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14 Car Care Myths Busted

Separating Fact From Fiction

There are a great number of popular beliefs and myths about taking care of your vehicle’s paint and paint finish. Here are a number of common misconceptions that we here at World’s Best Wax Corp. would like to comment on and clear up for you.

1. I use dish washing soap to wash my car because it says the formulation is mild

The main working ingredient in dish washing soap, regardless of how mild, is detergent and it is formulated to strip everything off. It leaves you with a surface that is squeaky clean. Unfortunately, a squeaky clean surface means that it has no protection. If you continue to use detergents, not only will that strip off the wax, but it will also remove the essential oils in your paint finish and accelerate the oxidation process. Your best choice is to use a Ph Balanced auto shampoo with no detergents. World’s Best Auto Shampoo is specifically formulated this way with conditioners to enhance the appearance of automotive paint finishes and does not strip away the protective wax layer.

2. My car is as clean as it gets after I wash it.

A car wash removes any loose contaminants from the surface like road dirt, grime, bugs and bird droppings. Either a clear-coat safe cleaner or de-waxing Surface Cleanse removes old wax, stubborn contaminants, stains and oxidation. Ideally a clay bar is the best way to remove difficult contaminants like tree sap, industrial overspray and rail dust that causes little flecks of reddish oxidized spots on your paint surface.

3. My car looks shiny so I don’t need to clean it.

By looking at and feeling your paint finish, you can determine if the surface is truly free from contaminants. After washing and drying your vehicle, run the palm side of your hand and fingers over the paint’s surface. If you feel anything but complete smoothness, then it is likely that you have remaining contaminants on the surface. You can clay bar these areas individually or do the entire surface of the vehicle.

4. I was told that a clay bar should only be used by a professional.

A real and original clay bar is exactly as it sounds. It is a moldable bar, much like Silly Putty. A World’s Best Clay Bar is a non-abrasive moldable clay that will grab and gently remove all bonded contaminants, leaving the surface as smooth as glass. On a washed and dried car, simply mist or spray on water or a detailer lubricant to a small area and rub the clay bar back and forth on that area. The liquid will allow the clay bar to glide over the area. As it glides over the area, it will remove and pick up the contaminants off your paint. This process will leave your surface incredibly smooth. This will then allow the true coverage, protection and beautification that layers of World’s Best Wax will give your vehicle.

5. There is no difference between polishing and waxing.

The only purpose of polishing is to give a high shine. For a shiny reflection, a polish works fine. For true car enthusiasts, a shine is important but they are also looking at depth to the paint finish. A high carnauba concentrated wax, such as the “Collector” or “Connoisseur” from World’s Best Wax will give the paint not only a great shine, but also a rich depth. Wax will also protect your paint’s surface from adhering contaminants, UV rays, bird droppings and act as a barrier in preventing fine hair-like scratches in your paint. A good wax will prevent any physical contact with the the paint’s surface leaving it in its most pristine state.

6. I was told that waxing removes swirl marks.

Swirl marks are permanent etchings or scratches into the top layer of your paint’s surface. What a wax won’t do is permanently remove the swirl. It may fill in very fine swirls, but eventually will return if that layer of wax isn’t maintained. What a good wax will do, is protect the top layer of your paint from the light physical friction that causes these swirl marks. The light friction will still occur, but instead of on the paint’s surface it will occur on the protective layer of wax. Another layer of wax can be applied or remove the old wax and apply a completely new layer for continued protection. Only physical erosion of the paint’s top layer by wet-sanding or polishing with a grit polish will get rid of swirl marks…..and there’s a very good chance that the swirls will re-occur if the paint is not protected.

7. Paste wax and liquid wax are all the same.

Cheap or inexpensive waxes come in both forms of liquid and paste. In some cases, it is accepted that liquid wax is easier to use. The real measuring stick is the percentage of real wax in the product. Carnauba wax is recognized as the best wax for protecting and beautifying a vehicle’s surface. Many store shelf waxes have “carnauba” written on the label, however the true concentration level is minimal. In some cases, between 3-5% by volume. The majority of the remaining content is a mix of petroleum(that’s why your cloth sometimes smells like gasoline), silicone and fillers. These ingredients cause the whitening of the moldings and the chalky white dust on your buff cloth. The store bought paste wax may have a slightly higher concentration of wax over the liquid, but still a significant amount less than a premium high quality carnauba wax. The bottom line is that many of these low or no concentration waxes only really clean the surface of your car due to the petroleum content that strips much of what’s on your car. Any of these will give you limited shine or protection and limited depth to the paint.

8. I get my car waxed when I go through a Wash and Wax car wash.

There is no such thing as an effective “wash and wax”, for the reason that water and wax does not mix. Think of it as having the same principles as mixing oil and water. What you are actually getting is a “wash and silicone”. When you’re going through the carwash, your vehicle is obviously wet and only silicone would adhere to your paint’s surface. So what you’re getting is silicone on your vehicle, not wax.

9. I’d rather go to a Touchless Car Wash to avoid any damage to my vehicle’s paint.

There is no physical contact of brushes at a touchless car wash….true, but in order for the wash to get off the dirt and grime without physical contact, they add extra harsh chemicals to the water in order to cut through the grime layer. This may help to get it off, but the harshness also strips the oils from your vehicle’s finish. This flattens the look of the paint and speeds up the oxidation process. If repeated continuously through the life of the vehicle, it will leave you with a dull and considerably flatter appearance.

10. I use old t-shirts, flannels and cotton diapers as cleaning cloths.

You do not want to use these items for polishing or removing wax. What will happen here is that small dirt particles get trapped between the cloth and the smooth surface of your vehicle. When you wipe it across the surface, the particle skids along it and scratches the surface. You’re actually doing the paint surface more harm than good. What is recommended is a high quality microfiber cloth. This will both eliminate the scratching and also speed up your time when buffing off polishes and waxes. Ultimately, microfiber cloths with no stitching on the borders are best due to the fact that in some cases, the stitching may cause scratching. If you are using microfibers cloths with a stitched border, just lip them up when using them.

11. I received a diamond coat or sealer at my dealership where I bought the car, so I don’t ever need to wax it.

Regrettably, dealerships offer many services and products that the consumer may not know everything about. Without dealing with the specific amounts dealers charge for this service, what is applied to the vehicle’s surface is usually nothing more than a regular wax or polymer coating that wares off in a matter of a short time. Consumers go about thinking that the vehicle is protected. Their vehicle’s are among the many that are being driven around with the least amount of protection on them.

12. I’ve already waxed my car, so I don’t need to anymore.

If you truly appreciate and value the look and feel of your vehicle’s paint surface, you will want to give it regular attention. From the time that you first applied a coat of wax, it has been battling whatever contaminants the environment has in it. UV rays from the sun, acid rain, bug and bird droppings, exhaust fumes, fallout from over-head planes and any other kind of chemical residuals have been falling on the surface of your vehicle. If not for the protective elements in a high quality, resilient wax, all this pollution would settle and in time adhere permanently to your vehicle’s surface. Regular washings help, but a full cleanse followed by an application of wax a minimum of 2-3 times a year would be ideal.

13. I don’t like the hassle of anything more than washing my car.

It’s true that waxing your car will take you a little longer than just washing it. There are some polishes that involve the mixing of formulas before applying and this greatly increases the time and hassle of caring for your car. The benefits far outweigh the usual few extra hours you spend on applying a high quality wax to your vehicle. Aside from protecting the value of the vehicle, an owner feels better knowing they are driving a vehicle that is looking its best.

14. Premium waxes are way too expensive.

It is true that some companies enjoy the attention they receive when they put out a $5,000 or even a $30,000 wax. This is more marketing hype, than anything else. However, a good high concentration carnauba wax is more expensive to make, so there is a slight premium. But the protection and visual results are far superior to common store brands. In fact, a store brand wax may cost you upwards of $20 and give you 5-6 applications. That’s about $3-4 an application. A premium brand, like World’s Best Wax offers 15-20 applications for it’s 3 ounce size and 35-40 applications for its 6 ounce jar. That’s about $1-2 per applications……and that’s for a high quality, long lasting premium wax. So for your dollar and ultimately the look, the high quality wax is the way to go.

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