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Waxing the Car
Author : Matt Blehm
Published : 09/26/2002
Last Modified : 09/26/2002
1. cleaning...
wash it TWICE using dawn dish soap. the first time, get all the crap off. dump the bucket and refill with fresh water, and use twice the detergent you used last time. I just use old terry clotch towels, nothing special. sometimes a soft, NATURAL sponge if the car is really dirty. they clean better and quicker and won't scratch the finish.

now that it's clean, and should be free of wax (dish soap will strip the wax.. ) I go over it quickly with another clean rag and windex, to remove any left over wax. if I've got a can of wax& grease remover (body shops and stuff use it to clean before they paint), then I'll use it instead of the windex.

2. polishing..
If there are any mars or scratches that need buffed out, I start with 3M rubbing compound on those areas, and do what I can. I use a clean wool pad on these.

then switch to 3M polishing compound and another clean wool pad, then go over the areas again..

Now I look for any other blemishes that can be taken out with a polisher.. if I don't find any, it's time to polish the entire car.

I use 3M Mirror Glaze polish, and go over the entire car.

(a little project I did on my old truck system.. that's a piece of 1/4 aluminum I dug out of the scrap pile at a sheet metal shop. :) )

once I'm pleased with the finish, then and ONLY then do I wax it. check over the entire car to make sure there's nothing stuck in the cracks or anything, then I put a NEW (not a clean used one, a NEW one) wool pad on the buffer, and gently apply the wax.

3. Waxing.
I use Meguiar's yellow #26 here. great stuff. smooth as butter. :)

I only apply it with the buffer. after that, I use clean terry cloths and rub it in and wipe it off. as you apply the stuff, only do about one fender or door at a time, or half the hood. any more, and the wax will dry before you can get to it..

Use lots of towels on this part and it'll make the job much easier. using the same towel to rub all the wax off takes MUCH more work than using a clean one every time. you'll see what I mean when you do it yourself.

you should use the wax only when the finish is as good as you want it (in my case, when it's as good as it can possibly get without repainting).

Now stand back, drink a beer (you mean you haven't been the whole time?), and take pride in the beautiful car you just resurrected from a dull mass of metal. :)

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