I finally had a day open yesterday to go to work on the Lexus. Didn't have to to get a coat of the black fire on, but got it washed, coated, corrected, and polished. Finally wrapped things up around midnight last night.
I struggled with pad cleaning as well. Some detergents cleaned the pads ok but left a mess of compound behind. Tried Snappy Clean this weekend and it works well - the stuff on the pads is just gone. Regular detergent doesn't seem to break down the oils well enough, especially in cold water.
Like an idiot I stuck my un-gloved hand in the Snappy Clean water to agitate my pads. About 30 mins later my hand was very desiccated looking. The only other time I've seen something suck the oils out of my skin that quickly was when using trisodium phosphate (TSP). TSP is an excellent cleaner but pretty nasty stuff for your skin - it will dissolve the fat/oils right out of it. Looked up the MSDS for Snappy - it's up to 30% disodium metasilicate. Google told me it's apparently commonly used as a non-phosphate replacement for TSP. (Extra info for the extra curious and nerdy.)