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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reading up on doing a full detail on a car, and I was wondering what some good products are for paint cleaner/polish. And are they the same or different? From what I read, they are different but is it neccessary to use both? I was thinking of maybe just doing clay and then a paint cleaner and skip the polishing.

I plan on doing a claybar as the surface of my car is really dirty. It has never been clayed before and it's an 03 :)
 

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for i beginner which i assume u are since you have never detailed it i would start of with the clay and then i would recomend meguires deep crystal 3 step system, its easy to use with hand applicators and it does a pretty good job. For wax i either use meguars #26 or next tech wax, if i were you i would go with the tech wax it has a nice shine and lasts pretty long.
 

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3 steps? X_x... I'd have to buy 3 bottles huh. :(

I mean if its worth it I'll look into it but I'm not tryin to spend that much. I've got NXT Tech wax. I've used that before, I've just never done a full wash with clay and everything. Is it okay to skip the polish and paint cleaner part and just do wash -> clay -> wax?
 

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its not that much $ and it makes the whole car looks like its wet and shiny, i would suggest that you spend a little bit more money but in the end its well worth it.
 

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Clay removes embedded contaminants from the paint surface. Paint "cleaners" come in 2 forms - chemical and mechanical. Mechanical also has the ability to do defect (spiderwebbing, very light scratches, etc) removal. Cleaner slao remove the old wax and prep the surface for a better look.

Polishes are made to remove defects, oxidation, etc, and give the surface a flaw-free finish. You follow that with an optional glaze (the Step 2 mentioned above) and then the wax. It may not make sense to use a paint cleaner and a polish - pick one or the other depending on the condition of your paint.

You can use fewer bottles/steps, but they're a compromise. The result you get is directly related to the amount of effort (and time) you put into it.

In a perfect world:

wash
clay
Polish/defect removal
wax/sealant

would be the way to go.
 
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