Nissan Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums banner

how to clean a black car?

4195 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  92TripleBlack
This Works Best On Black & Red Paint, But Is Good For Taking Care Of ANY Color Paint. **

First off... NEVER wash your vehicle with the sun at high strength. Depending on where you are, this is usually the same hours that they say to wear sun protection. Best to wash around 8 AM or after 4PM. using your garden hose, correct?

Make sure you use a mist from your hose to get wet before washing... use a GOOD wash... spend the 10 bucks on a bottle of suds... such as Meguiars or anything similar.

Use a good mitt that is clean and rinsed to wash your vehicle by hand. Always the black paint first, then everything else later like the tires, bumpers... etc and above all... start from the top of the vehicle first.

Rinse... you don't want to spray or mist... NEVER do this... these are all your water spots aided by heavy calcium deposits as well.

You want to take the sprayer off your hose if you had one on, and just let the heavy pour of the water from the hose run off the paint. Carry the end of the hose over where you are rinsing and because a heavy pour of water is more prone to being pulled down by gravity, the water will just carry off your vehicle... hence, less water spots and less time to dry.

Now... many have said use a chamois or other type of cloth... I don't recommend these. Purely because they are only good at getting the water off... yet, they often carry off the wax and/or oils in the paint and over time... more swirls and more slight scratches are possible.

Use a drying blade... often found in all auto stores, these are cheap and they look like those things you use to wipe your windows off.... these blades are so soft and they just whisk the water off your vehicle and leaves everything else intact. If your really obsessed about drying, get a blower and blow the water out of your cracks and door jams.

Your towel supply should be what is called "microfiber"... and this is a word being tossed all over the net right now, but believe it or not, they are much better at removing and trapping any dust than a terry or cotton cloth. Remember, we are also trying to avoid swirls here. Microfiber towels can be found all over the net and also at bigger auto stores like Pep Boys.

Now for the detail part -

Much debate goes on and on about the "best shine" or what works best for all vehicles. We are focusing on BLACK paint here and through trials of ALL formulas... this is the best:

Klasse All-In-One Polish and Shine... and it comes in a red bottle... can be found anywhere ONLINE and many detail stores... but this is the best for black.

You want to make sure that your paint is cool to touch also.

I always recommend by hand... if you get into orbitals... they are best for vehicles that already have the swirls, and this could apply more to you. Make sure you have a microfiber bonnet on your orbital if using one... we are keeping it SMOOTH here. Using a pad, (I will just say hand from now on, if you have the orbital, which you do, just know that you can use it the same but DON'T apply pressure and you will still have to use by hand after you are done to get the places the orbital couldn't get into), apply slight pressure and work one part of the vehicle at once. Make sure you use LITTLE of the Klasse... through all tests of major detailers that use Klasse... it lasts about 5 years even on a TRUCK!

After you have done the whole vehicle... buff it off... again, a microfiber is best and make sure you have about 4 of these for the whole project. The polishing and buffing you just did will remove ALL the swirls and not just cover them up.

Now follow with Klasse Glaze... which is in a gray bottle. SO SIMPLE to use... but most effective in getting your best shine on your black paint. With another pad, you simply wipe a little of the glaze over your paint and here with your hand, you apply NO pressure... because this is not a polish... it is simply a glaze that enhances your clear coat by filling in all the pores and microscopic caverns that effect how light is reflected off your paint.

Note: Many detailers including myself, recommend using a Spray Detailer that you use between washes to remove light dust. Mist the pads you use BEFORE applying the Polish and doing your vehicle and the Glaze before doing the vehicle... this allows the pad to more evenly distribute the product and not use it over excessively like we tend to do!

Here is the trick of your shine... If you want the best shine possible, the LONGER you leave the glaze on, the better the effect will take place. Amazing huh? Well, this is a process that we are going for a KILLER WET shine visual here. But the minimum also is 1 hour after it is on... so choose what you like... then buff it off.

With Klasse Glaze, it is possible to use several coats after to continue to enhance the shine... and this is not a phrase made up... this is actually very true.... if you buffed the glaze after an hour, then you have to WAIT 4 hours for the glaze to cure before applying another coat. If you waited over night and buffed the glaze in the morning, then you can buff off the glaze and then immediately reapply another coat of glaze.

Above is the best piece of advice from how people get their vehicles at shows to look SO rich.

The glaze is your best tool. Remember, the more coats, the better the effect but remember the times in-between to making it work. In addition, Klasse Glaze can be applied to all the taillights, headlights, foglights as well... just make sure you rub it off after it's left on for a little.

Now don't mistake me here... because many will read through this and think. DAMN... that's a lot of work! Well, not when you do it right the first time. This is a method that will allow you to keep the shine for up to 10 to 12 months typically... and can go longer if you glaze your vehicle every 2 weeks or so.

Now... after the glazing...

Use a good wax... Meguairs is recommended again.

This seals in your perfection... and if you wash your vehicle ONCE a week, which is recommended, follow with a wax.

Again, USE MICROFIBER towels and pads... they are the best and you will love how these towels suck up the white dust left from chemicals and wax.

You can use a Spray detailer like Eagle One or Black Magic to keep the dust off during the week and take off with a clean microfiber towel (keep a bottle and a few towels in your vehicle).

And always, if you have the time. GLAZE your ride every 2 weeks or 4 weeks and follow with a wax.

AND ABOVE ALL - NEVER use dirty towels or cheap terrycloth towels on DARK PAINT!

Then after following all this, you will NOT have swirls and your BLACK paint will be ultra buttery smooth and wet for the 10-12 months I said at which time you will need to REPEAT from the top.

credit goes to mikegonzo on
See less See more
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Here's my old generic car wash post.
92 TripleBlack's cleaning tipsMostly from other corvette owners)

-Wash car with car wash. Always wet down panel before soaping up. Water is the lube that keeps grit from scratching your paint.
Use real car wash. Dish soap and other soaps remove wax. Use a sheepskin mitt or other sheepskin cleaning instrument. The shag wisks away dirt into the fibers so you don't scratch as you would with a sponge.
-Rinse using a hose on medium without the nozzle. The car will dry itself much more rapidly than with a nozzle. if you do this, the water doesn't spray, so you don't have all the small dropplets all over the car.
-Dry with 100% domestic cotton towels, not the crap they sell in the autoshops. You can also use "The Absorber" which is what I do. Just rinse it on a regular basis so it doesn't keep any remaning grit on it scratching paint. Don't use a blower. It will put dust onto the car which will then scratch when you wax it.
-Wax using a good carnuba wax. This is a very hard wax and will last. Don't use polish. Polish will remove what is there and won't build layers.
If waxing for the first time, do it at least twice. Then wax say every 1-2 months, more if it is hot or there are lots of polutants in the air such as dust, pollen, road salt, etc. Use again the same cotton towels to take off wax. Leftover ones from drying are good. For wax, I use Zaino Bros. if I am going to put an inital layer on or if it is my vette or infiiniti as they are black and need the best wax. The mada gets a spray on when drying wax from Eagle one. Easier to put on, it doesn't last long. But I use it every time I wash so its good enough. You could get tennis elbow waxing a mada the traditional way.
-Windows- Don't use Windex. It has ammonia which will discolor window tint. Use a glass cleaner like glass perfect or Stoners to clean. Wipe side to side on the window on the outside, top to bottom on the inside. If you see a streak, you will know if it is inside or outside.
-Bugs- I power wash first and then use car wash to kill these. If you have wax on , you will be fine. Dryer sheets are supposed to help removing them. Some people put Pam cooking spray on the front also to fight bugs. Don't use those pads. Instant paint scratches.
-Tires-Use a UV tire protectant. Armor-all and other silicon based products will magnifiy the sun and promote dryrot. They also attract dust and are hard to remove.
-Interior- Use approved stuff, not armor-all. See tires for reasons. Most plastic panels will clean with just water. Use some good interior cleaner on plastic that won't clean with water like Meguires. For carpet, I vaccumn but I will also use my Hoover home carpet shampoo machine for spots. For leather, a good leather cleaner works well to preserve. I use Meguires leather wipes for ease of use.
-Wheels Wax them like you do the other paint. This will make the brake dust come off easy. Don't use the same applicators you use on the paint. Wheels are dirty and will get them really dirty quick. Use the old ones on the wheels rinsing frequently. I power wash them and it kills most of the dirt right off the bat.
Claybars-Use the claybar if you are cleaning a car without wax. If you keep up the wax, you will never need one. Clay bars are good but they wear out the paint much more rapidly than just proper maintainence.

Don't forget to clean the door sills, inner tire wells, and engine compartment. I power wash all these.

To add to your post, make sure the mitt is sheepskin. Sheepskin pulls dirt and grit into the fibers, so it doesn't scratch. Other things like sponges do not do this.

Drying blades are OK, but I like the Absorber. Just make sure you rinse it out often to keep it clean. I would not get a leaf blower. It will blow dust onto the wet car. Air from a compressed air hose that is filtered works well.

Haven't heard the Microfiber term. Most vette guys will only use domestic cotton towels. Many cotton towels or cotton rags contain synthetic materials, which in turn will scratch. I'll check it out but cotton works well. Remember, you should have it clean by this time.

Orbitals? Nothing like a machine to get swirls into paint. Me with a buffer-> :machinegu Hand do everything.

Klasse looks like a decent product. Remember, it is a polish, not a wax. You will note, later in the post they say use a good wax.
I'd say to use the Zaino system. Better overall results for Black than the Klasse/Meguires combo.

Good overall post. For extensive posts on car care from the most anal retentive crowd I know, go to the and look through some of their posts. They have some real wack jobs over there.
Wait a minute, I'm one of them. Dooh! :goteam:
See less See more
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.