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Do It Yourself Tips from a Full-Flegged, Down to the Bone, Mercedes-Benz Enthusiast

Reprinted With Permission - TriAngles Newsletter

Remember when you were a kid and you used Playdough to lift images off the comics? Well, there is an automotive equivalent that is a must do before waxing. In this issue, we will learn why to do it, and how to do it before waxing.

Paint Cleaning Clay:
Cleaning clay is sold by many different suppliers, usually in kit form, and includes the clay and a lubricant.

Use a regular wax, not a cleaner wax that removes the previous layer of wax. You actually want to add layers.

100% cotton including the threads, you know who to ask.

Now that you have the tools let’s get at it.

Start with a clean car; see the last issue of our newsletter for proper washing. Remove all jewelry, belt buckles, and rivets in clothes. In fact this is best done in the nude!!

Ok, so you can’t get away with that, wear sweat pants and a t-shirt. You don’t want anything to scratch your car. Run your hand over the paint, you’ll feel bumps and ridges, this is dirt and the contaminates on your paint. Paint Cleaning Clay is used to remove dirt, tar, and bugs that you can’t see.

Take the lubricant that came in the kit and spray a small section. Always work in small sections on paint. Now, rub the clay back and forth over the area, never in circles. At first you’ll feel some drag, but after a few strokes the resistance will fade and your paint will be clean. Wipe the residue off and start on the next section. Do this procedure and waxing in a shaded area or garage.

Now that you have done the whole car, replace the towel with a beer and take a break.

The beer should be 40 degrees, but that’s another article.

Break times over, let’s wax!

Your paint is nice and clean and that’s the only way to wax your car. Use an applicator and spread the wax over it. You don’t want too much, just an even coating. Now, dab the pad in several places on the section your going to wax. Now, in a back and forth motion apply the wax. Never go in a circular motion because this will leave swirl marks. Don’t apply too heavy a coat, this will just make it harder to remove. When the wax has a slight haze, remove it with the 100% cotton towel you got/stole from your wife. Again back and forth motion, and don’t let it dry too long. You will need to turn the towel over when it gets too full of wax. I fold it in four and keep turning it to a clean side.

Try to avoid getting wax on black rubber moldings; the wax will turn white and look terrible. If you do, use smooth peanut butter and rub it off.

Now that the whole car is done, open the doors, trunk and hood, and wipe off the wax that got in the seams. Again, this will look terrible when it dries.

Done! Not yet!!! Take a clean towel, look over the whole car and remove any remaining wax. Now take the car out side and spray the whole car with water. This will harden the wax and make it last longer and look better. Remove the spray head and run the water over the car starting at the roof. The new wax will really make the water sheet off the car!

Wait a few days and you can apply another coat of wax, w/o claying. Using a good quality wax, you can apply 2-3 layers without hazing.

Now go finish that 30 pack! It is 40 degrees …right?