Myth #1: Dishwashing detergent is safe to use to wash your car.
Not true! It can remove everything from the surface, yes everything! That includes stripping the polymers off the paint surface… Dishsoap dries hands and on the surface of a car, the same thing occurs; it accelerates the oxidation process when used regularly.
Myth #2: Washing and cleaning are the same.
A car wash removes loose contaminants but cleaning removes stubborn stains, blemishes and bonded contaminants. So, what is a bonded contaminant? It can be sticky tree sap or a spray of tire rubber.
Myth #3: A shiny car is clean.
I wish, but seeing is not believing. When clean, your car should feel like glass but it feels like sandpaper, it’s because you can feel the contaminants. Products like a clay bar can easily remove bonded contaminants, something that’s essential before applying polish or wax.
Myth #4: Clay bars should only be used by professionals.
Not True! It is easy. The bar (which comes in a kit) is able to grab and gently remove all bonded contaminants (like tree sap and road rubber). Go ahead and try it!
Myth #5: Waxing removes swirl marks.
Not True. Swirl marks (scratches on the paint surface) can only be removed by getting to the bottom of them. This depends on how deep the scratch is. Micro-fine scratches can be fixed with a non-abrasive paint cleaner; moderate ones may require something more serious; deeper swirl marks may need professional help.
Myth #6: There is no difference between polishing and waxing.
Polishing creates a brilliant high-gloss surface; waxing protects the vehicle’s finish by coating it with wax polymers, resins and silicones (which means waxing won’t make a dull surface shiny).
Myth #7: Machine polishers damage the paint finish.
Speed is the key; a dual-action polisher or orbital buffer shouldn’t be a problem for even the most inexperienced. Not so with rotary buffers, which operate at much higher RPMs and are best left to the pros.
Myth #8: Diapers, t-shirts and flannel make good cleaning cloths.
A smooth surface actually scratches the surface! No kidding. A premium terrycloth microfiber towel is what’s recommended — the surface creates a buffer zone that will pick up the bad stuff, and it won’t grind it into the paint finish.
Myth #9: Paste wax offers greater protection than liquid wax.
While this once was true, times have changed. In the old days, we used carnauba wax, which was the hardest natural wax available. Fifty years later we have synthetic waxes, polymers and resins that have far more resilience than carnauba and enhance the gloss. Interestingly, carnauba (which people still want to see in a product) actually grays the surface of a vehicle.
Myth #10: Once a car is waxed, regularly protecting the paint finish becomes unnecessary.
Remember that tree sap and tire rubber? It’s never-ending, which means so is the need to remove it. The best strategy: Remove the contaminants with a mist-and-wipe product before they have time to bond to the vehicle’s paint.