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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Dark colors for lazy bums: best advice?



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      05-08-2005, 08:20 PM   #1
marcus330i
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Dark colors for lazy bums: best advice?

There is so much info on this and other forums regarding the care and feeding of Black and very dark colors. So far I've read that Zaino and the California Car Duster (?) are 2 must have items.

Can anyone give me advice on how to keep the car clean, relatively swirl free, etc? I will park in my garage at night and am careful to avoid puddles etc. Is the Calif duster really a good thing to do each night? Does it hurt the clearcoat?

I love black (I'm changing my order from TiSilver to black) but I don't want to be a total slave to the car. My last 3 series was Jet Black and it only went to car washes (dumb). My TiSilver 5er only gets hand washed....by me. I think I have the time to deal with it but would like some hints from all the experts here on how to do this without spending 2 hours every Sat morning.

Thanks in advance.
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      05-08-2005, 09:33 PM   #2
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I have used Zaino in the past ( I'm waiting for my paint to cure from an accident) with great results. I applied it last fall and my car still shines in those unpainted areas. The best part is how easy it is compared to the old skool waxes. I have the duster as well. Just make sure when you do dust, your car isn't loaded with mud, bird ****e, or other caked on debis.
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      05-08-2005, 09:39 PM   #3
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I agree with what Truckondo said re the duster... just make sure you don't have a ton of crap on your car when you're using the duster, and dont' apply too much pressure... just glide it over the surface area to remove the surface dust and it shouldn't damage the clearcoat.

Regarding black/dark colors definitely make sure your car always has a nice layer of wax on it. This will help prevent swirl marks and the other imperfections that you get on dark colored paint just from driving around and washings.
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      05-09-2005, 12:19 AM   #4
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Sorry to sound like a noob or anything but what exactly is this Zaino stuff?
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      05-09-2005, 12:23 AM   #5
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Yeah...what is zaino? Where to get?
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      05-09-2005, 12:28 AM   #6
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http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc

I just found out about Zaino...so I don't know anything about it except everyone talks about how great this stuff is. God, they have like 15 different products.....don't tell me I need them all!!??
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      05-09-2005, 01:28 AM   #7
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Yeah, can a ZainoHead please post their "recipe" for success... in other words, their tried-and-true step by step treatment guide that works for them. Please also include make, model, and color of your experience(s). Thanks.
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      05-09-2005, 08:33 AM   #8
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Here is a Zaino procedure that was posted at Roadfly.org.

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.... :-)

-Steve
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      05-09-2005, 08:40 AM   #9
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Okay...I realized that that Zaino 10 Commandments post didn't really outline a process--just tips. Let's try this one:

Many people on this msg board seem to be afraid of using Zaino … it’s too complicated, it’s too expensive, it’s to difficult to apply/buff, it’s prone to smearing. Here is my unabashed endorsement of Zaino and the step by step procedures that I use on my Jet Black BMW Z3.

First, and most importantly, properly and thoroughly prepare your paint. Dawn wash, claybar, wash again with Z-7. then as needed use 3M SMR [Swirl Mark Remover] and 3M IHG [I think that stands for Imperial Hand Glaze], finishing with P21S GEPC [Gloss-Enhancing Paintwork Cleanser]. Wash again with Z-7. Now you’re ready for the Zaino treatment.

Put one ounce of Z-5 in a mixing bottle (comes with your ZFX) and add 4 or 5 drops of ZFX. This is enough Z-5/ZFX for two coats. Shake vigorously for 90 seconds.

Wipe down the entire care with Z-6 and a good quality microfiber towel.

Shake the Z-5/ZFX again for 30 seconds.

Lightly spray your applicator pad (I use the microfiber applicator) with Z-6. You want the pad to be damp, not wet. Put a small amount (nickel sized) of Z-5/ZFX on the pad and lightly spread onto your paint.. Check the applicator pad frequently for any contaminants it may have picked up. You’ll find that there are some areas on your car that are hard to do using the applicator pad. I use a lightly dampened cotton ball and a small amount of Z-5/ZFX on these areas. After this do the “cotton ball” areas first since the Z-5 will be a little thicker and doing it first gives it more time to haze.

Buff off the Z-5/ZFX using a clean microfiber towel, again checking frequently for contaminants. Shake out the towel frequently. If you drop the towel, then stop using it. I usually use two 15”x15” towels buffing off each coat of Z-5/ZFX .

After buffing, then wipe down the entire care with Z-6 and a clean microfiber towel.

Do another application of Z-5/ZFX, this time doing the “cotton ball” areas first. Buff it off and do another wipe down with Z-6.

Now stand back and admire your work!

After thoughts:
On horizontal surfaces (hood and rear deck, roof if you have one) always use fore and aft strokes when doing anything to your paint. On vertical surfaces (doors, etc.) use vertical strokes. My hands and arms don’t seem to want to do it this way, but after awhile it becomes easier. Do NOT use “Karate Kid” wax on. wax off circular motions.

Since one ounce of Z-2 or Z-5 will do two coats the total cost is less than many of the “premium” carnaubas, and it most certainly is longer lasting.

Smearing is caused by not allowing the Z-5/ZFX to thoroughly haze. Before buffing test it with your finger … if it smears wait a little longer before buffing.

In cold weather you can wait overnight between Z-5/ZFX application and buffing. I’ve waited as long as 36 hours and had no problems.

Unlike carnauba, Zaino can be applied in direct sunlight. The only problem that I’ve encountered doing it in the sun is that the Z-6 dries very quickly so you need to work on very small areas. If it does dry just apply a little more Z-6 and the stains will come right off with little effort.

I can see little of no difference in the appearance between Z-2 and Z-5, but I think that Z-5 does a little better job of filling swirls and spiderwebbing.

There is no way that you can avoid an occasional fine scratch. When I find one I rub it out with 3M SMR and 3M IHG, then wipe down with a damp microfiber cloth and top with a coat of Z-1 and Z-5. There is no way to mix a tiny amount of Z-5 and ZFX.

If anybody has hints, tips, or corrections to the above procedure, please post them. I’m always anxious to improve my technique.
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      05-09-2005, 11:02 AM   #10
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Hey....I started this thread using the term "lazy bums"......how about I just Ca. Duster the car each night and each morning and then do normal weekly car washes? How often do you guys do this Zaino marathon? Thanks for the input though......I'm exhausted just reading this.
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      05-09-2005, 01:20 PM   #11
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Agree... this Zaino proceedure sounds tolerable if you only have to do it once a year, maybe. What is the intermediate maintence between Zaino apps?
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      05-09-2005, 02:04 PM   #12
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The whole Zaino routine as outlined above is IIRC a twice-a-year thing. The rest of the time you just wash the sucker. I think that they use one of those quick detail sprays (Zaino has one too) too. When you wash, don't use Dawn, because that's for taking all the wax, etc. off the paint. So, you will strip it all off the paint. So, you're defeating the purpose. Only do the Dawn wash when you're re-doing the whole Zaino or wax thing.
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      05-09-2005, 02:06 PM   #13
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I just checked what they say on Roadfly re: intermediate maintenance.

Wash with Z7. Wipe down with Z6.
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      05-09-2005, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus330i
Hey....I started this thread using the term "lazy bums"......how about I just Ca. Duster the car each night and each morning and then do normal weekly car washes? How often do you guys do this Zaino marathon? Thanks for the input though......I'm exhausted just reading this.
I think it depends how obsessive you are about swirl marks, etc. And how lazy is "lazy?" Me, I don't want to do any of this stuff really. So, I'm probably going to buy a TiAg car. So, if I choose to be lazy and just bring the thing to the car wash, well...I can do it and not worry about swirl marks. If the car just inspires me to do the whole Zaino thing, well...I will. Still, though, I'd rather get TiAg for the simplicity of caring for it.
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      05-09-2005, 03:22 PM   #15
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If you do a full Zaino procedure, can you just hose off your car with water for intermediate procedures? I'm willing to take two weekends or so a year to do a good and thorough Zaino job if I can just use my hose to wash off my car every few days. Is it necessary to use other products (like Z7, Z6, CA duster, etc.) to get your car clean after it's been well Zainoed?

If you can tell me that I can just hose off my car (during the intermediate phase, after beeing properly Zainoed) and it'll dry perfectly without water spots and such, I will be a Zaino user for life. Thanks.
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      05-09-2005, 03:31 PM   #16
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Take it from a Zaino addict!! (ME!)...One coat of Z2, 2 good coats of Z-5, and Z-6 once every other week, and your life will never be the same..forget about everything else...The stuff is out of this world...and DO NOT ( i was too lazy and excited to read if anyone had posted this in the thread) I repeat, DO NOT apply it in circles!! The stuff is so pure you wont need to worry about glazing...APPLY in straight lines, the sides up and down....

I have only owned black cars in an enviornment that is 90% mud and 10% THICK mud....After Zaino'ing, i spray it off quickly with a hose, and spray a EXTRA THIN coat of Z-6 (it only a spray bottle of extremely pure synthetic agent that puts (literally) a MIRROR shine on the car)...I cant say enough about the stuff, But NO, you dont need ALL the products...Most of the stuff is to make sure any left over deposits from your last (ordinary) wax are off..But dishwashing liquid does that job perfectly....
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      05-09-2005, 03:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedStripe
If you do a full Zaino procedure, can you just hose off your car with water for intermediate procedures? I'm willing to take two weekends or so a year to do a good and thorough Zaino job if I can just use my hose to wash off my car every few days. Is it necessary to use other products (like Z7, Z6, CA duster, etc.) to get your car clean after it's been well Zainoed?

If you can tell me that I can just hose off my car (during the intermediate phase, after beeing properly Zainoed) and it'll dry perfectly without water spots and such, I will be a Zaino user for life. Thanks.
The main thing to remember is once you have as many coats as you want of Z-5, to only wash it with the cheap car soap stuff...that stuff is designed to leave alone any wax finish on the car, and WATER SPOTS?!?! Yeah right!! all i can say is Z-6 BABY!!! :rocks:
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      05-09-2005, 03:35 PM   #18
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So the Zaino is only for aesthetic purposes? If my car is Arctic and I'm not dealing with swirl marks and the like, what would be lazy but good protection for the look and durability of the car's paint? I have not really had a car yet that I wanted to pamper so I'm unaware of these things.
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      05-09-2005, 03:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armen52
So the Zaino is only for aesthetic purposes? If my car is Arctic and I'm not dealing with swirl marks and the like, what would be lazy but good protection for the look and durability of the car's paint? I have not really had a car yet that I wanted to pamper so I'm unaware of these things.
You CAN be lazy with Zaino..It will take an effort ONCE..and that will be it for a WHILE...The more effort you put into it the first time, the longer you can sit back an enjoy the glass....

But since is so pure, it WONT get rid of swirl marks like the other thick waxes...thats why you have to get rid of any deposits on the paint finish BEFORE you Zaino...once thats done, the world is your oyster!!
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      05-09-2005, 04:49 PM   #20
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My question was more about the protective and care properties of Zaino or some other paint care products rather than the aesthetics which I think are fine already.
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      05-09-2005, 08:45 PM   #21
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Don't use dawn or dishwashing liquid. IT WILL MESS UP YOUR PAINT after a couple of times. I wouldn't also vaildate the claim that it really strips all the wax off. I recommend claying your car instead if you want to strip off the wax.
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      05-09-2005, 10:31 PM   #22
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I'd like to add that you should be careful with the claybar. Personally, if you have new paint (new car), don't get anywhere near a claybar. Those things are good at catching particles on paint but they can also catch large particles of grit and then drag it across your paint, thus scratching it.

If you already have scratches, then you won't really notice. But if you have perfect brand new paint, don't even think of using a claybar.

I've talked to one person who who had perfect paint before the claybar and scratched paint after using one. Be careful.
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