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      05-09-2005, 09:33 AM   #8
roburado's Avatar

Drives: '03 Passat, '09 Cayman S
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Troy, MI

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Here is a Zaino procedure that was posted at

You can see the Zaino post here: Zaino 10 Commandments

There is a more general post on detailing here: Detailing FAQs

Here is the text of the Zaino post for your convenience. I've never done this myself, but when I have a house and an E90 I probably will.

Zaino 10 Commandments
We're all making the problem more complex than need be. I've been using Zaino for a while, and as some of you may recall, when we first tested it in The Wax Test, we had similar results - hazy, streaky product that never seemed to dry and looked horrible after our initial application.... luckily, since then, I've realized what our errors were...

Steve's 10 Commandments for Zaino:

1) Zaino will not remove paint defects.
It might cover mild defects ever so slightly but it will not remove them. In short, Zaino only shines and protects what's directly beneath it. If there's a waterspot or a swirl, you'll have a shiny, protected waterspot or swirl. Make sure the surface is perfect before you apply Zaino (or any true, Last Step Product).

Side note: If a miracle product claims it doesn't contain any cleaners or abrasives and is marketed as a Last Step Product and appears to not be as picky as Zaino, then I hate to tell you this, but that product isn't a true Last Step Product. A true Last Step Product is just that - it won't clean, it won't hide, it won't undo any existing problems... it should just protect and shine the surface. If it removes waterspots, swirls, smudges, etc., it's doing more than Last Step Protecting.

2) Make sure your surface is properly prepped and clean.
This means: no oils, no defects, no haze, no other products, etc. You can use prep products like Einszett, 3M, Mothers, or whoever, but make sure you do a Z7 wash immediately before you begin the Zaino process. Like it or hate it, that's how it is. No way around it. Some claim the Z7 wash isn't necessary, but I always do it, just to be safe.

3) Apply it like it costs $100,000,000 per ounce.
In short, if you can see it going on, you've probably applied a little too much. Also, there's no need to "rub" Zaino into your surface. Simply glide the applicator over it, using as little pressure as possible while still allowing you to hold onto the applicator. Excess pressure = feeling the need to use more product = using more product than necessary = problems. I can do 3 applications on our 2002 Tahoe with about 1.25oz of Zaino Z2....

4) Use ZFX properly.
4 drops per ounce is the maximum I ever use. Allow the ZFX mixture to "rest" after initial shaking - this will allow it to activate and mix with the other product (Z2 or Z5). Give it a few more shakes before you apply product to your applicator each time.

5) Use a little Z6 on your applicator
I (and many others) have found that giving your applicator a light mist of Z6 prior to applying Zaino (Z5 or Z2/ZFX) helps the product spread a little easier. Just a single, light spray before your initial application, and you'll be all set.

6) Wipe down the car with Z6 before you begin
I use this trick from time to time... it seems to allow me to spread the Z5 (or Z2) a little bit more thinly. I just give the car a quick, light wipe down with Z6 before I start applying Zaino (so, in other words: wash, prep (compound/clean/polish/glaze), z7 wash, z6 wipe down, start Zaino process).

7) Allow the product to dry completely before removing.
Take a test swipe with your finger... if the paint is clear and clean after you swipe, it's ready to remove. If it smears, it's not ready. Humidity, temperature and layer thickness play a large part in how fast Zaino will dry. ZFX is a must have - it'll speed up the drying time considerably, but it's no miracle worker. It's not uncommon for me to have to wait 45 minutes when the humidity is in the 70% range in mid-summer. Now, conversely, when the weather is 65F and 30% humidity, Zaino with ZFX will dry before I finish applying a single layer to my car... so, just experiment and be patient. Sunlight = no help, and can in fact, make Zaino difficult to remove (and can cause smearing)...

8) Towels aren't that important.
Zaino has to consider a very wide audience base, which is why they probably don't always recommend microfiber to everyone. Why? What does that mean? Well, most of us here realize that quality microfiber costs a few bucks, and isn't available at Wal-Mart or Jim-Bob's 5-and-Dime. However, your neighbor might not understand (or recognize) the difference between quality microfiber and "convenience store microfiber," so Zaino sticks with something safe - quality cotton bath towels. Truth is, I use microfiber with Zaino all the time, and never have any problems (I also use it with Klasse, P21S, Pinnacle, etc). Just make sure it's quality microfiber, and that you have plenty on hand.

9) If you have a problem...
There are very few Zaino problems that can't be solved with a Z7 wash. If you get streaking and smearing, just wash the car with Z7. I can almost guarantee it'll remove the smearing/hazing/streaking/etc. that's usually caused from using too much product. When in doubt, give it a wash. You'll be surprised at the results.

10) When all else fails...
Call Zaino. They've probably forgotten more about their product than I will ever know about it. Go straight to the source and request some help. That's the beauty of telephones and e-mail - people can contact each other quite easily and work through any problems that may exist.

In closing, I'm no Zaino expert... but I do know what I've done wrong in the past, and I hear from folks who have a lot of questions about the product. These 10 steps have served me well... hopefully they'll help you. It's not as complicated as it seems or sounds - I think people worry too much about the entire process and concentrate so hard on hitting a Grand Slam while at their first-ever at bat that they lose focus entirely and strike out completely. Relax, take it easy, enjoy yourself and take a stab at things... it's not rocket science.... :-)