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Parthiban
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My car's in dire need of a clean, and in order to help put it off a bit longer I've decided I need to get some new cleaning bits :P

Going to have my first go at claying, but thanks to dgman not going to buy clay and instead use blu-tack so that's sorted :)

Wash - need a new tool for washing, and was considering a wash mitt. Are these better/easier than using a sponge? Also which are better, lambswool or microfibre?

Polish - have a few microfibres, but might get a couple more for this. I was thinking of getting a few applicator pads though as it looks an easier way to get the polish on the car, any particular type to get?

Tyres - have been using AG tyre dressing but hate how it's a spray and then have to clean it off the wheels afterwards..........thinking of using a gel, any upsides/downsides? Also does anyone use a tyre dressing applicator? Does it actually make things easier or just a waste of money? If it is, how do you normally put a gel on the tyres?

I think that's all, have had the rest sitting in the garage for ages :D

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wash mitt - yes, DO NOT use a sponge. lambswool is probably a bit better than m/f - but either will suffice. make sure you use the 2 bucket method for washing the car. use a good shampoo - megs gold class i have found to be VERY good.

clay bar/blu-tac - take ur time - IF YOU DROP IT, BIN IT!! - get a spray bottle and use that to mist the surface ur claying - works nicely that way.

polish - personal preference really mate - there's a stack out there, dependas what sort of result you want - deeper coloured cars need depth of shine, the lighter one's want gloss. carlack 68 (klasse) do a good All In One and a fantastic sealant glaze - these are two products that are suited for hand application. Bilt Hamber are also meant o be good, but i have no personal experience with it. if you get the carlack kit (AIO and glaze) it comes with all the applicator pads etc so thats a bonus, lol.

get a load of microfibres, they always come in handy.

one thing i would reccomend highly is a good drying towel - go for a waffle weave towel, like sonus der wunder or the eurow drying towels - they're superb!!

tyre shine - the gels are better in the sense that there is no overspray and IMHO the depth of shine is better and looks more slick - depends what ur after really. they do also tend to last a little longer.

if you wanna do the interior, aerospace 303 is THE BEST interior cleaner IMO. has UV protection as well and doesn't give a tacky wet finish to the vinyl/plastic.

glass cleaner - don't use cream type cleaners - it leaves a horrible dry powder film and is a PITA to get off - i use Megs NXT window/glass cleaner - smells amazing and works a treat!!

stainless steel - exhaust etc - autosol applied with grade 0000 wire wool - that'll look brand new after that treatment.

engine bay plastics - a little WD40 rubbed off with an cloth of some sort - looks great!

try not to do all the polishing etc etc in bright, direct sunlight, slightly overcast is best mate.

oh, and get a car cover!!! that way you can keep all that hard work looking tip top for much much longer than leaving the car exposed to the elements!!

hope thats of some help - all the best with it mate.

rob

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I've got about 6 wash mits now and all microfibre ones, there better for the paintwork as they lift the dirt away and not like a sponge where it stays on the surface and is rubbed across the paintwork?

I used to put the polish on with a microfibre towel but now use my machine, but most applicator pads work fine and i do have a couple of Mequiars ones that i used to use, and for the tyre gel i used a small sponge to apply it then wiped off any excess with another microfibre :)

I still use a spray on tyre foam on mine called tyre dandy which works a treat but you do have to wipe off any overspray from the wheels, also use it for the engine bay and always looks great after a good coating :D

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I use :-

Wash: 2 buckets (one water, one bilt Hamber Autowash solution) with a lambswool mitt

Dry: Sonus der Wundertowel (love that name)

Clay: Bilt Hamber Autoclay (you only need to use water as a lube which is handy)

Polish: I use porter rotary polisher with Sonus 3 step kit - but I used to use Klasse AIO by hand - be warned though the Klasse SG can be tricky doing by hand - you will always over-apply on your first go. I have also used Autoglym SRP and found this to be by far the easiest polish to apply by hand with a good result

Wax: used to use P21S but have since moved to Collinite

Tyres: I use Sonus tyre dressing gel applied with a slightly damp microfibre covered sponge pad. Easy to do and really nice finish.

Interior: Aerospace 303

Glass: Autoglym Fast Glass

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Cheers guys, some excellent info there and a few bits I hadn't even been thinking of!

The interior had completely slipped my mind, am going to give it a full vacuum and possibly a wet clean of carpets and stuff, but hadn't really thought about the rest. I'll definitely be getting some of that aerospace stuff then, can you just spray it straight on the dash or should you spray on to a cloth and then wipe on?

Do glass cleaners really do that much? I've never actually used one, and tend to prefer just using a damp cloth.......usually comes up well, will a cleaner make much of a difference?

So all in favour of the wash mitt then, prob just go for the microfibre then if it's better for the paintwork.

Hmmm, so the stuff you use on your engine bay is the same stuff you use on your tyres Aztec? Interesting, still probably go with the gel as I hate the overspray, but might get some of that tyre foam to give the engine bay a mild clean.

Already have a silicone blade and a waffle weave towel so the drying side of things is fine.

As far as polishes go, I now have too many in the garage so I've decided I'm not buying anymore! I've got SRP as well as some Zymol, and also AG UGP (or EGP, can't remember what it's called, the black one) and collinite 476 for the wax. Hopefully I'll be able to get a decent enough finish out of those. Also have some poorboys wheel sealant that I haven't even used yet so that's got to go on too!

Final question is where's the best place to get all this stuff? :)

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I wouldn't use a silicone blade as if you get a bit of grit on that you can make a nice scratch on your car.

I've used CleanYourCar a lot for my supplies, good service there, they have their own forums too.

I found the 303 Aerospace stuff a little hard to track down and ended up getting it off eBay.

Maybe it seems OTT, but I use one wash mitt for the upper parts of the car, a different one for the lower parts (dirtier) and a third one for the wheels (dirtier still).

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DO NOT USE A SILICONE BLADE!!! it ruins your paint!! if your car is properly protected - polish, sealant, wax etc, water should bead off it during the final rinse, leaving only a few beaded spots that the drying towel will take up. forget the blade, and use a drying towel (can even use a leaf blower to help dry it if you really wanted!!). i dry the car using a 'dab' type method - place the entire towel over an area, pat it down, move onto next area and repeat - helps reduce swirl marks.

in the engine bay, if you use WD40 or similar, it removes the grease and grimne and leaves a nice finish - not shiny, just briong the black colour out.

as for aerospace - you can spray onto the cloth or ontop the surface - i tend to spray ontop the cloth - its top stuff mate.

as for glass cleaners - you can get away without them, but where i live the water is so damn hard you gotta get em dry so quickly otherwise the glass is full of water marks - so i take my time, concentrate on the body work and just use a glass cleaner (did i mention how nice they smell :whistling: ). you could always get a water de-ionising filter - like the aqua gleam stuff - makes everything so much easier!!lol!!

try clean you car as stevie posted - they are a good bunch there.

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Ahh, didn't realise the blades were bad :shutit:

Having said that, I've usually used barely any pressure at all and it hasn't appeared to do any damage so far, but I guess I'll stop using it then. I'll see how I go with the glass cleaner, the water's pretty hard round here too but it hasn't really been a problem so far (except when it's hot and it dries pretty fast)

Cool, I'll try clean your car (although they appear to be out of stock on the aerospace stuff).......

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Ahh, didn't realise the blades were bad :shutit:

Having said that, I've usually used barely any pressure at all and it hasn't appeared to do any damage so far, but I guess I'll stop using it then. I'll see how I go with the glass cleaner, the water's pretty hard round here too but it hasn't really been a problem so far (except when it's hot and it dries pretty fast)

Cool, I'll try clean your car (although they appear to be out of stock on the aerospace stuff).......

try ebay or autopia for the aerospace then mate

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Just out of interest, why are the blades so bad? If you have grit under it, won't a rag with grit under it scratch the same as a blade would?

I haven't used a blade for a long time but....... any marks/scrathes I did see on my car were always swirls, so certainly weren't caused by the blade.

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Just out of interest, why are the blades so bad? If you have grit under it, won't a rag with grit under it scratch the same as a blade would?

With a blade you'll have to press down to a reasonable degree in order to get the water off, or it won't do anything.

With a waffle-weave towel you can either "dab" at it (as Rob described) or you can lay the towel flat over the surface and pull it gently towards you. With either of those I think there will be less force pressing any grit etc into the paint compared to using a blade. Yes, if you pressed hard with a rag it could do damage too.

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Just out of interest, why are the blades so bad? If you have grit under it, won't a rag with grit under it scratch the same as a blade would?

With a blade you'll have to press down to a reasonable degree in order to get the water off, or it won't do anything.

With a waffle-weave towel you can either "dab" at it (as Rob described) or you can lay the towel flat over the surface and pull it gently towards you. With either of those I think there will be less force pressing any grit etc into the paint compared to using a blade. Yes, if you pressed hard with a rag it could do damage too.

Fair enough, although with a decent finish, I needed virtually no pressure, other than the weight of the blade itself, to drag the very beeded (sp?) water off the surface. Plus of course, a wipe of the blade every pass kept it squeeky clean. It was imperative you only ran the blade over a wet surface though, otherwise it grabs on and that is not particularly good.

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With a blade you'll have to press down to a reasonable degree in order to get the water off, or it won't do anything.

That's not actually true, they are unbelievably flexible (as long as you have the right one, remember they use silicone in breast implants :winky: ) so you do just very gently drag the blade across the surface and it pulls the water along with it.

It's due to that that I actually thought it was better than using a towel and I tended to just use a towel to wipe up the few bits left over.

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i use a paint brush to put tyre shine on!!!no mess no fuss i have a old lunch box with tyre shine in it all i do is open it dip the brush in it and away you go!!! :winky:

That's actually what they do at a local car wash place I use, they have some kind of mixture in a bottle that they apply with a paint brush......no idea what it is but it works really well!

Thanks again for all the replies, now just need to get all the stuff and get cleaning!

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Ahh, didn't realise the blades were bad :shutit:

Having said that, I've usually used barely any pressure at all and it hasn't appeared to do any damage so far, but I guess I'll stop using it then. I'll see how I go with the glass cleaner, the water's pretty hard round here too but it hasn't really been a problem so far (except when it's hot and it dries pretty fast)

Cool, I'll try clean your car (although they appear to be out of stock on the aerospace stuff).......

try ebay or autopia for the aerospace then mate

Or just use The Polishing Company instead!

An alternative is Einszett Cockpit Premium, but this is definitely more just for the interior, whereas the 303 Protectant will do rubber seals, wiper blades, and even tyres.

Oh, and for a wash mitt, then I can highly recommend one of these - the one on the left that is!

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I don't think that "303 Aerospace Protectant" is actually a cleaner, as its name suggests it's a protectant for clean surfaces. Think they might do a cleaner as well, I'm not sure, but the Protectant is what people are normally talking about over on DetailingWorld etc. I've got the Einszett stuff for actually cleaning.

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Final question is where's the best place to get all this stuff? :)

I used to use autopia for my stuff but it doesn't make sense with current exchange rate.

Now use Clean Your Car and Elite Car Care for all my needs.

BTW have got the aerospace 303 from Clean Your Car before but it shows up as out of stock at the mo.

oh, and as others have said - ditch the blade and get more towels.

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i know that a lot of people don't like the water blades but i use one on my car for three years and i don't have any issue with it.i do one pass with it and then wipe the blade edge with a micro fibre and repeat.i have the auto glym blade which has a soft edge and is very flexible.thorough rinsing is the key when using a blade.

clean your car.co.uk for me as well.

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