303 is a dust magnet?

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Jul 9, 2008
I'd been reading great things about 303 on here so a few weeks ago I bought some.

Last Saturday I washed the cars. I thought I'd use it on the unpainted plastic parts of my wife's Saturn Vue.

After doing it, it looked great. Two days later she drove about a mile on a dirt road. Now it looks terrible. Every part that got “soaked” with 303 now has a layer of dust stuck on it. Even the spots on the paint that got wet with 303 are dusty. The parts that got a lighter coat of 303 don't have dust.

It can't be blamed on other products because I had not applied anything on the plastic for a very long time. Its possible I put something on it 3 or 4 years ago (I don't remember). But its been at least that long because I haven't had any plastic cleaner around for years.

So whats the deal? Did someone refill the bottle with Amorall, or is this stuff the automotive equivalent of heroin (requiring a daily fix)?

I picked up some more 303 last weekend on a going out of business sale at another store. I'll redo test sections of the car with it and see if has the same problem.

I sprayed it on, then immediately wiped until it seemed dry. Am I supposed to then go back over it with a completely dry rag and scrub again?
rszappa1- can't read them. Don't use 303, lol. Just speaking from experience.

ksJoe- I'd let it sit for a bit, then simply rewipe it well with a dry towel.

02zx9r- looks like 303 on the paint that got dust on it as well.
While protectants like 303 are water based, the ingredient that provides shine and protection is silicone-in-water emulsion. So, yes, items covered in protectants will attract dirt and dust when driven in those environments.

I'm reading the 303 box right now and it say right on it, "303 leaves a like-new, non-oily, anti-static finish that does not attract dust. Surfaces stay cleaner, reducing maintenance." Apparently that's not entirely accurate.

You might want to contact 303 directly and ask why their product attracts so much dust when they say right on their packaging it doesn't. http://www.303-products.com
Originally Posted By: roushstage2
ksJoe- I'd let it sit for a bit, then simply rewipe it well with a dry towel.

Yeah, it comes off easy enough. I can write in it with a finger. I was just amazed it attracted dust like that.

Originally Posted By: roushstage2
02zx9r- looks like 303 on the paint that got dust on it as well.

Correct - thats places I got sloppy and got some 303 on the paint.
I use it on a vinyl top without dust issues. I spray on, wipe with a rag for coverage. Let it sit for a bit, then buff it off with a dry rag. If things look suspect later in the day, I'll hit it again with a dry rag to buff it which seems to do the trick.

I used it on vinyl top of Honda S2000, I let it sits overnight then buff it the next morning with slightly [censored] cloth and buff it again in the evening with dry cloth.
Originally Posted By: bretfraz
You might want to contact 303 directly and ask why their product attracts so much dust when they say right on their packaging it doesn't. http://www.303-products.com

Good idea. Here is their response:


Hello, Joe, thank you for the email.

I invite you to post 303's response at that same forum.

303 product directions emphasize wiping the surface COMPLETELY dry.

This product does NOT air dry.

AND you can NOT wipe the surface "completely dry" with a damp cloth or damp part of the cloth. You must finish the wiping-dry part of the application process with a DRY part of the cloth or a second dry (clean absorbent non-abrasive) cloth. Old t-shirts work well.

Hint: Extra buffing or polishing with a dry cloth INCREASES bonding, INCREASES repellency and INCREASES longevity. This conflicts with the typical thinking that if a little is good, more is better. This is NOT the case with this product. Only so much will bond to any given plastic/rubber. The key is to get the surface WET, not just damp with 303. Then ALL the remainder must be wiped completely away. Finishing with a dry cloth removes excess un-bonded 303 active agent and makes the bonded 303 REPELLENT to dust/dirt/soiling/stains.

HINT: Auto enthusiasts (after applying and then wiping dry with, for example, an old t-shirt) go over the treated area a second time with a micro fiber for an even more stunning look.

One exception to the above application is tires. There is nothing out there that makes tires look as good as this product...when applied as it needs to be to tires. Tire polymer is MUCH MORE absorbent that other standard applications. For your interest, here is 303's tech piece on that...Why Are Tires Black....how to do tires is described at the end.


One comment...in the above piece it says that sometimes for first time use two treatments are required for tires. Actually this is virtually always required.

303 has fielded a tad more than a few comments such as yours over the last 2 decades. This IS the answer.

We appreciate your business. Thank you for contacting 303 Products, Inc.

If you would like to call to discuss further, please ask for me. 1 800 223-4303

I thought I had it wiped dry before, but it sounds like it wasn't dry enough. I'm kinda curious about it now, so I think I'll a little experiment.

Here's what I think I'll do:

1) try to get the whole area free of 303. Wash it & scrub it with various soaps (dial, dawn, miguires), then let it dry.

2) cover an area to remain 303-free.

3) treat another area with 303, then rub it dry it several paper towels & rags.

Its been raining here so I'll have to wait for it to dry out. I'll try to do this a couple days before it will be driven on the dusty road again.

I expect it will be a lot better. It will be interesting to see if the 303 section rubbed very very very dry will do better than the 303-free section.
Right after that last post it started raining and all the dust disappeared. So my test didn't work out like I hoped. It still hasn't been as dusty as it was last time around.

But in case anyone was wondering...
If the 303 is scrubbed very aggressively, it helps a lot. I probably spent 2 full minutes on a 3 inch by 6 inch area. I first wiping it off with the paper towel I applied it with, then a fresh paper towel, then a clean terry cloth. That's way more effort that I would go to for all the exterior plastic on the VUE

That greatly reduced how much dust it attracts.

BUT - the area right next to it that had no 303 on, and it stayed cleaner. I had washed off the 303 with Dawn (FYI, it does remove 303 if you ever need to). Then put a strip of blue painters tape over part of the plastic while I applied 303 to the rest.

So I figure if in a couple years the exterior plastic gets old and faded looking again, I'll put 303 on it to brighten it up. Other than that, I'll only be using it on the interior where there isn't so much dust
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