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what is the difference between Cleaner Wax (specifically Mothers Carnauba cleaner wax) and normal wax? i just noticed that the carnauba wax i have is the "Cleaner wax" which comes with the clay bar kit...i never noticed i always thought it was just normal wax... anyone know the difference? and what its used for?
 

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Normally a wax doesn't have any cleaning properties, that means that it doesn't have abrasives.
Now If you need to remove light oxidation or contamination while you're applying a durable wax shine, You will use a cleaner/wax product that will clean, polish and protect in one simple step..

I would recommend that you wash your car, use the clay bar, polish and wax it with regular wax, and after that you can just apply a coat of wax as needed to keep your car nice and protected...

Me personally use all Meguiar's products, they have a 3 step processes.
I use Meguiar's Gold Class wax or Meguiar's NXT Generation wax on my car once a month, some times I apply 2 coats. REMEMBER to always use a Microfiber cloth to remove your wax.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
^ok so i havent polished any cars in my life yet but im planing to this summer once i buy the PC orbiter... but anyways so your saying..wash, clay, use REGULAR wax (non cleaner wax) and then a coat of cleaner wax ontop?

and i've always used the terry cloths to remove my wax..ill try a microfibre though but ive never had good luck with them...always making scratches with them :thumbdown
 

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Please let me clarify a few things...

"Wax" is an auto care industry term for a broad range of products that offer protection for paint... most often "wax" contains polishes of some sort... and most often "wax" contains carnauba for protection; if not carnauba, then it's a synthetic wax (sometimes referred to as a sealant). Just check your paint care department and read the fine print... you'll see what I mean about virtually all of the products containing polishes and/or cleaners. Though you'll also see odd things like Turtle Wax Ice being called a polish when it's really not, so stick with the trusted names.

It's a little easer, I think, to refer to a wax with no polishes as "pure carnauba wax" and frankly, there are only two major players in the consumer market: Mothers California Gold Pure Carnauba Wax (liquid or paste) and Meguiar's Deep Crystal Carnauba Liquid Wax, so it's pretty simple -- and both are considered "step 3" of their 3-step system.

After claying, I strongly recommend you polish a little as well as protect... that's why Mothers includes a Carnauba Cleaner Wax in their clay kit (and Meguiar's includes a cleaner wax in their Smooth Surface Clay Kit). The Mothers Carnauba Cleaner Wax has polishes and cleaners and pure carnauba protection all in one product... it's a really nice product as carnauba cleaners waxes go, and an excellent choice on lighter colors, or darker colors that don't need serious defect removal.

As an alternative to the cleaner wax, you could use a multi-step regimen such as the Mothers Ultimate Wax System -- Pre-Wax Cleaner, Sealer & Glaze, and Pure Carnauba Wax or the similar Meguiar's system. Those I know who have used both like the Mothers for its ease-of-use. And you don't need to use all 3 steps every time -- just the first time to get the finish into shape, and maybe one other time throughout the year (in-between just use steps 2 and/or 3 to maintain the look you like).

If you do layer your products for added protection (maximum of two layers total), you'd always use the pure carnauba wax on top -- see, if you do it the other way around, the cleaners in a cleaner wax will remove the pure carnauba below it.

Get some foam or microfiber applicators for product application, and some quality microfiber polishing cloths (not cheapies) for product removal. Wash them by themselves with liquid detergent, warm wash, no bleach and no fabric softeners. Tumble dry low or medium without fabric softener sheets, inspect and fold and keep clean until you use them... if they're leaving scratches, either they're cheap towels, you didn't remove the tags, you washed them wrong or you have debris in them.
 

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CamrySExxx said:
^ok so i havent polished any cars in my life yet but im planing to this summer once i buy the PC orbiter... but anyways so your saying..wash, clay, use REGULAR wax (non cleaner wax) and then a coat of cleaner wax ontop?
:thumbdown
No. You polish and then wax. You always get the paint clean before you wax.

I don't bother with cleaner waxes, but they're fine for the average person. A Cleaner wax is basically just a wax with some polish mixed in. I prefer to apply polish and then wax. Not both steps at the same time.

If you still want to use a cleaner wax then do it like this. Wash, Clay, Cleaner Wax, Regular Wax. Or you can leave off the Regular wax and end with the cleaner wax if you don't have the extra time.
 

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^ ah i understand now .. so for the final wax (regular wax) im going to have to buy a new wax since i dont have much regular wax left... what do you reccomend guys? maybe the meguairs NXT gen wax thing ?
 

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Yeah that's fine. If you're buying off the shelf then I would look for Meguiars Gold Class or Meguiars #26 High Tech Yellow wax paste. I usually prefer paste over a liquid. The paste version usually has more carnauba in it than liquid does.
Or another good off the shelf choice would be Mothers Reflections Wax, and then you could top it with Mothers Reflections Top Coat if you want, but it's not necessary.
 

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The Cool Guy
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Yeah that's fine. If you're buying off the shelf then I would look for Meguiars Gold Class or Meguiars #26 High Tech Yellow wax paste. I usually prefer paste over a liquid. The paste version usually has more carnauba in it than liquid does.
Or another good off the shelf choice would be Mothers Reflections Wax, and then you could top it with Mothers Reflections Top Coat if you want, but it's not necessary.
MmMm....i was searching for info on cleaner wax.
Well, I don't have the time to polish anymore :(

I have a couple of questions.
1. Is it ok to Wash, Cleaner Wax? or should I also clay?

2. I was thinking of using Meguiar's NXT Tech Wax b/c it lasts longer than the yellow tech paste wax, i've tried the yellow paste wax and it is beautiful. I decide my car needs a wax whenever it gets dirty quickly.

How do i get lasting protection? Should I apply two coats of NXT Tech wax or one coat of cleaner wax and a coat of NXT?
 

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A cleaner wax is no substitute for clay. Clay pulls contamination out of your paint while cleaners and polishes just take contamination off your paint. Big difference. Using a cleaner instead of clay would be like having a splinter in your hand and just shaving it off at the skin before applying the bandage. It wouldn't really help to do that and it would only make it harder to remove when it becomes a problem. Don't level off contamination that is embeded in your paint. Clay doesn't just remove the tar and sap that you can see. It also removes invisible contamination that can only be felt, but is still there.

Most liquid waxes have enough solvent content to be considered cleaner waxes. The ones that are specifically labeled as such have a much higher content and do a little better at tougher cleaning jobs like oxidation removal. They are more of a prep product before you use a real wax for protecting, but they can be used as an 'all in one' product if you are looking for really weak protection. My recomendation would be to wash, clay, polish with your cleaner wax, and then use a good paste wax or sealant. Polishing swirls would be in there in lieu of the cleaner wax if you have a machine that can do that kind of thing, but if you are working by hand then that is the prescribed procedure. Wash, clay, polish, protect.

NXT has abrasives in it that will not allow it to be layered. What I would do is put the NXT on first and then put your past wax on next. That will give you the looks and protection of both products.
 

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The Cool Guy
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A cleaner wax is no substitute for clay. Clay pulls contamination out of your paint while cleaners and polishes just take contamination off your paint. Big difference. Using a cleaner instead of clay would be like having a splinter in your hand and just shaving it off at the skin before applying the bandage. It wouldn't really help to do that and it would only make it harder to remove when it becomes a problem. Don't level off contamination that is embeded in your paint. Clay doesn't just remove the tar and sap that you can see. It also removes invisible contamination that can only be felt, but is still there.

Most liquid waxes have enough solvent content to be considered cleaner waxes. The ones that are specifically labeled as such have a much higher content and do a little better at tougher cleaning jobs like oxidation removal. They are more of a prep product before you use a real wax for protecting, but they can be used as an 'all in one' product if you are looking for really weak protection. My recomendation would be to wash, clay, polish with your cleaner wax, and then use a good paste wax or sealant. Polishing swirls would be in there in lieu of the cleaner wax if you have a machine that can do that kind of thing, but if you are working by hand then that is the prescribed procedure. Wash, clay, polish, protect.

NXT has abrasives in it that will not allow it to be layered. What I would do is put the NXT on first and then put your past wax on next. That will give you the looks and protection of both products.

Ah ok, so I cannot and should not do....Wash>Clay> Polish w/ cleaner wax > NXT Tech wax because tech wax will not bond to the cleaner wax because it is a sealant. ?

I'm guessing if I wanted to use the NXT Tech Wax then I would have to buy a pure polish instead of using cleaner wax.
 

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Technically sealants won't bond to waxes, but NXT Tech wax has mild abrasives in it that would remove anything you are applying it on top of. So using a cleaner wax wouldn't really be a problem because the Tech Wax would remove anything that would cause bonding issues.

NXT isn't a typical sealant. Most sealants don't have abrasives or fillers in them like NXT has. Just like cleaner waxe aren't typical waxes, NXT could almost be called a 'cleaner sealant'.
 

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The Cool Guy
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oh ok, what's a good polish that I could use? Something that I can get my hands on at AutoZone or something.

I would like to do the Wash->Clay->Polish-> NXT Wax
 

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Let me ask this... what is it that you want the polish to accomplish? If your paint is in good shape then you can get away with just the wash, clay and then NXT. Since it has light polishing capabilities that will remove minor swirls and fill more moderate swirls, it really does do what any 'off the shelf' polish will accomplish by hand anyway.
 

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The Cool Guy
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oh ok, there are some swirls that I can see when light shines on the car. Other than that you can't see the swirls when in the shade. My purpose with the polish is to get rid of those swirls.

You say Wash->Clay-> NXT will work? Sounds good.

Btw, one question for you too. In the Meguiar's 3 step system, what is the first step, the "cleaning paint" step equivalent to when it comes to washing or claying because step 2 would be the polish step.
 

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Swirl removal is the job for a machine. NXT is effective on really really minor swirls, but only with a machine. The rest of the time it just fills them in and they will come back after a couple washes. Swirl removal requires heat and friction to break down the polishes required to take the edge off the swirls. You can't generate that kind of heat and friction by hand unless it is something you've been doing for many years and have shoulders like an ox. Ask any professional and they'll tell you the same thing. If you are getting swirl removal results by hand then it is most likely because you are using a product that fills them in and hides them for the time being.

Don't think that your swirls are minor just because they can't be seen in the shade. Nobody's swirls can be seen in the shade.

Also, don't get too caught up in the Meguiar's three step stuff. There are way more than three steps to taking care of your paint. They don't include washing and clay as one of the steps, but obviously they need to be done. Their products marked 1, 2, and 3 are basically just a paint cleaner for oxidation, a polish to condition the paint but not to remove swirls, and a wax to protect. That system won't do anything for swirls unless the oils in the polish and carnauba fill them in. It is a system that is designed for hand use. Meguiar's makes several products for swirl removal, but they all require a machine to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
yea wash clay and wax should be fine. Um im pretty sure you only need to clay once in a while, so your wash after that just washing+wax should be fine. If you wanted to you could spray detailer spray after washing but before waxing.
 

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The Cool Guy
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ouch, i just went to Auto Zone for Meguiar's Clay Bar kit, car wash shampoo, and Meguiar's NXT paste wax....$40


Now to find the time to do it one weekend
 
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