Polishes and waxes. A simple guide.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Detailing' started by Charlie, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    So many confuse polishes with waxes or sealants. They do entirely different jobs so below I will try to explain.

    Polishes
    A polish is designed to cut. By doing so it improves and refines the finish.

    Most of you will be familiar with sandpaper ? A polish is a fluid containing particles so like a sandpaper but in a fluid form. Like sandpaper we can get different grades of polish. So the polish we use should have the cut required to give us what we are looking for it to do.

    IE if we are polishing out deep scratches a low cut polish will do it but it will take so much longer. We would not choose a sandpaper with little bite to smooth rough timber ?

    So care over what you use must be taken or you can remove to much material. Or you could be working hard with little results.

    There are two basic types of polish.

    The usual are the ones that stay in grade .. This means the size of the grit in the polish stays the same no matter how long or hard you use it. IE you choose a medium cut it stays a medium cut throughout the polishing process .

    The their are are the AOIs. These are polishes that as used the cutting grits break down as you polish. IE you start with a medium cut but as you polish the grits break down in size therefore giving a lesser amount of cut.

    I prefer the predictability of a polish that stays in grade. With that the level of cut doesn't change so keeps it simple.

    Polishes have and leave NO protection to the surface.

    Waxes and Sealants.
    Both are designed with one job only in mind. That is to add shine and protect the surface.
    Which you use makes no difference it's a personal choose. But they are to protect only.

    Waxes or sealants have NO cutting ability whatsoever.

    There are on motor homes many types of surface.

    For GRP or the usual painted areas on them we need just normal automotive car polish. There are many products marketed as specialist kit but trust me these are just re branded re packaged products .

    So for GRP , Paint, Headlights and tail lights we need simple automotive polish Not re branded expensive same as but much more expensive.

    Glass is a separate entity.
    For glass we use Cerium Oxide . This is a powder which we mix with water to give a smooth paste. With CO we can remove both light and deep scratches from glass to restore it to an optical clarity. Even deep scratches inflicted by diamond rings can be removed. It's quite an easy product to use and the results are amazing.

    Composite panels on MHs are a grey area for me as I haven't yet had any experience. I will update as this is gained in time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
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  2. Jimbohorlicks

    Jimbohorlicks Funster

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    Thanks Charlie-food for thought when next "shining" up my van(y)

    have you any comments re the waterless wax spray "polishes "?
     
  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Thanks for that, I didn't know the difference. So T Cut is a polish?
     
  4. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Many thanks Charlie....

    so for a new A class. GRP roof/ alloy walls) what would you wash it with and which wax and sealer would you recommend.

    the polish I presume meant for older vans?
     
  5. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    sounds like it....have only ever used it on old faded cars though (in my youth)
     
  6. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Some total b!@#$/t scratched our Toyota IQ drivers side window using a ring or similar.
    It was quite deliberate. Scratches back an forth all over a small area.
    It took several hours work with a drill and a CO polishing kit to remove them. It is slow going because you have to avoid overheating the glass.
    There is now a blemish where the glass was removed but it is passable and saved the cost of new glass or lost no claims.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
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  7. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    @Charlie Thanks for that. Very useful post (y)
     
  8. calion

    calion

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    Very informative, thankyou! The roof on our van is fibreglass, but the sides are what I call painted aluminium sandwich, do let us have your recommendations for these when you can. (y)(y)
     
  9. jumar

    jumar Funster

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    How very informative. Thanks Charlie.
     
  10. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    The reason we need to polish in most cases is because of the swirling marks and light scratches.
    Light scratches can be inflicted by rubbing along bushes like I did yesterday while negotiating a very narrow lane if France. Most however and all swirling is inflicted by washing the vehicles.
    Best washing involves careful washing ( I will write about this in a separate thread) . But sometimes poor washing inflicts the swirls.
    So these waterless products are just about the worst thing you can use. Lots of water with a nice lubricating shampoo will reduce the swirling. You can't achieve this with those waterless products. Sorry.
     
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  11. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    T cut is an out of date petrochemical product. Please under no circumstances use it on GRP or composite panels . GRP has air holes that are invisible to the eye. Tcut will get into the Resin which is the top most layer of it and will yellow it very quickly.

    The product used to be considered a one hit wonder tool but it's so out of date now.

    Honestly it has no place in modern vehicle cleaning/restoration.
     
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  12. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    There are dozens of car shampoos. Prices range enormously but any will do just fine. I buy Simonez from Costco at £3.77 for five litres.

    The main thing to remember with shampoo is use just a little ! To much will not improve cleaning but it will remove waxes or sealants.

    Best long lasting super high durability wax is Colinite 476 S which is less than twenty quid a tin off EBay.

    There are a few tips you will need to make applying this wax easily. I will advise if you like.
     
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  13. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    yes please:)
     
  14. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    There are dozens of car shampoos. Prices range enormously but any will do just fine. I buy Simonez from Costco at £3.77 for five litres.

    The main thing to remember with shampoo is use just a little ! To much will not improve cleaning but it will remove waxes or sealants.

    Best long lasting super high durability wax is Colinite 476 S which is less than twenty quid a tin off EBay.

    There are a few tips you will need to make applying this wax
    Here You go mate
    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/colinite-wax-and-its-application.115944/
     
  15. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Again I repeat my lack of experience with the panels on MHs and Caravans..

    But if it's just paint and is not lacquered then Extreme care must be taken when polishing.
    The way to check is to polish a small area and see if you have colour transfer on the cloth. If you do then there is no lacquer. If you don't then it's polish as normal.

    I will copy over a guide to polishing in another thread when I get home. It's to long to type again and I don't know how to copy and paste on this IPad.

    Waxing is exactly the same as all finishes.
     
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  16. Photo4x4

    Photo4x4 Funster

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    Very interesting Charlie, thank you.

    I was in a local motor factor recently and I was looking for some black stone chip paint spray (thanks to Ed China) and some wax for my vehicles including my motorhome.

    I had decided that the mh body (GRP?) was already shiny so all I needed to do after washing it was to protect it with a wax finish. In reading the above it looks as though I am on the right lines. I was absolutely bewildered by the sheer volume of vehicle cleaning products available! :confused:

    Stuff for cleaning the alloy wheels, the tyres, the dashboard, the leather seats, the headlights, the bodywork (restore, polish, wax) the engine bay, the glass, the mirrors and seemingly a hundred other things or parts of your vehicle. Each had its own sub varieties and variations - and claims.

    Charlie has helped to 'shine' a light on this for me. Thanks.

    BTW I am awaiting a delivery of a 'no water' cleaning kit. My idea was that whilst away for a month I could keep the mh clean without having to use a hose (clean off bird droppings etc.). Now I'm not so sure this is a good idea. Although perhaps the occasional use of this product is okay?

    I have in my garden a large plastic barrel that was once used for traffic film remover in a car wash at work (now used as a fresh water tub for running my outboard boat engine). The label on the side states that the contents are corrosive! I remember that the paint on the door next to the wash was almost all peeled off. I spoke to the service engineer for the washer one day and he told me not to use the traffic film remover on my own vehicle as it would do the paintwork harm!

    wash-640.jpg

    KH
     
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  17. bellabee

    bellabee Funster

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    What a useful thread! Thanks @Charlie for posting it.
     
  18. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    Even occasional use of a waterless system can cause damage. If all you want to do is remove bird poo Autoglym do some wipes for this purpose and they can be used without causing any damage
     
  19. Photo4x4

    Photo4x4 Funster

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    What does it do to cause the damage? It is not abrasive.

    The stuff I ordered came today so I tried it out on my truck (black). I must admit that I was impressed. It cleaned it very well and easily buffed to a good shine. It is a big vehicle and it only took ten minutes to clean and polish.

    However, I am very cautious about using it so I'm really interested in what problems it is likely to cause before I try it on my MH.

    KH
     
  20. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    The products contain no abrasives. But correct washing of vehicles requires much water lubricated with a shampoo.

    Those of us that are fussy use a foam lance. These cost about 25 quid off EBay and must be used with a pressure washer.

    We spray the vehicles with a blanket of foam and allow it to dwell.

    We then power wash the vehicle.

    This removes all the dirt and dust . It's this dirt and dust that is the abrasives that inflict swirling and light scratches to paint and the various panels they are constructed from.

    When you spray that kit out of wee bottles onto your precious MH you are effectively making up a rubbing compound. Not ideal to say the least !!

    Frankly if you gave me free a dozen bottles of waterless wash I would hand them back....
     
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