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View Full Version : How often do you "clean" the paint?



akimel
Sep 24th, 2008, 09:43 AM
By "clean" I am referring to the use of a paint cleaner (e.g., DC1) or a cleaner-polish (e.g., #9, #80, #82, or #83). For purposes of this poll, I am excluding claying from the meaning of "clean." I am also excluding cleaner waxes such as A-12 and ColorX, though you may want to explain your use and choice of a cleaner wax in your comment.

Please feel free to describe your cleaning/waxing regimen. Thanks!

Al

RaskyR1
Sep 24th, 2008, 10:33 AM
I actually use ColorX/M66 a lot on my car. From my understanding it is more agressive than M09 when using the same pad/polisher combo and it doesn't give me micro marring like I get form a lot of the other polishes.

Mark Kleis
Sep 24th, 2008, 10:35 AM
I tend to keep my personal vehicles well maintained with regular washes and waxing, therefor contamination is kept to a minimum.

That said, I might do a fine clay once a year or so, and possibly a cleaner wax or an AIO (All-in-one) like D151 once a year as well for good measure.

For a client's car, or a car that doesn't get such regular maintenance I think claying once every 3-6 months (depending on whether or not the vehicle is a daily driver, garaged, etc) is about right, and a cleaner wax twice a year.

Hope that helps.

Mark

J. A. Michaels
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:15 PM
I try to do a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. The rest of the time it is as needed. By that I mean if it looks good, no scratches or swirls when it is time to wax, then that's all it gets. If there is a random scratch I will take care of it when its time to wax.

eric_son
Sep 24th, 2008, 09:03 PM
I limit myself to 2 sessions a year, or until non-detailers start to see swirls on my car. :)

akimel
Sep 26th, 2008, 07:54 PM
Just in case my original explanation was confusing, please note that an option is given in the poll for those who use a cleaner wax. I know that many Meguiar's customers use a cleaner wax (e.g., Cleaner Wax, ColorX, #6, #66) instead of a cleaner-polish, either exclusively or as preparation for LSP.

I don't want anyone to feel left out. :D

Ryan L.
Oct 5th, 2008, 07:28 PM
I agree with others, kind of a need be basis. Like my moms car that I did this weekend, hasn't been "cleaned" since Mothers day of 2006, so about 2 and a half years. Relatively not swirls, just some RIDS and a little lack of shine, but other than that it was fine.

So like others, if it needs it, I'll do it. Other than that its usually clay and NXT once a month.

Ryan

christian6984
Oct 6th, 2008, 02:55 AM
twice a year, before autumn, and around spring time usually. Claying wise probably only one a year as i did it recently and i couldnt remember the last time i did it but nearly nothing came off, is this because i polish and wax every few months, its an easy step and well worth doing IMHO

Bert31
Oct 6th, 2008, 07:39 AM
I use an all in one about three times a year.

Justin Murphy
Oct 6th, 2008, 12:20 PM
I have 76 clients that I see weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly. If we set up a long term regimen, I tell them that no matter how many times we wash, we to need to clean and protect the paint at least every 120 days. This is usually after a full correction detail. Of course the area that a customer lives in will determine what "cleaning the paint" consists of.
So after a full correction.......
75% will get D151 as a constant protection routine.
15% will pay more and get a high end wax applied on top of D151.
10% will again get a correction due to either the enviroment or other situations.

Nappers
Oct 12th, 2008, 10:09 AM
I tend to evaluate during each season that passes and do as needed. The Neon is easily swirled but the Yukon can go for days without nary a cleaner/polish/waxing but I do wax more often than not for protection more than anything.

I need to do a full on swirl removal on the Neon soon though it's looking a little shabby right now.

gb387
Oct 12th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Twice a year for me - seems to be just about right spring and fall.

Bert31
Dec 4th, 2008, 01:29 PM
I used to use Medallion to clean my paint but I believe Meguiars discontinued it. Let's put it this way, I can't find it anymore. Assuming it was discontinued, not sure what Meguiars recommends in its place.

akimel
Dec 4th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Yes, the Medallion series was discontinued. If one is looking for a simple chemical paint cleaner, one can use Deep Crystal #1. I also presume that all of Meguiars' cleaner/polishes will also clean paint. I got myself a bottle of #9 precisely for this purpose.

Al

gjohn28
Dec 4th, 2008, 02:53 PM
I answered every two months because I didn't read your explanation on cleaner/waxes before answering the survey. I use ColorX every couple of months, but only use a cleaner/polish twice a year - spring and fall. So, I guess I should have answered twice a year.

Bi-monthly: wash/clay(if needed)/ColorX/LSP
Semi-annually: wash/clay/#80/LSP

:dp:

akimel
Dec 4th, 2008, 02:56 PM
Over at Detailing World, Dom of Dodo Juice recommends paint cleaning (i.e., removal of previous waxes and the cleaning of paint contaminants) every three months. In the article I read he was speaking specifically of Supernatural, but his rationale, it seems to me, applies to all waxes and sealants. If one wants to optimize the appearance of the paint surface, it is best to regularly clean it of below-surface and above-surface contaminants and dirt. He thinks that a quarterly paint cleaning is a reasonable and practical schedule. Anyone disagree?

Al

Tuck91
Jan 20th, 2009, 06:00 PM
I like to use a paint cleaner such as:

Color X
DC1
M09
and M80

at least every 4 months

I usually clay twice a year. The reason i use a paint cleaner often is because i like to start new and have no older wax on the surface if i am applying a new coat of wax.

So basically i clean the paint for defect/swirl removal 2 times a year

and clean the paint for applying a fresh coat of wax about twice a year and use it with a hi tech aplicator pad so its not as aggressive

So i would say every 4 months i do some type of paint cleaning.


I think that made sense?

3Fitty
Apr 16th, 2009, 03:58 PM
He thinks that a quarterly paint cleaning is a reasonable and practical schedule. Anyone disagree?

Al

Al, my gut response is that I disagree, to the extent that I don't think you can apply general principles to detailing.

I take the "as needed" approach. For example, I don't clay, unless I can feel that it needs to be done. If that is once a year, twice a year or more, it depends on what I feel.

However, I would probably say that a paint cleaner should be used at least once a year and maybe more. It's the "maybe more" part I can't really figure.

Also, I am tempted to say (from my experience) I would use a paint cleaner on a single stage paint more often then on a clear coat, from my limited experience with SS paint.

JTOWN
Apr 16th, 2009, 05:01 PM
I like the conversation.. although I have not got my hand stuck on DC1 i still clean my paint on a regual basis at least once a month or two, but as dicussed based on what is need...

Alex C.
May 27th, 2009, 11:49 AM
If i had to choose it'd be "once a year".

Eddie6th
Jun 6th, 2009, 02:50 PM
When I feel it's time to do it,I guess.

swcarter
Nov 4th, 2009, 04:41 PM
Just in case my original explanation was confusing, please note that an option is given in the poll for those who use a cleaner wax. I know that many Meguiar's customers use a cleaner wax (e.g., Cleaner Wax, ColorX, #6, #66) instead of a cleaner-polish, either exclusively or as preparation for LSP.

I don't want anyone to feel left out. :D
Akimel: Interesting poll. I watch your posts closely as they are guite informative. So what do you do?

Clutch34
Dec 4th, 2009, 05:32 PM
Doesn't "cleaning" remove paint? Wouldn't cleaning a lot be bad in the long run for the clear coat?

Or

You apply a good amount of pressure to remove swirls/defects with DA/rotary, but once they are removed you can apply no pressure to DA/rotary and still clean the paint for light debris and/or wax removal.

Am I correct in the above statement?

searle
Dec 4th, 2009, 05:44 PM
There are huge degrees of "cleaning", the most aggressive actually referring to removing defects (Scratches, Swirls, etc). That takes a stonger cleaner, and/or stronger handling. The lightest being a nice hand wash.

Most folks on this forum probably use "cleaning" to mean removing light surface contamination from an already good surface. Using clay followed by DC1 paintCleaner or SwirlX, especially by hand, will hardly remove any measureable paint (actually, clearcoat in newer cars). You could do it often but that is really not required.

I "clean" my paint twice yearly, with a wash+clay+SwirlX. Probably could do it monthly but that would really be a lot of effort and mostly a waste of time.

If it is a wonderful sunny day half-way through the summer I might do the cleaning again, but it more because I enjoy the process than because it is actually needed.

Clutch34
Dec 4th, 2009, 06:08 PM
**This is more me talking out loud to make sure I have this correct, sorry if some of this is repeating what your or I have said before:

So even if using a DA, using SwirlX, ColorX, or any other light cleaner would be ok few times a year as long as I'm not adding a lot of pressure to the DA? This way it's not removing paint/clear coat to where it becomes a problem in the future but is still cleaning the paint.

Also, will applying SwirlX or ColorX lightly (via hand or DA) on the finish still remove wax?

searle
Dec 4th, 2009, 06:22 PM
... So even if using a DA, using SwirlX, ColorX, or any other light cleaner would be ok few times a year as long as I'm not adding a lot of pressure to the DA? This way it's not removing paint/clear coat to where it becomes a problem in the future but is still cleaning the paint.

Also, will applying SwirlX or ColorX lightly (via hand or DA) on the finish still remove wax?

If done by hand a few times a year, you probably could not remove enough clearcoat to be a problem even if you tried. With a DA, be sure you are not using an aggressive "cutting" pad (use a light "finishing" pad) and are not applying significant pressure. You should be fine.

YES, any cleaner (either by hand or DA) will remove any existing wax. However ColorX (being an All-In-One) will re-add its own wax. That is why I prefer SwirlX (Cleaner+Polish) and then add the NXT-2.0 wax (2 coats) to gets its hydrophobic shedding and long protection. During the summer I often go with one basecoat of NXT-2.0 and top with #26 (or new GoldCrown-2.0-enhanced) since I think it looks slightly nicer on my red car and I dont need the ultimate protection I need during the winter.

Clutch34
Dec 4th, 2009, 06:39 PM
I don't think I'll be buying the maroon cutting pad, only the yellow polishing and black finishing pads. I assume I should be ok even if I decide to use the yellow pad.

Thanks for the info Searle, you've been very helpful! :xyxthumbs

TOGWT
Feb 25th, 2010, 05:00 AM
Chemical Paint Cleaners

Designed to enhance the depth and gloss while properly preparing the paint for a sealant or wax. Sometimes paint cleaners can have micro abrasives or they can be non-abrasive. They can remove micro-marring of the surface (i.e. light towel marks) but typically will not remove imperfections that require levelling the clear coat, but can remove some oxidation and mineral deposits.

Formulated with solvents and / or very fine abrasives (Kaolin or China Clay) to remove old wax, embedded dirt and light stains from paint; they help to restore gloss and remove light surface imperfection.

They are designed to be used as often as required without measurably reducing paint thickness. Some paintwork cleaner’s act as 'All in One' products, so not only do they clean and polish, but also provide limited protection.

Schedule: every three or four months (dependent upon environmental conditions and vehicle exposure). To optimize the reflective properties and appearance of the paint surface, it is best to regularly remove both imbedded and surface contaminants and dirt.

Mary S
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:00 AM
Hi, I was just reading this thread, it is very interesting. I can't help finding that the use of the term "clean" is kind of unfortunate, especially since it will confuse a customer even if the detailer understands what it means.

I would think the "cleaning" step should include washing and claying if needed and other method to remove an old wax if claying is not needed. Then your car has a "clean" surface.

Then anything with abrasive properties that will level the paint to get rid of swirls or light scratches should be called "paint correction" or "paint rejuvenation" or "swirl and light scratch removal" or something else that defines what is really going on.

I wonder if the "clean" and "polish" terminology came about with Meguiars' furniture products roots.

SATracker
Dec 29th, 2010, 08:14 PM
Yearly, in the summer I do a thorough detail; at the half way point in winter I'll do a paint cleaning.