Swirls prevention


Samuel
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Hello,

 

My car has been clayed, polished and Optimum gloss coat applied. I always wash it using ONR and the big red sponge and dry the car using opti-seal.  On the other hand after a couple months of regular washing, some swirls appeared even after very meticulous washes. Would you have any recommendation to prevent it from happening again? 

 

Thanks for you help

 

Samuel

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Black cars show everything, and it's REALLY hard not to introduce micro-marring during routine washing, which is especially visible on darker colored cars.

Some basic things...are you using grit guards in your buckets?  Even though Yvan was famous for his single bucket, reuse-the-solution-a-lot-of-times, I consider it "best practice" to use a rinse bucket with a grit guard (to which I add some ONR, about 1/4 normal, to keep from diluting things too much), and I use a fresh batch of solution every time, no matter how much I have left.  I also wash my wash media (in the washing machine) after every use (I don't use sponges like the BRS, generally, I like the microfiber-covered sponges).

Then there is preparation--do you do any kind of pre-rinse?  A pressure washer would be ideal but it kind of defeats the purpose of a rinseless wash.  Most people do a pre-rinse/pre-soak with some sort of waterless wash, or more concentrated solution of rinseless, using a pump-up sprayer.  I never find this to be very effective.   I have been intrigued by an online personality that posted a video of a Harbor Freight airless paint sprayer to pre-rinse with rinseless solution from a bucket, but I haven't tried that yet.

Here's the most important thing...when your car is dirty it generally has grit that is "stuck" to the paint.  This can be dust from the air, brake dust from your car or other cars, dirt from the road, etc.  If you drive in the rain/snow, there is all kinds of grit splashed up that gets stuck to the paint.  You don't want to grind this dirt/grit into the paint during the wash process.  Hence the idea of a pre-soak/pre-rinse to loosen that stuff up first, and it's very important that you use a minimal amount of pressure as you agitate and dislodge this debris, and make sure you rinse it off the media thoroughly before going back to the panel.

One technique that I have used is to use one side of the media very lightly on a panel, then turn the media over for another pass with more pressure now that the initial dirt has been removed.  Of course there is also the "single-use media" technique, which is usually a pile of towels or mitts, that only get used once and not returned to the car surface after they get dirty.  This obviates the need for a rinse bucket or any grit guards, you simply have a solution bucket with clean media, you use it until it's dirty, then throw it in a bucket (to be washed later), and move on to clean media.  In this way no dirt is reintroduced to the surface...unfortunately for me, I have never been able to get this method to work to my satisfaction, and I always go back to using two buckets and one piece of media.

Bottom line is it's almost impossible to not introduce some micromarring through routine washing, which is why most enthusiasts do a light polish on their car on some periodic basis.   However, you can minimize that marring with good technique.

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What he said... + you gringos have some of the softest paint on the market. I dont know why that is, maybe enviromental legislation, but compared to paint from EU manufacturers its soft as butter. No wonder the seign is "I just looked at it funny and it swirled up". And yes...black paint shows EVERYTHING...its something you will have to live with.

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Wow! Thanks a lot for that complete and  informative reply! 
 

what do you think about doing a pre wash by spraying Onr on the paint prior to sweeping with the sponge? So that way the dirt and grime starts to dissolve and encapsulates in onr solution.

 

Sam

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22 hours ago, Samuel said:

what do you think about doing a pre wash by spraying Onr on the paint prior to sweeping with the sponge? So that way the dirt and grime starts to dissolve and encapsulates in onr solution.

 

20 hours ago, Ron@Optimum said:

I always pre-spray with ONR mixed 1 oz to 16 oz of water...and sometimes just use that mix as a waterless wash.   I find the pre-spray starts dissolving bugs, tar, heavy dirt buildup and simplifies the actual wash.

As I said, the pre-spray never seems to do anything for me, at least on winter salt.  But they pre-treat the roads here with that brine and whatever gets kicked up on the cars seems to be almost waterproof.  On the other hand, I have been too lazy to use a pre-spray in anything other than the regular wash dilution; it's quite possible I'd have better luck with it if it was much more concentrated as Ron uses, or if I tried Opti-Clean instead.  Also I bought that airless paint sprayer, which would be kind of like a pressure washer (but using ONR)...but of course I haven't gotten around to using it yet.

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Chris Thomas used to suggest using OptiClean and then ONR.  I have a vague notion Yvan suggested mixing some MDR with ONR but it is entirely possible I dreamt this.

The real key is to stop looking for minor paint defects, they cannot be stopped.  To quote someone much wiser than me " No one notices those swirls except you, everyone else thinks your car looks great"

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On 11/18/2019 at 9:29 AM, Samuel said:

Wow! Thanks a lot for that complete and  informative reply! 
 

what do you think about doing a pre wash by spraying Onr on the paint prior to sweeping with the sponge? So that way the dirt and grime starts to dissolve and encapsulates in onr solution.

 

Sam

It is not a bad idea to pre spray the surface.  It will give you more lubrication.  
 

It is also a good idea to clean the BRS every now and then with some APC.  

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