View Full Version : going in the buff

04-23-2005, 08:47 AM
I am planning on buffing my car this weekend and was wonder ing if you guys have any pointers. I never buffed the car before so im not sure what the best way to do it is. Also what kind of wax should I use or can I just use any ol wax. Thanks. :bigthumbu

04-23-2005, 09:51 AM
wow. Makes me wish I'd saved my write-up from c.net.


Okay, first things first.. you're not setting out to "buff" your car. buffing is something you do after everything else to smooth the wax.. and it usually involves a bit of water.

Make sure you do this in the shade somewhere.. you do NOT want to do this in direct sunlight.

If you're just going to wax it, and not detail it, I would recommend Meguiar's NXT wax or my favorite, Zymol. Should run roughly $15US for a bottle of it. (Zymol is roughly $13)

Tips. WAsh your car first with a GENTLE car wash solution. Meguiar's is my solution of choice.. but they don't make SoftWash anymore.. which is my fav. I still have a few extra bottles of it, though. they do have a big jug of some purple solution.. I forget what it's called, but I remember it working pretty well.

Rinse your car from top to bottom to remove any loose dust, sand, etc..

Mix some of the shampoo/soap with water into a CLEAN bucket.

Using a NEW sponge (about $.99US), wash the car from top to bottom. If the sponge ever hits the ground, throw it out and use a new one.

You'll want to rinse your car after washing each body panel to avoid the soapy water from drying.

Wash your wheels with the same sponge after the paint is finished.. do NOT use wheel cleaner.. it's really harsh stuff. A wheel brush may be helpful, but don't be too liberal with it.

To dry, you can use Terry towels, microfiber, or my favorite, The Absorber.

Dry it from top to bottom, using front to back motions only. The Absorber works just like a chamois... but better. Pay extra attention to cracks like the door, trunk, hood, door handle, tail-lights, side-markers, side-moulding, turn signals, etc.. You don't want your wax applicator to get soaked later on.

Wax it from top to bottom using front to back linear motions. Apply it with an applicator pad (they are cheap), one body panel at a time. Do the first panel, then let that dry while you do the second panel, then remove the wax from the first panel, and then remove it from the second panel. It's just the most efficient method.

You can remove the wax with a terry towel. (also cheap) using the same linear front to back motions.

You may also wax your wheels, as it helps to repel brake dust.. but do them last.

If you are using zymol, after waxing, sprinkle a little bit of water on a body panel, and then buff it out using a microfiber cloth. This really brings out Zymol's true potential for shine... again, linear front-to back motions.

Some people will say that using these linear patterns is absolutely useless.. and they are correct, assuming that the conditions are perfect. But they never are, and I don't like to take risks with swirl marks.. and linear motions helps to keep fine scratches less noticeable to the observer.

If you want to do your tires, I suggest Westley's spray tire cleaner and shine (it's an all-in-one deal).. it won't actually shine your tires, but it will make them look brand new. If you need them to shine, use a tire gel and an applicator, and apply a VERY THIN layer. And for God's sake, let it dry before you drive your car. You don't want the gel to slosh up onto your freshly waxed paint.

You should probably detail it, but start with this. You'll be impressed with your car's shine.

Meguiar's Plastic X works wonders on tail-lights, turn signals, side-markers, etc..

Stoner's Glass Cleaner and some newspaper is the single best-cleaning product I've ever used for glass.

Vinylex is the best interior protectant, but Meguiar's NXT line is fantastic as well. But Please.. avoid Armorall and Son-of-a-Gun.. they do more harm than good.

If you have an aftermarket exhaust, you can use Mother's metal polish or Blue Magic metal polish. Both work well to keep polished metal looking pristine.

If you want more, I can keep going, but this shoudl be more than enough for what you're doing.

Have fun, and post pics. :cool: :bigthumbu

04-23-2005, 10:28 AM
WoW thanks for the info. I also use the absorber to dry my car and I love it I can hve the whole car dried in just a matter of minutes. I was planning on using an electric buffer. Do you think thats a bad idea? Thanks for the help :bigthumbu

04-23-2005, 12:31 PM
Unless it's a random orbit buffer, and unless you're doing more than just waxing, I don't think it would be of much help. Actually, I wouldn't go near my paint with it if it weren't a good quality random orbital buffer to begin with. Heh.. but just waxing, na.. it can't do any better than you can by hand.

I used to moderate this forum back when it was still celica.net. Soo.. ignore the low post-count haha.

04-24-2005, 08:12 PM
www.autopia.org -- great detailing site, includes a whole schwack of articles under "learn" on the main page.