Reaching the Objective
One of the best
ways to reach your objective is what not to do. This
is as important as what you do.
use sponges, terry
towels, cotton wool or synthetic wash mitts, paper
towels, wipes, rags, brushes etc. They all will put
cleaning marks in the surface.
use products such
as wax, silicone based dressings or treatments,
silicone oil (the stuff that does not dry, slings,
turns tires brown, makes things slippery etc.) or
glycerin based products. These products are not
designed for anything except a certain look
(generally the wet look). They do not clean or
protect, can and do cause damage in the case of
silicone oil and generally make a mess of the
surface after a few days.
Do not use
alkaline-based cleaners except on rubber surfaces
such as tires, moldings & trim. These cleaners strip
off protection and damage vehicle finishes. They
will streak paint and Gelcoat and stain polished
aluminum. Do not use household cleaners, dishwashing
detergents or laundry soaps. They are for surfaces
that are resistant to harsh detergents. Vehicle
finishes are not resistant, easily damaged and the
damage will build up over time. Many household
cleaners leave behind a residue that attracts dirt.
The buildup of dirt on these surfaces is hard to
remove without surface damage.
quality microfiber products to clean and dry! Do not
use discount store types because they contain
reprocessed plastics that are hard and may cause
scratches. There are many places you can purchase
quality microfiber products beside our web site.
Purchase only those made of virgin polyester and
polyimide. You will find this type of microfiber
will hold larger quantities of water and dirt
removed in cleaning, without causing surface
only quality cleaning, restoring and protective
products designed for vehicle finishes. Next to the
proper application of a product
It is one of the most important things you
will do. If you do everything else
right then skimp on the
products to save a few pennies you have wasted all
your time, money and effort.
should not be your headquarters for quality vehicle
care products because they don't
have any. The profit margin they demand from the
manufacturer does not allow the use of quality
ingredients. The brand names you see in discount
stores make products specifically for those stores
to meet the price they will pay. There are many
sources of quality vehicle cleaning and protection
products, use them!
CLEANING THE OUTER SURFACES
Gelcoat, Glass, Plastic, Vinyl Graphics etc.
There are two
methods to use in cleaning vehicle surfaces, the
contact method where whatever you use you must make
physical contact with the surface and the
non-contact method, primarily power washing.
CAR WASH PRODUCTS
The bucket of suds
is one of the most popular methods of cleaning the
outside of a vehicle. All car wash soaps clean dirt
off the surface. Some sheet water off the surface
preventing most water spotting. Some are very harsh
to the finish due to the type of soaps they use
(generally discount store brands). Bucket of suds
washing is also the number one cause of cleaning
The problem with
this method is the soap breaks the dirt loose then
you wipe it all over the surface as you clean. In
addition, the tools used to wash the surface,
sponges, cloths and cotton or wool wash mitts hold
dirt against the surface as you wipe. All this
causes the cleaning swirls you see in the vehicle
surface. Terrycloth is absolutely one of the worst
items to use. The nubs on the cloth get harder each
time you wash them, eventually becoming hard enough
to cause light swirls by themselves. Brushes are
also bad. No paint manufacturer recommends using a
brush. It pushes the dirt against the surface, again
causing surface swirls.
Another problem is the bucket of suds itself. Every
time you rinse the sponge, cloth, mitt or brush in
the bucket, you deposit the dirt in the water. Most
of the dirt stays suspended in the water and you
pick it up each time you rinse. You are now adding
more dirt to whatever you are cleaning with and to
the vehicle surface. This method is simply
self-defeating using conventional car wash products!
A pre-rinse can help, especially in
cases of extreme amounts of dirt such as caked on
mud. Using a microfiber wash mitt or cloth also
helps but does not eliminate the problem.
If you are really prefer this method of cleaning and
are serious about preventing cleaning swirls there is
an answer, it is Total Vehicle & RV Wash.
It can be sprayed on then removed using a microfiber cloth,
sponge or wash brush. This product is extremely effective
in cleaning the entire outside surface as well as fender wells,
engines and engine compartments, under body etc. and is effective
on dirt, oil and grease including diesel and other fuel spills.
This product can also be used in a non-contact way. See below.
(detailers and waterless washes)
The second most
popular method of cleaning vehicle surfaces is using
a detailer. This type of product is sprayed on and
wiped off while wet. Most every car care company
makes some type of detailer product.
There is a major
problem with this type of product, however. While it
is much more convenient than the bucket of suds for
cleaning, it does the same type of surface damage.
Most detail sprays do not contain lubricating agents
to bind up the dirt particles to prevent surface
swirls. While most detailers do a
fairly good job of
breaking the dirt loose, you then wipe it around the
surface while removing it creating surface swirls.
You can produce as many surface swirls with detailer
products as a bucket of suds due to the small amount
of product used even when using a microfiber cloth for
removal. Another problem is caused by the
petroleum distillates used in most of them is the
shine is not very good, disappears in a short time
and they should not be used on glass due to
streaking and damage to window tint film. You
definitely want a water based detail spray.
detail spray products that contain lubricating agents
to bind up dirt particles and this will be a good
method to use. Using products such as Perfect Detail Spray Polish
quality microfiber cloths should not produce cleaning swirls.
Care must be taken to use this type of product correctly. It is for
removal of light dust, road grime, bugs etc., not heaver coating of dirt.
For heaver coating of dirt pre-rinse and use our Total Vehicle & RV wash.
Used properly it will clean without producing surface swirls.
One of the other
problems with detailers is only a very few contain
any type of protection. Most of those that due have
some protection use wax, offering very little
protection. Look for the ones that contain a true
polymer polish such as the two mentioned above. Their protection will usually last
between one and three months. They also offer a
great shine. This is the best of all worlds. You
clean, shine and protect in one easy step.
The best way to
contact clean is to use specially designed products
that bind the dirt particles up with lubricants.
These lubricants coat the dirt particles so they
glide around the surface without actually touching
Two of the better
products, Perfect Detail Spray Polish,
and Total Vehicle & RV Wash solve
cleaning problems while offering many additional
benefits. They contain special
lubricants that totally encapsulate dirt particles
thereby eliminating virtually surface cleaning
swirls if used properly, contain true polishing agents, true UV
protection and for the detail products anti-static treatment.
works like a detailer. Just spray on and wipe off,
cleaning dirt, bugs etc., imparting a great shine,
and excellent protection all in one-step. Unlike
most other detailers, they contains a true polymer polish
and may be applied in direct sun.
Both products will
not cause surface cleaning scratches if used
properly. They both contain UV and anti-static
properties and are water soluble and biodegradable.
Another method is
the power wash or spray
and rinse product. If you have a power washer, not
more than 1500 psi, it eliminates one-step of the
process. Power wash on
then off. If you don't
have a power washer then the spray & rinse will
work. Spray on, let sit, then
rinse dirt off. With both methods there is no
physical contact from brushes, cloths etc. so you
don't scratch the surface.
Make sure the
product you use does not contain alkaline-based
cleaners or petroleum distillates. Alkaline cleaners
strip off any protection you have on and dull the
surface. They will also cause streaking if not
properly rinsed off. Petroleum based cleaners cause
surface dulling over time and are against the law in
most states to let run down on the ground.
Vehicle & RV Wash
is a product that fits both methods. It may be
applied by spray, lit sit and rinse or power
washing. Pressure washing works best when using
deionized water (contains no minerals or other
chemicals that cause water spotting).
Total Vehilce & RV Wash and Belly Wash will not remove any
quality surface protection, is safe for all type of
vinyl graphics and will remove gas or diesel exhaust
soot, oil etc. They contains no alkalines or petroleum
distillates and is water soluble and biodegradable.
This is an outstanding method for large vehicles
like trucks, RVs, large boats, aircraft, farm
Make sure the
product you select for this type of cleaning is
designed for vehicle surfaces. DO NOT USE any
product designed for cleaning houses, garage floors.
They may well ruin your vehicle surface
PROTECTING THE OUTER SURFACE
Gelcoat, Glass, Plastic, Vinyl Graphics etc.
This area of
vehicle protection is cluttered with phony claims.
It is very difficult for the average person to wade
through them to get true quality products. Product
cost is not an accurate gage since many companies
price their products high to try to establish in
your mind the thought that it must be good if it
costs that much.
takes time, costs money and takes place on a
valuable piece of equipment, your vehicle, take the
time to examine the more outrageous claims some
products make and how they don't
A couple of the
more outrageous claims
The polish that
lasts a year.
There are polishes available in super markets and
drug stores making this claim. The truth is there is
no product out in the market lasting one year
designed for vehicle use that is applied by you, the
owner or any car dealer. The basis for this claim
has been proven false many times. They test, so they
say, by polishing a surface then washing 52 times
and the water still beads and the surface shines.
They conveniently did not test and do not mention
that weathering wears off protection as much or more
than washing, and any silicone on the surface beads
water. It doesn't matter
if there is any polish left on or not.
that starts a fire on the hood of a car to show how
well their polish protected.
It has been off the air for a while now due to
government action because it was so blatantly false.
There actually were people who used the product,
poured gas on the hood, set it on fire to
demonstrate to friends how well the polish worked
and proceeded to burn their cars up. Their lawsuits
against the polish manufacturer of course went
nowhere. The polish company used an accelerant that
did not burn as hot as gasoline. Our protective
polish, Best Finish Protective Polish is heat
resistant up to around 450f. This does not mean you
should set your car hood on fire to test the polish!
The best protection
for the outside surface of a vehicle comes when the
product can bond to the surface. This eliminates wax
since wax adheres by sticking not bonding.
There are two basic
types of products applied to a vehicle surface. They
are wax and polishes. Waxes come in liquid, cream
and paste form. One form is no better than another
form of wax. The identical chemical wax product
can easily be made in any
or all three forms.
There are two
distinctive types of polish. One polishes the
surface to a high gloss by removing bonded surface
containments and swirls. You must use a buffer for
application. This type provides no protection. The
other type is a protective polish. It may or may not
remove containments, does not remove swirls and
leaves a gloss ranging from OK to great. This type
of polish comes in two forms, liquid and cream. The
liquid type may contain a surface cleaner to remove
dirt, bugs etc. The cream type contains no cleaning
Recently a third
type of polish has emerged. It is applied by hand or
buffer, will remove bonded surface containments and
swirls, and provides a high gloss with protection.
It is a cream with no cleaning agents.
Prestige Protective Polish is an example of this
new type product.
Although still the
most popular item used, wax is very much horseshoe
technology. It adheres by sticking so it washes off
easily. Fuel spills, acid rain, rail dust, salt
water, road chemicals, bug splatters and
bird-dropping acid goes though wax. The high heat of
the south and southwest soften it. The sun wears it
off very quickly even with UV protection. This is
because wax does not contain long lasting UV
protection. Wax was originally
developed to provide a shine, not protect.
Wax used to contain
abrasives to remove oxidation and re-shine the
surface. It is recommended
to wax your vehicle once a week! This is because
cleaning the vehicle removes the wax. The reason wax
contained abrasives was to remove oxidation since it
does not stop oxidation. Due to the nature of the
wax composition, it is impossible to formulate
anything that protects for more than a few days. You
can add silicone, which just makes the surface
slippery, and shinny. You can add Teflon that in
reality does absolutely nothing. To make Teflon work
you must apply it to a surface heated to 700 F.
Check with cookware manufacturers and find out for
at the request of car manufacturers developed a
coating to protect the paint finishes on their cars
since wax was not doing the job. They developed
clear coat. Clear coat jobs are a
two step paint process.
The first step is the paint
itself, the second step is applying the clear
coat which contains UV inhibitors to protect the
paint. It did not work well to put UV inhibitors
directly in paint.
On average clear
coat looses its UV protection at the rate of about
17% to 20% per year if no protection is
applied to it. Protection left in clear coat
then looks like this; At the end of one year about
80 to 83% of protection remains, after two years about
69%, three years about 57%, four years about 47%
. At this rate, in ten years you have around
15% of your protection left on average. These
figures do not vary much in different parts of the
country. UV is not the only damage to clear coat.
Environmental damage from rain,
snow, salt etc. do as much damage as UV rays.
It all tends to equal out somewhat. This is why you
need to protect the clear coat finish.
Some surfaces such
as Gelcoat contain no UV protection and
can be damaged in as
little as one year. Vinyl graphics will fade in one
to two years without protection. Clear coat over
Gelcoat is becoming more common is the RV industry
to protect the finish.
Perhaps the second
most popular method of polishing a car.
In reality however, only a very few detail sprays
actually protect. Most do not claim to, people just
think it will. The ones that do protect should be
water based and use a polymer polish. Detail sprays
containing wax don't
protect more than a few days. Some, like Perfect
Detail Spray Polish and Best Finish Ultra
Gloss Detail Spray Polishprovide two to three months
of UV and environmental protection along with an
anti-static treatment to help keep the surface
cleaner, longer and are used
on any hard surface from paint to glass. Stay away
from those containing petroleum distillates, they
don't protect, cannot be
used on all outer surfaces especially and will
damage window tint. Using the right product here can
allow you to do an average size car in around 15
minutes or so. You can clean, shine and protect in
one easy step. The better quality products will use
so little that they are really less expensive than
the cheaper to buy detail sprays.
TERM PROTECTION POLISHES
protective polishes are applied to a clean, cool
surface with a hand or power applicator. This type
of polish provides the best protection but takes the
most time and work to apply. The polish is a cream
consistency; the polish polymers are from petroleum
stock and reside in a petroleum distillate when
bottled. These type of polymers dry hard and are
able to withstand the environment. In this type of
product, it is necessary to evaporate the petroleum
distillate quickly, leaving behind only the polymer
polish. This allows safe use on graphics such as
vinyl decals and produces a high shine with long
lasting protection. Not all polishes evaporate
the petroleum distillates!
The better the bond
of the polish to the surface and the thicker the
coating (not thicker the polish in the bottle) the
longer it lasts. The top end polishes such as
Prestige Protective Polish use a process
called a molecular hook to accomplish this. The
polish molecules mix with the surface molecules and
bond together as one. This provides the longest
lasting protection you can get. Unfortunately, very
few companies make a polish with true long lasting
protection. Most protect for one to three months at
best. A few others and ours protect from three to
five months! That protection can extend up to a
total of one year by the periodic application of
Perfect Detail Spray Polish on top of the
protective polish two to three times a year.
One of the main
problems with this type of product is its ability to
stain or turn a grayish color, plastic, rubber and
vinyl when it gets on those surfaces during
application. Prestige Protective Polish
has eliminated this problem. You can wipe our polish
on those surfaces and wipe it off with no color
CLEANING and PROTECTION PRODUCTS, THEIR FEATURES and BENEFITS
removes dirt using
lubricated cleaners and leaves a polish protection
with a high gloss. See the product for complete
details. This is an all-in-one product, clean, shine
& protect. It is water based. The detail type
product is perhaps the most popular due to the ease
and speed of use. Although the product is called a
detail spray, it is in reality a spray liquid polish
with cleaners. Contains a true water based polymer
polish, UV and anti-static protection. About 2 oz.
does an average size car.
Total Vehicle &
RV Wash and Belly Wash,
are primarily a spray & rinse or power wash product.
You may spray it on, let it sit then rinse it off or
power wash the surface. This product cannot harm any
surface water is allowed to be on and will not
remove any existing polishes but will remove waxes.
There is no maximum time limit for removal. You can
start today and finish taking it off tomorrow. It is
is cream based in petroleum distillate stock. The
petroleum quickly evaporates from the surface. Some
of its unique benefits are the ability to remove
minor surface damage such as swirls, scrapes, buff
marks etc. while polishing the surface. Apply by
hand or power. The protection period usually runs
around three to five months depending upon what type
of cleaners you use to wash the vehicle. It stands
up to all type UV rays, road chemicals, fuels such
as gas and diesel, rail dust, salt water spray, bug
acid, bird droppings etc. Application is quick and
easy. A very unique feature is that it does not
discolor plastic and rubber trim. Simply wipe it off
TIRES and OTHER RUBBER SURFACES
This is also an
area loaded with false claims and bad products.
Tires and window seals need UV and ozone protection
as well as protection from road chemicals. Most
rubber seals for doors, trunks, rear hatches etc. is
of a type of rubber not requiring additional
protection. Your main objective on seals is
are made with a mild form
of UV and ozone protection. This protection comes
out the sidewall as the tire is flexed ( driven down
the road). If a tire sits, the protection weathers
off and the rubber turns brittle, cracking or
weather checking. There is an old saying, a tire
that is driven will outlast a tire that is not. This
is very true and it is because of the protection
that is pushed out the
sidewall due to the flexing of driving.
speeds and the high road temperatures in parts of
the country tire safety can be life saving. Over 99%
of the tire dressings available for sale today are
silicone or silicone oil based. They are for
appearance only and provide no protection from the
environment or road chemicals. They also help speed
up the deterioration of the tire sidewall by
plugging the pores in the sidewall so the UV and
ozone protection cannot come out through the pores
when driven. Silicone oil is even more harmful due
to the petroleum distillates it contains. Silicone
oil plugs up the pores for much longer than regular
silicone and the petroleum distillates tend to
magnify the harmful UV rays from the sun, speeding
up the damage (weather checking). Contrary to many
false claims that it is OK to use silicone oil if
you continue to use it, that is not true. The
silicone problem is so bad that tire manufacturers
have quit recommending dressings for the most part.
Crud Remover can safely
remove silicone and silicone oil products.
If a tire has its
own protection, why does it need more protection?
The protection in tires is weak and weathers off
quickly. Show Tire Protective
Dressing provides UV and ozone protection
compatible with the tire manufacturers but is
superior. It will last from one month to four months
depending on the type and amount of road chemicals
it encounters and the amount of UV exposure. It also
contains anti-static protection keeping your tires
cleaner much longer.
Tire Protective Dressing
works by soaking in the pores of the tire sidewall
holding back the manufacturers protection and
coating the outside of the tire as well with a layer
of protection. It is water based and the polymers
used are of the finest quality available, they dry
completely to the touch.
tire protection you
should clean the tire first to remove all dirt and
imbedded road chemicals. Then apply
Show Tire Protective Dressing. Let it dry (30 to
45 seconds usually) and wipe off the excess. You now
have a tire that looks great with outstanding
protection. The low luster satin look of your tires
will complement the vehicle shine. They will stay
that way for a long time. To clean the tires just
wipe with a wet cloth. When the tire does not look
good after cleaning, you should reapply protection.
You can also use
Show Tire Protective Dressing on
spray on bed liners to renew them and make them look
new again. Running boards on pick up trucks and
rubber floor mats are also excellent places to use
it. Plastic or hard vinyl trim that does not have a
smooth surface are excellent places for our tire
dressing, especially if they are on the outside of
the vehicle and exposed to UV damage. The extremely
high UV protection makes it an excellent product for
these types of surfaces.
INTERIOR PROTECTION - LEATHER and VINYL PRODUCTS
This is an area
much like protective polishes. There are only a few
leather & vinyl products that actually clean,
recondition and protect and they are water based.
The rest of the products are silicone based and are
for appearance only. Some of them provide a shine to
leather & vinyl that it should not have. Some of
them are so bad that within a few hours of
application you cannot tell you applied anything.
Over time using silicone
will let the leather or vinyl to dry out, weather
There are two types
of quality products. One type contains everything,
cleaner, conditioner and protectant in one
container. The other must be purchased in two to
three containers. They separate the cleaning,
reconditioning and protective chemistry with the
explanation that to do the job properly each is
applied separately. This is a marketing method to
sell more products. In quality leather and vinyl
chemistry, all three features combine successfully
if you use the proper ingredients to make the product
and design it correctly. It is easy to say what todo but
quite hard to do it which is why almost all leather/vinly products
focus primarily on appearance with little to nothing for
conditioning and cleaning. It is also cheaper to do it this
way so their products may sell for less.
One of the most
important things to look for is the ability to not
damage the chemical clear coating leather and vinyl
contains. This coating which is on all quality vehicle
and furniture leather and vinyl is to minimize the amount of
body oils and dirt that are absorbed, prolonging its
life. Another feature to look for is a product that
replaces and rebuilds the chemical coating the
manufacturer applied to the leather and vinyl as this coating
does ware off over time.
Never use silicone
based products. Never, never use silicone oil based
products. Silicone oil based products are the ones
that do not dry, leave a slippery surface, get on
everything and give a wet look. Your leather or
vinyl will dry out, weather and crack over time
using silicone in any form.
Prior to using
quality water based treatments is it necessary to
remove any silicone or silicone oil products from
the surface completely.
Follow the guide
lines above and your detailing will be done faster,
with less effort and last longer. Purchase price
never replaces quality.
Your comments regarding this page are welcome.