Detailing Guide: How To Apply Polish and Cleaner By Hand

How to use a hand applied abrasive polish or paint cleaner by hand

Always work clean

Use a clean, soft foam applicator pad, I really like these,

CCS Red Wax/Sealant Applicator Pads 2 Pack

Because they are fairly thick so the spread out the pressure of your fingers better than thinner versions.

(I like thinner versions for applying finishing waxes and sealants because then I’m not pushing hard so don’t need the thickness).

Work on a cool surface in the shade

Work a small area at a time, about 8″ to 10″ squarish or so…

Use an “ample” amount of product, don’t under-use and don’t overuse to the point that you hyper-lubricate the surface but use enough to keep the surface lubricated throughout the process. I would use a teaspoon to a tablespoon of product, usually a tablespoon’s amount to start with because your pad is dry when you start and some of the product is going to go into the pad, and after breaking in your pad then cut down to about a teaspoon’s amount of product.

Hold your hand flat to the pad, not vertical, the idea is to not put pressure ONLY on your fingertips but over the face of your fingers to avoid Fingermarks

Spread the product out over the area you’re going to work

Work the product for about a minute, don’t work till the product is dry, but it should go from an opaque film to a clear film

Wipe off before residue dries

When you move on to a new area overlap a little into the previous area

Before going over an entire panel or an entire car, first do a “Test Spot” and make sure you’re getting the results you want and hope for. If you can’t make one small area look good with your choice of product, pad and “your technique” then you’ll be glad you only worked on a small section to start with or to test and not went over the entire panel or car.

When working on clear coats by hand to actually “remove” defects, technique is just as important as your choice of product and pad, (pad = application material).

So do a Test Spot first.

Also, read the manufactures directions and follow them as the above is just a general guideline. The manufacture always knows their products best.

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