View Full Version : Meguiar's Saturday Clinic Notes

Ryan L.
Dec 15th, 2007, 06:42 AM
The 5 Step Paint Care Cycle

Step 1 – Washing: The removal of loose contaminants from any surface.

Step 2 – Surface Prep: The removal of bonded contaminants and/or stubborn defects that washing cannot remove.

Step 3 – Polishing: The creation of brilliant high gloss.

Step 4 – Protecting: The preservation of brilliant high gloss.

Step 5 – Maintaining: The frequent removal of fresh contaminants before they have a chance to bond or etch into the surface.

#1 Tip – Always read and follow the directions on the back of every bottle!


- For best results, NEVER wash your car using a household detergent, as they will strip away wax protection and promote pre-mature oxidation.
- To minimize the chance of water spotting, always wash your vehicle in the shade, and make sure the surface is cool to the touch.
- Before washing your vehicle. Rinse the entire vehicle first with a strong stream of water. This helps cool the vehicle and rinse away loose debris which may lead to scratching.
- To help keep your wash mitt clean and minimize the risk of scratching while washing, always wash your vehicle from top down, and use two buckets, 1 for the wash solution, and 1 for rinsing your mitt.
- To reduce the time in which it takes to dry your vehicle, use a stream of water, not a spray on your final rinse. This will sheet the water off your vehicle, leaving much less water to dry off the vehicle.


- Always wash and dry car before evaluating the surface.
- Use your eyes to see “defects.”
- Use your hands to feel “contaminants.”
- Use two kinds of light when possible.


- Knead your clay into a flat wafer in order to use it.
- Use a product like Quik Detailer as a lubricant.
- If you drop your piece of clay on the floor, replace it with a new one.

Paint Cleaners

- Always use the least aggressive method possible (No rubbing compounds)
- Use correct method of application per product (hand, orbital, dual-action, or rotary)
- Work one section at a time evenly and thoroughly.
- If one application doesn’t remove defects, a second application is sometimes needed.
- Use 100% cotton terry cloth towels or a Meguiar’s Ultimate Wipe for wipe off.
- A defect, such as a deep scratch, that goes through the clear coat, cannont be corrected without repainting.

Polishes & Waxes

- For best results, always apply polishes and waxes in shade and on a cool surface.
- For easy removal of waxes and polishes, always apply a uniform, thin coat.
- For maximum protection, apply 2 coats to lowar rocker panels in winter.
- For maximum protection, apply 2 coats to top surfaces in summer.
- To help extend your wax protection, always wash your vehicle using a safe, high quality car wash.
- For best results when removing polishes and waxes, use a high-quality 100% cotton terry cloth towel or a premium microfiber cloth.
- Using an orbital or Dual Action Polisher can make applying waxes and polishes very easy and quick.

Paint Detailers

- When applying paint detailers, always work on a cool surface and in the shade.
- For fast removal or paint detailers, always use a high-quality 100% cotton terry cloth towel or premium microfiber.
- Keep a bottle of a mist and wipe paint detailer in your truck at all times, this will help in those quick clean up situations.
- When paint detailers become slow to wipe off, this is an indication it is time to re-wax using a premium wax for maximum protection.

Tire Care

- For best results, always pre-clean your tires using a safe tire cleaner and brush before applying any type of tire protectant. This will allow the tire protectant to look better and last longer.
- After cleaning your tires, allow them to dry before applying any tire protectant.
- Always remove excess tire protectant from tires and wheels before driving your vehicle.
- It is a good time to check air pressure while working on tires and wheels.

Wheel Care

- Determine what type of wheel you have before choosing the right wheel cleaner, some cleaners can cause damage if not used on the right type of wheel.
- It is safer to use a less aggressive cleaner and a wheel brush to clean brake dust.
- Wheel must be cooled before any cleaning is possible to prevent staining.
- Spot test wheel cleaner to safeguard against possible staining.
- When using a wheel cleaner, be cautious of the plastic center caps. A cleaner might effect them differently than the wheel.
- Always spray wheel cleaners from the bottom up to help prevent staining.
- Be careful when working around aftermarket brake components.

Interior Tips

- Always match the correct product to the surface being treated. (Leather, vinyl, plastic, cloth.
- Products like Quik Interior Detailer can be very helpful for keeping your interior looking new.
- Detailing brushes come in handy for removing dust in tight areas like heater and air conditioning vents.
- Test new products in inconspicuous areas before applying to the entire surface.

Andy M.
Feb 1st, 2008, 08:07 PM
Hey Ryan,

You did a real nice job with this....Thanks!:bigups


Feb 27th, 2008, 09:05 PM
You cover it pretty well. Thanks for the refresher. I'm going to print this out and hang it in the garage.

Feb 27th, 2008, 09:11 PM
Yeah, could do with like a posterized version of that.

Feb 27th, 2008, 11:38 PM
You cover it pretty well. Thanks for the refresher. I'm going to print this out and hang it in the garage.

:iagree: Thanks a lot!

Mar 27th, 2008, 11:45 AM
This post was very insightful but I have one question though. Can you use the clay bar on your car and the paint cleaner in the same wash or its better to use one of the other.

Michael Stoops
Mar 27th, 2008, 02:07 PM
This post was very insightful but I have one question though. Can you use the clay bar on your car and the paint cleaner in the same wash or its better to use one of the other.
What do you mean by "in the same wash"? Does that mean in the same detailing process, because neither is actually used when literally washing the car.

Assuming you meant "in the same detailing process" then the answer is a definite "yes". Washing with soap and water is intended to remove all the loose surface dirt, road grime, bird droppings, dead bugs, etc. Once that's done you still have the potential for junk that is so stuck to the paint that soap and water just can't get rid of it - this junk is referred to as bonded surface contaminants and this is exactly what the clay bar is designed to remove. Once you've gotten the bonded stuff out of the way you can move on to the paint cleaner step, also often referred to as the cleaner/polish step. This process removes defects below the surface of the paint, such as swirl marks, light scratches, and something known as DIP - Dirt In Paint. Yep, over time you can actually get dirt literally embedded into the paint, trapped under layers of wax, etc. It's hard to see on dark colored cars but a good paint cleaning on a neglected light colored car will brighten up the color.