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      12-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #1474
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Originally Posted by litt View Post
Wow what a great thread.

I searched on this topic but information seems to change over the years, I am guessing due to different and new products so going to ask again and look for a recommendation.

I have an alpine white x3 on order and am planning on getting my detail needs done for xmas. I will be getting the porter xp. For the interior (black leather) it seems the recommended product is the 303 line.

What do you recommend for the exterior? I am thinking wash, clay bar, glaze (is this necessary?), sealer, and wax. I realize white isn't a color the "pops" like other colors, but I want it to pop as much as possible. When you buy the more expensive waxes/sealents, is there really a noticeable difference? What do you recommend for the wheels? Thanks for any help.
I'm here to help so thank you for the questions. You are right the recommendations do change over the years and for each particular customer as well.

Let's start off with the exterior. A glaze is not necessary and if you want to skip any step this is definitely the one to skip in my opinion. I would however add in a polish as this is arguably the most important step in the process.

Here is what I'd suggest for you:

Wash and Dry
DI Packages Washing and Drying Starter Package - wash and dry safely so you don't add more swirls
CarPro Iron X Iron Remover - Use during the washing process to remove stubborn deposits

Clay Bar
DI Packages DI Gentle Fine Grade Clay Bar 100g & Clay Lube - clay bar and lube at a great price

This is the step where you really restore the paint to like new again. You can permanently remove swirls, oxidation, etc. not just temporarily hide them. The PC is a huge help with this step as it works in the polish far better than a hand application. We have some great kits that give you the PC, backing plate, pads and polishes you would need here DI Packages Porter Cable 7424XP, Meguiar's Polishes and Hydro Pads Starter Kit or DI Packages PC 7424XP with M105, M205 and 5.5" pads. Both kits give you the M105 and M205 polishes with the PC that are going to help you really restore the paint to like new. Best of all the PC is easy to use and completely safe even for a first time user. Check out our detailing guide for step by step instructions and other helpful hints.

Protection - After polishing protect and enhance the shine with a sealant or wax. Waxes last about 2 - 6 weeks so we generally recommend a sealant which lasts 3 - 6 months. The Blackfire Wet Diamond with Polycharger is my favorite sealant. It provides a remarkable shine with durable protection while easy to apply. You can apply it by hand or use a blue pad and your buffer. If you really want to you can apply a wax on top of the sealant for added protection and shine.

A wax is not necessary because the sealant will provide excellent protection and a great shine, but some people enjoy the glossy appearance and added protection of a wax. If interested the Dodo Juice Diamond White Hard Wax looks amazing on white as it's specifically designed for this color. If you want something more affordable the Chemical Guys XXX Hard Core Paste Wax is a great choice as well! How much difference you notice between these waxes often varies tremendously by personal opinion and that particular vehicle. I don't think the difference is often huge so it's certainly not a must have and it comes down to more personal preference and finances.

I hand remove all of the excess product with a clean DI Microfiber All Purpose Towel. These towels are paint safe and help quickly remove the left over clay lube, polish, sealant, etc. I'd suggest getting about 5x - 10x of them.

Interior Cleaning and Protection
To clean most of the interior I use the 303 Cleaner & Spot Remover, it's extremely effective. I use it to clean the carpets, mats, dashboard, doors, console, trim, etc. For fabrics spray them directly and use a brush to remove stains. For the rest of the interior spray it on a good microfiber towel and wipe the area. 303 Aerospace Protectant protects just about the whole interior (vinyl, plastic, rubber, leather). It blocks out UV rays and preserves the finish so apply it to the dashboard, doors, console, arm rests, exterior trim, rubber moldings, etc. etc. Protecting the carpets and mats is super easy just mist the 303 High Tech Fabric Guard on them and you are done! It will help repel moisture and the fabric will look exactly the same. It's such an easy step that many people skip over but trust me it's well worth it. The Leatherique Prestine Clean and Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil is my go to leather care combo. They can be used to restore faded leather or use a bit less to maintain newer leather. The formula is all natural and it helps keep the leather soft and flexible yet strong and durable. If you want a one step process the SONAX Leather Foam can be used on the leather as well to keep it clean, without any extra gloss or shine that is generally not good for the leather.

I love the new SONAX Wheel Cleaner Full Effect which is very strong yet pH neutral and totally safe to use. It helps clean the wheels quickly and effectively! To protect the wheels you can use the same sealant listed above or get something like the Poorboy's World Wheel Sealant.

If you want the tires looking like new year round the TUF SHINE Tire Appearance Kit is an amazing product. It provides a semi-permanet coating that keeps the tires looking new, repelling moisture and contaminants while still good for the rubber.

Wow we covered a ton of information here so let me know if you have any questions at all. Take care!

Greg @ DI