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:eek: I hate those damn swirl marks left behind after washing my truck. What causes them, and how do you get rid of them, and can they be prevented fromalways coming back? I waxed my truck by hand, and it looked great until the sun shined on it.....swirl marks galore. What did I do wrong? I could understand if I used a high speed buffer, but I waxed it by hand. I used Mothers Carnuba wax. What is the best way to wax...by hand or machine, and if machine, what brand and model of macine?
 

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Ok, first off swirls are caused by improper washing (not using right soap, mitts, using brushes, dirty water, dropping mitts on ground) and in the wrong hands, buffers. Buffers only create swirls with an inexperienced user at the "helm". I can buff a whole car with a high-speed or Porter cable buffer and not get any swirls, just remove them.

Secondly, you can do things to get rid of them. If you are working by hand or have one of those cheap wal-mart buffers (dont use them, they create swirls by not having the right pads), then you will want to hide swirls. You hide them with a glaze such as Meguiars #80 or #5. NXT and Nano-wax are also good at hiding swirls. You can remove *minor* swirls with an aggresive polish such as Megs #83 or Scratch-X. Your best bet for removing swirls and other paint defects is with a Porter Cable 7336 random orbit buffer and proper pads. This is expensive at first, but in the end, a swirl free finish on your truck is worth it right??

Can you prevent swirls, to a point, yes! Washing with proper soap, and with clean nice mitts (not brushes) and pre-rinsing the truck properly, can help 80%. 10% can be helped by using 2 buckets to wash. Fill one with soap/water and one with water. When you first wash from the top down section by section, dip the mitt into the surface. Then when you move on to the next section dip the mitt into the just water bucket to rinse the dirt out, then back in the soap.

You can learn all you need to know in my detail writeup at the top of the page.
 

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Its also safe to mention that waxing by hand or machine is not going to solve your problem. You need to remove those swirls with a "polish". You can polish by hand but it will take a long time to get the same results that a PC would in a fraction of the time.

Good machines are the Porter Cable 7336sp or 7424, Cyclo, and Dewalt DW443. However the Porter Cable seems to have quite a following.
 

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Before pre-rinsing your ride, hit the bird droppings with a spray bottle filled with warm water and a bit of baking soda to rehydrate, soften and neutralize acids. Bird droppings contain tiny pebbles not digested by our flying friends. Let the spray sit for a few minutes to do its magic. Hit them up again if the droppings are older and your ride has been sitting in the sun. Most dropping will come off without any rubbing during your pre-rinse.

If you really want to protect your ride, carry your anti-bird poo mix with you and hit up any droppings as soon as you seem them. A quick wipe with a microfiber towel will instantly spiff your ride.

Also, use your hose without a nozzle and let the water sheet over your ride. Don't drive the dirt into your paint with a strong spray.

Another tip: Since wash mitts are cheap, I use 5 of them and don't rinse and reuse. One for each 1/4 section of my ride. The fifth is dedicated to cleaning my rims. Depending on how dirty your ride is, you may still have to rinse. I also apply the a soft gel shampoo directly to a wash mit already dipped in bucket of soft, warm water. The warm water continues the work of the pre-spray by softening oils, dropping and other attached gunk. Rinse each 1/4 section as you go. Rinse all the mitts when you're done.

Note: For over 17 years I've used a product call Gel-gloss to successfully to remove light scratches and polish almost every type of material (auto and home use) where other products have failed (can be purchased at your local hardware store, usually in the plumbing/bathroom section). It can be thinned with water. You need to rewax after using it. It also comes in a spray. It may leave light swirl marks if used too agressively. I've even used it to polish glass or even a dry erase marker board. Water sheets off making wipers unnecessary. Test a hidden area first. Disclaimer: It takes a bit of practice to apply this product. Use at your own risk.

My second Toyota was the original Van purchased in 1986. After 9 years of ownership, I got comments like "when did you get your new van".
Unfortunately it was stolen/totaled in the summer of 1996, still lookin' like new.

See you on the bright side! :)
 

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Before pre-rinsing your ride, hit the bird droppings with a spray bottle filled with warm water and a bit of baking soda to rehydrate, soften and neutralize acids. Bird droppings contain tiny pebbles not digested by our flying friends. Let the spray sit for a few minutes to do its magic. Hit them up again if the droppings are older and your ride has been sitting in the sun. Most dropping will come off without any rubbing during your pre-rinse.

If you really want to protect your ride, carry your anti-bird poo mix with you and hit up any droppings as soon as you seem them. A quick wipe with a microfiber towel will instantly spiff your ride.

Also, use your hose without a nozzle and let the water sheet over your ride. Don't drive the dirt into your paint with a strong spray.

Another tip: Since wash mitts are cheap, I use 5 of them and don't rinse and reuse. One for each 1/4 section of my ride. The fifth is dedicated to cleaning my rims. Depending on how dirty your ride is, you may still have to rinse. I also apply the a soft gel shampoo directly to a wash mit already dipped in bucket of soft, warm water. The warm water continues the work of the pre-spray by softening oils, dropping and other attached gunk. Rinse each 1/4 section as you go. Rinse all the mitts when you're done.

Note: For over 17 years I've used a product call Gel-gloss to successfully to remove light scratches and polish almost every type of material (auto and home use) where other products have failed (can be purchased at your local hardware store, usually in the plumbing/bathroom section). It can be thinned with water. You need to rewax after using it. It also comes in a spray. It may leave light swirl marks if used too agressively. I've even used it to polish glass or even a dry erase marker board. Water sheets off making wipers unnecessary. Test a hidden area first. Disclaimer: It takes a bit of practice to apply this product. Use at your own risk.

My second Toyota was the original Van purchased in 1986. After 9 years of ownership, I got comments like "when did you get your new van".
Unfortunately it was stolen/totaled in the summer of 1996, still lookin' like new.




See you on the bright side! :)

I think that may be more trouble than its worth. Always best to use car products on a car, not gel-coat products on the car. I would not recomend this method, but thats just me.

Just remove them with a polish, seal in with a wax/sealant, and learn proper washing methods to remove and prevent swirls.
 
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