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Ron@Optimum

Product Test - 303 Graphene

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I decided to test a new category of product that I'd been seeing excellent reviews for.  303 is a company that makes quality marine/automotive products and since graphene has become a hot ticket I wanted to see what all the noise was about.  

 
303 Graphene comes in a 15.5 oz spray bottle and costs 19.99.  Instructions say to apply to clean, dry paint, corrected if necessary.  Using a MF towel or pad, apply in a crisscross pattern, allow to cure to a haze, then buff off.  After buffing, the car can be driven.  Videos on 303 suggest clay and polish, but my paint was in great shape and didn't need either (tested on the Acura since it's not ceramic coated).  Graphene went on pretty easy, a little thicker than Hyper Seal or Wax.  It hazed in several minutes, but the streaking was more difficult to remove. I thought about using an ONR dampened towel, but decided to keep the test pure.  I went over the car several times to remove all hazing.  
 
Observations - the look was shiny and slick, comparable to Hyper Seal.  I can't judge durability yet, but 303 says up to 1 year.  I haven't driven in rain but I expect the paint to be hydrophobic.  Negatives - the streaking took effort to remove, the product cannot be used as a drying aid, and it contains petroleum distillates (with some detailed health instructions).  303 claims enhanced gloss & depth, reduced water spotting, and extreme hydrophobic protection, but make no claims for hardness or chemical resistance.  Gloss-Coat would be appear to be the superior product if compared one on one, given it's 2+ year durability, hardness, and chemical resistance.  My curiosity is about Hyper Seal - does HS add any hardness or chemical resistance?  So I asked:
 
Dr G's thoughts - I don't think Graphene itself plays any role in the performance of 303 or similar products. The other components are creating gloss and water beading and longevity. For usage, Hyper Seal does 20-30 cars so it is much cheaper per application. If you transfer to an Opti-Seal bottle then you get 60-70 cars from one bottle. It is much easier to apply and offers greater hardness, chemical resistance, and water beading. The new formula also lasts longer than a year. What do you think?

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My exposure to 303 Graphene's limited (used it on "dealer applied" ceramic coating as dealer coating didn't work all that well., and also tried 303 on some other glass/plastic surfaces).  Scratched surfaces immediately became stained thanks to graphene parking itself in the scratches.  Water beading and gloss were OK but nothing to be super hyped about.  Local detailer wasn't impressed by 303, which he removed along with all other coatings on my car to apply Pro+. 

A Youtube detailer, Scott HD, found 303 Graphene's only moderately durable, also remarking that 303  Graphene had a bad production batch (which mine was part of) that had some impact on durability. 

I've been trying Hyper-Seal on some "off-label" ceramic surfaces and so far it's performed better than products like NuFinish Ceramic or TurtleWax Seal&Shine.

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This review was originally sent to Dr G - for the Forum I meant to add the (obvious) caveat that I'm not in any way neutral, but tried to offer an accurate presentation.  I've often mentioned here that Optimum does not test competitors products (technically true) but that doesn't mean we aren't paying attention to the market.

Yesterday I washed my other "regular driver" using the same prep products, but this time using the new formula Hyper Seal instead of Graphene.  The results = 2 really shiny vehicles!  The comparison will be complicated - cars are silver and red (red really shows off the gloss better) 8 years apart in age, and the red car has Opti-Coat Pro.  We're in the Dry Season in Arkansas so may be awhile before I can compare beading.  As expected, Hyper Seal is much easier to apply - used as a drying aid, then added a second coat to front end/hood/windshield, no buffing necessary.  I also used clay on the hood with Instant Detailer for lube - great slickness but ID didn't like Hyper Seal and streaked.  ONR damp microfiber removed hazing.  I didn't take pictures - personally I never find pictures that effective in telling differences.  FYI, the Tire Protection & Coating is still effective - after ONR wipe, tires look freshly conditioned...a win for lazy detailers!

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On 6/14/2021 at 1:43 PM, Ron@Optimum said:

Dr G's thoughts - For usage, Hyper Seal does 20-30 cars so it is much cheaper per application. If you transfer to an Opti-Seal bottle then you get 60-70 cars from one bottle.

Wow, this jumped out at me--that for "fashion" Hyper Seal apparently has an inefficient sprayer in comparison to "plain Jane" Opti-Seal.  A concession I wouldn't expect from no hype/no marketing/no nonsense Optimum.

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no one said the sprayer was "inefficient", only that it dispenses more product than I feel is needed - IMO wasteful.  I also feel the Opti-Seal sprayer atomizes the product better, but that's only my opinion.

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Some Youtube detailers (Scott HD in particular) have remarked the early batches of 303 Graphene (late 2020) did not last as long as more recent batches.

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