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  #1  
Old 05-31-2019, 07:24 PM
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How To Keep Your W123 Looking good AFTER It's Been Detailed?

I was wondering how you all go about maintaining the appearance of your w123's AFTER it's been detailed. After having it detailed, when it gets dirty, do you just wash it or will that remove the wax, etc? Here's how I've been going about it but not sure how well it's working for me....

A little over a month ago I had my 1981 Orient Red W123 300D clay barred, waxed and buffed and it looked great! Unfortunately, I don't have a garage so the car is always parked outside, which means it gets dusty and dirty pretty quickly. After doing some research, I purchased the California Car Duster which I've used to dust it off about once a week. After the dusting, I usually use this spray called Wash Wax All to spray the body and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. It's been working pretty well so far but... I recently noticed that I have a bunch of hard water stains all over the car that I can't remove. I'm assuming that it's from the sprinklers that my car got drenched by. I read on-line that using a mixture of white vinegar and distilled water should remove the stains....well, it didn't. I then took the car back to the place that detailed it and they recommended that I have the car clay-barred, waxed and buffed again to remove the hard water stains. Obviously not thrilled to have to pay for another expensive detail job. Also, I've never had a car detailed before but I was under the impression that getting my car waxed, etc. would help protect the finish from water stains, rain, etc. Is that not the case? Obviously, the goal is to keep the car looking good but I'm not necessarily interested in having my car detailed every month or two. Who can afford that??? Am I going to have to have my car professionally detailed every month to keep it looking good?

I'm curious to know what everyone else does after having their car detailed? How do you all maintain the appearance? I can't imagine that you all get your cars professionally detailed every month, do you? Obviously, I know that getting my car detailed will not keep it from getting dusty or even dirty but I figured that after getting it detailed, I would be able to dust it and lightly clean it and it would still look good for at least a little while. Am I wrong about this?

Sorry, I suppose I'm rambling... My question is basically, once you pay for the expensive detailing of a car, how do you keep it looking that good without having to take it back in to get detailed every month?
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:19 PM
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No detail job will prevent hard water spots. Are you able to park your car away from the sprinklers? You might also want to consider the purchase of a car cover. Using the duster once weekly will leave very fine scratches in your paint. It is best to wash your car weekly with a quality car wash (not liquid dish soap).
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
No detail job will prevent hard water spots.
Do you have any suggestions of how to remove the water stains without doing a full detailing? The vinegar and water mixture didn't do anything.

Quote:
It is best to wash your car weekly with a quality car wash (not liquid dish soap).
Can you recommend a quality car wash? Obviously, I'll goggle it but I also wouldn't mind some suggestions from members here on the board.

Also, won't washing my car basically remove the wax to some degree? Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:48 PM
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Any auto car wash that you buy from someplace like Pep Boys or even a grocery store is OK. Dish soap, however, will remove the wax.

I have a midnight blue SD and get bad water spots. Have not found a way to remove them short of compound or maybe polish (much harder). There are a number of threads about water spots and no one seems to have a good answer.
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:01 AM
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In order to keep a nice car finish nice it it necessary to wash the car every week with a good car wash solution (Meguiars, etc.) and wax the car every 3 months especially if the car is parked outside without a cover. The only solution I have found for hard water spots is a polish with a good polishing compound.
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2019, 02:09 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'm going to have it detailed again and just try to make sure I don't park near the sprinklers again and then make sure to wash it every week. Too much work so we'll see if I stay on top of it though. Ha ha!
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2019, 07:22 PM
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I should have also mentioned to try and use a self service car wash that has a “spot free” rinse. Water from a garden hose is usually hard water and will leave spots unless wiped dry immediately.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
I should have also mentioned to try and use a self service car wash that has a “spot free” rinse. Water from a garden hose is usually hard water and will leave spots unless wiped dry immediately.
Good to know. Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:43 PM
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I don't have a garage and am constantly fighting the elements. When I first got my second car, I too thought the same duster was a good idea--then realized I was causing one of the very problems I was trying to avoid. I also have decided no one but me touches my cars when it comes to detailing, even just washing. I put signs on the dash and front seat when I take it to the dealership, since even asking ahead of time for no wash gets lost in translation for some reason. I've seen too many rush jobs where they think they are doing you a favor, only to cause damage that will have to be corrected with your time and money.

After years of thorough processes, this year I even used a ceramic coat just before the spring pollen hit--and yesterday gave it a proper wash for the first time since. I expected grit to be adhered to the lower sides that would need clay bar, but apparently the ceramic coat helped prevent it from sticking, along with an iron removal spray (for brake dust).

In my quest to prevent (at least minimize) scratches (which happens just by driving, since the airflow will abrade the paint with the dust in the air), I also this year started using a foam gun. I spray an area about a square foot, have the microfiber mitt ready, and am wiping suds on suds for higher lubricity/lower friction. After using both sides of the mitt, I disconnect the foam portion and hose out the mitt (still on my hand) with high pressure water to blast the grit out, again to avoid cross-contaminating. This is better than the two-bucket grit guard method. It takes awhile, is back-breaking, but I have immense satisfaction at the end.

There is also a nano-mitt, a rubber finish that works like a clay bar. You would do this (use the foam gun) after having already done a soapy wash like I described above. It's not necessary often (1-2 times a year), unless you have extra debris to remove which may only require a spot treatment. Claybar can remove some water spots that haven't yet etched the clear coat. If not, the polish/compound will be necessary.

Wax looks great, but this time of year will burn off quick and does not provide UV protection. I used to apply it with my bare hands. The ceramic coat, while very laborious to apply (all day with proper wash and prep) makes the washing and weather issues lower maintenance. A sealant is lower maintenance than wax but doesn't last as long as ceramic--several months. Some sealants have carnauba added as a combo product, so you get some UV protection plus the beauty of wax.
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  #10  
Old 06-13-2019, 05:26 PM
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Meguiar's 3 in 1 wax would probably get the spots off. If you are suffering with the original paint it's always a challenge to keep that horrible single stage enamel looking good. I'm doing our 1981 Orient Red 240D with it right now, the new formula in this 3 in 1 wax is just amazing.

I gave up on the original paint about 18 months ago, I figured it was dust. But I ran into a friend that is still into detailing high end vintage cars, he said to try this.

Hit the paint with Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, before it dries wipe it off and the go over the spot immediately with Meguiar's 3 in 1 wax.
Use a tiny spray of Meguiar's Gold Class Premium Quick detailer while removing the 3 in
1 wax.

I was a detailer a long time ago so I really wasn't buying this line since we're talking about the German enamel from this time frame. But I did try it because the source know's what the heck he's talking about and I have to say it is doing an amazing job! Generally speaking I wouldn't touch an old Benz with the old single stage paint with Meguiar's, it just made things worse.

I use the duster, but I also use Meguiar's Gold Class Premium Quick detailer just spray it on and wipe if off. You don't need to dust or wash the car first unless it's really dirty. I use this Spray on my '69 Chevy with a stupid expensive paint job for the past 10 years, it works great. The Gold Class spray does not remove wax and it protects your finish, it's a bit smeary on the old single stage enamel but it's better than anything I have been able to find.

I usually get these products at Walmart, it's not cheap but it works.

If you have a modern two stage paint they the 3 in 1 by itself would probably get it done. It's super easy to use so long as you're in total shade. I wouldn't compound a two stage paint.

Meguiar's does make a product for hard water spots but I've never tried it. Most hard water spot removers are compound, most compounds make a mess out of these type of vintage paints do don't use them on the car if you don't have experience.

I'm doing a bit every day, it's all hand work and no machines since there isn't much paint left on this car it would be real easy to go through to metal. Maybe you can see the progress in the pics, the hood right next to the cowel is pretty easy to see the difference between untouched and both steps. The pic of the C pilar and the boot show it but not as clearly.
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How To Keep Your W123 Looking good AFTER It's Been Detailed?-58208881019__5d7acb69-5142-4e95-8417-3f279d605337.jpg   How To Keep Your W123 Looking good AFTER It's Been Detailed?-img_1835.jpg   How To Keep Your W123 Looking good AFTER It's Been Detailed?-img_1836.jpg   How To Keep Your W123 Looking good AFTER It's Been Detailed?-img_1837.jpg  
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1981 240D Four on the floor, Orient Red over Parchment, bought with 154,000 but it's a daily driver and up to 175,000 miles, mostly original paint and all original interior.

Last edited by koooop; 06-13-2019 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewPT View Post
I don't have a garage and am constantly fighting the elements. When I first got my second car, I too thought the same duster was a good idea--then realized I was causing one of the very problems I was trying to avoid. I also have decided no one but me touches my cars when it comes to detailing, even just washing. I put signs on the dash and front seat when I take it to the dealership, since even asking ahead of time for no wash gets lost in translation for some reason. I've seen too many rush jobs where they think they are doing you a favor, only to cause damage that will have to be corrected with your time and money.

After years of thorough processes, this year I even used a ceramic coat just before the spring pollen hit--and yesterday gave it a proper wash for the first time since. I expected grit to be adhered to the lower sides that would need clay bar, but apparently the ceramic coat helped prevent it from sticking, along with an iron removal spray (for brake dust).

In my quest to prevent (at least minimize) scratches (which happens just by driving, since the airflow will abrade the paint with the dust in the air), I also this year started using a foam gun. I spray an area about a square foot, have the microfiber mitt ready, and am wiping suds on suds for higher lubricity/lower friction. After using both sides of the mitt, I disconnect the foam portion and hose out the mitt (still on my hand) with high pressure water to blast the grit out, again to avoid cross-contaminating. This is better than the two-bucket grit guard method. It takes awhile, is back-breaking, but I have immense satisfaction at the end.

There is also a nano-mitt, a rubber finish that works like a clay bar. You would do this (use the foam gun) after having already done a soapy wash like I described above. It's not necessary often (1-2 times a year), unless you have extra debris to remove which may only require a spot treatment. Claybar can remove some water spots that haven't yet etched the clear coat. If not, the polish/compound will be necessary.

Wax looks great, but this time of year will burn off quick and does not provide UV protection. I used to apply it with my bare hands. The ceramic coat, while very laborious to apply (all day with proper wash and prep) makes the washing and weather issues lower maintenance. A sealant is lower maintenance than wax but doesn't last as long as ceramic--several months. Some sealants have carnauba added as a combo product, so you get some UV protection plus the beauty of wax.
What did you use for the Ceramic coat? Did you try it on the single stage paint? I'm thinking about trying that on the 240D.

If the ceramic is too much work I may just 303 it. LOL
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1981 240D Four on the floor, Orient Red over Parchment, bought with 154,000 but it's a daily driver and up to 175,000 miles, mostly original paint and all original interior.
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by koooop View Post
What did you use for the Ceramic coat? Did you try it on the single stage paint? I'm thinking about trying that on the 240D.

If the ceramic is too much work I may just 303 it. LOL
I used CQuartz UK 3.0 (the third version which is easier to work with ie drying time, wipe-off, etc). I used it on a newly repainted two-stage car. It amplifies what's there already, so since it was fresh paint I wanted to seal it in before any real scratches happened (paint needs 90 days to cure before applying anything, but even driving abrades the paint to some degree with the wind and dust). It sounds like you have a perfectly fine method. If your single stage paint can look good without any coating of wax, etc on top and still look glossy, then the ceramic coat will help prolong it further and minimize maintenance. You'll have to wipe the surface off anyway after cleaning/correcting for the ceramic coating to adhere with "Eraser" which gets rid of residue so you're down to the bare paint. Compounds and polishes will leave a residue that will prevent proper adherence. I believe Eraser contains isopropryl alcohol, so make sure that's safe on enamel before going full bore.
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:27 PM
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Last edited by oldsinner111; 06-17-2019 at 09:08 AM.
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