
Bilt Hamber

I did buy some triplewax shampoo in asda recently though....a litre for 1.

Last edited by p17sut; 06-02-10 at 16:22.
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Clean Your Car - car care products UK
I get most of my stuff from here. For a silver car I would be looking at sealants rather than wax. Wax gives a deep shine on darker cars whereas the synthetic sealants will give a sharper 'shine' on lighter colours.
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Just to add to the above i would try and get some tyre product just for the finishing touch. Meguiars Endurance Tyre Gel is a good product. If you dont want to wax the car as frequently maybe invest in some Finish Kare 1000p Sealant.
Finish Kare 1000P Hi-Temp Sealant
This stuff is amazing and top of the pops in the durability stakes. Dead easy to apply also and its dirt cheap for the size of the tub. Product of the year on Detailing World last year and i can see why.
Thanks Phil
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(Post Link) post #6 of 13 Old 06-02-10 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the above, I have printed it off and will do some research.

I don't think I have actually got any polish just various wax type products. The t cut stuff seems harsher than a polish and more for one off use.

I am confused about the speed detailer - in between waxing you do just wash, dry and apply speed detailer to keep paint fresh?

After that need to put in some hard work!
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I am confused about the speed detailer - in between waxing you do just wash, dry and apply speed detailer to keep paint fresh?
Yep. If your car is well waxed/ sealed (I use Finish Kare 1000P/ Gtechniq C1) you can actually dry a car with an open ended garden hose. It saves a lot of time and reduces the chance of inflicting swirl marks. I prefer Gtechniq's C2 as a quick detailer, it is absolutly amazing, Dodo Juice Red Mist is worth a mention too.

Stick to "springboks" guide and you'll be fine, don't listen to any conflicting advice
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Thanks for all of the above, I have printed it off and will do some research.

I don't think I have actually got any polish just various wax type products. The t cut stuff seems harsher than a polish and more for one off use.

I am confused about the speed detailer - in between waxing you do just wash, dry and apply speed detailer to keep paint fresh?

After that need to put in some hard work!
Auto Glym Super Resin Polish is a great product. Its only very very lightly abrasive but contains fillers which will hide those swirls. Then wack on the wax
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Right, you don't need most of that stuff. The bare minimum you need is as follows.

Wash - Car shampoo, I would recommend Megs Gold class.

Clay - Again Megs, go for the mild clay, excellent stuff.

Polish - You will probrably have some swirl marks and without a machine polish it's pretty difficult to get rid of them. This is where you need a filler heavy polish to mask the swirls. Autoglym SRP is a must for this and is generally a fantastic polish for use by hand. This is what I would recommend above anything else.

Wax/sealant - The last stage and very important. Autoglym EGP works very well with the SRP but I would go for either Collinite 476s or Megs #16. The Megs is amazing stuff and at 11 for a huge tin it's a bargain.

For the wheels get them as clean as poss using tar remover and clay if needed, Then I find a polish with SRP and then sealed with EGP works great. Then chuck the wheel cleaner in the bin, you won't need it.

Get some good foam applicators (meguiars are the best IMO) and some good Microfibre cloths. you'll need enough so that you have a clean cloth for each product used.

After you've finished the full detail maintenance is key. So, 2 bucket method, work from top to bottom and don't use the MF washmitt for anything other than the bodywork, some even have an extra one just for the lower parts of the car.

For the wheels get a dedicated sponge and cut to suitable size/shape for the wheels then use your car shampoo like you do for the rest of the car. Sealed wheels are a cinch to clean.

To dry the car there are a few different ways to go. Just dry the car, use something like Megs water magnet. You can use a quick detailer like the speed detailer you have and a few MF's to leave a nice fresh finish. Lastly you can use something like Autoglum Aquawax. With the car wet, spray the Aquawax on and use a MF cloth to dry car and apply the wax. Then use a second to remove the wax and leave a good shine and a well protected finish.
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(Post Link) post #10 of 13 Old 07-02-10 Thread Starter
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Halfords leather cleaner (almost finished) - Can't comment. There are better products
Halfords leather conditioner (almost finished) - Don't like "conditioners".

By far the best trim detailer (IMHO of course) is Aerospace 303. You can use it for all plastic trim, interior, exterior, engine compartment, leather etc


When you use aerospace 303 on leather do you 'feed' the leather with seperate product as well or is this not necessary?
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There are so many different opinions on how to clean and care for leather. The real experts (the ones who work with leather) tell you to wash with water. Most enthusiasts just cannot bring themselves to do this and resort to all sorts of leather cleaners, creams, lotions etc.

I don't like sticky creams. My experience is that they just make a gluey mess and work the dirt in deeper. Personally I use a leather foam cleaner from Meguiars which lifts the dirt and leaves the surface clean, matt and non-sticky. I give the seats a periodic wipe down with Aoerospace 303 as with all the rest of the interior.
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There are so many different opinions on how to clean and care for leather. The real experts (the ones who work with leather) tell you to wash with water. Most enthusiasts just cannot bring themselves to do this and resort to all sorts of leather cleaners, creams, lotions etc.

I don't like sticky creams. My experience is that they just make a gluey mess and work the dirt in deeper. Personally I use a leather foam cleaner from Meguiars which lifts the dirt and leaves the surface clean, matt and non-sticky. I give the seats a periodic wipe down with Aoerospace 303 as with all the rest of the interior.
+1. For me the problem with leather is grease. It gets in the grains and attracts dirt. This gets pushed in to the leather and moved around when you sit on the seat. This is what damages the leather and makes it look tired. So to me the last thing you want to do is to put a greasy substance on there, such as a balm or moisturising product, as this will attract dirt.

I've resorted to using AG Interior shampoo to strip the grease off (this what make the seats shiny) and then thoroughly wipe them down with just warm water and a clean cloth.

Do this regulary and your seats should stay looking tip top.
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(Post Link) post #13 of 13 Old 07-02-10 Thread Starter
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Cheers fellas. Autoglym SRP and aerospace 303 on its way to me and alloywheel cleaner is in the bin

I was also thinking today the best thing I have bought to keep my car clean was a people carrier for my wife and kids to travel in.

Last edited by 05GT; 07-02-10 at 22:40.
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