Collinite #845: The Definitive How-To Guide For This Legendary Wax
Originally Posted by Charles H. Collins, Founder of Collinite Wax Products
If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.
For over seventy-five years the name Collinite has been synonymous with quality, value, and durability, that's what Collinite Wax Products
has been about since their inception in 1936. Although the company wasn't actually founded until 1936 by Charles H. Collins, some of the formulas date back to 1912. Collinite takes something that works, and sticks with it. Collinite doesn't advertise on TV or in magazines, and there is nothing elaborate about their packaging. Collinite Wax Products is all about researching and developing the highest quality, best performing surface care products available at any price point. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool, and when you produce a full line of products at the level of performance and quality that Collinite does, that's all you need. Simply put, Collinite represents the good stuff
Although Collinite manufactures a complete line of surface care products for automotive, marine, aeronautical and industrial applications, we're going to primarily focus on their most popular product - No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax. Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax is a more user-friendly version of their No. 476 paste wax. There is no doubt that No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax is Collinite's most well-known and most talked about wax. It's recognized for its outstanding durability even in the harshest of environments. Not only is No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax durable, but it's also fairly easy to use and produces a shine that's not typically expected from a wax in this price range.
Saying that No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax is talked about often is an understatement. If I had a dollar for every time No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax is talked about on this forum, I would be looking at condos on the beach right now. People cannot get enough of this wax because it's trusted
, and it works
. I decided to take on the endeavor of analyzing every aspect of this wax, inside and out, to provide a better understanding of why it's talked about and why it's that good
. From the inception of this thread starting with the first key stroked, to clicking the submit button when finished, I set out to provide the definitive guide for Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax. Turn off the TV, close your office door, grab a pen, and take notes. This is going to be intense.
As I mentioned earlier, there is nothing fancy or elaborate about Collinite's packaging, and No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax is no exception. The wax is only available in a heavy-duty 16oz bottle that features a safety cap. The bottle that No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax comes in is like a tank that chauffeurs a princess. The contents are precious, and need to arrive at the end destination safely.
So you've been reading the forum for several weeks, adding products to your wish list left and right and you finally have the perfect order. A couple days later your package arrives safely. Pads and towels get thrown to the side as you scramble to find the bottle of that mysterious wax you've been hearing so much about. But then you take the safety cap off and take a peek inside. What is that chunky stuff? Is that normal? Should I call Autogeek first thing in the morning or try to find an answer on the forum? Did I receive a defective batch? All of these questions run through your head as you frantically try and decide what to do. STOP! And RELAX.
What you're seeing is PERFECTLY NORMAL
It appears as if Autogeek sent you a magic bottle of legendary wax that looks like 3-year-old chunky soap. What do you do now? In order to get Collinite No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax to the thin consistency necessary for proper application, you have a couple different options:
1. Fill a sink or a bucket with hot water. Set the bottle in the hot water and let it soak for about ten minutes. After it soaks for about ten minutes, shake the bottle vigorously. Helpful Tip: Don't completely submerge the bottle in the water. Fill your bucket or sink to a level where the water is 1/2 to 3/4 of the way to the top of the bottle.
2. Take the bottle, firmly hold it, and whack it against the edge of something stationary. A work bench or large piece of wood works well. After doing so, shake the bottle vigorously. Helpful Tip: Avoid doing this method, especially if you're not used to doing things the wrong way. Even though the bottle is pretty durable and can handle it with no problem, it's much safer to practice the other methods. Just because you're driving a tank doesn't mean you should crash it into a concrete wall. The contents inside this bottle are precious!
3. Place the bottle outside in the sun. After it sits in the sun for about five minutes, shake the bottle vigorously. Helpful Tip: Be aware of those around you while you perform this method. If a friend or loved one has heard you babble on about this wax for six months, they may be tempted to snag it. While the bottle pictured here was sitting in the drive way, I saw my father staring it down, so I had to kindly ask him to step back into the house. Treat this wax like you would treat a precious jar of Souveran: keep it in your lock box next to the savings bonds your great grandmother gave to you when you were an infant.
For each method listed above, it's extremely important to shake the bottle. This ensures proper mixture and an even consistency of the product. If the wax is thick and chunky, it will make application of the wax more difficult. Work smart, not hard.
After you shake it like a polaroid picture, this is what the wax should look like. Now you know why it's called Liquid
Because Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax comes in a bottle that was designed for one thing and for one thing only, safe transportation of its precious contents, the bottle does not come with a flip cap. Without a flip cap, it's quite possible to accidentally apply too much product to an applicator pad. As you read on, you will learn that the last thing you want to do is apply this wax too thick. You have a couple different options to safely dispense the product.
1. Carefully dispense the product using just the opening of the bottle.
2. Put a flip cap on the existing bottle.
3. Empty the contents of the bottle into a squeeze bottle.
4. Attach a sprayer (more on that later).
For the sake of playing it safe, my preferred method of dispensing the product is number three. Autogeek has several different dispenser bottles to choose from, but the one that I like the most is the Meguiar's Self Cleaning Dispenser Bottle. This bottle is available in a 16oz size and the feature worth noting is the self-cleaning spout that prevents clogs. When you're working with a product that changes viscosity such as Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax, the self-cleaning spout makes clean up a breeze. This bottle is also ideal for compounds and polishes. Like the bottle that No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax comes in, the Meguiar's Self Cleaning Dispenser Bottle is constructed of thick plastic that ensures safe transportation of your new-found favorite wax. I even keep a couple in the house for my maple syrup and grape jelly.
It's really very simple: After you perform one of the described techniques for bringing the wax back to a thin, liquid consistency, simply pour the wax into the dispenser bottle.
Hang on to the edge of your seat because you're almost there.
Now that you're familiar with Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax, let's dive into the basic products necessary to ensure you get the best performance and durability out of the wax.
First and foremost, you want to follow the standard procedure for applying any wax or sealant. Start by claying the vehicle if necessary and then remove any swirls, scratches, water spots, or other imperfections. The test vehicle used for this demonstration is my daily driver, a 6th generation Honda Accord that is meticulously maintained. Because it doesn't need any correction work, and the paint was clayed just one month prior to application of the wax, I went right to the pre-wax polish. Suggested Items For Proper Application of Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax
1. Pre-wax Polish
2. Dispenser Bottle
3. Microfiber Applicators
4. Foam Applicators
5. Wax Pad for DA Polisher
6. Polishing Pad for DA Polisher
7. High Quality Microfiber Towels
I've found that Pinnacle's Paintwork Cleansing Lotion is one of the best non-abrasive polishes available to deeply cleanse the paint and prep it for a wax or sealant. It's easy to apply by hand or machine, and wipes off with ease. With hand application I've found that a microfiber applicator works best for this product as it enables the polish to clean the paint best. This is because the microfiber applicator tends to have more "bite" per se, which enables the polish to cleanse the paint of any old wax or sealant that was previously applied. To achieve even greater results with the polish, I would highly recommend a dual action polisher along with a polishing pad.
My weapon of choice is a Lake Country Hydro-Tech Tangerine Polishing pad. If you have ever read any of my other write-ups, you know I'm a huge fan of the Hydro-Tech pads because of their closed cell foam design. Because of their design, the Hydro-Tech pads allow more product to stay on the face of the pad. This equals a longer working time from each respective product along with easier clean up of the pad. Helpful Tip: I've found that even with a non-abrasive polish such as Pinnacle's Paintwork Cleansing Lotion, I get better results if I prime the pad first and then apply four pea-sized drops of product to the pad. Set the polisher to speed 4 or 5 and perform several section passes using moderate pressure.
After you've finished polishing the vehicle, switch over to a finishing pad on your dual action polisher. I would recommend sticking with a Hydro-Tech pad because again, as I've said over and over, these pads are fantastic. The Hydro-Tech Crimson pad is a finishing pad, meaning it has no mechanical cutting or cleaning ability. As a direct result of its closed cell foam, the pad is denser than a regular finishing pad meaning it can withstand added pressure while buffing. I prefer a firmer finishing pad for applying a wax or sealant because in my opinion, it allows better control of the machine. Helpful Tip: Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator wax goes on thin, thin, thin! It doesn't take a lot of product and the more you apply, the more difficult it is going to be to wipe off. The amount you see below was enough wax to completely cover the entire quarter panel on my car. If you're going to apply the wax by hand, I've found that a poly foam wax applicator works best. As a personal preference of mine, I avoid microfiber applicators when applying a pure wax or sealant. I leave microfiber applicators for abrasive or chemical polishes. Note:
Some people like to attach a sprayer to the Collinite bottle and spray the product onto the pad or applicator. While I've tried this method and it works, I still prefer using the Meguiar's Self Cleaning Dispenser Bottle.
One technique that I've found works very well for applying a consistent amount of wax to a panel is to practice the "kissing the finish" technique. Mike Phillips showed me this technique when I first started at Autogeek, and I've been using it ever since. Kissing the finish
, as Mike would say, is the "lazy man's way to machine wax a car."
As you can see below, I kissed the finish
in three different spots with the finishing pad. Instead of having all the product in one concentrated area, it is now evenly distributed across the rear deck lid.
Kissing the finish is as simple as applying your wax or sealant to the face of your foam pad and dabbing the pad on several sections of each panel. Wax as you normally would with the polisher, but as you approach an area of the finish that you kissed
with the pad, tilt the polisher while going over the area and then lay it down flat again. It's important to keep constant contact of the pad while performing this technique.
The ease of use of Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator wax is often debated. Just like any other car care product, if not used properly, it can and will be difficult to apply and remove. The key to this wax is applying it thin, and letting it dry to a haze before removal. If you're new to machine polishing, or even hand waxing for that matter, you can use this trick to determine if you need more product on your pad or applicator.
Take a look at the Hydro-Tech Crimson pad below. If you are new to machine polishing or hand waxing you may think I need to apply more product. That's not necessarily the case. Here is a trick that my good friend and colleague Mike Phillips shared with me to help determine just how much product is on your pad or applicator.
Take the pad or applicator and lightly press it up against a clean, dry piece of glass. Take a look below at how evenly the product is distributed on the glass. Believe it or not, the pad still has enough wax for a fender. No need to apply more product to the pad just yet. Remember, Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax goes on thin, thin, thin!
After waxing the entire car, I let it dry to a haze for about 40 minutes. As the temperature and humidity vary from location to location, you can simply practice the swipe test
. If you're not familiar with the swipe test, it's when you swipe your finger across the panel to reveal either shiny paint, or a streaky finish. If the wax streaks where you swiped your finger, the wax has not dried completely yet. When the wax swipes clean, meaning the area of wax removed with your finger is clean and shiny, the wax has fully dried to a haze and is ready to be removed with a soft microfiber towel.
What's the best towel for removing Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax? I've found that a lightweight microfiber towel, with a medium nap, is ideal for removing this wax. The towel I'm describing is the Cobra Gold Plush.
I like this microfiber towel because it's durable, has a nice edge, and works great for removing wax. It also works well with a quick detailer or spray wax. It's somewhat plush, but it's not "heavy", so it doesn't feel like it's dragging across the paint. Helpful Tip:
If you applied the wax correctly let it dry to a haze and it passed the swipe test, the wax should wipe off with ease. No, it's not going to wipe off like Souveran, but it shouldn't give you any struggle. If you found that you applied it too thick, use a quick detailer to aid in the removal of the wax. I've found that Pinnacle Crystal Mist and Optimum Instant Detailer & Gloss Enhancer work very well in a variety of temperatures and humidity levels.
After you remove the wax, stand back and enjoy crisp, clear reflections. Not only does your vehicle look outstanding, but it's now protected and ready for a long winter ahead.
Want to know the best part, besides the excellent shine and winter-tough durability? Look how much wax I have left! You will find very few liquid waxes that go on as thin as Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax. When applied as directed, the wax is a pleasure to use.
Another common question regarding Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax: Can I apply a carnauba paste wax on top of it to amp up the shine and provide even more protection? Absolutely! To really bring out the crisp, clear reflections in the paint I applied a thin, even coat of Wolfgang Fuzion shortly after wiping off the Insulator Wax.
After months of researching, you finally found a winning combination to not only protect your vehicle's delicate finish, but to bring out the absolute best shine possible. You can maintain the protection and shine of this winning combination using any high quality shampoo and quick detailer. I personally use Wolfgang Auto Bathe and Pinnacle Crystal Mist. I've found the Wolfgang Auto Bathe provides excellent lubricity and good cleaning ability to safely wash the car without inducing swirls, but it's also gentle enough not to remove the Fuzion. As a drying aid, Pinnacle Crystal Mist amps up the shine and makes drying the car easier. But find something that works for you, and stick with it. Collinite Car Wax Products
If you haven't tried Collinite's No. 845 Liquid Insulator Wax, what are you waiting for?