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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just picked up a Cruze yesterday it's was a 2014 LTZ RS in red. And was definitely taken threw those car washes that touch your car with cloth strips. So there's swirl marks. I waxed it with the ICE wax twice tonight and then again with thick coat of Mothers . No change in the swirls. So would clay baring it then rubbing a compound or polishing compound then waxing it do anything? Just curious.
 

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Clay will help remove all the wax you've put on, so I would use that first, yes.

Simply put, Compound / Polish / Wax (in that order) will be your best bet for removing the swirls. Some products are different than others so make sure you check out the specific directions for whatever you choose.





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They are rated in cut from fine to coarse the harsher you go the deeper the smoothing. Personally I use automagic bc2 and I blue foam pad and I high speed than I go further needed
 

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The darker the color, the more swirls you'll see.
To a degree, you can place blame on the car washes.....we call them grinders....they grind the dirt off and grind the last guys dirt in.
That aside, the majority of fine line swirling comes from drying the finish.....the guys that dry it use towels over and over again and they hold grit as well as water.

For myself, I use a dual action polisher (Meguires) and a fine pad using their polish followed by waxing also using the d.a.
Wax is then removed with micro fiber towels.
This preceeded by clay bar of the entire car......you'll be astounded by the debris in the finish the bar pulls off.

Three of my fleet are black, three are dark red, two are dark blue, one is white.
The white one should get the same attention but because it hides sworling so well it gets forgotten more than it should.
The rest.....well, lets just say it is fortunate I enjoy detailing as a hobby.

Rob
 

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For myself, I use a dual action polisher (Meguires) and a fine pad using their polish followed by waxing also using the d.a.
Wax is then removed with micro fiber towels.
This preceeded by clay bar of the entire car......you'll be astounded by the debris in the finish the bar pulls off.
are you suggesting waxing first THEN claying?

Since we are on the topic, Lets Talk About Detailing

hi my name is Paul and I have been detailing for roughly 3 years, though not professionally..
I had a business for 2 years, but it wasn't like a professional thing I just made effective flyers/business cards, had people call me, grabbed my truck, my powerwasher, shopvac, cleaning supplies, and a lot of elbow grease and made sure to leave the car spotless before I left. I actually received pretty large tips from pretty picky people for the thorough work I did. I never had to use machines because most of the cars I did were fairly new, not destroyed, and my Gliptone wax was the bomb at getting those minor scratches out.

im working on turning that into a legitimate business but im young still in school and **** so Ive got a long road ahead.....in the mean time I recently got hired by a real detailing company for a management position (even though im still doing the labor) so im taking this as a learning experience.

So now that im working for a real company, I want to know how to really detail the exterior of cars, so I have a string of questions I hope you guys can help that other people may have too....

1) first off, is this the standard process to wash/detail the body...wet car, soap wash, rinse, keep car wet and clay entire car, wipe off clay haze, wax entire car, wipe off wax haze, done? do u guys think im stupid already?:question::grin:

2) when is the right time do use polish? do you polish the entire car?

3) when is the right time to use compound? is that strictly for scratches or do u compound most of the car?

4) I get the gist of buffing, but wat really IS buffing? When do I buff a car? is that just for minor scratches and/or can I buff the whole car?

5) when clients point out a scratch that isn't too deep, what is the appropriate course of action?

6) when swirl marks from car washes are visible, what products should I use and in what order?

7) very high grade/fine sand paper? seen it done before, don't understand. whats that useful for?

sorry if some of these questions are dumb but I really want to fully understand these things so I can make better decisions and do a better job on peoples car and of course MY CRRRUUUZEE
 

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are you suggesting waxing first THEN claying?

Since we are on the topic, Lets Talk About Detailing

hi my name is Paul and I have been detailing for roughly 3 years, though not professionally..
I had a business for 2 years, but it wasn't like a professional thing I just made effective flyers/business cards, had people call me, grabbed my truck, my powerwasher, shopvac, cleaning supplies, and a lot of elbow grease and made sure to leave the car spotless before I left. I actually received pretty large tips from pretty picky people for the thorough work I did. I never had to use machines because most of the cars I did were fairly new, not destroyed, and my Gliptone wax was the bomb at getting those minor scratches out.

im working on turning that into a legitimate business but im young still in school and **** so Ive got a long road ahead.....in the mean time I recently got hired by a real detailing company for a management position (even though im still doing the labor) so im taking this as a learning experience.

So now that im working for a real company, I want to know how to really detail the exterior of cars, so I have a string of questions I hope you guys can help that other people may have too....

1) first off, is this the standard process to wash/detail the body...wet car, soap wash, rinse, keep car wet and clay entire car, wipe off clay haze, wax entire car, wipe off wax haze, done? do u guys think im stupid already?:question::grin:

2) when is the right time do use polish? do you polish the entire car?

3) when is the right time to use compound? is that strictly for scratches or do u compound most of the car?

4) I get the gist of buffing, but wat really IS buffing? When do I buff a car? is that just for minor scratches and/or can I buff the whole car?

5) when clients point out a scratch that isn't too deep, what is the appropriate course of action?

6) when swirl marks from car washes are visible, what products should I use and in what order?

7) very high grade/fine sand paper? seen it done before, don't understand. whats that useful for?

sorry if some of these questions are dumb but I really want to fully understand these things so I can make better decisions and do a better job on peoples car and of course MY CRRRUUUZEE
Wait, you're detailing cars professionally and they haven't taught you this stuff?! Lol :D




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^^ you guys, you don't wax then clay.

Clay basically removes contaminates from the paint, including leftover wax.

Wash car.
Dry car.
Use ONR or whatever recommended spray and clay bar. Wet with ONR, use clay (small sections of car at a time) wipe off excess with microfiber towel.

You don't want the residue to dry on your car.

Directions will be included and easy to follow. Again, clay will not remove swirls, it removes contaminates from paint.

After you do one small section with the clay and wipe it dry, lightly run your fingers across the part you have not used clay on, then do the same on the section you just clayed. You will understand the difference by touching it.

Hopefully that helps some.


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Wait, you're detailing cars professionally and they haven't taught you this stuff?! Lol :D
yaa my boss is lazy bum and I know these are like standard things a detailer should know but im asking cuz I was never taught I thought they would be simple questions....and I mean there are other guys on the "team" but its not like they have time (or the lingual skills) to teach me properly.....I guess my friend the internet will have to teach me, or my Dad.
 

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yaa my boss is lazy bum and I know these are like standard things a detailer should know but im asking cuz I was never taught I thought they would be simple questions....and I mean there are other guys on the "team" but its not like they have time (or the lingual skills) to teach me properly.....I guess my friend the internet will have to teach me, or my Dad.
Wow that does not sound fun :(
I'm thinking I probably spend way more time on my car than is practical for someone who is getting paid and has a time limit to work with, but idk how the business side of detailing works at all!


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are you suggesting waxing first THEN claying?

Since we are on the topic, Lets Talk About Detailing

hi my name is Paul and I have been detailing for roughly 3 years, though not professionally..
I had a business for 2 years, but it wasn't like a professional thing I just made effective flyers/business cards, had people call me, grabbed my truck, my powerwasher, shopvac, cleaning supplies, and a lot of elbow grease and made sure to leave the car spotless before I left. I actually received pretty large tips from pretty picky people for the thorough work I did. I never had to use machines because most of the cars I did were fairly new, not destroyed, and my Gliptone wax was the bomb at getting those minor scratches out.

im working on turning that into a legitimate business but im young still in school and **** so Ive got a long road ahead.....in the mean time I recently got hired by a real detailing company for a management position (even though im still doing the labor) so im taking this as a learning experience.

So now that im working for a real company, I want to know how to really detail the exterior of cars, so I have a string of questions I hope you guys can help that other people may have too....

1) first off, is this the standard process to wash/detail the body...wet car, soap wash, rinse, keep car wet and clay entire car, wipe off clay haze, wax entire car, wipe off wax haze, done? do u guys think im stupid already?:question::grin:

2) when is the right time do use polish? do you polish the entire car?

3) when is the right time to use compound? is that strictly for scratches or do u compound most of the car?

4) I get the gist of buffing, but wat really IS buffing? When do I buff a car? is that just for minor scratches and/or can I buff the whole car?

5) when clients point out a scratch that isn't too deep, what is the appropriate course of action?

6) when swirl marks from car washes are visible, what products should I use and in what order?

7) very high grade/fine sand paper? seen it done before, don't understand. whats that useful for?

sorry if some of these questions are dumb but I really want to fully understand these things so I can make better decisions and do a better job on peoples car and of course MY CRRRUUUZEE
Hi Paul,

Re read my post......I said wax/polish is PRECEEDED by claying.

Nice post, this one.....thanks.

Rob
 

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Paul,
Every detailer develops their own method, products used, application methods and so on.
To add further confusion, this really isn't a cut and dried proceedure because different manufacturers use different finish products....some softer than others.
And, lastly, the age of the finish has to be evaluated as well as if there is sun damage.

Over time, you'll be able to identify in close to a glance, which ones will be improved and which ones have been allowed to degrade too far.

Be calm....there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers.

My steps/methods.

This is after I have evaluated the finish after a thourough hand wash.....sometimes twice.

Assuming the finish is in serviceable condition, I clay bar it using a very thick mix of dish soap and water....I want the mixture to feel slick between my finger tips.
The dish soap has two purposes.......it strips wax and lubricates the finish while I bar it.
I can also 'palm' the finish while wet with the mix to see if I've gotten the debris pulled out of the finish.

Polishing, assuming the finish has minimum swirling after the clay process, is always suggested to bring out the 'POP' or the clarity of the clear coat.....keep in mind, we aren't messing with the color coat here.....we are finessing the clear.
I use a DA for polishing along with a medium grade foam pad.
I remove the polish residue with spray detailer and micr-fiber towels.

I then wax the polished finish using Meguires yellow wax....this is a professional wax, marketed in tan colored bottles....I buy mine by the gallon from a paint supply house.
The yellow wax is selected because I only want it to seal and deepen the polished surface.....this product has no cleaners whatsoever.

Again, removal with micro-fibers.......sometimes I'll follow up with spray detailer as a last, makes me look at all the edges/seams, type process.

This is just the body we are discussing.....I still have to pull the wheels for a full inner/outer wash/wax.....they generally need to be clayed on the inside because of the huge amount of brake dust adhered to the finish....then wax.
Before re-install, I wash the inner fender liners....dish soap first.....tar/grease remover next....rewash and wipe down with silicone spray (not excessive) sprayed on a towel and wiped.

Hope you find some of that moderatly useful.

Rob

PS,
You asked about buffing.
This is a art form developed after burning several perfectly fine finishes by letting the bonnett get too dry/too hot/or carrying too much weight.
Ask me how I know.

What you are doing is actually melting/moving the paint or clear coat to fill deep scratches and lesson finish imperfections.

IMO.....this is a 'last resort' step in the hopes of avoiding a paint job....finishes that require extensive buffing will generally fade back to dull in less than 6 months sun/weather exposure.

Many body shops buff to hide a poorly laid down finish......this is the only time you use 'compound' that has high cutting ability.
 

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yaa my boss is lazy bum and I know these are like standard things a detailer should know but im asking cuz I was never taught I thought they would be simple questions....and I mean there are other guys on the "team" but its not like they have time (or the lingual skills) to teach me properly.....I guess my friend the internet will have to teach me, or my Dad.
My Mobile Detailer went to a 3 week school in San Diego. It is hard to claim you are a professional with no training. Detailing a car is a fine art and must be done right, no exceptions!
 

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While I'm in here researching. (Gotta pay some serious attention to my car and Harley soon) what do y'all recommend for straight chips. From rocks? I have a color match pen but haven't used it yet. Might fetch one from the dealer instead of duplicolor.
 

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Paul,
Every detailer develops their own method, products used, application methods and so on.
To add further confusion, this really isn't a cut and dried proceedure because different manufacturers use different finish products....some softer than others.
And, lastly, the age of the finish has to be evaluated as well as if there is sun damage.

Over time, you'll be able to identify in close to a glance, which ones will be improved and which ones have been allowed to degrade too far.

Be calm....there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers.

My steps/methods.

This is after I have evaluated the finish after a thourough hand wash.....sometimes twice.

Assuming the finish is in serviceable condition, I clay bar it using a very thick mix of dish soap and water....I want the mixture to feel slick between my finger tips.
The dish soap has two purposes.......it strips wax and lubricates the finish while I bar it.
I can also 'palm' the finish while wet with the mix to see if I've gotten the debris pulled out of the finish.

Polishing, assuming the finish has minimum swirling after the clay process, is always suggested to bring out the 'POP' or the clarity of the clear coat.....keep in mind, we aren't messing with the color coat here.....we are finessing the clear.
I use a DA for polishing along with a medium grade foam pad.
I remove the polish residue with spray detailer and micr-fiber towels.

I then wax the polished finish using Meguires yellow wax....this is a professional wax, marketed in tan colored bottles....I buy mine by the gallon from a paint supply house.
The yellow wax is selected because I only want it to seal and deepen the polished surface.....this product has no cleaners whatsoever.

Again, removal with micro-fibers.......sometimes I'll follow up with spray detailer as a last, makes me look at all the edges/seams, type process.

This is just the body we are discussing.....I still have to pull the wheels for a full inner/outer wash/wax.....they generally need to be clayed on the inside because of the huge amount of brake dust adhered to the finish....then wax.
Before re-install, I wash the inner fender liners....dish soap first.....tar/grease remover next....rewash and wipe down with silicone spray (not excessive) sprayed on a towel and wiped.

Hope you find some of that moderatly useful.

Rob

PS,
You asked about buffing.
This is a art form developed after burning several perfectly fine finishes by letting the bonnett get too dry/too hot/or carrying too much weight.
Ask me how I know.

What you are doing is actually melting/moving the paint or clear coat to fill deep scratches and lesson finish imperfections.

IMO.....this is a 'last resort' step in the hopes of avoiding a paint job....finishes that require extensive buffing will generally fade back to dull in less than 6 months sun/weather exposure.

Many body shops buff to hide a poorly laid down finish......this is the only time you use 'compound' that has high cutting ability.
This is just about the same process that I will be doing this weekend. Only thing that I would add is don't skimp on the products that you use. A higher quality product will usually be a little more expensive but will do the just much better and last longer then a cheaper product.
 

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This is to remove the swirl marks, you are sanding down the clear. the hard part is not to sand through the clear.
But isn't that speeding the demise of the clearcoat? Depending on how long you want to keep the car, it might be worth living with swirl marks now. Because once the clearcoat goes, I think the only option is repaint, sell, or live with it (and it's going to look a lost worse).
 

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My Mobile Detailer went to a 3 week school in San Diego. It is hard to claim you are a professional with no training. Detailing a car is a fine art and must be done right, no exceptions!
The sad truth in life is there's two definitions of professional:
1) Someone who get's paid for doing it.
2) Someone who does it right.

Those are two very different meanings!
 

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I'm still working on removing the dealer installed swirl package.

I just ran out of the last of my Mothers California Gold Cake wax on my Helix. They changed the packaging and added a letter to the part number. I may try it anyway. I used Meguiars Tech Wax 2.0. It's okay. It probably will protect longer than the Mothers, but it really doesn't have the same wet look that the Carnauba Cake Wax did.

Clay barring and Tech wax did a lot for the dealership's slap and scratch "soft cloth" machine damage, but I still have a way to go.
 
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