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Thread: How soon should I wax after polishing?

          
  1. #1
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    How soon should I wax after polishing?

    I know it would be preferable to clean, polish and then wax but sometimes I just run out of time. Can I wait a day or two?

    If it rains, and then I have to drive to work and back, is it safe to wash the freshly polished paint and then wax?
    05 Frountier CC SE...Black

  2. #2
    Registered Member Jeff Smith's Avatar
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    Re: How soon should I wax after polishing?

    Originally posted by SV1000
    I know it would be preferable to clean, polish and then wax but sometimes I just run out of time. Can I wait a day or two?

    If it rains, and then I have to drive to work and back, is it safe to wash the freshly polished paint and then wax?
    I have done this several times with no apparent problems. Just be cautious and don't get too comfortable with it and wait too long. Keep in mind your paint is unprotected.

    I have a buddy that came over and we washed/clayed/used #80 and then he had to go so we used a QD to put a quick clean on it and away he went. Well, that was a month ago and he has been too busy to bring it back. If he waits much longer, it will likely need to be started from scratch. I won't be helping anymore at this point as he has wasted my time.
    Jeff Smith

    Don't mistake my enthusiasm for experience.

  3. #3
    Registered Member Andrew's Avatar
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    Jeff- do you wash w/ QD or would you always reg. wash b/f putting on wax, polish, ect.

    example lets say I like SV1000 wash, clay, maybe do paint clean step then next day after being driven to and from work say 20 miles would use QD then polish and wax or would you hand wash and reevaluate to see if need to start over?? Just wanted to extend this post people like myself might need more clarification on things like this

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    Registered Member Jeff Smith's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andrew
    Jeff- do you wash w/ QD or would you always reg. wash b/f putting on wax, polish, ect.

    example lets say I like SV1000 wash, clay, maybe do paint clean step then next day after being driven to and from work say 20 miles would use QD then polish and wax or would you hand wash and reevaluate to see if need to start over?? Just wanted to extend this post people like myself might need more clarification on things like this
    For me, I would "prefer" to hand wash then polish. But time is what drives us most of the time. There have been several occasions where I have hand washed, then clayed then QDed and called it a day. Then the next day QD it again then evaluate the finish and go from there.

    The key here is the "evaluation". On day 2 I would evaluate what needs to be done. Alot of factors come into play here for me. Let's say I did drive 20 miles before going to the polish. It happens. Did it rain? Did you get a heavy dew? Did you drive on a newly paved road? In other words, did the finish get wet at all. If it got wet at all, even in spots, then I would likely lean towards a wash. If it did not get wet, I would likely lean toward a dusting then a QD. But even these general rules of thumb, for me, are not written in stone. Just general guidelines. My thinking is that if the finish got wet or even damp then any dust or dirt on the finish will likely have a tendency to stick, moreso than if it remained dry.

    Also take into consideration whether or not you drove on extrememly dusty or even dirt roads. Sometimes just passing through an area where lets say they are building a new shopping complex and the dumptrucks are driving through the dirt and them coming out on the highway tracking the dirt onto the pavement at an interesection. Did you get caught at that light while numerous cars were driving through the dirt on the highway and stirring it up? And was it settling on your finish?

    Like I say, evaluation is the key. General rules of thumb should be set and considered but deviation may/may not be necesssary when it comes time to touch anything. Until you are comfortable making a proper evaluation, the general rule of "better safe than sorry" might be worth considering most of all.

    If your are concerned enough to care about "How" you do things, you'll likely make a decent call when it comes to such things. Or at least you'll recognize that you may need to stop, then re-evaluate. Over time you will likely make a bad call or two. It happens, I have done it, but you'll learn from it. The great thing about this forum is that you'll not only learn proper care but how to remove screwups. Chances are if you are doing the best job you know how to do that you will not likely ever do anything serious enough to your car that you can't correct by throwing a post into this forum and apply the results of that post.
    Jeff Smith

    Don't mistake my enthusiasm for experience.

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    I would not wax without washing the truck first.

    I have tried my best to wash, polish and wax my truck all weekend. We had a huge downpour on Saturday that interupted me. Even the short drive this morning picked up all kinds of road gunk and I had to wash the quarter panels again; if not, I would have scrubbed all kinds of grit into the paint.

    I did ask if it's safe to wash polished paint because I want to know if the wash process removes the polish.

    This weekend just sucked. For starters, when I washed the truck Saturday AM, I found it was covered with white overspray. So I spent half of the day claying to remove the overspray. And since it's so dang time consuming I wanted to finish the job so I didn't have to start completely over again next weekend.

    So I am rushing to get it polished and waxed in between sprinkles and I skipped the blue tape step which just made more of a mess.

    Oh well, tomorrow is Monday and I get to go back to a dead end job until next weekend
    05 Frountier CC SE...Black

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    Registered Member zsoap's Avatar
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    If the cars not too dirty then I tend to dust it, use QD, and then wax. Quicker than washing again and I feel I don't lose any of the polish like I do with a wash.

  7. #7
    Registered Member Jeff Smith's Avatar
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    Originally posted by zsoap
    If the cars not too dirty then I tend to dust it, use QD, and then wax. Quicker than washing again and I feel I don't lose any of the polish like I do with a wash.
    I agree and do the same. I guess experience really comes into play here. When I first started a few months ago, I was asking the same questions. Now I am much more comfortable making my own decisions when it comes to whether or not to QD or wash.
    Jeff Smith

    Don't mistake my enthusiasm for experience.

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    Registered Member Andrew's Avatar
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    Thanks Jeff for the very informative answer, I guess I will continue to "go the long way" until I have a better understanding of what to look for and more experiance, I am new to this but it is frustrating for me because I am so anal! I want to get it right the 1st time! oh well patiance and practice and this forum and I will get there eventually! right now I always wash
    clay
    then wax(2 coats-currently using gold class clear coat)
    then either wash again or QD to get the dust wax residue off
    SV1000- I had a bad weekend too with all the rain showers and cold air! all I got done was interior and wash exterior rims and tires, trim polished/dressed and took 2 full days! and of course as soon as I left the house I metro bus roars by me in a construction area and blows dust all over the car! but nothing a little patience and QD couldn't handle
    thanks again for all the advice guys!

  9. #9
    Registered Member Jeff Smith's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Andrew
    Thanks Jeff for the very informative answer, I guess I will continue to "go the long way" until I have a better understanding of what to look for and more experiance, I am new to this but it is frustrating for me because I am so anal! I want to get it right the 1st time! oh well patiance and practice and this forum and I will get there eventually! right now I always wash
    clay
    then wax(2 coats-currently using gold class clear coat)
    then either wash again or QD to get the dust wax residue off
    Glad we could help. As far as washing or QDing to get any wax residue off. For what it's worth, I have never washed to get wax dust off. As a general rule of thumb, if I need to get off wax dust, I generally take a Supreme Shine Microfiber folded into quarters. I just barely mist it. 2-4 squirts at most with a QD. Then I wipe down one panel. Quite often, I don't even have to flip the MF over to wipe off the QD residue. Once I have doen one panel, I turn to a new side of the Supreme Shine Microfiber and do the same to the next panel.

    Also, believe it or not, if at all possible, I generally try to wait until the next day to do this. To me it seems wise to keep my hands off the finish until I know the wax has set up better. I have noticed that it was alot easier to put MF induced scratches into the wax if I wiped it down directly aftewards as opposed to the next day. I do the same if I got any wax in the cracks and want to go after them with the Triple Duty Detail Brush.

    Sometimes weather or my schedule is such that I don't think I'll be able to knock this out the next day so in those circumstances I will do it on the same day as I wax but I do wait as long as possible before doing so.

    Also, keep in mind it is not always necessary to clay every time you wax. It isn't going to hurt anything. But again, the key here is evaluation. Here is a thread from Mike on this:
    How often do I need to clay my car's finish?
    Jeff Smith

    Don't mistake my enthusiasm for experience.

  10. #10
    Registered Member Andrew's Avatar
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    thanks again Jeff and all others that replied; I did come across a thread that had the info about waiting a day before final wipe, it also stated that by washing your car you actually take to much of the wax off right away. I do own all the new brushes, and have 3 MF supreme shines, maybe my technique is not up to speed but I cannot seem to get the wax residue off the other car parts ie windows, trim, rims and tires to my liking without 1st washing. Like I said I am a perfectionist and I guess I am not satisfied w/o washing the car to "make sure" all the wax dust is off, the car just seems to shine more after a wash either right away(but since your reply and the thread I read I try to wait until the next day unless like you said time is a problem) or the next day, I want to post some pics so I can get some advice/coments on how I am doing so far, I think it would boost my confidence level...or make me start over from scratch My car(impala) is also white and hard to spot imperfections and like I have said b/f on the forum, I am happy with my results but I still think I am not doing something needed to really make the car shine/clear reflection, even after paint cleaner, my finish still seems dull! p.s. sorry so this is so long!

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