Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

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lightheir
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Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by lightheir » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:39 pm

I park my 2010 Prius outdoors on the street, under a bunch of trees. The trees drop pollen, some wax (not a ton) on it all the time, so there's no way I'm going to be having a pristine car exterior, ever, esp with this 7-year old vehicle.

I've realized recently after ignoring my car exterior forever, that I should probably wax it periodically to slow down sap accumulation. I actualy had a wax/claybar extra detailing over the car about 3 years ago just for kicks, and now I can tell that accumulated sap is wayy easier to remove on my car than my wife's pretty much unwaxed car also from 2010.

Lately I've been getting into getting the right tools to do stuff (bike repair stuff, mostly) and was intrigued with the possibility of getting an orbital buffer to wax my car once in awhile, esp if it could speed up the job to 20-30mins (or less!)

There's also the possibility of a sealant instead of wax - I have no experience with this, and just saw it on the internet, dunno how to apply it.

If anyone could give this total noob some basic wax vs sealant recs given my situation of liking to keep my car exterior clean but not sparkling (given the outdoor parking) would be great, thx.

researcher
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by researcher » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:20 pm

lightheir wrote:I park my 2010 Prius outdoors on the street, under a bunch of trees.
Lately I've been getting into getting the right tools to do stuff (bike repair stuff, mostly) and was intrigued with the possibility of getting an orbital buffer to wax my car once in awhile, esp if it could speed up the job to 20-30mins (or less!)
There's also the possibility of a sealant instead of wax - I have no experience with this, and just saw it on the internet, dunno how to apply it.
If anyone could give this total noob some basic wax vs sealant recs given my situation of liking to keep my car exterior clean but not sparkling (given the outdoor parking) would be great, thx.
For what you are describing, one of the newer 'nano' coatings makes the most sense, as they last for year(s).
However, the paint needs to be pristine before application, and the process is involved.

Therefore, I would do the following...
- Wash the car very well, using appropriate products (car wash, degreaser, ect)
- Clay bar the vehicle, working in small sections, and drying as you go
- Apply an All-in-one synthetic sealant of your choice (http://www.autogeek.net/carwax.html), by hand, 2-4 times per year.
- Occasionally apply a good spray-on sealant after washing.

nanoanalyzer
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by nanoanalyzer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:17 pm

researcher wrote: Therefore, I would do the following...
- Wash the car very well, using appropriate products (car wash, degreaser, ect)
- Clay bar the vehicle, working in small sections, and drying as you go
- Apply an All-in-one synthetic sealant of your choice (http://www.autogeek.net/carwax.html), by hand, 2-4 times per year.
- Occasionally apply a good spray-on sealant after washing.
Was about to come in here and say (almost) exactly this. There are many products out there, enough to make you dizzy. I spent an afternoon searching for expert reviews and chatting with some detailing friends to find out what is "good enough" for someone who cares about paint care, but not to the point of it being a business or significant hobby. Cost was a major factor.

Meguiar's Gold Class shampoo or Optimum No Rinse (once per month minimum)
Griot's, Meguiars, or Mother's clay kits (only before sealant)
Griot's Poly Wax (actually a sealant, wax does not last nearly as long) (apply once per year)
Meguiar's or Optimum detail spray (as needed for things like bird doo)
"If you think stocks are like physics, you believe there must be smart people who can measure exactly where the Dow Jones Industrial Average will be in five months." -Morgan Housel

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:21 pm

I like Rejex. It's sealant that goes on and off easily and lasts for months.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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StevieG72
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by StevieG72 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:16 pm

Spray on waxes have come a long way and are as good as paste waxes nowadays.

Pick a high quality spray on wax. Wash, dry, wax, repeat when water doesnt bead off car anymore.

The above steps will protect the paint. You may need to wash more frequently if tree sap is getting on car.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

Carter3
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by Carter3 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:24 am

researcher wrote:
lightheir wrote:I park my 2010 Prius outdoors on the street, under a bunch of trees.
Lately I've been getting into getting the right tools to do stuff (bike repair stuff, mostly) and was intrigued with the possibility of getting an orbital buffer to wax my car once in awhile, esp if it could speed up the job to 20-30mins (or less!)
There's also the possibility of a sealant instead of wax - I have no experience with this, and just saw it on the internet, dunno how to apply it.
If anyone could give this total noob some basic wax vs sealant recs given my situation of liking to keep my car exterior clean but not sparkling (given the outdoor parking) would be great, thx.
For what you are describing, one of the newer 'nano' coatings makes the most sense, as they last for year(s).
However, the paint needs to be pristine before application, and the process is involved.

Therefore, I would do the following...
- Wash the car very well, using appropriate products (car wash, degreaser, ect)
- Clay bar the vehicle, working in small sections, and drying as you go
- Apply an All-in-one synthetic sealant of your choice (http://www.autogeek.net/carwax.html), by hand, 2-4 times per year.
- Occasionally apply a good spray-on sealant after washing.
Agreed ^. Follow autogeek its a huge help. In addition I use a porter cable 7424.

FRANK2009
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by FRANK2009 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:48 am

My suggestion is to wash the car weekly (weather permitting) with any car wash soap you can find at Walmart. I'm not sure there's much difference between them. I also use a "wax as you dry" type spray. Every month or so, apply wax or sealant. Don't ask me how they are different, I don't know. My current favorite is Collinite liquid wax. It's pretty durable and the car looks good.

FCM
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by FCM » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:58 am

My 2003 Toyota Camry is parked outside on my driveway in Northern Virginia and not in a garage. I use Collinite paste wax, which seems to last longer, i.e., water still beading after 6 months, than the other paste waxes I have used in the past. However, I had to purchase the Collinite via mail order, which added to the cost because of shipping charges, but the improved performance of the wax made it worthwhile. I remember seeing the results of an impartial car wax longevity test, and the Collinite won. That was enough of a reason for me to give it a try.

myleaf
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by myleaf » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:00 am

I use Nu Finish paste every 6 months or so. 17 year old mini-van still looks pretty good.
Easy to apply. May not give you the highest quality shine, but seems to do its job well in the AZ sun.
"Never met an electron I did not like"

taguscove
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by taguscove » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:10 am

Is there a benefit to washing / waxing / sealing other than aesthetics? I've tried washing and waxing 3-4 times, but didn't notice a substantial difference beyond the immediate gratification of a beautiful looking car. I realized that car washing isn't something I enjoy, so I just stopped the past 5 years. I haven't noticed much difference; grey dust on a grey car.

I promise this isn't a troll question. If there is a big difference, I should probably pay a commercial car wash.

Green Nut
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by Green Nut » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:39 pm

taguscove wrote:Is there a benefit to washing / waxing / sealing other than aesthetics? I've tried washing and waxing 3-4 times, but didn't notice a substantial difference beyond the immediate gratification of a beautiful looking car. I realized that car washing isn't something I enjoy, so I just stopped the past 5 years. I haven't noticed much difference; grey dust on a grey car.

I promise this isn't a troll question. If there is a big difference, I should probably pay a commercial car wash.
wash off that grey dust that's been there for 5 years and your finish probably isn't what it used to be...little bits of brake dust rusting into and etching your clear coat, bird droppings and tree sap do the same. Washing off winter's salt and chemicals so it doesn't eat undercarriage parts is pretty high on this list too. But I just like a shiny clean car mostly so I wash about every two weeks depending on the 10-day forecast.

But to answer the OP's question if you want stuff from the local auto-parts store McGwire's & Mother's work great, just don't last as long as some boutique brands might. I have seen pro detailers offering ceramic coatings these days, think a level above sealant - but its pricey.

Arlington2019
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by Arlington2019 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:24 am

Resurrecting this thread to see about current product recommendations. For years, I used Meguiar's M21 Mirror Glaze Synthetic as a sealant on our two cars. I was recently perusing a thread on Bob Is The Oil Guy, and as a consequence, went to Walmart and purchased Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic Wax and Turtle Wax Ice Shine and Seal. I used the Meguiar's on the Toyota Tacoma and the Turtle Wax on the Mazda CX-5. I will give it a couple of months in the Seattle winter and see which product is the most durable and shiny. I bought both of these specifically for the ease of application.

Any opinions on these products or current alternatives? Since these are daily drivers and live outside, I no longer go down the rabbit hole of intensive paint correction and using boutique products.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by Mr. Rumples » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:00 am

I got this idea from a kid (he is in his 20's) who flips luxury vehicles. It keeps my vehicle looking great even though it is 19 years old and parked outside. I wash it and then use Zymol Spray Detailer ($13.00). Its getting more difficult to find in stores however.

smitcat
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by smitcat » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:09 am

FCM wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:58 am
My 2003 Toyota Camry is parked outside on my driveway in Northern Virginia and not in a garage. I use Collinite paste wax, which seems to last longer, i.e., water still beading after 6 months, than the other paste waxes I have used in the past. However, I had to purchase the Collinite via mail order, which added to the cost because of shipping charges, but the improved performance of the wax made it worthwhile. I remember seeing the results of an impartial car wax longevity test, and the Collinite won. That was enough of a reason for me to give it a try.
FWIW - we used Collinite for a number of years on both cars and boats.
Compared to the newer sealants it is much harder to use, black spots more, and does not last as long.
Just about any of the new 'non wax' sealants have been superior - we are using Meguirs #21 now.
YMMV

F14tuna
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by F14tuna » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:41 am

+1 for Nu Finish. I do 2 coats, about 10 days apart, on all my cars, then 1-2 times a year after that. Can’t beat the results.

inbox788
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by inbox788 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:06 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:21 pm
I like Rejex. It's sealant that goes on and off easily and lasts for months.
I've used it too, but it doesn't last that long for me. Also, it's not that shiny to begin with, and that's made worse by the neglect. I like the look and feel from clay bar, but never done it myself and seem like way too much work for me. I've been looking into these new fangled artificial clay products (alternative clay or synthetic products), but the reviews have been mixed. Still, Rejex is a solid product for the ease of use, but I wouldn't let it go for more than 2-3 months.

I still have a very old bottle of Nu Finish and that was a once a year product for me, but the care needed around the black plastics turned me off. I've read there formulation went through changes, maybe more than once, so you can't expect the same results anymore. Then again, paint probably changed as well, so it might be a matter of finding the best match for your vintage car.

dsmclone
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by dsmclone » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:22 pm

I have an orbital buffer that I use to remove swirl marks(maguiars m105 and m205) but that's the only thing I use it for. I've used about everything under the sun in the last 20 years. Zymol, Zaino, Klasse, Pinnacle Souverän, etc. The last time I did it, I used Sonax and it's probably my favorite so far. With that said, I've heard a lot of great things about Nu Finish and may try that out next.

I find that everyone focuses on the wax/polish when in reality they should be focusing on other things:

Hand wash your car. Regardless of the wax/sealant, it will last a lot longer. Using a power washer/car wash strips whatever you put on your car to protect it.

Buy one of those buckets with a strainer at the bottom and keep your sponges clean. With a dark colored car, this is how you get most of those swirl marks.

Whatever you use to dry the car, keep it clean. This is the other way you get all of those swirl marks.

And finally, it's a never ending battle when you live in the midwest. You want to clean all that salt/sand off the bottom of your car but unless you're really careful, you end up rubbing that junk into the rest of your paint.

tri-james
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by tri-james » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:31 pm

I watch a lot of youtube videos and also have the Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic Wax and Turtle Wax Ice Shine and Seal. They are truly fantastic for the value and ease of application.

Pan the Organizer video - https://youtu.be/59w-eKzmgw4

darrvao777
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by darrvao777 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:22 pm

wash with ONRWW which contains wax

dry with opti seal which is a sealant that will penetrate through the wax (optimum synergy)

i top with p and s beadmaker for greater slickness and gloss

simple products that have worked really well for me

Afty
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by Afty » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:02 pm

I recently used a spray on sealant (https://www.amazon.com/CarGuys-Hybrid-W ... 226&sr=1-4) for the first time and was astounded at how easy it is to apply. Back in the day I used to use paste waxes, and those were way harder. Also the sealant won’t harm plastic or rubber surfaces.

andypanda
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by andypanda » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:41 am

It rains quite a bit here in central Virginia - more than Seattle - so that knocks down the dust from my adventures hauling my 16-foot boat to lakes that don't have ramps. Or roads sometimes. I have a red 4Runner fwiw and also drive it on the Outer Banks beaches. Anyway, give Turtle Wax ICE wash & wax a try. It will never look as good as a hand-applied wax. but for very little work your vehicle will look like you waxed it last week or the week before. I wash mine with a 5-gallon bucket and a long-handled brush. I have better things to do than fuss over my truck. :sharebeer

Forty years ago or so I used Nu Finish once a year, but even that's too much bother these days. I'm not competing against show cars.

capsaicinguy
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by capsaicinguy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:42 am

An exterior rejuvenation on my cars goes like this:

-hand wash with meguire's gold class soap (from Walmart)

-claybar whole car with just water as lubricant

-buff out with Porter Cable random orbital buffer, Griot's garage pink polishing pad, and mequires ultimate compound (if there is a lot of clear coat swirls)

-seal paint with Finish Kare 2180 sealant (and wipe off)

-wax with Finish Kare paste "pink wax" in a day or two once the sealant has completely dried and soaked in

I usually do all of the above once every few years on my cars. I used to do it more often but just don't have the time anymore. For a quicker touch up once all the above has been done I just wash, claybar, and paint sealant. I can do this for our minivan in about 2- 3 hours and I do this 2-3 times total during spring/summer/fall.

I also tend to claybar the glass and apply Aquapel about 3 times a year, it lasts MUCH longer than rainx.

Quickblue02
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by Quickblue02 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:10 am

I also use Nu Finish. Wash the car. Put on a very light coat and let it dry. Wipe it off with a towel. Lasts 1 year.

itsgot8
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Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

Post by itsgot8 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:07 am

There are ceramic coatings that are available but those can be expensive. Protective film is another option but that too, is expensive.

Personally, I use Megiuar's and Mothers products for synthetic wax, clay bar and detail spray. Personally, I don't buy into the marketing of those 'higher level' products like Adam's Polish/car care products, car guys, etc. It reminds me too much of Zaino and their 11ty billion processes/treatments. Everyone has their own preferred brands.

I will say that since your car sits outside, you should wax it more often as the sun can do just as much damage to the paint and coatings.

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