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Old 08-15-2016, 01:03 PM
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Your "GoTo" Products

Hey What's Goin On?

With about a thousand different labels out on the shelves in stores and on shelves in online stores, I wanted to see what everyone is currently using as their "go to" or "first reach" for items in their detailing arsenal. I've been doing this for so long that I have accumulated quite the collection and Certainly do have my favorites...I'll list mine below. Interested to see what labels pop up, given this is a forum, knowing there are labels out that offer forum discounts, like the label that sponsors here...



Car Soap
Surf City Professional Extreme Suds Balanced Wash
I use this both in a Foam Gun and Cannon. The amount of suds produced in either far out performs any soap I have used, seen, or tested in the last 10 years. That said, I don't like how that company treats their team. Thus, while I love the product, I get a little angry every time I use it. Smells like Green Apples.


Drying Agent

Adam's Polishes Waterless Wash
This also works amazing (the old formula--I hear they have a new one now) also as a pre-treatment for bug guts, in between body panels before wash. Post wash, if I am using a drying towel, I will spritz the paint down with this. It helps against spotting and also, because there isn't any wax in it like there would be with some Detail Sprays, I don't have to worry about chasing streaks behind it.


Detail Spray

I use about 4 or 5 different DS, just because I guess . My favorite that I have used is C.A.R. Bulletproof Series Topper. This stuff is NOT at all cheap. However, the intensity of the gloss it brings is unmatched by anything else I have used or tested. I only use that when the Jeep has somewhere fancy to go. Most of the time, I prefer, and love, Surf City Garage Professional Polymer Detail Spray. This stuff is really easy to use, is polymer based, so no chasing wax streaks, can be used in any weather, inside or out, and provides a really nice finish. I've used also Adam's DS, Gloss-It's DS, and Meg's. Nothing bad to say about them. I just prefer the other two.


All Purpose Cleaner (for tires, trim, and engine bay)

I used to think that I needed to have a brand label APC to take care of all the road dirt, tire gunk, etc. While I love what I've used from both Adam's and Surf City Pro, I feel that Simple Green is both cost effective and cleaning effective enough for me not to have another brand on the shelf.


Tire Dressing
I like my tires somewhat shiny, but not...so shiny that they take away from the gorgeous paint. I've been playing with C.A.R. Tire Gel recently. I like the durability of it, just a little too shiny for me. Most of the time, I am using Surf City Professional Tire Dressing or Adam's SVRT. Both of those products, in my opinion, for a tire dressing are damn good. There are tire coatings out there also like CARPro Perl. A lot of my detailer friends use and love that stuff. I haven't played too much with most of them. I do have one I am testing. If I like it enough, I will come back and mention it.


Interior Cleaner
There are times when I do need to do some heavy cleaning in the interior portion of the Summit. Plastics, Rugged Ridge Mats, etc. all get hit with Adam's Leather and Interior Cleaner when needed. Now, keep in mind, using a cleaner like this, it's important to dress it back up afterwards to protect it from the elements. Most of the time, I reserve the interior to light cleaning because I am not a slob.


Interior Protection
I really, really like Optimum Leather Protectant. I've used Adam's Leather Conditioner almost exclusively in the past. Also, Surf City Pro's Leather Cockpit Cream. Both work excellent on vinyl, AP's works great on plastics also.

Interior Maintenance (touch ups)
This seems to be a product a lot of labels have been jumping into the last 5 years. I think Meg's may have been the first to release it. I have been using Surf City Pro Interior Quick Detailer. I've tried a bunch of other labels, and they're all really close. The one I use barely leaves anything behind. I prefer a natural finish vs glossy for interior.

Trim Dressing
The Summit doesn't have too much in the way of plastic or rubber exterior trim. Is kind of nice not having to dress every window frame after a wash now, I will say that much. For the wiper cowl and around the mirrors, rails, oh and of course, the step pad, I use Surf City Professional Exterior Trim Conditioner or Adam's SVRT. Whichever is closest. For the fog light pockets and plastics in the grille, I use Adam's In and Out Spray. Nothing like it. Love it. Always have.


Paint Protection
I am not a coating person. I own a few, but like to play with my paint too much to warrant wanting a coating on my paint. I am however, a sealant person. Acrylic Sealants are both excellent in protection and durability. I have some of the test batch of Surf City Pro Acrylic Shield Paint Sealant I still use for my personal stuff. Adam's Paint Sealant is nice, as is Sonnax Polynet Shield. I had to try real hard to break the sealant of the SCG stuff. I would venture to say I get 8-10 mos of protection with past experience in this climate. I DO layer. Mainly because I like the added gloss, and I am also a shine freak. To layer, I used Adam's Brilliant Glaze over the sealant. My favorite paste wax over that. Patriot is great if I am headed to a show or meet. Otherwise Americana, because it lasts a little longer. I realize that layering washes off far more frequently than a sealant does. It's just something I do.


Rinseless Wash

There are a few of these on the market now also. ONR, Rinseless Wash, Rinse-Free Wash and Wax...whatever you want to call a water saving wash product. Stuff like this is great for those on water restrictions and also great to keep a diluted bottle around for dusting in between washes. That said, I NEVER recommend using a California Duster. I know personally what damage they do, and won't be talked out of it otherwise. All I will say is, taking a dry dustmop to your finish (coated in parafin which just collects said crap and spreads back into said finish) is not the best way to maintain a show quality finish. Yes, you see the good old boys at shows from 25' away dusting their preciouseses for all they're worth, and it seems to do a good job. Get closer, within 2'. You'll see some lovely marks that people like me get paid to take out. For this, I use Surf City Pro Rinse Free Wash and Wax. It's on par with ONR



I'd love to see what everyone else is using! I would love to answer any questions anyone has also. By no means am I a detailing legend, but I've been around the block enough to know what I am doing. I've worked for a few of the labels, worked hundreds of shows, polished hundreds of cars. I don't get paid by anyone but me now. I met a close and dear friend, Dylan, doing this when I bought my TBSS. Some of you know who he is...kind of a big deal now LOL!
I can answer things without the burden of shill as I would have had before. I am also in no way trying to come off like a Pompous Horse Turd or a detailing know it all. I just LOVE to detail, and remembered how much I do, this past weekend.


For machines, I have the Rupes MkII 15, the Flex 3401VRG, and the PC7424XP (setup for 4"). I use only Korean made Microfiber. All detailing related tools I use can be found pretty much anywhere online. Mainly from Adam's though.

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  #2  
Old 08-16-2016, 08:33 PM
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Your "GoTo" Products

Off the top of my head, these are my "go to" products for detailing my Jeep and the wife's Altima.

Chemical Guys:
- Mr. Pink soap
- Honey due snow foam
- VRP tire dressing
- micro fiber wash mitt
- assorted micro fiber towels
- grit guard
- grit guard wash board

Karcher:
- K2.350 pressure washer (1600psi)
- 30' custom rubber extension hose

MTM:
- Hydro foam cannon

Meguiars:
- Non-acid wheel cleaner (foam spray bottle)
- General purpose cleaner (standard spray bottle)
- Super degreaser (standard spray bottle)
- Black paste wax (rims)
- Ultimate Compound
- Ultimate Polish
- Gold class liquid wax

Menzuerna:
- Heavy cut compound (never used)
- 2500 (medium cut polish)
- 3500 (super finish)
- Power Lock Plus

Optimum:
- quick detail spray/clay lube

Wolfgang:
- Fuzion Estate wax

Costco:
- Kirkland Micro fibers (general purpose cleaning)

Griot's Garage:
- DA polisher
- Paint Cleaning Clay
- Glass Cleaner (aerosol)

Lake Country:
- 3.5" & 5.5" flat foam pads

Mckee's:
- Turbo car dryer

Mothers:
- Mag and aluminum polish (exhaust tips)
- Plastic polish (taillights, headlights)

Spray bottles and nozzles:
USPlastic
Meguiars


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  #3  
Old 09-22-2016, 11:17 AM
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Re: Your "GoTo" Products

WASH

Since I moved to Arizona, and especially since I bought my 2015 JGC, I've washed with whatever car wash detergent my wife picked up at Wal-Mart. I have found over the years that high priced soaps aren't really any better. At least not enough to where I could detect any difference. Washing your car isn't like washing your clothes. Dirt lays on the finish, and not into it like on a shirt or pair of jeans. Especially if you keep the surface of the paint well waxed and polished.

DRY

I always use Turtle Wax "Wax-As-U-Dry". It works very well, and most of all it's easy to use. After you rinse the entire vehicle after washing, you simply spray it on a wet section of the car. Then dry it with a terrycloth, or a microfiber towel. If you use it every time you wash, it leaves a really nice shine, and water will bead like crazy. You can get it on the glass, chrome, or flat black surfaces, and it won't hurt anything.

TIRES

For cleaning tires I've always liked to use Wesley's Bleach White on the rubber sidewalls, with a stiff bristled scrub brush. It really cuts through the dirt and oxidized rubber better than anything else I've tried. I use a half assed cardboard cover from the local pizza joint, that I covered with wide cellophane packaging tape to keep the cardboard dry, and to protect the wheels from any overspray from the Wesley's.

WHEEL & TRIM CLEANING

If the wheels are really dirty I just mix up a second bucket of car wash soap that's a little more concentrated, with a second sponge, and use it on just the wheels, chrome nerf bars, chrome exhaust tips, mud flaps, trailer hitch, and everything else that's close to the ground. That helps keep the car wash bucket cleaner.

WAX & POLISH

For waxing and polishing I've tried most everything at one time or another. I finally settled on Nu Finish. I have not found anything that works better. Or that delivers a better shine. Here in Arizona we get very little rain. I've had my Jeep for a year and a half now, and it has NEVER been driven in the rain yet. And it's garage kept. Also, I'm retired, so that helps as well in keeping it out of wet weather.

PLASTIC TRIM

For all the plastic I've tried most everything over the years. Some are good, but many leave a shiny, tacky mess that only looks good until you drive it. Then dirt and dust sticks to it like mad. So I have stuck with plain Armor All. Again, it gives good results. Lasts as long as most others, and most importantly, I have never had a piece of plastic trim ever crack that I used it regularly on.

TIRE SHINE

For tire shine, the jury is still out, and I have yet to settle on a single product because there are so many. My latest product has been the Armor All Outlast Tire Glaze. It is an aerosol product that thus far seems to last the longest. It also doesn't "over shine" the tire to the point they look stupid, or attract dust and dirt. So I may stick with it. At least for a while.

HOW OFTEN

By using the Wax-As-U-Dry after every wash, I don't have to reapply the Nu Finish but every 2 years. Naturally, if my vehicle was exposed to the Sun and the elements more, like when I was working, I would reapply it every 6 months. The paint on my 1991 F-150 is 25 years old. And it still looks great using these products and methods. Sorry for the long post. But as they always say, stick with what works.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:01 PM
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Re: Your "GoTo" Products

Happily the new car has very little black plastic. I did find over the years that if I got wax on plastic and it wouldn't come off, a cloth dampened with old fashioned RainX did the trick. I always tested it on a small, unseen spot, but never had it damage any plastic.


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Old 09-22-2016, 01:16 PM
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Re: Your "GoTo" Products

Pretty much my norm, even for clients when I get paid, I do the same on my rides. I have experimented but finally settled on a process that works for 90% of the cars I do, including my own.

Wash is simple, I just used Meguiars Gold Class, available pretty much anywhere. I use a two mitt method along with a grit guard. I use a mitt to wash a section, toss it in the bucket and grab the second mitt to wash the next section.

Tires are cleaned with Zep 505, available at Tractor Supply, Home Depot and maybe even Walmart. I use a tuff shine tire brush for the tires. I avoid simple green just because sometimes it doesn't play well with certain metals. I also hit the wheel wells, or "arches" depending on where you come from!

Wheels get cleaned with Sonax wheel cleaner plus. I use either a woolie or speed master brush on the wheels as well as boars hair brushes.

If its a full job, I decon the paint with Optimum Ferrex prior to the wash. Post wash but before I dry, a medium grade speedy prep towel.

Dry by electric leaf blower, some spots get followed by a MF towel for any runs.

If I need to fix any issues in the paint before, Flex with Lake Country Hybrid, or their new force pads. Go to products are all Menzerna, I did my Jeep with an orange heavy cut pad and FG400 followed by 4000 on a white polishing pad. Menz 2500 on a white pad works for most any quick clean up work for clients. I did use Car Pro denim pads on my 300 to knock down the orange peel, followed by 2500 and 4000 before it was coated.

Both my cars are coated, one with IGL Kenzo as I am installer, the other with Kamikaze ISM and Miyabi.

A great go to sealant is IGL premier or Wolfgang Deep Gloss paint sealant.

For tires I use Turtle Wax Endura tire coating. If you can find it, I suggest getting it, it is a great product. I used to use Black Pearl but it is expensive and I didn't get the quantity of tires out of a bottle I do with TW.

If its just a quick wash I have a sealed bucket of ONR i will break out. I don't use any QD's, just ONR the whole car!

Interior I just keep clean, I rarely use any dressings, just a wipe with ONR to keep the dust off and vacuum.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:54 PM
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Re: Your "GoTo" Products

Quote:
Originally Posted by THE Mook View Post
Hey What's Goin On?

With about a thousand different labels out on the shelves in stores and on shelves in online stores, I wanted to see what everyone is currently using as their "go to" or "first reach" for items in their detailing arsenal. I've been doing this for so long that I have accumulated quite the collection and Certainly do have my favorites...I'll list mine below. Interested to see what labels pop up, given this is a forum, knowing there are labels out that offer forum discounts, like the label that sponsors here...
Thank you for the great write up. I'd love to use all of your suggestions, the only problem is I'm too busy and lazy to wash my car every week or two. I usually take it to a car detailer to get done. I just bought my new 2017 JGC this week and want to try to keep it looking sharp.

For those like me, who have someone else usually wash and detail the car, what would your essential product short list look like for touch up cleaning?

I want to clarify on the interior cleaner, as this is one thing I usually end up doing either in between cleanings or just as a touch up if they miss anything. To clean the plastic, vinyl / non leather areas inside the Jeep, which product do you recommend for that? You mentioned the Adam's Leather and Interior Cleaner, but is this also for non leather surfaces?

Can you help me understand what is the difference between the following as in what they are used on and when they are used:

Interior Cleaner
Interior Protection
Interior Maintenance
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