Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: P21S Metal Polishing Soap

You may remember from my Nevr-Dull review that I was interested in trying out P21S Polishing Soap as well in comparison.  Well I recently picked some up in a trade and couldn't wait to try it out.

Product link found here.


You can see it comes supplied with it's own sponge.

The soap and sponge.

The sponge must be soaked in water then wrung until it is barely dripping.  The instructions then call for it to be swiped multiple times across the soap.

After using this, this was probably too much, but in the beginning I'd rather use too much than not enough.

As for the exhaust tips here is a quick before and after, they weren't in too bad of a shape to begin with but take a look specifically at the inside edge.  After polishing multiple times you can either wash it off or wait for it to haze then buff off.  I chose to wash it off since it seemed like a safer route to begin with.

Overall my thoughts on this product is that it works fantastic on polishing them up, however using a sponge as compared to something like a foam applicator is more difficult.  I may try an applicator out next and see if that works better.  It would be smaller than the sponge.  But the soap works great however compared to a polish it does create more of a mess and additionally requires to be washed off or to wait until it dries to a haze (which I don't prefer because I'd rather put the product on then take it off instead of leaving it on there), as compared to Nevr-Dull which you just polish then wipe clean once you're done.

Thanks for reading if you have any questions or tips feel free to let me know.

Review: 3D's APC Orange Degreaser

Note: This was in accordance with 3D's promotion.

3D APC - Orange Citrus Degreaser
Price: 22oz. - $6.99 (1 Gal - $14.99)


I recently got this in and wanted to try it out on my engine bay cover that hadn't been cleaned in a few weeks and had a layer of grime and other bits that have been kicked up from the flooding that has overtaken NW Vegas.

Quick picture of what I am working with .

And a close up

After spraying it on, letting it dwell for 15-30 seconds or so then agitating with a Mother's Detail Brush I was left with this much dirt remaining on the microfiber after wiping it clean.

And the finished product

Overall the product did what is was supposed to do, it didn't blow me away but for the price it's definitely an economical option if you can pick it up locally.  Compared to other APC's that I have used such as Adam's or Meguiar's it was about equal in terms of performance, but it is biodegradable which is always good to see and I will keep it in mind when I run out of my current stock of APC.

Thanks for reading feel free to post up any questions or tips.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DIY/Review Applying Wax and CG Pete's 53, 3D Caranuba Wax, Blackfire Midnight Sun

So before opti-coating the Jetta I had decided to leave the hood alone so I could test products on it as I deemed fit.  The Camaro is a pretty difficult vehicle to find an open panel on since the hood and trunk lid are covered in vinyl stripes.

This weekend (8/17) I went over the hood of the Jetta with 3 waxes to test application, longevity, durability, and if there was any difference in look of the waxes.

The 3 waxes up for the test are Chemical Guys Pete's 53, 3D's Caranuba Wax, and Blackfire Midnight Sun, the hood was split into 1/3's and each was applied with a Swissvax red foam applicator.  I will not be releasing which was put on which section of the hood until it's complete so there's no pre-conceptions.

First up, a bit too heavy of a swipe of wax for 1/3 of a hood section as this would easily be enough to cover the entire panel if not more.  I applied all of these by hand, but applying by machine I feel can greatly extend how far wax can go.

You can see how thinly this was applied in the very beginning, you want a very thin layer, just enough to see that product is being applied to the surface.  I personally use a cross-hatch pattern, what this means is going vertically across your working area then going back over it horizontally.  This ensures full coverage with the wax or product you are using.

Here is 3D wax, you can see how clumpy it is when trying to swipe some out of the can.  I recommend breaking these down and spreading the residue over the pad.

Now lucky enough for me just a few days later it rained while I was out.

Here is the hood

And the trunk for reference coated with Opti-Coat 2.0

Updated 8/25

Rained again, pictures are Pete's 53 / 3D Wax / BF Midnight Sun

Closeout.  I decided after almost 3 months it was time to clay and polish it off.  But not before taking a few pictures of the beading and sheeting that still remained.


You can find Pete's 53 on the left 1/3, 3D Wax on the Center, and Midnight Sun on the right.  Yes it's now spoiled which is which.

Final rankings, split into beading, ease of use, longevity, sheeting, and my overall thoughts.

  • Pete's 53 by a small margin over Midnight Sun.  You can see slightly tighter grouping.
  • 3D's had worn off much more than the other 2, but granted it's price at roughly $25 for 8 oz as compared to $40 for 8oz of Pete's 53 or $80 for 7.4oz of Midnight Sun this makes it a very economical wax.
Ease of Use
  • Pete's 53 again, it swipes very easily, fits a 3" pad in the pot, and is just soft enough where it's easy to feel confident you have enough when you swipe.  
  • Now this is tough because overall the next two were good but I had my issues.
    • First 3D, the wax is very chunky and prone to breaking making it very difficult without boiling the container to get it uniform in the can.  Now on the other hand the large pot container allows even a 5" pad to fit in there, which is awesome for machine application. 
    • Now Midnight Sun comes in a great container with an o-ring to prevent it from drying out, and is top notch quality.  But my issue was that I felt it may have been too hard of a wax out of the pot.  This is minor but I wish that the 3 oz. containers were made wider and shallower to allow a full 3" pad.  Yes you can scoop it out and apply to a pad but putting a pad in there and spinning it a few times on speed 1-2 is just much easier and economical.
    • Overall Midnight Sun gets the nod.
  •  This was tough, but I'd have to give it to Midnight Sun slightly over Pete's.  It just released water slightly quicker, but both would be fantastic choices.  Water absolutely runs away.
  • Now for 3D, again much more economical but just doesn't have the same effect and durability is shortened.  Whereas I would have no problem leaving Pete's or Midnight Sun on the car for even double this time period based on this, you could definitely tell a noticeable change after around 4-6 weeks.  
Overall with everything taken into account if I had to recommend one I'd stick with Pete's 53, while it's hydrophobic properties are similar to Midnight Sun, the price and cost effectiveness overtake it.  It's a great wax, easy to use with both hand and machine application.  But I would have no problem recommending either of these.  Which leaves 3D, a good offering but there are just better choices out there.

Thanks for reading post any comments or questions or below!

Friday, August 16, 2013

How-to: Maintenance Washing/Wheels & Tires/Glass Care

After seeing many people have questions on exactly how to wash and dry a car, take care of wheels and tires, and glass cleaning I decided to make this step-by-step process with pictures which I find to be the most effective.

So you're paint is all corrected and in great shape, but how do you maintain it? How do you prevent swirls and scratches from returning or at least minimizing them.

Note: This is my process and is technique only.  If you find another way that yields great results by all means stick with it.  And post it up so we all can learn.

First off I begin by filling a bucket with roughly 1-2 gallons of water with 1-2 oz of ONR depending on how soiled the vehicle is.  ONR recommends 1 oz per 2 gallons of water.  But in this case, better safe than sorry.

I use reusable wash media, so instead of a wash pad or mitt, I use multiple wash towels, usually 6-8 for a medium sized vehicle.

These towels are 360g/m and can be found at microfibertech for 10 for $23.

Next I soak them and let them sit in the solution for the time being.

Next I move on to wheels and tires while these soak.

For heavily soiled wheels a dedicated cleaner like Sonax Full Effect or Poorboy's Spray and Rinse works great.  Mine weren't too covered in brake dust so I went with Meguiar's D101 All Purpose Cleaner at full solution.  Before trying any product it is important to do a test spot in an inconspicuous place to check for any discoloration or damage to your wheels.

Here is the D101 in action

You can see the dirt being lifted off.  Then using a variety of brushes such as Wheel Whoolies, Raceglaze brushes for the lugs, and different wheel brushes.  For the tires using a foaming sprayer works great then brushing it off with a Tuff Shine tire brush.

Here's the type of gunk, tar, and various other things that your tires pick up daily.

After I'm done cleaning the wheels it's important to get your tools into a cleaning solution, I just use water and APC.


Often cleaners will cause rusting and oxidation to start on brake rotors.  So I'll take the car for a quick spin before a wash it to clean the rotors, the problem is that the wheels take the brunt of the grime on the brake rotors as well as any leftover dirt that wasn't washed away. After parking it again I just take a microfiber towel and clean up anything left over on the wheels.

Now the last thing to do is dress the tires.  Here I'll be using Wolf's Blackout Gel, it provides nice sating sheen that doesn't look greasy and lasts for 2-3 weeks depending on your driving style.

Tire Before


For a glossier shine go over the tire again until it meets your desires, for a more satin shine use less product.

Now it's time to move on to washing the car.

For this take your towel soaked in solutions and gently wring it out. You want it wet but not completely soaking and dripping water.  With towels with a short nap and long nap side use the longer nap.  This lets the more dirt get trapped deeper and since you're trying to minimize swirls and scratches you want to avoid dragging dirt across the paint surface.

When you first start washing your car lay the towel folded in 1/4s flat on the surface and drag with absolutely zero pressure as so.

Now you're going to be picking up dirt and grime as seen here.

To avoid dragging this back across the surface lift slightly on the front of the towel

When you're done lifting 2 or 3 times your towel will have lines of dirt similar to this.  After each panel is complete I dry using a Cobra Guzzler HD, again as little pressure as required folded in 1/4's.

If you're towel still has solution you can continue using a different 1/4 of the towel.  You can see here where I used all 4  of the long nap side.

Lastly is the glass.  Right now I'm using Meguiar's D120 Glass Cleaner, it works very well and is extremely cost effective at 1:20 dilution (1 part concentrate to 20 parts water) and a Microfiber Madness Cloudbuster, by far the best glass cleaning towel I've used.  For the windshield I spray directly on the windshield and clean and buff with the other side of the towel.  I also clean the windshield wipers.  For the side windows and mirrors I spray on the towel so the solution avoids the paint, it's not dangerous but just means less to clean up.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions or tips!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Review: HD Polish

This was in participation of 3D's review program ongoing.

You may recognize this Jetta that I recently paint corrected and Opti-Coated.  There were quite a few RIDs on this car but the swirls and scratches overall were minor, I had hoped to use a 1-step paint correction to avoid taking too much clear off but in the process I received HD Polish.  I already had Optimum Hyper Polish and put them up against each other.  Note neither got the results I had desired but I did learn quite a bit about HD Polish in the process.

Setup and Step-by-Step

Began by just a quick waterless wash with UWW and claying with Nanoskin fine grade towel

Here is an example of some of the scratches found on this vehicle

And the products (Optimum Hyper Polish and HD Polish both on Optimum MF Pads)
Cars all taped up!

MF Pad after using Hyper Polish

MF Pad after using HD Polish

After using both here is my consensus

They have both have a similar level of cut but their application and dusting is what differed. In my opinion Optimum Hyper Polish is fantastic regarding dusting as there is absolutely none but to me I am not a fan of spray application after using it.  I find that when spraying it it either sprays everywhere beyond the pad or comes out in a stream and doesn't evenly coat the pad.  I've tried adjusting the spray nozzle but I can't seem to find that sweet spot, so right now when I spray the pad I do it over an empty box or in a garbage can.  Now as for HD Polish it's just the same as any other polish, easy to figure out how much, priming the pad, etc... As for dusting there was minor dusting, nothing absolutely crazy but as compared to Optimum Hyper Polish this was a negative.  One thing I did like quite a bit about HD Polish is that wipe-off is extremely easy it's nowhere near as oily as other polishes and just a simple wipe and buff leaves the surface clean and bare.


Overall I do like having HD Polish in the arsenal and it has it's pros and cons as compared to Optimum Hyper Polish but as for now until I try it on foam pads it sits slightly below it.

Thanks for reading post up any questions or tips!

2013 VW Jetta Paint Correction and Opti-Coat

Here is a 2013 Tornado Red VW Jetta paint correction and Opti-Coat 2.0 application.  This was my first go at using Opti-coat and application was pretty straight forward and easy.  This car only had 3000 miles on it

Rinseless wash with ONR and APC to strip any previous waxes or sealants applied by the dealer
Nanoskin fine grade clay
FG400 with Meguiar's MF pad after trying Optimum Hyper Polish, HD Polish, and Menz PF2500
Eraser Wipedown
Opti-Coat 2.0 Application

Quite a few scratches and RIDs (Random Isolated Deeper Scratches)

Usual scratches and swirls

And of course it wouldn't be complete without lazy dealership detailers putting wax everywhere

50/50 On the Driver's Side Passenger Door

 After a cross-country roadtrip bug bombs on the headlight



Pillars Before polishing


And done!

Feel free to post up any questions or tips!