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Discussion Starter #1
So I figured I would start a thread regarding washing and maintaining our vehicles.

I am no pro with the products I used but I do spend 3-4 hours a week cleaning inside and out.

I used Meguiar's ultimate wash and wax. Apparently it has some wax in it and it definitely seems to sud more and shine more than some of my old turtle wax car champoos. Seems a bit expensive though. Anyone have any recommendations or suggestions?
 
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I have been using a lot of the Adams Polishes car care products, Their car wash shampoo, Car wash pad for the upper half of the car, Detail spray & Great white microfiber drying towel that can be used to accelerate drying the car is a life saver for me with the hard water here even though I am using a 3 stage filter system
"2 autogeek filters and a Mr clean gun with filter" for washing my ATS.

I use a separate microfiber sponge for the lower half of the car and wheels since those are the parts of the car that tend to get the dirtiest.
A 3rd sponge just for the exhaust tips to.
Double bucket washing method.

MetroVac Blaster Sidekick Dryer to blow most of the water off the car prior to applying the Detail spray and hand drying with the Adams Polishes great white microfiber.

303 Aerospace protectant on all leather, vinyl & plastic.

Seltzer Water for any minor interior stains.
Woolite dark extra care for the GM ebony, charcoal colored carpets and floor mats.

Napa Glass cleaner on windows.
Staples screen cleaner for auto dimming mirrors and CUE.

The GM red & gold stain removers with the stain application chart, GM Vinyl, leather, plastic cleaner are all really good if and when you can find them
Same with the GM Odor Eliminator that is hvac system safe.

My b.f. does the waxing with 3M synthetic wax.

I have the Adams Polishes Butter Wax but it hasnt been nice enough to try it yet
Along with the Adams Glass cleaner & Microfiber glass towels might try them today or tomorrow.
 

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I like keep my cars looking good and also well protected from the elements. I do not use wax products, but rather I use paint sealants. Waxes certainly make a car look good, but they are very volatile and will easily dissipate within a week or two; thus, necessitating frequent waxing to keep up appearances, while offering very little protection. Sealants, on the other hand, will also make the car look very good (maybe not as deep a look as can be gotten with a good, expensive wax), but will usually last 6-9 months in terms of water-beading, looks and protection. IMO, the sealants' durability, protection, shine and ease of application (usually wipe on, wipe off) make them a natural choice.

I can't make any suggestions because I have been a Zaino user for the last 14 years and haven't tried any of the other and newer sealants. Nonetheless, there are many very good brands out there for your review and research.

As we have "treated/coated" leather in our cars, using fancy and expensive leather care products is usually a waste of time as they don't readily penetrate the urethane coating that is on the leather. Maybe yes when the leather is getting worn, but not when new. So cleaning our leather is best achieved with mild soap and water (or something like a 10-15% solution of Woolite)-rinsing and drying thoroughly; or if you must use a leather cleaning product, Lexol is good, as are many others on the market. However, using leather conditioners won't do anything unless the leather is wearing and the coating is gone. Most of you probably don't believe this, so I suggest that you do some research to draw your own conclusions.

Actually, the same applies to all your vinyl cleaning...soap and water, period. However, I do use Aeroprotectant 303 as I don't find it too glossy and it does afford UV protection.

For glass I use Invisible Glass with crumpled up newspaper...squeaky clean. I'm sure there are many other good glass cleaning products out there, but whatever you choose, newspaper is a must.

Enough said....
 

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Zaino here. Use it on all vehicles, simple to apply. Technically this sealer system only needs to be used twice a year to protect for a year. The layers build on each other, I don't think anything is better.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This sealer, is it a spray and wipe away kind of thing? Also, why the newspaper for the glass? Im curious. I usually use a microfiber towel with windex for the console and windows, but now that I have tints I am going to have to get an amonia free cleaner.
 

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Newspaper is an old trick for windows, as well as extra large coffee filters. On tint and dash surfaces use only mild soap and water. Microfiber is safe to dry with. Zaino has many types of products. I use their liquid polish in a bottle z5 swirl remover on dark paint followed up with z2 or their newer equivalent for high shine. They do have a spray shine enhancer along with every other type of product incl. clay bar etc.

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I loved this product, as most guys after a day at the track had to scrap the rubber from their paint, mine would just wipe right off. Nothing likes to stick to zaino.
 

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This sealer, is it a spray and wipe away kind of thing? Also, why the newspaper for the glass? Im curious. I usually use a microfiber towel with windex for the console and windows, but now that I have tints I am going to have to get an amonia free cleaner.
The sealers usually come either as liquid that you dab onto an applicator (MF or cotton covered sponge), or as a liquid that is in a spray bottle. Apply, let dry (could be 30 minutes or more) and then wipe off.

First, Invisible Glass has no ammonia. I started using LG and newspaper when I went onto the BMW detailing forum and have been happy with results ever since. The newspaper leaves no lint and the print is supposed to have some kind of window waxing action (I think). BTW, all my cars have had tinting and IG never harmed them (13 years on one car, 8 on another).

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Newspaper is an old trick for windows, as well as extra large coffee filters. On tint and dash surfaces use only mild soap and water. Microfiber is safe to dry with. Zaino has many types of products. I use their liquid polish in a bottle z5 swirl remover on dark paint followed up with z2 or their newer equivalent for high shine. They do have a spray shine enhancer along with every other type of product incl. clay bar etc.

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I loved this product, as most guys after a day at the track had to scrap the rubber from their paint, mine would just wipe right off. Nothing likes to stick to zaino.
BTW, Zaino does have an AIO (All In One) product: Wipe on, wipe off, get at least 3 months of shine and protection. There are other similar products out there.
 

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Newspaper used to have oil based ink which acted as a polish on glass, newspaper ink of today is not oil based I believe it's soy. Eitherway newspaper and coffee filters have no lint and are very absorbant. Invisible glass is very good to use along with many other non ammonia based cleaners. I still prefer soap and water mix to do full interior along with windows, makes it easy.
 

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If you like Zaino try Duragloss same product just much cheaper. (I started using Zaino in 1996 loved it then found out DG was the same)
If you are washing your car every week there is no need to get out the buckets and hose. I started using waterless and rinse less about a year ago and now very rarely get out buckets. I can wash 2 cars and a truck in a hour if I don't need to scrub the wheel and tires.
Optimum No Rinse is a great rinse less and Meguiars D115 Rinse Free Express Wash & Wax is a nice waterless.
 

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Exterior (paint): Been a Zaino user for more than 10 years. It has one of the best full line products out there. It's been easiest paint protection product I've used. I'll always go Zaino.

Tires: TUF SHINE is by far the best tire cleaner/dressing product there is. Used it for last three years and will not change. Easy to apply, no mess, reasonably priced and gives the ideal tire look!!! Shout out to Bob at TS!!!

Wash: Sorry, no recommendation here. I rent and don't have best resources for wash. Just use Kwik Trip no brush wash (does clean underside).

Interior: 303 Aerospace Protectant does fantastic appearance and protection on everything but carpet. And always vacuum the heck for all other dirt.

Glass: No preference here. Used most typical glass cleaners and put little money and effort here. Zaino Gloss Enhancer ends up putting a fine shine on the outside.

Always ready to try anything, but these products serve me fine!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Curious, does anyone use any of those attachments that go between a garden hose and a nosel, to dilute soap into the water and give you a soapy mix? I see some of them for like 30-40 dollars, and I figure at that price they are probably no good, though that is just an assumption.

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Do any of you have any experience with Zaino's Z-8 Grand Finale Spray Seal? I was thinking of purchasing it and trying out out after my weekly or bi-monthly summer washes for some extra shine. Black is such a b****h to keep shiny.
 

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Do any of you have any experience with Zaino's Z-8 Grand Finale Spray Seal? I was thinking of purchasing it and trying out out after my weekly or bi-monthly summer washes for some extra shine. Black is such a b****h to keep shiny.

Save a few bucks try Duragloss Aquawax.
 

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...Do any of you have any experience with Zaino's Z-8 Grand Finale Spray Seal? I was thinking of purchasing it and trying out out after my weekly or bi-monthly summer washes for some extra shine. Black is such a b****h to keep shiny.
Grand Finale Spray is truly amazing. Spray some on a panel and wipe on with a MF. No need to buff as it self-dries (cures) to a great shine and the smoothest surface feel there is. May not last too long, but really cool stuff while it is doing its thing.

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After having this recommended by an amazing detailer here in Dallas, I swear by this stuff for hand washing:

http://www.amazon.com/32oz-Optimum-Rinse-Wash-Shine/dp/B000E9TS6O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395536372&sr=8-1&keywords=optimum+no+rinse+car+wash



I'd be happy to discuss my method with this stuff if anyone is interested.
Please do. My concern about using such products is that they may leave light scratches on the car if the surface dirt is rubbed into the car's surface.
 

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Like I said ONR is great stuff if you do it right you will not scratch the paint. Much easier than old 2 bucket method. Look up Garry Dean wash method.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Grand Finale Spray is truly amazing. Spray some on a panel and wipe on with a MF. No need to buff as it self-dries (cures) to a great shine and the smoothest surface feel there is. May not last too long, but really cool stuff while it is doing its thing.

Is this an additional layer of protection this "sealer"? By not last long do you mean the sine or the protection? Theoretically, if its another layer of protection than the next wash should be easier correct?
 

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This sealer, is it a spray and wipe away kind of thing?
Lots of good stuff posted here.

There are sealers that use just about every method you can think of.

I would limit the choice to a polymer type for the best protection. Despite the love for Zaino, I think there is better and will explain why I think that. First I used Zaino exclusively for close to 2 decades. It was and is VERY good for how long it protects. But newer products protect as well and are "shinier" than Zaino. Many need to be reapplied more often than Zaino BUT the total effort is less due to the various steps for Zaino, and the difficulty is less (Zaino has very rigid procedures and time windows compared to modern sealants) and lastly, which is the next most important thing to me (after the shine), is the reduced risk of swirls while applying. Not all modern sealants are low risk but the ones I use are. Swirls happen when something rubs against the paint. That includes wash mitts AND even the best microfiber drying towels. So a wax or sealant that has to be rubbed into the paint is a bigger risk than one that sprays on or goes on without much pressure, same with how any excess is removed. A coating that needs hard rubbing to remove the haze and give the best shine is riskier than one that doesn't. No matter how carefully you clean your car, its common for some dirt to be left in crevaces. And unless you do this in a clean room, dust is settling on the car while the coating sets up and is being removed. The harder and more often you have to rub on the paint, the more swirls you will get. I admit to being fanatical about it; most people don't mind some swirls or the periodic removal of clear coat to remove them.

One of the best sealants for shine, protection and longevity is applied and rubbed vigorously into the paint until it shines. I rejected that because I did not want increased swirls.

I currently use Black Fire Wet Diamond which I almost refused to buy just for the stupid name. It lasts a medium amount of time but has incredible shine and is resistant to bird, bug and plant stains. I accept the less than maximum life span because it goes on with no rubbing, just lightly spreading on the paint, but most importantly, the haze is removed with almost no pressure. You can almost do it by just dragging a microfiber over the paint by its edge. I think there are other similar sealants but I haven't been motivated to try them since I can't see much room for improvement.

I did just order a new spray on sealant that I think might give as good a shine but I suspect last shorter and have no idea about bug/bird/plant protection until its put to the test. I'm going to do one half of a car with it and the other with Wet Diamond and see how they compare. I will switch if the shine is as good and if it protects against the organic contaminants as well even if it only lasts half as long because it will save on swirls and the total effort would be similar (its easier to spray and wipe than rub on and wipe).

Not sealant related but I am about to try a coating that is better than any sealant. I plan to use it as a base and possibly use sealant on top of it. There are a few of these products and they basically form a MUCH MUCH harder, thicker layer than any sealant or wax. Users report incredible shine (which keeps on increases over a week long curing time). That will be a bonus but my main goal is have a coating so tough, nothing short of sandpaper can scratch the clear coat. I've been putting it off because its procedure is extremely demanding and I need to get my nerve up because I understand its so tough, its a real bear to fix if you do it wrong. LoL

This is a picture of a black Mustang roof that has a coat of Black Fire. Its not mine but non metalic black cars show shine better than other colors or any metalic. Still you can't really tell much by pictures. You need to see first hand.

 

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Hey HD, most interested in your Black Fire write up. Like you, I've been a long time Zaino user. Zaino was actually around the corner from me when I lived in NJ, but I got into it from the BMW forums. Anyway, as I age, I've been looking for similar sealant processes that would be easier on this old bod and that would maintain a good shine and reasonable durability. BTW, thank goodness I'm not as O/C about detailing my cars as I used to be. I have bought Black Fire to give the newer sealants a try, but a couple of things are holding me back. A few months ago I Zainoed (topping off with Zaino Clearcoat and Grand Finale for an unreal finish) both of my cars and just can't bring myself to try the new stuff until some of the Zaino protection/shine wears off...which, as you know, can take quite a long time. Furthermore, I plan to clay (another process that I have to get up for) before using the BF.

I'll probably do my Z4 first as it is merlot (maroonish) in color and should just about "glow" after the BF application. The ATS is a very unpopular color (wife's drive and I let her choose the color to keep her happy,) Glacier Blue, and most likely won't show the shine as well as the darker Z4. I'm sort of getting used to the color as I haven't seen any in my neck of the woods in SE FL, and the color doesn't show dirt (not that I let the car get that dirty). And lastly, as I look and touch the ATS' finish, I get the impression that the surface is very "hard" and "ceramic-like," especially when compared to my 2005 Z4 and the traded-in 2002 325. Anyone else get this impression?
 

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EricEst1978 said:
After having this recommended by an amazing detailer here in Dallas, I swear by this stuff for hand washing: http://www.amazon.com/32oz-Optimum-Rinse-Wash-Shine/dp/B000E9TS6O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395536372&sr=8-1&keywords=optimum+no+rinse+car+wash I'd be happy to discuss my method with this stuff if anyone is interested.
I concur that ONR is an excellent product. I have been using it for a few years. I normally shop at detailedimage.com which also features great how-to detailing articles. Make sure to read up on the proper method for washing using a rinseless product such as ONR.
 

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Grand Finale Spray is truly amazing. Spray some on a panel and wipe on with a MF. No need to buff as it self-dries (cures) to a great shine and the smoothest surface feel there is. May not last too long, but really cool stuff while it is doing its thing.

Is this an additional layer of protection this "sealer"? By not last long do you mean the sine or the protection? Theoretically, if its another layer of protection than the next wash should be easier correct?


Not really another layer of protection. Somehow, without the use of oils or silicon, I believe that Grand Finale enhances the shine by smoothing out the surface and thus reducing optical distortion. Not sure just how long the effect lasts, but usually from weekly car wash to car wash. It is used after each wash, like a quick detailer.

If one wanted to give Zaino a try, but doesn't want to go through a lot of steps (maybe sacrificing some durability-like getting 3-4 months protection rather than 6-9 months protection, I'd suggest he following:

1. Wash/dry car
2. Apply Zaino AIO (All in one). Wipe on, wipe off
3. Zaino Clear Coat
1-3 is good for at least 3-4 months
4. Top off with Grand Finale after each car wash ti enhance shine but not durability

And yes, there are several similar products out there that will also do a good job, but I just haven't used them in the last 14 years.
 
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