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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Ask a Professional Detailer...



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      08-14-2007, 08:15 PM   #199
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George,
Can you give me a list of what I need to wash/clay/wax/polish my car? Everything starting from buckets and towels to everything else. Also, how does poorboy compare to zaino(price,shine,ease of use, etc)? Would it take less time using a PC? I've only done things by hand in the past. Shoot me a PM if you want. I need to get a full setup. =)
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      08-15-2007, 12:45 AM   #200
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Lifespan of Microfiber

What would you guys say is a reasonable lifespan for good mf towels like the ones that Detailed Image or Autopia sells? My car is Black Sapphire and looks incredible now, and I don't want to compromise that by trying to stretch the life of my mf towels.

Is there a characteristic to look for that will tell when it's time to toss the towel in the garbage?

Also, what's the proper technique for washing mf towels?

Thanks!!
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      08-15-2007, 10:24 AM   #201
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MF vs. chamois for drying? With the cham I just need the one and can continually ring and reuse. How do the MF compare?

The other thing specific to cham, why do they fall apart and leave little bits and peices? I have one that I bought about July 4, have been washing E90 and my little pickup about once a week since then, and now all these little yellow bits left behind. I guess it's a good excuse to force me to use Z6 or Z8 after drying, but a few times on the truck I just drive off and the wind gets them off.
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      08-15-2007, 10:40 AM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragadellic View Post
What would you guys say is a reasonable lifespan for good mf towels like the ones that Detailed Image or Autopia sells? My car is Black Sapphire and looks incredible now, and I don't want to compromise that by trying to stretch the life of my mf towels.

Is there a characteristic to look for that will tell when it's time to toss the towel in the garbage?

Also, what's the proper technique for washing mf towels?

Thanks!!
Sorry, I can't answer your life span question, I haven't had one wear out yet. As far as cleaning.....Put your towels in the washing machine (obviously), but don't put them in with any other clothes, or any heavily soiled towels. Use hot water with cold water rinse. Use a small amount of "micro fiber cleaner" (I use the stuff from Griot's garage), and just a pinch of regular detergent. Do at least 2 rinses on the wash cycle, and check to make sure there is not a lot of suds floating around.....if there is, rinse again. When drying, DO NOT USE A FABRIC SOFTENER!!! Also make sure there is no lint in the dryer. AIR DRY CYCLE ONLY ON THE DRYER!!! It will take many cycles to air dry. They will come out perfect.

By the way, MF towels are all I use.
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      08-15-2007, 10:51 AM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normtrum View Post
Hey George - ok, I'm ready to pull the trigger on several DI products, but I want to run some things by you first. I've got a black saphire, and I currently have some minor scatches left behind by a glass chip guy (he decided to wipe my hood with what must have been a disgusting towel). I don't need help on the basics, ie car wash/prep, and here's what I'm planning:

1) Fine clay bar with lube......which lube do you suggest?....PB spray and wipe, or something else?
2) SSR2 Medium polish , random orb (I've already tried a light polish, and it didn't get it the job done).
3) SSR1 light polish, random orb
4) Menzerna FMJ, 2 coats, one right after the other, let cure 24 hours. Can I apply this with my orbital?
5) PB Natty Blue (applied by hand). One or 2 coats?

Do you have a machine pad that you'd recommend for steps 2, 3, and if possibly, 4?

Lastly, my new alloy wheels are about to ship, and I would like to protect them as best I can. Would you suggest your wheel wax, or sealant? Thanks!!!
normtrum, thanks for the message, all great questions.

1) Spray & Wipe is an excellent choice for the clay lube, when using it as clay lube, I actually dilute it 1:1 with distilled water to maximize it's usage. It also works amazing for cleaning a light dusting along with an ultra plush microfiber towel. It has many other uses and is a very versatile product.

2) I'd consider the Menzerna line of polishes if you are using a random orbital. If not for the cutting polish, but definitely for the finishing polish. Consider either Menzerna Intensive Polish or Poorboy's SSR 2.5. SSR 2 doesn't have much more bite than a finishing polish and do not think it will be aggressive enough to tackle your imperfections.

For pads, either an orange light cutting pad or a white polishing pad. You could have both on hand so you can start with the lesser aggressive white pad and switch to the orange pad if you want some more bite out of your polish.

3) This is where I really am going to suggest the Menzerna line, in the finishing polish. The best finishing polish Menzerna has to offer is PO106ff and often has enough bite to rid imperfections that you'd typically need a medium cutting polish to remove. You could try this w/o the more aggressive polish and see what your results are like so you only have to polish using 1 product. Another alternative would be Menzerna Final Polish II, which still finishes down finer than Poorboy's SSR 1 but not quite as fine as the PO106ff.

For pads either a white polishing pad or a black finishing pad. The black being the less aggressive of the two, same idea as mentioned above.

For maximum cutting, use the orange pad with the medium polish and the white pad with the finishing polish. For a less aggressive combination use the white polishing pad with the medium polish and the black pad with the finishing polish. The only combination I would not suggest is going from the orange light cutting pad to the black finishing pad as you may not remove all of the micro marring or haze.

4) Yes you are right in the cure time, I would recommend a blue fine finishing pad for applying FMJ with your orbital.

5) I've found that all of the Natty's waxes benefit from a second coat, spaced 12 - 48 hours apart.

IMO Poorboy's Wheel Sealant is a better product than Wheel Wax. This month we have it on sale for $11.99 which makes it cheaper than Wheel Wax to boot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldintake View Post
George,
Can you give me a list of what I need to wash/clay/wax/polish my car? Everything starting from buckets and towels to everything else. Also, how does poorboy compare to zaino(price,shine,ease of use, etc)? Would it take less time using a PC? I've only done things by hand in the past. Shoot me a PM if you want. I need to get a full setup. =)
Coldintake, I'll be sending you a comprehensive list outlining all of the steps and a complete package to properly care for your vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fragadellic View Post
What would you guys say is a reasonable lifespan for good mf towels like the ones that Detailed Image or Autopia sells? My car is Black Sapphire and looks incredible now, and I don't want to compromise that by trying to stretch the life of my mf towels.

Is there a characteristic to look for that will tell when it's time to toss the towel in the garbage?

Also, what's the proper technique for washing mf towels?

Thanks!!
If you properly care for your microfiber towels they can last quite a long time. Our manufacturer tells us they are good for up to 300 washes. Honestly I think 100 is more of an appropriate time span for the life of a towel. During that life of the towel it reaches different stages, at least for how I use them.

Initially, I start out the towels as being paint safe. The only thing that touches my paint are my premier towels to ensure you are not adding imperfections. After each wash of the towel I inspect them and decide if they are still paint safe or demote them to an interior towel. After they get grungy from interior cleaning, I demote them to door jambs and engine bay towels. From there I throw them out or use them around the house.

Here's a well written article explaining microfiber and how to properly care for the towels.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

George
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      08-15-2007, 11:23 AM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
MF vs. chamois for drying? With the cham I just need the one and can continually ring and reuse. How do the MF compare?

The other thing specific to cham, why do they fall apart and leave little bits and peices? I have one that I bought about July 4, have been washing E90 and my little pickup about once a week since then, and now all these little yellow bits left behind. I guess it's a good excuse to force me to use Z6 or Z8 after drying, but a few times on the truck I just drive off and the wind gets them off.
UncleWede - Good questions. Waffle Weave Microfiber Drying Towels are the standard for professionals and enthusiasts when trying to minimize adding imperfections to the paint during the drying phase. One of the major reasons why detailers use waffle weave towels over chamois is because chamois do not have a pile to absorb contamination into. It is similar to a sponge in that if you have contamination on the paint, you are just pushing it around, hence creating swirls and other imperfections. The waffle weave design can pull minor contamination away from the surface so it does not mar the paint. They are also very absorbent and in conjunction with the sheeting technique which I'll describe below, you can often get away with 1 towel and completely dry your vehicle in a short period of time.

Sheeting Technique:
After you have rinsed off your vehicle for the final time, remove your spray nozzel. Flood the surface of the vehicle from the top down. The flooding creates a "sheeting" effect that will self dry the vehicle. What I do is start from the top of the vehicle and move left to right with the hose. On the way back, right to left, lower the hose to the point where the water is falling and proceed to "catch" the falling water from your initial pass. Continue this method until you reach the bottom of the car.

Enjoy your vehicle with a majority of water self removed

Regarding the fibers left on your paint. Many chamois are made from some natural fibers and it can decompose over time. Same thing goes for Sheepskin wash mitts, they tend to shed and decompose after so many uses.

Hope this helps.

George
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      08-15-2007, 12:21 PM   #205
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Hey,

i have a few simple questions. after wet sanding a small area to level off the paint. do i use polish or wax to remove the dullness and retain the shine? if so, what kind of sand paper do you recommend?

thanks!
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      08-15-2007, 02:40 PM   #206
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George....order placed! Went with:

Fine Grade Clay Bar
PB Spray & Wipe
Menz FPII
Menz Intensive Polish
Menz FMJ
PB Natty Blue wax
White and Blue pads (already have some orange)

I'll let ya know how it goes. Thanks for all your help! (and for the 10% discount as well)

Great web site by the way.
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      08-15-2007, 02:49 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseCaboose View Post
Hey,

i have a few simple questions. after wet sanding a small area to level off the paint. do i use polish or wax to remove the dullness and retain the shine? if so, what kind of sand paper do you recommend?

thanks!
You'll need to use an abrasive polish to remove the wet sanding marks. Depending on how aggressive you go you could need multiple grades of the polishes.

As far as the sand paper, I usually use the 3M or Meguiars sand paper. You want to finish with the finest grade possible to make removing the marks. I usually end with 2500 grit or higher. Soak the paper in water for 24 hours before using it on your paint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by normtrum View Post
George....order placed! Went with:

Fine Grade Clay Bar
PB Spray & Wipe
Menz FPII
Menz Intensive Polish
Menz FMJ
PB Natty Blue wax
White and Blue pads (already have some orange)

I'll let ya know how it goes. Thanks for all your help! (and for the 10% discount as well)

Great web site by the way.
Looks like a great combination, I'm excited to see how things turn out. If you liked this site, I can't wait to see what you think of our new one due out by end of September!

Check your PM box, I have a question for you.

George
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      08-15-2007, 02:50 PM   #208
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I typically try the sheeting, then a quick jont up/back the driveway to motor off some of the excess. But with a typical Saturday morning often containing the E90, truck AND teh motorcycle, I'd need quite a few towels, where teh one cham does the whole lot. I almost always start with the E90, and am pretty good about the first thing in my bucket of suds is the cham.

But with a good wash/sheet, shouldn't the surface be pretty much free of contaminants to begin with? I've gotten pretty picky/picking about checking my (insert implement name here) for debris before putting it to paint. I have a separate black sock that is the only thing to touch black brakedust covered wheels, and the bit of paint in the wheel well.
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      08-15-2007, 02:52 PM   #209
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Bird poop stain

Hey ..

Any suggestion to get the weird mark off the clear coat from bird droppings? I must have had it a few days: A bird HAD to have flown in the garage and did it, (barn swallows here) and I didn't notice for a day or two. But, I washed it last weekend (HAND ONLY) and spray waxed it .. and nothing came off .. the droppings did, but not the mark in the clear coat .. ??

Suggestions .. ??

Thanks for ANY help ..
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      08-16-2007, 01:48 AM   #210
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Hey George its Pete from g35driver.com, its good to see you on here too. lol i also am making the switch over to a 3 series coupe since my lease is up on the G. While im at it, what do you suggest as a good procedure for a waterless wash? I know Optimum no rinse is highly suggested, do i have to approach the wash differently considering the circumstances?
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      08-16-2007, 02:11 PM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
I typically try the sheeting, then a quick jont up/back the driveway to motor off some of the excess. But with a typical Saturday morning often containing the E90, truck AND teh motorcycle, I'd need quite a few towels, where teh one cham does the whole lot. I almost always start with the E90, and am pretty good about the first thing in my bucket of suds is the cham.

But with a good wash/sheet, shouldn't the surface be pretty much free of contaminants to begin with? I've gotten pretty picky/picking about checking my (insert implement name here) for debris before putting it to paint. I have a separate black sock that is the only thing to touch black brakedust covered wheels, and the bit of paint in the wheel well.
Sounds good. Don't get me wrong, the waffle weave should hold as much if not more water than the chamois. I've found that it typically holds more than 5x it's dry weight, more than enough to dry a mid sized car. I always recommend having multiple towels on hand, regardless on how much 1 towel can do. In the event you drop the towel, brush it against the ground, etc. you want to have a second one handy so you do not mar the finish.

There are so many variables that go into detailing that you cannot assume a wash and dry will remove all of the contamination. Some of the variables are:
  • How frequent you wash the vehicle
  • How fresh the layer of protection is
  • What was the weather like since the last cleaning
  • Did you drive through any construction areas or places you may accumulate more stubborn contamination
  • etc.

I maintain my vehicle about once a week, sometimes sooner w/ quick details. I would say I typically remove 98% of contamination during each wash. Usually the front bumper has some bug guts or some other debris that does not come off with a gentle mar free wash. I try to pre-treat those areas next time around with a paint safe degreaser, such as Poorboy's Bug Squash or P21s Total Auto Wash. If the contamination still isn't removed, I will clay bar the area or save it for a more complete detail depending on what it is.

Let me know if that helps clear things up for you and if you have any other questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenbmw View Post
Hey ..

Any suggestion to get the weird mark off the clear coat from bird droppings? I must have had it a few days: A bird HAD to have flown in the garage and did it, (barn swallows here) and I didn't notice for a day or two. But, I washed it last weekend (HAND ONLY) and spray waxed it .. and nothing came off .. the droppings did, but not the mark in the clear coat .. ??

Suggestions .. ??

Thanks for ANY help ..
You'll have to try an abrasive polish to remove the mark. Consider trying Meguiar's ScratchX to assess the imperfection and to see if that minimizes the mark. Keep in mind, you may have to apply many often as many as 4 - 8+ coats to remove deeper imperfections, and it does require some elbow grease working it in.

If you have a Porter Cable buffer (or equivalent), use a fine abrasive polish, and work your way up to a more aggressive polish until the desired results are achieved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenskid24 View Post
Hey George its Pete from g35driver.com, its good to see you on here too. lol i also am making the switch over to a 3 series coupe since my lease is up on the G. While im at it, what do you suggest as a good procedure for a waterless wash? I know Optimum no rinse is highly suggested, do i have to approach the wash differently considering the circumstances?
Pete - Glad to see you over on e90post. When using a waterless wash product, such as Optimum No Rinse, it is even more important to have the proper washing and drying tools and techniques in place to ensure a mar free finish. You still want to have two buckets, a Grit Guard Insert, and multiple wash mitts. Treat it the same as you would a normal wash just without the hose to rinse off the residue. After or during drying, consider misting your microfiber with a quick detailer like, Poorboy's Spray & Wipe, to ensure all shampoo residue has been removed.

Congrats on the new BMW!

George
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      08-18-2007, 06:37 PM   #212
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Hi George, I think I am experiencing some ghosting after waxing. I am not sure what it is..I don't have a picture of it. I normally do my waxing in the garage where lighting is minimal and its yellowish light..so I don't really notice the stain after a wax. What I see now when I bring the car out in the sunlight (after about 18hrs since waxing), I can see stains/ghosting which looks like wax oil stains..w/ the similar looking mark when I apply it with an applicator pad. I can continue buffing to remove these marks, but I do not want to introduce any scratches to my hood and trunk. The thing is I can only see this under direct sunlight...in the shade, my car looks shiny as hell. Are those stain normal? Wax has not dried? Please help... Got a shot of the trunk..there's like millions of moon shape on my hood and its pretty obvious when it reflects the sky (white bg).


Last edited by BMXtreme; 08-19-2007 at 04:10 PM.
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      08-19-2007, 04:19 PM   #213
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BMXtreme,

It sounds like not all of the product was removed after waxing. I'd use a plush microfiber towel and a quick detailer and go over it again to make sure everything is completely removed. This happened to my vehicle the first time I waxed it. I'd recommend doing this after a thorough wash to minimize adding any imperfections to the paint. I used Poorboy's Spray & Wipe as my QD and it worked great.

Let us know how you make out.

George
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      08-19-2007, 04:23 PM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detailed Image View Post
BMXtreme,

It sounds like not all of the product was removed after waxing. I'd use a plush microfiber towel and a quick detailer and go over it again to make sure everything is completely removed. This happened to my vehicle the first time I waxed it. I'd recommend doing this after a thorough wash to minimize adding any imperfections to the paint. I used Poorboy's Spray & Wipe as my QD and it worked great.

Let us know how you make out.

George
Thanks alot George. Actually I've tried to remove some w/ a quick detailer. It works but I have to kinda really work into it..which I felt very uncomfortable..haha.. I'll wash and try to remove again and report back how it goes. Thanks for the feedback. One more thing...I put on a coat of Megs Deep Crystal Step #3 after 3 coats of NXT...not sure if this would have caused a problem.
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      08-19-2007, 04:43 PM   #215
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I was going to ask what your process was. It could be the result of your wax trying to cure and you are preventing that from happening with the coat on top, but it sounds like excess product still on your paint. Try applying even thinner coats next time around.

George
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      08-19-2007, 06:03 PM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detailed Image View Post
I was going to ask what your process was. It could be the result of your wax trying to cure and you are preventing that from happening with the coat on top, but it sounds like excess product still on your paint. Try applying even thinner coats next time around.

George
Yeah..that's what I thought...probably exccessive use...by the time I start waxing my hood, I got kinda tired and lose patience and therefore, start dapping more waxes on my pad and working it in faster...I will use less wax next time....ugh..it does look ugly.
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      08-20-2007, 12:52 PM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normtrum View Post
George....order placed! Went with:

Fine Grade Clay Bar
PB Spray & Wipe
Menz FPII
Menz Intensive Polish
Menz FMJ
PB Natty Blue wax
White and Blue pads (already have some orange)

I'll let ya know how it goes. Thanks for all your help! (and for the 10% discount as well)

Great web site by the way.
Hi George - I received everything on Friday - thanks again for your outstanding help on that.

I spent all weekend on my car, right now my FMJ is curring. I'lll start my second coat late this afternoom. I'll be giving a full analysis when I'm done, including pics.

One question George....is there a secret trick to using PB Natty Blue paste wax with my orb? Obviously paste wax is applied by hand (that's why it's paste wax), but I would love to spread it with my orb. At least on the larger, flatter areas. Anything? Thanks!
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      08-20-2007, 01:31 PM   #218
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So I was coming back from lunch and spilled Sprite on my carpet, what's the best way to clean that ?
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      08-20-2007, 10:39 PM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normtrum View Post
Hi George - I received everything on Friday - thanks again for your outstanding help on that.

I spent all weekend on my car, right now my FMJ is curring. I'lll start my second coat late this afternoom. I'll be giving a full analysis when I'm done, including pics.

One question George....is there a secret trick to using PB Natty Blue paste wax with my orb? Obviously paste wax is applied by hand (that's why it's paste wax), but I would love to spread it with my orb. At least on the larger, flatter areas. Anything? Thanks!
normtrum - glad to hear everything arrived on time I'm excited to read about your analysis and seeing how things turned out.

As far as the paste wax is concerned, I don't have any tips to spread w/ the PC since I've never applied a wax in this manner. I know some detailers have tried to melt down the wax, or carved it out of the case w/ a knife and spread it on a PC pad. I personally think too much product is wasted when you try to apply a paste wax with a PC. Ideally you want to apply 2 ultra thin coats, the PC just doesn't allow you to do so.

Looking forward to hearing about your experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusski View Post
So I was coming back from lunch and spilled Sprite on my carpet, what's the best way to clean that ?
It's a pretty good thing that it was Sprite since it was clear, that should minimize the visibility of the stain. I'd recommend a mixture Woolite and water, ~6:1 ratio or another good option is the 303 Fabric & Vinyl Cleaner diluted ~6:1 as well.

Keep a firm bristle brush handy to loosen up any stubborn debris that may have stuck to the syrup of the soda left behind.

George
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      08-21-2007, 09:16 PM   #220
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Hey George thanks for the speedy delivery on my order. (Sheepskin mit, Waffle weave Towel, Poorboys EXP & Spray & wipe, and a MF, tire dressor) this will be my first time using Poorboy products, hopefully all should go well, ive heard nothing but good about the two.
Can i use the spray & wipe for bird droppings? or should i continue to use my Bug & tar remover?
Appreciate 0
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