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  1. #1
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    My white pad turned black!

    I am a hobbyist working on my technique and acquiring products. After getting some confidence in polishing when I polished the haze off my headlights - I was quite proud of the results, I decided to try polishing paint. As I am responsible for 3 cars in my garage, 1 of which belongs to my mother in law, I decided hers would be the car I would practice on because she would never notice disappointing results.

    Her car is a white 2008 Honda Civic that has been garaged its whole life but cleaning it has mostly been by her (using drive through car washes). After she returned from a road trip a few months ago, I washed her car. I use the 2 bucket method and her paint turned my wash mitt black! It was odd, her paint really didn't look that dirty. It was then that I taped off half the hood of her car, clayed and polished it using a PC DA polisher with a white pad and an orange pad with Meguire's Ultimate Polish that I've had for years.

    The result was surprising. The half of the hood I didn't polish looked greyish next to the polished side. I did some research and learned about paint staining. Even though it's not my car, my knowing that I could improve the paint that much made it imperative that I do it. I ordered more pads and a few weeks later I got to it. I clayed the whole car and used the same polish with my new white LC pads and one of my used white pads (hex logic).

    I used my new pads on all the panels except the roof where I used that hex logic pad. In just polishing the roof, it literally turned my pad black! I don't know why that was the only pad to turn black, whether the roof was that much dirtier compared to the rest of the car or because the pad had been previously used and perhaps I didn't clean it well enough.

    After polishing, I topped it with WGDG paint sealant. The paint isn't perfect and swirl free but it's a huge improvement and MIL is impressed.

    Does anyone have any idea why that pad turned black? I want to use those pads to polish my cars now but if the community concludes it turned black do to my poor pad cleaning, I've got to rectify that first.

  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: My white pad turned black!

    Thank you for sharing, one word...


    Vindicated


    What you are seeing is called,

    Road Film

    See my articles here, this first one is also one of the oldest vb articles I've written.

    The Lesson White Paint Teaches Us


    Road Film - If you drive your car in the rain your car has road film


    Picture of Road Film Dirt Stained Paint Ceramic Coating

    The case against multi-year ceramic paint coatings - Road Grime = Surface Staining Daily Drivers by Mike Phillips




    How to remove stains and embedded dirt out of paint

    The dirt you see on the pad in my hand... (the pad started out white)






    What you're seeing is normal for a daily driver.

    This is why once in a while all daily drivers need to have "something" done to the paint besides washing.

    Use a compound
    Use a polish
    Use a paint cleaner
    Use a one-step cleaner/wax
    Use an AIO

    Use something! Besides just washing the car.

    My guess is the car literally changed colors.

    This is also why I'm not a believer in MULTI-YEAR paint coatings when they are being used on daily drivers.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    My white pad turned black!

    It couldíve turned black due to a number of things, usually itís because the pad comes in contact with rubber trim alongside the sunroof or around the windows, etc. Add that up with the cleaning of the paint thatís happening and you could wind up with a black pad in a matter of seconds.

    Iíve turned a bunch of pads black throughout my time... Hereís just 1 example. The black stained pad is actually clean.. Well itís as clean as itís going to get because itís stained, but it doesnít mean itís not good enough to still be used whenever I need it.



    I forgot what I used that pad for... But I do know it was some extreme stuff, probably trying to polish some bare aluminum because all I remember was it was solid black when I was done. Lol.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MarkD51's Avatar
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    Re: My white pad turned black!

    Howdy,
    Not sure why, possibility of various contaminants on the paint? I've seen some polishes-products go dark looking just from working them. At least it's appeared that way to me. (Aluminum Oxides?)

    I'm not trying to sound like some Autogeek Salesman here, but have you ever tried dedicated Pad Cleaners on your Pads?

    When I got back into this game with a D/A and the Foam Polishing Pads some years ago, I bought many of the basics that I thought I needed most, and purchased by priority.

    I thought that it wasn't really necessary for me to waste money of the many "frills" sold here such as some things like Pad Cleaners and Conditioners. Figured for Pad Cleaning, that some All Purpose Cleaner, Simple Green, Purple Power, LA's Totally Awesone, etc., would get me by just fine.

    But one day when ordering and feeling "rich" that particular day, I decided to buy some of the extra frills, and loaded my cart up with some extra products, just to sort of fill out my detailing arsenal some, and having the feeling like I've got all the bases covered.

    It was I believe the Wolfgang Pad Cleaner I first bought. After a detailing run later in time, and a bunch of filthy Pads to clean, I'm starting to go about it my regular way, when I remembered I had theis Pad Cleaner on hand. Surely didn't buy such to look at, so out it came.

    I was pleasantly surprised at just how well it worked. I immediately noticed how much easier the Pads were coming clean, virtually like they hadn't even been used. Another quality I noticed was there didn't seem to be the soap suds for days when then trying to rinse the soaps out, they rinsed clean much faster as well.

    After seeing that, I then decided to try them on some supposedly older cleaned Pads of mine, and yep, they came up much cleaner as well.

    About the only downside is that this particular cleaner is a little bit more expensive than off the shelf APCs. I concluded that such cleaners are a necessary evil if you want truly clean Pads.

    Others might be able to suggest-recommend other less expensive products sold here which work comparably well to like the PBMG House Brand Pad Cleaners?

    I've continue to use the Wolfgang or Blackfire Pad Cleaners with satisfactory results.

    Wolfgang Pad Werks Polishing Pad Cleaner

  5. #5
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    Re: My white pad turned black!

    Wow! Lots of good information here. I believe those links Mike provided are the threads I found when I was trying to figure out what was going with the paint staining.

    The pad cleaner I use now came in a kit I bought when I was starting to get more serious in this hobby. It does foam a lot and knowing what I know now about Wolfgang products, I am very receptive to MarkD51's recommendation for their pad cleaner. I will add that to my wishlist.

    It's one thing I love about this forum is the TON's of information and experience available here for a fairly inexperienced hobbyist like myself to pour over for hours on end. When I talk detailing to regular people, I can tell they really couldn't care less so it's great to have a resource like AGO to shop, research and exchange ideas/experiences with like minded folks. Thanks!

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  7. #6
    Senior Member MarkD51's Avatar
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    Re: My white pad turned black!

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostwrench View Post
    Wow! Lots of good information here. I believe those links Mike provided are the threads I found when I was trying to figure out what was going with the paint staining.

    The pad cleaner I use now came in a kit I bought when I was starting to get more serious in this hobby. It does foam a lot and knowing what I know now about Wolfgang products, I am very receptive to MarkD51's recommendation for their pad cleaner. I will add that to my wishlist.

    It's one thing I love about this forum is the TON's of information and experience available here for a fairly inexperienced hobbyist like myself to pour over for hours on end. When I talk detailing to regular people, I can tell they really couldn't care less so it's great to have a resource like AGO to shop, research and exchange ideas/experiences with like minded folks. Thanks!
    Not to deter you from trying Wolfgang Pad Cleaner, but as I said it is a little pricey.

    I note Wolfgang's Pad Cleaner is normally $15.99 for a 16oz Bottle, yet Blackfire's Pad Cleaner is $19.99 for 32oz, thus appearing to be a better buy in my eyes. How much difference is there between the two? I honestly cannot say, but they may possibly be one and the same being that both are PBMG-Autogeek House Brand products.

    I am a huge Wolfgang Fan, have yet to find one product that didn't impress me, their polishes, sealants, trim products, on and on.
    But lately I have been coming over to the "Blackfire Side", and have been just as impressed. Their Interior Cleaner and Interior Multi-Protectant comes to mind as two, both top notch.

    In my spare time, I might go ahead and do a search on this forum about Pad Cleaners. Being here about 7 or so years now, I'm thinking that I recall seeing some threads about such, and folks commenting which products they liked, and why.

    If I should possibly find unsatisfying search results, I might be inclined to start another thread myself. And as well you may certainly pose such questions yourself, this in one great place to be for everything detailing related, with countless great members who help and have great experience, many who have much more experience and expertise than myself.

    Top notch professionals who probably do more work, and go through more product in one week, than I go through in one year..

    One other thing I liked about these Pad Cleaners. Was that I also found they did an excellent job of removing the tougher stubborn stains on my good MF Towels that other cleaners left behind.

  8. #7
    Senior Member MarkD51's Avatar
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    Re: My white pad turned black!

    Just as I thought, probably hours worth of good educational reading about Pad Cleaners right here!

    Cleaning Polishing Pads? | Stop DAMAGING Your Most Expensive Investment | McKee's 37 Polishing Pad Cleaner Review

    I browsed through much of this thread just now. Looks like many like the McKee's Pad Cleaner.
    Next time I need such, I'll probably order the McKee's and looks like the best bang for the dollar is the one gallon size.

  9. #8
    Senior Member BSoares's Avatar
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    Re: My white pad turned black!

    What color is the car? There’s also a chance that if it’s a black car and has been repainted with single stage then you’re seeing that.
    But road film or picking up dirt from trim/seal is more likely.
    Bruno Soares


  10. #9
    Senior Member MarkD51's Avatar
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    Re: My white pad turned black!

    Quote Originally Posted by BSoares View Post
    What color is the car? There’s also a chance that if it’s a black car and has been repainted with single stage then you’re seeing that.
    But road film or picking up dirt from trim/seal is more likely.
    White 2008 Honda Civic

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  12. #10
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    Re: My white pad turned black!

    Did you clay the roof also? If so, did the clay pick up a lot of dirt?

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