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Old 03-18-1999, 11:27 PM
Lee Scheeler
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Unless your car has been washed and rinsed in only distilled water (which is not realistic) you will need to dry it to avoid water spots and mineral deposits. Plus when the surface is wet it is more attractive to dust. Also, if you plan to clean the paint or wax drying is a must. There are several schools of thought when it comes to drying. It is generally agreed that this is another process to be done in the shade. We use synthetic chamois over the natural variants because they don’t rot, stink, get stiff, or leave oils on the paint. The synthetics hold just as much water and ring out more easily. If you’re a die-hard terry-cloth person then you may use them but drying a full sized car requires a big stack of towels. Our method is to use the synthetic chamois to get 90% of the water off on the first pass then pull the rest off with a 100% cotton terry towel. Proper chamois technique is to have a bucket of clean water nearby. You rinse and ring before the first pass and often while going over the finish. Just as agitating the wash mitt in the bucket while washing dislodges any dirt and helps prevent swirls, so does the rinse&ring method while drying. As always if you drop the rag, mitt, or chamois STOP using it until it can be thoroughly laundered lest you grind in the grit you have spent countless hours removing. As with washing try to keep the drying strokes light in pressure and parallel to the direction of airflow over the vehicle. Once major exterior surfaces are reasonably dried it is time to turn your attention to the doorjams, trunk sills, mirrors, and underhood. Begin by opening all the doors, trunk, and hood. You may want to open and shut them briskly once to dislodge as much water as possible. Once the water is pulled up you may want to remove any dirt/grime in the area with a “quick-detailer” such as WaxShop’s Slick Stuff or Meguiar’s Final Inspection. These products can be wiped over a semi-dirty surface without causing swirls/scratches. They also feed the paint nutrients, extend the life of the wax, and enhance the look of the finish. A visual inspection around the vehicle to make sure no more water has seeped out of a crevice never hurts. (wheel lug-nut holes, tail-light assemblies, mirrors, etc) If you were not cleaning the paint or re-waxing now would be the time to give the entire car a once over with the aforementioned “SlickStuff” or “Final Inspection”. Using a new, clean, 100% cotton terry lightly mist the finish and spread with the terry. Then “flip” the rag and lightly buff area with the dry side. The area covered should feel nearly frictionless with the rag. Repeat the process of mist, wipe with “wet” side of terry, and lightly buff with “dry” side over all the painted surfaces. If the SlickStuff or Final Inspection streaks after buffing then it is an indicator you may need to re-wax. Cleaning, waxing, and otherwise protecting the paint will be covered in the next section. Till next time....Lee

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