Greetings from Green Bay, WI


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Good Afternoon Everyone!


I'm getting my first new car, and it's finally something I want to put some time/effort into maintaining for the long haul.  I'm really interested in Optimum No-Rinse as my house does not have the best hose situation going on and I'd prefer to not have to be running 150 feet of hose around the house on a weekly/bi-weekly/winter basis. 

I'm in Green Bay, WI so winter is a real thing and for at least a couple months of the year I'll be forced to detail from inside the garage, which is fine by me.

I'm not quite sure about how to proceed with the order of products or which ones I need to have, but I'd like to try to stay in the Optimum branding if possible.

I'm going to try to outline my thoughts of what my process is going to be and leave the holes in my thoughts so I could maybe get some guidance.

1.  4 Gallon bucket with grit guard and using Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine in the 256:1 dilution.  Am I best with ONR or do I want the ONRWW instead in the first place?

2.  Fill a spray bottle up with that dilution to pre-soak parts of car, namely the front of the car and lower sections/where needed.  Power Clean if the front is caked in bugs/grit? 

3.  6-8 microfibers for the bucket soaking, using each rag only once and not rinsing

4.  This is where I get caught up.  I know both Optimum Car Wax and Opti-Seal are drying aids, but when do I use each one?  Is one needed and not the other or is this something like fresh wash I'd want to use opti-seal, and reuse it after a couple washes and use the OCW on my maintaining washes?  Is this opposite?

5.  1-2 times a year or as really needed, I'll have to clay, which leads me back to point 4.

6.  Wheels and Wheel wells.  This is where I'm more lost.  I imagine a good presoak and some wipe downs in the wheel wells and a follow up wash with the MF in the bucket to clean it up.  Then using Opti-Bond Tire Gel onto the tires.  What do I use on the actual wheel itself for protection or is the opti-seal/OCW good enough for those as well?  Should I be using a tire brush on the wheels/tires or stick to MF?  Do I need to presoak in something like Super Clean instead for the degreasing/brake dust?

7.  What else am I missing?  I'm not looking for competition style detailing, just want my car to last for years to come and not be embarassed by the look in the end.  


Sorry for all this, but I'm just lost in this world of detailing, and youtube has honestly made it worse with the plethora of detailers out there putting out videos confusing me more and using 10+ products for a car for "simple" washes.

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Welcome to all things Optimum.  I'll throw out some answers and am sure others will weigh the way if you ask 4 enthusiasts a question, you'll get minimum of 5 answers.

1 - the choice between Wash & Shine and Wash & Wax is a personal one - they both function the same way, some prefer wax, some don't.

2 - you can use ONR regular solution as a pre-spray, but mixing it as a quick detailer (1 oz to 16 oz water) is much more effective on bugs, tar, etc.

3 - multiple microfibers is one option - I use the Big Red Sponge and 1 drying towel.  Others use mitts or a single MF towel, all work.

4 - some use either Opti-Seal or Wax as a drying aid, and the other is applied after.  Others use one or the other, but not both.  Again, there's no single "right" way.  Posters may provide you with their preference and reasons why.

5 - Clay should be done as needed, there's no specific timetable, it's dependent on maintenance, driving conditions, environment, etc.  Under normal conditions, twice a year for a new car seems much.

6 - ONR is a solid tire and wheel cleaner (I suggest the instant detailer formula) - Power Clean is better for occasional deep cleaning.  Opti-Seal/Wax are excellent on wheels and Opti-Bond for tires.

Only area left is interior - ONR is a good interior cleaner, including leather, vinyl, plastic, fabric, followed by Protectant Plus for UV protection and hydrophobics.



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Must be awesome to get a new car! A clean and near perfect sheet, must be great to have. Ron's advise is most trusthworthy here, but I'd like to give my take on things as well.

I suggest you get the following:

- ONR Wash&Shine (Blue one), I think it's the more versatile cleaner, since it's more adept to interior cleaning. Blue ONR seems to have a lot of gloss enhancers these days and pretty okay protection, which is awesome. I find it hard to get streak free windows with ONR, but maybe a stronger concentration in a spray bottle would be an awesome window cleaner. Need to test that out. Don't expect it to work on kicked up sand, mud or bigger bits of debree, these should preferably be rinsed off first.

- Opti-Seal is awesome as a drying aid, and very economical. Watch out though, cause it will likely ruin your dring towels, at one point they will only work properly if you use Opti-Seal. That's the case with me at least. Opti-Seal gives a nice shine, but nothing crazy. It's the best glass cleaner I have used to date, but not perfect and my search continues. The ease of use with Opti-Seal, whatever way you apply it is absolutely insane. Expect Opti-Seal to last 3 months if used as a drying aid. You won't really know when it's gone, so just apply it a couple of times a year as a drying aid (or during every wash, for easy drying), or two times a year with the foam applicator. I personally don't use it on wheels.

- Optimum Car Wax gives an amazing shine, but requires a bit of elbow grease, compared to Opti-Seal, and is a bit more finnicky. As a drying aid it works good. I would expect it to last a month or three weeks when used as a drying aid or when used dry.

- Optimum Power Clean is an absolute necessity in my opinion. If only to clean wheels and tires, on which it works awesome. For tires I would suggest a stiff brush from the rag company, and for wheels the Optimum Wheel & Body brush. Maybe a lug nut brush. I don't know yet how to clean wheel barrels or wheel wells if you want to stay rinseless. But a Worx Hyrdoshot may work great for the whole wheel area. I also use Power Clean to soak bugs on the frontal area (front bumper, hood, grille, windshiels, wing mirrors), and use distilled vinegar to neutralize. Be careful though, since vinegar causes surface rusting on bare metal. I first clean the frontal area quickly so the dirt is off there, allly OPC, agitate with W&B brush (SOOOOOO SOFT), spray vinegar, wash again and dry. Works pretty great.

- Avoid using Super Clean or any of those cheaper All Purpose Cleaners. They ruin your car, your equipment and possibly your health.

- Clay as needed indeed, and I suggest reapplying Opti-Seal (And Car Wax) after claying. A good test would be to get a plastic bag, put your hand in it, and gently wipe the paint after you cleaned it. You will feel if it needs claying.

- Towels are a great way to use ONR, but the Big Red Sponge or the new Ultra Black Sponge are also great ways of applying ONR to the car. They need an occassional scrub with Power Clean, but generally, after a dunk in ONR, they are completely clean. When used in conjunction with a large and high qualtiy drying towel, there isn't a faster way to wash your car, which you may find enjoyable.

- Optimum tire bond has not served me very well yet, and seems to last for a short amount of time sometimes. But this may be due to improper cleaning beforehand on my part.

Hope this helps.

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