It's the Rolls-Royce of Bentley websites.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Self Preservation Society

I love polishing a car worth polishing.

It's almost like therapy - it gets your mind off work and troubles...

I do have a real job during the week but when I get the chance, it's very satisfying to spend time on some paintwork preservation.

All my knowledge of this is self taught through trial and error. You simply do what works best.

I think that in order to polish a car you really need one of these:

A 'Gem' orbital polisher.

And these:

Then lots of clean hand towels, elbow grease (something you can't get off the shelf), a nice clean, bright, temperate garage and 'Mothers' products (well, I like them...) :

Never try to polish a car outside as there is always too much dust blowing around and the sun dries the products, potentially ruining your efforts - and your paint.
One of the most amazing products you will ever use is a 'Clay Bar' or 'contaminant remover'.

You thoroughly wash and rinse your paintwork, then rub the paint one panel at a time with the bar and very very soapy water (I call it silly Putty - although it is not that product at all - just a nickname I use when showing it off).

The soap should never be dishwashing detergent as that has too much 'wetting agent' and will destroy your paint.

Over time I have found the best car wash soap is actually the Autoglym one - it’s the gentlest on a car wax finish:

The claybar removes those nasty little things on your paint that you cannot see, but can feel when the car is clean and dry.
There should no sound as you gently rub a finger on a clean (not at all dusty) paint surface. If you hear a 'shshshing' sound - as though you were rubbing your shirt or trousers your paint needs to be claybarred before polishing and waxing.

That can take an hour or two on a large car. Once finished with the bar, wash and dry the car again.

As for the polishing I always use the Mothers Number 1 Precleaner and Wax, followed by Number Two Sealer and Glaze and then the Number Three Carnuba Wax Paste. All applied using the orbital polisher and final finishing by hand.

It takes me four hours to do the paint on a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, depending on the state of the paint - sometimes twice as long, but I usually only work on the same cars over many years so nothing is ever too bad.

When you wash your car always use a sponge, a big bucket of clean soapy (car wash soap - remember) and lots of water from the hose.

Always clean off the sponge as you use it - don't rub the dirt from one panel onto another...

Dry it with a synthetic chamois. Synthetic chamois are hard to use when new so often soak them for a few days when new and constantly wring them until they are 'workable'. Then I keep them moist, always wrapped in plastic.

Car cleaning is good exercise, fun, a great way to appreciate the details and lines on a car and when you do it properly you get great results.
Bentley and Rolls-Royce cleaning is the best for you, though. Take my word for that.

I really like Mothers' products but many other products are as good (maybe even better).

I tend to use what I can find easily at my local autoparts store. If it doesn't work, I simply won't use it again...
Happy spring polishing!
(Posted by David Irvine)


At 3:36 pm, Blogger Whitey said...

Thanks David, lots of good general car cleaning information in this post!

At 3:37 pm, Blogger Whitey said...

Thanks David, lots of good general car cleaning information in this post!


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