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Detailer's Handbook
A Comprehensive Guide To Car Care
Have fun in your
garage!®
1
9th Edition
In Your Garage
T
hank you for taking the time to learn from this Detailer's
Handbook. I've made every effort to provide you with as much
information as possible to help you achieve superior results
and have fun doing it!
You, the enthusiast, created this
book. It is the result of the many
questions and comments from
Griot's Garage car care customers
over the past 20 years.
I thank you and encourage you
to continue to send me comments
and suggestions so the next edition
is even better. I have developed a car care system that is comprised
of complementary products that produce superior results.
My intent is to create products that are easy-to-use, gentle
towards the many different applications on your vehicle,
and safe for you and the environment. This is not a shortcut guide, but the proper way to use our product line so
you may enjoy its maximum benefits. In order to produce
perfection, you must take your time and enjoy the process. Maintaining
your vehicle to perfection through our car care system can become a
wonderful way to escape the pressures of everyday life and have some
fun. After all, that's what Griot's Garage is all about. So read on, learn a
little, and most of all…
Have fun in your garage!®
Richard Griot
2
Detailer's Handbook: 9th Edition
"Strive for perfection in everything.
Take the best that exists and make it
better. If it doesn't exist, create it. Accept
nothing nearly right or good enough."
Sir Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce
Detailer's Handbook
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any method,
or stored in an electronic storage system, without prior written permission from the publisher.
Copying any part of this book for any purpose other than your own personal use is a violation of
United States copyright laws.
This Detailer's Handbook was written and designed by Richard Griot and Mark Greene,
with a little help from the Mother-In-Law!
Many thanks to all of our customers and friends who donated the use of their wonderful
automobiles for photographs used in this Handbook.
© 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Griot's Garage, Inc.
Published by Griot's Garage, Inc.,
3333 South 38th Street
Tacoma, WA. 98409
Printed in the United States of America.
Caution
Please read this disclosure statement before you start any project—it will make my attorney
happy… The information contained in this Handbook should be used only as a guide and is not intended to warrant or guarantee any results that you may experience with Griot's Garage, Inc. products or anyone else's. Proper car care can be complicated due to the many different materials (both
interior and exterior), types of paints, interpretations of our application methods or techniques, and
including, but not limited to, chemical reactions with previous products you may have used. You
may not experience the same results as me. When in doubt, always use common sense.
The liability of Griot's Garage, Inc. shall not exceed the purchase price of this Handbook. Griot's
Garage, Inc. assumes no responsibility, expressed or implied, due to misuses or misinterpretations
of the information supplied in this Handbook; or for any injury that may occur due to the suggestions and information offered in this Handbook.
At Griot's Garage, we want you as a customer for life. Everything you purchase from us comes
with a lifetime guarantee against defect. We want you to enjoy our quality products for 180 days and
have fun with them! If you don't like it for any reason during this time, return it for a full refund or
credit. After that, you're covered with our lifetime guarantee against defect, in which we will either
repair it or replace it. If we are unable to repair or replace your product, we will credit your purchase price. Some items have a life span during normal use and they wear out. Our warranty does
not include replacement of such items after normal use. Of course our guarantee doesn't cover
abuse... But you already knew that. Customers for life. That's our guarantee.
This Handbook is a collection of notes I've gathered from years of experience and you may do
with them whatever you please. I hope you enjoy it. Now go and…
Have fun in your garage!®
Richard Griot
Contents
Getting Started
2
Griotisms
6
Surface Evaluation
8
A Proper Cleaning
10
Safe Drying
20
Wheels & Tires
24
Paint Cleaning Clay
32
Polishing
34
Waxing & Sealing
42
Dressing & Details
48
Glass Cleaning
50
Interiors
54
Engine Bay
58
Clean Up
60
Maintenance
62
Motorcycle Detailing
66
Around The House
74
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
1
Perfection Is In The Details
Talking Car Care…
T
Car Wash
here are many terms in the world of car
care. Most have been misused and misunderstood due to exaggerated marketing efforts
and misinformation. So that the descriptions
used in this Handbook are consistent and clear,
here is a list of car care terms along with their
proper definitions.
A cleaner used to remove surface contaminants
from your vehicle. Most car wash products use
alkalies, detergents and/or sodium which can
remove waxes, glazes, and natural oils and may
accelerate paint oxidation. Good car wash soap
will not contain any detergents and will be rich
in lubricants (which safely lubricate the dirt,
allowing it to glide from the vehicles paint). To
"feel test" your car wash, put a small amount
between your finger and thumb and rub it back
and forth. Better car washes will be more slippery. Griot's Garage Car Wash is pH balanced,
contains no detergents, and uses biodegradable
ingredients which release dirt and contaminants,
then disperse them for easy removal.
Acid Rain
Chemicals in the air that are contained in moisture or rain. These chemicals normally reside
as hydrochloric acid within a water droplet on
your paint's surface. As the water evaporates,
the concentration of acid becomes greater and
eventually etches your paint; leaving behind a
circular mark. This mark, underneath a magnifying loupe, will look like an etched crater. Leaving
your car unattended under intense sunshine after
a rain accelerates this process. Paint Cleaning
Clay or polish should remove these marks. Some
marks, however, cannot be removed and may
have penetrated the clear coat entirely; polishing
and waxing will make them less visible.
Carnauba
A naturally water-resistant substance derived
from the South American Copernica Cerifera
plant. May be used in a paste or liquid form and
applied by hand or machine. In its natural state,
carnauba is rock-hard and needs petroleum distillates to soften it so it is workable when applied
to the paint's surface.
Brake Dust
Brake pads on your car slowly wear down due
to the friction against the rotors or drums. This
creates dust which sticks to the wheels. It usually
looks black and is heavier on the front wheels because this is where most of your braking effectiveness occurs. This material is damaging to the
finish of your wheels and should be removed
on a regular basis or it may permanently pit
the wheel's finish. Most wheels are painted and
clear-coated and may be waxed or sealed to
make the cleaning process much easier.
Clear Coat Paint
Most vehicles today have clear coat paint. The
paint on your car is a multi-layer paint comprised
of a primer, a base color/pigment coat, and a
clear coat. Clear coat
Clear Coat 2-3 mil provides excellent brilColor Coat 1-2 mil liance but is very easily scratched. Once you
Primer 2 mil
scratch
or rub through
Metal 20 mil
a clear coat, repairs
involve re-painting, as
the base color coat has
Clear coats protect
the color coat. Careful no brilliance, shine,
polishing is required so or depth.
Buff
To wipe off excess polish or wax and bring a
surface to its maximum appearance. The kind
of shape you'll be in if you polish and wax a lot
of vehicles.
damage does not occur
to the clear coat.
2
Talking Car Care
Cross-Hatch
A method of application using back and
forth, up and down
motions to apply or
remove products.
This is safer than the
traditional, circular
"wax on, wax off"
motion and provides
more even application and removal.
for fast detailing; however, it creates even more
swirl marks which are usually hidden with a
glaze. Your first car wash will remove this glaze,
so the swirl marks will become visible and you'll
be very disappointed. My rule of thumb: Never
let anyone touch your car with a direct drive polisher, especially using a wool or cotton bonnet.
You can polish paint better using our Random
Orbital, foam pads, and Machine Polishes.
Work in this pattern
to ensure you get
complete coverage.
Glaze
A petroleum based liquid, usually made of carnauba waxes and silicones that temporarily
fills and hides small surface scratches and swirl
marks. Glazes can be layered so the more coats
you apply, the more you hide. We recommend
using a glaze when polishing is not an option
due to time constraints or on older paint where
you don't want to remove any more paint, even
if it is microns.
Colored Waxes
Since there are thousands of different colors for
vehicles, there is no way to match a colored wax
with your paint color. Since most vehicles have a
clear coat, the application of a colored wax on a
clear paint creates an unnatural appearance.
Contaminants
Particles of dirt, grime, bird droppings, acid rain,
hard water deposits, calcium, tar, oil, or any substance which adheres to your vehicle's surface.
Sometimes these are invisible to the eye. If left
alone, they may permanently etch the paint.
Remove with Paint Cleaning Clay or polish.
An optical term that describes a surface's ability to reflect light. High-gloss paint reflects light
with minimal hazing or diffusion. Contaminants,
oxidation, swirl marks, and inferior polishes and
waxes reduce gloss.
Detailed
Micro Fiber
Gloss
A unique, man-made fiber that is several hundred times finer than a single strand of cotton.
These strands are then specially woven to maximize their ability to
absorb moisture and
pick up dust, polish and
wax. There are many
grades and weaves of
micro fiber. Our various
Micro Fiber Towels are
ultra-soft and specially
designed for use on
your vehicle.
Used to describe a vehicle which has been
cleaned, polished, waxed, and dressed with a
protectant. Implies every part of the vehicle has
been cleaned and treated, including doorjambs,
the engine compartment, wheels, and the entire
interior space.
Direct Drive Polisher
Direct drive polishers and rotary buffers operate
at high speeds and work well to remove layers of
paint, orange peel and overspray. However, they
induce high heat and can cut through paint very
fast, especially if used with wool or cotton bonnets. Most professional detailers use this method
Micro Fiber vs.
regular fiber.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
3
Perfection Is In The Details
Talking Car Care…
Orange Peel
Paint Sealants & Synthetic Waxes/Polymers
A bumpy look to a painted surface, similar to
the skin of an orange, due to poor paint application. It can be removed by wet sanding or
machine polishing.
A non-organic based wax used to seal paint
with a thin barrier. Sealants use polymers to
provide a longer lasting protective barrier compared to organic wax. A polymer is a substance
composed of molecules with large molecular
mass composed of repeating structural units,
or monomers, connected by covalent chemical
bonds. This allows the sealant to provide better
protection than organic compounds like carnauba. Inferior sealants reduce color and clarity as
they buildup over time. Griot's Garage Paint Sealant and One-Step Sealant won't create a buildup
of opaque protection. Unlike other silicone-laden products, our sealants will enhance color and
clarity while providing long-term protection.
Random Orbital (Dual-Action Machine)
A machine, usually with variable speed settings,
used to apply and/or remove polishes, glazes, waxes and cleaners. A dual-action polisher
rotates in a random, circular motion in addition to
moving back and forth
in small increments
while orbiting. This
provides a safer application method than a
direct drive polisher
Random orbitals oscillate
since it does not genas they spin, providing a
safer application of polish erate as much heat
and wax.
on the paint's surface.
Best if used with foam pads since wool and cotton terry bonnets could be harmful to your paint.
Polish
An abrasive liquid which removes thin layers of
paint, smoothing out the surface and eliminating
swirl marks, scuffs, overspray, and light scratches.
Polish may be applied by hand or machine.
Pressure Washer
Oxidation
Gas or electric powered water sprayers which
provide a very strong stream of water for cleaning. Never use a pressure washer on your vehicle. Too much pressure will damage paint and
may even remove paint and undercoating in
wheel wells. Great for cleaning engines, however, cover electrical components and paper or
vinyl decals. Beware of forcing water into areas
where it won't drain.
Damage done to unprotected paint due to prolonged exposure to sun, acid rain, and severe
weather elements. The paint's appearance looks
dull and chalky. In many situations there is good
paint underneath the oxidized surface that may
be exposed by polishing.
Paint/Wheel/Window Cleaning Clays
A soft, pliable bar of super-mild abrasives suspended in a clay used to remove contaminants
from smooth surfaces. Used with a lubricant,
such as Speed Shine,® it glides smoothly over the
surface. While other clays may be very abrasive
and will scratch
your paint, our
Cleaning Clays
are extremely
mild and safe.
Clay picks up contaminants
Rail Dust
Small particles of ferrous metal created by railroad car wheels running on the metal tracks.
These particles become airborne and land on
vehicles being transported via rail cars. When
moisture combines with these metal particles,
the iron rusts, creating small rust spots visible
with a magnifying loupe. Remove rail dust with
Paint Cleaning Clay.
that are stuck to the surface!
4
Talking Car Care
Rubbing Compound
Swirl Marks
A very strong polish used after wet sanding, to
remove deep scratches, to knock down orange
peel, or remove heavy oxidation. Follow up with
our polishes to bring back gloss. Generally not
safe for clear coats or modern ultra-hard paints.
Small surface scratches created by rough or low
quality synthetic towels, abrasive cleaners and
polishes, buffers with the wrong type of polishing pad, automatic car washes and by wiping
dirt across a dry painted surface. Sometimes also
referred to as spider webs. Swirl marks may be
removed by hand or machine polishing. Some
waxes may also help hide the appearance of
swirl marks.
Rotary Buffer/ Direct Drive Polisher
Direct drive buffers which typically rotate at
high, direct drive speed, unlike orbital buffers.
Used to quickly remove layers of paint. Best left
to professionals because if used improperly, they
can burn through your paint. (See also Direct
Drive Polisher)
Teflon®
A synthetic formula sometimes sold as a paint
protective sealant. The maker of Teflon® (DuPont
Chemicals) has issued the following statement:
"The addition of a Teflon® fluoropolymer resin
does nothing to enhance the properties of a car
wax. We have no data that indicates the use of
Teflon® is beneficial in car waxes." Griot's Garage
does not use Teflon® in any of our products.
Silicone
A synthetic substance in the form of a heat and
water resistant oil. Used as a lubricant, waterrepellent coating, or additive. There are many
variations of silicone. Superior grade silicones
can be beneficial to increasing a protective layer
for surface protection.
Water Spots
Calcium deposits, especially in hard water, act
just like acid rain to damage your paint. See Acid
Rain on page 2.
Single Stage Paint
A paint where the color coat is the final layer of
paint. You can tell if your paint is single stage by
rubbing a small amount
Color Coat 1-2 mil of polish on the paint
Primer 2 mil
with a cotton cloth and
Metal 20 mil
seeing if paint color
shows up on the cloth.
If no color appears, it's a
Single Stage Paint.
clear coat.
Waterless Car Wash
A method of car washing designed to remove
surface contaminants from your vehicle without
using a hose, bucket, or water. These products
are rich in lubricants and designed to soften and
lift the dirt from your paint so they can be wiped
off using a high-loft micro fiber towel. In most
cases waterless car washes are safe for cleaning
your paint, but if the vehicle is very dirty a traditional car wash should be used.
Spray-On Wax
A liquid, protective wax or synthetic
wax that leaves behind a thin layer
of wax protection. Should be used in
addition to a wax or sealant as an "enhancer"
and not as a primary protectant for your paint.
May also be used to help buff dried-on wax.
Wax
A protective substance, natural or synthetic,
which provides a thin layer of protection over
paint, metal, or wood. Wax can come as a paste,
cream, or liquid. Pure wax should contain
no abrasive.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
5
Perfection Is In The Details
Griotisms…
F
Griotcratic
or years our customers and associates have
heard many "isms" about Griot's Garage. Our
name, pronounced "Gree-oh's Garage" has lent
itself to be used in what we've come to call "Griotisms". Here's a list of the most common ones we
hear from our customers. Do you have a Griotism? Tell me about it. Enjoy!
(Gree-oh-cratic) Adjective. Neither Democratic
nor Republican and mostly a car crazy guy interested in the politics of the automobile industry.
The Griotcratic drinks motor oil for breakfast and
breathes exhaust fumes from the time they wake
up until the time they retire for the night. And
then, they dream about racing.
Griotesque
Grioted
(Gree-oh-esk) Adjective. Stemming from the
phenomena of Griot's Garage. Very modern
looking; usually red, black, or white in color.
High quality, efficient, and capable of lasting an
entire lifetime.
(Gree-ohd) Adjective. Someone devoted to the
use of Griot's Garage car care products.
Griotllucinate
(Gree-oh-loos-en-ate) Verb. To envision Griot's
Garage products in your garage.
Griotage
(Gree-ahge) Adjective. A garage designed and
styled after that of the Griot's Garage style.
Griotfeit
(Gree-oh-fit) Noun. Cheap copies of Griot's
Garage products. Fake. False. Phony. Usually
without guarantees.
Grionnoyance
(Gree-oh-noy-ence) Verb. Being anally
picky, insanely attentive to detail, almost to the
point of annoyance to your car guy friends and/
or your spouse.
Griotation
(Gree-oh-ta-shun) Noun. The life cycle of
washing the auto, washing the wheels, drying,
claying, polishing, waxing, detailing the undercarriage, interior and the engine bay. One full
cycle is a Griotation. For the most thorough of
Griotations, the wheels are removed, detailed
and remounted for true textbook results.
Griother Half
(Gree-uther Haf) Noun. The spouse of a Griot's
Garage customer.
Griotual
(Gree-oh-choo-al) Noun. A ritual performed
customarily or automatically that only a
Griot's Garage customer would embrace.
Example: To wash and squeegee one's garage
floor on a regular basis is a Griotual.
Griotus Interuptus
(Gree-oh-tus In-te-rupt-us) Adjective. Someone
with multiple kids and a million things to do on
any given weekend. They must always plan for
the "Griotus Interuptus" or having to drop everything and tend to some other 'more urgent' matter. Griother halves just don't get it sometimes.
Griocessive Compulsive
(Gree-oh-ses-iv Compuls-iv) Adjective. Specifically obsessive about the finish of one's
automobile paint.
Mr. Griogi
(Mis-ter Gree-ah-gee) Noun. The sensei of car
care. Often found teaching the cross-hatch method of application instead of the incorrect, circular
"wax on, wax off" method.
6
Getting Started
Striving for perfection in everything we do, right down to
our Flagship Retail Store. We have a Car Care School where
we demonstrate any and all of the techniques found in
this Handbook. You can also find videos for many of
our products on our website. Look for this symbol.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
7
Griot's Garage Headquarters
Knowledge Is Power
Surface Evaluation…
W
I've diagramed
several situations
here to help you
eva l u a te yo u r
paint. Usually,
you'll only have to
contend with paint
which has surface
contaminants and
light swirl marks,
but some cases
may involve more
intense correction when deeper
scratches, etching,
or oxidation are
present. The car
care system I've
developed was
created to allow
you to integrate the
cleaners, polishes,
and waxes to work
in small increments, evaluating
as you go.
here do I start? A very common question I
am asked by many customers. First things
first; walk around your vehicle and determine the
level of cleaning and detailing you want to do.
A fast cleaning with Speed Shine®: fifteen
minutes. A proper wash: thirty minutes. A
little rubber, vinyl, and tire dressing: ten minutes.
To properly clean the paint, polish out swirls,
and apply a protective coat of wax: one to three
hours. Each involves a different requirement and
time dedication. Special situations like removing overspray, cleaning off large amounts of tar,
detailing the engine bay, or dressing the interior
can take minutes or hours depending on your
level of perfection. One thing is for certain; our
products will produce excellent results in the
shortest amount of time. Whatever your commitment, begin with the paint. It's the largest area
with the most visual impact.
I
H
Contaminants that are hard
to remove with polish, yet
vanish easily with Paint
Cleaning Clay.
Swirl marks, small and even
moderate scratches can be
removed using our Machine
Polishes & Random Orbital.
Learn to live with this deeper
scratch. Removing it would
mean reducing the thickness
of your paint.
Very deep scratch that goes
through to the primer. Use
touch up paint followed by
polishing and waxing.
Surface Contaminants
f you run your finger tips and palm gently over
the paint's surface you'll feel small bumps or
roughness. Surface contaminants are made up of
things like dirt, grease, road oil, tar, industrial fallout, and bird droppings. (Bird droppings should
always be removed as soon as possible as they
contain highly acidic concentrations which will
permanently etch your paint, sometimes within
minutes.) These contaminants may be removed
with Car Wash, Speed Shine® or, in more severe
cases, Paint Cleaning Clay. Your objective is to
create a surface which is as clean and smooth as
possible before polishing or waxing. If you are
cleaning your car in preparation for polishing
or waxing, it is best to clay the paint to ensure all
contaminants have been removed.
Paint Conditions
aving the proper tools to evaluate the con-
dition of your paint is very important.
Good lighting and a loupe of at least 10x magnification will allow you to accurately evaluate
your paint's condition and what each of our
products does to correct the defects. Even if your
garage is well lit, a handheld light will greatly
enhance your ability to find and correct defects
in your paint.
8
Surface Evaluation
T
Swirl Marks
he next level of challenge involves minor surface scratches, swirl
marks, spider webs, scuffs, and rock chips. These imperfections are
caused by automatic car washes (which I never recommend), wiping
the car down when dry (which drags dust and dirt across the surface),
using harsh towels when drying the vehicle, leaving car covers on a dirty
surface under windy conditions, or using harsh cleansers, abrasives,
polishes, and waxes. These conditions can usually be corrected with
Fine Hand Polish, but our milder Machine Polishes will provide the
best results. Using One-Step Sealant with our Random Orbital can also
reduce or remove swirl marks. Several coats of Best of Show Wax® or
Paint Glaze can also "hide" these conditions if polishing may take more
time than you have or the paint is older and you don't want to remove
any more, even if it is microns.
M
Swirl marks can be
removed by polishing
or hidden with several
layers of wax or glaze.
Deeper Scratches
ore severe scratches, acid rain etching or oxidation will require a
good cleaning, claying, polishing and waxing. The only way to
completely eliminate scratches is to remove a thin layer of paint down to
the base of the scratch. This is not the best method as you always want to
keep as much paint on the car as possible. In many cases you don't need
to get down to the base of the scratch. Simply rounding off the "V" of the
scratch (see diagram at right) and filling the remaining crevice with Best
of Show Wax® or Paint Glaze will reduce the visibility of the scratch substantially. Polishing out deeper scratches requires the use of our Random
Orbital and Machine Polishes, as hand polishing isn't an effective form of
removing these more severe imperfections.
Initial scratch before polishing and waxing.
For deep scratches to be
less noticeable, round off
the "V" and "fill" the crevice
with wax.
Pneumatic or electric
random orbitals are
a fun, fast, and safe
way to polish away
scratches in your
paint. You can also
use them to apply
wax for fast, even
application. With the
right pad, they can
even be used to buff
wax, which further
cuts down on your
detailing time.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
9
Paint
Primer
Deep scratch through to primer.
Paint
Nothing you can do exceptPrimer
use
touch
up paint.
Deep scratch
through to primer.
Nothing you can do except use
touch up paint.
Step One
A Proper Cleaning…
I
f I can pinpoint one step that gives the great-
est benefit over an automobile's entire life,
it's keeping your car's surfaces clean, including: the glass, trim, paint, and wheels. There are
two types of cleaning. The first is a thorough
wash to keep the surfaces clean and free of road
grime, tar, oils, bird droppings, industrial fallout
and other contaminants. The second is cleaning
when you're in-between serious washings and
don't want to get out all your supplies. Not being
careful during either of these processes can create swirl marks, so using care when cleaning
your car is always important… but I didn't need
to tell you that.
E
The Causes Of Swirl Marks
very time you wipe down, dust off or wash
your car, you run the risk of putting minute
scratches (often referred to as swirl marks) into
the paint. When it comes to swirl marks, I am
most frequently asked
where they come from,
how to avoid them and
how to get rid of them.
While swirl marks are
inevitable, they are more
frequent on daily drivers.
Micro fiber is nonHowever, I've seen terabrasive and safe on
rible swirl marks on the
all paint surfaces.
most cherished garage
queens. Here's why: anytime you push an object
across a painted surface you'll induce micro
scratches. Small dust
and dirt particles act like
sandpaper. Even some
Micro fiber is also
towels, if made from low
extremely absorbent
and great for drying. quality polyester fibers,
will scratch paint. Avoid
some of these common swirl mark causes and
you'll greatly reduce the number of swirl marks
in your paint. We'll cover removing any swirl
marks you already have in the Polishing section.
10
Speed Shine® is the product
I use most often. It leaves a
"just waxed" finish on any
painted surface.
Common Causes Of Swirl Marks
• Car dusters, if used on very dirty surfaces or
with too much pressure.
• Dragging a car cover over your car, especially
if it's dusty or dirty (dirt on the car or the cover
will cause scratches).
• Wiping down a dry car with a dry towel with
the intent of keeping it clean. This is the most
common cause of swirl marks.
• I nfrequent rinsing of your wash mitt
during washing.
• Using a dirty chamois or dry towel to dry
the vehicle.
• Using towels for drying and/or wipe downs
that are not suitable for paint finishes.
• Not thoroughly rinsing the vehicle before
washing it.
• Not thoroughly cleaning the vehicle before
drying it.
• Using an automated car wash or drive-through
car wash. Even "touchless" drive through car
washes will scratch because of high pressure
water jets.
• Using harsh polishes, waxes and cleaners.
• Direct drive polishers or poorly designed
random orbital systems.
A Proper Cleaning
W
Washing Your Vehicle
ing. Saturate our Micro Fiber Wash Mitt or Pad,
Boar's Hair Brush, or Sheepskin Wash Mitt with
lots of Car Wash by dipping it into your bucket.
For larger vehicles, use our Wash Mop Stick Kit
or Round Boar's Hair Brush & Handle as they
will allow you to easily reach the higher parts of
the vehicle. When washing, work in small areas.
For instance, do half of the top and rinse off the
soap. Then move to the other half. By concentrating on smaller areas you'll do a more thorough job and be able to focus on trouble spots.
Use gentle strokes in a straight, back and forth
motion. With every rinsing, rinse your brush or
mitt, too. If you are using a Micro Fiber Wash Mitt
or Pad, a quick dip into the bucket and a shake
will knock everything off.
Occasionally time doesn't allow
for a thorough washing with our Car
Wash followed up by application of
Spray-On Wax, but you still want
to get a little extra protection on
the paint for those few precious
minutes of "garage therapy" you
take for a weekend wash. Our
Wash & Wax blends our fabulous
car wash with a wax to supply a
little extra shine and protection on
your paint as you wash. Simple as
that. Use the same tools and washing methods
as recommended with our Car Wash.
hen you are ready to begin washing,
make sure the vehicle's surface is cool.
If the surface is too
hot, the water or soapy
water will dry on the
paint and spot. If you've
been out driving, wait
an hour or two and
let the car cool down
since your engine
heats up the metal surfaces around it and the
wheels and brake components get very hot during use. Never spray
cold water on hot wheels and brake rotors as this
may damage them.
Begin by placing one ounce of Car Wash
per two gallons of fresh water into your clean
Ultimate Wash Bucket. It's important to use the
proper amount of cleaner. Like all of our car
care products, less is more. Using more than the
recommended amount is wasteful and won't get
your vehicle any cleaner. The measuring cup in
our Ultimate Wash Bucket will ensure you have
the right amount of Car Wash. If you have access
to warm water, use it. The increased temperature will improve the cleaning ability of the Car
Wash. Rinse the car thoroughly with a steady
flow of water; not a fine mist. I start with a strong
blast into the wheel wells, then move to the top
and work down, spraying the wheels last. Avoid
rinsing with high pressure or strong pressure
washers as they can
blast water into seals,
under trim, and may
even damage paint.
The idea is to loosen
dirt and rinse as much
away as possible.
Now, starting
Our Foaming Sprayer
mixes and foams any of our with the top and
cleaners and regulates the
working your way
amount applied perfectly!
down, begin clean-
With our Car Wash, use
our super-soft Micro Fiber
Wash Mitts and Pads
that are gentle on
your paint and
rinse free
of dirt with
a quick
shake!
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
11
Step One Continued
A Proper Cleaning…
If you notice large tar spots, bird droppings,
bugs, or any contaminant stuck on the paint,
you've got a couple options for safe removal.
First of all, be gentle. Saturate our Four-Finger
Mesh Mitten with full strength Car Wash and
carefully wipe the area using both sides of the
mitten. For stubborn tar, use our 3M Adhesive
Remover in the same manner. Remember, as
you break up these contaminants, they contain
minute bits of abrasive material that scratch paint.
Even bird droppings contain sand and seeds that
will scratch. If these processes don't work for
you, use our Paint Cleaning Clay as instructed
later in this Handbook. Allow the product to
soften the contaminant so you can gently wipe
it from the surface without creating scratches or
swirls. Never use lots of pressure to remove contaminants from your paint.
Clean the vehicle in this order: top, front
hood, front fenders, doors, rear deck, rear fenders and rear. This is usually going from the least
dirty parts to the dirtiest. If the car is very dirty,
you may want to rinse your bucket half way
through and add fresh Car Wash and water.
Clean the wheels and tires last since they are
usually the dirtiest areas. Step Three (on page 24)
will cover the proper cleaning process for your
wheels and tires.
When you do your final rinse, use a flat
stream of water. You may even want to remove
your spray nozzle and let a nice broad stream of
water flow over the surface. This leaves a lot less
water on the surface and allows you to dry the
vehicle faster, reducing water spots and towel
usage. If you suffer from hard water in your area,
try using our Portable Water Deionizer or In-Line
Water Softener during your final rinse. Both filter
out contaminants that cause water spots and
stains should the water dry on your paint. See
a picture of our Water Deionizer on page 15
nestled among the Vettes!
A Sheepskin Wash Mitt picks up a lot of dirt and
distributes the cleaning agent evenly over the
surface of the paint. Rinse your mitt often.
A Boar's Hair Brush is a safe and fast way to
remove dirt. Boar's hair is much softer than
horse hair or synthetic plastic fibers.
Use a strong stream when first rinsing the vehicle.
Use a flat stream when rinsing off soap, leaving less
water on the paint.
Our Multi-Pattern Hose Nozzle And Car Wash
Dispenser is great for washing and rinsing!
12
A Proper Cleaning
I
Removing Old Wax
f you plan on doing a full detail, it may be
necessary to remove old wax using Paint Prep.
It is formulated to strip
old wax so you may
properly evaluate your
paint condition. If you've
used other products
which contain silicone
and sealants, our polishes and waxes may
not adhere to these
products or they may
appear hazy. Test a small
area. If the polish or
wax smears, hazes and
doesn't wipe off cleanly,
there is probably a silicone laden sealing product on your paint that
you need to remove.
If you've used other
Work in the shade
products which
contain silicone and and with the paint sursealants, our polishes
face cool. Wash the car
and waxes may not
adhere to your paint first. Leave the vehicle
or will appear hazy.
wet and spray Paint
Use Paint Prep to
Prep in even layers.
clean the surface.
Wear gloves and avoid
prolonged skin contact. Work in small areas,
from the top down. Let it stand for 4-6 minutes
and don't allow it to dry on the surface. Spray
additional Paint Prep on areas that are drying.
Once the old wax is dissolved, rinse the area
with water. You may use a wet micro fiber cloth
to wipe over the area before you rinse. If you see
any leftover wax residue, repeat the process and
wipe dry. Your paint is now ready for evaluation.
It's typical to see scratches or a blemished
surface after the Paint Prep process. These
marks are imperfections that have been hidden by waxes or glazes. Now is the time to
properly evaluate the surface and decide if
polishing is necessary or if simply waxing will suffice. Paint Prep won't remove
all surface contaminants, so Paint Cleaning
Clay is your next step. If you see swirl marks
and scratches you need to polish. If the surface is free of swirl marks then waxing is in
order. Either way, you now have an untreated
surface and may properly evaluate the true
condition of your paint.
Massage The Paint
When working with Paint Prep,
it helps to work the product into
the surface using your hands or
one of our Four-Finger Mesh Mittens. This is a gentle way to ensure
you remove all the old wax from
the surface. Remember, keep the
surface wet and rinse thoroughly
when finished.
1953 Kurtis 500S
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
13
Step One Continued
A Proper Cleaning…
I
Quarter fold a high-loft Micro Fiber Car Wash
Cloth and gently wipe the area clean using a
side-to-side, wipe and lift motion; not in circles. The quarter fold gives you 8 usable sides
to the towel so you can flip to a clean section
as the towel gets dirty. Using a
second dry cloth, gently buff
any remaining product from
the surface. Depending on
how dirty your vehicle is, 3 to
4 cloths will be necessary for
cleaning. Again, always use light
pressure when wiping dirt from
your vehicle as too much pressure may cause swirl marks.
Washing Your Vehicle
Without Water
f you're unable to wash your car using the typical "water, hose, and bucket" method due
to water restrictions in your community, or if the
weather is freezing but you still want to wash
your vehicle, waterless car washing is a safe and
easy alternative to the traditional wash process.
Our Spray-On Car Wash clings to your vehicle's
paint, allowing the lubricious emulsions to lift
and dissolve dirt, oil, greases, bird droppings
and grime so you
can gently wipe it
away with a highloft Micro Fiber
Car Wash Cloth.
In order to reduce
the possibility of
inducing scratches
while cleaning, it is important to follow these
easy steps. Be especially careful on surfaces coated with mud, sand and soil.
Similar to washing your car with Car Wash,
work in small sections from the top down, saving the dirtiest portions of your vehicle for last.
Begin by misting a moderate amount of SprayOn Car Wash onto a small section of the vehicle
and allowing it to sit for 15 seconds (but do not
let it dry). An extra spray on areas with bird droppings or that are heavily soiled is a good idea.
F
Between Washes
or this, Speed Shine® is the product I use
most often. Why? It allows you to clean your
entire car in about 15 minutes and leaves behind
a deep shine that looks "just waxed". It's fast,
fun, and won't harm glass, plastic, or rubber
trim. Simply grab your Speed Shine® and a couple Micro Fiber Speed Shine® Cloths and clean
the car using the same method as described in
the previous section about waterless washing.
While the process of cleaning is the same, quick
detail products, like Speed Shine®, should not
be used on heavily soiled vehicles like waterless car washes. Speed Shine® enhances your
paint leaving the surface clean and brilliant. You
won't believe the results. Great on boats, race
cars at the track, as a final prep before a concours
judging, painted cabinets, motorcycles, chrome,
bicycles, and any painted or clear coated surface.
Our convenient Speed Shine® Wipes are
perfect for getting into those hard to reach areas
to remove that final dusting before a concours
judging. Each wipe is impregnated with Speed
Shine®, so you can simply pull out a cloth, gently
wipe your paint surface and buff the area dry
with a clean Micro Fiber Speed Shine® Cloth or
100% Cotton Buffing Cloth. Don't leave home
without them.
14
A Proper Cleaning
If you live in an area with hard
water and suffer from those hard to
remove water spots, give our Water
Deionizer a try. Replaceable, safe
resins remove contaminants.
1954, '55, '56, '57 & '58 Corvettes
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
15
Step One Continued
A Proper Cleaning…
W
light coating over the entire top. This will protect
the vinyl from damage caused be UV light and
also give it a nice, uniform finish.
If your black vinyl top has seen better days,
you can dye your top back to its original color
in about 30 minutes. After cleaning the top,
but before dressing, apply our Black Vinyl Top
Reconditioner. Apply the gel to the entire top
with the included sponge applicator. This is a
permanent dye that will restore your drop-top
back to drop dead gorgeous. Not for use on
canvas tops or on your interior.
Canvas tops require more work. Dust and
dirt settle into the weave of the fabric and, if
left over time, will start to break down the fiber.
Interior Cleaner is a safe choice as a cleanser.
You have a couple options to choose from for
working the Interior Cleaner into the canvas
and removing stains. Our Four-Finger Mesh Mittens or Yellow Scrubbing Pads work best for
the general cleaning due to their lint free and
mildly aggressive nature. For tough stains use
our Nylon Carpet and Upholstery Brush since its
stiff bristles can clean the fibers more thoroughly.
Avoid using too much pressure or spending too
much time on a stain when scrubbing as this can
cause uneven wear on your convertible top. Mist
Interior Cleaner onto the top, gently agitate to
loosen the dirt. Spend extra time on spots and
stains and rinse thoroughly with water to remove
all Interior Cleaner residue. Use our Dimpled
Synthetic Chamois to dry the top by laying it
over the canvas and pressing down (avoid dragging it over the top). Do not use cotton towels or
anything that will leave lint behind. Allow the top
to air dry. Treat any rubber seals and fittings with
Vinyl & Rubber Dressing.
There is a lot of misinformation about protecting convertible canvas tops. If water beads
on the surface it's able to repel stains, right? No.
The water protection you get from a convertible
top comes from the butyl rubber core sandwiched between the outer canvas and the inner
pre-shrunk cotton layer. So, for the life of the
Convertible Top Care
hile being enormously fun, convertibles
pose a unique set of challenges when it
comes to caring for their tops. Most tops are
made of a plastic vinyl or polyacrylic/polyester
canvas. On older vehicles the rear window is a
clear vinyl, while recently manufacturers have
been primarily using glass. Care for these materials requires some extra time and thought.
Vinyl tops are easy to clean. Car Wash will
remove most of the dirt and oils during your normal wash process. Any spots may be treated with
our Interior Cleaner. Use a soft brush or our Yellow Scrubbing Pads to agitate the stain. The Yellow Scrubbing Pads are ideal because the opencell foam is gentle on the vinyl while still being
aggressive enough to remove the stain, and they
won't deteriorate when you have tough cleaning
to do! For better control of the scrubbing pad
during hand application, use our 3" Foam Pad
Holder or 3" Palm Grip Pad Holder. To increase
cleaning power and reduce your effort, apply the
pads to our 3" Random Orbital and use speed
3-4. Once the stain has been removed rinse the
area clean with warm water and allow it to dry.
Follow up by misting a Blue Detail Sponge with
our Vinyl & Rubber Dressing and applying a
16
A Proper Cleaning
Fabric Protector works
by deeply penetrating
the molecules of the
outer canvas and
encapsulating them.
F
Convertible Top Windows
ogged and scratched plastic windows are the
biggest complaints I hear about. The fogging
you see on polyvinyl windows occurs when the
plasticizers in the material evaporate due to UV
light and heat exposure. These plasticizers keep
the material soft and flexible. Keep the sun off
this material with a car cover whenever possible
and keep it clean!
Be careful around the window during your
regular washing. Don't use terry towels or paper
towels to dry it, either. They will scratch. Dry with
our Micro Fiber Dry Towel or Ultra Thick Micro
Fiber Towel. Use our Plastic Cleaner for regular
cleaning; it has special lubricants to suspend
the dirt while cleaning your polyvinyl window.
Spray the product on the window and wipe in a
quick upward motion with a 100% Cotton Buffing Cloth. Refold or turn over the cloth frequently
so dirt and grime are not dragged across the
window. If the window is scratched, fogged or
stained, apply Plastic Polish with our Random
Orbital and an Orange Foam Pad to make it
look new again. Our 3" Random Orbital is ideal.
If you have to work by hand, apply the Plastic
Polish with a Cotton Polishing Pad. While this
isn't as effective as working with an orbital, it
will improve the look of your polyvinyl window.
Always make sure you clean the window with
Plastic Cleaner before and after applying Plastic
Polish. Don't forget the inside as well. If the rear
window is glass, follow the care instructions
covered in the Glass Cleaning section later in
this Handbook.
top, I'm more concerned about stain protection
and soiling on the outer canvas. Fabric Protector is the ultimate choice for stain protection. It
works by deeply penetrating the molecules of
the outer canvas and encapsulating them. Make
sure the top is clean and dry before application
of Fabric Protector. To help control overspray,
mask surrounding areas that are not to be treated. Spray approximately 8-10 inches from surface
in a sweeping motion using overlapping layers
until the entire area is covered. Do not saturate; a
light coating is all that is needed. Fabric Protector
will not harm painted, chrome, plastic, or glass
surfaces, but it is best to clean any overspray
immediately after application. Allow 12 hours
dry time before using treated fabric. Once dried
it is visually undetectable and will protect your
top from soiling, permanent stains, and harmful
UV rays. Fabric Protector should not alter colors
but always test a hidden area before treating.
NOTE: Fabric Protector will not completely protect against stains caused by acid, dye, bleach,
bird droppings, or other corrosives.
Our Interior
Cleaner is
safe for all
your cleaning
needs in the
car or around
the home.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
17
Step One Continued
A Proper Cleaning…
Maintenance, Care & Protection
U
nfortunately, the worst thing you can do for
your top is to keep it down. The constant
rubbing of the material on itself and the top's
mechanism creates wear spots and the rear vinyl
window gets wrinkled and scratched. To avoid
the vinyl window rubbing against itself or other
parts, place one of our soft Micro Fiber Cloths
on either side of the window when closing the
top. Don't use terry cloth as it is too rough and
will scratch. Keep the roof's mechanism clean of
grease and oils. When lowering the top manually, be careful of the folds and creases. Avoid
putting your top down wet as mildew and mold
will grow. If you are considering a car cover for
your convertible, purchase a Noah®, Evolution®,
WeatherShield HP®, Ultra'tect® or Dustop™ style
cover. Cotton or flannel car covers will leave lint
behind. I prefer our WeatherShield HP® cover.
Use Interior Cleaner and our Nylon Carpet
& Upholstery Brush or Yellow Scrubbing Pads
to clean convertible tops and then apply Fabric
Protector to keep them clean and protect them
from UV rays.
Safe For Any Color
It is often assumed that many products can
only be used on black canvas tops. However, our Interior Cleaner and Fabric Protector
are colorless, so they are safe for use on any
color canvas top. Clean and protect black,
blue, gray, tan, white… I think you get it.
Both this beautiful 1941 Cadillac Series 6267D convertible and this 1932 Auburn 8-100A with its landau top can
benefit from some easy convertible top care. Fabric Protector is colorless, so you can use it on any color canvas top.
18
A Proper Cleaning
Use many of our car care products
with our 3" Random Orbital for
superior results in less time.
1959 Chrysler 300E
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
19
Step Two
Safe Drying…
The Burn Test
To test your cotton towels for
polyester, use a lighter to burn
the edge of the towel. If the
towel or stitching contains
polyester, it will melt. If it burns,
you've got 100% cotton.
Micro fiber not only absorbs more water than cotton, but it also picks up dirt, dust, polish, and wax
better without scratching your paint. Not all micro
fiber is the same. We offer only the highest quality
micro fiber products.
S
ounds silly. How to dry your car. Uh, well uh,
you drag the towel across the paint until dry,
right? Yeah, that's right. For those of you that care
about your paint's finish, read further. Most of the
scratches and swirl marks you'll notice appearing
in your paint are a result of wiping the car down
when it's dry or drying your vehicle improperly.
There are a few no-nos for drying your paint's
surface. The two most important factors when
drying your car are using a high quality micro
fiber towel and make sure the car is clean. If your
towel or chamois has any dirt on it after drying,
you didn't clean the car properly.
With one exception, never use a towel with
polyester in it. Polyester scratches show up as
toweling marks; longer scratches versus the
usual, small round swirl marks you normally
see. Making sure your towel doesn't contain any
polyester can be tricky since some 100% cotton
towels use polyester in the stitching. So, how
do you avoid scratches? Check the care tag on
the towel for polyester content. If the tag is no
20
longer on the towel, use the burn test to be sure.
The only exception to this rule is high quality
micro fiber.
Micro fiber is made up of a blend of polyester and polyamide that has been split into
ultra-fine fibers, then specially woven together
to maximize their softness and absorbency. This
is the exception to the polyester rule because
each of the ultra-fine fibers used in micro fiber
are several hundred times smaller than a strand
of cotton! Since each strand is so fine, they won't
even scratch the softest black paint (as long as
you are using high quality micro fiber). There
are many grades and weaves of micro fiber out
there, so make sure you dry your car with one
designed for automotive paint. Our micro
fiber drying towels are
the finest quality micro
fiber you can find and
will absorb so much
water you'll get dehydrated just using them!
For these reasons I've
changed all the drying
towels in my garage to
Ultra Thick Micro Fiber
micro fiber.
Towel soaks up a huge
amount of water.
Safe Drying
D
Micro Fiber Drying Towels
rying your car with our Micro Fiber Dry-
ing Towel is simple. The waffle-woven
micro fiber is super absorbent and its sewn-in
hand pockets make it easy to navigate the
large, 25" x 35" towel across your
paint. Gently wipe the
towel across the paint,
working from top to
bottom, front to back.
While one pass across
the car usually does the
The waffle weave
trick, I like to follow up
creates additional
with
a second dry towel
surface area for
increased absorbency. to make sure I get every
last drop. The biggest
mistake anyone can make when using a dry
towel is rubbing hard on the paint to remove any
dirt or sap they failed to remove during washing.
If you run into any spots you missed, use a little
Speed Shine® or Spray-On Car Wash to safely
remove them from your paint. Make sure you
are gentle as even bird droppings contain bits of
dirt, seeds, and small rocks which, when rubbed
over the paint, will scratch. Moisten the area
with Speed Shine® or Spray-On Car Wash and
gently wipe clean with the appropriate micro
fiber towel.
I
out after every few passes. Our natural skin Stay
Soft Chamois is extremely absorbent and its soft
surface is safe for your vehicle's paint. As its name
infers, our Dimpled Synthetic Chamois has a
unique dimpled finish that quickly and efficiently
picks up a lot of water, much more than smooth
chamois. When it comes to care, keep all your
chamois clean by not using them on wheels and
oily areas such as the rocker panels of the vehicle. Our Stay Soft Chamois is machine washable
and should be stored dry. When drying, lay it flat
and stretch it slightly back to its original shape,
then allow it to air dry. Unlike a natural chamois, our Dimpled Synthetic Chamois should be
stored moist, back in its container. Chamois are
safe for paint, glass, and trim if they are kept
clean and stored properly, away from exposure
to dust and dirt.
Synthetic And Natural Chamois
f you enjoy using a chamois, either natural
skin or synthetic, wet the chamois first in lukewarm water before using it. The proper use of
a chamois is to lay it out flat
Safe chamois
over the wet area
drying depends
and pull
on keeping
your chamois
it across
clean.
the paint,
drying the
c a r f ro m
top to bottom, front to
back, wringing
your chamois
The Flexible Water Blade clears water off your car
quickly, greatly reducing drying time. The T-bar
design contours to every curve on your vehicle,
making it almost spotless.
A
Water Blades And Squeegees
nother safe and quick way to remove water
from the surface of your car is using
a squeegee. It's important to not use just any
squeegee, but one specifically designed for use
on vehicle's paint. A soft, flexible blade is very
important! I've tested tons of these and finally
found one that is safe and effective for drying
my cars. Our Flexible Water Blade uses surgical
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
21
Step Two Continued
Safe Drying…
grade silicon, and its ergonomically-designed
handle is flexible to form to almost any curve
and features gripping ribs so it won't slip out of
your hands. A small, yet absorbent drying towel
is important to use along with your squeegee
since any squeegee that is safe for your paint
won't be able to remove 100% of the water. Our
Ultra Thick Micro Fiber Towel is the perfect companion. With our Flexible Water Blade in one
hand and the Ultra Thick Micro Fiber Towel in
the other, I can dry my car in half the time, giving
water spots almost no chance of forming. Gently
wipe the blade across your paint, use your towel
to dry the blade and dry any remaining spots off
the paint with your towel. Repeat this process
until your entire car is dry.
D
Quickly Wax Your Car
While You Dry It!
Don't Forget The Details
oorjambs and the gutters around your trunk
and engine bay trap dirt and water that can
ruin your good drying towels since it is impossible to effectively clean them during your regular
wash. For these areas I
grab a bottle of Speed
Shine® or Spray-On Car
Wash and a Tim's Dirty
Spots Micro Fiber Wipe
Down Towel. A quick
Easily clean doorjambs. mist of product and a
gentle wipe will easily clean and dry these
areas while keeping
your good towels clean
and your paint scratch
free. Don't forget the
underside of your
Dry water channels.
doors, hood and trunk.
And always finish with
a quick wipe down
of the engine since
the cloth is damp and
will pick up more dirt
and moisture.
Safely dry wheels.
22
After washing
and rinsing the
vehicle, spray the
areas you are drying with a little
Spray-On Wax.
Dry the area as you
normally would.
Using our Flexible Water Blade
helps. Work from
the top down and
avoid overspray
on the windows.
This will add to
the shine and give
your vehicle a justwaxed appearance.
It also makes it a
little easier to dry.
Remember not to
allow the Spray-On
Wax to dry on the
paint surface as it
contains wax and
will appear dull. If
this happens, mist
the area again and
buff dry.
Wash your vehicle
with Griot's Garage Car
Wash and rinse well.
Use our Water Blade
to remove excess
water and spray
Spray-On Wax over
the damp surface.
Wipe dry using our
Micro Fiber Dry Towel
and you're finished.
Safe Drying
Our Car Care products are all tested
and safe for all finishes. Make any
car look superb.
1970 Karmann Ghia Type 141
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
23
Step Three
Wheels & Tires…
I
f there is one thing that makes your vehicle
look great, it's clean wheels and properly
dressed tires. This is usually the dirtiest area on
your vehicle, yet keeping them clean is a quick
and simple process. We have several cleaning
tools that will shorten your cleaning time.
I recommend wearing a pair of our Vinyl,
Latex, or Nitrile Gloves when working around
your wheels. Brake dust and road tar are hard
to remove from your fingers, nails, and hands.
You never know what chemicals may be entering your skin. When I venture out of the garage,
I also don't like my hands looking like I need a
personal grooming class. Plus, if it's cold outside,
your hands stay warm.
Cleaning The Wheel
Wells And Tire Rubber
R
inse out the wheel
wells before you start,
otherwise, as you randomly spray the tires and
wheels, you will invariably
loosen crud that will drip
on to your freshly washed
wheels. Use the strongest
pressure and degree of water
you have to knock out the
Oil & Grease Cleaner cleans up even
the toughest grease and oil and is
environmentally friendly.
dirt and crud that gets caked
up in the wheel wells. Spray
the wheel well with a degreaser,
like our Oil & Grease Cleaner
or our Rubber Cleaner and use
our Wheel Well Brush to loosen dirt, mud, and tar, then rinse
thoroughly. If possible, remove
the wheels to gain better access
(be sure the vehicle is safely situated on jack stands).
Next, move to cleaning your
tires. Tire cleaning is an easily forgotten step in
the detail process, but it is very important. All
the grease, grime, brake dust, and road dirt you
see on your wheels is getting built up in your
tires, too! Over time this will damage the rubber
and it also takes away from the look, even when
dressed with a tire dressing. With my regular
washing I always use Rubber Cleaner to remove
the regular buildup and prepare the rubber for
protectants and dressings. Apply the Rubber
Cleaner in a shaded area and make sure that the
rubber is not hot to the touch. Spray the cleaner
directly onto the surface. Allow it to soak into
the rubber, but do not allow it to dry on the
surface. Agitate with a stiff bristle brush or our
Tire Scrubbing Brush to pull contaminants out
of the rubber. For more intense cleaning, agitate
your tires with our 3" Yellow Scrubbing Pad and
3" Random Orbital. Try this! You'll be amazed at
how much crud comes out and how great your
tires look. Finish by rinsing the tires and wheel
wells with water.
24
The 21" long, sturdy, plastic handle on our Wheel
Well Brush has a 20-degree bend in the perfect
spot so you can get some leverage and really scrub.
Wheels & Tires
I added a special scent that makes it pleasurable
to use, too.
One of the challenges in designing our quality Wheel Cleaner was creating one that was
as safe to use on your wheels as on your skin.
I've tested other wheel cleaners where the toxic
smells alone nearly required a respirator during
use. Those cleaners usually have a pH level so
high that if you used it on an anodized rim, like
on an older Porsche, the alkalis may etch the
rim. Our Wheel Cleaner is a non-toxic, environmentally safe product that is properly pH balanced and cleans the dirtiest of wheels. Griot's
Garage Wheel Cleaner is also factory approved
by BBS, Dayton Wire Wheels,™ and The Tire
Rack®! I am very proud of this as these are some
of the world's premier wheel
manufacturers and retailers.
For those of you with
chrome wheels, I developed
Chrome Wheel Cleaner just
for you. It is safe for cleaning
all of today's chrome wheels
and your old school chrome
wire wheels. With this cleaner I took a natural approach
and used the power of citrus
oil to formulate a powerful
cleaner that's safe and effective. Chrome Wheel Cleaner
will remove brake dust deposits, heavy road oils
and other contaminants without damaging your
chrome wheel's surface.
On a less frequent basis, usually once every other month, I like
to thoroughly clean my tires of
any silicones, sealants, waxes,
oils or greases that are starting
to build up. Rubber Prep is the
perfect product for this. Rubber
Prep breaks down and removes
the silicones, sealants, waxes, oils
and greases without any scrubbing. (It'll even remove that "wet
& sticky shine" you see on every
dealership's used car lot!) Simply apply Rubber
Prep to the tire with a sponge and allow it to
evaporate leaving your tire perfectly prepared for
our Vinyl & Rubber Dressing, Long-Lasting Tire
Dressing or Tire Rejuvenator. Wait to dress your
tires and wheel wells until after you've cleaned
your wheels.
A
Cleaning Wheels
question I often hear is, "Richard, could you
make a wheel cleaner that I can just spray
on and hose off?" That would be nice. The only
problem is wheel cleaners that strong are also
strong enough to etch or damage your rims; not
to mention what they can do to the environment.
Even though you have to use a sponge or wheel
brush to help break up the brake dust on your
rims, our Wheel Cleaner is completely safe for
all wheel finishes. It will loosen road tar, grime,
and brake dust making removal quick and easy.
B
How To Use Wheel Cleaners
efore starting the process, make sure the
wheels are cool to the touch. NEVER spray
water or any type of cleaner to a warm or hot
wheel as this can damage your wheels finish
and your brake rotors. When your rims are cool
to the touch, start by completely dousing them
with water. This will allow the cleaner to be carried to remote areas that might not otherwise be
reached by spraying on a dry wheel. I also think
the extra amount of water allows the cleaner to
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
25
Step Three Continued
Wheels & Tires…
acidic and non-caustic
formula. It changes
color as it works! As
it becomes purple,
agitate gently using
any of our wheel
cleaning tools. After
a light scrubbing,
simply rinse away
the dirt and you'll be
left with sparkling
clean wheels. Safe for
use on any painted,
chromed, uncoated
aluminum and powder coated wheels.
Tim's Dirty Spots Dry Towel soaks up the water and
is designed for drying tough areas like wheels, doorjambs or trunk and engine bay rails.
penetrate the brake dust and road grime easier.
Next, work on one rim at a time and spray an
even amount of cleaner over the entire rim. Agitate the cleaner right away with the cleaning
tools of your choice. If the wheel begins to dry
as you are scrubbing, apply more Wheel Cleaner
and continue scrubbing. Occasionally heavy
buildup may require a second cleaning. Once
the wheel has been properly cleaned, rinse with
water until clear. Finish by drying your wheels
to avoid water spots damaging you finish, especially if you are working on a hot day in warmer
temperatures. Since there always seems to be
some brake dust that doesn't get completely
washed away, I like to use our Tim's Dirty Spots
Micro Fiber Wipe Down Towel. This will save
your nice towels for another detailing session.
I
Wheel Cleaning
Tools
Getting into all
the nooks and crannies of your wheels
creates another challenge, so I've created
various tools to make
this job easy. I always
start with our Boar's
Hair Wheel Brush
since the long, soft
bristles do a great job
breaking up the initial
brake dust and grime
on the rim. Often this,
by itself, will clean
the wheel very well.
For those of you that
are really picky about
cleaning your wheels,
like me, keep reading.
I then move to cleaning around the spokes
and lips of the wheels
wit h our Lamb-
Cleaning Really Dirty Wheels
f you go a little too long between washings or you drive a vehicle with
brakes that blacken your wheels,
spray some Heavy-Duty Wheel
Cleaner onto your wheels and
let it sit for several minutes
while the thick cleaning
solution breaks up and dissolves tough road grime
and brake dust build-ups.
Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner is a pH balanced, non-
26
Spray on, thoroughly
coating wheels.
Allow it 5-10 minutes
to break up grime.
Gently scrub using
one of our safe tools.
Rinse completely
and dry.
Apply a wax coat for
added protection.
Wheels & Tires
Lug Nut Brush.
Foam Swabs.
Lambskin Mitt.
Three-Finger Detail Mitt.
Wheel Scrubber Brush.
skin Four-Finger Mitt and
Three-Finger Detail Mitt.
These are like mini wash
mitts for your wheels. Next,
move to the barrels and
other tight areas with our
Wheel Scrubber Brushes
(use the long reach version
for deep dish wheels) and
Foam Swabs. These allow
you to work around the
brake calipers and rotors
reaching all the way back.
I finish using our Lug Nut
Cleaning Brush, which are
designed to fit perfectly
down into the lug nut holes
on your wheels. Don't use
tooth brushes as the plastic bristles will scratch polished and painted surfaces.
And, I always like to remind
people to never use the
same cleaning tool on your
wheels that you use on
your paint. You don't want
to contaminate your paint
with the type of grease,
grime and dirt that's on
your wheels.
Another great tool for
cleaning tough-to-reach
areas that routinely get
heavy road grime and
brake dust built up on
them is our Compact and
Large Bendable Wheel
Brush. You can easily form
either of them to reach
around the wheel spokes,
hard to reach engine bay
locations, intricate grill
work or just about anywhere on your motorcycle. The bristles of these
brushes are extruded in a
star-shaped pattern for maximum surface area
resulting in better cleaning action. They are soft
and flexible to reach into tight areas that are not
much larger than the 1⁄2" nylon coated stem.
Bendable Wheel Brushes make
those traditionally impossibleto-clean places easily accessible.
Get your wheels truly clean.
Wheel cleaning brushes, like
these Boar's Hair Wheel Brushes
and Bendable Wheel Brushes
make your cleaning fast, easy
and fun.
Micro Fiber Wheel Wands
are great for cleaning
wheels with tiny spaces
where dirt and brake
dust accumulates.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
27
Step Three Continued
Wheels & Tires…
Protecting And Dressing
Wheel Wells And Tire Rubber
D
etailing your wheel wells can be a tough
job. In addition to being a tight space, there
are tons of areas around the springs and frame
that are nearly
impossible to
reach, which is
why I developed
our Undercarriage Spray. Simply spray a light
mist around the
wheel well and
you're done.
It provides a
nice look as if
you've spent
hours cleaning
the wheel well.
Perfect for SUVs
where the wheel opening is large and you see a
lot of this area. Be careful of the overspray mist as
it makes garage floors very slippery! Put down a
drop cloth or newspapers to catch any overspray.
Also, avoid getting the overspray on your tires,
wheels and paint. It won't harm paint, but it will
smear and should be wiped away.
The final touch to detailing your wheels and
tires is always tire dressing. Protecting and dressing tire rubber is an easy process that will greatly
enhance the look of your car while keeping your
tires protected from cracking, fading and hardening. First, apply the product onto your applicator
sponge. I prefer our Tire Dressing Applicators
The Blue Detail
Sponge provides
easy and accurate
application.
for tires with grooves and raised lettering on the
side walls, but the Blue Detail Sponges and 3"
Blue Applicator Pads also do the trick. Spread it
in thin, even coats across the tire, ensuring you
get in and around all the grooves and lettering.
Thin coats will give you a more even finish and
help keep the
dressing from
flinging onto
the side of your
car. Do not
buff the dressing into the tire
r ubber. Use
smooth, clean
strokes. The
Our 3" Blue Applicator Pads
results should be
work extremely well for applying dressings evenly, especially
a heavier coat of
when used with our Palm Grip
dressing that will
3" Pad Holder.
provide a glossier look to the tire rubber. Keep the dressing off
the tread. Second, wipe away any excess product
from the wheels with a clean Tim's Dirty Spots
Micro Fiber Wipe Down Towel. Application of
our different tire dressings is the same, but each
offers a different finish and longevity.
Vinyl & Rubber Dressing is my favorite tire
dressing. It provides excellent UV protection, is
water based and gives your tires a nice sheen
similar to when they were brand new. While
this dressing has the shortest life of any of our
dressings (1-2 weeks), the finish is worth it. The
satin finish provides professional results and
is the perfect accent to your wheels. The
dressing of choice at the Pebble Beach
Concours d'Elegance.
The comfortable
Tire Dressing
Applicator applies
a smooth film of
dressing on the tire.
28
Wheels & Tires
you. Want a nice black, satin finish? After application, give a quick swipe with a disposable towel
and your tires will have a natural rubber look.
Want mega-gloss? Apply two coats and don't
touch it. For those of you that like a shiny tire, this
is the dressing for you.
Tire Rejuvenator is a water-based black dye
that will provide a matte black tire with a look
that will last for up to three months! Think about
it, no more putting on tire dressing each and
every time you wash your car or drive through
inclement weather. Just apply the creamy tire
dressing with the sponge (included) and within
minutes you have a perfect looking tire. Our
formula won't fly off, attract dust or make your
pants dirty if you accidentally come in contact
with your tire after it dries. Since
this is a water-based black dye,
do not use Tire Rejuvenator on
whitewalls or tires with white
lettering.
Vinyl & Rubber Dressing saturated pop-up wipes are
ideal for tires and all your rubber trim. They allow
precise application and deliver the perfect amount
of dressing.
Another easy way to apply Vinyl & Rubber Dressing is with our pop-up dispenser. I've
taken a strong, cloth-like material and saturated
it with Vinyl & Rubber Dressing. This provides
a very controlled method of application to tires.
The strong material won't rip, tear or leave lint.
It enables you to use your finger tips for precise
application near the rim. It also makes it easy to
dress the valve stem and keep it from cracking.
Long-Lasting Tire Dressing is just that; long
lasting. Longevity is one of the primary challenges with tire dressings. One rainy day drive or
a
car wash and you need to reapply
most dressings. Long-Lasting Tire
Dressing is specifically designed
to withstand tough weather conditions. Being a super thick
liquid, it's easy to apply, and
unlike many dressings, it
won't fly off of tires and onto
your wheels and paint. It is
also water repellent so it still
looks great even after a rain
storm or a good wheel cleaning. As for gloss? It's all up to
Rubber Prep will leave
you with a new surface,
perfect to use before
applying your Tire Dressing or Tire Rejuvenator.
Tire Dressing Tip
Apply our Tire Rejuvenator as a base coat
3-4 times per year. Then, on a more regular basis, apply Vinyl & Rubber Dressing
over the top. This will keep your tires looking good even when the Vinyl & Rubber
Dressing wears away.
Applies easily with our
Blue Detail Sponges.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
29
Step Three Continued
Wheels & Tires…
Polishing And Waxing Wheels
M
ost modern wheels have a painted, color
base coat followed by two or three layers of clear coat. These types of wheels should
be treated just like the paint surface on your
car, which means you should polish and wax
them on a regular basis. This provides maximum protection and makes cleaning the wheels
much easier. Since detailing wheels can be a bit
of a chore, I prefer using our Paint Sealant on
my wheels (though our Best of Show Wax® can
be used as well). Paint Sealant provides longer
lasting protection that is more resilient against
the intense conditions your
wheels experience. Best of
Show Wax® and Paint Sealant
are safe to use on all wheels,
including clear-coated,
machined aluminum,
anodized, chrome, and
non-clear coated wheels.
Polishes, waxes, and sealants should be applied to
your wheels using the same
methods as you would on
your paint (covered in the
Polishing and Waxing sec-
30
tions of this Handbook). Here I'll give
you a few techniques that are better for
application on wheels. Always start by
thoroughly cleaning your wheels and
removing buildup with Wheel Cleaning
Clay. Clay is great on wheels since it can
be formed to fit into all the cracks, crevices, and corners. Should your painted
wheels have small surface scratches and
need polishing, use
Fine Hand Polish
and apply it using
a 100% Cotton
Buffing Cloth or a
3" Orange Foam Polish
Pad. Work in small areas
and wipe the polish off before it dries. For
wax or sealant on larger surfaces, use our 3" Red
Foam Wax Pads. In tighter areas, a 100% Cotton
Buffing Cloth works well to get down into crevices and work your way between spokes. Allow
it to cure and buff using a clean Micro Fiber Wax
Removal Cloth.
F
Non-Clear Coated Wheels
or non-clear coated, aluminum, and magnesium wheels, you need to take special care
when polishing out oxidation and other imperfections. Our Metal Polish is perfect. It removes
even the toughest oxidation from these types of
rims and restores a bright, factory polished finish.
Remember, the Metal Polish is for non-clear coated and non-anodized wheels only! If you are not
sure whether
your vehicle's rims are
clear coated
or not, consult with the
manufacturer
of the rims or
car dealer.
Wheels & Tires
Heavy-Duty Metal Polish is safe and effective on non-clearcoated aluminum, steel, magnesium, stainless steel, Plexiglas®, plastic and
acrylic surfaces
when you need
a slightly more
aggresive polish.
It is silicone-free
and water soluble
making is easy to
rinse off after use.
Ever tried to polish a nine
Achieve amazing
year old oxidized magneresults when used
sium Indy Car wheel? That's
by hand or with our
exactly what I did just to
prove the effectiveness of this
Random Orbital.
amazing polish...
Conforms to commercial aviation requirements. Even our friends
at J&L Fabricating tell me it's the best polish available for the aluminum race car tubs they build.
If you've ever polished metal before, you
know it always leaves behind a messy, black
residue that will ruin your good cloths. This is
why I love our 100% Cotton Wipes. They are
great because they
provide the same
performance and
softness of our
10 0 % C o t to n
Buffing Cloths,
Our White Polishing
but are disposPads also work well for
Metal Polish application. able so you can
throw them away
when you are finished. Apply a very small
amount of polish to the cotton wipe and
rub it gently in a circular motion until black
residue appears on the wipe and rim. Buff of
the polish residue with a clean 100% cotton
cloth or wipe, making sure not to let the polish dry on the rim.
There are a couple of options when it
comes to machine application. The best option
is to use our Felt Polishing Cones with a variable
speed drill or die grinder. Wear eye protection!
Wipe a small amount of polish onto the cone
and work in small areas, wiping off the polish
Felt Polishing Cones on a pneumatic or electric drill
make for fast easy polishing. A die grinder, though,
provides the best control. Always wear eye protection!
before it dries. If the polish sprays or splatters,
you've put on too much. Be careful around the
valve stem, lug nuts (if the wheel is still mounted)
and along the edge of the tire. It's easiest to polish the wheel when it is removed and you can
work on a bench top. If your wheel has any
large, flat areas, you can use our 3" Random
Orbital and our 3" White Foam Metal Polish Pads.
Just spread the Metal Polish on the pad like butter on bread and work back and forth on the
area until you see the panel starting to shine. Buff
off the polish residue with a clean 100% cotton
cloth or wipe, making sure not to let the polish
dry on the rim.
100% Cotton Disposable Wipes provide a
very safe alternative to destroying your
nice cotton towels when using Metal Polish!
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
31
Step Four
Paint Cleaning Clay…
A
Before Polishing Or Waxing,
Remove Surface Contaminants
fter you've washed your vehicle, run your
fingers over the paint. If it feels rough
instead of being totally smooth, or if you hear a
"friction" sound, the surface has contaminants
which need to be removed. Oils, dirt, brake dust,
tar, and acid rain deposits from the environment
form tiny particles which stick to your paint.
Over time these particles build up and form an
invisible layer. (Although you can see it with a
10x magnification loupe.) This is what you are
feeling and hearing when you touch the surface.
Even though you've washed the car, these contaminants won't come off. There are some polishes on the market advertised as "paint cleaners"
that are a lot of work but still can't remove these
contaminants! Before you polish or wax your
paint, these contaminants must be removed.
This will make polishing safer, easier and ensure
maximum clarity and longevity from your wax.
Don't make the mistake of polishing or waxing over these contaminants. If you polish or
wax without claying first, these contaminants
could get picked up into the pad and ground
into your paint potentially creating swirl marks
and scratches. In addition these contaminants,
on a microscopic level, look like volcanoes on
32
your paint and will not accept a wax barrier
like a smooth paint surface. These "contaminant
volcanoes" now act as a conduit for acid rain
and take its harmful effects right to the base of
the paint! If you don't remove them before you
wax, you simply cover them up, leaving them to
attack the paint. In all my years of testing products there is only one way to remove these contaminants safely. (It also is the easiest!) Use our
Paint Cleaning Clay. This product is amazing.
There are many different grades of clay. Some
are very coarse and will scratch paint. Others are
too dense and leave a hard-to-remove residue
on your paint. Our clay is extremely mild and
will remove a variety of surface contaminants
including paint overspray, tree sap, bug residue,
tar, dirt, oil, hard water deposits, and brake dust
without removing wax or scratching your vehicle's paint. How does it work? The clay is pliable
and sticky and acts like an exfoliate, lifting away
contaminants. It must be used with a lubricant,
allowing it to slide across the surface. Our Speed
Shine® is perfect as it not only contains a cleaner,
but has high lubricity, too. I like to wear vinyl
aloe gloves when working with clay so it doesn't
stick to my skin or get under my fingernails.
Our clay is very
mild and will
remove a variety of surface
contaminants
that are difficult
to remove any
other way.
Size DOES matter!
Our Paint Cleaning Clay is safe for all types
of paint and leaves no residue or scratches
behind and we give you more, lots more!
80 Grams 100 Grams 100 Grams
Griot's Garage
226 Grams
Paint Cleaning Clay
How To Use Paint Cleaning Clay
S
tart by removing the plastic wrapper and
tearing off about one quarter of the bar. If
your clay is cold and not pliable from being
stored in an unheated garage, try warming it in
your hands first. If that doesn't work, remove the
lid from the container and place it in your microwave for 10-20 seconds. Knead the clay into a
ball and pat it into a flat pancake shape about the
size of the palm of your hand.
Speed Shine® plays an integral part of the
claying process. It provides the lubricity the clay
needs to glide across
the paint. Working in
small areas, about 2'
x 2', start by spraying
the clay in your hand
and then the two foot
As the clay slides over
your paint, it picks up
section with Speed
contaminants that are
Shine®. Now, wipe the
stuck to the surface that
clay
back and forth
even polish can't remove!
in a cross-hatch pattern over the surface, making sure you keep
your speed up. You don't need to rub hard; the
weight of your hand is usually enough pressure.
A few passes will do it. If the clay starts to stick to
the paint, it's an indication that you need more
Speed Shine® on the paint. For larger specs of tar
or overspray you may need to make more passes
and press down a little harder. As the surface
gets clean and the contaminants are removed,
you'll feel the clay move more easily across the
paint. Wipe the area dry with a clean Micro Fiber
Speed Shine® Cloth. Now feel. Your paint's surface should feel silky smooth! While doing an
average size vehicle you will need three or four
cloths for wiping off the lubricant. Don't allow
the Speed Shine® to dry on the surface. Work
from the top of the car down, doing the lower
valances and the rear of the car last. These areas
tend to be the dirtiest. As you use the clay, the
patty will flatten out. After each two foot section
knead the clay back into a ball and re-flatten.
This keeps the contaminants suspended in the
clay away from your vehicle's paint.
Your initial ball of clay
should do the entire car several
times unless your paint is very
dirty. When the clay is looking pretty grimy, discard it and
tear off another piece. An eight
ounce bar should do your car
Spray Speed
10 to 15 times. If you see any
Shine® while
large chunks of tar, dirt or sap
rubbing the
in the clay, pick them out. If
clay over
the paint
you drop the clay, pick out the
surface.
chunks and discard them so
they don't scratch the paint. If
you can't remove the grit, discard that piece of clay. When
you store the clay, put it back
into its container, spray in a few
squirts of Speed Shine® to keep
it moist, and seal the lid tightly.
Clay shows
Paint Cleaning Clay can also
contaminates
be used with our 6" Random
removed.
Orbital using our Paint Cleaning Clay Pad. This allows you to get great results
with less time and effort. The foam portion of the
pad holds Speed Shine® and the center has a cutout for the clay. Simply flatten out the entire clay
bar, place it in the cut-out, spray the pad, clay
and the area on the car to be cleaned with Speed
Shine®. Place the pad in the machine and set it
on the paint. Run the machine on a low speed
setting (1-2). It is important to keep plenty of
lubrication on the clay and surface of the pad so
the clay moves freely over the paint. After each
section, remove the clay, knead it and repeat
the process across the entire car. Again, work in
small areas and don't allow the Speed Shine® to
dry on the surface.
Paint Cleaning Clay works on any painted
surface and is safe for all cured paints. You can
also use it on painted wheels, chrome bumpers,
hard plastics and metal trim. Once you're done
with the clay you're now ready to polish out any
scratches or swirl marks you want to remove. Or,
move on to waxing if the surface is scratch free.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
33
Step Five
Polishing…
disappear! Polishes have varying degrees of very
small particles which act like the sand on sandpaper. As the polish moves over a surface, these
particles remove the material they are moving
over. Ideally, you want a polish which is just
strong enough to eliminate or reduce the visibility of the scratch. That's it. If your polish is too
aggressive, you remove more paint than is necessary and risk putting additional scratches in the
surface. You don't have to worry about too much
"paint removal" or "burning through" with our
entire product line.
Our polishes are sold in various gradations.
Machine Polish 1 is our most aggressive polish;
however, it is about half the abrasiveness found
in other paint polishes. It's designed to remove
heavy oxidation and scratches. Machine Polish 2
is more mild than Machine Polish 1 and is used
for moderate scratches and deeper swirl marks.
Machine Polish 3, in most cases, is the mildest
polish you will need. It removes swirl marks,
light scratches, towel marks, etc. I use Machine
Polish 3 more than any other polish. If you
Our Versatile 10X Magnifier makes it possible to see
contaminants that are invisible with the naked eye.
T
Examine Your Paint
here are many misconceptions regarding
polishing and what the term means. Simply
put, when you polish, you remove very thin layers of paint. To completely remove scratches, it is
necessary to remove thin layers of paint around
the scratch down to the same level as the base
of the scratch. In most cases you only need to
remove microns of paint, which isn't even measurable. However, you need to be careful with
the polishes you choose since many polishes on
the market are more aggressive than you need.
This is done to reduce the amount of effort to
remove the scratch, which is never worth it when
risking your paint. With our polishes, especially
Machine Polish 3, the thickness of paint removed
is not measurable, but you can see the scratches
Finger Tips And Palm
Use your finger tips when evaluating the
paint surface. You have many more sensory nerves here than on the back of your
hand. If you have a lot of contaminants on
the surface, you will feel them and hear an
audible dragging noise from the paint.
34
Polishing
If you've used other
products which
contain silicone and
sealants, our polishes
and waxes may not
adhere to your paint
or will appear hazy.
Use Paint Prep to
clean the surface.
Our Random Orbitals make short work of removing
light scratches and swirl marks; fast fun and easy!
If the scratch is so deep that you can see the
primer paint or metal, or it goes through the
clear coat on two stage paint, the only correction is to use touchup paint. If the
scratch is not deep
but can be felt with
Initial scratch before
polishing and waxing.
your fingernail, the
best way is to polish
the scratch in a perpendicular motion
to reduce the visFor deep scratches to be
less noticeable, round
ibility of the scratch.
off the "V" and "fill" the
(Essentially it is not
crevice with wax.
worth reducing the
paint thickness to get down to the base of the
scratch and eliminate it entirely.) If the scratch
is less serious (swirl marks, toweling marks and
automatic car wash scratches), they are easy to
remove. The idea is to remove enough paint
around the scratch so the bottom of the scratch
is now level with the surface of the paint.
have dark colored paint, like black or red,
Machine Polish 4 may be necessary to remove
the minute swirl marks that are only visible
on those colors. It is the finest polish we offer
(and the finest polish you will need). The abrasiveness of our Fine Hand Polish falls between
Machine Polish 2 and Machine Polish 3 due
to the fact that your hand is not able to exert
the same pressure on the paint as an orbital
can. You can vary the aggression you get when
hand polishing by using a Cotton Polish Pad
(more aggressive) or a Orange Foam Polish Pad
(less aggressive), but all of our Machine Polishes
should be applied using a Random Orbital and
Orange Foam Polish Pad.
Scratches are tiny grooves left in the surface
of your paint and come from a variety of sources. Some of the sources are: dirt particles which
have been dragged over the surface while wiping down the car without the proper amount of
lubrication; hard objects like articles of clothing
rubbed against the paint; boxes left on the fender or trunk; or the simple act of rubbing a finger
over a dusty dirty car. Inferior polishes, (trust
me, I've tested many) when rubbed by hand or
machine, can put more scratches into the paint
than you originally had!
Car Care for the Perfectionist!
®
35
Paint
Paint
Primer
Primer
Deep scratch through to primer.
Nothing
you can
do except
use
Deep
scratch
through
to primer.
touch upyou
paint.
Nothing
can do except use
touch up paint.
Step Five Continued
Polishing…
Our Random Orbitals
operate in an orbiting
motion while also
spinning around.
polish and/or a wool or cotton bonnet (even
a foam pad!) and they will remove paint very
quickly and burn through the paint in thin areas
and edges. You can also spot the work of one
of these machines by looking at the side of a
vehicle and seeing uniform buffing marks going
down the side. The paint literally has uniform
scratch marks everywhere. The owner never
really sees these swirl marks when he picks up
the car after a detailing because they use fillers
and glazes to cover them up. But after the first
wash the glazes and fillers are washed away and
the swirl marks appear!
Our Random Orbitals operate in an orbiting motion while also spinning around. Even
at the highest speed setting, the system I have
developed over the years is completely safe. You
We also offer 3" and 6" Pneumatic Random Orbitals
for those of you lucky enough to have a compressed
air system in your garages.
T
Why Machine Polishing?
he best and safest way to polish out scratches or remove oxidized paint is with a random orbital machine. This is where many of you
get scared. I know what you're thinking. Don't
machines put those terrible swirl marks in my
paint? Yes, if you use the wrong machine and
the wrong polishes. I've developed a safe, fast,
and fun system that you can't mess up. But first,
let's talk about polishing machines. The Random
Orbitals I sell are professional duty machines.
They're perfect for the weekend user or the professional detailer. They have enough torque so
they won't bog down and stall like other random
orbitals, but they don't generate enough heat to
burn through your paint. Direct drive polishers,
on the other hand, are the ones you've heard
all the horror stories about. They are normally
seen in paint shops and used by professional
detailers. They rotate in a single action like a
drill and operate under high heat and very high
speed conditions. Combine this with a heavy
Our Random Orbitals are a safe, fast and fun way to
improve the depth and clarity in your paint.
36
Polishing
can still scratch paint with an orbital machine if
you use the wrong bonnet and products. With
my specially designed foam pads and my extragentle micro polishes you can enjoy all the benefits of machine polishing without the worry of
scratches or swirl marks. Less labor, better results.
It is my opinion that there is no another method,
by hand or machine that can perfect the paint
to the level that our Random Orbital System can
achieve. Period.
Our high-quality 3" Pneumatic
Random Orbital.
C
Safe Machine Polishing
enter the foam pad on the orbital's backing
plate and press down firmly so the pad is
secured to the machine. Apply polish onto the
pad and spread it around like you would butter
a piece of bread. Cover the whole pad evenly
with a thin amount of polish. I like to use the
dome cap on the bottle to spread my polish, but
your finger works as well. You don't need a lot
of polish. If your polish is splattering when in
use, you've put way too much polish onto the
pad. Place the pad on the paint surface, set the
machine to speed 4 and turn on the machine.
Starting in the upper left hand corner, spread the
polish across a
2' x 2' section
in a crosshatch pattern.
The first pass
should spread
the polish
across your
working area
while also
Working in this pattern ensures
working some
you get complete coverage.
of the polish
Overlap the areas you are polishing so the results are even.
into your pad.
Then, if necessary, increase
the speed to
5 . Po l i s h i n g
speeds will vary
based on the
Our Orbitals have variable
speed motors. Polish at level
surface condifour to five. Wax at two to three.
tion, product
and pad you are
using, so adjust accordingly to find what works
best on your vehicle. I've found that in most
cases, speeds 4 and 5 are best for polishing.
Continue polishing until the product has been
evenly distributed across the area and has almost
disappeared or if the polish starts to dry out and
become chalky (you'll start to see a dust). This is
usually between 6 and 8 total passes of the crosshatch pattern. Apply an even amount of pressure
to the machine so the entire pad is touching
the surface of the car. For the majority of your
polishing you will only need a light amount of
pressure, but you may press down in areas that
need more polishing. When you have finished
polishing, turn off the machine while it is still on
the paint and lift off the paint as it slows down.
Don't lift the machine off the paint without turning it off or you may spray product all over the
place or your foam pad may fly off the backing
plate. Gently buff the excess polish off the surface using a clean, Micro Fiber Polish Removal
Cloth. These cloths are ultra soft and have a long
nap so they lift and hold the polish away from
the surface as you remove it. If the polish has
dried and is difficult to remove, do not use more
pressure. A light misting of Pre-Wax Cleanser or
Speed Shine® will soften it up to aid in removal.
E
Choosing The Right Polish
ven though my polishing system is
completely safe, it is always best to only do
as much polishing as necessary. This will avoid
wasting product and time, as well as saving your
paint from needless polishing. Begin with a very
mild polish; I almost always start with Machine
Polish 3. (The only exception is when I'm work-
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
37
Step Five Continued
Polishing…
Remember, to remove a scratch, you have to
get down to the bottom of the scratch, and that
means removing paint (microns at a time) in
the surrounding area. Too much polishing will
eventually remove clear coats and/or base coats
so watch what you're doing, especially with
Machine Polishes 1 and 2. After polishing with
Machine Polish 1 or 2, always work in succession, finishing with either Machine Polish 3 or 4.
For example, if you polish with Machine Polish
1, follow up with Machine Polish 2, then Machine
Polish 3.
For new car finishes, or show cars that have
toweling marks and light swirls, Machine Polish
4 is the polish to use. Machine Polish 4 has ultrafine polish granules encapsulated into a formula
with more lubricity to polish any type of paint.
Machine Polish 4 is the safest polish on the planet and was specifically designed for near flawless
paint. You may also use it after Machine Polish 3,
but in most cases it is really not necessary.
After polishing, it is always necessary to follow up with a wax or sealant. Polishing will perfect your finish, but will not protect it from the
future scratches or harmful elements. I prefer our
Best of Show Wax® or our Carnauba Wax Stick
for incredible depth, color and clarity and our
Paint Sealant for long lasting protection. Continue on to the next section on Waxing to learn
more about these products and their application.
Our Orange Foam
Polish Pad is dense
enough to hold the
polish close to the paint
surface while still being gentle
enough as to not damage the paint.
ing on a dark colored car with very few imperfections. Then I start with Machine Polish 4.)
After your first application of Machine Polish
3, examine the surface closely. If the scratches
aren't gone you may need another application,
but always start with Machine Polish 3. It is the
final polish that will remove many imperfections.
If you would like to remove even more imperfections, use Machine Polish 3 one more time. It is
the most fool-proof way of polishing your paint.
When you start with Machine Polish 3, it also lets
you evaluate what type of paint you have. Even
with all of my years of experience, I never start
off with Machine Polish 1 or 2. Why? Because
paints vary in hardness. Softer paints are easy
to polish and you'll notice a dramatic improvement with just one pass of Machine Polish 3 or
4. Ultra-hard paints may require you to increase
the speed and bear down harder to remove swirl
marks.
Sometimes you may need to use Machine
Polishes 1 and 2 for deep scratches or heavily
oxidized paint. When using these products you
may see minute scratches in the paint caused
from the granules of abrasive. This is normal.
Watch That Cord
When using a machine orbital polisher,
drape the cord over your shoulder so as
not to drag it over your vehicle's paint.
Keep both hands on the machine at all
times and always start & stop the machine
with the pad on the paint surface.
38
Polishing
F
Machine Buffing
or years you've been asking me for a way
to buff polish from your paint's surface by
machine. I'm happy to say this bonnet system
using our Blue Support Pad and micro fiber Polish Removal Bonnets works great. This system
buffs the excess polish from your surface easily,
leaving your arm fresh for other things.
Begin by placing the Blue Support Pad
onto your machines backing plate and wrap
a Polish Removal Bonnet over the pad. Place
the machine onto your paint, set it to speed 4
and turn it on. Work the bonnet across area to
remove about 95% of the polish from the surface. For a final detail and to remove that last 5%,
lightly mist Pre-Wax Cleanser or Speed Shine®
and buff with a Micro Fiber Polish Removal
Cloth. This will leave your paint clean and ready
for wax or sealant.
Your Polish and Wax Removal Bonnets can
be machine washed and cared for just like all of
your micro fiber towels. See the care instructions
on page 60 of this Handbook.
Polish (and wax) removal can also be done using
our Blue Support Pad and Removal Bonnets.
Polish Removal Bonnet fits over Blue Support Pad.
Blue Support Pad.
Wax Removal Bonnet fits over Blue Support Pad.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
39
Step Five Continued
Polishing…
I
Hand Polishing
f you are still concerned about using an orbital
and you choose to hand polish the entire car,
the process is the same. Use our Orange Foam
Polish Pads for normal polishing or our Cotton
Polish Pad for more aggressive polishing along
with our Fine Hand Polish. If you are working
on softer paint or a darker colored car, I always
recommend using foam since cotton can be
a bit too aggressive and may leave behind
micro scratches.
Again, use the polish sparingly, work in small
areas and use the cross-hatch method. If you
have a deep scratch,
the best way to
remove it is to polish it out using perpendicular strokes
over the length of
the scratch. The
challenge with hand
polishing is to keep
the pressure even
Orange Foam Polish Pad. and the coverage
thorough. As with
machine polishing, be careful around trim to
avoid getting the polish in cracks, on rubber or in
seals. As you work, the polish should almost disappear. If you're wiping off a lot, you are wasting
product and making the job much too hard.
Take your time when working by hand. It's hard
work and easy to get a bit tired, thus missing
areas. Work in small sections. If you're working on heavily oxidized paint, keep several
clean polishing pads handy and keep turning
your cloths, working with clean areas. Always
remove polish before it
dries. Unlike
wax, there is
no reason to
allow polish
to dry. The
rubbing is
what does
the work.
Cotton Polish Pads.
Dry polish is
very hard to remove. If it does dry, a light misting
of Pre-Wax Cleanser or Speed Shine® will soften
it up to aid in removal. You can get excellent
results by hand, but don't
think you will remove
every swirl mark. The time
involved and the effort, is
just too great. There is still
no better way to a perfect finish than with our
Machine Polishing System.
Clean and condition paint
after polishing and before
waxing or sealing with our
Pre-Wax Cleanser.
Our 3" Orange Foam Polish Pad is perfect
for tight spaces and tricky curved areas.
40
Polishing
Special Care For Clear Coat Paint
M
ost new cars and many restored older cars
are finished with a clear coat paint. In the
past, the final layer on cars was a pigmented,
single stage, oil based paint. When polishing this
kind of paint you were working on the pigment
and saw it come off on your pads and polishing
cloths. It gave you some working room and you
could see exactly what effect your polish was
having on your paint's finish.
Newer technology paints are water based
for environmental reasons and are much
harder. This is norColor Coat 1-2 mil mally referred to as
Primer 2 mil
two stage paint. The
Metal 20 mil
first coat (on top of a
primer, of course), is
the color coat. This is
Single Stage Paint.
protected by a thicker
layer of clear polyurethane or urethane
Clear Coat 2-3 mil paint, providing proColor Coat 1-2 mil tection and gloss. The
color layer is very
Primer 2 mil
thin while the clear
Metal 20 mil
coat is much thicker
to provide the protection while giving
Clear coat protects
the color coat. Careful
your vehicle a glossy
polishing is required so
look. Many clear
damage does not occur
coats contain a UV
to the clear coat.
protection to stop fading. While clear coats provide a great look, they
show scratches more than a single stage finish.
Why? Think of it like scratching a piece of glass.
Every pit and scratch is noticeable, especially
in black.
If you don't know if your vehicle has clear
coat or single stage paint you can test by rubbing with a white cloth and polish on an outof-the-way area. If color comes off, it's not clear
coated. The most important thing to remember
with clear coats is to avoid strong abrasives. This
includes strong paint cleaners and absolutely no
rubbing compounds!
Get your car care arsenal all lined up and ready
to have some fun. No matter how old or new your
vehicle is, you can keep it in perfect condition and
have a ton of fun in the process.
G
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
41
Paint Glaze
lazes are a product I avoided for a long time
because I'm of the mind-set that it is better to remove the imperfection than to cover it
up. And, frankly, I couldn't find a glaze I liked.
However, I finally developed a glaze that works
great and fills the void in your detailing arsenal for older paints where you don't want to
remove any more paint, even if it is microns, or
for times when removing scratches may take
more time than you have. Paint Glaze can be
applied with our Random Orbitals or by hand
using our Orange Foam Polish Pads and buffed
with our Micro Fiber Polish Removal Cloths.
The application process is similar
to polishing. Apply it sparingly,
but you can layer it in multiple
coats to hide more imperfections. Also, a glaze can be
applied before or after waxing or sealing. Just remember, glazes will wear away
after a few washes, so only
use glaze when polishing
isn't possible or as a final
prep before a show.
Paint Glaze is designed to hide
deeper scratches and swirl
marks and is especially helpful
for single-stage paint.
Step Six
Waxing & Sealing…
W
and other oils to make it into a workable liquid
or paste form. Those that advertise "100% Carnauba Wax" are being less than truthful as that
would either come in the form of a brick (and as
hard as one, too) or in the flake form. (The flakes
are still rock hard and unable to be applied to
paint.)
The barrier created by a carnauba based wax
naturally protects your paint from the harmful
UV rays from the sun, which is
probably the most harmful element out there. Though nothing can create a shield against
acid rain and toxic bird droppings, our carnauba based
waxes do provide enough
of a barrier for you to
remove these unwanted
foreign deposits quickly before
they cause damage to your paint.
With its dense properties, the maximum amount
of carnauba you can put into a wax is about 50%.
Any more and the product becomes too hard to
apply and buff once it has dried. Our waxes contain the maximum amount of carnauba possible
while providing excellent buffing characteristics.
Carnauba wax is one of nature's most complicated compounds. Its elements are so complex that man, in his infinite wisdom, still has not
been able to duplicate it. However, not all of us
have time to wax our cars 3 to 4 times per year as
recommended for wax, so I developed a couple
synthetic, polymer-based sealants that go on
easy, look great and last up to a full year without
needing to be reapplied. These are great for daily
drivers, trucks and SUVs or even boats, since
the sealant will withstand the harsh weathering
much better than a carnauba wax.
All of our waxes and sealants are compatible
with each other, so you can layer one on top of
the other and do not need to worry about stripping the surface should you decide to use wax
during the Spring and Summer and sealant during the Fall and Winter.
Protecting Your Paint
axing or sealing your vehicle is an important part of preserving its appearance.
With proper care, there is no reason why original factory paint can't last the entire life of your
vehicle. The goal is to protect the paint's surface
while providing color, depth and clarity so the
paint looks stunning.
A carnauba based wax is still the best choice.
But, if you only have time to wax your vehicle once a year, a sealant is the better choice.
Carnauba wax comes from the Brazilian plant,
Copernica Cerifera, which is
farmed for its vegetable
fat type of wax. This wax
coats the leaves and actually swells when it gets wet.
This allows any moisture to
roll off the leaf and be directed
Carnauba down into the plant's root syswax flakes
tem. It also preserves any moisture within the leaf from evaporating. In its raw form, carnauba is as hard as a
rock and needs naphtha, petroleum distillates
42
Waxing & Sealing
W
Wax Or Sealant?
for a car you love that gets driven often since it
has a lasting finish. Plus, the stick-style container
allows for application on any size pad. Our Premium Carnauba Paste Wax has similar characteristics of the stick
in terms of brightness and protection,
but its hydrophobic
technology is what
really sets it apart.
The water beads
actually curve into
themselves reducing surface contact
and forming a "nonOur Premium Carnauba
Paste Wax is hydrophowettable" surface the
bic for superior protecwater glides right off
tion and water-beading.
of. Each of our waxes
has unique characteristics to allow you to use the
ideal product for application, but all will give you
excellent shine and protection for your beloved
automobile.
hich product should I select to protect my
vehicles? Start by asking yourself some
of these questions: Is this my beloved weekend driver, show car, crazy-in-love-with car, or
is it my daily driver that takes a lot of abuse? Do
I have time every quarter to wax my car, or do
I only have just enough time to wash and dry
it once or twice a month? Do I park outside
most of the time, or is the car parked indoors at
work and at home? Do I cheat and go through
a car wash every once in a while, or do I hand
wash my vehicles all the time? Do I expect the
finish to be perfect, swirl-free with incredible
depth, color and clarity, or am I willing to have a
glossy finish with the majority of the swirl marks
removed? Once you've answered these questions
for your car, evaluate our different wax and sealant options to see which option fits your goals
given the finish you want to achieve and the time
you can commit.
C
Carnauba Waxes
arnauba waxes are ideal if you want to
achieve the best finish for your paint and
have time to apply wax 3 or 4 times a year,
park the car indoors at home,
use a car cover at work, and
you never run it through an
automatic car wash. Best of
Show Wax® has incredible
depth, color, and clarity.
In addition, it also has a
better filling capability to
hide any imperfections
you may have not been
able to remove while
polishing. It continues to
be the premier wax on
the concours lawn. Our
Carnauba Wax Stick provides a bright shine and
maximum protection
while being very easy to
apply and buff. Excellent
O
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
43
Paint Sealants
ur sealants focus on last-
ing protection, yet still
provide a high gloss finish
you'll only have to apply
once or twice a year. Perfect for cars that take a
beating from daily driving, being parked outside, the occasional trip
through a drive trough
car wash, or when you
simply don't have time
to wax your car often.
Our Paint Sealant can
be applied by hand or
machine; just like our
waxes. It goes on easy
and is a breeze to buff.
One-Step Sealant is simiPaint Sealant
lar to our Paint Sealant
provides long-term
protection for your
but has a small amount of
everyday driver.
Step Six Continued
Waxing & Sealing…
Waxing With A Random Orbital
polish to clean the paint and
help remove swirl marks, so
it is applied like our polishes.
Both sealants provide comparable protection, but
One-Step Sealant should
be used if you skipped
the polishing stage and
want to remove some
light swirl marks while
you apply the sealant.
Plus, if you follow up
with Spray-On Wax after
each wash you can relax,
knowing that you're
doing the right thing in
terms of protecting your
paint for those daily driven cars and SUVs instead
For slight swirl
marks, One-Step Seal- of ignoring them.
T
here is no better way to apply our waxes
and sealants than with our Random Orbitals. The added depth and evenness of color and
clarity are unsurpassed. Imagine being able to go
over a particular area about one hundred times
more than doing it by hand. Applying wax by
machine allows you to "burnish" the wax into
every paint pore, so your wax protection will last
at least twice as long.
Start by centering
a Red Foam Wax Pad
on the machine's backing plate and pressing it
into place. Pour a nickel
size amount of wax or
sealant on the center
of the pad (you don't
need much). If you are
using our Carnauba
Wax Stick or Premium
Carnauba Paste Wax, Apply waxes evenly to
the red pad to achieve
spread a thin coat of wax the best results.
across the bottom of the
pad. If you apply too much product into your
pad it will be difficult to thin out during application resulting in uneven application and difficulty
when buffing. Place the pad onto the paint surface, set the speed to 2 and turn on the machine.
Since you want your wax to dry, you can work
in larger sections than
you did when
polishing. Normally, I start
with half of a
hood. Start in
the upper left
hand corner
and work your
way across the
Working in this pattern ensures
you get complete coverage. Overarea in a crosslap the areas you are waxing so
hatch pattern.
the results are even.
ant contains a polish
to seal and protect
while it polishes.
Pre-Wax Cleanser
P
rofessional detailers have
known for years that you
should clean and condition
the paint after polishing and
before applying wax or
sealant. Minute polish residue can remain
on the paint surface
and may be difficult to
remove. I developed
this Pre-Wax Cleanser so
you can safely, quickly
and easily prepare the
paint surface to accept
wax or sealant. Made from
a carefully blended combination of citrus oil and
surfactants, so it won't harm the paint and is fast
and easy to use. Simply spray and wipe dry with
our Micro Fiber Polish Removal Cloths.
44
Waxing & Sealing
on the product and environment. With our Best
of Show Wax® and Carnauba Wax Stick, it is usually about a few hours. Our Premium Carnauba
Paste Wax can cure in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.
If there are spots that are difficult to buff, don't
rub hard. Instead, with Best of Show Wax® or the
Carnauba Wax Stick, mist a little Spray-On Wax
or distilled water on the area to help soften the
dried wax and make removal easier. With Premium Carnauba Paste Wax simply apply a quick
coat of wax right onto the dried wax and buff
immediately.
Y
Machine Buffing
ou can also use your orbital to buff wax!
Our Wax Removal Bonnets are made with
a high-loft micro fiber and work like attaching
one of our Micro Fiber Wax Removal Cloths to
your orbital (seed page 39). Center a clean Blue
Support Pad on the orbital's backing plate and
firmly press into place. Wrap the Wax Removal
Bonnet over the pad, set the orbital to speed 4,
place the machine on the paint and turn on the
machine. Work the machine back and forth and
Micro Fiber Wax Removal Cloths or 100% Cotton
Buffing Cloths work perfectly to buff wax.
Your first pass is primarily to begin spreading
the wax across the area. From there, I increase
the speed to 3 and continue working across the
area in the cross-hatch pattern until the wax has
been spread so thin you can barely see it. As you
work use a light amount of pressure allowing the
weight and motion of the machine do the work.
If you are having difficulty thinning the wax out,
gradually increase the area you are working in
until you are able to properly thin out the wax.
Once you are finished, turn off the machine
while it is still on the paint and lift it off the paint.
Don't lift the machine off the paint without turning it off or you may spray product all over the
place or your foam pad may fly off the backing plate. Once you've finished applying wax
with your Random Orbital, you may still need to
hand wax some tight areas where our 6" and 3"
Random Orbitals cannot reach—like bumpers,
grills, spoilers and around trim. When doing this,
be sure to overlap the areas so you get complete
coverage.
By working the product into the panel and
thinning it out, you won't be taking off as much
with your towel and your elbow grease will be
reduced substantially. Allow the wax to completely cure and buff the excess with our Micro
Fiber Wax Removal Cloth. Cure time varies based
You can eliminate a lot of work by taking off the
wax with our Wax Removal Bonnet and our
Random Orbital. Use two or three bonnets during
the process so not to allow too much wax to build
up on the bonnet.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
45
Step Six Continued
Waxing & Sealing…
allow the machine to remove nearly 90% of the
wax residue from your paint. You'll still need to
follow up with a light buffing by hand, but it will
significantly reduce the amount of work. Also,
it is best to have a bottle of Spray-On Wax or
distilled water close at hand since much of what
is left over is dried wax. A light mist and a quick
buff with your Micro Fiber Wax Removal Cloth
will remove those spots with ease.
A
Hand Waxing
gain, preparation is key to waxing. You want
to be sure that you're applying wax to a
clean surface. If you see anything other than
wax on your pad during application, you haven't
cleaned properly. Wash, clay and wax. In that
order. If you need to remove swirl marks, then
polish between the clay and wax steps.
For hand waxing with Best of Show Wax®,
Carnauba Wax Stick, Premium Carnauba Paste
Wax and Paint Sealant, apply with a Red Foam
Wax Pad. Cotton pads or cotton cloths work but
these are more aggressive, soak up more product (creating waste) and may actually induce
small micro scratches. Be sure your paint surface is dry and cool. Apply a small amount of
wax to your pad and wipe it on in a thin coat
using the cross-hatch pattern. A little goes a long
Foam applicator pads are the safest way to apply
wax, provide a nice even layer and waste less
product, too.
way, so use
sparingly. As
you apply
t h e wa x ,
it should
begin to
disappear.
If you are
having difficulty thinning it out,
g r a d u a l ly
Our Comfort Grip 6" Pad Holder
increase the
makes hand waxing easy.
section you
are working on. Normally, each section should
be about half of a hood. As with Random
Orbital application, allow the wax to setup and
cure, then buff using a clean Micro Fiber Wax
Removal Cloth.
I
Waxing Tips & Tricks
f you are having a problem with hazing,
smearing or a dull look after removing excess
wax, here are some tips to help. Hazing usually happens when you've applied too much
wax under a high humidity condition and the
moisture is caught underneath the fast drying
carnauba wax. The paint's temperature, being
cooler than the outside air, speeds up this process by allowing the top of the wax to harden
quicker. If this happens to you, you should let
A 3" Red Foam Wax Pad is ideal for small areas and
around trim.
46
Waxing & Sealing
back over the dry wax with
another layer of wet wax by
hand or with our Random
Orbital. Allow it to haze, then
buff. While this makes for a
lot of work, the finish will
be thick and rock hard.
One of the most frequently asked questions we
get here at Griot's Garage is,
"How do I remove dried on
wax from my trim?" While it
is best to avoid this problem
all together and mask your
trim with painter's masking
tape before you start
detailing, our DriedOn Wax Remover is
specially formulated
Before
After
to dissolve dried wax
so you can easily
wipe it away. Apply
Takes the difficulty out of
the product directly
removing dried-on wax
to the trim using a
cloth or sponge and wipe away with a clean, dry
cloth. Heavy amounts of dried wax may require
multiple applications.
Use our Palm Grip 3" Pad Holder for compound
curves and harder-to-reach areas when waxing.
the wax fully set up more before removing it.
Another way to deal with it is to keep a bottle
of Spray-On Wax or Speed Shine® handy. Spritz
the surface and wipe it with a dry, clean Micro
Fiber Wax Removal Cloth. The excess wax will
adhere to the droplets and be carried away with
the cloth. If neither of these tips work, it has been
my experience that the paint has a paint sealant
or a silicone-based synthetic wax on it that is
causing a reaction with the natural carnaubabased waxes. If this occurs, you must strip off
the old paint sealant or silicone based synthetic
wax with Paint Prep before applying one of our
waxes or sealants. See the section on Paint Prep
on page 13 of this Handbook.
If you want to enhance the depth and clarity, apply several coats of wax. Allow each coat
to cure for at least 12 hours. In preparation for
a concours event, I once put six coats of our
Best of Show Wax® on a finish. Another trick is
to put a very thin layer of wax on and let it set
up for 3 hours. Then, without wiping it off, go
S
Spray-On Wax
pray-On Wax is just that. It is meant to get you
from wash to wash with some additional protection and gloss. It is not meant to replace your
normal wax or sealant. Think of it as a base wax
enhancer. When used on a regular basis after
each wash, you will be able to extend the life
of your natural waxes and sealants. Apply it to a
damp car that has just been washed. Mist SprayOn Wax across the surface (the water droplets
on the car will help carry it into all the corners),
then as you towel dry the car, the wax will be
worked into the surface creating an additional
layer of protection.
A slick wax removal trick!
After using Best of Show Wax® on your
vehicle's paint, let it set up. Then, once it's
dry, spray a little Spray-On Wax onto the
dried wax and easily wipe off the excess.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
47
Step Seven
Dressing & Details…
O
nce you're done waxing, the next step is to
dress the vinyl, rubber, and plastic trim and
make sure you haven't missed any of the easily
forgotten spots like the grooves in your grill or
chrome trim. These tips will set you apart from
the rest and put that final touch on your vehicle.
T
Vinyl And Rubber Dressing
he rubber seals around windows, doors,
door handles, and mirrors are exposed to
the environment and will be the first thing to
deteriorate—long before your paint. The chalky
white appearance or brown dulling of rubber
indicates lack of care and attention. Our Vinyl &
ings directly on the vehicle as this will result in
uneven application and the dressing getting into
unwanted areas.
For large areas of hard plastic molding,
trim, bumpers or grillwork, apply Vinyl & Rubber Dressing with a Blue Detail Sponge. These
sponges hold the product on the surface to
reduce waste and allow for perfect application.
They've been sliced on the sides for better grip
and control and keep dressing off your fingers,
too! Tighter spaces require additional creativity. A
good option is our Detailing Stick System to use
with our detailing socks. Our pre-saturated Vinyl
& Rubber Dressing Wipes are a great alternative
if you want to avoid using your good cloths for
applying dressing. If those options are still too
big for some of the nooks and crannies on your
car, our Foam Swabs make a perfect applicator.
Dip the swab directly into the Vinyl & Rubber
Dressing and apply.
M
Plastic Bumpers And Trim
any cars since the early 1980s have porous
plastic bumpers and trim which dry out
over time and can turn gray or chalky due to
sun exposure, dirt, oils, silicone laden dressings,
and/or grime. If Vinyl & Rubber Dressing doesn't
help, try our Bumper & Trim Reconditioner.
Use Vinyl & Rubber Dressing on plastics, vinyl and
rubber finishes. A little goes a long way and application is easy with our Blue Detail Sponge.
Rubber Dressing remains dry to the touch just
minutes after application. Most other dressings
will remain greasy and attract dust and dirt for
up to 24 hours! Our product is water-based and
safe for all rubber and plastic trim. Since most
of these places were cleaned during your car
washing step, I'll talk specifically about dressing
techniques. When applying any dressing, always
apply the product onto the applicator then use
that to apply it onto the trim. Never spray dress-
Vinyl & Rubber Dressing Wipes are perfect for the
controlled application of Vinyl & Rubber Dressing
on window and door seals.
48
Dressing & Details
This is a great
product for
making these
areas look
Before
After
new again.
It works as a paint to darken the plastic. Clean
the area to be reconditioned with our Paint
Prep, dry and apply. The shoe polish applicator makes it mess-free.
Allow it to dry and you're done.
With severe conditions, you may
need to apply a second coat
for a dark, even look.
Maintain your
reconditioned
bumper with
Vinyl & Rubber
Dressing.
Vinyl & Rubber Dressing is best applied with a Blue
Detail Sponge or pop-up V&R Dressing Wipes.
restore pitted chrome,
remove rust specks and
to restore chrome that
has been neglected. To
apply, clean the surface
first with Car Wash. Use
a White Foam Metal Polishing Pad, 100% Cotton
Cloth or 100% Cotton Disposable Wipes. Apply
Metal Polish and wipe gently, frequently turning
your cloth. Don't allow the polish to dry. Use a
clean, dry cloth to remove any excess polish.
Work in small areas. Use a horse-hair brush to
remove excess polish from cracks
and seams. Follow up with Best
of Show Wax®, Carnauba Wax
or Paint Sealant to protect the
surface.
Need to clean a very dirty
metal surface? Use our Metal
Cleaner. Simply spray onto the
surface, allow it to foam and wipe
off with a clean cloth. Perfect for
all metal surfaces on your vehicle like exhaust tips and engine
parts. In addition to cleaning,
Metal Cleaner also leaves behind
a non-sticky coating that protects
the surface from fingerprints.
With our 3" Metal Polishing Pads and 3" Random
Orbital, you can easily polish chrome and other
metal in preparation for a coat of wax.
Caring For Chrome And Bare Metal
W
hen chrome comes back from the platers there are absolutely no swirl marks
in it. Yet, it's easy to put swirl marks in it with
polishes that are too abrasive. If your chrome is
swirl-free and does not have any rust pits or corrosion setting in, use Metal Polish. Its abrasivefree formula cleans chemically to provide the
safest way to remove stubborn residue that a car
washing can't. Using a metal polish with abrasive
will leave swirl and buffing marks in otherwise
perfect chrome. Our Metal Polish also works to
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
49
Step Eight
Glass Cleaning…
C
lean glass is something I've dedicated a life-
time of research and testing on to find the
right products and process to make this chore
easy while ensuring perfect clarity. In this section
I'll give you some tips and tricks for cleaning as
well as some great ways to remove water spots
and other contaminants from your windows
leaving you with clear, haze-free glass.
D
Cleaning Glass
irty, grimy, smudgy glass; it is a pet peeve
of mine and, judging by many of the letters I receive, it's your concern, too. Many of the
plastics used in today's interior vent a stubborn
chemical film which, combined with oils and
dirt in the air, create a haze on the inside of glass.
Besides being a driving hazard, it's just no fun
looking through dirty glass.
For crystal clear glass, start by spraying Window Cleaner or Foaming Glass
Cleaner on our Micro Fiber Window Cleaning Cloth or Lint Free Towel and saturating it
well. By spraying it on the towel, instead of
the window, you'll conserve product and the
mist won't fall on your newly dressed dash,
doors and seats. Wipe the window with the
saturated towel to remove all the dirt, haze and
other contaminants. Then, using a second, dry
window cloth, wipe the window dry removing
For faster and safe glass cleaning use Glass Polishing
Pads on our Random Orbital.
50
Our crystal clear
Window Cleaner
and Lint Free
Towels offer a
solution for
cleaning really
dirty windows
any remaining window cleaner.
The exterior windows should be the last
thing you clean on the car. Spray Window
Cleaner or Foaming Glass Cleaner onto your
window cloth, saturating it well. This will conserve product and keep the cleaner off your
paint and trim. Wipe the window clean and
follow up with a second, dry cloth just as you
did on the inside. When you are done cleaning your windows, use the damp cloth, give
it a squirt of Window Cleaner, and wipe the
edges of your wiper blades. The rubber they are
made of is porous and traps oils, dirt, and grime;
smearing them on your windshield. The Window Cleaner will remove this from your blades
allowing them to work better the
n e x t
time it rains. This little
tip will help keep your
windshield cleaner,
keep your wipers clean
and increase their life.
I continue to test other
formulas and methods, but there is still
nothing better than
our Window Cleaner
combined with our
Micro Fiber Window
Cleaning Cloths and
Lint Free Towels.
Our Window
Cleaner has no dye
or cover-up scent that
gets left behind on
Also available in a
handy pop-up wipe.
the glass like other
Glass Cleaning
our Micro Fiber Window Cloths I've used an
ultra tight weave to make it easy to remove all the
window cleaner, dirt and haze without leaving
streaks behind. Neither of our towels will leave
lint behind. Paper towels and newspaper (grandfather's old way) are made with glues which
break down with cleaners and leave behind glue
residue and paper "lint". (Not to mention the ink
from newspaper gets all over your hands.) If ink
is getting on your hands you can bet it's leaving
behind a film on the glass as well. Make sure
you use proper window cloths when cleaning
your glass. It will give you better results, faster
and easier.
Our crystal clear Window Cleaner and Micro Fiber
Window Cloths offer the best combination for fast,
easy window cleaning.
window products. In addition, it does not contain ammonia, so it won't damage your tinted
windows. Being alcohol-based it cleans effectively and evaporates residue helping to prevent
hazing and streaks. And our Lint Free Towels?
They are spun and woven from polypropylene,
creating an ideal window cloth that holds moisture and won't break down or rip. You already
know the advantages of micro fiber, but with
I
Cleaning Tinted Glass
f your windows are tinted with film (on the
inside), use our Plastic Cleaner and a 100%
Cotton Buffing Cloth. Even though our Window Cleaner is ammonia-free and safe for tint,
our Plastic Cleaner is better because aftermarket tint film is made of Mylar, a plastic material.
When cleaning tint, always wipe gently as the
Mylar film will scratch easily. Don't use any abrasive products, like polish on your tint as it may
damage it.
Streaks Inside Or Outside?
Y
Window Cleaning Tools
ou and I both know window cleaning can
be a chore, so
I developed a
couple tools
to make this
job easier
for all of us.
Start by cleaning your windshield and rear
window with our Our Window
Window Cleaner Cleaner Set
makes it easier to
Set. This tool was clean all parts of
designed with your windows.
When cleaning your windows, wipe in a
different direction on the inside than you
do on the outside. I like to use side-toside inside and up-and-down outside. That
way, if there are any streaks left behind,
you'll know which side of the glass they
are on.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
51
Step Eight Continued
Glass Cleaning…
a spade shaped head on the end of a handle
to allow you to get all the "unreachable" areas
of your windows. Those of us with tiny sports
cars can finally clean our rear windows with
ease! The spade shaped head accepts micro
fiber bonnets for application and removal of
Window Cleaner using the same process as
previously recommended. Once all the hard
to reach areas are clean, finish cleaning the
rest of your windows with Lint Free Towels and
our Window Buddy.
Glass Cleaning Clay removes contaminants and
road film residue so you can achieve perfectly
clear glass.
C
Glass Cleaning Clay
lay works great for cleaning any smooth
surface, so using clay to remove water
spots and other buildup from your windows is
a no-brainer. Use our Glass Cleaning Clay along
with Speed Shine® just like you would on your
paint. In addition to removing road films and
water spotting before it etches your glass, having perfectly smooth glass will help your windshield wipers last longer. After claying your glass,
always follow up by cleaning it with Window
Cleaner to make sure all residue is removed.
Just wrap a Micro
Fiber Window
Cloth or Lint Free
Towel around our
Window Buddy,
then quickly
and easily clean
your windows.
Consistent, even pressure when wiping your
windows is key to streak free glass. However, this
is something our hands just can't do. Wrap your
towel around this useful tool and wipe your windows clean. The soft, pliable backing will form to
the curves in your windows applying consistent
pressure with every wipe. Two simple tools that
will end your dirty window frustrations.
What's that film?
That smudgy film on the inside of your
windows is from all the plastics used by
automobile manufacturers inside your
vehicle. Your body oils, over-application of
interior cleaners and dressings, food and
smoke all evaporate and stick to the glass.
Heat adds to the problem. Try keeping
your windows cracked often to reduce this annoying problem.
52
Glass Cleaning
I
Polishing Glass
f your windows have water spots
on them, it is probably due to trace elements of calcium and other minerals left
behind after water evaporates. If left untreated
too long these elements can actually etch the
glass permanently. I have a couple of solutions
for you. Glass Cleaning Clay will remove mild
water spots and pick-up the same contaminants
that attach themselves to your paint. If the clay
didn't remove them completely our Glass Polish
or Fine Glass Polish will do the trick. ing film which
is applied to the
inside of windows. Always
test a small area
first before polishing the glass
entirely. There
are some windshields and
mirrors that
have a thin
plastic coating
or a blue tinting
that will come off
or scratch.
W
Remove water spots and calcium deposits with our
glass polishes.
You may apply either polish with a damp Terry
Cotton Polishing Pad or, ideally, using our Random Orbital and Glass Polishing Pads. Work
in small areas and wipe the majority of the
polish off with a damp cloth, then use a dry
cloth for final buffing. A final pass with Window
Cleaner should remove any remaining residue.
The Glass Polishes work best when your applicator pad is damp, as it is water-based. If your
glass is pitted or has deep scratches, these cannot
be removed with polish. I've yet to find a product
which removes scratches in glass. Glass Polishes
are safe for glass but should not be used on tint-
Glass Sealant
hy should your paint get all the protection? Our Glass Sealant creates a crystalclear barrier on the exterior of your glass to repel
water and increase wet weather visibility. It also
makes the glass easier to clean! Once the glass
is clean, apply Glass Sealant to a clean cotton or
micro fiber cloth, and apply to the glass crosshatch pattern using firm pressure. Allow the first
coat to haze and apply a second coat right on
top using the same method. Once the second
coat has dried to a haze, buff off the excess with
a clean cloth. Great for use on all exterior windows; not just your windshield!
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
53
For small areas 3" Glass Polish
Pads are available.
Treated
Untreated
Glass repels water for better visibility with Glass Sealant on it.
Step Nine
Interiors…
O
nce you've finished the exterior, it's time
to move inside. The first step is a complete
vacuuming. Start with the headliner if it's a felt
or fabric material. I don't vacuum the headliner
every time, but it's worth doing a couple times
a year, if only to
remove the head
lice. Use a brush
attachment to
lightly pull out
the dust and dirt.
Too much suction could cause
the fabric to pull
or stretch. Don't
Our Yellow Scrubbing Pad
forget to clean
works great on carpet &
floor mats!
vents, dashes,
consoles, and
other nooks and crannies. The wood and plastic
trim in most vehicles is covered with clear coat,
lacquer or polyurethane, which is very easy to
scratch. Our Boars Hair Detail Brushes will help
loosen the dust from these areas before vacuuming. Working down, attack the seats next. If
the seats are leather or vinyl, use our soft Boar's
Hair Detail Brush here as well to loosen the dirt
and crumbs that are
trapped in the seams.
For cloth seats, it's
best to use the Nylon
Carpet Brush to get
the fibers raised so
the vacuum can pull
out more dirt and
Soft Boar's Hair Detail
dust. The floor mats
Brushes make for perfect
should be removed,
vent and crevice cleaning tools.
shaken, and then the
fibers roughed up a
bit with the Nylon Carpet Brush so the vacuum
can pull up debris deep down. If any stains or
grease spots exist, spray some Carpet Cleaner
on them and scrub with the Nylon Carpet Brush
or Yellow Scrubbing Pads. Wipe the spot with
a damp towel to remove as much of the clean-
54
Everything you need
to detail the interior of
your car is in this great
Interior Kit!
er and foreign residue as you can. Continue to
clean and dry the spot with a different, dry towel.
I prefer to use our 100% Cotton Buffing Cloths
since they are white so I can see how much of
the dirt I am pulling up. Allow the floor mats and
carpet to air dry before returning
the mats to the vehicle.
At this point use our
Micro Fiber Interior Cloths
or Micro Fiber Cleaning Pads
to completely wipe down
the rest of the interior. The
Micro Fiber Cloths work
great for dashes, seat backs
and doors, as they won't
leave behind any lint. The
Sheepskin Wash Mitt also
makes an excellent duster.
The mitt doesn't just push
dust and dirt around but
Concentrated
Carpet Cleaner
grabs and holds onto it. Peris excellent for
fect for the dash or rear winremoving stubdow shelf where it's hard to
born stains.
access the areas closest to
the windows.
M
Cleaning And Caring
For Vinyl And Plastics
ost vehicles have some sort of vinyl and
plastic in them. New vehicles have all sorts
of different kinds of materials being used in the
Interiors
hazardous condition. Simply clean rubber pedal
covers with Interior Cleaner and allow them
to dry.
interior. While being very durable, these surfaces
attract dust and dirt and hold on to oils from
your skin and the environment. Thankfully, they
are very easy to clean. Always test a small area
first as some of these new materials can react to
cleaners. For example, the Nissan 350Z has a colorized vinyl headliner, which, according to the
owner's manual, cannot be cleaned. Always refer
to your owner's manual
regarding cleaning interior surfaces.
Saturate a clean
cotton cloth with our
Interior Cleaner or better
yet, use our pre-saturated
Interior Cleaner Wipes.
Wipe the surface, turning
The Nylon
the cloth frequently as you see
Carpet Brush
the cloth getting soiled. Remove is perfect for
the remaining Interior Cleaner floor mats and
with a clean, damp cloth. Let the carpets where
a stiffer bristle
surface air dry or wipe up the is required.
remaining moisture with a dry
towel. Follow up by applying Vinyl & Rubber
Dressing to all vinyl and plastic surfaces including the dash (on hard plastics, just clean and do
not dress or dress very sparingly as these surfaces do not allow
the dressing to
penetrate). Use
it sparingly and
work into the
surface so it has
a nice satin finish. You don't
want the vinyl
to appear wet or
shiny. Especially
on the dash as it
will reflect light
Wipes are ideal for cleaning
onto the windinterior spaces, as they can
be used quickly and easily.
shield, reducing
visibility. If you
are slipping around on your seats, you've put
too much dressing on. Avoid using dressing on
pedals as they can become slippery and create a
T
Caring For Leather
here are two types of leather: vat-dyed and
spray-on dyed leather. With vat-dyed leather,
the color is obtained by immersing the hide
in dye. With this process, the color penetrates
completely through the leather. With spray-on
dyed leather, the color is "painted" on. While this
produces a more even color, some of the natural
grain of the hide is lost and the overall life of the
leather is diminished. Normally a spray-on dye
will wear off at the stress points. (You may think
this is just dirt buildup, but on close inspection,
the painted-on dye will be gone!) No matter how
hard you try to clean these cracked areas, you
can't clean the area where the dye has cracked
off. If you own a European car most likely the
leather is vat-dyed (yeah!). U.S. and Japanese
manufacturers tend to use the spray-on dyed
leathers (boo!).
Before treating any leather with Leather Care
or Leather Rejuvenator, use Interior Cleaner on
the leather the same way you would on vinyl.
In fact, Interior Cleaner is safe for all the surfaces
inside your car. After you've cleaned the leather, examine it closely. If the leather is old, stiff,
dry or cracking, our Leather Rejuvenator is your
best solution. While it may temporarily darken
the color, its penetrating formula will rejuvenate and soften the pores deep down in the
Warm It Up
Our leather care products will work better if put in the microwave until warm.
Likewise, warm the leather up, too. This
opens the pores in the leather and allows
more product to penetrate deeper. Let the
heater run for a bit or park the car outside
to warm the leather.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
55
Step Nine Continued
Interiors…
much; a little goes a long way.
Allow the product to sit on the
surface for several minutes.
Using a clean cloth, wipe off
the excess product. For a deep
feeding of Leather Rejuvenator,
apply a liberal amount to
the leather and let the product soak in overnight, if possible. (Sometimes I've found
my hands work better as they
keep the product warm and I
can massage it into the leather
as well.) If you're not going to
be driving the car soon, repeat the application of
Leather Rejuvenator, if possible. You'll notice the
leather getting softer and softer with each application. Keep the windows cracked so any excess
evaporating product can escape.
leather. After a few days the treated area will
lighten a bit. Test a small area first to ensure you
are OK with the look. If the leather is newer, use
our Leather Care. Both products are applied the
same way. These products are different than the
lanolin based leather products. First, our oils can
penetrate deeper than the lanolin-based leather
products, and
if you have
any perforated
leather our
leather produ c t s wo n ' t
leave behind
the white
residue in all
Micro Fiber Interior Cloths are
of the perfogentle on leather and fabric.
rations. And
don't worry about water getting on your leather
interior. It won't hurt it as most leather is tanned
in water. Apply Leather Care using a Blue Detail
Sponge. Apply the product to your applicator
and wipe the surface, rubbing the product into
the leather. Another simple way to apply Leather Care is using our pre-saturated Leather Care
Wipes. They apply a nice amount of product
in a controlled manner. Wear our Vinyl Aloe
Gloves so the product doesn't get on your skin.
As with all our car care products, don't use very
U
Cleaning Fabric
se our Interior Cleaner on upholstery the
same way you would on vinyl and leather.
It's safe to saturate the cloth
Available in a wipe-on
or spray-on formula.
56
Interiors
I
Oh, That Smell!
f you like the smell of
leather, try a few squirts
of our Interior Car Scent. Spray
it under the seats after cleaning. Just a few squirts a week
will keep your car smelling like new. I like to saturate
a small sponge or a piece of
soft leather and place it under
the seats near the rear heater
vents. Or, pour some Leather
Interior Car Scent into a small
plastic container and let it sit
in the car overnight. The next
morning you'll think Santa has left you a new
car. If your interior is suffering from being a rolling fast food cafeteria and
there is always a lingering
odor from french fries,
spilled milk, misplaced
diapers and wet pets, use
Odor Exterminator®. This
product eliminates odors
and eliminates musty, stale
air. It even reduces noxious
oil and gasoline fumes!
It's non-toxic and environmentally safe. To keep
Wipe out any smell
odors down during every day with easy-to-use
®
use, place one of our Stinky- Odor Exterminator .
®
Be-Gone bags under a seat.
The granules in
the bag soak up
smells keeping
your interior odor
free. The granules
in the bag soak
up smells keeping your interior
odor free.
and dab with a clean cotton towel. Avoid wiping
back and forth. For more aggressive cleaning
our Nylon Carpet & Upholstery Brush should
be used. Or, if you have our 3" Random Orbital,
our Yellow Scrubbing Pads can be used. Use on
a low speed setting, like 3-4, to avoid creating
uneven wear. You may use a wet-dry vacuum, a
hair dryer or a heat gun on low setting to remove
any excess moisture. Don't allow the fabric to get
too hot. A final air drying is best. Keep the windows down allowing the moisture to evaporate.
Leather Care Wipes are a convenient way to care for
your leather. They are pre-saturated with just the right
amount of product and they're easy to use.
Stinky-Be-Gone® will absorb
any type of odor.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
57
Step Ten
Engine Bay…
Even if your vehicle is a 1970 Jeep, the engine can
still look spotless.
A
clean and tidy engine lets you spot
developing oil and coolant leaks, allows
your engine to run cooler and impresses the
heck out of your mechanic. We have a great
assortment of cleaning products and tools for the
many different finishes under your hood. I can
tell you that a clean engine bay will ensure your
mechanic will take extra care when servicing
your vehicle. Additionally, a vehicle you're trying
to sell will sell faster and get you more money if
the engine is spotless. With some regular attention, this needn't be a dirty, messy and time consuming task.
If you plan on doing an entire cleaning of
the car, do the engine first and you won't have to
worry about overspray onto your freshly detailed
exterior. Our Engine Cleaner will remove wax
from the vehicle's paint so protect those areas
you don't want affected or plan on rewaxing. If
the car is already clean, use painter's plastic to
cover fenders, bumpers and the windshield.
S
Cleaning The Engine
tart by cleaning away any debris, leaves, pine
needles or stray rodents. Use compressed
air if you have it or a brush. Protect sensitive
parts in your engine from moisture by covering
electrical connections, distributors or carburetors
with plastic, using elastic bands to hold them
58
in place. Clear plastic wrap works well, too, as
it sticks to itself. Having the engine compartment warm makes the greases and oils softer
and easier to remove during cleaning. If Engine
Cleaner steams up when applied, the engine
is too hot. If it's too hot, cleaners and water will
evaporate too quickly and may stain sensitive
plastics and painted metal parts. Not to mention you can burn yourself. If the underside of
your hood is uncovered painted metal, you may
use Car Wash or Engine Cleaner to clean it. Just
remember to thoroughly rinse it well with water
when finished. If it has a sound deadening cover,
brush the area off and wipe with a damp towel.
Some under-hood coverings are almost felt-like
and attract dust. Use a vacuum brush attachment
and vacuum the surface.
Spray the entire engine with Engine Cleaner
and agitate the different surfaces with an appropriate brush for that surface. Use a soft-bristlebrush for painted areas and nylon for plastic
parts. For areas that are really grimy, try our Oil &
Grease Cleaner. It works wonders for removing
years-old gunk. Spray it on, let it sit, agitate and
rinse. After the engine bay has been cleaned,
gently flush with water. Do not use high pressure when rinsing as this can force water into
areas where it doesn't belong.
I remove my hose nozzle and
allow the water to gently flow.
Once rinsed, blow dry with
compressed air or a blower. If
you don't have compressed
air or a blower, remove the
plastic coverings you
put on and dry all the
accessible parts with
a clean towel. Start the
engine and allow the
heat to aid in drying.
Oil & Grease Cleaner
makes short work of
removing grease, gunk
and grime .
Engine Bay
Y
Dressing The Engine
our car looks impeccably maintained on the
outside—why not do the same under the
hood? When the engine is totally dry, and free of
grease, spray Engine Bay Dressing on all plastic
and rubber parts. It will leave a clear, thin, semipermanent coating without yellowing that will
give all of your hoses and wiring looms a "factory
new" look and restore tired looking black plastic
parts instantly. It makes multi-colored wiring
look incredibly vibrant! Engine Bay Dressing
will repel dust and make "engine wipe downs"
a breeze. If you show your car, let this be your
secret for a fabulous engine compartment.
Vinyl & Rubber Dressing may also be used
on all rubber hoses, connectors and parts to
enhance their appearance. However the look is
not as permanent as Engine Bay Dressing. Use
the same application method as the interior,
spray a cotton cloth or Blue Detail Sponge and
wipe. Our pre-saturated Vinyl & Rubber Dressing Wipes are a favorite of mine in the engine
bay because they make dressing all of the various surfaces a breeze. You may opt to use only
omit the Engine Bay Dressing application, using
only Vinyl & Rubber Dressing, however, the
Engine Bay Dressing will really make your old
faded plastic parts and wires stand out.
Wipes are ideal for precise, controlled application for
cleaning and dressing.
Our Engine
Detailing
Kit will help
you achieve
fantastic
results in your
engine bay.
Cotton & Foam Detailing Swabs work incredibly well
when detailing those hard-to-reach areas.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
59
After The Detail
Clean Up…
O
bucket of warm water mixed
with a few ounces of Micro
Fiber & Foam Pad Cleaner.
Cleaning is simple, spray
Micro Fiber & Foam
Pad Cleaner directly
onto the surface of
the pad and massage it in with your
hands. (I like to wear
nitrile gloves to keep
my hands clean and
dry.) Rinse thoroughly under warm
water wringing the
pad out until the water
Increase the life and
runs clear. Dry the pad revitalize your Micro
by standing it on its Fiber Cloths and Foam
Polish and Wax Pads.
side. Don't store a wet
pad in a sealed bag as
it will mold.
nce you have finished cleaning up your
car, you are usually left with a pile of dirty
towels, pads saturated with product, and overall
dirtiness around the garage from all the crud
you just cleaned off your car. Proper care and
clean up of your detailing supplies will help your
products last longer and leave everything ready
for your next detail therapy session.
D
Towel Cleaning
ue to their unique properties, micro fiber
towels require special care. Machine wash
your micro fiber towels with liquid detergent. Do
not include any bleach or fabric softeners. Add in
2 to 4 ounces of Micro Fiber & Foam Pad Cleaner
(for a 5 gallon load) to help
break down the
polish and wax
buildup. Do
not wash micro
fiber with any
other fabrics;
wash micro fiber
only with micro fiber.
After washing, tumble
Perfectly suited
dry on a high heat
for all types of
setting without any
jobs around the
dryer sheets. Following this
garage, shop,
and home.
process will ensure your
towels are properly cleaned
and stay free of any buildup from other nonmicro fiber towels or cleaning agents.
T
D
Garage Cleanup
etailing your car can create quite a mess
around the garage, and having a clean
garage creates a nicer environment; it is also a
lot safer. A mess on the floor can make for some
interesting falls! I always start by putting everything away. All your towels and pads on drying
racks or in the cabinet, tools back in their drawers, garbage in the garbage can, etc. From there I
move to wiping down all my cabinets and work
surfaces with Surface Cleaner and our Micro
Fiber Value Cloths. Finish with the floor. Begin
by sweeping the floor to rid it of any loose dirt
and dust. In most cases you won't need to do a
full mopping, but our Micro Fiber Mopping System along with Surface Cleaner and Oil & Grease
Cleaner (for any oil spots) is perfect for cleaning up any spots on your floor. A clean garage
ensures you always… Have fun in your garage!®
Pad Cleaning
horoughly cleaning your pads after each
use is very important. Old, dried polish,
wax, or sealant buildup will decrease the life of
your pads and may also become abrasive and
could scratch your paint if not removed from
the pad before its next use. It is always best to
wash your pads shortly after use; this will make
the cleaning process much easier. If you aren't
able to clean them right away, soak them in a
60
Clean Up
Whether you have a small coupe, a
motorcycle, or even a massive landyacht, you'll enjoy them all better if
they look great... so get out there and
have some fun detailing!
1963 VW Transporter-Samba
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
61
Keeping Up
Maintenance…
Y
Repairing Rock Chips
ou can repair those annoying rock chips
and deep scratches that have gone down
to the primer. Here's how. Start by purchasing
the correct factory touch up paint from your
car dealer. Most cars have a paint code inside
the engine compartment. Your dealer's parts
department can help you with this. Most touchup paints come with a built in applicator brush.
The problem is these brushes are more suited to
painting your toenails than applying the proper
amount of paint to a small chip or scratch. Again,
preparation is key.
Clean the area, removing any oil, grease, dirt
and old polish and wax. Use Paint Prep to strip
away old wax and grime. To fill in paint chips
and enjoy pinpoint accuracy and great paint
flow, use our Touch-Up Paint Applicators. You
can bend the plastic handle for hard to reach
spots, or give you a better angle to apply paint
to the chip. You'll even be able to soak up paint
with the tips if you've over-filled your chip. Dip
the end into your touch-up paint and touch the
chip gently with the Applicator. If you over-fill
the chip, use a clean Applicator to dab up the
excess paint. If you have clear-coat paint, apply
the pigment (color coat) first, let it dry and fol-
T
ending to your car shouldn't stop after
you've washed and waxed it. In fact, you can
reduce the frequency of your washes and waxes
by removing dust, bird droppings and tree sap
on a daily basis. I carry a small, 8 ounce bottle
of Speed Shine® and a Micro Fiber Speed Shine®
Cloth or 100% Cotton Buffing Cloth in my trunk
for emergency clean-ups. Bird droppings can
etch your paint in a matter of minutes; so remove
them fast. Spray some Speed Shine® (or water
if you don't have anything else) on the dropping and allow it to loosen it up. Very gently,
wipe away the mess. Birds eat seeds, sand, and
who knows what, which may be great for their
bowel system, but these elements will scratch
your paint. I also carry a small bottle of Window
Cleaner and some Lint Free Towels for fast, onthe-road window care. Both Speed Shine® and
Window Cleaner come in convenient pop-up
wipe containers as well and are perfect for onthe-road cleaning.
Perfect paint application every time with our
Touch-Up Applicators.
62
Maintenance
low up with
the clear coat.
Try to avoid
driving your
vehicle for at
least 24 hours
after making
A Paint Syringe delivers the
a repair and
perfect amount of paint.
wait about
two weeks before applying wax or polish. Want
to go to the next level of repair and create a
smooth and almost invisible repair, read on.
D
T
Chip And Scratch Prevention
his clear, protective shield works excellent
at protecting painted areas that are more
prone to chips and scratches. I cringe every time
I hear a rock glancing off my hood. I've had this
protective shield on the front of my car for years
now, and I could peel it off at any time and the
paint would still look brand new. Use it on front
ends, air dams, around tire wells, inside doorjambs, along door sills and
on painted bumpers. We
also sell a clear protective
shield for headlights and
fog lights.
Simply clean and prepare the area to be protected with Paint Cleaning
Clay and Fine Hand Polish. Cut the material to the
length required and warm
it up with a hair dryer or
the Griot's Garage Heat
Gun. This makes it more
pliable and easy to work
with. Spray the surface to
be protected with the Positioning Spray. This allows
you to move the material
into place. Avoid touching
the adhesive backing as it
is extremely sticky and the
oils on your fingers will
make an imprint on the
backing. Use the squeegee which comes with the
spray and smooth out the
surface. Any remaining
bubbles or spray will disappear after 24 to 48 hours.
Easy applicaIt's available in 2" or 4"
tion protects
widths, 12 mils thick. Now
any painted
surface from
you can at least enjoy your
rock chips and
next ski trip without worryscratches.
ing that every little rock you
hear is damaging your paint.
Scratch Repair
eep chips, nicks and scratches or to smooth
out the above chip repair, requires a little
more work. Prepare the surface as described in
the previous section on chip repair. Fill the area
well with paint so the repaired area is above the
surface of the good paint. Allow the paint to
cure for 48 hours or more so it is completely dry.
Don't hurry up the process with a hair dryer or
heat gun. Now you'll want to level off the paint
surface.
Purchase some 2500 grit wet/dry sanding
paper. Soak it in water overnight. Find an eraser. (The pink kind that is slanted on each end
and is about 3⁄4" x 2" long.) Place the sanding
paper around the eraser. Now wet the area to be
worked with clean water. You can also use a bit
of Car Wash for extra lubrication. Keep the area
well lubricated by flushing with clean water during the entire process. Start by gently going back
and forth. What you are trying to do is bring the
raised level of the chip repair down to the level
of the paint. Go slowly. Some of the surrounding
paint will begin to look dull. Don't worry, you'll
be able to correct this later. Try to work only on
the area you've touched up. Dry the area and feel
it with your finger tip. If it's still raised, work some
more until it's flush.
Finally, use our Fine Hand Polish or Machine
Polish 3 to bring back the paint's luster. Follow
up with wax and your finish will look new again.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
63
Keeping Up Continued
Maintenance…
T
Window Chip Repair
cally isolate the oxygen, preventing the oxidation process, and will also neutralize corrosive
compounds that can cause rust to
form in your fuel system.
here's nothing like driving down the road
when... "PANG!"... Followed by a few words
you wish your children didn't hear you say. The
dreaded rock chip in the windshield. To keep
rock chips from becoming large cracks across
your windshield, they
must be dealt
with immediately. Even
waiting a few
days can be
too long. Having a professional repair
Quickly and easily fill and repair
your chip can
chips and cracks in your windows
be
expensive,
with our Windshield Repair Kit.
and it is a very
simple process that you can do yourself. We sell
an excellent Windshield Repair Kit that includes
some simple, step-by-step instructions. Keep
one in your glove box or garage so you can
repair chips immediately.
G
Cooling System Care
T
he prime ingredient in
antifreeze is ethylene
glycol, which chemically
breaks down over time and
eats away at cooling system
components. If old coolant is left sitting, the acids
can damage your cooling system and increase
the chances of leaks.
Since many vehicles that
aren't driven often don't
see too many miles it
isn't always necessary to
flush your entire cooling
system. Instead, you can
add Corrosion Inhibitor to
your coolant to neutralize
existing acids and stabilize
your antifreeze.
Fuel System Care
enerally there are two schools of thought
when it comes to preparing your vehicle's
fuel system for storage: 1) Fill the tank with fresh
gas, or 2) Run the car until the tank is nearly
empty. The problem with
both of these lines of thinking is they don't take
into account your fuel
lines. Fuel sitting in
your system for longer
than two months starts
an oxidation process
that will eventually
turn into varnish and
clog your fuel system.
Griot's Garage Fuel
Preservative will chemi-
S
Untreated metal in
your cooling system
quickly builds up
corrosion.
Battery Care
ome of us have cars that don't get driven too
often and the last thing we want to hear
when firing up your engine is the dreaded clickclick, but we've all found ourselves in that position. Ensuring that your battery stays charged
during the storage will prolong the life of your
vehicle's battery. Battery management is especially important in modern vehicles that have
sophisticated electronics (like navigation or
alarm systems) that are constantly draining the
juice. But any car will benefit from keeping a
charged battery. I skipped this step once and
ended up needing to replace my battery. Make
sure you choose a battery management system
that monitors the level of charge (to avoid over-
64
Maintenance
T
Prolong battery
life by using the
Battery Manager
IV and enjoy easily
starting your lesser
driven vehicles.
charging), which is something traditional trickle
chargers don't do. The Griot's Garage Battery
Manager IV works with 6 volt and 12 volt gel-cell
(AGM) and standard (STD) lead-acid batteries
and has a simple "set it and forget it" design.
F
Tire Care During Storage
lat spots can develop in your tires quickly, and expensive rubber is not something
anyone wants to replace more than necessary.
Avoiding the tha-dunk tha-dunk of flat spotted tires is easy. The traditional method of putting your car up on jack stands still works really
well but can be a bit of a
hassle if you ever need
to move the car. This is
why our Flat Spot Stopper ramps were created. These ramps were
developed to cradle
your tires and distribute the vehicle's weight
evenly when parked. Need to move the vehicle?
Just drive right off! Well worth the investment
if you have a tight storage space or store your
car often.
Dealing With Rust
here are two ways you
can approach rust;
remove it or neutralize it. If
possible, it is always best
to remove the rust completely, and our Rust
Remover is perfect for that. It can
remove rust from
any metal surface.
Immerse the rusty
part, let it sit and
rinse clean. Won't
harm copper, brass,
aluminum, rubber, plastic or vinyl.
Immerse the part
Fast, simple and effective.
in Rust Remover to
If the rust is in an unnoticeclean off oxidation.
able area that will either be
covered up or painted (like the
underside of your vehicle) over
and you cannot remove the part
to soak it in Rust Remover, neutralizing it is your best option.
Before After
Rust Remover Gel is effective for
removing rust from all types of metals including
steel, iron and copper. Coat any rusty item, let
it sit and rinse it clean. Best of all it's non-corrosive, contains no acids
or petroleum solvents
and is biodegradable. It's non-flammable too. Fast,
easy, effective and
safe. This product
will not harm plastic, rubber or vinyl,
plus it brightens
copper and brass.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
65
Fun In Your Garage With
Motorcycle Detailing…
M
otorcycles are fun to ride and a challenge
to detail. They require an extensive line of
cleaners, degreasers, bug and tar removers, polishes and waxes as well as specialized (and not
so specialized) cleaning tools. Serious motorcyclists know the importance of properly maintaining their bikes. Once a year, during the winter I
go out to the garage and spend a couple of days
cleaning and detailing my motorcycle from top
to bottom. The levels of commitment can vary
depending on the willingness and ability of the
detailer. For me, cleaning my motorcycle also
provides an opportunity to look for signs of wear
and potential problems. It's a lot easier to check
for leaks on a clean surface than a dirty one.
I've broken down the different areas of cleaning:
• Engine and Drive Chain
• Tires, Wheels and Brakes
• Frame, Suspension and Gauges
• Seat and Bodywork
F
Where To Start
or this discussion our subject will be a modern sport bike. Most sport bikes use aerodynamically designed body panels to help cut
through the wind by covering the engine and
frame. To start I like to remove all the body
panels including the gas tank and seat. Never
attempt to perform service-related work on your
66
bike unless you have the knowledge and ability to do it safely and properly. If you do not
feel comfortable removing your bodywork, you
may choose to skip this step. Because body
panels are painted surfaces, care must be taken
to ensure that these pieces don't get scratched
or damaged during removal or cleaning. If
removed, these panels should be placed in a
safe area away from the bike during cleaning. I
prefer to lay the panels on a shelf using a Micro
Fiber Drying Towel to keep them from getting
scratched. Make sure all the fasteners are properly stored in a spill-proof container to keep them
from getting lost. I like using zip-lock bags or
magnetic trays. If needed, make notes or a small
drawing on fastener location.
T
Engine And Drive Chain
ypically the engine and drive chain get
the dirtiest. Oil leaks can easily spread to
nooks and crannies. Chain lube can spread to
the engine, frame and bodywork. A clean and
tidy engine lets you spot developing fluid leaks,
allow your engine to run cooler and impress the
heck out of your mechanic. I found that when
you take your motorcycle in for service and the
engine is
spotless, the
mechanic
takes extra
care during
their service.
It is best
to clean your
engine when
it is warm to
the touch.
Griot's Garage has products to help
you detail all the various, intricate
This makes
surfaces on your motorcycle.
the greases
and oils softer and easier to remove during cleaning. If the
cleaner steams up when applied, the engine is
too hot. I start by spraying Engine Cleaner all
Motorcycle Detailing
around the engine and lower frame and using
Oil & Grease Cleaner in areas of heavy buildup.
Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub large surfaces such as engine cases, valve
covers and the lower part of the
frame. Small brushes work great
in tight areas between cooling
fins, around the carburetors or throttle bodies and
areas between the frame
and engine. I really like
our Boar's Hair Brush
and Detailing Stick System with our Micro Fiber
Socks. Brass brushes work
great at cleaning natural
aluminum parts and help remove corrosion.
Be careful as many aluminum parts are clear
coated and the brass can scratch or remove this
coating. After you agitate the Engine Cleaner
with a soft brush, gently flush the engine with
water. You may need to go back over heavily
Apply Engine Cleaner when the engine is warm to
the touch. This makes the greases and oils softer and
easier to remove during cleaning. For heavy build up
use Oil & Grease Cleaner.
crusted areas with additional Engine Cleaner or
Oil & Grease Cleaner for really tough spots like
dried chain lube or asphalt residue. Take care
to avoid prolonged rinsing of electrical components such as engine sensors and control
modules as this could cause an electrical short
circuit. Many bikes use weather resistant connections with special seals, however, it may be
necessary to unplug connectors to help dry the
contacts. Avoid using pressure washers or highpressure sprayers as they can force dirt and water
into seals, causing premature bearing wear or
engine damage. Take care when spraying water
around the air filter or air box. Once the engine
is cleaned, I like to use our Air Blowers to remove
large areas of water. Compressed air works well,
however, you need to be careful not to force
too much pressure around seals and gaskets.
After air drying I like to finish by using our Micro
Fiber Cloths and Foam Swabs. For me this is
where the fun really begins. I can spend hours
carefully cleaning every nook and cranny, making sure every spec of dirt and grease is carefully removed from the engine. It's amazing how
much surface area can be found on such a small
engine. Your level of commitment may differ.
Many of the newer motorcycles today have lots
of plastic covers over engine parts. After you've
cleaned and dried them, wipe the plastic with a
light coat of our Vinyl & Rubber Dressing. They'll
Lube That Chain
Most people improperly lubricate the
drive chain by spraying the back of the
sprocket down the middle in the area of
the rollers. The chain rollers actually need
very little lubrication. Chain wear is the
greatest at the area where the pins hold
the inner & outer side plates together. It's
"pin" wear that causes a chain to stretch!
The correct way to lubricate a chain is to
spray just above the chain at the bottom of
the sprocket. This allows the lube to flow
between the side plates and into the shaft
of the pins. Make sure you spray both the
inner and outer sides of the chain. It's best
to apply chain lube on the night before a
ride to allow enough time for the grease to
penetrate into the roller. Excess chain lube
should always be cleaned to prevent greasing up your motorcycle.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
67
More Fun In Your Garage With
Motorcycle Detailing…
chain lube should always be cleaned to prevent
greasing up your motorcycle. I prefer applying
chain lube on the night before a ride to allow
enough time for the grease to penetrate into
the roller. Most people improperly lubricate the
chain by spraying the back of the sprocket down
the middle of the chain in the area of the rollers.
The chain rollers actually need very little lubrication. Chain wear is the greatest at the area where
the pins hold the inner and outer side plates
together. It's "pin" wear that causes the chain to
stretch! The correct way to get the lubrication to
the pins is to spray just above the chain at the
bottom of the sprocket. This allows the lube to
flow between the side plates to get to the shaft of
the pins. Make sure you spray both the inner and
outer sides of the chain. I also take a good look
at the sprockets, especially the rear sprocket. I
look at the teeth and check to see if the crown of
the tooth is starting to get sharp, indicating wear
from a loose chain. If the root of the sprocket
tooth appears elongated, this indicates a chain
that's too tight. Always follow the manufacturer
recommendation on proper chain tension found
in the owner's manual.
look new and be easier to clean next time.
During a ride it's not uncommon for some
chain lube to fling out and stick to various parts
of your motorcycle. This greasy substance can
be difficult to remove. Our Oil & Grease Cleaner
works great for cleaning this from all these areas
like around the sprockets, engine case, swing
arm, exhaust or bodywork. This is also a good
time to clean and service the chain. Avoid using
harsh chemicals like brake cleaner or carburetor cleaner as these products could damage the
O-ring. I use an old toothbrush along with a
100% Cotton Buffing Cloth to clean the chain,
however, there are other aftermarket cleaning
tools designed specifically for this task. Once the
chain is cleaned it's a good opportunity to check
the tension and adjust if needed. It's interesting to note that chains have a surprising number of parts. The roller turns freely on a bushing, which is attached on each end to the side
plate. A pin passes through the bushing, and is
attached at each end to the side plate. A quality street bike chain uses O-rings between the
plate and roller to help seal out moisture and
contaminants. Your typical chain lube comes in
aerosol form. Solvents are mixed with special
greases to help penetrate the O-ring and bushing. These solvents evaporate, leaving behind
the grease that lubricates the inside of the pin
and roller. Properly applied, chain lube helps
maintain the service life of your chain. Excess
Proper Rinsing
Avoid using pressure washers or highpressure sprayers to clean your motorcycle.
They can force dirt and water into seals,
causing premature bearing wear or engine
damage. Take care to avoid prolonged
rinsing of electrical components such as
engine sensors and control modules as
this could cause an electrical short circuit.
Many bikes use weather resistant connections with special seals however it may be
necessary to unplug connectors to help
dry the contacts.
68
Motorcycle Detailing
T
Wheel Scrubbing Brushes. Rinse with plenty
of water and dry with a Tim's Dirty Spots Micro
Fiber Wipe Down Towel. On painted wheels I
use Fine Hand Polish to help remove scratches
and Paint Sealant to protect the finish.
To clean the tires I found our Rubber Cleaner and our Yellow Scrubbing Pads work well
together. I go so far as to clean the tread. It's not
uncommon to find bubble gum or cigarette filter
material stuck to your tires. Soapy cleaners also
help you spot air leaks from nails or screws.
Make sure to flush the tires with plenty of water
to remove any cleaner residue. Once dry, use
our Rubber Prep to remove any silicones, oils
or greases that have built up in the rubber. If not
removed, these can be dangerous when leaning
into a corner. I know the cruiser crowd likes to
use rubber dressing on the sidewall. That's fine if
you seldom lean the bike over when cornering.
On a sport bike it's best to avoid tire dressing as it
can lead to adhesion issues followed by crashing!
Brake calipers require careful attention.
Avoid using harsh chemicals like brake cleaner
as it can stain or remove paint from forks and
wheels. I use our Wheel Cleaner and a Wheel
Scrubbing Brush with plenty of water to help
clean and rinse. I even go so far as to remove
the brake pads and calipers so I can clean and
detail every part for a show room finish. This
also allows me to check the pad thickness for
Tires, Wheels And Brakes
ires and wheels come in close contact with
the road helping to pick up oil and debris,
spreading it to your bike. In addition, the brakes
give off dust that collects on tires and wheels. If
left unattended, brake dust can etch the painted
or polished surface of your wheels and turn your
tires brown. Specialized cleaners are necessary
to remove dirt and road grime along with brake
dust. I may be going a
little over the top, but I
prefer to remove the
wheels to properly
clean them. A sturdy
front and rear wheel
stand is a must if you
remove your wheels
for cleaning. Even if
you keep your wheels
attached to the bike, a
proper wheel stand
can be used to help
Wheel
rotate the tires to gain
Scrubbing
access to all areas of the
Brushes
wheel. Start by rinsing
make great cleaning
tools for your bike.
the wheel and tire with
water. This helps to float
dirt and contaminants from the surface in preparation for cleaners. I use Wheel Cleaner, Chrome
Wheel Cleaner, or Heavy-Duty Wheel Cleaner
to help remove brake dust and road grime from
wheels. On painted alloy wheels I use a combination of cleaning tools. For large areas I prefer
our Three-Finger Detail Mitt. For tighter areas
around brake rotors and valve stems I use our
Lambskin Four-Finger Mitts are soft, yet do an
excellent job of removing brake dust and heavy
road grime... Perfect for motorcycle wheels.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
69
More Fun In Your Garage With
Motorcycle Detailing…
uneven wear. Again, your level of commitment
and mechanical ability may differ from mine.
After cleaning and reinstalling the brakes, always
pump the brake lever to insure the pads are
properly seated.
A soft boar's hair brush works well to remove light road
dust from control levers and gauges.
Frame, Suspension And Gauges
M
ost motorcycle frames are made from steel tubing that's painted or aluminum extrusions that can be a brushed finish, polished finish or painted surface. Some exotic frames use
carbon fiber and titanium. Heavy concentrations
of oil and grease can be found on the lower portion of the frame and typically the upper portion
receives a light coating of dirt or road dust. I
recommend using Oil & Grease Cleaner on the
lower sections of the frame along with an old
toothbrush. This can be done at the same time
you're cleaning the engine. Use your old toothbrush to clean the areas around the foot pegs
and levers as well. This is a good opportunity to
check your brake and shift linkage for wear and
excessive play. Once the linkage is cleaned and
dry it should be lubricated to help maintain free
and easy operation. Pay close attention to the
wiring harness. Dirt and grime collects between
the harness and frame. Make sure these areas
70
are cleaned and the wiring insulation is intact.
Often time's motorcycle manufacturers use either
tape, shrink tubing or a vinyl sleeve to protect
the wiring. If the tape is unraveling it's a good
time to inspect and repair the wiring and insulation. I use our Vinyl & Rubber Dressing with our
Cotton Towels and our Set of Swabs to clean
and detail the insulation wrap. Make sure you
complete your wiring repairs before using the
Vinyl & Rubber Dressing otherwise the tape will
not stick.
Shocks and forks use hardened steel shafts
that operate in steel or aluminum housings.
Shafts need to be kept clean for proper movement and maintenance. Coil springs have a large
surface area and can be difficult to clean. Many
mono-shocks found on today's motorcycles are
located in hard-to-reach places. Twin shocks
are placed on the side of the swing arm making
access to cleaning much easier. It's important to
pay special attention to threaded adjusters for
spring pre-load setting. Keeping these threads
clean help ease adjustments that would otherwise be difficult. For heavy road grime I use Oil
& Grease Cleaner along with an old toothbrush.
For light dust or dirt I use Wheel Cleaner. Use
plenty of water to help rinse the parts clean.
Tim's Dirty Spots Towel or Micro Fiber Wipe
Down Towels can be used to dry the shock
and spring.
Check Your Teeth
When cleaning the sprockets check the
teeth for wear. Look to see if the crown of
the tooth is starting to get sharp, indicating wear from a loose chain. If the root of
the sprocket tooth appears elongated, this
indicates a chain that's too tight. Always follow the manufacturer recommendation
on proper chain tension found in the owner's manual.
Motorcycle Detailing
Forks are more accessible however the area
between the brake caliper mounts and axle can
be difficult to access. I found that these areas
tend to receive more brake dust buildup than
road grime. For this reason I use Wheel Cleaner
and a Wheel Scrubbing Brush with plenty of
water to help clean and rinse the dirt away. For
bug stains and baked on bits I use 3M Adhesive
Remover on a towel or cloth. Metal Polish and
our 100% Cotton Disposable Wipes can be used
on standard (non-coated) fork tubes. For coated
fork tubes (titanium nitride, etc.) I recommend
only using a clean dry cloth.
The area around the handlebars and gauges
tend to collect a fine film of dirt and road dust.
I start by using Speed Shine® along with Micro
Fiber Speed Shine® Cloths to clean large areas
The sun dries leather. Keeping it clean and conditioned can ensure its use for many years.
M
Seat And Bodywork
any motorcycle seats are made from vinyl
or leather. I start by using Interior Cleaner.
You'll be amazed at the dirt you remove. Interior
Cleaner can remove aftermarket dyes, so test a
small, out of the way area to make sure it doesn't
discolor your seat.
For leather I like using Leather Care because
it's a highly concentrated liquid that penetrates
deep to replenish the natural oils of the leather fibers. It works much better than the other
greasy, lanolin-based products on the market. It's
easy to use, and essential for a long, supple life
for your fine leather. Use sparingly as a little goes
a long way. Leather Care does contain a cleaner
that can remove aftermarket dyes.
Remove tar, grease, oil and adhesives quickly and
safely from any paint surface.
of dust and dirt. Our Boar's Hair Detail Brushes work great for the levers, switches, around
the wiring harness, headlight area and hard-toreach places behind the gauges. It's best to use
the Boars Hair Brush dry because it helps to
keep the bristles clean and prevents scratching.
Once the dust is removed Plastic Cleaner is used
on windscreen and plastic gauge faces. I follow up with some Plastic Polish to help remove
swirl marks and fine scratches. Window Cleaner
works great on glass gauge faces. Vinyl & Rubber
Dressing works great on black or natural plastic
and rubber bits, but avoid using it on the grips. I
prefer cleaning the grips with Interior Cleaner.
Brake Fluid Change
Most motorcycle manufacturers recommend having your brake fluid replaced
about every two years and more often in
severe riding conditions. Draining and
replacing your brake fluid helps to remove
contaminants such as water and rust. It also
helps to lubricate the metal and rubber
parts in your brake system. Helping them
last longer and working properly.
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
71
More Fun In Your Garage With
Motorcycle Detailing…
Test a small out of the way area to make sure
it doesn't discolor your seat. For stock vinyl
seats Vinyl & Rubber Dressing is superior when
judged against other vinyl protectants. It's water
based, so it won't harm or dull the surface of
rubber and vinyl over time. It cleans and protects
in one step while leaving behind a non-greasy
satin finish. If a raw natural finish is desired or
extra grip is needed, avoid the use of dressings
all together.
Bodywork is most often painted and in
many cases vinyl decals are used to add color.
These decals are often applied over the finished
surface so care is needed when polishing or
waxing to keep them from lifting. Motorcycle
surfaces require the same attention to detail as
an automotive finish. Painted surfaces use either
a single stage paint system (non-clear coat) or
a multi-stage paint system (clear coat). Other
surfaces have the color molded into the plastic.
For really dirty paint I like to start by using our
Car Wash soap with our Lambskin Four-Finger
Mitt. The first thing you'll notice is how slippery
the Car Wash acts between your wash mitt and
the paint. This is an important characteristic of
our Car Wash and contributes to its ability to lift
away contaminants while protecting the finish during your "washing therapy". Many of the
mild scratching you see in your finish is from
aggressive cleaning. The dirt acts like sandpaper,
scratching the finish while you're rubbing the
surface of your paint. Be gentle while washing
and frequently rinse out your mitt during the
cleaning process. Car Wash is gentle on your
wax, yet removes more dirt and road grime than
any other product we've tested. If your body
panels have been removed, make sure you clean
the inside as well as the outside. Often times the
inside of the panel gets much dirtier and requires
additional attention. On body panels I prefer
to work from the clean area to the dirty area so
start on the outside and finish on the inside. This
keeps the dirt on the inside from scratching your
paint. For stubborn stains you may need to use
Our 3" Random Orbital is perfect for getting into tight
spaces and works great for detailing motorcycles, too!
some Adhesive Remover on a towel or cloth.
Make sure you go back over the area with Car
Wash and remember to use plenty of water to
rinse the panels clean. To dry the panels I use
our Micro Fiber Dry Towel. This unique weave
lessens the friction on your paint so it's kind and
gentle, but still retains all the benefits of absorbing water. Take care when wiping around decals
to avoid lifting them.
Once the panels are clean and dry, you're
ready for polish and wax. I prefer to do the
majority of the polishing and waxing with the
panels installed on the bike. This helps to hold
the bodywork safely in place and reduces the
chance of scratching. For this reason I save the
polish and wax step for the very end. Some areas
are not easily accessible when the panels are in
place so it's best to work on those before installing the bodywork. I give the bike one final check
to make sure everything has been cleaned,
detailed, serviced and put back into place. If the
coolant or oil lines were removed you should
run the engine up to operating temperature and
make sure there are no leaks. Once the panels
are in place it can be difficult to spot a problem.
If your bike doesn't have a center stand, a good
rear wheel stand helps access the lower parts of
the bodywork. For polishing I like to start with
72
Motorcycle Detailing
the gas tank. I find the back of the tank tends to
get scuffed from contact with my leather jacket. Often time these scratches can be removed
with Machine Polish 3 but sometimes I need to
use Machine Polish 2. Our 3" Random Orbital
works great for this! If there are vinyl decals on
your bike, be careful when polishing around the
edges of the decal. I prefer to polish in the same
direction as the edge of the decal. If it ends at
a point, polish towards the point to keep from
accidentally lifting the decal. To buff the polish
residue I use our Micro Fiber Polish Removal
Cloths. The non-abrasive, wedge shaped micro
fibers, lift and trap polish, getting the used polish away from the paint. Next, I move to the tail
section and front fairing, finishing with the side
panels and fenders. Once polished, I go back
over the bodywork with Pre-Wax Cleanser and
a Micro Fiber Polish Removal Cloth to make sure
all of the polish residue has been removed.
Waxing your motorcycle is an important
part of preserving its appearance. With proper
care there is no reason why original factory paint
can't last the entire life of your bike. The goal is to
protect the paint's surface while providing color,
depth and clarity so the paint work looks stunning. See the Waxing & Sealing section of this
Handbook on page 43 to choose the right product for protecting your motorcycles finish. Our
Best of Show Wax® is my first choice for show
bikes, and Paint Sealant is great for those of us
that ride more often. Be sure the paint surface is
cool and dry before waxing. Apply wax to your
pad and apply it using the cross-hatch method,
just as you did with your polish. When you apply
wax to your pad, spread it evenly over the entire
pad. Remember a little goes a long way. The wax
should almost begin to disappear as you wipe it
on. If you have to remove a lot of product when
you wipe it off (look at your cloth) you are using
too much wax. Work in small areas one panel
at a time. To buff the wax residue I use our
Micro Fiber Wax Removal Cloths. Once the body
panels are completed I go to the windscreen.
For this I start with our Plastic Cleaner to remove
road film followed by Plastic Polish and a Cotton Polish Pad to remove light scratches. To buff
the polish residue I use our Micro Fiber Polish
Removal Cloths. Plastic Polish also works well
on polycarbonate headlight lenses as well as
turn signal and brake light lenses. For the mirror
glass I like using our Window Cleaner Wipes.
This helps to avoid spray fall out and allows me
to concentrate my cleaner directly onto the glass.
Once finished I go around the bike checking to
see any areas I may have missed or for any wax
residue left . A light misting of Speed Shine® on a
Micro Fiber Speed Shine® Cloth helps to remove
stubborn wax residue.
Keeping your motorcycle well
maintained will help you
enjoy them for many years!
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
73
1961 Motobi 125
1952 Invicta 75
1957 Mondial 175
Every Day
Around The House…
windows to mirrors, carpets, leather furniture,
counter tops, floors, clothes, bathrooms, kitchens… virtually every room in her house gets the
Griot's Garage treatment. "Why don't you market
to the homemaker?" she asked me. "I like quality
cleaning products as much as my husband does
for his cars!" Well Susan, you're right. I've been
using them in the house, too, and it's time I came
in from the garage to the house. I want to share
with you the many products I use around the
house. As with any cleaning product, always test
a small, discreet area first to be sure it won't discolor or stain the surface. Now when our Handbook shows up in the mailbox, your spouse will
smile like you do!
A
fellow automotive enthusiast, Susan, tells me
she's constantly borrowing her husband's
Griot's Garage Car Care products and using them
around the house. She cleans everything from
Hand Cleaner,
8oz.
Glass Polish,
8oz.
Fine Glass
Polish, 16oz.
Leather Care,
16oz.
Window Cleaner
Wipes, 100 Count
Carpet Cleaner,
35oz.
Surface Cleaner,
35oz.
Window Cleaner
35oz.
Metal Cleaner,
17oz.
Foaming Glass
Cleaner, 19oz.
74
We make it. We teach it. We guarantee it. Here in the U.S.A.
We Make It.
Some companies buy car care products from mass producers, slap their label on the bottles, and call them their own. Not
at Griot's Garage! We develop, manufacture and bottle our Car Care
products right here in the U.S.A. to ensure everything you put on your
treasured vehicles is of the finest quality.
We Teach It.
Our job doesn't end when you receive your order. Proper application is just as important as
quality products, so education is a Griot's Garage priority. Our customer service associates
are friendly and extensively-trained. When you call or email with a question, we'll
be able to help! There are also free resources available on our website and blog;
videos, articles, tech sheets... all at your fingertips!
We Guarantee It.
Because we know it's stressful to have tools or products fail, we've taken to heart the words
of Sir Henry Royce (shown on title page) and created the finest line of Car Care and garage
products available. Because of our strict standards and extensive knowledge, we cover
everything we sell with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and Lifetime Guarantee against
defect. With our products you can rest easy and always... Have fun in your garage!®
Our Car Care Products & The Environment.
Ever since I introduced the first Griot's Garage car care products
I've developed, tested and bottled our products to ensure quality
and care is taken from the start. Protection of the environment is
important to all of us at Griot's Garage. That's why many of our
products are environmentally thoughtful, toxic-free and biodegradable. Plus, to reduce waste, we use quality sprayers and bottles
that are not only recyclable, but also reusable. Enjoy the best!
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
75
Remember To Have Fun…
Working on cars is meant to be fun and
relaxing. For me, it lets me escape from life's
daily demands, focus entirely on the task
at hand, and bring tranquility back to an
otherwise demanding world. Should you
read this Handbook and still have questions, remember we're here to help. I want
to make sure when you're using any of our
products, that you always have fun in your
garage. Keep sending me your thoughts,
ideas, and comments so I can continue to
improve our products. Now, go and enjoy
your precious free time and…
Have Fun in Your Garage! ®
Richard Griot
76
Car Care DVD
Keep it handy!
If you have our Instructional Random
Orbital DVD, store it in this handy sleeve
so you'll always know where it is. If you
don't have it, get one and keep it here!
Car Care for the Perfectionist!®
Have fun in your garage! ®
For answers to your car care questions or
to request a free catalog please contact us at:
800-345-5789
www.griotsgarage.com
Griot's Garage, Inc.
3333 South 38th Street, Tacoma, WA, 98409
© Griot's Garage, Inc.
Made in the U.S.A.
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