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Technical "Detail Spray"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tubman, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,059


    In don't like to put a lot of water on my old cars, so I usually use "Spray Detailer" when I try to clean them up.. I decided to go over my '51 Ford, and found that I was out of the aforesaid product. I went to the local auto parts place, and found that they wanted $6.95 for a 10 oz spray bottle. This seemed like a lot to me, and got me thinking. What is in this stuff, anyway? I am starting to think that these folks ("Mothers". etc.) may be making a lot of money from us guys. Does anyone out there know what's in this stuff? I think I'm gonna start trying to make my own ( I sure have enough empty spray bottles). I'm gonna start with 1 part Dawn dishwashing liquid and the rest water. I let you know how this turns out..
  2. DON'T use dishwashing liquid! It will strip any wax right off your car.
  3. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,199


    Dawn will remove any wax.
    65pacecar, loudbang and OLDSMAN like this.
  4. When I was in my late teens and didn't know any better I would wash my cars with a bucket of water and Dawn dishwashing liquid. It didn't take long for the paint to fade because (and I washed my cars frequently) it was stripping any wax and its' protection right off. I won't even use a chamois to dry a car for the same reason.
    loudbang and OLSKOOL57 like this.
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  5. Pick your favorite product and look up the MSDS for it.
    It will tell you what's in it but no formulas, or proprietary information. Now you get to play chemist.
    Hnstray and loudbang like this.
  6. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 2,492

    Dick Stevens

  7. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,760

    from Dublin, OH

    In all honesty, I get a whole season or longer out of a bottle of Lucas spray detailer.
    I will usually do the cars just before I take them out for a show or cruise night.
    $6.95 for the whole season is really a bargain when you break it down to a whole season!
    Just my $.02, KK
    catdad49 and loudbang like this.
  8. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,199


    Before there was "Detail Spray" people used Pledge.
    Hnstray, robracer1 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  9. I make my own cleaning goop,- water, liquid car wash, and vinegar. Cleans all sorts of crap, and great on windows. Something like 70-10-20% of each. Don't know if it eats wax, but cleans OK.
  10. If you have a good wax base on the car, just a damp rag will do. Just use a duster first!
    loudbang likes this.
  11. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,311


    Hey T,
    Having used almost every known "sold item" for wiping/washing cars since 1957, I have come to the final quality product that lasts a long time. It cleans and keeps the surface very smooth and shiny. Then, the next time I use it might be to take off some bird crap on the hood. This stuff dissolves crap and leaves the shine for a long time. It is also great for fiberglass surfaces like sailboats crusted with salt spray. A simple hose off, spray on, wipe off and the salt spray goes away like magic. It leaves a nice compliment to the Colonite Wax detail that goes on everything possible.

    It is probably the same content as the name brands, but is sold in larger quantities so you can refill your spray bottle at will. I gave a filled bottle to my son for their cars and he still has the original 16 oz. clear bottle that I gave him. It lasts a long time. It can be used to do the whole car, but that is not necessary. In our climate and locale, most of the time, the car(s) stay clean. Our cars are inside of our garage, covered parking at shopping malls, and not under weeping pine trees or other trees that give off a fine spray of goo for your car surface and windows.
    Even if it does give off some goo, this detailer takes it right off without any scratches. But, if my wife parks under a tree and the whole car is covered with that tree goo or seed oil, then it is the car wash for the best results. I have tried the fancy name brands and others will like those products, but this version by the Chemical Brothers is what works best for me. Plus, it smells nice, too. So, that gives my wife the bottle to clean up her mess, too.

    It is good for bicycles or kids toys left outside to be attacked by the weather. To top it off, we have a small bottle in a zip lock bag for each car, just in case of emergencies or a wayward tree in a parking lot.

    As far as Dawn(ANY COLOR) is concerned, I am in the same camp as the others, stay away from using it on painted/wax surfaces. Dawn is one powerful detergent for just about all uses, except for wax or painted surfaces. Our plumber suggested using Blue Dawn as a cleaner instead of bleach for the porcelain Toto Toilets. It cleans quite well and does not scratch the surface. It works!!!

    Hnstray likes this.
  12. I just use a little car wash in a bucket, a sponge and a hose. HRP
  13. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,229

    jimmy six

    We have a detail supply near us and I buy some pink stuff by the gallon. Don't know what's in it and don't care. Works great and a lot less than the name brand s**t.
    loudbang likes this.
  14. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 851


    On my black car I use tap water because it doesn't leave an oily haze like commercial detail sprays. For the truck my favorite detail spray is Purple Slice. It seems to work good on just about any surface so I can get by with just one cleaning product and a few microfiber towels.
    RAR1947 and loudbang like this.
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,385


    Water will get you 90% of the way there.... :)
    VANDENPLAS and lothiandon1940 like this.
  16. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 24,744


    I have never understood anyone who is scared to get his car wet by washing it. One of my buddies pretty well quit driving one of his cars because he didn't want to have to wash it because he was afraid water might get into something.
    I use detail spray on my ot car after washing it to get the shine I like and the last bottle lasted close to a year. The 48 was in primer so long that it wasn't an issue.
    Sourwood, samurai mike and VANDENPLAS like this.
  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,385


    nothing wrong with a good soaking every now and then

  18. 1932tub
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 361


    Water and kerosine in a spray bottle
    48fordnut likes this.
  19. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 489


    I use Mothers or Meguiars detail spay and have had good results but If the body is dusty I use a California Duster before spaying or if the body is really dirty I wash it before spaying the reason is I feel that the body needs to be somewhat clean before spay detailing because the paint can get fine scratches or spider webbing.
    Hnstray likes this.
  20. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 4,517

    Staff Member

    Plain and simple...the main ingredients in detail spray is water, Ethyl Alcohol and a odor juice... say cherry.

    The Brand ratios are proprietary, but water and Ethyl Alcohol are the main ingredients.
  21. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,045

    from Spring tx

    I agree, spray has some shine built in, almost like a fine layer of topcoat... Your buddy sounds like this guy I ran in to on 2016, there was this killer 57 wagon easily a 6 figure build, pulled over at a gas station in the pouring rain, using the window squeegee to rake water off his floorboards by the bucket full... Builder didn't install or seal up things right in many places.... He wipers didn't work either, told him mine didn't work either, he said how do you do it.??? RAINx, he never had heard of it...Gave him a treatment on his windshield, got my gas and took off down the road in the pouring rain... while he was still raking water out the floor boards.. So some folks may just be scared of bucket and soap....Me, I hit mine a few times a year with full wash and then on the satin paint hit it with turtle wax liquid ice... Makes the satin paint bead water as good as my DD fleet....

    Only use dish soap for cleaning a surface to be ready for stripes, or paint touch up or after wet sanding.... Rest of the time it stays at the kitchen sink where its supposed to be.
  22. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,311


    Hey R,
    You know of course, that the California Duster is the handiest tool in the garage. But, keep a close eye out for the actual dust on the car. That duster works great when new, but after a few swipes, it gets loaded with tons of dust. It now is swirling dust particles back onto the waxed surfaces and leaving fine swirl marks. We used it on a black car and a red one. Then, we only used it on the wheels as the cleaning tool for tires and rims.

    The black car showed the swirl marks like crazy in the sun and bright lights. But the red one seemed to absorb the swirl marks, maybe because it is red and the swirls fade into the paint. On the black car, it was so awful that we had to put on more wax to get that definite swirl out. We all know how a nice black paint shows in the sun... Every mark, dust mote, splotch and small nick, stands out day or night.

    As much as we liked those handy, curly, mop head dusters, they were the cause for extra work to keep the paint shine, pretty much, swirl free. But, when the later cars were grey or white, then the swirls did not show up. They were very handy for my wife to quickly dust off her car(s) over the time we used them, but only if they were grey or white. Go figure...

    These days, the smallest California Duster was used on the cars, but now are relegated to cleaning the dust off of the aluminum style wheels. Unless a car show judge gets his magnifying glass out and inspects the clear coat on the wheels, the minute scratches are ever so slight. They remain shiny, but not darkened by the brake dust. So, the new job is dusting off the wheels and not the car's shiny paint.
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,434


    I've had a California Duster for years it was really nasty looking. My wife thought she'd do me a favor and she cleaned it. End result was she rendered it worthless. Dust would no longer stick to it. As the two cars I own now are black, can't imagine the swirl marks that duster would have created so I threw it in the trash. No more car dusters for me. The car in my avatar a 60 Pontiac has an unbelieveable straight body and the best black paint job I've ever seen. Its flawless. I'm afraid to touch it and create swirl marks. Whats the best way to remove dust without causing swirl marks. It sure is difficult keeping these black cars clean.
    jnaki likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,655


    I have used a California Duster for years with no problems at all. I dust the car first, then use Mguires instant detailer after that.
    robracer1 likes this.
  25. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,389


    Dust? Swirl marks? Detailer? I gets dirty, I wash it, go for a ride till the water evaporates, (big word), enjoy the hell out of it. DSC05379.JPG
    waxhead, 1-SHOT, 48fordnut and 8 others like this.
  26. My 64 Skylark was about the same way, I used a duster very lightly a few times but it just felt wrong. I ended up just having to put a fitted cover on it when it was parked in the garage, then spray detailer on a high quality microfiber towel to clean the bugs and such after driving it, and between washes. It was a great looking car, but man it made me not want a super nice finished car again. to much work to keep that way and to much fear while driving it.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  27. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,984

    Bandit Billy

    The kid that does the wet sand and polishing on the cars for me calls them California Car "Scratchers" and said he would kick me in the ass if he catches me using one. :cool:
    I buy my detail spray from him by the gallon and pour it in spray bottles. Safe to use on chrome, glass, paint and contains no silicone so it is paint shop friendly. In fact he buys it at the local paint supplier.
    jnaki and Chavezk21 like this.
  28. Sactownog
    Joined: Jan 19, 2018
    Posts: 224

    from SAN DIEGO

    I do mobile detail and only use quality products.
    Mothers is great, I have used their machine wax on many vehicles and so far my favorite wax to use (mainly because it wipes off easy) is Zymoil. blue bottle of this stuff goes a long way.

    also, if you are going to wax, ALWAYS CLAY BAR THE VEHICLE before.

    use a spray bottle, wet the area (keep it wet) and make long motions with the clay.

    then wax with a buffer and do not press down hard, let the weight of the buffer do the work and do sections only.

    then after this, you can use any detail spray, I use
    Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Detailer
  29. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,538


    When you consider the cost of a nice paint job, what's 7 bucks? How many bottles will you use in a year?
  30. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,954


    I washed a '46 Ford once in hot water and ended up with a Volvo. I'll never do that again.

    Personally not being as refined as everyone else I am still a believer that most cars are basically water proof. Well water resistant at the very least. LOL
    1-SHOT, 48fordnut, Hotrodmyk and 3 others like this.

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