The AMK cleaning special ...

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Cleaning suppliesWe have found a box full of them during the warehouse reorganization. Plus the working texts for that edition. For information on this a chapter from that special.

Because spring is coming again.
Because classics may shine again.

Is everything really good?
Paint cleaners, scratch fillers, polishing pastes, sealing products, gloss, carnauba wax, showroom finish. What should we do with it? For the shelves with cleaning and care products, desperation strikes many classic enthusiasts. Here is a guide through the product jungle.

To be honest, I had imagined more at the sight of Christian Petzoldt's warehouse. More clarity for example. At least a clue as to how the craftsman uses it. Totally wrong. Although Christian even has its own brand, his warehouse appears to be a small Calais for different brands of polishing pastes, cleaners, waxes and other car care products.

Mc waxThe professional smiles broadly: “A brand that is so good across the line that it puts everyone else in the shadow does not exist, but there are companies that are at the highest level with their entire line. " But almost every manufacturer has a top product in its range that stands head and shoulders above the others. It took me almost twenty years to find my ideal means. And every year there are improved recipes and completely new products. It is impossible for a hobbyist to find his course in that offer. But for old-timer enthusiasts, life is easier. The products for their hobby have been crystallized for years.

But still: the creativity of the marketing strategists and the commercial copywriters make the orientation within the paint care segment at least challenging. One offers varnish gloss cream. The other a lacquer sealer. The following sells showroom shine. But what is that stuff all for?

Christian explains: “In principle, there are polishes and preservatives that must preserve and protect the shine after a polishing or polishing session. Then of course there is a multitude of cleaning and aids, but the two main groups mentioned first are the basis of and for everything. The cleaning pastes and cleaners differ in the amount, coarseness and hardness of their abrasive components. The larger and harder those grinding components are, the more varnish they remove. And of course, a more aggressive agent is required for polishing a slightly rusted chrome layer than for polishing a slightly weather-beaten lacquer layer. That is why chrome polishes are not suitable for use on paint.

Scratch-RemoveScratch removers and polishing pastes then come second to the size of the abrasive grain. Because those deep paint damage must be tackled, they have to take a lot of material. In such cases, skilled workers use extremely fine polishing paper with a grain size of 2000-2500. With that they also remove a considerable amount of the top layer of paint. That is why such agents should never be used on very old coatings. After years of brushing, they have already become quite thin and you are on the primer before you know it. Oh yeah; do not expect too much from the magic drugs that are offered through Tell Sell and the like.

In the next shelf we find the varnish cleaners whose name is somewhat confusing, because they do not remove dirt, but these 'cleaners' are in character between the grinding and polishing pastes. And how hard or soft these types of agents handle the varnish varies according to the manufacturer. The top brands often give their users the choice between three, four or even five degrees in polish and police resources. And with that every paint can get its own custom work. And that makes the chance of wrong choices with hobby cleaners considerable.

Christian Petzoldt: “In fact, it is always true that as little old paint as possible should be removed during reconditioning. Then the paint lasts longer before the primer coat has been reached and, moreover, there is no need to 'polish' to get the paint back to high gloss. That saves time, and again paint. ”There is a simple trick to see which polish is the best. “Wash the car and place it in the sun after drying so that the fine scratches become visible. These are the traces of past cleaning times and car wash visits. Then choose a product and use it to polish as little as possible in a prominent place, such as on the passenger side near the sill. If circular polish traces become visible in the paint, the so-called holograms, then polishing is no longer required in circles, but in straight lines. Otherwise the grinding components will collect in the scratches, which will make them deeper.

holograms in lacquerThe polish with which the holograms are just enough to take away the holograms is good. ”If the products are from the same manufacturer, even higher mixing can be made 'to measure'. There are also providers who save the customer the trouble of choosing. Fortunately, that does not mean that these resources have very limited employability. Christian explains: “Polishes that make everything right at once were originally developed for the automotive industry. Time is money there and paint imperfections must disappear quickly and without trace. The abrasive grains of these pastes are constructed in such a way that they are coarse enough to remove scratches at the start of the brushing. While brushing, they fall out until they are finally fine enough to make the finest brush marks disappear. A brilliant concept! To actually solve everything in one go, a wax is often added to these products. The wax then fills the last very fine scratches and provides a nice shine.

But for the ultimate quality, the patchwork remains because the wax reduces the shine rather than increases it. Christian proves that with a device that measures the reflection value of the paint. The gloss level of a freshly painted car is indicated with 88%. After a final brushing session that could become 91%.

Unfortunately, you cannot expose that result to the outside world with impunity. The wax layer serves as protection against the weather, but that hole at the expense of the last sharpness in the shine. This also means that kombi products can never lead to a top result. Not even if they fill the last minimal polishing marks with varnish. It is easy to see how large the share is that a veil is cast over the cleaning result. To do this, the wax must be removed with a cloth soaked in alcohol. If the paint still shines beautifully, the smoothness of the paint layer is fine. If the shine largely disappears, then the wax layer is a combination product, a 'blender'. But for hasty old-timer friends, such a color wash can be a solution.

Tight in the paintPerfection is therefore only approached by a polish with the finest sneaking particles. However, these products take off so little paint that they can actually only be used after one or more brushes with coarser pastes. So anyone who wants to go for a shiny end result must prepare for a day of brushing, including muscle pain. And although most resources can also be used with the machine, Christian does not recommend that. "Polishers are very fast and effective, but they can cause damage just as quickly and effectively."

For hobbyists who want to tackle larger surfaces with the machine, he advises eccentric polishers with a cleaning sponge. These devices are less likely to cause holograms and are easier for hobbyists to handle.

He has another tip for us: “Just as you can make intermediate steps by mixing products, you can also play with the cloths and sponges. A harder sponge supports the grinding action of the pastes. And the most beautiful shine can only be achieved with the softest polishing sponges. ”The old faithful cleaning cotton is a pass with the pros. Just as with their polishing machines, they use sponges to apply the polish. There are also possibilities to polish the case. The first is the use of cotton cloths in towel size. But microfiber cloths are even better.

But beware: the special microfibers for polishing lacquer are softer than the microfibres of the cloths that are for sale in every supermarket. “You can use that if, for example, you want to remove old layers of wax from the paint with detergent. Then the sharp microfibers come in handy. ”To brush, the soft quality is needed, which is otherwise recognizable by the fact that the edges are not hemmed. Because the stitching of those hems also scratches the paint. To be sure, the soft cloths must always be folded so that their edges cannot touch the paint.

punch to waxPros apply the preservative wax layer with a sponge. Again, the following applies: 'less does more' With just a little wax on the sponge, the wax is massaged into the paint with a little pressure and circular movements. Then the pressure must be reduced to get the excess wax back into the sponge. Even before the wax has dried, it must then be polished with the microfiber cloth. That rubbing should be easy. If it is rough, the wait has been too long and the wax has dried out.

Talking about hard wax: Carnauba is considered to be the hardest natural wax in various dosages in the wax seals of many manufacturers. As a raw material it costs around 13 euros per pound and after that it has to be extensively processed. After all that extra work by lab technicians and marketeers, the end product in glossy packaging can have a kilo price of 1.000 euros. No matter how expensive a wash may be, Christian knows for sure: “People polish too often and do too little laundry. A hard wax layer survives manual washing five to seven times before being applied again. If that happens, cleaning is unnecessary. There is no end to being in the wash. But anyone who lets the matter get to the point where it needs to be cleaned up again, will be mistaken. "

For old-timers that do not spend much time outside and often still doze off under a car cover indoors, it can take a long time before a new layer of wax is needed. But if the case is kept up to date, then that is a guarantee for a long and happy life of the lacquer layer.

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