carbonkiwi

Dried Droplet Spotting After ONR and OS

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Hi all,

I'm new to the forums and the Optimum products in general so hoping to get some help as a newbie. I recently learned about ONR rinseless washing method and using opt-seal as a drying aid and loving it so far but I'm running into an issue. I used ONR to wash the car, then used OS as a drying aid. It looked like it dried just fine with no spotting or streaking. But I I took a look this morning and there are dried up droplets and spotting (no streaks). I tried to use Opti-clean to wipe off the dried spots but I can't get them out. I'm worried that I ruined my paint.

For some quick background on the method I used:

  • Pre-soaked entire car with ONR+water solution using a sprayer
  • Used the Big Red Sponge to wash one panel at a time
  • As I finished one side of the car, while still wet with ONR wash, I sprayed OS sparingly and used a Rag Company Dry Me a River towel to dry
  • At the time of inspection, the car was spotless and streakless
  • Returned this morning to find dry water spots that I cannot remove with Opti-Clean

My wife used the car right after the wash, and my guess is that the wind caused the water that was caught in between the panels to spray off and leave drops/streaks on the paint before I could get to it to wipe off and OS sealed the residue. Will these spots ever come off?

I've attached a couple of images. These are all over, and I can't wipe them off. Almost as if they are under the clear coat.

Thanks so much!

spots1.jpg

spots2.jpg

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Is it possible those spots came from something that happened while your wife was out with the car?  Or a lawn sprinkler after she came back?  Hard water spots from lawn sprinklers are pretty common, and can be hard to get off.  If those are indeed hard water spots, then you're going to need to use something like Optimum MDR (mineral deposit remover) or polish them off with something like GPS or Hyper Polish.

If they did come from in between panels, you might want to think about using distilled water with the ONR, or soft water from inside the house, if you have that.  Also, I'd be careful about presoaking the entire car, that's a recipe for having something dry before you get to it.  I'd only presoak a section at a time.

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I had the same first impression as Setec, it looks like hard water spots etched into the paint.  There is nothing in ONR or Opti-Seal that would leave marks like that.  You can try MDR, wheel cleaner, or a light polish like GPS.  If the spots were under the OS, Opti-Clean will not remove Sealant.

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The wife says nothing happened when she took it out. It was also a mild day, so no bright sun and a quick 15 min trip, and we are in the pacific north west where I believe the water is not as hard. Could the water spots etch in so quickly? This is also the car's first wash since the dealership about a month ago and I inspected the paint at an obsessive level when I went to pick it up and saw no spots. Not sure when it could have happened if not during the wash I gave it.

I used water from inside the house to fill up about 2 gallons, then switched to the hose half way. I had no idea water from inside the house is softer than from water from a hose! Point noted about the pre-soak of the entire car.

I've seen videos about using and applying MDR, but it sounds like after the application the paint is unprotected and now needs something to protect it. I'm not sure what that 'something' is any suggestions and directions would be super helpful. I'm new to detailing and have no prior experience so forgive me if my questions are basic.

  • Using distilled water means buying jugs from the grocery store?
  • Can I spot clean with MDR or do I have to do the whole panel?
  • I don't have one of those handheld polishers, can I apply whatever comes after the MDR without one?
  • Do I have to apply whatever comes after MDR to the whole panel or just the area I used MDR?
  • Is there any MDR alternative I can try that doesn't require applying something after?
  • Is there any point using a claybar? Does this also require applying something after?

Thanks for all the help 🙌

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Sorry, I meant the water would be softer from inside if you have a water softener, outside faucets are not typically part of the soft water system, except for some of us crazy car washers that have had the soft water piped to an outside faucet.  And yes, water spots can happen almost instantly in the hot sun.  You can spot apply with MDR.  You can just reapply your Opti-Seal after the MDR.  If you have to polish, it can be done by hand locally on those spots, you don't need a machine.

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Thank you @Setec Astronomy and @Ron@Optimum 

Ideally, would a polish be preferred over Opti-Seal, is there much of a difference?

If polishing is better, would an Optimum product like GPS work, or would Intensive Polish and Car Wax or Hyper Compound and Polish be better? (I found these on these on a Rag Company  youtube video.)

I don't have any waffle pads for polishing but could buy some. I have these rectangular microfiber applicators and the foam applicator that comes with Opti-Seal.

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you are confusing seal with polish, they are very different products.  Polish has abrasives that correct marring, scratches, etc.  Seal (and wax) are purely protection with no correction.  You use polish to fix the paint and sealant to protect it after correction.  Not to confuse, but GPS is a combination, sometimes called a "cleaner wax" in that it is a light polish for minor marring, fills small imperfections, and leaves sealant behind.  For your purpose, GPS will remove water spots and minor marring, and can be used by hand.  For additional long term protection, after buffing off GPS, you can coat with Opti-Seal. You probably don't need something as aggressive as Intensive Polish, which will remove serious scratches but really requires a machine (and experience). 

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Gotcha, thanks so much for the explanation of the differences. No wonder Opti-Seal's website description says to make sure there are no swirls before applying. I definitely did that 😞

So to sum up, sounds like my options are to fix these water spots are:

  • A) Use MDR + Opti-seal if there are no marrings/scratches
  • B) Use GPS if there are scratches/marrings and follow up with Opti-seal after buffing off GPS for more protection

Did I get that right?

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GPS is one of those all in one products (light polish and apply sealant in one step) that was the craze about 5 years ago.  If you don't have machine polisher to apply, I would not bother with this product as it is unlikely to save much time.  I assume you are going to just polish those areas by hand with potential hard water etching.  I have never used Optimum spray polishes/compounds by hand and considering the proper method for using is to prime pad with ONR then apply spray polish to pad, I have my doubts on your ability to recreate using on microfiber towel wrapped around your finger.

All current Optimum spray polishes use non-diminishing abrasives which will not provide best results for good finish when applying by hand (too inconsistent in pressure applied by user).  You are better off using a polish with diminishing abrasives.  One such product that the Rag Company often promotes is The Last Cut.  After hand polishing simply wipe away polish residue with ONR dampened microfiber towel, spray Opti-Seal over ONR wet area then dry with your standard microfiber drying towel.

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3 hours ago, Detail Mutant said:

 I have never used Optimum spray polishes/compounds by hand and considering the proper method for using is to prime pad with ONR then apply spray polish to pad, I have my doubts on your ability to recreate using on microfiber towel wrapped around your finger.

All current Optimum spray polishes use non-diminishing abrasives which will not provide best results for good finish when applying by hand (too inconsistent in pressure applied by user).  You are better off using a polish with diminishing abrasives. 

I can't agree with that, IMO that's backwards, when working by hand you definitely are better off with non-diminishing micro abrasives, because it's so much harder to break down a diminishing abrasive by hand than with a machine.  I personally don't like GPS and miss Poli-Seal, which is what I would use if I was the OP.  But Hyper Polish is fine by hand.

On a side note, I don't think I have a polish that I have never used by hand, for just those spots/stains like the OP has in random spots when you don't want to break out a machine.  And just for another bit of context, the original SMAT compound, Meguiar's 105, was a boon for a lot of people that used it BY HAND underneath door handles where there were fingernail scratches that you couldn't get to with a machine.  And that was a finicky product to use with a machine, but people loved it by hand for that purpose, again, the opposite of what you suggest above.

Wait a minute--"microfiber towel wrapped around your finger"??  This is the kind of thing you use when you polish by hand:  https://www.opticoat.com/product/new-optimum-microfiber-foam-applicator-pad-3-x-5-x-1/  Although you can also use a folded microfiber towel depending how energetic you need to get (the more energetic the more you need an applicator).

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have to agree with Setec here - I have a Zentool (thanks to Dr G) but for touch up polishing or quickie jobs, I have used GPS and Hyper Polish by hand with success.  Agree that any polish works better with a D/A (and GPS can be a bear to buff off without one), but when I've been without access to the machine or for small, out of the way jobs, by hand works (again, we're talking water spots/micro-marring, not scratches).

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I went and ordered Optimum GPS before I read the message from @Detail Mutant so I might be stuck with going with that for now. As long as you guys don't think it will hurt the paint, I'm up for giving GPS a try. I'm just waiting for it to arrive.

Could you guys comment on the applicators? As mentioned, I have the Optimum Blue Foam Applicator that came with my Opti-Seal, but I also have an orange Chemical Guys Hex Logic medium-heavy polishing pad. Amazon has hand applicator version of the Hex Logic ones that I can pick up if you think that is better. Not sure which color to go with though.

Thanks for all the help so far!

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I would NOT use the blue foam applicator, not heavy duty enough.  The Chemical Guys polishing pad should be fine and I've used a plain microfiber towel with no issue.

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