Friday, March 23, 2012

... Goodies arrived!!

Looks what someone sent me for free!! God bless the kind Autogeeker who sent me this :-)
I will be sure to put it to great use.

Yup.. tons of microfiber polishing/removing towels, cleaner wax, spray wax, meguiar's ColorX, SwirlX, Ultimate Compound, Ultimate Polish, 7" pads, Meguiar's Express wash, Collonite 845 wax, Oh my!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Detailing Goodies on the way :-)

For folks new to detailing, there are several great online resources available. My favorite ones are three forums:,, and - the latter being my favorite and most unbiased.

Last week, I posted a question on AutogeekOnline about waxing my black 2012 Nissan Altima. I got several good suggestions from veteran autogeekonline members. My primary criteria was durability and cost. Durability - because I am not a full-time detailer, and find it difficult to spare time to do it. Cost - because I am on a shoe-string budget :-)

Collonite 845 was was something that came highly recommended by folks on durability front. At $15 per bottle, it is not exactly the cheapest wax, but it is definitely not as expensive as the $90 tubs either. So I decided to take the plunge and order one.

To my surprise, just when I was about to order it, 2 kind members decided to send some free samples my way. One member had posted an ONR review where he offered a small sample of Collonite 845. Another kind member is sending me several cleaner waxes, LSP (last stage product) waxes, foam pads, compound, etc. Basically, everything I will need for the next few months for the two big projects coming my way :

1) Fix the damn scrapes, scratches, and chips I put on my brand new car when I tried to park it in a narrow space. You can find a photo in my first post on this blog. If you have any suggestions, do send them my way (n00bdetailer [at] gmail [dot] com). My POR (plan of record) for this is:
  • Clean the spot with a wax remover or degreaser
  • Use a polishing pad and Meguiar's Ultimate Compound to fix the scratches and swirls
  • Use touchup paint and Langka Blog Eliminator to fix the chips
  • Allow the new paint to dry for 30-60 days and follow it with a sealant and wax
2) Remove DISO (Dealer Installed Swirl Options - a term coined by Mike Philips on AutogeekOnline)
  • Clay the car with Mother's Clay Kit
  • Polish with Meguiar's ScratchX 2.0 (step up to ultimate compound if it is not aggresive enough)
  • Finish with Meguiars Ultimate Polish
3)  Seal & Wax
  • I am planning to do a 3-stage polish-seal-wax here. The Polish step is already done above.
  • For paint sealant, I plan to use Collonite 845
  • I am still undecided on which LSP to use - I will decide once I receive the awesome free goodie bag from the kind AutogeekOnline member :-)
As always, email me if you have any suggestion on any of this! n00bdetailer [at] gmail [dot] com

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine - 2012 v3 Formula Review

Few weeks ago, Optimum Polymer Technologies (OPT) released a new version of their popular Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine Car Wash Formula - popularly known as ONR. Some people call this new iteration v3, while some call it v4 - so to save the confusion, I will just call this the ONR 2012 Formula.

I have never used a rinse-less car wash system before, so I do not have much in terms of comparison - but this will serve as a stand-alone review of this car wash system. I live in an apartment, so I could not use any of the shampoos that require a hose pipe with several gallons of water. The drive-by car washes make me very uncomfortable since I do not know what detergent and brushes are used, and whether they could marr the paint. While I reside in North California and do not have to worry about snow & cold temperatures, a rinseless wash could be used in such conditions too.

The Rinse-less car washes are perfect for these kind of situations - you need very little water - under 2 gallons to wash a typical sedan. These systems are not suitable for very filthy dirty cars, but they are perfect if your car has some dirt and you want to wash it regularly. Additionally, the polymers in ONR adds shine to the car. I bought this from, and highly recommend this site. (Disclaimer: Links are affiliate links)

Without further ado, here is the review of ONR 2012 Formula on a dirty black Nissan Altima.

2 Buckets (1 with clear fresh water, 1 with 1 oz ONR solution mixed in 2 gallons of water), pre-mixed ONR solution for pre-rinsing (1 oz mixed in 32 oz of water), Grout Sponge (bought from Home Depot), and Microfiber Towels.

Several water marks, bird bombs, pollen, dust, etc on this 2012 Nissan Altima

ONR feels quite slick on the surface. I pre-rinse the panel that I am about to wash by spraying some ONR+water solution, then use the grout sponge to wash in straight lines. Once done, I rinse the sponge, and go over the panel a second time using the other side of the sponge. Finally, I use a Microfiber towel to dry the panel. If there is some water left behind, I use another microfiber towel to go dry again. You can see the process in the video below.

It's always best to go from the top-most part and work your way lower as you clean the car. I divided the car into several "panels" to effectively wash it. First, I did one half of the top, then the other half. Then I finished all the windows, followed by the hood, front bumper, trunk, door panels, and the remaining lower panels. Finally, I finished with the door jams. I did not do the tires - will leave that for next week.

The sponge did have some dirt it picked up, but that did not affect the slickness, nor caused any marring.

ONR cleans really well. In fact, the car as clean as when I bought it new, if not more.