Call or Text Josh @ 727-479-5528

    1. What is the difference between a polish and a wax?
    Polishes contain compounds designed to remove scratches from the
    surface of your paint, while waxes protect your car with a clear, hard
    coating. Waxes can be either synthetic or natural, though high-grade
    carnauba wax delivers the best combination of lasting protection and deep
    gloss. Polishes provide the “shine” for your paint, while waxes provide the
    “protection.”

    2. What is a clearcoat?
    “Clear coat” is a name given to the multi-stage paints used today. A “base
    coat” is applied with a pigment (color). Then, a top layer of clear paint is
    applied over the top of the base coat to add depth, brilliance and provide
    protection for the base coat.

    Clear coats still require the same care as the old single-stage paints. Just
    because the top coat of paint has no pigment in it doesn’t make it
    impervious to environmental conditions. Top coats of clear paint still
    oxidize, and the softer paints used today also allow contaminants to easily
    embed in the surface. These softer paints require modern formulations
    and technology to protect them against damage.

    In short, the need for proper care and maintenance of clearcoat paints is
    just as important as years ago. Actually, because of their softer, fragile
    nature, they really should be maintained better than the older single-stage
    paints.

    3. How often do I need to wax or polish my car?
    It depends on environmental elements your car typically endures. If your
    vehicle is kept garaged on a daily basis, then a polish or wax can last as
    long four to six months. If your car is kept outdoors under harsh conditions,
    then it will need to be waxed as often as once a month. As a general rule
    of thumb, we recommend that a light colored car be polished and waxed at
    least every two to three months. Dark colored cars on the other hand, will
    usually require more frequent and specialized attention.

    4. What is a Sealer and Glaze?
    When applied before waxing, a Sealer and Glaze helps hide minor
    scratches, spiderwebbing, swirl marks and other surface imperfections. It
    enhances clarity and shine, while giving paint that deep, wet look. If left
    unprotected, a Sealer and Glaze will not last long. It therefore needs an
    immediate coating of protective wax to truly have long lasting benefit.

    5. Why can’t I use household cleaners to wash my car?
    Household cleaners like dishwashing detergent are specifically designed
    to dissolve grease. Because wax is essentially a grease, household
    cleaners will remove your car’s wax finish; leaving you with little shine and
    no protection. Also, some household detergents have micro-fine abrasive
    in them. These can permanently scratch your car’s surface. Always use a
    premium quality, commercial liquid car wash. They are formulated to
    dissolve dirt and grime without removing your car’s beautiful wax finish.

    6. What about once-a-year wax and polish products?
    Your car deserves better than once-a-year products. It is likely the second
    largest investment you’ve made, after your home. Don’t scrimp on the
    quality of the products you use to maintain it, or the care you give your
    vehicle. A regular regimen of washing and waxing pays enormous
    dividends for years down the road. The intrinsic weakness of once-a-year
    products will become painfully apparent as the years pass.

    7. What’s the best way to remove bugs and tar without dulling
    paint or removing wax?
    Use our California Gold® Car Wash full strength with a soft scrubber
    sponge before washing. The undiluted Car Wash will help remove bugs
    and tar without stripping wax or dulling paint. Our Bug Bird & Tire Wipes
    are effective and convenient — carry a container in your vehicle for fast,
    easy clean-ups.

    8. How can I tell if I have a clear coat?
    Most modern paint finishes are clear coat. The easiest way to tell is to
    check the paint code on the inside of the glovebox door or door jamb
    (depending on vehicle make), or by checking your new car’s window
    sticker. A more ”hands-on” method is to check your applicator (sponge or
    towel) whenever you use a polish like Mothers® Pre-Wax Cleaner, Sealer
    and Glaze, or Carnauba Cleaner Wax. If the color of the paint is
    transferred to the applicator, then you do not have a clear coat. The color
    you see is the oxidized dead paint being removed by the polish. With a
    clear coat, the top layer of the finish is transparent and has no color to
    transfer to the applicator. The color of your vehicle will not transfer to the
    applicator if the clear coat is intact.

    9. Can I wax my vehicle in the sun?
    We recommend you wax out of direct sunlight. When your paint’s finish
    gets hot, it ”bakes” the wax, hardening it to a point where it can be difficult
    to remove. Try early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s at a low
    angle, or try pulling the vehicle under a tree or into the shade of a building.
    And, applying a wax or polish in sunlight can ”shock” your paint, much like
    biting into ice cream.

    10. How often should I wash my car?
    As often as practical. Most enthusiasts wash their vehicles at least once a
    week. Some folks wash their cars almost every day. If you don’t have time
    to wash, try using Mothers® Showtime® Instant Detailer before your
    vehicle gets dirty. Its unique formulation restores your vehicle’s show car
    shine in-between regular wash and waxing. But, remember, Showtime® is
    not a replacement for waxing — it’s a supplement.

    11. Can I Wax without using Pre-Wax Cleaner first?
    If your paint is perfectly clean, sure. Try this test. Run the backside of your
    hand over the paint after washing and drying. If you feel anything but
    perfectly smooth paint, it’s time to clean using Mothers® Pre-Wax Cleaner
    or Mothers® California Gold® Clay Bar System.

    Pre-Wax Cleaner is also a great way to ”feather” the edges of minor
    scratches and swirls, making them less visible to the eye. Follow the Pre-
    Wax Cleaner or Clay Bar with Mothers® Sealer and Glaze and give your
    car or truck’s finish extra depth and richness. Then, apply the Mothers®
    Natural Formula Pure Carnauba Wax to protect the polished finish.

    12. What is a Clay Bar?
    Clay bars, like the one in our Mothers® California Gold® Clay Bar Paint
    Saving System, are used to remove contaminants from painted surfaces.
    With today’s soft paints any contaminants that sit on your paint can quickly
    become embedded and cause damage. These contaminants aren’t easily
    removed, even by washing or waxing, but the clay makes it easy.

    If you can feel bumps in the paint after washing and drying, chances are
    you’ll benefit from using a clay bar on your vehicle. Remember to wash
    your car before using a clay bar, and to always wax afterwards (clay bars
    will remove wax from your car’s finish).

    13. Can I wax too often?
    Today’s paints are softer and thinner than previous years. If you’re going to
    wax less than six times a year, our Mothers® Original Formula Wax with
    Cleaners (either paste or liquid) or Mothers® Reflections® Polish are
    great products to use. If you’re going to wax more often, consider stepping
    up to our Ultimate Wax System® — this way you can control the frequency
    of cleaner being used on your paint, and the added step of Sealer and
    Glaze will give you that extra ”pop” in your paint finish.

    14. My wheels have dulled — how can I make them look good
    again?
    If you own a newer vehicle with original equipment alloy wheels -- and they
    are not chrome or chrome-clad -- chances are they have a clearcoat.
    Unfortunately because of the heat involved with wheels, the finish is even
    softer and more fragile. For these, we recommend your favorite Mothers®
    car wax for routine shine and protection. Tougher jobs may require either
    our Plastic Polish or our PowerPlastic® for the unique plasticized
    clearcoat — both work equally well on clearcoated wheels. Follow each
    wash with your favorite spray wax — FX, Mothers® or Reflections® — for
    added protection, quick and easy. Mothers® offers a solution for every
    type of wheel: non-coated aluminum (use our world famous Mag &
    Aluminum Polish, the standard by which all others are judged), chrome
    plated (use our Chrome Polish — formulated for today’s show quality
    chrome plating), billet (our Billet Metal Polish is just the ticket for those high
    end billet or forged wheels). A PowerBall® or PowerBall Mini® makes
    short work of wheel polishing.

    15. Is liquid wax easier to use than paste wax?
    No, not at all. With today’s modern formulations, paste waxes are just as
    easy to use as liquids. And, they’re more economical. A can of paste wax
    will often last through twelve or more applications, while liquids frequently
    are used up after four or five applications.

    16. What can I do to make waxing my car easier?
    Well, for starters, read the directions on the package. We’ve put an
    enormous amount of research into each of our products. The directions on
    the package are the direct result of this testing, and are written specifically
    to minimize effort and maximize results.

    17. What about those free car washes at the gas station?
    Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Many of those car washes
    use mechanical brushes which can damage your paint surface. In most
    parts of the country, the water is recycled, meaning your car is getting the
    same water applied as the rusted out 1974 Plymouth Volare that just
    pulled out (unless your car just happens to be that Volare). While filters can
    catch small particulates, they can’t filter out the dissolved salt from winter
    use, or all those hoards of other nasty chemicals.

    18. What type of towel should I use to dry my car?
    For years we have used and recommended 100% pure cotton thick-loop
    terry cloth towels for drying. And though we still like cotton, we have found
    that the new ultra-plush microfiber towels have won us over.

    Microfiber towels come in various blends, qualities and sizes. A thick, soft
    weave of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide in a size of about 16-inches
    square is ideal for drying. They have tremendous absorbency power, wring
    easily, and are scratch-free (don’t forget to remove the tag). You’ll find you
    can dry an entire car with only one or two towels. Some people like a
    larger size, which are often also available in a waffle weave. Whichever
    you choose, as with cotton towels, launder separately and without fabric
    softeners (the fabric softener scratches paint).

    Microfiber towels also come in a variety of colors so it makes it easy to
    identify one color for each task; i.e., drying, polishing, waxing, etc. We find
    that a 70/30 blend towel works well for product removal. Buy an
    assortment.

    We also get a lot of questions about the use of a chamois to dry your car.
    We have found that people who have chronic problems with swirl marks in
    their paint, especially after the first washing following a flawless detail, are
    using a chamois. Try microfiber; you’ll be glad you did.

    19. If a little car wash soap is good, is a lot better?
    No. Too much car wash concentrate can leave a film on your vehicle. Use
    about an ounce of car wash per gallon of water.

    20. Is it a good idea to put a “thick coat of wax” on your vehicle
    before winter?
    We don’t recommend it. You’re only going to waste product. If you apply a
    thick coat of wax, removal will be more difficult, and you may encounter
    streaking, smearing and pilling (tiny wax balls accumulating on the paint)
    and your buffing towel may become saturated with wax, causing extra
    effort in the removal stage. When properly applied, the final wax layer
    should only be a few mils thick. There’s no way to make this layer thicker.
    Our suggestion is wash your vehicle as often as possible during the winter
    months (on those days that get above freezing). If a warm spell comes
    along (over 50° F), consider washing and waxing your vehicle while you
    have the chance.

    21. What can I do about water spots on the paint?
    Simple — get them off as soon as possible. Carry Mothers® Showtime®
    Instant Detailer and a clean terry cloth or microfiber towel in the trunk.
    Attack those water spots before the sun has a chance to evaporate them,
    and they’ll come right off. Showtime® also works great on gas spills when
    refueling.

    22. Are silicone car care products a bad thing?
    Not necessarily. It’s the type of silicone that’s important. Some low grade
    silicones are not ”body shop friendly,” meaning they cannot be removed
    with standard paint prep before body work and painting. All Mothers®
    products are ”paintable,” meaning they can safely be used in and around
    body shops, since body shops have the chemical cleaners to prep the
    surface before painting.

    23. Why can’t you make your car care products less expensive?
    At Mothers® we use only quality raw materials in our car care products.
    Premium ingredients cost more, but the superior results are readily
    apparent throughout our entire line of Mothers® products. Remember, with
    car care products you get what you pay for (which means you might think
    twice before smearing a $2.95 product on a $30,000 vehicle).

    24. I lease my car, why should I care how it looks?
    Chances are, you’ll care when the lease ends. If you check your contract,
    you’ll find that you’re probably responsible for the appearance of your
    vehicle when it is returned. If the paint is dull and lifeless (because it was
    never washed, polished or waxed) you could be hit with a reconditioning
    fee of $500 to $1,000!

Luxurious Detailing Josh@LMD

    What’s So Bad About Bugs?

    Yes, bugs look awful dotted across your front
    bumper and hood, but they’re also very
    destructive. Maybe it’s revenge, but bugs can
    damage the paint long after they hit the car. As
    insect remains decompose, they produce
    enzymes intended to break down the carcass.
    These enzymes also break down automotive
    paint, resulting in etching.

    Here in Florida and across most of the Southeast,
    love bugs are the primary culprit. Love bugs in
    particular have very fatty bodies, which produce a
    lot of enzymes. Plus, their sheer number and
    affinity for busy roads make them unavoidable.
    And, since they are love bugs, they hit your vehicle
    two at a time.



    Water Spots

    Water spots are mineral deposits that have etched
    their way into the paint and they can be very tough to
    remove. When a drop of water evaporates, all the
    minerals contained in that water remain on the paint.
    Etching is a gradual process, but those little spots will
    accumulate before you know it. The best way to avoid
    them is to dry your vehicle each and every time it gets
    wet. If that sounds too ambitious, at least dry it after
    washing and after a rain. If it’s already too late, here
    are some tips for removing those cloudy spots.


    Smoker's Film

    Smoker's Film is an oily film that builds up on the inside
    of a car's windows when someone smokes while inside
    the vehicle. Not only does this make the glass dirty and
    hard to clean, but it will also impair your vision,
    especially when there is direct sunlight hitting the
    glass. Headlight glare from oncoming traffic at night is
    another time when dirty glass can be hazardous to
    your health.

    Standard glass cleaners lack the powerful cleaning
    ability necessary for removing this vicious contaminant.
    Rather than resorting to using Isopropryl Alcohol or
    heavy duty cleaners, which has a very negative effect
    on the dashboard should there be contact, you need a
    cleaner that is both powerful enough for removing
    smoker's film, and gentle enough that it will not cause
    damage by overspray.


    Are you washing weekly or weakly?

    Weekly washing is best because some contaminants
    quickly do serious long term damage to paint if they
    are allowed to remain. Two such organic compounds
    are bug remains and bird droppings. These bio-
    hazards contain complex proteins that bond to the
    surface and organic acids that penetrate and break
    down the surface, eating into your clear coat if not
    removed promptly. Weak spots in the clear coat make
    your vehicle susceptible to corrosion and discoloration.

    Another problem contaminant is brake dust. It contains
    metal shavings from the rotors and adhesives used in
    the production of brake pads. Try to picture the dirty
    plume of brake dust and roadway chemicals that
    travels along with a moving vehicle. This fog of
    chemicals shower the lower portion of your vehicle with
    a clinging, nearly invisible mist. Brake dust itself, is
    highly corrosive and very sticky. Washing your vehicle
    weekly will remove these contaminants before they
    have the opportunity to do unsightly permanent
    damage.


    Mechanical Car Washes

    NEVER bring your car to an automatic car wash that
    has vinyl, rubber, or felt strips that touch your car –
    they’re loaded with dirt and grit and will really mar the
    clear coat on your vehicle’s finish. If you must use an
    automated car wash, go to the “touchless” type
    Again, when drying your car, use high quality
    microfiber towels – nothing else. Using any old towel
    you have lying around will cause micro-marring in the
    finish – those swirl marks you see when you look at
    cars’ finishes in the sun

    Contamination of your car paint

    Every car regardless of age; new or not, will have
    some form of contamination attached to the paints
    surface. This will give your paint a rough, gritty feel.
    This is nothing more than pollution from the air that
    contains particles that attach to the clear coat and will
    have to be removed with a separate process. Trust me
    on this one as most people will either not understand
    this process, or they will get lazy. Skipping this step will
    deliver disappointing results and will diminish the end
    result of all your efforts. Like car washing and waxing,
    this is not a one time only process; you may have to do
    it once a month or once a year. Every case is unique.
The Professional Detailer:
by Prentice St. Clair
Frequently Asked Questions, Tips & Tricks
and How To's all the information you need
to make you more knowledgeable when
hiring a detailer or for the Do It Yourselfers.