What polish to use before waxing my cars?

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I normally use either 3M's Fine Cut or Mother's Pre-wax Cleaner and Conditioner when I detail my cars, followed by a carnuba wax. My plan is to use the 3M or Mother's, but I'm wondering what polish (clean/polish/wax) you'd recommend as the second step. I'm going to try Insulator Wax as the third step to protect the polish job. And, yes, unfortunately, I'll do this work by hand and not a PC. Thanks for the advice.
 
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The Mothers is a good product as is the Meguiars 2nd step polish as far as off the shelf products go.
 
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For a mild cleaner, I use Collinites Fleetwax (in the bottle,not paste)with good results. I will probably do a clay bar this spring just to see what it does! They have them at Wallyworld now, cheap compared to what they used to cost.
 
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Can I ask, why do you feel you need a second polish? Is the first one not doing the job? Is it leaving its own swirls or creating paint issues? Most of the second step polishes are glazes, which just fill in light defects and leave the paint looking nice. Is that what you are looking for? If so, some of the products suggested above will work fine. Think about what you want to accomplish then see if there's a product that will do it for you, or perhaps alter your technique or process to get better results.
 
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 Originally Posted By: matt4270
For a mild cleaner, I use Collinites Fleetwax (in the bottle,not paste)with good results. I will probably do a clay bar this spring just to see what it does! They have them at Wallyworld now, cheap compared to what they used to cost.
Does the Fleetwax contain cleaners? I thought it didn't, or at least someone told me it didn't? Thanks, AD
 
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There 840 and 126 is a prewax cleaner thats all for cleaners i know of but normally no collinight is just wax's.
 
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I use Meguiar's "Deep Crystal" Polish (Step 2), prior to waxing (Carnauba). It does a fine job. Should be removed before drying per/instructions. I usually stick with products by 3M, Mothers or Meguiar's. Depends on price mostly.
 
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The fleetwax has a very mild abrasive in it. Be careful to read the bottles with collinites. They have a cleaner called "sapphire" that is NOT clear coat safe, and you probably don't want anything fiberglass specific.
 

dkryan

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Bret, If one were to use 3M's Fine Cut, you'd basically be cleaning the paint. Who'd want to apply wax after that process? My understanding is paint (whether it's the clearcoat layer or the "colored" layer) contains oils and that by using a quality polish, you are putting some of those oils back into the paint. You'd then wax the paint after having polished it in order to protect the polished finish, hence "clean, polish, wax."
 
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 Originally Posted By: dkryan
Bret, If one were to use 3M's Fine Cut, you'd basically be cleaning the paint. [b] Who'd want to apply wax after that process?[/b] My understanding is paint (whether it's the clearcoat layer or the "colored" layer) contains oils and that by using a quality polish, you are putting some of those oils back into the paint. You'd then wax the paint after having polished it in order to protect the polished finish, hence "clean, polish, wax."
you sort of confused me, but it sounds like you asked a question about why would you want to wax after the 3M fine cut polish, but then you answered it in your last statement, you wax to lock in the shine and to protect the paint ?????
 
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 Originally Posted By: dkryan
Bret, If one were to use 3M's Fine Cut, you'd basically be cleaning the paint. Who'd want to apply wax after that process? My understanding is paint (whether it's the clearcoat layer or the "colored" layer) contains oils and that by using a quality polish, you are putting some of those oils back into the paint. You'd then wax the paint after having polished it in order to protect the polished finish, hence "clean, polish, wax."
Which 3M product are you using? This one? http://www.autogeek.net/3m-fine-cut-compound.html Or this one? http://www.autogeek.net/3mperllrubco.html The days of auto paint having "oils" in them are long gone. Today's basecoat/clearcoat paint jobs are water-based, not solvent-based as the lacquer and enamel paint of yesteryear. All a glaze does is fill in very light paint defects and sit on top of the paint improving gloss, much like makeup applied to someone's face. If you need to remove scratches and other defects with the 3M fine cut, great. But many times a compound leaves its own marring in the paint surface, and they should be removed with a swirl mark remover or other light abrasive polish. However, if you prefer to use a glaze to hide the marring, that's fine, too. I was just curious as to what your thoughts were. Sounds like you have the basics down, have fun and post a pic of your handiwork if you get a chance.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Chris2421
3M now owns Meguiars.
Lots of products do but they're harder to find as well.
 
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Here's what I do to all my cars every 3 months. 1:Wash with Dawn in hot water. 2:Clay with Mothers. 3:Wash again in dawn to remove any clay residue. 4:Meguires NXT Tech wax. 5:Final seal with Meguires Ultimate Quik Detailer. I top off every weekly wash with the detailer and use Black Magic Titanium Matte tire finish.It gives a rich,low-gloss look.
 
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Duragloss 111. Then I would incorporate some Mother's Ultimate Carnuba wax (paste/non-cleaner wax version), after which I would use Meguiar's #26 Hi yellow liquid carnuba wax. The shine and gloss is out of this world! You could you the Duragloss 111 without any fear of build up, the same goes for Mother's. I am experimenting with Meguiar's NXT 2.0 for my lighter colored vehicles, after I polish them with DG 111. In between washes and or general wipe downs, I would use Turtle Wax One step spray carnuba wax. This stuff is very good, initally I had my doubts, however, upon using it, the shine was just enhanced, without any streaking! Best Regards
 
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irv

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 Originally Posted By: RV85
Here's what I do to all my cars every 3 months. 1:Wash with Dawn in hot water. 2:Clay with Mothers. 3:Wash again in dawn to remove any clay residue. 4:Meguires NXT Tech wax. 5:Final seal with Meguires Ultimate Quik Detailer. I top off every weekly wash with the detailer and use Black Magic Titanium Matte tire finish.It gives a rich,low-gloss look.
Not a good idea to wash with Dawn or any dish soap so often imo, you are probably drying/damaging your paint? It should only be used once to remove old yellowed wax and then when your new coats are applied every few months, just go over the existing wax. In Zaino's site, it says to use dawn once a then their product, not everytime you wax.
 
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Even if a car is new I would do the following: -Meguires NXT wash -Claybar -Meguires NXT wash - Polish - NXT Tech Wax 2.0 wait 24 hour wax again. From that point on Wash every week and quick detail.
 
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Mequire's good old Professional #7 is still hard to beat. Us it after cleaning and it will hide swirls and create gloss. Then wax.
 
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