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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?


    Lake Country 5.5" Flat Foam Buffing Pads

    [img]http://www.autogeekonline.net/gallery/data/811/5_5FlatPads01.jpg[/img

    Yellow = Aggressive cutting
    Orange = Cutting
    White = Polishing
    Black = Finishing
    Blue = Waxing




    So what's the deal?

    After sending out a recent Autogeek Newsletter on all the various types of polishers available, we received a GREAT related question about why there isn't some form of universal color coding for buffing pads?

    That's a great question. And when I wrote my first how-to book and the second edition of this how-too book I included 20 PAGES on just buffing pads. (The second edition is 152 pages long so there's TONS of other great information besides information on buffing pads).


    And being in this industry for 30+ years now I know there's a LOT of confusion over the different types of buffing pads. Part of the confusing is there is no universal color code for pads.

    Kind of like the battery cables on your car.


    Red = Positive.

    Black = Negative.


    And this hold true for any modern car build anywhere in the world. This information is very important if you ever have to replace a batter or use a set of jumper cables to jump start a car with a dead battery.



    No Pad Police
    I guess the reason there's no universal color code is there's simply no legal ruling authority when it comes to these types of issues. Each company is free to do as they will. Most pad manufactures are competing with one another and I guess there's no compelling reason to get together at the National Pad Manufacture Conference held each year in Vegas, (kind of like the Plumber's Union Conference), and come to any sort of agreement like,

    • Maroon = cutting
    • White = polishing
    • Black = finishing
    • Blue = waxing




    And so on and so on and so on...


    Because I know there has never been any agreement on color coding in the past and I doubt there will ever be any UNIFORM color coding moving into the future, when I wrote my how-to book I did address it and I addressed it like this.

    Foam Pad Color Coding

    Each pad manufacturer uses a different color coding system for the pads they manufacture. Even inside a single company's pad lines, there can be confusion. Since pad options are continually changing, the best thing to do is to post any questions you have to the AutogeekOnline.net discussion forum.


    And then when people e-mail me questions instead of asking on the forum, instead of answering for one set of eye balls, I take questions and turn them into articles and answer the questions for the person that asked and for everyone that is thinking the same questions but for whatever reason - does not ask it. Then I send the person the link to the article I created on the forum.


    You can find this info on page 85 in The Complete Guide to a Show Car Shine











    I think when I wrote the original copy for this section it actually included,

    "I could probably write an entire book that includes every pad and or pad line and the color code but it would be out of date by the time it was published"


    So the best thing to do if you have questions about what pad does what is to,


    1: Send Autogeek or myself an e-mail.

    2: Join the Autogeek car detailing discussion forum and start a thread asking your question - click here to join it's free

    3: Call our Customer Care Hotline and ask one of our friendly Customer Care Staff at 1-800-869-3011



    All our customer care staff have taken our 3-day car detailing class and have also read this book so they will likely give you the same answer I provided above BUT they can also then help you to get the right pads you need for your detailing project.


    And if you're interested in The Complete Guide to a Show Car Shine or any of my how-to books, the link is below...

    Note some are paperback, some are ibooks and some are ebooks...





    On Autogeek.com


    Mike Phillips Detailing Books



    I hope that answers the basic question.

    I was also asked if I could write an article that covers all the current foam pads options and the answer is "yes" but my schedule is so full right now and will be until after my 3-day class in February.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  2. Thanks TiCaLLioNStaLLyN thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member FUNX650's Avatar
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    IMO:
    So many aspects of “Detailing”
    needs to be standardized.




    Bob
    "Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk."
    ~Joaquin de Setanti

  4. Likes Jim w liked this post
  5. #3
    Senior Member Desertnate's Avatar
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    Thanks, Mike.

    This was one of the most confusing things for me when I graduated from the terrible Harbor Freight pads I first used with my polisher. I can understand each vendor having a different color scheme, but when one vendor isn't consistent, it drives me nuts. I use Lake Country pads and while the white, orange, and black pads are pretty consistent between the Thin Pro and Flat pads, each line adds a different color on the "extream" of the pad line; i.e. yellow, gray, red for cutting and finishing. The Hyrdotech pads use three similar colors, but for totally different purposes; i.e. blue is for cutting while its waxing on the flat pads.

    The lack of any documentation showing equivalency is also frustrating. At this point I've become pretty familiar with Lake Country, but if my DA ever dies I'm going straight to Griots for my next tool. That will most likely launch me into their world of pads and I'll be rather lost.

    Thanks goodness for this forum!
    Drop by to see the latest at The Car Geek Blog

  6. #4
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    I am new to all this, and have this same question about pads. I also have the same question about compounds, polishes, etc.

    I have been toying with the idea of a cross reference chart - Purpose (like aggressive cutting, polishing, etc.) across the top, and then each manufacturer's lines in the rows. The problem is I can't do this from experience, it would have to be investigative. But if I find myself with nothing to do (no car to care for and no hockey game on), I just might start something like this. If I do, I'll certainly share and ask for comments, corrections, or additions.

  7. #5
    Member andy0902's Avatar
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    Such a chart exists on AutoGeek's sister site Autopia:

    https://www.autopia.org/forums/paint...son-chart.html

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  9. #6
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    That looks great for the products. It will be very helpful.

    Does such a chart exist for pads? That's what I was going to work on.

    Thanks for the info and the link!

  10. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertnate View Post

    Thanks goodness for this forum!



    And what's posted here endures over time and can be easily found and shared over and over again.


    At this point in time, you just can't say that about other social media touch points.


    Me? I like doing things once and doing it right the first time.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  11. #8
    Senior Member JustJesus's Avatar
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    Quote Originally Posted by mk9750 View Post
    That looks great for the products. It will be very helpful.

    Does such a chart exist for pads? That's what I was going to work on.

    Thanks for the info and the link!

    Such a chart does exist, but it is very old now. I'm not even sure where to find it. But it's very old.

    I had started making something myself, but more inline with pad options and costs, and posted on the sister site. Lack of response, I threw out the project.

  12. #9
    Senior Member brettS4's Avatar
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    The reason there is no standard color assignment for pads is because that would make it easy for the consumer to mix pads from different manufacturers. Having a unique color pattern makes it harder to compare across brands and causes the buyer to focus on one particular brand at a time. altho that might not be their full intent when selecting colors. But I'm pretty sure they aren't going to go out of their way to standardize among each other specifically because of that.

    But it would be nice if they at least standardized across their own product lines.

  13. #10
    Senior Member theamcguy's Avatar
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    Re: Why isn't there a universal color code for buffing pads?

    Quote Originally Posted by brettS4 View Post
    The reason there is no standard color assignment for pads is because that would make it easy for the consumer to mix pads from different manufacturers. Having a unique color pattern makes it harder to compare across brands and causes the buyer to focus on one particular brand at a time. altho that might not be their full intent when selecting colors. But I'm pretty sure they aren't going to go out of their way to standardize among each other specifically because of that.

    But it would be nice if they at least standardized across their own product lines.
    Makes sense. Might also increase counterfeiting of pads.
    Bill Strobel
    Owner Independent Towing & Repair
    Fayetteville, NC
    Do It Right or Don't Do It At All

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