My Car Care Tips
Preparing your paint prior
to applying any wax or products is very important - check that
- it's the most important step. If your paint has contaminents
from acid rain, from road tar, from insetcs - adding wax on top
of it just seals it all in.
To prep the paint requires
removing these contaminents effectively without doing further
damage to the paint. Using a ClayBar is a proven method to removing
If you are looking for
the ultimate paint surface preparation. Use Zaino Z-18 ClayBar!
Zaino Z-18 ClayBar was
designed to remove airborne contaminants, paint overspray, water
spots, rail dust, industrial fallout, diesel fuel & catalytic
converter residue and any other bonded surface contaminants from
paint. All cars even brand new factory paint has airborne contaminants.
The non-abrasive Z-18 ClayBar will remove any surface contaminants
from the paint finish and not hurt the clear-coat. The ClayBar
will get that paint finish smooth as glass. Now remember waterspots,
bird droppings and bug guts, if left on the paint finish for
any length of time, will etch into the paint finish. The ClayBar
will also help remove any waxes that may have been applied.
I recommend you use Zaino car wash (Z-7) as a lubricant for the
ClayBar. Just make sure to keep the surface area well lubricated
while using the ClayBar. Use 1/2 capful of Z-7 Car Wash to 12
ounces of water. You can use a spray bottle for the mix. Shake
it up and spray the area to be clayed.
Take a piece of the ClayBar
and stretch it -flatten it so it is a thin square shape. Spray
the bar with your lubricant solution and then work on a small
area of the paint using a gentle back and forth motion. The ClayBar
should glide smoothly with almost little resistance. Don't be
alarmed if you hear the claybar scratching - it's picking up
contaminants. You will also see some very light clay residue
on the area you have worked. Continue the ClayBar Process until
all painted areas have been clayed.
Once you have completed
the ClayBar Process - you will need to wash off the ClayBar residue
with zaino Car Wash Z-7 prior to performing any additional steps.
Do not use the clay bar without lubricant.
If you feel the claybar drag at all - stop and add lubricant.
Do not set the claybar on the ground or
work bench. If you do or if the claybar falls out of your hands
and touches the ground - you need to throw it out. The risk of
the claybar picking up some sand or grit to possibly damage your
paint if too great and not worth the price of the claybar.
Do put the claybar inside a new ziplock bag or plastic
container. The zip lock bag will help seal the claybar for future
Tip - You can use the clay bar on your
windshield to make it smooth as silk. Just use the same procedure
as for paint. You will be amazed with the results.
How hard can washing your
car be? It's not hard to do, but can be hard to do right.
The tools to help you do
a good are...
A dedicated wash bucket - a bucket that will only be used for
car wash soap. Not cleaning the floors or windows with mixtures
from Mr. Clean to Windex etc.
A good quality car wash
mitt - I prefer the lambswool mitt.
Two or three large microfibre
Always rinse off as much
crud, grime, bugs, mud etc that you can before touching the paint.
The more you get get off with a spray of water the less chance
you have of swirling the paint with dirt.
Make sure to prepare a
very sudsy car wash solution and begin at the roof line and work
my way down. If the vehicle is very dirty ensure that you shake
the dirt off in the wash bucket before continuing washing the
vehicle. If the water in your bucket gets dirty - dump it and
prepare a new clean bucket of car wash solution.
I prefer to wash down a
section of the vehicle and then rinse off that section with clean
water. This way the soap doesn't dry on the paint prior to being
rinsed. It minimizes soap film on the paint and saves some effort
Once the entire vehicle
has been washed and rinsed - go over it again with a nice spray
The next step is to use
some large microfibre towels to dry the vehicle. Two towels is
required for the average vehicle - larger vehicles will require
three. This step ensures almost no water spots or streaks on
the paint. For many people - this step will produce results goow
enough to stop there and enjoy a beautiful clean vehicle.
This would be a good time
to detail the tires and rims and consider a nice coat of wax
or paint polish.
You can even get some that
have a tray on the bottom to help keep the grit at the bottom
from contaminating the wash mitt. Some prefer the double pail
Tip - Every year buy a new wash mitt
to use on your paint surfaces. Last's years mitt can be used
for wheels and undercarriage areas. This way you can help assure
that you don't do damage to your paint with some grit that may
still be left in your wash mitt.
Before using Zaino products - or converting to Zaino products
- I would recommend you remove the wax buildup on your paint.
A quick way to do this is to use Liquid Dawn (hand dishwashing
liquid) as a car wash. It has a high alkaline content which cuts
right thru carnuba wax, paraffin, silicone oils, etc.
This will get your paint finish squeeky clean and wax free.
I don't advise making a habit of washing your car with Dawn.
But for this scenario it's fine. High alkaline products like
Dawn are tough on polishes. It will never harm the paint finish
though. A car wash is made specifically to clean without removing
Make sure you remove any water spots, before you apply zaino
products. Zaino has no abrasives or harsh solvents so it will
not remove water spots or stains. Z-18 ClayBar is great for removing
any paint surface contaminants.
the Zaino Routine
Each ZFX kit comes with
a 2ml vial of accelerator mix and several 2 ounce mixing bottles.
A single ZFX kit provides enough mix to accommodate 16
ounces of Zaino Show Car Polish.
Pour one to two ounces of Show Car Polish into a 2 ounce mixing
bottle. For each ounce of polish ( Z-2, Z-3 or Z-5), add
4 to 5 drops of ZFX (no more than 10 drops for two full ounces),
screw the cap back on, and shake vigorously for 60 to 90 seconds.
While you get your towels and applicators ready, allow the ZFX
enabled Zaino Show Car Polish to sit for five minutes so the
ZFX can begin activating the polish. Give the applicator
bottle a final shake for 10 seconds before using.
Follow these easy steps:
1. Apply Zaino Show
Car Polish enabled with ZFX with a microfibre applicator or microfibre
towel. Use the polish sparingly. A small amount goes
a long way, and you will be applying multiple coats.
2. Squirt a dime size dab of polish on your applicator and rub
it into your paint using circular hand motions. Then, go
over the same area using a straight back and forth motion on
top panels and an up and down motion on side panels. Allow
the polish to haze over (20 minutes is sufficient).
3. Buff off the Show Car Polish residue with a high quality,
microfibre detailing towel.
4. After buffing, spray the car with a light mist of Z-6 Ultra
Clean detailing spray. Z-6 will help buff away any remaining
residue and enhances the brightness of the finish. Using
Z-6, the next coat of Zaino Show Car Polish will apply even easier.
Zaino Z-5 is the Hot ticket
for a swirl free, flawless paint finish. Usually one to three
coats will accomplish that. Let Z-5 or Z-2 polish dry at least
Please note: Zaino Show Car Polish works best
at 60 degrees or higher. However, it can be applied down to temperatures
of 45 degrees. It just will take much, much longer to dry. As
much as two to three hours drying time is required if the temperature
is 50 degrees or below. Also, If the humidity is high. Longer
drying time is necessary. Humidity is a killer on the drying
time of Z-2 or Z-5. The moisture in the air hinders drying time
up to four times longer than normal.
When you try to remove
Z-2 or Z-5 when it is still wet all you're accomplishing is moving
it around. Kinda like reapplying it. Also you need to use a micofibre
towel to remove Z-2 or Z-5. Smaller towels will not work efficiently.
Tip - Once the routine is started your
regular maintenance will be simplyfied to washing and alternating
between Z-2 and Z-5 with the use of Z-6 Detail Spray in between
It's a great product -
make sure you get the original. It saves so many carwashes each
year. The duster is great for removing dust it is also great
for removing the residuals from after a rain.
Please note that he Calfornia Duster is not to be used when the
vehicle is wet .
The more you use it and
the dirtier it looks the better it works. I have used the same
duster for four years and it's still working well. I have a smaller
one that I use to dust the interior.
When using the duster I
recommend short strokes in straight lines. I shake the duster
( away from the vehicle) after a few strokes. You can use it
on glass as well.
Do not use the duster to
rub out dirt on the paint. It is not an eraser. If there's still
dirt left after a gentle wipe with the duster, than you may need
to wash the vehicle. In some instances a spray with a detail
spray may be enough.
The duster has a coating
of wax on the strands that help capture the dust from the vehicle.
This wax will leave tiny streaks on the paint which will be fine
if you are in a rush. If you're preparing for a show - then you
will need to quickly go over the paint with the Z-6 Detail Spray
and voila! - Instant show quality clean vehicle without a car
Products: California Car Duster, Zaino Z-6
Unless you have a high
level of trust with a detailer - and knoiw that it will be them
specifically that will be working on your vehicle's paint - I
would pass on having someone power polish your ride.
If you go to places that
you drop the keys off - you are more than likely going to have
soemone earning 10 dollars an hour work on your vehicle's paint.
I just wouldn't risk it.
Cable Orbital Polisher
The Porter Cable Polisher
7424 is probably the best non-professional polisher out there.
You can produce professional results at home without the risks associated
with high speed polishers. The Random-Orbit action of this
polisher produces safe but effective results enthusiasts crave!
This polisher will create a swirl free mirror shine in a fraction
of time hand application would take. Its action will not create
heat required to accidentally burn through paint guaranteeing
only positive results. It will not create buffer haze, holograms
or any other undesirable effects rotary polishers will. Remove
swirls, scratches, stains and other defects permanently.
Combining the Porter Cable with Z-PC will provide you with amazing
results safely without risk to your paint.
Products: Porter Cable 7424, Zaino Z-PC
Detailing the Engine Bay
Many people ignore this
because it involves grease and wires and it's so messy they don't
know where to start.
Make sure your engine is
You need to take some steps
prior to washing. Cover up electrical areas, filters etc before
I've always covered the
battery, air filter, the fuse box, the air filter (if it's an
open element), and the alternator. The Glad brand elasticized
quick covers that are a plastic celophane wrap with elastic in
the edge, for covering leftovers, work best for covering up the
fuse box, alternator and such then plastic grocery bag over the
battery & intake filter.
On a COLD engine, lightly
spray everything down NO Pressure wash, then spray the Simple
Green on everything EXCEPT the paint. Let it sit for 5-10 mins,
then rince it all off - again with low pressure on the garden
hose. Can repeat if necessary on some stubborn areas.
Prepare CarWash by pouring
some Z7 in a bucket and spraying with water to make it nice and
sudsy. Use an old wash mitt - or a mitt that will not be used
to wash painted surfaces - to start washing the engine bay. Try
and get the wash mitt in the hard to reach areas as best you
can. make sure you scrub the hoses as well. Rinse off the soap.
Check to see if any areas have been missed.
Get a leaf blower or air
compressor, and blow off majority of the water. Take the truck
for a long drive to evaporate off any other water puddles.
This next step takes your engine bay to the next level and is
a great way to prepare for a show and shine.
Take a smaller microfibre hand towel and lightly dampen it with
water. It should feel moist or damp not dripping wet. Now take
some Vinylex and spray the towel all over. Lightly wipe the towel
throughout the engine bay focusing on the rubber, vinyl and plastic
If you like the wet look - leave the engine bay to air dry. If
you like less shine then use a second microfibre hand towel to
lightly buff out the wet areas.
When its dry everything
will have a nice deep sheen to it looking better than brand new
thanks to the Vinylex, and because it's not greasy it'll stay
cleaner for longer.
Don't forget to use Z6
detail spray for all the painted areas including the underside
of the hood and seems along the quarter panels.
Any billet or chrome should
be touched up with a billet or chrome cleaner such as Mother's
Your engine bay has never
looked so good.
Products: Simple Green (or Castrol Super
Clean), Vinylex, Zaino Z-6, Mothers Billet Polish
Detailing your tires
There's plenty of producsts
on the market to dress your tires.
Many are loaded with silicone
oil. They are very greasy, oily and messy. They attract dirt
and dust like a magnet, offer no UV protection, can cause tire
deterioration, give an unrealistic gloss and wash off as soon
as the tire gets wet. The tire dressing, always slings and gets
onto the wheels and surrounding paint surface and causes discoloration
and staining. Zaino Z-16 Perfect Tire Gloss is a non-oily, non-greasy,
rubber protectant and finishing treatment.
Its unique formula with
Ultra-Gard UV(40) and antistatic properties prevent drying,
cracking, browning and repels dust and dirt. Z-16 leaves an incredibly
durable, water repellent, perfect looking satin finish, that's
only slightly glossy and dry to the touch. Use on all exterior
rubber, tires, moldings, plastic trim, weatherstripping, underhood
hoses and more. Just wet a sponge with Z-16 and apply to the
surface to be treated and let dry. It will last thru rain and
multiple washings. Z-16 is very durable and will last an average
of 3 to 4 weeks on an outdoor car. Z-16 is not recommended for
interior seats or vinyl tops.
The rims can be detailed
as well with appropriate products. Once the wheels are clean,
I use zaino Z-2 to put a protective coating of wax on the wheels.
I follow this up with a light spray of Zaino Clear Seal Z-CS
to protect the rims from brake dust and road grime. It allows
the wheels to stay brighter and cleaner longer. A quick cleaning
with Z-6 Detailer can quickly bring the rims back to life.
Products: Zaino Z-16, Zaino Z-2, Zaino Z-CS,
Tip - Do you see the inside wheelwells
and how they look dirty even after you've washed in there? Go
one step further after you detail your tires. Get an old shop
rag ( lint free). Saturate that rag with Mother's Protectant
and now wipe the inside of the wheel wells. It will go shiny
black and stay that way. It can be messy so wear some plastic/vinyl
gloves. Detailed wheel wells help show off your tires and rims.
Detailing the Interior
I use a number of products
for interior detailing. Luxol Vinylex is great for vinyl and
plastic surfaces. It can also bring life to old plastic/vinyl
Lightly spray Vinylex onto a microfibre towel and then wipe over
the area to be cleaned/detailed. You can leave it wet to maintain
a high gloss sheen - or as I prefer I go back over the area with
a second microfibre towel to buff it and maintain a low gloss
I'm not a big fan of all
surface areas looking slick or wet. A little is nice, but not
In doing interior glass
- I avoid spray cleaner on the glass - because a little bit of
overspray will fly onto other areas - which will require touchup.
Instead just spray the product onto the microfibre towel and
then clean the glass. One trick is to use up and down motion
to clean the inside glass and back and forth motion to clean
the outside glass. This way any imperfections will quickly be
Products: Stoner Invisible Glass, Windex, Vinylex, Mothers
Soft Tonneau Covers
Use a water based cleaner/protectant
like Vinylex. Spray it on and lightly wipe across the surface.
Mother's Protectant will also
work. Spray it on wipe across the entire surface and then with
a clean towel buff dry to reduce the high gloss and sheen.
Products: Luxol Vinylex or Mother's Protectant
Harley Davidson Bright Chrome Cleaner is what I use. Who would
know more about cleaning chrome than Harley Davidson? Pick it
up from your local HD dealer.
Products: Harley Davidson Bright Chrome Cleaner, Mother's