Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Homer Glen, IL
Hmmm . . . . I was afraid of this. I think Iíve opened Pandoraís Box Ė LOL. Let me preface my remarks with this. I said earlier that thereís a lot of smoke and mirrors in this industry and itís true. If you decide to not believe what Iím saying, I wonít be offended. Please donít be offended if I say something that goes against what youíve believed. Maybe a brief story will help.
I was the Blue Coral Professional Products distributor in a major market. One of their best products was their paint sealant, advertised as Ďcontains Tefloní. At a distributors meeting their chemist revealed that it actually contained just enough Teflon to satisfy the legal requirements of DuPont, but not enough to ruin the formula. You see, for Teflon to actually work it needs to be baked on at a temperature thatís never going to be achieved in practical application. So, why do they use it? Simple. Marketing! By advertising Teflon people buy the product. Blue Coral Paint Sealant is a terrific product, but not because of Teflon.
This discussion opened with a broad condemnation of microfiber that I felt was unfair. When it comes to polishing and/or waxing (two different processes) microfiber is terrific. When it comes to washing, you have to be careful. As Iíve said earlier, if the cloth drags contaminants across the surface you may indeed scratch that surface. Microfiber wash mitts are engineered to lessen that natural tendency. Microfiber cloths, not so much. A good quality wash mitt, microfiber or not, is a worthwhile investment.
Keep in mind, the process is a combination of chemical and mechanical. The soap you use makes a difference too. Unfortunately, most consumer grade automotive soap is designed to meet a price point. That nice thick soap you love? Well, itís thick because they added salt to make it that way. Carnauba in the soap? Read the Teflon story again, and again.
Any wax that advertises straight Carnauba is marketing/lying. Iím telling you, Carnauba is as hard as a brick. Thereís only one Carnauba, and if theyíre using it they HAVE to add something to soften it. Those softeners are also cleaners. And if theyíre putting it in the soap? Letís hope not too much. Read the Teflon story again, and again.
With all that said, letís move on. All of the companies mentioned make good, quality products. All Iím saying is judge the product by its performance, not by the marketing that got you to buy it. Be a scientist and analyze results without making up your mind first. Understand that there is no perfect solution. Get the best results, minimize the damage. Thatís the best you can hope for.
For me? I wash my MH with a thick, soft brush on a pole. Thereís no way Iím erecting scaffolding or climbing up a ladder. And, it HAS to be cleaned or the contaminants will start attacking the surface. I still have some professional grade soap and two capfuls are enough for a large bucket of warm water. I use plenty of it and will typically go through three large buckets to finish the job. And I rinse often as I do NOT want the soap drying.
As for wax, I use paint sealant. Paint sealant is nothing more than a synthetic wax like product. Wax, all of them, melts at a certain point, and that point is achieved on a really hot sunny day. Once it has been applied, and then has the surface melt, it no longer provides protection. Paint sealant avoids that.
Thereís three steps to a great finish: Clean, Polish, Protect. Yes, I know about ďOne-StepĒ products, and yes, some of them are acceptable. Understand that to get the best finish you need to go through all three steps. Most of us are willing to compromise at some point but need to understand what weíre doing. I donít always do whatís ďbestĒ. Hey, Iím human too!
And now, I must be some kind of masochist, a brief discussion on car washes because theyíve been mentioned. Believe it or not (you really can choose!), a good quality soft cloth car wash, not a ďtouchlessĒ, is the best bet for your toad. The soft cloth used is actually like felt with a fairly hard surface. That cloth is engineered to NOT retain dirt particles and not unlike the bearings in your engine, with a good lubricating soap does not contact the paint. Under that Radio Shack magnifier, the paint has less scratches when washed in an automatic wash than when hand washed. I take my car and truck to the car wash all the time. I know, you really didnít want to hear that. Itís OK, you can choose to ignore it. I will say, the caution here is that they must be using a high quality (read expensive) soap and if youíre looking for an excuse to keep hand washing, there it is.
If I destroyed some myths you really liked, I apologize. This is nothing compared to the re-education needed when we went from conventional paint to clear coat! I must have heard ďhey, Iíve been doing this for thirty years, donít tell meĒ a thousand times.
Homer Glen, IL
2004 Travel Supreme 40DS03