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Old 11-01-2011, 09:15 PM   #1
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Review: CarPro Iron X

Review: CarPro Iron X

Introduction:


Two or three years ago I was considering purchasing a paint decontamination system to use on my Sky. I had been using clay but it bothered me that I wasn’t removing all of the contaminants since clay simply shaves the contaminants off at the surface of the paint. The problem was the paint contamination system I was looking at was difficult to apply and seemed to me to be a bit on the risky side.

Some time thereafter I heard about a product called Iron X. It was said Iron X was very simple to use and was entirely safe for paint. The only particles it would attack were the ferrous metals (like iron shavings and brake dust), which are lodged in the paint. A few months ago I started using this product and here’s my review.

Product Claims:

Iron X by CarPro is an acid-free, pH-balanced iron remover that decontaminates auto paint and wheels. Iron X prevents the spread of iron-related damage to protect your vehicle from paint system failure.


Details:
1.- Packaging: Plastic Bottle with all plastic trigger or Eco refill packs
2.- Directions: Clearly labeled
3.- Viscosity: Thin
4.- Color: Clear
5.- Scent: Squash Flowers (Mixed with hair perm J)
6.- Regular Price: 16.9 oz. (500ml) = $ 19.99
7.- Regular Price: 33.8 oz. (1000ml) = $ 32.99
8.- Regular Price: 169.0 oz. (5000ml) = $124.99
9.- Manufacturer: CarPro
10.- Made in: Korea


00-Product



Additional products used during application of Iron X:

1.- Sponge


01-Conditions



Preparation:

Typically when using Iron X I am planning to also polish the paint but sometimes it is simply a quick way to remove iron particles for a good wash and a wax or sealant. This time around I would be polishing and protecting with Cquartz.

I began by washing the truck down with UPGW followed by OPC 3:1. After a thorough rinse I very quickly went over it with the Master Blaster to remove the excess water. After that step I moved forward with application of Tar X as described in a seperate review.



After dwelling time, agitation, removal, and rinse I used the Master Blaster once more to remove the excess water.

Application and noted observations:

I applied Iron X by spraying it directly on the surface as is recommended. It didn’t take long before I observed a dark color emerging from the paint, which as you may know is the reaction of Iron X with the embedded iron particles in the paint.









There are other products that change color during application but that doesn’t mean they are dissolving the iron. With some products this is just an affect of them coming into contact with (but not necessarily dissolving iron. Iron X is a product that does in fact dissolve iron contaminants as can be seen my test later in this review. As you will see the clay is noticeable more contaminated when you haven’t used Iron X first which proves that Iron X is in fact dissolving the iron particles it comes in contact with.

As you can see below, after using Iron X you may find some evidence of it’s use on the concrete around the vehicle but have no fear. It’s easily rinsed clean with the hose.







After allowing Iron X about 5 minutes dwell time I agitated it with my wash mitt before rinsing and drying the vehicle for my next step. On the vehicle shown here I used my wash mitt but I have since found that using a sponge for the Iron X step is more effective so a sponge is now my preferred method.

After the decontamination step and some product testing I tried clay on a test spot. Based on the cleanliness of the clay and other factors I chose to move forward without claying this particular vehicle. After polishing the vehicle was cleaned with Eraser and then coated with Cquartz.






Iron X as a wheel cleaner

I have found Iron X to be an incredibly effective wheel cleaning aid and have done a bit of experimenting with it next to the Griots HD wheel cleaner. I found Iron X to be much more effective on iron but I quite liked the foaming ability of the GHD. I now use Iron X as a staple product for cleaning bad wheels. While I still use dedicated wheel cleaners in many cases I allow Iron X to do most of the work for me on baked on brake dust, which makes it sooo much easier! I have recently been experimenting with Iron X paste in some spots. It’s a great tool as well, but more on that another day.





















When using Iron X on my Sky wheels recently I allowed it to dwell as usual and then as I agitated it with my 3” wheel woolie I sprayed some foam cleaner across the area as well before rinsing it clean. I was just experimenting to see how I like the idea of foam and Iron X in conjunction.





Iron X vs. Clay & Iron X + Clay

After the testing I did back during my Tar X review I realized the scale of that test was too small so I decided to do a larger scale test with Iron X vs. clay for this review. I was hoping to book another white vehicle to work on but with none in sight I decided to try the test on my daily driver a couple weeks ago. I didn’t expect there to be enough contamination for the test but soon learned otherwise. First I'll give you the play by play, but please view the video of the process afterwards.

After washing the vehicle I began to clay the passenger half (US) of the hood and right away I realized there was plenty of iron and other contaminants to allow a test.

By the time I got to the drivers side for my Iron X section the sun was popping in and out of the clouds. Without my canopy I set up a temporary shelter.





With that issue solved I sprayed Iron X across the surface and shortly thereafter lightly spread it with a small sponge to ensure complete coverage. After dwell time, agitation, and rinsing I moved onto the next phase of the test.

I wanted to see how much faster it would be to clay the side that had received Iron X treatment and how much cleaner the clay would be. I had intentionally clayed the untreated side of the hood without folding it even once. Normally I fold very often but for this test I abstained. As I began claying the Iron X treated side it was clear there was not near the same amount of contaminants left and clay application was both easier and a good deal faster.

The clay time on the treated side was about 3 minutes compared to over 10 minutes on the untreated side.

Using Iron X first also left the clay much cleaner, which means it will last longer ultimately saving me money.





Next question was: Did the clay or Iron X remove more of the iron contaminants. For this test I applied Iron X to both sides of the hood and since the color of the paint made it difficult to show I used a lightly colored yellow sponge to show the difference. When it came time to agitate I cleaned and squeezed the sponge dry before using a separate side of the sponge for each side to pick up the color difference, which reflects the amount of iron particles left in the paint.

Here are the results:

With Clay a good deal more iron came off the paint when Iron X was applied afterwards



With Iron X only a small amount of additional iron was found on the second pass.



Video: Iron X vs. Clay & Iron X + Clay



Additional notes and observations:

There are a couple of other products that look as though they are based on the same technology as Iron X. I haven’t used them both but I did use the Iron Cut and in contrast it seemed to be weaker than Iron X and smelled worse (more rotten eggs then perm), not that that matters as much as function does to me.

Trigger:

Originally Iron X used a standard trigger with metal spring inside but upon recognizing the product was reacting with the spring CarPro made the move to an “all plastic” trigger, which is now in use.

What to do about large paint chips on steel panels where even the primer is gone and it has rusted:

For this situation I would personally recommend that after you use Iron X you apply an iron conversion chemical before using touchup paint to protect the steel.







My Current Method of Application:

A.-Use outside or with sufficient ventilation.

B.-Use latex or Nitrile gloves, and face protection.

C.-If there is an inordinate amount of tree sap, tar, other organic material, wax, or sealants on the vehicle I recommend you strip them first so Iron X can attack the ferrous particles without any interference. This is not required but is how I like to do it for best results.

D.-For best results apply to a mostly dry surface. A few drops of water is ok.

1.-Shake the bottle.

2.-You can cover the surface with Iron X by spraying it everywhere but that can be wasteful. I recommend that you spray as needed and spread it with a small sponge or applicator to cover the entire surface. You may also consider using an atomizer type spray bottle or HVLP gun. In any case evenly cover the surfaces you wish to decontaminate. The product is strong so you don’t have to be wasteful. Just make sure it contacts the entire surface.

3.-Allow the product to dwell for 5 minutes in the shade. Do not allow it to dry in the sun.

On light colored paints you will see the product dissolving ferrous particles as it turns color. On darker colored paints everything is happening in exactly the same way. It’s simply more difficult for you to view the color changing affect. I have read people saying the product works better on lighter colored cars but that is illogical and is not the case. It works the same regardless of car color.

4.-After allowing to dwell take a damp (not soaked) grout or other paint safe sponge (or other media if you prefer) and agitate the surface.

5.-Thoroughly rinse the surface.

Don’t forget to rinse your media out also. I like the idea of having a dedicated Iron X sponge but that isn’t actually necessary and is simply wasteful for many people.


Pros:

1.- Safe for your paint: PH Balanced product is safe for clear coats and other surfaces (See Facts & FAQ below)
2.- Strength and effectiveness: Removes iron particles below the surface that clay leaves embedded in your paint
3.- Saves time: Reduce and in some cases eliminate the time intensive process of using clay. (My best estimate of clay time saved 50%-85%)
4.- Saves clay: Clay can be re-used more times and lasts longer.
5.- Application: Easy

???:

1.- Why are some retailers charging us the same for the Eco Packs as they do for the bottles when they are receiving them form CarPro at a lower cost? Can we get a piece of the money we should be saving by purchasing the pouch please?

Cons:

1.-Cost
2.-Does not replace clay entirely (although in some cases it allows you to skip it)

Final Observations and Summary:

After the wash mitt Iron X is my favorite CarPro product. It does an excellent job of removing iron particles from your paint without simply shaving the tops off like clay does. While clay is still usually useful it takes much less time and effort if you use Iron X first. Your clay will last longer and won’t always be needed on every panel. In situations where organic material like tar is an issue you can use an organic contaminant remover like Tar X to amplify the ease and speed of decontaminating your paint.

That about does it but I have just a couple more things. First is an Iron X FAQ followed by a partial repost of the testing I did for the Tar X review.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

I was planning to do a Q&A with Avi of CarPro but after he posted an article awhile back that went through just about anything I could think of I simply asked him if I could post it here to which he said “No problem”. So in case you haven’t already seen it here you go. Thanks to Avi for the following FAQ.

Iron X Facts and Frequently Asked Questions:

How iron particles appear on your car surface and where?

Iron particles are all around us, and of course on our cars after traveling through the environment. They can be made from your car braking, driving near other cars, big trucks, train rails, industrial zones etc. They adhere to the car surface and once they "stick" to your paint due to there sharp edges together with sunshine they start to bake into the soft car paint layer where they oxidize and rust.

How to prevent iron dust from etching your paint ?

It’s almost impossible to prevent the irons to stick on the surface , but it has been proven that inorganic coatings (such as Cquartz & C1) that have self-cleaning effects can reduce the quantity of iron that adheres to the surface.

How to remove iron particles from surface?

There are few options. Clay bar is one of them however claying will remove most of the irons by shaving them, which leaves some underneath the surface where it cannot reach. Also clay could possibly mar your paint with micro scratches together with the iron it catches.

Another option is by oxalic acid solutions. Though it may remove iron you can’t be sure it is safe on paint, which depends on dilution (low pH ), and it’s not safe to use for your own health and environment.

The third option is by Iron X, a pH neutral product, which reacts only with iron particles which it dissolves.

IronX contains a specific chemical that reacts aggressively with iron… BUT and it’s big but, this chemical is very unstable if not mixed in the right % ,its sensitive to heat as well. This means it can even react with open air and change color to red/purple without any contact with iron!

Why it changes its color ?

Iron X changes color to red/purple when coming in contact with iron particles, this is due to chemical reaction between the chemicals and iron.

However some other products change colors as well. The change in color does not necessarily mean a product is dissolving iron. There are very cheap chemicals that change their character simply by contact with air.

Why the bottle is transparent?

We use transparent bottles so the customers can see if color of liquid has reacted, with the metal spring inside the sprayer or even in the open-air contact,.
Once the color changes it is loosing some of its strength. However with Iron X it is still very strong even if it becomes a pink color.

Why we now use special full plastic spray heads?

In the past we faced complains about the changing color inside the bottle. this was due to the metal spring inside the spray head, which most triggers use including the so-called chemical resistant types. These spring are mostly made in China and have rust on them from their creation. That was why we recently started using only plastic springs inside the triggers. This way no more possibility of reaction with any irons until the product is used.



The new triggers are marked with small stickers on them, to define from old ones.

Will Iron X stain chrome wheels or chrome trims?

No, it’s completely safe to use on any chrome wheels, trim, or bare aluminum wheels. There is only one condition: Do not let it dry under sun light

Will Iron X discolor wheel weights?

Yes, it will. Wheel weights are made from lead, Iron X will change the lead color to green. However light agitation will recover the original color.

Will Iron X affect brake calipers?

For most high end calipers it will not affect them however we have heard from customers in the past that Iron X can affect the paint color of low quality acrylic painted calipers. For this reason we advise you to be more careful not to spray on them.

Will Iron X remove wax from car paint?

Yes, if it’s a highly organic oil type it will affect the wax properties. If it’s a synthetic polymer sealant it won’t affect it much. On Cquartz or other inorganic coatings it won’t affect them at all. In fact it is even recommended for use on them.

Does Iron X remove tar spots as well?

No, Iron X reacts only with iron particles .

Is Iron X safe to use on 3M films venture-shields?

Yes, there is no problem at all using it on clear bra's and others.

Why does it smell so bad?

This is the nature of the chemical used, you cannot avoid this. If it doesn’t smell so strong it means it has very little effect on iron or is a very diluted or inferior formula. We do advise you to use a facemask and latex (or Nitrile) gloves while using Iron X.

Why Iron X has low to medium viscosity?

The viscosity was the struggle between the best impact with iron and the best/safest way to easily remove it from the surface. If you make the product too thick will not react well with iron particles due to the thickener additives. If you make it too thin there will only be a short reaction time, which will leave some iron behind. With Iron X we have attempted to find the sweet spot between these two challenges to hit the center of the target with our solution.

Can I leave Iron X to dry on the surface?

Yes, you can leave Iron X on the surface to dry, but not under direct sunshine! However I don’t suggest you leave any chemical composition to dry.

How can I remove iron in a more economical way?

There are few ways. Buy in bigger size containers if you know you are going to use it more in future. Buy the eco refill packs, these save the cost for the plastic bottle and triggers + it’s weight for delivery.

You don’t need to "soak spray" your car and wheels with Iron X. A light spraying and agitating will do the job as well. Iron X is powerful enough to handle with a few spritz on the surface.

Another option is by using a HVLP (high volume low pressure) gun together with air pressure you can save much of the liquid and spray the surface well.

Use Iron X Soap Gel for maintenance, using it neat on car surface or wheels will be a powerful iron remover with very low consumption however you will need to agitate and leave on the surface to react.

Why Iron X is relatively expensive?

There are a few reasons for that. We use the strongest concentration formula for Iron X and these chemicals are not cheap. Additionally distributing cost must be taken into account though I completely understand the markets need for cheaper cost due to daily use. This is why I am working closely with the chemical suppliers and distributor channels on lowering the cost. I hope we will find the right solution soon to lower the prices further.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to add any comments.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

DECONTAMINATION TEST

This test was created to determine how well Tar X and Iron X remove contaminants and study to what degree they are able to replace claying. I taped off 4 sections when all was said and done (not including the X section you will see in the video).

Setup Before Start of Video




As shown in the following video the process will move from left to right as follows:

1.-Tar X
2.-Iron X
3.-Tar X + Iron X
4.-Nothing

After application, dwelling, and removal of the CarPro decontamination products to the first 3 sections I broke off a small piece of clay and clayed each section.

The following testing and video footage took place over a 25-minute timeframe. The final video has been sped up by increasing the speed of most of the video and cutting out the ”dead time”. The Tar X and Iron X were allowed to dwell 5 minutes +/- before being removed.

Video: Decontamination Test Tar X / Iron X / Clay




Section where Tar X was applied BEFORE CLAYING




Section where Iron X was applied BEFORE CLAYING





Section where BOTH Iron X & Tar X was applied BEFORE CLAYING





Section where neither product was used BEFORE CLAYING


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Old 11-01-2011, 09:29 PM   #4
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

Very thorough, as usual Corey!

Looks like photobucket doesn't like one of your images, though.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:29 PM   #5
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

Wow CEE DOG!!! Thanks for the detailed review!!!!
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

Another amazing review. And as always many people just got poorer.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerogt01 View Post
Very thorough, as usual Corey!

Looks like photobucket doesn't like one of your images, though.
Thanks Kevin! ROFL!! If only you could see the picture. After you pointed that out I went to see what the picture was. Somehow It must think it is a closeup picture of a certain body part with blood on it or something. Its part of the rim with Iron X. That is too funny.

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Originally Posted by smack View Post
Wow CEE DOG!!! Thanks for the detailed review!!!!
Thank you smack!!
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

Pretty sweet review Corey! Thanks for doing this

For a second I thought the picture below said Duragloss

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

Man are you thorough! I'm too tired right now. But, I will be reading through this whole review word for word. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:18 PM   #10
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Re: Review: CarPro Iron X

great timing Corey

something tells me that the iron x bogo will be coming down soon so order quickly people!

Another variable I've found important is the hardness of the clear. This probably affects how easily iron gets embedded into the paint.

Great review as per usual!
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