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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone, I know there's been a lot of threads regarding this but I needed to get down to the specifics. First of all, for you Cali guys, do you recommend any professional detailer who will do a great job(OEM or better).

Another thing is that I was considerin is doing it my self, not with all the tools but the basic wax and polish etc. So from what I've read these are the order of steps I should take :

1. Wash car( I use Meguairs Gold Class; know of anything better?)

2. possibly claybar if needed(My paint looks OEM clean after wash, no contamination)

3. Wax( NXT tech wax 2.0)

4. polish( don't know of one)

5. detailer spray( meguairs ultimate quick detailer)

* I basically just want that deep wet look to hide the swirls, since I have obsidian.

thanks guys in advance
 

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I use ZAINOs, but regardless for your first detailing do this:
1) Use dawn liquid detergent for wash. This strips any wax that might be on there now and doesn't damage any finish. Don't use dawn after you waxed car!
2) Clay bar. This is the most important step of all. I used a clay bar on mine just after a few days of getting the car and I was amazed how much stuff came off the car that I couldn't see, but could definitely feel the difference.
3) Here is where I use 3 coats of Zaino polish with their detailing spray in between coats. I use two differnt kinds of polish here. My first coat is a polish to hide the swirl marks for darker cars and the next two is for a deeper shine. I do use Meguairs on my wife's ES350 and my motorcycle and it is a good wax also. I really like the Zainos because it doesn't leave any white residue in cracks or on plastic/rubber.
4) Use lots of good towels or microfiber cloths to remove wax.
5) I think you will get a lot of appreciation if you do it yourelf. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot man...yeah I am leaning towards just doing it myself. I only have one problem with your guide...is the Dish wash soap safe? I have heard bad things about using dish washing soap to wash the car. Anyways I bought the meguairs compound...is that a good substitute for polish or no?
 

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Using Dawn is recommended from the Zaino's web site. Those guys are serious about detailing. Since you are using Meguiars, they do have a polish. Use the polish after your wash, clay bar, and before the wax. Sometimes the Meguairs polish can be hard to find. Pep Boys carries a lot of detailing products and you might have luck there. Since you have a dark car, the polish is definitely a good idea. Don't forget the clay bar!
 

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I wouldn't use Dawn or any dishwashing detergent to wash my car. Use a real good pH balanced car wash soap. If you really need to remove old wax, use a proper paint cleaner and follow up with clay.
 

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You only use dish soap once and that is to remove any of the current wax as it is a degreaser. Then you would apply your coats if you want that wet look I recommend Zaino it is a long process I did about 7 coats but looks great.
 

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I would leave polishing and buffing to professionals, if you go with something too abrasive you'll probably screw it up. I don't swirl up my car when I wash it so I haven't had to polish it yet.

I use Meguiars Gold Class Shampoo, I will sud up the entire car and begin washing in small areas, rinsing out the microfiber mitt several times between, using a grit guard in the bucket so I'm not bringing back dirt particles on the mitt after I rinse. I'll use a seperate mitt for the wheels. Then I'll very lightly dry the car with a microfiber towel or leaf blower. Then I spray the wheels down with P21S. A claybar really isn't necessary unless you are going to polish , unless you live in a highly polluted area. I do claybar the wheels every time and reapply sealant... I will use Klasse sealant or Swissvax wax on the rest of the car. I apply the sealant every 3 months... If I add wax, I apply it monthly.

My car will not touch a Lexus dealer wash or any other wash for that matter. I've avoided swirl marks entirely by doing things myself.

If your car really isn't dirty and only has a small layer of dust on it, consider getting a foam gun... This saves a lot of time.

7 coats of Zaino is excessive lol, think diminishing returns.
 

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I can't seem to get the watermarks off my side mirrors. What do you use to eliminate them?
 

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Watermarks the best way is a mix of water and vinegar will take them off I use this on my glass and everytime I am done using my jetski to get the hard water off.
 

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Someone else told me about vinegar, but I didn't pay attention. I'll give it a try then. Thanks nol300.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yeah as isfflojo is saying, i've also been told before to use vinegar to treat water spots, but never tried it. What has worked pretty well for me, is the ultimate quick detailer from meguairs, on the bod that is. Maybe for windows, the pH of the vinegar might help break down those hard water spots(sounds plausible).
 

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On the glass you should only have watermarks on the outside and I will go back over with glass cleaner and on the body or like on my jet ski I use a spray detailer after to take care of the smell.
 

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Hey everyone, I know there's been a lot of threads regarding this but I needed to get down to the specifics. First of all, for you Cali guys, do you recommend any professional detailer who will do a great job(OEM or better).

Another thing is that I was considerin is doing it my self, not with all the tools but the basic wax and polish etc. So from what I've read these are the order of steps I should take :

1. Wash car( I use Meguairs Gold Class; know of anything better?)

2. possibly claybar if needed(My paint looks OEM clean after wash, no contamination)

3. Wax( NXT tech wax 2.0)

4. polish( don't know of one)

5. detailer spray( meguairs ultimate quick detailer)

* I basically just want that deep wet look to hide the swirls, since I have obsidian.

thanks guys in advance
First of, you need to work in the right conditions, that means, no strong sun. If you wash the car in the strong sun, make sure to drive it into the garage right away and then dry it. For drying, I like the California jelly blade, a few towels and a leaf blower.

As for washing, A foam gun is a great way to create suds and get the paint all soaked in it.

I recommend clay bar once or twice a year, which will take off all the conteminents off the paint and get it ready for any paint correction and wax.

Polishing comes before waxing, it what gives the paint a brilliant shine. I like Menzerna, Zaino and there are a few others as well.

Wax wise, you can go with synthetic or carnuba. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Moving on, you have the wheels, engine bay, under-carriage.


You didn't mention the interior? Your dash will need something that's water based and Ph balanced for UV protection and your leather seats will need cleaning and conditioning so they don't crack.


I'm in the Bay Area, CA if you need a helping hand with the detailing. Just PM me for details.
 

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Stoner makes a synthetic spray wax that's working great in my opinion.

I use 2-3 coats of it, synthetic wax will last for a long long time, lots of paint protection.

You can then use carnuba on top of that or use a sealant.

 
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