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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I normally use a grease cleaner on my car about once per year and then wash and wax it. The cleaner I have normally used says "non abrasive". This has always worked well. It ends up with a mirror-like finish.

However I bought what I thought was the same product and now after using it I noticed that it says "abrasive".

The back section of my car now has a very dull shine.

In the era before clear coating of cars I would just use some wet sand paper to restore the shine.

However I'm confused about the clear coat. Have I just removed all of the clear coat? Am I down to the paint?

If the clear coat is gone can I restore it myself?
 

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The clear coat on these cars is very thin... That being said if your paint looks as if its a matte finish I'd most likely guess that your clear coat is gone.:sad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My car after months of use as a daily driver picks up little black spots which appear to be road tar. The cleaner I had always used was the type that is used to clean your hands after working on the car.

I had another look at the car yesterday. The back section is still fairly shiny if you look at it at a 10 degree angle. If you look at it at a 90 degree angle it doesn't reflect as much as it used too. It is the feeling you get when looking at a semi-gloss house paint vs. a gloss house paint.

So maybe I have overreacted. Perhaps some wet sanding can bring it back.

What I would like to know though is can an autodetailer easily put back clearcoat? Or is that difficult or expensive?
 

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It's possible, but not easy. The way Lotus lays there paint and clear coat gives the paint depth. Your average clear coat thickness can detract from that. Not everyone can blend it properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just to document the outcome, I followed the advice in Junkman's thread on this site. The finish has been completely restored.

For those in Canada who frequent Canadian Tire, the hand cleaner that is safe to use on the car is "MotoMaster hand cleaner with Aloe and Lanolin". It states on the package that it is "non-abrasive". 38-1002-2

The one to avoid is "MotoMaster heavy-duty hand cleaner with pumice". It states on the package that it is "abrasive", but I missed that. 38-1008-0
 

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Not to rip on the OP, but with the plethora of products out there for cars, why would you use a hand cleaner on your cars paint?

If you have tar you can use a car soap, spray detailer, clay bar or goo gone. Then follow up with a nice car polish and then a wax or synthetic sealant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not to rip on the OP, but with the plethora of products out there for cars, why would you use a hand cleaner on your cars paint?

If you have tar you can use a car soap, spray detailer, clay bar or goo gone. Then follow up with a nice car polish and then a wax or synthetic sealant.
I normally wash my car with warm water (no soap) about every two weeks.

A few times a year I will wash it with warm water and dish soap. After that I wax it.

The hand cleaner I had used for many years seemed innocent enough. To me it seems less strong than goo gone.

What car soap would you recommend for tar?
 

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I normally wash my car with warm water (no soap) about every two weeks.

A few times a year I will wash it with warm water and dish soap. After that I wax it.

The hand cleaner I had used for many years seemed innocent enough. To me it seems less strong than goo gone.

What car soap would you recommend for tar?
:huh:

Any kind of car soap, please, while doing the weekly washes. If tar shows up then use something like the Mothers Claybar kits that you can get at autoparts stores.
 

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:huh:

Any kind of car soap, please, while doing the weekly washes. If tar shows up then use something like the Mothers Claybar kits that you can get at autoparts stores.
+1

Also, you didn't mention if you dry the car after just rinsing, but if you are going to run a towel over your car, wash it with soap, don't just rinse it with water. The water can't pull the dirt from the surface and act as a lubricant for a wash mit. Use an automotive soap.
 

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I normally wash my car with warm water (no soap) about every two weeks.

A few times a year I will wash it with warm water and dish soap. After that I wax it.

The hand cleaner I had used for many years seemed innocent enough. To me it seems less strong than goo gone.

What car soap would you recommend for tar?
Say you're going to eat dinner, some finger foods like a sandwich, after using the bathroom (#2), do you wash your hands with no soap?
I understand you're not going to eat off the car but its kind of the same thing, how can the car be 99.9% clean if you're just using soap and wash mitt. Soap acts as both a cleaner and lubricant, it can help remove dirt, dust, oils, grime, tar (etc.) and safely.

Thing about dish soap is that they are not formulated for use on a car's paint and may strip off the protective wax, use a dedicated car-wash product, which is milder and specifically designed for use on automotive paint. I think you may have already realized this, as you do wax the car after using dish soap.

I use meguiar's gold class, which my dad buy's in bulk from Costco. You can also use the Meguiar's deep crystal car wash is in my opinion just as good at half the price.

For tar too stubborn for soap, I can recommend any of the products listed in this link. they range from $5.99 to $19.99, so its not much more of an investment and so much safer!

http://www.detailersdomain.com/All-Purpose-Degreaser-Bug-and-Tar-Remover_c_55.html
 

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Where that technique came from, I don't know.

Soap works by breaking up the surface tension of water and, as posted above, then allows the particles to be carried away.

Without soap, you risk grinding particles into the paint.

The best soap I've ever used is P21S. Cars gleam after using it.

Car Care Specialties - Quality Car Care Products

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Tar: If soap doesn't do it, kerosene or tar removers abound. But, I'd wax the area where either was used.

These do work quickly, mostly.
 

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David, given where you live, I wanted to be sure you knew about Salt Away. Avail thru Amazon and other places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the advice everyone.

The reason I only use water for most of the year is that about twice a year after using dish soap I load up the car with Turtle wax. So I think the water is mostly working on top of the wax not on top of the paint.

I use about 5 buckets of warm water per wash and dry with a chammy afterwards.

I must stress that the abrasive cleaner was a one-time accident. I've used the milder cleaner for years and it never affected the shine.

I'll try the clay bar idea the next time for the tar.
 

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Thanks for all the advice everyone.

The reason I only use water for most of the year is that about twice a year after using dish soap I load up the car with Turtle wax. So I think the water is mostly working on top of the wax not on top of the paint.

I use about 5 buckets of warm water per wash and dry with a chammy afterwards.

I must stress that the abrasive cleaner was a one-time accident. I've used the milder cleaner for years and it never affected the shine.

I'll try the clay bar idea the next time for the tar.
The wax can't keep grit from scratching the finish. If your car is white, you might not see all the spider webs in the finish as easily as if it were black, but rubbing a car like that will definitely generate them.
 

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... Thing about dish soap is that they are not formulated for use on a car's paint and may strip off the protective wax...
Soap is soap but dish soap WILL stripe every drop of wax off your paint. As for being formulated for car paint, it's downfall is that it is not formulated for use on anything that is protected with wax. It won't damage the paint in any way but it's a crazy product to use unless you're stripping the wax off the car.

I use meguiar's gold class, which my dad buy's in bulk from Costco. You can also use the Meguiar's deep crystal car wash is in my opinion just as good at half the price.
There are MUCH better car wash soaps out there on the market that are not that pricy at all. Most of the junk you find at big box stores is mostly that... junk. It's just affordable junk.

OP, as has been stated earlier in this thread, soap is the lubricant that not only helps break up the dirt on the surface of your car, but also acts as a lubricant as you are removing said dirt. Not using soap is just begging for paint damage. Add to that, not using soap OR doing a PROPER wash is you being your paint's worst enemy. You have seen that my paint correction technique works, now visit my 2-bucket wash thread. You really need to up your car washing regime.
 
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