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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    First off, I've read a number of posts about washing, detailing, Zaino stuff, Griot's Garage products, etc...

    Looking carefully in sunlight, I can see clear coat swirl marks in my Spectra Blue, it's 1yr, 9 mos. old, only hand washed by me.

    Here's my routine

    * 1 bucket of sponge rinse water, 1 bucket with Meg's Gold Class soap

    * Use shower setting on nozzle

    * Rinse microfiber sponge. Yeah, it's cheap, auto parts / Wal Mart special (kind with all the fingers)

    * Get soap, wipe with little pressure, roof first, top down, then all around method. I rinse the sponge quite a bit

    * take nozzle off, sheet most of water off

    * put car in garage, use one $10 microfiber waffle weave to get most water up per section, follow with other MWW to finish, light pressure.

    -------------------------

    I suspect some of the swirl marks are due to the sponge. Seems anytime wiping dirt to get it up, micro scratches are going to happen, or not. I'm not sure.

    I'm thinking to try a good quality sheepskin mit for washing. Or $60 Boar's Hair Brush?

    I also suspect my drying process. Maybe I should spritz some Meg's Quik Wax on wet section, then use the Waffle drying towel.

    I've waxed the car 5 times since new, usually with Meg's Cleaner Wax which I likely won't use again. I have Meg's NXT Tech Wax 2.0

    I've clayed twice.

    I'm pretty busy and not an avid detailer. Wonder if I should look into an all in one sealant / protectant like Klasse, Zaino or Griot's

    Sometimes I look at that NuFinish Polish. It's always on the shelf of every store.

    Help! :D
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    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North

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    I'm a fairly detailed person and my car is almost always hand-washed (if not, it's through a touch-less). I find it funny that the swirls come after I hand wash it and I suspect it's something I'm doing wrong. I've always cleaned my cloth and mitts after washing the car and I still get fine scratches... I use a one-bucket method which may play a part though I do rinse the microfibre wash-mitt during car washing from time to time.

    Got a question to add to cycledrum's question...

    if stuff is caked on, what's the best way to get them off? I mean sand and winter crud that's caked on. Do I take it to a touchless and have the jets blast the dirt in or do I risk scratching the paint as I wash or rinse the dirt off prior/during hand washing? Seems like a lose-lose situation (though blasting the dirt can be reversed by claybarring)
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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    After reading about washing and drying on autogeek.net ..

    Maybe it's the water I'm using that contributes to swirls.

    Our water heater is 14 years old, needs changing. Perhaps that bucket of warm soapy water is lousy with minerals and fine sediment in it.

    Rinse water from the hose is probably hard water too.
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    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    Don't wash the car. After a while you won't see the swirls.
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    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I don't have any suggestions to improve the OP's car care routine.

    It is really tough to keep dark colors looking pristine. Next time you buy a new car, choose a light color and you'll find it is much easier to maintain.
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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Next time I'll probably get Silver.

    I'm not going to use warm water in the wash bucket, just cold.
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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I spent the morning doing a

    * Wash with Meg's Gold Class - this time left soap on all over the car, then used no nozzle to rinse, sheet water off

    * Left wet, moved in garage, claybar'd the roof and hood with Meg's clay kit - it didn't need much claying.

    * moved out of garage, washed and rinsed again

    * moved in garage, dried using 2 Microfiber waffle weave towels. I use small MF cloths to wipe down door jams and trim areas.

    * Wiped on thin layer of Meguiar's NXT Tech Wax 2.0 all over car

    * buffed off the roof first. Took more effort than expected to get wax off roof. I use two polishing cloths - 1 to get most wax up, 2nd to buff all clean

    * Used Meg's Interior Mist & wipe cleaner. I use a glass cloth only on the clear plastic around radio area. Wiped all glass and interior surfaces clean with Stoner's glass cleaner

    * Broke out the 303 Aerospace protectant for all black exterior trim - great stuff

    * Wiped exterior glass clean spraying Stoner's only on the cloth so as to not spritz glass cleaner on the paint.

    * Wiped down tires with meg's Supreme shine rubber and trim protectant

    * Wiped wheels with damp cloth

    and this is what I got :eek:

    050705 145.jpg

    050705 147.jpg
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    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North

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    Very nice!!

    Pat.... well that's why BP was on my list... I just couldn't resist Blue Ribbon!!
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    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Beautiful.
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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Thanks!

    I'm pretty impressed with the initial results of the Meguiar's NXT Tech Wax 2.0. Last time I used it I layered it on too thick. This time layered thin like the instructions say.

    I think it's good to switch to another type / brand of wax or sealant every so often - mix things up a bit.
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    Econ Member

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    I use a one-bucket method which may play a part though I do rinse the microfibre wash-mitt during car washing from time to time.

    Get rid of the micro fiber mitts and whatever.
    Wash you car with lamb wool mitt and dry with leaf blower and touch with turkish or cotton 100%) towel.
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    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North

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    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    JimN Let the games begin!

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    The pre-production blue Prius on display in NYC showed swirlies. The dark blues are gorgeous but impossible to keep looking good unless the car is shrinkwrapped.
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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    It's been a while since I've seen it. Thanks. He doesn't like microfiber mitts/sponges for washing but recommends sheepskin mitt. Funny, he doesn't like a boar's hair brush, but paradox swears by his.

    I think it's time to try a sheepskin mitt.

    I'm afraid to have the car polished at this point. To me, polishing seems like grinding down the clear coat to hopefully remove imprefections. Then you end up with thinner clear coat. Or not?

    From the thread - Maybe I haven't done 7 and 9 well enough. The rest I've never done.

    "Swirls


    Incorrect use of a buffer or polisher can be a leading cause, but it's not the only cause of swirl marks. Every time you wash or wipe down your vehicles paint you create micro-marring. The severity of the micro-marring depends on your tools and the contaminants present. IMO, here are the ten most frequent causes of micro-marring (swirl marks):
    1. <LI itxtvisited="1">Polishers/buffers with the incorrect pad or an untrained operator;<LI itxtvisited="1">Harsh polishing compounds and paint cleaners; <LI itxtvisited="1">Towels and applicators containing polyester threads; <LI itxtvisited="1">A dirty chamois or a chamois that has not been properly maintained; <LI itxtvisited="1">Wiping down a dusty or dirty car with a dry towel; <LI itxtvisited="1">A dirty car duster or a car duster used on a car with too much dirt on the surface; <LI itxtvisited="1">Not keeping your wash mitt or sponge properly rinsed; <LI itxtvisited="1">Automated car washes with brushes and other wipers; (aka Swirl O Matics) <LI itxtvisited="1">Not rinsing your vehicle completely before washing, or not washing your car thoroughly before drying; and
    2. Using a truck cover when the truck or the cover is not clean.
    The most noticeable area for swirl marks is the hood and trunk or tailgate. On dark-colored vehicle, they might also show up on the doors and fenders. Bright colors do not show swirl marks as well because they reflect more light. That doesn't mean they don't get swirl marks, they just show up more readily on dark colors. Black, of course, is the worst of all colors for displaying swirls and other imperfections. Which is why I have a black Taco. I love a challenge. [IMG]

    Swirl marks can be removed by polishing. Polishing out swirl marks without a buffer is a lot of work. I recommend polishing your Taco one small section at a time so you can see the progress.

    To remove swirl marks, use a good medium cut polish. If you have some real neglected paint or scratches then you might need to step up to a more agressive polish.

    Basically:
    To keep water spots to a minimum, try using a detailing spray after you wash. I also will spray some quick detailer in the bucket to add some extra lubrication to the soap. Lubrication is the key to reducing microscratches and marring. Keep your vehicle in the shade, and dry it off ASAP.

    To keep swirl marks to a minimum, make sure you have good wash and dry tools. Never wipe, rub or polish in circles (straight line motions only), and be very careful when you use buffers and polishers. If you have repair work done on your vehicle, tell the painter you want a warranty against swirl marks. This lets them know you're clued in to a quality job.
    Regular polishing is the best way to remove water spots and swirl marks. Choose a good polish, good tools, and be patient. "
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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I use the blade a little on the windows and to bring out water that pools by the windshield wipers. I don't try to get all water off with the blade - I don't like the screeching sound :D

    I might use a leaf blower somewhat, but I'm thinking to mist Quik Wax onto a section and some on the drying towel.

    I bought one of the Absorber things to try out. I'm going to shelve the Waffle Weave towels for now as I suspect them.

    Water filter is a great idea.
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    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    That blue is really the prettyest color they make. Looks perfect on that little car.

    I've owned one black car in my entire life. Never dark colors again. I notice every swirlie and every door ding everytime I walked up to the car.

    I have swirlies in my Pearl Driftwood but you have to wash it and look real real close to see um'.
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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Took the car to work today and was a little blown away by the glossy look. I gotta give some props to -

    Meguiar's NXT Tech Wax 2.0 It's pretty smashing for under $20

    this stuff -

    Meguiar's Direct NXT Generation® Tech Wax® 2.0

    I read the label and musta seen elsewhere that thin application is way to go with wax / sealants.
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    silentak1 Since 2005

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    you people... made me buy the klasse all-in-one product now... :D

    I think i've tried everything in the market at least once (from TurtleWax to Zaino and some other high-end stuff not found on Pep Boys, stuff that I used mostly on my BMW). My fav remains Meguiar's yellow wax #26, very easy on/off, deep shine, and moderate life (2 months with washings every 1-2 weeks) and pretty darn good for the price. The Klasse reviews seem like a good step up but should last maybe 4 months...
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    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Oh boy, I've spent a couple hours reading car wash stuff all over the internet, argh.

    Even came across a bogus study that automatic car washes are better than hand washing. Here's the link -

    warning - link is hosted by an automatic car wash company and many other car washes reference this and other 'studys'.

    http://www.villagecarwash.net/pdf/TexasCarWashStudy.pdf

    ---------

    I have the luxury of hand washing at home, so will stick with that. Came across this video on Meguiar's site to remind of the basics -

    meguiars.com: Car Care Video Guide Tips Series – Washing 101

    btw, I don't work for Meguiars or anything :)

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