Cleaner wax and regular turtle wax

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Is cleaner wax such as meguires and mothers basically a substitute for a clay bar / wax multi step process? I understand it may not be as affective as a multi step process. I have some regular liquid turtle wax, how does that fit in there? Thinking of getting one of the above mentioned cleaner waxes for my pathfinder as it has some minor swirl marks in the white paint that my ice wax spray don't seem to do anything. I do remember great results using meguires cleaner wax on my Grand Prix.
 
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Yes, it's a short cut for a polish/wax. It won't take out swirl marks in my experience. There are separate liquid swirl removers/polishes that will do that better. I used this product to minimize some scratches on the hood from a piece of ducting dropping on it (ouch). It did a really surprising job given I should have been using a much more aggressive media. http://www.meguiars.com/en/professional/products/m0916-swirl-remover-16oz/
 
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Cleaner was seems to remove very very light hair swirls. Might remove a minor amount of oxidation too. I stopped using cleaner wax tho. Got tired of seeing paint on my rags the same color as my car. I use Meguiars ultimate paste wax now. Seems to last longer then the liquid. I get a good 4-5 months off a single application. I can't really complain about that. I tried the full detail job in the past. Never noticed any benifit of polish. Could simple just be the color of my car or the brand I bought. I'm not certain but I stopped using it. This reminds me, I really need to wax the car and truck.
 
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Your regular liquid Turtle Wax is the final step. It protects your paint. You can deal with swirls by either removing or hiding them using a filler. I recommend filling for cars that spend a lot of time outside. To remove you can use Meguiar's Ultimate Polish to remove swirls and condition your paint. To hide you can use Mother's California Gold Step 2 which is a light polish/filler. It's very light and scuffs off the edges of swirls making them harder to see. It's fillers hides deeper swirls. Both the above are also paint cleaners. You then protect your paint and work done with your Turtle Wax. There are other products that do the same, but I have no experience with them. I've had no need to. Mother's and Meguair's work great and are both OTC. Meguair's Cleaner Wax is a light polisher/filler/wax. Works best to remove swirls if you use a machine like their $50 Dual Action drill attachment or if you don't mind working out your arms. smile
 
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Mother's cleaner wax was the first wax I ever bought. I was about 16yrs old and still have some left. Well, my cars never really looked good like they do now when I use a real wax. Also, I noticed my hood on my Sunbird had its red paint deteriorating when I went to trade it in. Never really trusted mothers again since they said it would protect.
 
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cleaner wax is a jack of all trades. it will offer OK cleaning and decent protection but if you are looking for the best results you are better off buying a polish and buying a wax. Compared to cleaner waxes which a lot of times have fillers which will temporarily fill the clearcoat and eventually look the same. On the note of a cleaner wax substituting a clay/multi step the answer is no. Claying is a seperate procedure that doesn't really have any alternative. Is there an autozone near you? You are better off buying the Meguiars 205 Ultra finishing polish which will correct the minor swirl marks and Meguiars 26 Hi Tech Yellow wax (this is a carnuba/blend which will give the vehicle a nice warm shine and good protection.)Both of these items are part of the Meguiars Mirror Glaze system which is used professional.
 
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Cleaner wax is used to remove very minor below-surface defects. Clay bar and chemical decontamination products (I.e. iron-x) are designed to address above-surface issues. So - clay the car, then follow up with an AIO product such as Meguiars White Wax (for you over-the-counter folks) or Meguiars D301 or Optimum GPS. This will remove some very light marring, surface haze and offer some minor concealing (filling) capabilities.
 
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I have anecdotal evidence - a 23 year old Honda Accord with white paint. In 1989 white paints, from Honda at least, did not have clear coats. So, the soft paint was exposed. For the majority of the 23 years I owned it I used Meguiar's in the maroon can (cleaner/wax). Also, at various times, I used more expensive waxes, multi-step processes, and clay bars. Did the multi-step processes and clay bar produce superior results? Yes. But, after 3-4 months it was the same again. The results from the Mequiar's single step was nice, shiny, and beaded water for the entire interval. I used to wax every three months when parking outside at work and then changed to six months when I got a job that provided a parking garage. The paint looked awesome in 2012 - before the accident. Now, I use the same stuff on my 2012 Mazda 3. It provides a very nice finish that lasts a year - seriously - due to the car being "indoors" almost all the time. The product is one of the easier ones to apply and remove and it's cheap, though, not as cheap as it was in 1985 when I started using it.
 
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Norwalk, CA not CT
Originally Posted By: stygz
Is cleaner wax such as meguires and mothers basically a substitute for a clay bar / wax multi step process? I understand it may not be as affective as a multi step process. I have some regular liquid turtle wax, how does that fit in there? Thinking of getting one of the above mentioned cleaner waxes for my pathfinder as it has some minor swirl marks in the white paint that my ice wax spray don't seem to do anything. I do remember great results using meguires cleaner wax on my Grand Prix.
If you want to see some pretty good results, step up from the basic cleaner waxes to the more advanced synthetic cleaner waxes like Meguiar's NXT 2.0. It doesn't last as long as a dedicated old school wax like Collinite but the very mild abrasive package in it and the very good filling capability makes for a very good monthly wax. If you need similar results but longer lasting durability check out their Ultimate Wax. That's one of my favorite waxes to use because it lasts long and the filling capability means at least for the first couple weeks you'll have a very nice looking car with much reduced swirling. It's temporary sure but for an outdoor car you'll inevitably have swirling and you don't want to be constantly polishing to remove them. Newer paints are very very thin.
 
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