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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips


    I typed the below answer out to a question in another thread but thought it would make a good article too...



    Here's the rule-of-thumb you want to follow when using any one-step cleaner/wax on clearcoat paints and that is to TRY to stick with foam "polishing" pads.

    Not foam cutting as this can leave pad haze in the paint.

    Not foam finishing as this usually is not aggressive enough to work out below surface defects like swirls and scratches.

    You want to be right in the middle, right in that sweet spot that enables you to actually do ONE STEP as it relates to the steps you do to the paint.

    If you use a cutting pad, in many cases the pad itself will leave marring, especially when you're using a fresh pad. Of course foam softens up as you move around the car so there is some wiggle room BUT here's the deal... if you're leaving pad marring in the paint you will have to re-do the car to remove the marring and now you're back to 2-steps.

    Kind of defeats the purpose to plan for or charge for $$ a one-step and then have to do 2 steps.

    For those of you that detail for money, 2 points.


    1: First when doing a one-step process for a customer DO NOT brag or claim you're going to remove ALL the swirls and scratches. That's not real-world. If a customer wants all the swirls, scratches and water spots removed that's normally a 2 or 3 step process and you should upgrade them to a higher priced package to pay for your time, labor and materials.

    Under promise and over deliver but focus on NOT over promising when selling a one-step process but then do your best and you'll both be happy.



    Here's point 2




    2: When you use a foam cutting pad or even a microfiber cutting pad you are likely going to leave pad haze i.e. micro-marring in the paint.

    Now on lighter colors you might not see it but you can usually see it on black and dark colors and here's the deal... if it's happening on dark colors it's happening on light colors.



    It's not professional to do a one-step process to a car and leave pad haze in the paint. This circles back to point number #1 above.


    So as a rule-of-thumb... when doing one-step procedures or what I always call "Production Detailing", stick with foam "polishing" pads.


    Make sense?



    PLACEHOLDER FOR PICTURES OF COMMON AND POPULAR FOAM "POLISHING" PADS


    Mike Phillips
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    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    Gee, another truism from our leader..... Lol

    SO true. I use HD Speed with orange foam (LC) on my Ram (Chrysler) paint. I find their clear to be on the harder side, and LC white was not quite doing the job that I wanted.

    But, I would never use a yellow LC flat or, God forbid a grey thin pro with Speed.

    Micro fiber would be out of the question.
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

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    Senior Member JRP's Avatar
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    I used Flex 3401 and White Hybrid 5" foam polishing pads with M66 on my daughter`s friend Jeep it turned out great.






    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips-whitleys-jeep-may-2018-jpg  

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    Senior Member LEDetailing's Avatar
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMys View Post
    Gee, another truism from our leader..... Lol

    SO true. I use HD Speed with orange foam (LC) on my Ram (Chrysler) paint. I find their clear to be on the harder side, and LC white was not quite doing the job that I wanted.

    But, I would never use a yellow LC flat or, God forbid a grey thin pro with Speed.

    Micro fiber would be out of the question.
    I too use orange LC pads for all my AIO HD Speed polishing. I am polishing a 2014 Honda CRV tomorrow, I hope black metallic Honda paint responds well. Now the hard part. Remember to take photos.

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  8. #5
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    What if you come across hard paint, where a foam polishing pad isn't doing much correction at all?

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Autogeekonline mobile app
    '03 Corvette Z06

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  10. #6
    Senior Member MTLean's Avatar
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    Great point Mike!

    When doing a one-step process I usually go Lake Country Orange CSS pads mixing a few dabs of m105/205 and get a very satisfactory result (less dust from the 105 with a nice 205 finish). But I top it with a LSP therefore not a real AIO

    Which AIO product yields the best results for you (maximum swirl removal + protection)?

  11. #7
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    I have learned from experience than a one step is an improvement and not perfection.

    I feel, generally speaking, that most people prefer glossy with some swirls and RIDS Over a dullish looking finish.
    Jim

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  13. #8
    Senior Member TTQ B4U's Avatar
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Oldz View Post
    I have learned from experience than a one step is an improvement and not perfection.

    I feel, generally speaking, that most people prefer glossy with some swirls and RIDS Over a dullish looking finish.
    Well stated. To most average people the latter is very true and acceptable. the way I phrase it in my basic clean up package is that it's a perfect to keep your paint looking clean and shine nicely while reducing the day to day scuffs from the paint finish. It is not a paint correction package but it in many cases it will reduce the appearance of swirls and scratches.

  14. #9
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by WRAPT C5Z06 View Post

    What if you come across hard paint, where a foam polishing pad isn't doing much correction at all?

    What's the goal?

    Here's what I'm trying to share...


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips

    First when doing a one-step process for a customer DO NOT brag or claim you're going to remove ALL the swirls and scratches. That's not real-world. If a customer wants all the swirls, scratches and water spots removed that's normally a 2 or 3 step process and you should upgrade them to a higher priced package to pay for your time, labor and materials.

    Under promise and over deliver but focus on NOT over promising when selling a one-step process but then do your best and you'll both be happy.

    If you're doing this for MONEY and you're PRICING to do the job in the TIME it will take you to go around the car ONE TIME, then wipe off and you're done, then you stick to what you promised and that is your one-step procedure will NOT remove all the swirls and scratches.

    If the paint is hard and the defects are deep you figure that out when you're talking to your customer by inspecting the paint and then doing a TEST SPOT.


    Here's the problem and I know that of which I speak from real-world experience. Of course of foam cutting pad will do more correction but like I said, there's a good chance it's going to leave micro-marring or what I call pad haze in the paint. And again for anyone that scanned my first post instead of reading it, on light colored cars you might not see the haze but that doesn't mean it's not there.

    If you haze the paint, then you must remove the haze, now you're back to a minimum 2-step process that you're not charging for time, materials and labor.


    Make sense?

    If you come across a car that a foam pad is not cutting it, (no pad intended), you can re-negotiate with your customer or if it's about your reputation, inclination or ego, go ahead and do two steps... I know I have.



    Now if it's your own car and your own time, materials and labor you can spend all day on it.


    The BIG PICTURE I'm trying to share with everyone and anyone is when doing a one-step detail job, as a RULE-OF-THUMB (not cast in stone), try to stick with foam polishing pads.


    I share this because I've been doing this a long time and I'm telling everyone... there is such a thing as pad haze, that's where it is the PAD and not the product that can leave the paint looking hazy via micro-marring and to get REAL the word micro-marring is the kinder, gentler word for SCRATCHING.


    You and anyone can of course do one-steps with foam cutting pads or even microfiber pads, (I would NEVER use a microfiber pad for a one-step), some of you are more experienced, but for anyone just starting out.... all you have to do is buff out a car ONE TIME with a foam cutting pad and your favorite AIO and then after wiping it off, throw the light from a good swirl finder onto the panels and see the pad haze and then let it sink in before you can give the car back to the customer you're going to have to 100% go back and buff out the entire car to remove the haze.

    So work smarter.... not harder.... and be upfront with your customer.

    If you customer wants the majority of the swirls and scratches removed let them know that's a 2-STEP PROCESS for THEIR car. And also dive deep and let them know the root cause of the problem, that is the root cause of why the paint needs 2-steps is due to how the car has been treated or as I always type, how the car has been "touched".


    Hope that helps and good questions Mark. Questions like that keep my typing skills sharp as anyone can throw out a one-liner, especially on Facebook, but to type out in-depth information that is accurate and will stand the test of time is a learned skill just like using a polisher.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  15. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Good rule of thumb when using an AIO - stick with foam polishing pads by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDetailing View Post

    I too use orange LC pads for all my AIO HD Speed polishing.

    I too use LC orange foam cutting pads with one-step cleaner/waxes and sometimes you can get away with it but you won't know unless you inspect and if you really want to see what's going on at the surface level then chemically strip the paint and inspect with a SCANGRIP Sunmatch Swirl Finder Light or some other strong swirl finder light.

    Also - When a foam "cutting" pad is clean and DRY it is its sharpest and this is when it is more likely to cut the paint and haze it. As you work around the car with the same pad the pad will become soggy or wet or saturated with product and the foam will become softer and broke-in. At this point you're probably using a pad closer to a "polishing" pad and no longer a "cutting" pad.

    This is also where some seasoned detailers and also newbies get lucky because they don't have a lot of pads so they can switch out to a fresh DRY foam cutting pad for each panel. The lack of pads keeps them safe and they may read what I've written and think I don't know what I'm talking about. But I have the pad resources to switch over to a DRY foam "cutting" pad for each panel and I'm telling everyone, there is such a thing as pad haze and it can and will bit you in the behind some day.


    Quote Originally Posted by LEDetailing View Post

    I am polishing a 2014 Honda CRV tomorrow, I hope black metallic Honda paint responds well.
    I've only owned one black Honda, it was a 2004 Honda Pilot in Nighthawk Black Pearl and the paint was very soft. I can tell you straight-up if I were to use a dry foam cutting pad with a product like Speed or BLACKFIRE One Step, the pad would leave pad haze.




    Quote Originally Posted by LEDetailing View Post

    Now the hard part. Remember to take photos.
    Tie a string around your finger?


    Mike Phillips
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