Last Modified Dec 27, 2012
An attempt to list the products I use, organized by task.
Detailing products I use.
Storing detailing tools and products.
In total, my exterior detailing routine is spread out across two to three
days. Obviously I don't do a full detail very often; two or three times a
year is typical. Between the full detailings, I do wash the car fairly
frequently, and use spritz to help maintain the paint protection and keep
the surface slippery.
This year (2012), I'm hoping to move to only doing a full body detail
once a year, and just being more vigilant about the upkeep. With today's
products, it's possible to keep my paint in great shape without polishing
and waxing more than once a year on a fair-weather-only car. If using a
good quality polymer sealant, I can keep the paint in very good shape with
with a hose-free wash product, detailing spray and a compatible spritz
sealant. There will obviously always be the cases where I need to
touch up a spot with clay and polish (nasty bird dropping, lump of hot road
tar, whatever). Just to give a product combo example, if I've sealed
with Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0, I can maintain the paint
for a season with:
- Griot's Spray-On Car Wash or Chemical Guys' Hose Free ECOwash
- Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant
I don't consider these things time-savers; the time spent on each
wipe down is much shorter than a full detail, but I need to do it a
lot more frequently. So in a year, I'll have spent as much or more
time keeping the car clean. And I'll spend more on microfiber towels
to avoid constant laundering. But my car will be clean a lot more
often and I'll have less long-term damage to the paint.
It's worth noting that my car is not a concourse queen. It gets
driven. Life is short, I'm going to drive any car I can!
Wash and rinse the whole car. I use wash mitt and a boar's
hair brush when washing the body (the boar's hair brush is good for
the gills, the kidneys and other nooks and crannies). I use the
RaggTopp horse hair brush on the ragtop fabric. I use a separate
wash mitt and Mother's brushes for the wheels, rocker panel covers
and undercarriage (which I wash first). I rinse with clean water,
and dry with microfiber towels.
Once I washed, I dry as soon as possible to reduce the chances
of water spots. Ideally, the rinse won't leave spots even if
left to air dry, but most of us don't have ideal rinse water or
air. In a perfect world, once I dry from washing and rinsing,
water won't be used on the car again until the next time I need
Clay where needed. This is usually the front bumper cover,
the headlights, the mirrors, some of the front of the hood, the
rocker panel covers and the rear bumper cover. Sometimes it's the
whole car, it depends on how the paint feels to my hands (smooth
and slick or not). I also clay the wheels, using a separate clay
bar to avoid contaminating my body clay with brake dust.
Polish the windshield with glass polish and glass polishing pads
using the 3" random orbital. I do the glass first because the glass
polish is the harshest of the polishes I use. I want ample
opportunity to get it all off of the car before I polish anything
Remove the glass polish from the windshield using microfiber towels
and the fluid of your choice. I like Griot's Pre-Wax Cleaner.
Polish the wheels if needed, and remove the polish.
Polish the body. I usually do the hood first, then the doors,
then the fenders, trunk lid and bumper covers. Clean or change
pads as needed, and change polishes as needed (from coarse to fine).
I like to remove polish from a panel before moving to the next
panel; some polishes are unfriendly to remove if allowed to dry,
especially on trim and weatherstripping.
Seal or Wax
Wipe off the whole car with pre-wax cleaner.
Tape off the weatehrstripping between the window and door,
the ragtop and the body, and the A-pillars and glass.
Apply the wax or sealant, with as many coats as desired.
I normally apply a thin coat of sealant and allow it to cure
overnight before applying another coat of sealant. I prefer
polymer sealants over carnauba because it isn't softened as
easily by heat. With the catalytic converters in the engine
compartment, the hood of the M gets quite warm when parked
in the summer.
After buffing the final coat of sealant, I like to go over the car
with a spritz or detailer. This helps buff any bits of wax or
sealant I may have missed. When I'm using Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint
Sealant, I use their Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant spray since it
is compatible and adds a bit more protection.
Twice a year
Whenever I can
Apply 303 Fabric Guard or RaggTopp protectant to ragtop. I've
come to prefer 303; it's more readily available, I've noticed no
difference in performance or longevity, and I prefer the spray bottle
to an aerosol for application.
Put the car up on jackstands, spray underneath with power washer.
I usually do this with the wheels off and the wheel well liners out
(lots of cruft gets trapped behind there). Sometimes I don't bother
with the wheels and wheel well liners and just crawl around on the
ground with the sprayer.
Apply black penetrating rust-prevention paint to parts of
subframe and trailing arms that show rust or lack of paint.
POR-15 works well, but Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator is OK too
(easier to apply, but doesn't last as long).
In a convertible, dust in the interior is a persistent problem.
I frequently wipe the seats with a damp microfiber towel.
For regular cleaning, I use water or Griot's Interior Cleaner (which
is safe on leather), and microfiber towels.
Once every few weeks I use Leatherique Pristine Clean on my seats,
the leather in the door panels, my steering wheel, and the handbrake
My windscreen is scratch-resistant polycarbonate, so I can clean it
with just about anything. However, I prefer the Griot's Window Cleaner
or any other alcohol-based product over something like Windex. Same
goes for the inside of the windshield. Here's another tip for those
that liked the clear washer fluid from the factory: the Griot's Window
Cleaner is a similar formulation. I know this because I got a bottle
of the factory washer fluid (thanks to Max), and it's 30% alcohol.
The directions say to mix it 1:2 with water. The Griot's Window Cleaner
is 10% alcohol. Of course, an even cheaper option is to use a bottle of
isopropyl rubbing alcohol mixed 1:9 with distilled water. It dries
quickly, it doesn't leave streaks, and it won't discolor the ragtop.
No fragrance additives to worry about. No blue or pink stuff in the
Twice a year, I use Leatherique Rejuvenator on my seats and the
leather in the door panels. It's wise to do this on a hot day, since
it helps keep the pores of the leather open so the capillary action
is effective. I try to let the Leatherique sit for a long time, 8 or
more hours in warm to hot conditions. It should be tacky when I
remove it with Pristine Clean. If I clean the interior, then apply
the Rejuvenator, I can let the car sit in the sun for a few hours,
then move it to the shade to do my exterior detailing, then clean
off the Rejuvenator with Pristine Clean at the end of the day.
I always advise going light on leather conditioning. The
Leatherique rejuvenator can be applied liberally (and usually should be),
but don't do it too often. You should be able to tell when you need to
use Rejuvenator, by touch and visual inspection. If you keep your
leather clean with routing wiping, you shouldn't need Rejuvenator very
often. But your mileage may vary; in hot climates you may need it up
to 4 times a year by virtue of sunlight exposure and perspiration.
I avoid all cream-type leather conditioners. They tend to clog the
pores of our nappa leather, which will speed the deterioration of the
leather. Unfinished leather needs to breathe, and creamy conditioners
also tend to hold dirt. Your mileage may vary, but I will never use
a white cream type of conditioner on unfinshed leather.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why use clay?
- The main point of clay is to remove large nasty objects from the
paint before polishing or waxing. If you don't do this, you're
begging to pick up those objects with your polishing pad or wax
pad and hence scratch your paint while polishing or waxing. I use
a pneumatic random orbital to polish and to apply wax, yet I have zero
swirls in my clearcoat. That's partly because I ALWAYS use clay before
polishing. Clay is a critical part of any polish and wax job.
In addition to removing obvious nasty objects, clay will remove
less obvious things that washing may not: brake dust, pollutants, etc.
After washing and drying, I wet my hand with detailing spray
and run my fingers over the paint in search of non-slick spots. I
usually use Griot's Speed Shine or Meguiar's quick detailing spray
with clay, but any similar detailing spray will work as a clay
lubricant. Spray the detailing spray on the paint, and a little on
the clay. Sometimes I only find a few spots that need clay, at other
times I find I need to clay the whole car.
- How can I clean my windshield, windows and mirror glass?
- I've never really noticed a difference in performance between
various windshield cleaners. The key to me has always been the
rag. Microfiber towels are excellent for cleaning glass. I
also like good quality disposable windshield wipes; I'm still
using ones I bought from Griot's years ago (I bought several
For hard water spots that don't want to come off easily
with cleaning, I use Griot's glass polishes with a 3" or 6" random
orbital and Griot's glass polishing pads. I'm sure there are other
quality glass polishes, but I've been using the Griot's polishes for
a very long time with great success, so I've had no reason to try
- How do I prevent hard water etching of my windshield?
- This is another area where RejeX or a similar sealant works pretty
well. Unlike a carnauba wax, it won't come off quickly when you use
your wipers. It probably also prolongs wiper blade life since it's
slick. Some of the spray sealants will not stain trim, which can be
a boon for use on glass. Avoid products with silicone; it's not
paint-shop friendly if you ever need paintwork or even just need to
touch up an area.
- How do I remove hard water etching and spots from my windshield?
- The same way you would from paint: polish. There are several
glass polishes on the market. Use a pad devoted to it if using a
random orbital; you don't want glass polish on your paint! I like
the pair of Griot's glass polishes (I use them with a Griot's
glass polising pad on the random orbital). Clean up with
disposable cotton shop towels and then clean with your usual glass
cleaner and a microfiber towel.
- How do I remove wax?
- It's not very often that you actually need to specifically remove
wax. Clay and polishing will remove it, so it isn't a specific
part of my normal routine. Some washes will remove it too,
including good old Dawn dishwashing soap (I don't like to do this
often; Dawn is very alkaline). When I specifically need to remove
some wax in a small area (say for touch-up and langka work), I use
3M Wax, Tar and Adhesive remover, followed by rubbing alcohol
mixed 1:2 or so with water. The 3M stuff does the removal, but
doesn't dry completely clean. Hence the follow-up with the
alcohol/water combination (the alcohol is mixed in mostly because
it dries cleanly and quickly but isn't harsh on the paint).
- What should I use to buff off polish haze and wax haze?
- I use microfiber towels, and as far as doing it by hand goes, I
think it's the best way. I also like microfiber wax removal bonnets
for the random orbital. Yes, these days you can get excellent
results w/o problems using a machine to remove wax or polish haze, as
long as you're reasonably careful.
- Should I polish by hand or with a random orbital buffer?
- My personal preference is to use a random orbital, specifically a
pneumatic. It's lighter and easier to use than any electric I've
used (including the Porter-Cable electric), it generates no
heat (no electric motor), and I find it easier to retrieve and
store (no cord). At my age, polishing by hand is way
too much work. Dynabrade
makes very nice pneumatic random orbitals and dual-action machines.
You'll likely never need to use the rotary action if you take care of
your paint, though it's handy to have the option for other things or
for restoring paint that's in very poor condition. A lot of people
like the Porter-Cable electric random orbital, but I don't like the
fact that it gets warm, it's fairly heavy, and it doesn't have the
super-easy palm switch of a
Dynabrade pneumatic. Of course, if you don't have an air
compressor, an electric is your only option.
- Can I use a random orbital to apply wax?
- Yes, of course. However, this depends on your wax of choice. A
hard carnauba wax in a can isn't easy to put on with a random
orbital, for example. With a squeeze bottle wax, the random
orbital lets me get a nice even haze on the whole car fairly
quickly (but for the tricky areas that must be done by hand).
When I want to use a hard carnauba wax, I usually apply with my
bare hands. Body heat will help soften the wax, and you can't
beat the feedback of having your fingertips right on the
surface. Some hard carnauba waxes can be softened in the
microwave, this is worth trying for machine application if you
have a favorite hard carnauba wax. Be careful if the container
is metal! You don't want a hot liquid wax, just some softening.
20 seconds should be enough time, and can be repeated as
I know there are people out there that think I'm crazy to apply
and remove wax with a random orbital. I agree; crazy enough to do
two coats in the time it takes to do one by hand.
Years ago I switched from carnauba waxes to polymer sealants.
They provide significantly greater longevity, and a slick surface that
easily sheds pollen and pollutants. Carnauba generally looks better,
but doesn't last very long and on a hoot hod like that of the S54
M roadster, tends to allow contaminants to easily embed themselves.
As far as products go, there are many choices on the market. I like
Menzerna's Power Lock, and today I'm using Wolfgang Deep Gloss
Sealant 3.0. In no small part because they offer a compatible
spritz that will maintain the sealant between full details.
- Why RejeX?
- I like RejeX for ease of buffing (haze comes off easier than most
carnauba waxes, for example), and for the fact that it easily sheds
brake dust (on wheels) and bug splatter (headlights and front bumper
cover, side mirrors). It also lasts longer than carnauba. NOTE:
this is an excellent wheel protection for our cars, especially if
you have stock pads which create a lot of brake dust. NEVER use
carnauba wax on our wheels! Brake dust will embed itself in the
carnauba (wheels get warm from heavy braking, and brake dust is also
- What's the deal with waiting so long between coats of sealant?
- The simple answer here is that most sealants don't like weather
exposure while curing, and take 8 to 12 hours to fully cure between
- How do I remove scratches from my headlights?
- Polish. The Meguiar's Clear Plastic Polish will handle small
stuff, as will Griot's Plastic Polish. So will some of the
3M Perfect-It rubbing compounds. Deeper scratches require
the usual sanding and buffing routine, which requires a lot of time
and patience and doesn't always produce great results. I've
heard that LensRenew
works well. Rubbing compound like 3M #39002 has worked well for
me in the past.
If you want scratch-free headlights and not the
work to have them, use a film like Xpel to protect them.
It can easily be replaced as needed. The headlight stuff is thick
and can help prevent headlight breakage from thrown stones.
- January 9, 2013
I've received most of the Systainers I ordered; a single SYS4 T-Loc
will arrive tomorrow to complete my latest order.
I ordered 24 black 16"x27" microfiber towels from
Amazon for wheels, engine
compartment and other dirty detailing work.
- January 5, 2013
I ordered four more Systainers and another rolling base to complete
my envisioned detailing storage. I also created the remaining label
cards for the Systainers.
- May 28, 2012
I washed the M roadster at the local coin-op car wash, and applied
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant after drying. I continue to like the
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant; it's easy to use, looks good and
leaves a slick finish. I used it on my wheels too.
Both cars need a full detail, but it's nice being able to squeak by
for a bit while the MINI is consuming garage space for repairs.
- May 16, 2012
I cleaned the winter dust from the roadster using spray-on car wash, then
followed it with Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant. I like the Spritz
Sealant. The base sealant on my car right now is almost a year old, and was
long past the slippery state. The Spritz Sealant made it slick again, and
was very easy to use. Towel-wise, the Griot's Spray-On Car Wash towels
continue to impress me for dust removal. They're easily a step above
the Chemical Guys Shaggy Fur Ball towels. I'll keep buying them from
Advance Auto Parts as long
as they continue offering relevant coupon codes.
- April 22, 2012
I ordered five 3-packs of Griot's Spray-On Car Wash Cloths from
Advance Auto Parts.
I used the 'VISA' coupon code to get $30 off. With this purchase
I'm fully stocked for day-to-day spray-on wash towels.
- April 18, 2012
The Festool Systainer 3 T-Loc for my wheel cleaning towels arrived from
Amazon. I will make label cards for it later.
The pegboard-mount paper towel holders also arrived from
Amazon, and I've temporarily put
all four of them in the single-bay garage. Two of them have Bounty paper
towels, two of them have Shop Towels. I may buy more for the
- April 17, 2012
- April 15, 2012
I ordered four 6-packs of red Wypall microfiber towels from
These will be my wheel cleaning cloths. The price was too low to
pass up ($9.99 for each 6-pack, free shipping via Amazon Prime).
I've decided on red for wheels because it's the typical color of
a shop rag, and wheels are typically the dirtiest part of my
cars. I will probably have some orange towels remaining in the
mix for buffing sealant from wheels. Of course I still have
disposable towels for wheels.
- April 11, 2012
Systainer World has no
Tanos mobile carts in stock and is no longer carrying them. It would've
been nice for them to have removed them from their website. And not
taken 5 days to inform me after I placed my order.
I ordered a pair of the Festool 492388 mobile carts from
Amazon. They were more expensive, and are black (which I didn't
want), but otherwise exactly the same as the Tanos. Hopefully they'll
arrive before the weekend (Amazon Prime 2-day shipping).
- April 10, 2012
Two Festool Systainer 5 T-Loc storage units arrived from
Amazon. So now I have two stacks
of T-Loc systainers awaiting the arrival of their mobile bases from
I have plans for the next stack, for more detailing tools.
One Systainer 4 for polish and sealant, one Systainer 3 for random orbital
pads, another Systainer 3 for electric random orbitals and one Systainer 1
for clay. This works out to be the same height as the two Systainer 5
bins I'm using for towels and sprays. With the exception of washing
tools/supplies (which I can keep in buckets), a pair of stacks is
sufficient for me to detail cars away from home. I should be able to
fit all of it plus 2 buckets in the MINI, with room to spare. It
breaks down into four 16" tall units. Due to the number of
separate bins, the next stack will be priciest... $295 plus the mobile
- April 9, 2012
In the interest of being able to detail the cars of friends and family,
I'd like to have a pair of electric random orbitals: a 6" and a
quot;. I will likely buy the Griot's versions, since I don't want to
spend a lot of money for tools I won't use frequently. The Flex tools
are very nice, but it's hard for me to justify the price for a tool
I'll use only occasionally. Storage is an open question; I assume
I can fit them both in a Systainer III, but I won't really know until
I have them.
The two Festool Systainer IV T-Loc storage units arrived from
Amazon, a day earlier than
I also received the six buckets with gamma seal lids from
I mixed the colors on the buckets that I put GritGuards inside: the blue
bucket with a yellow gamma seal rim and the yellow bucket with a blue
gamma seal rim have GritGuards in them. The other two yellow buckets
have full yellow gamma seal lids and the other two blue buckets have
full blue gamma seal lids.
It's worth noting that Autogeek
wants $35 plus shipping for a single bucket with gamma seal lid and
GritGuard. I paid less than $15 per bucket with gamma seal lid, and
already had the GritGuards which were $9 each. I saved more than $11
per bucket (plus shipping costs) versus buying directly from
Autogeek. The gamma seal lids
are exactly the same, made by the same company here in the U.S.A.
I removed the tags from several sets of the microfiber towels I
received recently, and put them in one of the Systainer IV T-Loc containers
to test fitment. It appears to me that I don't really need a Systainer V
T-Loc for day-to-day towels, but we'll see when my second one arrives.
- April 6, 2012
I ordered two more Festool Systainer V T-Loc storage units and two
Festool Systainer IV T-Loc storage units from
Amazon. I ordered two Tanos
Systainer mobile bases from
Systainer World. One of the Systainer V T-Loc containers is for
my daily detailing towels; it will go atop a Systainer V T-Loc I already
have for daily detailing chemicals and one of the mobile bases. The
other Systainer V T-Loc will hold air and oil filters for my cars, and
will go atop one Systainer IV T-Loc with 0W40, another Systainer IV T-Loc
with 10W60, all atop the second mobile base. The idea here is to make
my regular car maintenance a little easier.
- March 31, 2012
- March 29, 2012
- March 25, 2012
I cleaned the majority of the nasties off of the outside of the winter
wheels on the MINI. It looks like we're going to get sub-freezing
temperatures this week, so I'm leaving them on for another week.
I used the new Mother's wheel brush and the new Daytona Speed brush.
These both make it a lot easier to clean wheels. The Daytona Speed
brush allows you to get the inside of the barrels too, though I didn't
really work on that today. I need some CarPro Iron X and Tar X to
really get wheels clean without removing them from the car.
I really need another cart. At a minimum, to hold harsher
cleaners like LA's Totally Awesome, engine degreaser, Simple Green,
Iron X, Tar X... the stuff for wheels, undercarriage and degreasing.
Having a separate cart for this would let me perform these parts of
detailing more easily, and I can then put that cart away before moving
on to washing the body.
I also need more of the Sterilite Stacker 7-gallon bins. I need
one for interior products, one for ragtop products, and one for wheel
products. I could also use one for rags. Alternatively, I could
buy more Sytainers and rearrange...
- March 24, 2012
I ordered more supplies from
Chemical Guys. Six more 24x16" Fluffer Miracle Supra Microfiber
Towels, three more 24x17" Big Monster Microfiber Extreme Thickness
Microfiber Towels, some interior dusting brushes, a gallon of
CG Speed Wipe, a Light Clay Bar,
a Clay Block Kit, a pad cleaning brush, a
12-pack of Microfiber Super Towels for sealant buffing, four
Sasquatch Maximus microfiber towels for interior dusting, six
Shaggy Fur-Ball blue microfiber towels for day-to-day detailing and
spritzing and a 3-pack of Professional Spray Bottles. The
Griot's sprayers were formerly my favorite, but the new design is crap
compared to the old so I've switched to Chemical Guys.
- March 23, 2012
I ordered a Griot's lug nut cleaning brush, Griot's Heavy Duty Wheel
Cleaner and Griot's wheel Cleaning clay from
- March 21, 2012
I just realized I forgot to order some stronger wheel cleaner.
I could use some of the Sonax Wheel Cleaner Full Effect, and I would
like to have some CarPro Iron X rust remover and Car Pro Tar X
tar remover too.
- March 20, 2012
- March 19, 2012
The Luxor STC211 cart arrived from
Wayfair. For $100.99 with free shipping,
it's a good cart for detailing. It's all plastic except the casters,
so it should be essentially impervious to water and obviously will
not rust. The top is not truly flat; there's a slight ridge around
the edge, maybe 1/8" tall. I consider this a good thing for a
detailing cart. I wanted a near-flat top to make it easier to lay
some items on the top and not have a top that could hold much water.
The ridge has little effect on either of those function.
It went together in about 5 minutes, the only tool needed
is a rubber mallet.
I previously said I could probably use another one, and I've
every reason to believe it's worth buying a second one. I've put it
on my wish list. This one will quickly be loaded with the intended
day-to-day detailing products: spray-on car wash, detailing sprays,
spritz sealant, microfiber towels, etc.
I also received the Paint Prep, 6" glass polish pads, microfiber
and pad cleaner, spray-on car wash, spray-on car wash cloths and
Finest Sprayers from
Since I forget to mention it here... I also received a Festool
T-Loc Systainer V container last week. I was going to use it for
storage of some detailing products, but I haven't made my mind up
yet. It's a fantastic container like all of the Systainers, but
perhaps overkill for detailing consumables. It's not like I don't
have many other things to store.
- March 15, 2012
What am I still missing for a full detail? 303 Fabric Guard,
Leatherique Prestine Clean, Gummi Pflege, Detailer's Pro Series Wheel
Cleaner, Detailer's Pro Series Wheel Glaze, some Wolfgang Finger
Pockets and a Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush. I ordered these from
autogeek.net, along with
a 64 oz. refill of Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant.
I also need to replenish some supplies from Eastwood... namely the
13665 ZP undercoating kit, Extreme Chassis Black Primer and some
Extreme Chassis Black Satin paint.
- March 14, 2012
I ordered a Luxor STC211 cart from
Wayfair. I could probably use another one,
but I want to see the first one in person before buying another.
- March 13, 2012
I ordered Paint Prep, 6" glass polish pads, microfiber and pad cleaner,
spray-on car wash, spray-on car wash cloths and some Finest Sprayers
- February 29, 2012
The Mothers tire, wheel and well brush kit, the RaggTopp natural horse
hair convertible top brush, the Grit Guard dual bucket washing system, a
bucket seat cushion, Menzerna PO85RD polish, two Lake Country 6.5" flat
gray foam pads, two 6.25" Optimum microfiber polishing pads, and two
3.25" Optimum microfiber polishing pads arrived
Microfiber towels arrived from
Chemical Guys: one 26x35" waffle wave drying towel with pockets,
six 24x16" Fluffer Miracle Supra Microfiber Towels and three
24x17" Big Monster Microfiber Extreme Thickness Microfiber Towels.
- February 23, 2012
The Menzerna Intensive Polish (PO91E), Menzerna Final Polish (PO85U),
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0, Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant
and Grit Guard bucket grit guards arrived from
I ordered more stuff from
autogeek.net. The Mothers tire,
wheel and well brush kit, the RaggTopp natural horse hair convertible top
brush, the Grit Guard dual bucket washing system, a bucket seat cushion,
Menzerna PO85RD polish, two Lake Country 6.5" flat gray foam pads, two
6.25" Optimum microfiber polishing pads, and two 3.25" Optimum
microfiber polishing pads. I used a coupon code that saved me $20.
I ordered some microfiber towels from Chemical Guys. I needed some new quality ones for polish and
wax removal, as well as quick detailing.
- February 22, 2012
My order arrived from Griot's.
I put most of it away in the detailing cart. It's worth noting that the
regulator fitting bottoms out in the random orbital long before the NPT
thread gets tight enough to seal with 2 to 3 layers of teflon tape on
the threads, so the tool leaks air at that junction. I'm just going to
live with it for now, but may later drop an O-ring or silicone washer
in there to seal it. For the price, I like the tool and it'll be
handy for my bumper covers, mirrors and other areas.
- February 18, 2012
I ordered a simple 3" pneumatic random orbital from Griot's. I'm assuming
it's actually a Chicago Pneumatic, but that's fine. I still have a Dynabrade
3" or 3M 3" on my wish list, but the one from Griot's is small and due
to being shaped like a 90-degree die grinder, will reach places that a
palm orbital will not. It was also inexpensive. I ordered several 3"
pads: glass polishing pads, paint polishing pads and waxing pads. I also
ordered a 3" pad holder for the places where I need to use the pads by hand.
I ordered some new microfiber drying towels (the Griot's ones are much
better than any other I've used, and I've used MANY). Finally, I ordered
some supply restock: both glass polishes, dried-on wax remover, pre-wax
cleanser and vinyl/rubber dressing.
One thing I forgot to order from Griot's... the magnetic paper towel
holder. However, I suspect I can find it for less elsewhere.
I ordered some Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0, Wolfgang Deep
Gloss Spritz Sealant, Menzerna Intensive Polish (PO91E), Menzerna Final
Polish (PO85U), and a pair of Grit Guard bucket grit guards from
autogeek.net. Normally I
would buy Menzerna Power Lock as my sealant, since I've been happy
with their sealants for a very long time. However, I wanted to try
something new, and the Wolfgang gets good reviews. I also like the fact
that their Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant is a complementary product for
use between full detail jobs.
I picked up some Sterilite stacker containers at Walmart today, which
fit onto the lower shelf of my new detailing cart. Two 4-gallon ones
will be used to store microfiber drying and general cleaning towels, and
two 7-gallon ones will hold polishes, waxes, detailing spray, glass cleaner
and other fluids.
I probably need to buy more paint cleaning clay. I can pick that
up locally. I'd also like to order some glass cleaning clay and
wheel cleaning clay from Griot's.
- June 29, 2010
I washed the car, clayed it, polished it and waxed it. I also cleaned
the engine compartment with citrus-based degreaser and Meguiar's detailing
- June 23, 2010
I vacuumed and cleaned the interior.
- September 6, 2009
I washed, clayed, polished and waxed the car.
- May 20, 2008
I ordered a case of Tork 520378 towels from storeseven.com. I was on my last
pack. I also ordered a dispenser for them for Randy (I already have one).
- May 15, 2008
I used the Menzerna Power Gloss Compound on the hood, which got rid
of my hard water spots. I finished it up with Intensive Polish,
Final Polish II, glaze and FMJ. I also put a coat of FMJ on the rest
of the car so I can drive it.
- May 11, 2008
I ordered Menzerna Power Gloss Compound from autogeek.net to remove the hard
water spots from my hood, as well as to deal with some scratches.
- May 8, 2008
I clayed, polished and glazed the passenger side fenders and door.
I'm still waiting for clearcoat touch-up so I can do the hood.
- May 7, 2008
I clayed, polished, glazed and waxed the trunk lid. I also wetsanded
the deepest scratch before polishing. There are several other
scratches, but I don't have time to deal with them at the moment.
- May 27, 2006
I put the car up on jackstands to wash the
underside. It was actually quite clean already. I don't think I've had
it off the ground for a cleaning since late summer of 2005. I guess
what I'm doing at the spray wash is working.
Unfortunately I managed to get some Simple Green in both eyes, and didn't
really notice anything other than irritation until I got out from under the
car. I've now got cloudy vision. Hopefully it's short-lived or I'm going
to miss a social gathering tonight. :-(
I put Leatherique Rejuvenator on the driver's seat to sit in the sun
while I cleaned the exterior. I thoroughly cleaned the ragtop and applied
303 Fabric Guard. I found a new door ding from this week, driver's side.
Something for the tent at Homecoming (an excuse to tip a tech generously).
I used Menzerna glaze and their FMJ wax to finish things up.
- August 11, 2005
The X-pel for the front bumper cover should arrive today.
- August 7, 2005
My front bumper cover is being repainted on the 16th. I ordered an Xpel
kit for it, as well as an Xpel kit for the rear fenders and the headlights.
However, I might not use the one for the rear fenders; I have some uncut
20 mil film I could use there.
I'm planning to have my hood repainted sometime after Homecoming. After
that's done, I'll Xpel the hood.
- May 30, 2005
I finished the Pristine Clean. I then washed and dried the exterior, and
clayed off my cone marks from Saturday's autocross. I then waxed the car
again with menzerna FMJ.
Today I tried the Black Again product on my wheel well liners, and my head
cover. It works well in the wheel wells, but I don't like the shininess on
my head cover; I'll probably clean it off. And like other products of this
type, it leaves oiliness. Maybe someday I'll find a product that leaves
everything clean. I'll probably go back to using kerosene on the wheel well
liners, which cleans them well but doesn't leave an oily film.
- May 29, 2005
I started cleaning the interior today. It was quite dirty due to not being
thoroughly cleaned since the fall, and the TrackTime school at MIS yesterday
(instructor and I in and out of the car many times, and it rained a couple
of times). I even broke out the carpet cleaning machine for the driver's
side footwell. I also applied Leatherique Rejuvenator. I got part way
through cleaning it off with the Pristine Clean, I'll finish tomorrow.
- May 15, 2005
I washed and waxed again today. This time I used menzerna FMJ over
menzerna glaze. To be honest, I didn't notice any real difference from the
Meguiar's NXT. However, I do really like the menzerna polishes, they work
well. I also like the new pads for the pneumatic random orbital that
I bought from
I also used the Griot's Fine Glass Polish today. It works nicely at
removing water spots that normally take a lot of elbow grease with glass
cleaner and a microfiber towel.
I found a new scar on my hood. It's on the passenger side, and is
vertical. It wasn't there last week. Argh, I'm guessing someone did it
in the parking garage even though I usually park on the roof away from
other cars. I'll need to do some touch-up and Langka this week, then
re-wax that spot.
- May 7, 2005
I washed and waxed the car today, this time using Meguiar's NXT wax
and Wheel Wax. Only the hood was polished; I'll do the rest on the
next round. I did put the car on jackstands and washed the underside.
I can get the following from
. The Dynabrade 58436 toggles between a rotary
sander and a 3/16" orbit random orbital.
- Dynabrade 58436 DynaLocke 6" dual action sander
- Dynabrade 56156 6" non-vac hook-face soft sanding pad for 58436