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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the years I've developed a routine that works pretty well and wanted to run it by the pro's around here.

I absolutely loathe cleaning the interior, so I take my car to a hand wash commercial car wash (no machines). Yes they use strong detergents but I've never had any major swirling or scratching problems from the one I use. Basically my regimen is this:

Week 1: Wash car with Meguiar's gold class car wash and dry with a synthetic chamois (probably going to switch to a "waffle" towel next time). If there are any stains from bird plop etc., I buff them out with Meguiar's DC-1. Minor scratches, a little Scratch-X or DC-2, then coat all the polished areas with a bit of NXT wax.

Week 2: repeat

Week 3: repeat

Week 4: commercial car wash, fix any blemishes, then 1-2 coats of NXT.

So basically it get's waxed every month. After 3 washes from me and one from the commercial wash though, virtually all of the wax is removed.

Then as needed, usually every 6-8 months, I clay the car after the commercial wash and continue with my routine. Every 2-3 months, I use DC-1 on the whole car which gets the paint super clean, and delays the need for claying.

The results look quite good to me, but after reading about layering the Klasse glaze, I might try a few coats of that before waxing. Which leads me to some questions:

Since the NXT is a synthetic cleaner wax with some carnuba in it, wouldn't it remove some of the glaze? Maybe I should use it before the glaze then finish with a straight carnuba? Or just toss it out and use either Klasse All In One or Meguiar's DC-1 before the glaze?

Roughly speaking, how many commercial car washes will the Klasse glaze hold up for? Obviously I can't layer it up every single month, just wondering if it holds up well to commercial detergents.

FWIW, I do all this by hand. Both of my shoulders were badly separated in bicycle crashes, so waxing and polishing by hand is very therapeutic. I do my wife's car too, on a schedule that's different by two weeks. It's a lot of time consuming work but it really helps my shoulders.

Thanks for any advice!
 

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Sounds like you like to keep a clean car.

Personally, I wash mine on about a weekly basis, but I avoid commercial washes like the plague. In this area, none of them are worth what it costs, let alone do they do any kind of job my 13 year old brother couldn't for a dollar.

I would also watch for those detergents they use at those washes if they do the interior too. The manual for the 3 says to pretty much clean the interior with a dry cloth if at all possible. I don't think the cheap interior molding or carpets can stand up to many treatments of chemicals.

Other than that, it looks like you've got a good regiment down. It might be a bit overboard, but stick to your guns.
 

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Definitely keep up on weekly washing. Although, I'd cut out the touch-less washes. I'd recommend going two weeks between hand washing vs. one week of a touch-less wash.

Klasse Glaze is actually Klasse Sealant Glaze. It's a true sealant. Not sure why they call it a glaze. If you are wanting to prep the paint, you would need to go with Klasse All-In-One Polish. This is a chemical polish that will clean the paint and leave a small amount of acrylic protection behind. NXT isn't a "cleaner/wax", but it does have a small amount of cleaners in it (not enough to be considered a cleaner/wax). That said, I'm not sure if there are enough cleaners in NXT to remove the little bit of protection that KAIO would leave behind. Even if it does though, KAIO should be used as a paint prep and not a paint protectant. Also, if you use KAIO there is absolutely no reason to use Meg's DC-1. Plus, DC-1 is a very basic consumer level product and Klasse is considered "boutique". My vote would be to ditch the DC-1.

So, I would recommend you do a full detail (wash, clay, KAIO, NXT) every 6 months. In between, just re-apply NXT when necessary or when you feel like it. If you feel like your paint needs more TLC, you could throw in the KAIO step at months 3 & 9.

If you want the ultimate in protection, I would check out Werkstatt Prime:Strong (bottom of page: http://www.werkstat.com/prime.php) followed by Werkstatt Acrylic Jett (http://www.werkstat.com/acrylic-jett.php). Werkstatt is kinda like the "new-age" Klasse. Apparently, Klasse products haven't been as good since the VOC laws were put into place a couple years back.

If you went with the Werkstatt twins, I would not recommend using NXT at any point. Since Werkstatt AJ is an acrylic sealant, you could top it with a nice carnauba wax. For that, I'd recommend looking into Clearkote Carnauba Moose Wax, Collinite 845 or 476, DP Max Wax, DoDo Juice, Wolfgang Fuzion, or P21S Carnauba Wax.

For maintenance waxes (something that is fast and easy to use after each wash) I'd recommend looking into Optimum Car Wax, Optimum Instant Detailer & Gloss Enhancer (not a wax, but really makes the paint pop), Duragloss AquaWax #951, or even Werkstatt Acrylic Glos or Carnauba Glos.

Ok, so that'll give ya some things to look into if you feel like it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, so that'll give ya some things to look into if you feel like it
You sure did, thanks, I appreciate it!

The car wash I use is considered one of the best in LA, they have a killer BBQ for lunch right next door, and other than their strong detergents, I've never had a real problem with them. My car's black interior needs a lot of detailed vacuuming and they do it, and I just can't stand to deal with that by myself anymore. I also don't do windows well, they do a better job than I do. I have a horsehair brush that I run through the interior seams, but that's as much interior work as I wanna do. I've watched them enough times to know that they simply wipe the interior down with damp cloths, no detergents or cleaners. Same thing I do on my own, basically. It's mostly just the vacuum and glass I hate doing, and I never "condition" the interior plastics after years of that going horribly wrong with a variety of cars...over time. Just a wipe down is all I really need.

Besides, I've noticed that the interior textured plastics on the Mazda scratch very easily, and I have yet find a way to cover them up, despite using multiple, pro-quality products. Just keeping them clean and enduring the scratches is what it is, I suppose. If you have a solution for that I'd really like to hear it!

But ya, the detergents they use are pretty powerful! I've been going there so long that I might be able to get them to just do the interior, without running the car through their "tunnel of doom." If they won't do it there are numerous detail shops in the neighborhood who might just do the interior every month and not touch the exterior. I'll look into that, wish me luck. And thanks very much for you input!
 

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[quote author=mshu7 link=topic=134256.msg2886371#msg2886371 date=1232752168]
Definitely keep up on weekly washing. Although, I'd cut out the touch-less washes. I'd recommend going two weeks between hand washing vs. one week of a touch-less wash.

[/quote]

Why avoid the touchless?
 

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[quote author=d.z. link=topic=134256.msg2887511#msg2887511 date=1232806102]
Why avoid the touchless?
[/quote]

Touchless car washes use some seriously harsh chemicals on your car at high pressure so that the doesn't have to be any human intervention with cleaning the car. This can (over time, granted) damage the clear coat on your car and the paint as well, if you don't take the proper measures to make sure that the car is correctly waxed and protected.

Plus, most of them miss spots on a frequent basis. I can't stand that. The car has to be correctly cleaned thoroughly before I consider it clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The place I go to has a moderate pressure rinser, and it's a good distance from the surface. First it goes through a low pressure sprayer to wet it, then a low pressure detergent applicator, then two guys with very wet and sudsy mits wash it down. From there it goes through the rinser, then the another guy shoots air in the gaps and wipes it down with a pile of clean terry cloth rags.

It isn't ideal but they sure do a nice job on the interior. While this is going on I have an excellent lunch, drive it home gingerly, wipe it down gently with a moist synthetic chamois, then wax it (etc.).

Werkstat, eh? Looks like good stuff, it's all acrylic. How does this sound:

Prime:Strong, followed by multiple coats of Acrylic Jett, followed by a quality carnuba and ditch the NXT. Do that every three months, clay it every 6, and wax it every month as part of the routine I mentioned earlier. It sounds like the Jett can hold up to the commercial detergents for a few months. The car is street parked under some power cables, so I need the best protection possible (I'm really starting to hate birds).

BTW, Werkstat doesn't spec a curing time - can I just layer it up without waiting 24 hours each time? That would be awesome.
 

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[quote author=daustin link=topic=134256.msg2887641#msg2887641 date=1232813392]
[quote author=d.z. link=topic=134256.msg2887511#msg2887511 date=1232806102]
Why avoid the touchless?
[/quote]

Touchless car washes use some seriously harsh chemicals on your car at high pressure so that the doesn't have to be any human intervention with cleaning the car. This can (over time, granted) damage the clear coat on your car and the paint as well, if you don't take the proper measures to make sure that the car is correctly waxed and protected.
[/quote]

How do you know this?
 

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[quote author=kwsmithphoto link=topic=134256.msg2887926#msg2887926 date=1232824891]
Werkstat, eh? Looks like good stuff, it's all acrylic. How does this sound:

Prime:Strong, followed by multiple coats of Acrylic Jett, followed by a quality carnuba and ditch the NXT. Do that every three months, clay it every 6, and wax it every month as part of the routine I mentioned earlier. It sounds like the Jett can hold up to the commercial detergents for a few months. The car is street parked under some power cables, so I need the best protection possible (I'm really starting to hate birds).

BTW, Werkstat doesn't spec a curing time - can I just layer it up without waiting 24 hours each time? That would be awesome.
[/quote]

That routine sounds pretty solid. As far as curing time, the closer to 24 hours you can wait, the better. You're allowing that coat to fully bond before adding an additional layer. If you can at least do 8 hours, I think you'll be good.

For your carnauba wax, I'd go with Clearkote Carnauba Wax. Check out the link below. Find the threads started by "Scottwax" and look through his before/afters. He uses a LOT of Carnauba Wax. You'll find that it has very good protection and looks fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There are no "links below" but I'm sure I can look it up, thanks!

Related question: My lovely wife got suckered into having her most convenient car wash clay and wax her deep blue Lexus SC430. It looked kind of OK for a week, then the obvious markers of a job done badly started showing up. I used the DC-1 and NXT on it which helped quite a bit, but the damage is still there, and will be more obvious when the wax washes off.

I don't need it for my new Mazda, remarkably enough the dealer didn't swirl my paint at all when they prepped it for me, but that car wash she went to absolutely hosed her car's finish! At least they charged her a lot and wasted her time. Why she did that I don't know (women are interesting creatures). She said she just wanted to spare me the trouble of doing it myself. Good intentions gone bad.

Question:

Who makes the best, most aggressive swirl remover that can be applied by hand? I've tried pro series 3M and Meguiar's swirl removers in the past, with less than stellar results. Who makes the good stuff, and where can I get it?

BTW, I'm going to wash her car next weekend with a strong mix of Dawn Ultra so she can see for herself how badly they hosed it. I love her to pieces and want her car to look great, but there's nothing like the naked truth to gently prove a point.
 

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Yeah, a link would help! http://www.autopia.org/forum/pro-details-before-after/

I spaced it on that one...hehe! Again, look for threads started by "Scottwax".

Anyway, sorry to hear about the wife's Lexus. I would suggest picking up some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound. This is a new product for 2009 and is supposed to be their most aggressive consumer-line product. Since it is a new 2009 product, it may not be in stores yet, but keep your eye out for it.

http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28334
http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28407
http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29995
http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28360
 

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[quote author=kwsmithphoto link=topic=134256.msg2890731#msg2890731 date=1232960076]
There are no "links below" but I'm sure I can look it up, thanks!

Related question: My lovely wife got suckered into having her most convenient car wash clay and wax her deep blue Lexus SC430. It looked kind of OK for a week, then the obvious markers of a job done badly started showing up. I used the DC-1 and NXT on it which helped quite a bit, but the damage is still there, and will be more obvious when the wax washes off.

I don't need it for my new Mazda, remarkably enough the dealer didn't swirl my paint at all when they prepped it for me, but that car wash she went to absolutely hosed her car's finish! At least they charged her a lot and wasted her time. Why she did that I don't know (women are interesting creatures). She said she just wanted to spare me the trouble of doing it myself. Good intentions gone bad.

Question:

Who makes the best, most aggressive swirl remover that can be applied by hand? I've tried pro series 3M and Meguiar's swirl removers in the past, with less than stellar results. Who makes the good stuff, and where can I get it?

BTW, I'm going to wash her car next weekend with a strong mix of Dawn Ultra so she can see for herself how badly they hosed it. I love her to pieces and want her car to look great, but there's nothing like the naked truth to gently prove a point.
[/quote]

How does a clay and wax leave swirl marks? Did they use a high speed buffer as well? A clay and wax won't leave swirl marks, under any circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[quote author=mshu7 link=topic=134256.msg2891045#msg2891045 date=1232986331]
Yeah, a link would help! http://www.autopia.org/forum/pro-details-before-after/

I spaced it on that one...hehe! Again, look for threads started by "Scottwax".

Anyway, sorry to hear about the wife's Lexus. I would suggest picking up some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound. This is a new product for 2009 and is supposed to be their most aggressive consumer-line product. Since it is a new 2009 product, it may not be in stores yet, but keep your eye out for it.
[/quote]

Thanks a million! Just ordered Ultimate Compound and Swirlx directly from their web site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How does a clay and wax leave swirl marks? Did they use a high speed buffer as well? A clay and wax won't leave swirl marks, under any circumstances.
It wasn't the clay, the paint is actually quite smooth, they did OK with that. Their big fast rotary buffer did the real damage - deep oval swirls and many holograms from using the edge too hard. The operator just had no idea what he was doing, and probably used the same pad that was just used on a muddy Jeep, or something. It looks BAD but there weren't any major problems with the finish before she had them do it. There's an area of the rear bumper that is so badly burned I might have to wet sand it.

Oh well, you know how women can be. Fiercely independent even to the point where they get themselves in trouble, especially when they make decisions about things they know nothing about. Er, guys do the same thing too but I, for one, would never buy clothes without my wife, who is a fashion expert, come with me for advice.

It was funny. She brought the car home and told what she did, seeming very pleased with herself. The car looked pretty good but it was night when I saw it. The next morning I could see the damage, knowing it would reveal itself in a big way after the wax wore off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
[quote author=mshu7 link=topic=134256.msg2886371#msg2886371 date=1232752168]
Definitely keep up on weekly washing. Although, I'd cut out the touch-less washes. I'd recommend going two weeks between hand washing vs. one week of a touch-less wash.

Klasse Glaze is actually Klasse Sealant Glaze. It's a true sealant. Not sure why they call it a glaze. If you are wanting to prep the paint, you would need to go with Klasse All-In-One Polish. This is a chemical polish that will clean the paint and leave a small amount of acrylic protection behind. NXT isn't a "cleaner/wax", but it does have a small amount of cleaners in it (not enough to be considered a cleaner/wax). That said, I'm not sure if there are enough cleaners in NXT to remove the little bit of protection that KAIO would leave behind. Even if it does though, KAIO should be used as a paint prep and not a paint protectant. Also, if you use KAIO there is absolutely no reason to use Meg's DC-1. Plus, DC-1 is a very basic consumer level product and Klasse is considered "boutique". My vote would be to ditch the DC-1.

So, I would recommend you do a full detail (wash, clay, KAIO, NXT) every 6 months. In between, just re-apply NXT when necessary or when you feel like it. If you feel like your paint needs more TLC, you could throw in the KAIO step at months 3 & 9.

If you want the ultimate in protection, I would check out Werkstatt Prime:Strong (bottom of page: http://www.werkstat.com/prime.php) followed by Werkstatt Acrylic Jett (http://www.werkstat.com/acrylic-jett.php). Werkstatt is kinda like the "new-age" Klasse. Apparently, Klasse products haven't been as good since the VOC laws were put into place a couple years back.

If you went with the Werkstatt twins, I would not recommend using NXT at any point. Since Werkstatt AJ is an acrylic sealant, you could top it with a nice carnauba wax. For that, I'd recommend looking into Clearkote Carnauba Moose Wax, Collinite 845 or 476, DP Max Wax, DoDo Juice, Wolfgang Fuzion, or P21S Carnauba Wax.

For maintenance waxes (something that is fast and easy to use after each wash) I'd recommend looking into Optimum Car Wax, Optimum Instant Detailer & Gloss Enhancer (not a wax, but really makes the paint pop), Duragloss AquaWax #951, or even Werkstatt Acrylic Glos or Carnauba Glos.

Ok, so that'll give ya some things to look into if you feel like it :)
[/quote]

So I bought the Werkstatt twins, and just got done with my 3rd coat of Jett. The car looks fantastic! Super shiny and butter smooth. Looks like it has a more expensive paint job than it really does, their products are great!

To be honest, I couldn't tell much difference between coats 1 and 3. The first coat was obvious, but the other two, not so much. It does add something, it's just real subtle. Which leads me to a question:

Since applying the stuff properly is such a pain in the butt - wash and dry car, apply Jett, repeat again the next day (my neighbors think I'm crazy for washing my car every day this week) - why wax it?

My thinking is that I might just do my usual weekly wash followed by another coat of Jett instead of wax. That way, the Jett coats will build up over time. The car looks so good with no wax right now that I'm thinking of skipping it. The Jett should be all the protection I need, especially if I put another layer on every week. I understand how a good wax adds a bit of lustre to the finish, but I'm really enjoying the crisp, crystalline look it has without it.

What do you guys think?
 

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First off, I'm glad to hear you are so happy with Werkstatt! I'm sure it looks great. Second, you don't have to top it with a wax. Typically, sealants don't give the deep, wet look of a carnauba. So, people that want protection + the look of carnauba use both a sealant and then a carnauba. But, if you like the look of what you're using, don't feel like you have to top it.

Got any pics of the finished work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, BTW, my wife's Lexus?

She backed it up into a bright yellow pole a few weeks ago. Twice. It needs to go off to the body shop for a bumper paint, busted tail light, and bent exhaust tip.

Although, I was able to get the yellow paint off with several applications of that Ultimate Compound. Great stuff, the undamaged paint around it was completely swirl-free. But I'm not gonna bother with the rest of the car until she gets it fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ya, she's actually a very driver - never had a real accident in 20 something years of driving, but she can't park to save her life! She just has a thing for bumper scrapes and parking incidents. Like the time she thought her Audi was in "R" but it was actually in "D." Walloped the car parked in front of hers.

If I didn't know better I'd say she was blonde!

No pix of my car. Why bother, it just looks like a stock MS3 with very shiny paint. BTW, the products revealed something I suspected but was never really sure about; Metro Gray has a definite green tint to it. Too bad I sold my colorometer but there's probably enough green in there to measure.
 
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