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Adam's Polishes Detailing Guide

Discussion in 'Adam's Polishes' started by AdamsPolishes, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. AdamsPolishes

    AdamsPolishes Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Mar 15, 2013



    Car Wash Shampoo – Provides lubrication for the wash media to reduce chances for swirls. Use for bucket washing, foam gun and foam cannon. Lots of suds and pH neutral.

    Strip Wash – Concentrated car wash soap that helps remove old wax or sealant. Used when you want to start fresh with a new layer of sealant or wax. Use for bucket washing, foam gun and foam cannon. Lots of suds. It is not pH neutral, so it is not suitable for regular maintenance washes.

    Wash & Wax – Car wash soap that adds some protection and shine as you wash. Use for bucket washing, foam gun and foam cannon. Good suds and pH neutral.

    Rinseless Wash – Concentrated product used for rinseless washing, can also be used for making a spray-able dilution for cleaning and pre-treating bugs.

    Waterless Wash – Ready-to-use cleaning spray for wipe-downs of light dust and can also be used for pre-treating bugs.

    Detail Spray – Spray and wipe to add shine, use when drying to provide some lubrication for the towel. Provides a booster to wax and sealant. Also a lubricant for claying.

    All Purpose Cleaner – Heavy-duty cleaner for tires, wheels, engines, and oxidized trim. Strips protection, so reapply sealant or wax after use.

    Tire & Rubber Cleaner – Dedicated cleaner for tires and rubber trim. Removes blooming, discoloration, mud stains and tire dressings. Also removes wax residue from trim.

    Wheel Cleaner – Wheel cleaner that dissolves metallic brake dust, but not really a strong cleaner or degreaser.


    Tire Shine – Tire dressing that is shiny, but not too glossy. Helps seal the rubber to prevent mud stains. Must be spread and evened out with a foam applicator. Lasts a long time.

    Super VRT – Trim and tire dressing. Works to restore faded plastic trim and rubber, adds sun protection. Gives a matte finish when used as a tire dressing. Water-based so it does wash off and can streak when rained on.

    In & Out Spray – Interior and exterior trim dressing. Works great for hard to reach areas. Aerosol version of SVRT.

    Invisible Undercarriage Spray – Darkens plastic wheel well liners. Helps to keep mud and snow from sticking. Can stain concrete.


    Liquid Paint Sealant – Acrylic polymer sealant that can be applied by hand or machine. Highest level of protection, lasts 4-6 months. Applied with a foam applicator and dried residue removed with a plush towel. Only for paint and gloss vinyl, not for use on plastic, rubber, or matte vinyl.

    H2O Guard & Gloss – Water-activated acrylic sealant, adds gloss and protection, lasts 1-2 months. Applied to a wet vehicle and seals all surfaces: paint, glass, plastic, rubber trim, matte and gloss vinyl.

    Buttery Wax – Easy on, easy off liquid wax, lasts 2-3 months. Only for paint and gloss vinyl, not for use on plastic, rubber, or matte vinyl.

    Americana Premium Paste Wax – Premium paste wax, lasts 3-4 months, adds depth and shine. Only for paint and gloss vinyl, not for use on plastic, rubber, or matte vinyl.

    Patriot Wax – Ultra-premium paste wax, lasts 2-3 months, very high gloss. Only for paint and gloss vinyl, not for use on plastic, rubber, or matte vinyl.

    Brilliant Glaze – Used for adding high gloss, can be applied over or under waxes, best applied over a sealant. Contains fillers that will help hide minor imperfections in paint when applied first, before the wax or sealant. Only lasts a few weeks, reduces longevity of waxes or sealants that are layered on top of it.

    Glass Sealant – Concentrated optical sealant for use on exterior side of windows. Makes water bead up and blow right off, and keeps the mud and bugs from sticking. Can also be used on the side mirrors.


    Visco Clay Bar – Removes contamination that is bonded or stuck to the paint. Use with Detail Spray as a lubricant.

    Revive Hand Polish – Hand-applied polish that cleans the paint and can remove very minor imperfections.

    Paint Correcting Polish – Used with a machine polisher to remove scratches and swirls from paint.

    Paint Finishing Polish – Used with a machine polisher to remove minor swirls from paint and adds gloss to the finish by removing imperfections that cannot be seen. Typically used after Paint Correcting Polish.

    Metal Polish #1 and Metal Polish #2 – Used for hand polishing uncoated metals like aluminum, chrome, or stainless trim. Not for used on clear coated metals or wheels. Polish #1 provides restoration, polish #2 finishes the restoration by providing additional shine.


    Glass Cleaner – Cleans glass, safe for tinted windows.

    Leather & Interior Cleaner – Heavy-duty cleaner for leather and plastic. Used for cleaning heavily soiled areas and can be diluted for lighter cleaning.

    Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner – For hand cleaning carpets and fabric seats, and can also be used in carpet cleaning machines like the Bissell as a replacement for the Bissell soap.

    Total Interior Detailer – Cleans and adds some protection to interior plastics and leather.

    Leather Conditioner – Highest level of protection for leather and can also be used on interior plastics like the dash, doors, and trim.


    Most of the products have a matching, color coded foam applicator, which makes remembering which applicator to use much easier. The various microfiber towels are designed to work well at a specific task. Waffle-weave towels work great for drying and for waterless washing. Plush towels are used for removing residues from polishing and sealants/waxes. Utility towels are less expensive, and are meant to be used for dirtier tasks that might ruin a more premium towel. Glass towels are low nap, tight weave, and work better on glass that a regular towel that is plush or has more nap. Inexpensive towels that you see at Costco or the auto parts store are lower quality microfiber and will mar or scratch the paint. If you already have some of these lower-quality towels, only use them for utility tasks like wiping out the door sills; do not use them on your paint.

    TIER ONE PRODUCTS - Must haves
    • Car Wash Shampoo
    • Detail Spray
    • All Purpose Cleaner
    • Tire & Rubber Cleaner
    • Tire Shine
    • Super VRT
    • Liquid Paint Sealant
    • H2O Guard & Gloss
    • Glass Cleaner
    • Leather Conditioner

    TIER TWO PRODUCTS - Get these next
    • Rinseless Wash
    • Strip Wash
    • Wheel Cleaner
    • Visco Clay Bar
    • Revive Hand Polish
    • Americana Premium Paste Wax
    • Leather and Interior Cleaner
    • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
    • Total Interior Detailer

    TIER THREE PRODUCTS - May need these
    • Wash & Wax
    • In & Out Spray
    • Invisible Undercarriage Spray
    • Paint Correcting Polish
    • Paint Finishing Polish
    • Buttery Wax
    • Patriot Wax
    • Brilliant Glaze


    Grit Guard Wash Bucket – The grit guard traps dirt and crud in the bottom of the bucket so it does not get back into your wash pad and scratch the paint. It is best to use two buckets, one for washing and one for rinsing out the dirty wash pad before getting more shampoo from the wash bucket.

    Wash Mitt, Wash Pad, Wash Wedge – Wash media of your choice, used with Car Wash Shampoo to clean all surfaces except wheels and tires.

    Master Blaster Sidekick Dryer – Hand-held, forced-air dryer for getting the majority of the water off the paint and also blows water out of cracks, vents, and crevices to prevent drips after drying. Heats and filters the air, follow-up with towel drying using Detail Spray.

    Master Blaster Revolution Dryer – Stationary, high power, high-volume dryer that can be used to dry the truck. Works faster for blowing water out of the hidden areas. Heats and filters the air, follow-up with a small towel to get any remaining spots or drips.

    Machine Polishers – Power tool that is used with pads (foam or microfiber) and liquid polish to correct paint by removing the layer of clear coat that is scratched or swirled. Different machine polishers have varying correcting power and ease of use. Can also remove deeper scratches that have not gone completely through the clear coat.

    Adam's Foam Gun – Used with a garden hose to apply suds to the vehicle. Saves time during washing, and provides good lubrication for your wash media.

    Adam's Foam Cannon – Used with a pressure washer to create a thick layer of foamy soap on the vehicle. Saves time during washing, and provides maximum lubrication for your wash media.


    Clay Bar – A semi-soft man made product used to decontaminate paint prior to polishing. Many types of contamination bond with exterior surfaces and cannot be removed by washing alone. Clay removes these contaminants safely and without damaging the finish. Clay does not remove scratches or swirl marks.

    Polish – Chemicals comprised of liquids and solids, the abrasive qualities of these products can vary depending on the use. Polishes are used to remove imperfections from paint and provide no protection for the finish.

    Sealant – Synthetic chemical compounds used to provide long lasting protection to automotive finishes. Typically sealants offer the best protection against the elements, and feature very bright, mirror-like, reflective properties.

    Glaze – Used for aesthetic purposes only, glazes offer very little in the way of protection for automotive finishes, but they do offer greatly enhanced gloss and shine on paint, glass, and chrome with minimal effort. They can also be used to help hide minor imperfections and are most commonly layered over a sealant or under a wax to provide protection.

    Wax – Naturally occurring ingredients like carnauba, sometimes reinforced with synthetic polymers, used for providing protection on painted automotive finishes. The quality and quantity of wax found in a given product will determine the durability, ease of use, and aesthetic characteristics. Waxes are most typically used for their ability to provide very deep, wet, glossy looking finishes.

    Dressings/Conditioners – Chemicals used in the restoration and protection of automotive trim, surfaces like vinyl, rubber, plastic, leather, and other similar materials. Regular conditioning is important to prevent fading and UV damage of these delicate materials.

    Microfiber – Man-made, synthetic fibers that are up to 100x finer than a human hair. Woven into a variety of textures for different uses, microfiber is the safest choice for cleaning delicate finishes. Beware, not all microfiber is created equal and low quality microfiber can easily cause damage to paint.
  2. AdamsPolishes

    AdamsPolishes Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Mar 15, 2013

    WHEELS & TIRES – Start each wash by cleaning the wheels and tires first, so you have enough time to scrub them good without getting water spots on the paint. Deep Wheel Cleaner is used on dry wheels and is only needed if you have a heavy build-up of metallic brake dust; it is not a good degreaser and does not clean tires. Use All Purposed cleaner on grimy wheels and tires with the proper brush. If the wheels are sealed with Liquid Paint Sealant or H2O Guard & Gloss, then just Car Wash Shampoo is typically enough to get them clean during a regular maintenance wash. If you use All Purpose Cleaner on the wheels, or some gets on them from cleaning the tires, then re-apply sealant.

    WASHING – Start with a good rinse to remove as much dirt and possible before touching the paint. A pressure washer is very useful, but a hose sprayer with a strong stream can be used. Use the Two-Bucket Wash Method to prevent damage to the paint, and rinse the pad between panels. Wash the upper areas first, and then do the lower areas last, since they are dirtier. For a filthy truck, use a different wash pad or other wash media for these lower areas, to prevent contaminating it and scratching the paint on the more visible, upper areas. A foam gun or foam cannon helps add even more suds to the paint, and saves time. When drying, use Detail Spray to provide some lubrication for the towel and to help prevent swirls from anything that was missed during the wash. Detail Spray also adds some shine and just a little boost to a base layer of sealant or wax.

    PROTECTION – A good layer or two of protection prevents damage from the elements and also makes washing safer and easier. With the surfaces protected, the dirt and grime are easier to rinse and wash off, without having to scrub and possibly add swirls or scratches. Sealants offer the longest lasting protection with some good enhancement or gloss, and waxes offer moderate protection with higher levels of enhancement or gloss. Remember to also add protection to the plastics, rubber trim and vinyl with either Super VRT or H2O Guard & Gloss.

    VINYL GRAPHICS – Gloss vinyl can be treated with the same protection products as the paint. Matte vinyl can be stained by most sealants and waxes. Protect matte vinyl with Super VRT or H2O Guard & Gloss. Do not clay or use a machine polisher on any vinyl. Matte vinyl can be cleaned by hand with either Revive Hand Polish or Brilliant Glaze.

    RUNNING BOARDS – Scrub with All Purpose Cleaner and a stiff brush, use a smaller brush to get into the vents. Restore faded running boards with Super VRT, but be careful as they can be slippery. Protect with H2O Guard & Gloss.

    BEDLINER – Super VRT restores and adds protection, but it can be slippery. Clean the bedliner first with All Purpose Cleaner.

    INTERIOR – Always vacuum interior surfaces to remove dust and dirt prior to cleaning with products. Only use the interior cleaners on heavily soiled areas. Moderately dirty or dusty surfaces can be cleaned with a damp microfiber cloth or Total Interior Detailer. Leather Conditioner provides the highest degree of protection. Apply to the seats, steering wheel and shifter. Leather Conditioner can also be used on interior plastics but leaves some gloss. Total Interior Detailer has a more matte finish but does not provide as much protection. Any surface that is cleaned with the Leather & Interior Cleaner should be wiped with a clean, damp towel to remove any residual cleaner, and then protected or conditioned with Total Interior Detailer or Leather Conditioner.


    Detailing Process without Paint Correction

    Helpful Tips and Advice

    Undercarriage Cleaning

    Wheel and Tire Cleaning and Protection

    Fall Detail and Winter Protection

    Floor Mats

    Leather Conditioning

    Polished and Sealed

    Spraying Tire Shine

    One-step Polishing and Tips

    H2O Guard & Gloss on a Raptor

    H2O Guard & Gloss on Wheels

    Trim Protection

    Engine Cleaning

    Fall Detail

    Grill Cleaning

    Gauge Cluster Polishing

    Matte Vinyl Cleaning and Protection

    Wheel Cleaning and Polishing

    Ceramic Coating on Wheels

    Wheel Well Coating
    Sano Dano, Vash, CoronaRaptor and 4 others like this.
  3. AdamsPolishes

    AdamsPolishes Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Likes Received:
    Mar 15, 2013

    Read and follow the directions on the bottles. Some of the products have specific application methods or techniques that makes using them easier and more effective.

    Videos – Watch the instructional videos on and also on the Adam’s YouTube channel. Getting great results with detailing is all about the details, and there is no easier way to learn methods and techniques than by watching a professional demonstrate their use and give additional tips.

    Kits – These provide the greatest value compared to purchasing the products individually. Watch for sales to get additional discounts. You can also use the forum discount code when there is no current sale that has a better discount or promo.

    All Purpose Cleaner – Do not use on hot paint and never allow to dry on the surface. Can also be diluted for lighter cleaning needs.

    Rinseless Wash – Concentrated washing and cleaning product that is mixed into water for a hose-less wash on dusty vehicles. Rinseless washing is not suitable for dirty or muddy trucks. This product can also be diluted for a spray-able cleaner which works as a Waterless Wash and also as a pre-treatment for bugs.

    Dilutions – Many products can be diluted when full-strength is not needed. Use distilled water when making dilutions, as the minerals in the tap water can affect performance and storage. Some common dilutions are listed with the amount of distilled water being the larger number, and the amount of product being the smaller number:
    All Purpose Cleaner
    8:1 - delicate aluminum wheels or trim
    4:1 - bug or tar pre-treatment, door sills, kick panels
    1:1 - coated/painted wheels
    Super VRT
    1:1 – spray-on, low gloss tire dressing or bedliner dressing
    2:1 – spray-on detailer for vinyl soft tops, tonneau covers
    3:1 - quick detail spray dressing for protecting matte vinyl wraps
    Rinseless Wash
    16:1 - waterless washing spray
    64:1 - clay lubricant
    6:1 - pre-wash/pre-soak solution
    Leather & Interior Cleaner
    8:1 - delicate surface interior cleaning
    3:1 - moderate soiling
    1:1 - general coated leather cleaning (when no stains are present)
    Deep Wheel Cleaner
    1:1 - paint decontamination/removal of ferrous metal
    Tires Stains – Heavily oxidized or mud stained tires can be a challenge to clean and often take a few weekly washes to get completely clean. Scrub with Tire & Rubber Cleaner and a stiff brush. For stains that do not come out all the way, dress with Super VRT as it will soak into the rubber and help work the stains out the next time you wash. Once the tires are clean and stain-free, use Tire Shine to seal up the rubber to prevent further mud staining. If Tire Shine is too glossy for you, use Super VRT as your dressing, but it will not last as long as Tire Shine.

    Floor Mats – Blast the mud and dirt off with a hose or pressure washer, scrub with All Purpose Cleaner, rinse well and allow to dry before putting them back into the truck. For some additional protection and to make cleaning easier, you can dress them with any of the interior products. Super VRT will be very slippery, Total Interior Detailer not as slippery, and Leather Conditioner seems to provide the most protection without being too slippery. LINK TO WRITEUP

    Glass – Use two glass-specific towels for cleaning glass. Spray the glass cleaner directly onto one towel to avoid overspray on adjacent surfaces, and use this towel to clean the glass. Then use the dry towel to buff off any residue, leaving a streak-free surface.

    Interior Products – It is often better to spray the product only on the towel, rather than spraying directly onto a surface. This prevents overspray onto adjacent surfaces, like the glass, and it also prevents excess product from ending up in the cracks, nooks and crannies where it is hard to remove and can attract and hold dust and dirt. Any surface that is cleaned should be dressed or conditioned with Total Interior Detailer or Leather Conditioner.

    Layering Protection – The different sealants and waxes can be layered for additional protection and enhancement. Always put the longest lasting product on first, which is typically a sealant. With a base layer of Liquid Paint Sealant for maximum protection, a second layer of wax will add additional enhancement and some additional protection. Any product applied over a shorter-duration product will only typically last as long as the product under it. For example, a sealant applied over a wax will only last as long as the wax. Likewise, any sealant or wax applied on top of glaze will only last a few weeks or washes. Sealants offer the longest protection since they actually bond to the paint. A wax only sits on top of the paint, it does not bond. H2O Guard & Gloss can be used as a primary sealant, and applied every 1-2 months, or it can be used as a booster to Liquid Paint Sealant and even the waxes, to provide additional longevity to these products.

    Dedicated Towels – It is good practice to dedicate your microfiber towels to specific tasks and/or areas. A plush towel used for polishing or protecting paint should not be used on your wheels, as it can pick up contamination that may not wash out, and then cause damage to the paint. Have dedicated towels that are used for drying the exterior and then other towels for drying wheels and door jambs. Use dedicated towels for the interior, and only clean the glass with the dedicated glass towels. To make this easy for tasks that do not have a specific towel like the glass cleaning towels, choose different colors for different tasks and areas. For example, use the Great White Drying towels for the exterior, then use the blue Waterless Wash towels for drying the wheels and door jambs.

    Dedicated Applicators – Certain pads and applicators are designed for a specific task, and the foam is different. For example, the foam machine polishing pads are the same colors as the products they are to be used with; orange or correcting and white for finishing, and these foam pads have different levels of cut. Likewise, the blue Revive Hand Polish is used with the Blue Hex Grip Applicator. For some applicators, this means the foam is different and meant for that specific task. For other applicators, the different colors are meant to make it easy to dedicate those applicators to the products, so there are no cross-contamination issues. For example, the Liquid Paint Sealant is harder to remove from the applicator, and you would not want to use that applicator for applying wax the next time. For any product that does not have a specific, color-coded applicator, use a Sharpie to mark on the back with which product you will be using it for and then only use it for that product. For example, you would not want to use a microfiber pad to apply Leather Conditioner to your seats if you last used it with Liquid Paint Sealant. Just washing won’t always remove 100% of the previous product.

    Storing Products – Most of the products can be affected or ruined by extreme temperatures. Avoid temps below 40F and above 85F. Store less frequently used products like polishes, sealants and waxes indoors in a cooler area out of sunlight. Also store all gallon refills indoors, or in a climate controlled garage. Paste waxes can be stored for long periods in the refrigerator. Do not leave products in your car during the winter or summer, as they will be damaged by the extreme temperatures and can also leave a mess if the bottles break.

    Washing Towels – Always use a microfiber-specific detergent for cleaning towels. A regular laundry detergent may work on un-soiled drying towels, but any towels that are used with polishes, waxes, sealants or other cleaning and protection products need to have a higher-strength cleaner to break these products down and return your towels to a completely clean condition, ready for the next use. Many people have used regular laundry detergent and then end up posting about a problem with a product not working right or getting streaky results. This is often a case of the towel not being cleaned properly, so that the products build-up in the microfiber, and cause issues like not being as absorbent and leaving streaks of old product. This can also be an issue with towels that are washed together and get cross-contamination. For example, a glass cleaning towel that is only used on glass ends up leaving streaks because it is contaminated with polish or sealant that came from another towel in the wash load and did not get completely clean because the regular laundry detergent was not strong enough to completely clean the towels.

    Least Aggressive First – Always try the least aggressive product or method to address a situation. It is not always necessary to use some of the more aggressive products to accomplish a more basic task. For example, the Leather & Interior Cleaner is a strong cleaner; it is not for light cleaning or simple dusting. If this product were to be used on the leather seats every single week, it can lead to premature wearing of the leather. If the surface is just dusty or lightly soiled, vacuum first then use a damp cloth or some Total Interior Detailer. Another example is the wheels. As long as the wheels are sealed and only lightly to moderately dirty, cleaning with Car Wash Shampoo may be all that is needed for a regular maintenance wash. Only use Deep Wheel Cleaner when there is a heavy build-up of metallic brake dust, and only use All Purpose Cleaner when they are really grimy. This saves you money by not using the more expensive products each time, and also leaves your wheel sealant intact. Since both of these products will strip the sealant off the wheels, re-apply after using them.

    Machine Polishing – Avoid polishing on hard edges, the paint in these areas is thin and could be damaged by aggressive polishing. Badges and emblems can have sharp edges which will ruin your pads, stay clear of these areas. Painters tape can be used to mask off vinyl graphics, trim, or anything else you want to avoid hitting with the polisher. Never use a more aggressive method than needed to get the job done. Always work a test area to figure out the process first, don't do the entire car and realize you didn't get the result you wanted. Once the pad is primed with polish, only add a few pea sized drops with each new section. Polishes are always easier to work with in moderate temperature, work in shade whenever possible. Be patient! Machine polishing takes time to master and practice makes perfect!
  4. AdamsPolishes

    AdamsPolishes Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Likes Received:
    Mar 15, 2013

    Never clean wheels while they are hot to the touch.
    A. For wheels covered in brake dust, spray Adam’s Deep Wheel Cleaner on the dry wheel and allow to change color, agitate with a soft wheel brush, then rinse clean.
    B. Use a strong spray from the hose to break up dirt and grime on the wheels, tires, & fender lining.
    C. Spray Adam's All Purpose Cleaner onto the wheel surface, including the inner wheel hoop.
    D. Thoroughly clean the wheels using a soft wheel brush.
    E. Scrub the inner hoop of the wheel.
    F. Spray the tires and inner fender lining with Adam’s All Purpose Cleaner.
    F. Scrub tires and fender lining with a stiff fender brush.
    G. Rinse the wheel thoroughly with a strong spray from the hose. Be sure no chemical is left behind.
    H. Rinse your brushes, proceed to the next wheel, and repeat the process.

    A. If you are unsure or leery of using water in your engine compartment, consult Adam's for advice before beginning. Never clean a hot engine.
    B. Cover any exposed filters or unsealed electrical connections with aluminum foil or plastic bags.
    C. Use a broad fan spray from the hose to gently rinse the engine compartment.
    D. Spray Adam's All Purpose Cleaner onto soiled areas. Dilute 1:1 first for delicate finishes.
    E. Gently scrub using a soft brush.
    F. Rinse using a gentle spray from the hose.
    G. Remove any foil or bags, close hood, and start the engine. Allow to idle for a few minutes.
    H. Shut engine off, open hood, and towel dry any remaining water.

    A. Place Grit-Guard bucket insert into the bottom of each of the 2 buckets.
    B. Fill first bucket to approx. 3/4 full with clean water.
    C. Place wash pads on top of Grit-Guard at the bottom of the second bucket.
    D. Add 2-3oz of Adam's Car Wash Shampoo directly onto the wash pad.
    E. Use a strong spray from the hose directly into the wash pad to create thick lather of suds.

    Do not rinse soap until entire vehicle has been washed.
    A. Using a strong spray from the hose, rinse from the top of the vehicle down.
    B. Make sure to knock large particles, like bird droppings, loose using the hose before proceeding.
    C. Use soapy wash pad from the bucket and begin washing from the top to about 2/3rds of the way down.
    D. Between each section, rinse the wash pad in the clean water bucket, scrubbing against the Grit-Guard.
    E. Reload the pad in the soap bucket with fresh soapy water and continue around the vehicle.
    F. Once upper 2/3rds are completed, switch to a second wash pad and complete the lower sections.
    G. Make sure to rinse and reload the wash pad often.
    H. Rinse the vehicle thoroughly using a strong spray from the hose, be sure to get soap out of tight spots.
    I. Remove the nozzle from the hose and reduce pressure to a slow flow.
    J. Use this "Sheet Rinse" from top to bottom. The low flow of water will push water beads from the finish and reduce the amount standing water.

    Move the vehicle into a garage or shade if possible.
    A. Use a forced air dryer, like Adam's Blaster Sidekick, to blow excess water from mirrors, moldings, badges, wheels, and other areas first.
    B. Mist the entire vehicle with Adam's Detail Spray.
    C. Use Adam's Great White Drying Towel to dry, starting with the glass first, then moving to the paint.
    D. Spray more Detail Spray as needed to prevent water spots or streaking.
    F. Work from top down. Wring towel out as needed.
    G. Dry wheels with a separate towel.
    H. Open the doors/trunk/hood, mist with Detail Spray, and dry any pooled water.
    I. Close doors/trunk/hood, inspect exterior, touchup any drips or spots that may have appeared.

    Perform 'plastic bag test' to determine if clay is needed. Place hand into a plastic sandwich bag and gently rub over the surface. Rough? Clay it! Smooth? Skip it!
    A. Remove Adam's Clay Bar from the storage jar and plastic wrapper.
    B. Tear off approx. half of the bar, return one half to the jar and store for later use.
    C. Stretch and fold clay several times then press flat.
    D. Spray a panel with Detail Spray.
    E. Rub Clay with medium pressure on finish until smooth. Work in straight lines from multiple directions.
    F. Finish one panel at a time and repeat.
    G. Stretch and fold clay multiple times after each panel.
    H. Clay glass as well to remove water spots and other road contamination.
    I. Always clay the lowest sections of the vehicle last.
    J. Discard clay if it is dropped and switch to a new piece.
    K. Store clay in the provided jar. Add a single squirt of Detail Spray before sealing lid to keep clay moist.
    L. Leave residue on the finish if only light contamination was removed. Rewash and dry if more significant contamination was removed.

    A. Apply a squirt of Adam's Super VRT to a foam block applicator sponge.
    B. Apply to all rubber moldings, plastic trim, etc.
    C. Use Adam's In & Out Spray to treat hard to reach areas. Don't worry about excess on paint or glass.
    D. Wipe any uneven looking trim with a dry, plush microfiber towel.

    Use the list below to determine your next steps and which will suit your individual needs. For more information on each process refer to our instructional videos at

    (Proceed to Step 8HP)
    Safe, easy, and ideal for paint already in near flawless condition.
    Limited results, requires significant work for anything less than minor improvement.
    Best for those detailers looking for less than complete paint correction.

    (Proceed to Step 8MP)
    Porter Cable Polisher is ideal for light to moderate swirl & scratch removal or paint in average shape. Safe for novice detailers and machine polishing newcomers.
    Cyclo Model 5-Pro Polisher is an excellent tool for beginners or serious hobbyists. Capable of moderate correction. Dual 4-inch pads make it a very versatile polisher which can cover large areas but still get sideways into tighter spots. Very comfortable to use, lowest vibration tool in the industry today.
    Flex 3401 or Rupes 15/21 Polishers provide faster correction of neglected or heavily damaged finishes. Recommended for people with prior machine polishing experience. Best for serious enthusiasts or detailers seeking faster results and restoration of more seriously damaged paint. May need a second, smaller polisher with 4” pads to get into tighter areas.

    Hand polishing is limited in the amount of improvement that can be achieved. The process will improve, but not perfect your paint. If you're looking to achieve perfection proceed to the machine polishing sections.
    A. For significant hazing, swirls, and other imperfections start with Adam's Paint Correcting Polish, otherwise proceed to 'G' in this section.
    B. Apply a small amount of Paint Correcting Polish to the Orange Polishing Hex Grip Applicator and work into the paint.
    C. Address the area around the door handles where there tends to be more significant damage.
    D. Proceed to polish one panel at a time, adding more polish to the applicator as needed. Use caution near trim and avoid getting polish into unwanted areas.
    F. Remove the residue using an Adam's Single or Double Soft Towel, depending on your preference. Use Detail Spray if residue is difficult to remove. Inspect the level of improvement, if additional improvement is desired, repeat steps B-F.
    G. Apply a small amount of Revive Polish to the Blue Hex Grip Applicator and work into the paint.
    H. Proceed to polish one panel at a time, adding more polish to the applicator as needed. Use caution near trim and avoid getting polish into unwanted areas.
    I. Finish the vehicle, then remove the residue with an Adam's Single or Double Soft Towel. Use Detail Spray to aid in removal of stubborn residue.
    J. Once the entire vehicle is polished, remove the polishing oils and any polish dust by either washing and drying, or perform a wipe-down with a 50% dilution of Isopropyl Alcohol and a plush microfiber towel, then proceed to step 9.

    Refer to the instructional videos for more detailed information on the polishing process and the use of each make and model of machine polisher.
    A. Always inspect the tool prior to starting any machine polishing process. Check backing plate, pad, cord, and housing condition for any unusual wear.
    B. Select an area approximately 2ft x 2ft to serve as the 'test area'. Choose a section that represents the average condition of the paint on the entire vehicle.
    C. Attach the Orange Foam Pad to the backing plate, making sure it is centered.
    D. Apply a large "X" of Paint Correcting Polish to the face of the polishing pad.
    E. Prime the pad with a single squirt of Detail Spray.
    F. Set the machine at speed 1 and place the pad in flush contact with the paint before starting.
    G. Turn the machine to the on position and spread the polish over the 2ft x 2ft test area.
    H. Shut the machine off, increase the speed setting to 5 or 6 depending on your comfort level.
    I. Switch the machine on again, and using medium pressure, move the machine in a slow methodical pattern over the test area. If the machine polisher has a variable speed trigger, the spreading and polishing steps can be combined by varying the speed with the trigger pull, using a slow speed to spread then a higher speed to polish.
    J. Overlap each pass of the machine by about 50% and make sure to work in both north-south and east-west patterns.
    K. Continue to work the polish until only a semitransparent, greasy residue remains. This is known as "flashing" and indicates the polish has been broken down completely.
    L. Remove the residue using an Adam's Single or Double Soft Towel, depending on your preference. Use Detail Spray if residue is difficult to remove. Inspect the level of improvement, if additional improvement is desired, repeat steps D-K.
    M. Remove the orange pad and install the White Foam Pad. Make sure it is centered.
    N. Apply a large "X" of Paint Finishing Polish to the face of the polishing pad.
    O. Repeat the steps "E" thru "K" with the new products.
    P. Remove the residue using an Adam's Single or Double soft towel depending on your preference. Use Detail Spray if residue is difficult to remove.
    Q. Inspect the finish. Satisfied? Proceed in the same manner around the entire vehicle adding only 3-4 pea sized drops of polish to the pad with each new panel.
    R. If desired result is not achieved begin the process again, starting with the Orange Foam Pad and Paint Correcting Polish and repeat the steps from the beginning.
    S. Continue to step progressively down thru each product combo using the same process - orange then white. Remove the residue and inspect the finish.
    T. For a faster cut or to remove stubborn scratches from hard clear coats, the Microfiber Cutting Pad can be used with the Paint Correcting Polish prior to, or in place of, the Orange Foam Pad.
    U. Once the entire vehicle is polished, remove the polishing oils and any polish dust by either washing and drying, or perform a wipe-down with a 50% dilution of Isopropyl Alcohol and a plush microfiber towel, then proceed to step 9.

    Liquid Paint Sealant is a product that can be applied by hand or by machine.
    A. Install the Gray Foam Pad onto the machine polisher.
    B. Make sure the pad is centered on the backing plate before beginning.
    C. Set the machine speed control to 3.
    D. Apply a large "X" of Liquid Paint Sealant to the pad face.
    E. Put the pad flat on the paint and turn the machine on to begin spreading the sealant over the finish.
    F. Use very light pressure, just enough to keep the pad in contact and spread the product evenly over the finish, add more sealant to the pad as needed.
    G. Allow 30-45 minutes for the product to cure.
    H. Buff away the residue using a clean Adam's Single or Double Soft Towel, use Detail Spray to aid in removal if needed.
    I. Wait 1 hour before applying any other products to the surface.
    J. For hand application, use the Red Hex Grip Applicator or the microfiber applicator pad to apply the product by following steps F-I.
    K. To make application by machine easier and to avoid getting sealant on the trim, apply the product by hand along the edges of the painted panels next to the trim, then apply to the remainder of the panel with the machine polisher.

    This step is optional. Glazes are used for appearance reasons only and do not provide protection for the paint. Use Brilliant Glaze as a supplement after sealant or before waxing for more depth and shine.
    A. Brilliant Glaze is a very liquid product; shake well before and during application to keep mixture consistent.
    B. Pour a liberal amount of Brilliant Glaze onto a Red Hex Grip applicator, Yellow Hex Grip applicator, or microfiber applicator pad.
    C. Spread evenly over the paint, glass, chrome, and any other smooth surfaces.
    D. Brilliant Glaze cures quickly and will haze when it's ready to remove. If hazing takes more than a few moments, application is too thick or ambient humidity is too high. Try using less product or spreading the same amount over a larger area to thin it out.
    E. Add more Brilliant Glaze to the applicator as needed to treat the rest of the vehicle.
    F. Remove the residue using a clean Adam's Single or Double Soft Towel, depending on your preference.
    G. OPTIONAL - Brilliant Glaze can also be applied using the a machine polisher and the Red Foam Pad. Make sure to use a clean pad and apply at speed 3 or lower with light pressure. Spread evenly for best results.

    11. WAXING
    Waxing is also an optional step, but will add more depth and gloss along with an additional layer of protection. Adam's offers three types of carnauba wax - Buttery Wax, Americana Premium Paste Wax, and Patriot Wax. Proceed to the steps for the product you'll be using.

    A. Shake the wax well before beginning application.
    B. Pour a liberal amount onto a Yellow Hex Grip Applicator, or microfiber applicator pad.
    C. Spread the product thinly over one panel at a time.
    D. Add more wax to the applicator pad as needed, repeating the process on each panel, being careful not to cross panel gaps or cake product into badges.
    E. Once entire vehicle has been treated remove the wax residue using an Adam's Single or Double Soft Towel, depending on your preference.
    F. Remove any stubborn residue using a squirt of Adam's Detail Spray.

    A. Before first use open the lid and remove the applicator and the shipping insert.
    B. Allow a few moments for the applicator to decompress and discard the shipping insert.
    C. Using the applicator, lightly agitate the surface of the wax until the face of the pad has a very thin coating.
    D. Use the edge of the pot to scrape any loose wax flakes from the pad before beginning application.
    E. Spread the wax thinly over one panel, making sure not to cross any panel gaps or get product into crevices.
    F. Refresh the applicator with more wax as needed and apply to a second panel.
    G. Remove the residue from the first two panels using a clean Adam's Single or Double Soft Towel, depending on preference.
    H. Repeat the process, applying wax to two panels at a time, then removing until the entire vehicle has been treated.
    I. Apply a second coat of paste wax to the paint if desired, but do not exceed more than two coats as it may cause a haze to form on the finish.
    J. Avoid using Detail Spray or any other products over the Americana or Patriot Wax for approximately 1 hour after the application is completed.

    Proper care and maintenance of your detailing accessories will ensure a long useful life. Take the time to clean them after use and store them accordingly.

    A. Using a strong stream from the hose rinse from the middle outward to dislodge any particles.
    B. Flip the pad and repeat the process.
    C. After rinsing wring out by hand, comb thru the fibers with your fingers and inspect.
    D. If any debris remains repeat the process.
    E. When rinsing is complete, hang dry in a clean area out of direct sunlight. If fibers become matted or tangled, use a hair brush to refresh the material.

    A. Always separate your dirtiest towels, like those used to clean wheels or for metal polishing, from your 'good' plush and drying towels to avoid cross contamination and wash them in separate loads. Darker colored towels should be washed separately for the first few washes to avoid bleeding onto lighter colored towels.
    B. Keep cotton and other materials out of the wash loads. Wash microfiber only with other microfiber.
    C. Use a dedicated microfiber detergent like Microfiber Revitalizer & Brightener. Pre-treat any heavily soiled towels with Microfiber Revitalizer & Brightener. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER.
    D. Set washer to a warm water setting. Some heat is required to break down waxes and polishes. Cold settings will not clean towels as effectively.
    E. If your washer is equipped with an extra rinse cycle, use it. This will make sure as much of the contamination and remaining soap is removed from the towels as possible.
    F. Microfiber can be machine dried if you prefer, use a low heat setting and NO DRYER SHEETS. Air or line drying is also an option, be sure to do this somewhere the towels cannot be contaminated with dust or lint.

    A. Saturate the pad with Adam's All Purpose Cleaner to break up residues.
    B. Agitate the cleaner with your fingers.
    C. Using a strong stream from the hose rinse until the water runs clear. Repeat as needed.
    D. Squeeze excess water from the pad.
    E. Set out to dry on a wire rack or similar surface, in a clean area, out of direct sunlight.
    F. DO NOT store foam pads or applicators in an air tight container or bag.

    A. Do not store any detailing chemicals in an area where the temps will be below 40*F or above 85*F. Store out of direct sunlight.
    B. Always make sure lids are tight and closed before storing. Turn spray nozzles to "off" position.
    C. If storing products for a prolonged period, remove sprayers and replace with the red shipping cap inserts and lids.
  5. AdamsPolishes

    AdamsPolishes Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Likes Received:
    Mar 15, 2013

    Sealant, Glaze, or Wax: Which is Right for You?
    Choosing the right product or products for your car depends on a lot of factors. Sealants offer the best protection and longevity, but sacrifice some of the deep show car look in the process. Glazes are easy to apply and give intense gloss and shine in a hurry, but lack the ability to protect the finish. Waxes provide a deep, wet, show car look and good protection from the elements.

    J. Wolfe and Wilson like this.
  6. AdamsPolishes

    AdamsPolishes Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Likes Received:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Wilson likes this.
  7. AdamsPolishes

    AdamsPolishes Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Likes Received:
    Mar 15, 2013
    READY, SET, GO!!!

    Post your questions, comments, and suggestions!

    Also, the information for the step-by-step detail in Part 4 came from the official Detailing Guide & Quick Reference Handbook that was released in 2011. I updated it to the current products and also made some minor edits. This Guide is on the list to be updated in a graphical format with pictures and re-issued as a PDF download.

    Wilson likes this.
  8. beemerman

    beemerman FRF Addict

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    May 3, 2011
    Worlds most famous beach
    Wow nice write up. Everything I wanted to know and more.
    AdamsPolishes likes this.
  9. Wilson

    Wilson FRF Addict

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    Jan 27, 2012
    South Dakota
    I didn't read all of it
    AdamsPolishes likes this.
  10. 2014RubyRed

    2014RubyRed FRF Addict

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    Jan 11, 2015
    Galesburg, IL
    Damn, dude!!! That's friggin' awesome.

    You are the man, Dan!!!
    AbnMP13 and AdamsPolishes like this.

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