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Thread: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    After washing your foam buffing pads by hand the question often comes up,

    How do I dry my foam pads?

    Here's one way to dry your foam pads, please feel encouraged to find a way that works best for you.

    Using a clean, dry cotton terry cloth towel or clean, dry microfiber waffle weave towel or any clean microfiber towel, roll your washed and rinsed pad up inside the towel.






    Press the towel into the foam as you're folding the pad into the towel.







    Then squeeze, squish and wring the towel which will force any excess water out of the foam and into the towel.






    Afterwards, place your foam buffing pads upside down some place where they will stay clean where air can circulate around them and moisture can evaporate out of them.




    Not a perfect method but it works...


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  2. #2
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    Talking Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    I put mines in the makita and turned on and increased the speed until 6 and run it a few seconds until no more water come off .
    "you can't rush art"

  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrgs-r View Post
    I put mines in the makita and turned on and increased the speed until 6 and run it a few seconds until no more water come off .
    And that works great for all the people that own rotary buffers.

    If you don't own a rotary buffer that you can sling the water out using centrifugal force then using a clean towel to squeeze water out is another option.

    If you do own a rotary buffer, after slinging out the majority of the water it still helps to place the pads in a clean area where air can circulate around them so they can finish air drying.




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    Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    Since the pads came in a plastic bag when they were new, would it not be better to put them back in a plastic bag after they are clean and completely dry?

  5. #5
    Senior Member sgtmillhouse648's Avatar
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    Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    The problem happens in getting them completely dry including the interior cells. If they are not completely dry, mold/mildew may form. After they are completely dry, then yes, sealing them up to prevent contamination is a good idea.
    Last edited by sgtmillhouse648; 06-21-2010 at 01:26 PM. Reason: additional text added

  6. #6
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    Great tip Mike! I do the rotary spin-dry method myself....isn't that what they're supposed to be used for?

    BobbyG - 2004 Millennium Yellow Z06 Corvette

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    Senior Member O.C.Detailing's Avatar
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    Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    With 5.5" or smaller pads, you can use your DA to spin-dry your pads and then place them on a rack, like Mike has shown, to dry them in the centers. With 6.5" pads, the spin-dry technique is a bit tricky, especially if the pad isn't centered properly. You could separate the backing pretty quickly if it's not perfectly centered. :D

    I bought a metal, expandable dish-drying rack from the local discount store and use it to set my pads on to dry.

    And one more thing since we're on this subject...to help PREVENT deforming your pads, don't WRING your pads dry. Wringing them dry, like you would with a towel, stretches the foam and causes deformity. A better way is to fold the pad in half, then fold in half again, so you're holding a triangle basically. Place the pointy tip of the triangle at the crease between your thumb and pointer finger and the fat end of the triangle should be in the center of your hand, form a tight fist and SQUEEEEEEZEEE with all your might, but do NOT wring it. You can use both hands to squeeze with.

    This will use pressure to squeeze water out of the pad without deforming it because you're not actually stretching any part of the pad. It also gets more water out than wringing, especially once your forearms get stronger...trust me on this.
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    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    Quote Originally Posted by O.C.Detailing View Post

    Wringing them dry, like you would with a towel, stretches the foam and causes deformity.
    Guess I haven't noticed enough of a change to be alarmed... I certainly have never let it stop me from using a pad... I actually don't know that I've ever noticed it to be a problem.

    But everyone's entitled to their opinion I'm just trying to offer a suggestion that works to get a majority of the water out of the pad so you can put the pad back into action or let it dry further.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member O.C.Detailing's Avatar
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    Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Autogeek View Post
    Guess I haven't noticed enough of a change to be alarmed... I certainly have never let it stop me from using a pad... I actually don't know that I've ever noticed it to be a problem.

    But everyone's entitled to their opinion I'm just trying to offer a suggestion that works to get a majority of the water out of the pad so you can put the pad back into action or let it dry further.


    I think you misread me there Mike. You wrapping it in the towel first, then using a wringing action probably limits how much you can stretch the foam of the pad. What I mean is getting the pad, clean with water and whatever your cleaner of choice is and then just wringing the CRAP out of the pad to dry it out.

    I believe if you wrapped the pad in a terry cloth or MF towel first, the fibers of the towel would actually prevent you from wringing the pad too much to cause a deformity. I was a bad detailer and found that if I just cleaned the pad and wrung it out to get rid of the water, I was deforming my pads and turning them into ovals instead of round and perfect circles. lol :D Noob move on my part, but just trying to share with the folks who may not have had that "fun" experience yet.
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  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    Quote Originally Posted by O.C.Detailing View Post
    I think you misread me there Mike. You wrapping it in the towel first, then using a wringing action probably limits how much you can stretch the foam of the pad.

    What I mean is getting the pad, clean with water and whatever your cleaner of choice is and then just wringing the CRAP out of the pad to dry it out.

    Yeah I mis-read you, sorry about that, doesn't happen often.

    I've wrung pads out without the towel and you're right, it's going to twist the pad a lot more... I've done that though and then used the pad...

    The way I clean pads is with a pad washer using a rotary buffer and then air dry them. It's the fastest way I can do it that's also efficient. Some pads are machine washable like Meguiar's recommends you can throw their 7" Softbuff Pads into both a washing machine and a dryer and it does work pretty well if you don't wash too many pads at one time and if you don't mix pads with wax, (water insoluble), with pads you use compounds and polishes, (water soluble).

    There is no "perfect" way to clean pads. The most you can do is the most you can do...



    Before the Grit Guard Pad Washer was introduced I just cleaned dry foam pads on the rotary using a nylon brush which means only the surface was cleaned of any residue, whatever dried inside the pad will still be there.

    This article was primarily mean to help people that wash pads by hands and want a simple way anyone can do to get most of the water out of the pad and then let it air dry.

    If you like, after washing a pad and rinsing it clean, you could just place it upside down on some kind of rack out of the way of air-borne dirt and dust and let it completely air dry and never squeeze it at all.

    Are you an entrepreneur?
    Maybe this is a chance for come creative person to build the first "Pad Dryer". Kind of like a "Food Dryer or Dehydrator". A cabinet with racks and a fan and ta-da you have a "Pad Dryer".

    Make it so you can assemble it from flat pieces that will pile into a box so it's small, light, easy and inexpensive to ship and then send me 10% of the profits.


    :D
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