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  1. #1
    Mike Phillips
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    How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    In the old days, before clearcoat paints were the norm and all new cars and repaints were done using single stage lacquer or enamel, there were some very aggressive one-step cleaner/waxes on the market. In fact, I remember seeing products called compound waxes. These products were basically aggressive compounds with wax in them. In one step they could restore severely oxidized single stage paint job and leave behind a water beading shiny finish.

    Those days and those products are gone since the introduction of modern clear coats. Those types of products would be too aggressive to use on a clear coat finish as they would leave the paint looking scratched and scoured. Thatís not going to win you any customers or friends.

    Because modern clearcoat paints are scratch-sensitive, meaning they scratch easily, and because the scratches are highly visible to the naked eye, manufacturers have toned down the aggressiveness of their one-step cleaner/waxes.



    Your goal
    When doing a one-step, your goal is to use the least aggressive cleaner/wax possible to get the job done because even when using high quality products, pads, tools and techniques, thereís always the risk of leaving micro-marring in the paint.



    The secret to successfully doing one-steps
    The secret to using a one-step cleaner/ wax without micro-marring the paint is to use the softest foam pad you can get away with. When I say,

    Use the softest foam pad you can get away withÖ.


    This means you need to do some testing with both your cleaner/wax and some soft foam polishing or waxing pads and test to see if your softest pad will leave behind a clear, shiny finish without micro-marring or hazing the paint. This means you need to have a selection of soft pads in your pad collection.


    Examples of soft foam pads include,

    Lake Country Hybrid Pads = White & Gray
    Lake Country Flat Pads = White & Gray
    Lake Country CCS Pads = Pink, White, Green, Gray, Blue, Red and Gold.




    Cleaner/Wax Options
    There is no industry standard for categorizing cleaner/waxes by how light or how strong they are as it relates to cleaning ability. Below Iíve included a selection of reputable brands and placed them into one of three different categories.

    I have purposely left out a category for aggressive cleaner/waxes as there arenít any such products that are safe to use on clearcoat finishes. There are aggressive cleaner/waxes in the marine world for gel-coat finishes but thatís another book another day.





    Three categories of cleaner/waxes

    Category #1 - Very Light Cleaning
    Products in this category are for the most part non-abrasive and only offer light chemical cleaning ability. Products in the category are your best bet to remove light surface staining, embedded dirt and light oxidation.

    Example: Klasse All-in-One is a chemical only one-step cleaner/sealant. It doesnít use wax for the protection ingredient but instead uses an acrylic polymer thus the term cleaner/sealant instead of cleaner/wax.

    Recommended Pads: Soft foam waxing or jewelling pads for light cleaning, polishing pads for more neglected surfaces.

    Speed Setting: 3-5



    Category #2 - Light Cleaning
    Combination of both chemical cleaners and fine, ultra fine micro-abrasives. Products I this category are limited in their ability to actually remove below surface defects like swirls and scratches. They can remove shallow depth scratches but not deeper swirls and scratches. You can increase their cutting ability by using more aggressive pads but then you must be watchful that you are not at the same time leaving behind any haze or micro-marring due to the more aggressiveness of the pad. These products do not and are not intended to be major swirl and scratch removers.

    Example: Optimum G-P-S. Optimum G-P-S offers chemical cleaners and micro abrasives for very light cleaning ability.

    Recommended Pads: Soft foam waxing or jewelling pads for light cleaning, polishing pads for more neglected surfaces.

    Speed Setting: 3-5



    Category #3 - Medium Cleaning
    Products in category #3 normally use a combination of both chemical cleaners and abrasives. Cleaner/waxes in this group will offer the most ability to actually remove swirls and scratches via their abrasive technology but they also bring with them the most potential to leave micro-marring in the paint for this same reason.

    Example: Meguiarís D151 Correction CrŤme. D151 offers probably the most ability to remove swirls and scratches while still being safe for factory paints.

    Recommended Pads: Soft foam waxing or jewelling pads for light cleaning, polishing pads for more neglected surfaces. For light colored cars you can get away with foam cutting pads but be aware that just because you donít see haze or micro-marring doesnít mean itís not there.

    Speed Setting: 3-5



    Sage Advice
    If you follow the sage wisdom shared in the philosophy of using the least aggressive product to get the job done you would choose a product in category #1 or #2. The problem with this is that if youíre working on a finish that is neglected, then a product in this category is realistically not aggressive enough to undo years of neglect and create noticeable improvement that will satisfy the expectations of your customers.



    Have a full tool box
    My best advice for doing one-step production work is have a cleaner/wax from each category in your arsenal and always start by doing some testing and inspecting the results before buffing out the entire vehicle. In other words, have a full tool box.




    Category #1 - Very Light Cleaning

    Klasse All-In-One

    Finish Kare #2180 Ultra Polymer Sealant

    Meguiarís Mirror Glaze #21 Synthetic Sealant 2.0

    Meguiarís Mirror Glaze #20 Polymer Sealant




    Category #2 - Light Cleaning

    Optimum G-P-S

    Finish Kare #215 One Step Cleaner Sealant

    Pinnacle XMT 360

    BLACKFIRE Total Polish & Seal

    Meguiarís Mirror Glaze #6 Professional Cleaner Wax

    Griotís Garage One-Step Sealant

    Menzerna Sealing Wax APO

    Dodo Juice Need For Speed Cleaner Wax

    Auto Finesse Tripple Al In One Polish

    3M One Step Cleaner Wax




    Category #3 - Medium Cleaning

    Meguiarís Detailer #D151 Paint Reconditioning Cream

    Meguiarís Mirror Glaze #66 Quick Detailer




    Cleaner/Waxes






  2. #2
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    Re: How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    bump for reference - thanks Mike

  3. #3
    Mike Phillips
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    Re: How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    The key to using one-step cleaner/waxes on neglected cars is to use these types of products heavy or wet.

    It's always stated,

    Apply a thin coat of wax

    And that's true for a non-cleaning LSP that's being applied to paint in perfect condition.

    But when using a one-step cleaner/wax or AIO on neglected paint you want plenty of abrasives, chemical cleaners, cleaning solvents and lubrication to be working for you to undo the damage.

    That's what is meant by using a product heavy or wet.

    Don't overuse a product just don't skimp when using cleaner/waxes. Save the skimping for the thin layer of a show car wax or sealant.



  4. #4
    Super Member Klasse Act's Avatar
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    Re: How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    I for one appreciate this bit of info Mike, thanks!

    Sent from my SPH-M930 using AG Online
    2022 Elantra N Cyber Gray
    Some say..."He likes Swedish fish because they're made with caranuba wax"

  5. #5
    Mike Phillips
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    Re: How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by Klasse Act View Post

    I for one appreciate this bit of info Mike, thanks!
    Thank you.


    The above is actually just a smidgen of a larger project. The above portion answered the questions another member had in another thread.



  6. #6
    Super Member David Hayward's Avatar
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    I just ordered your book the other day. Is there stuff like this in there or does it mostly go over higher end finishing work?

  7. #7
    Super Member Bunky's Avatar
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    Re: How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    There is also Poorboy's Polish with Sealant or Carnauba. Of the above, it seemed to have more but than BF TPnS.
    Al
    The Need to Bead

  8. #8
    Mike Phillips
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    Re: How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by Trutech74 View Post

    I just ordered your book the other day. Is there stuff like this in there or does it mostly go over higher end finishing work?
    Both editions explain how to use both one-step cleaner/waxes and non-cleaning waxes or finishing waxes or finishing sealants.

    The primary difference is,


    With a one-step cleaner/wax, in most cases the whole reason a person would use this category of product is to save time and if detailing for money, to maximize profits.

    Because a one-step cleaner/wax is going to clean, (abrade the finish), you need to use higher speeds and the softest pad you can get away with. (like I explain above).




    With a finishing wax, or a finishing sealant, that is products that don't offer zero cleaning ability, you use lower speeds and the softest pads you can buy because you're not trying to remove defect you're just trying to spread the product out.

    By definition, a non-cleaning product should only be applied to paint that is new or like new. When I say like new, that means "you" or someone has clayed and polished older paint so that it is like new. New paint should be clear, clean and smooth.



    Make sense?


    Please share how you like the book....



  9. #9
    Newbie Member
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    Re: How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    Thanks! Very useful information.

    Sent from my GT-N5120 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Super Member hernandez.art13's Avatar
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    Re: How to choose and use a one-step cleaner/wax by Mike Phillips

    Have any of you guys used this as a 1 step?


    Meguiars DA Microfiber Finishing Wax




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