Before using Zaino on a daily basis
|Before using Zaino's polish for the first time, the car's finish does have to be "prepped". The first time you use Zaino, wash the car using Dawn liquid detergent. This remove most wax that is already on your car. The less wax on the car prior to applying Zaino's polish, the better the results will be. I will wash my cars with Dawn every 12-18 months, depending on how often I apply Zaino.
After washing, dry thoroughly. Now you have a choice to make. You can eitehr apply a coat of Zaino's Z-1 Show Car Polish LOK Pre-Cleaner and Gloss Enhancer or a combination of ZFX and Z-2. I use ZFX and Z-2.
If you use Z-1, let dry completely and do NOT remove. Apply a coat of Zaino's Car Polish next directly on top of the Z-1. Again, let it completely dry. When dry, buff out car with a 100% white cotton towel. Wait 24 hours and apply a second application of Car Polish.
ZFX with Z-2 saves you the Z-1 prep step. ZFX is a hardener and when mixed with Z-2, Z-1 is not required. You simply lay down a coat of Z-2 ZFX mix, let it dry completely, then buff it out. The great part about using a Z-2 ZFX mix, you don't have to wait to apply another coat. You will find that the more coats of Z-2 you apply, the deeper the look.
You will be amazed at your results.
Zaino has three choices for car polishes. You need to pick which is best for your application.
Pre-rinse the car well
|I believe you cannot rinse a car too much before washing it. I have a 1 inch hose I purchased from Griot's Garage that gives me some major water pressure. This helps to loosen any bugs, heavy dirt, etc... prior to washing.|
Wash with a quality car wash
|The trick here is to use something that is gentle on your car's current finish. You do not want to be striping off all traces of wax or polish every time you wash. Because I use the entire Zaino car polish treatment on my C5, I use Zaino's Z-7 Show Car Wash. It contains no detergents and does deteriorate the Z-2 polish.|
One method for cleaning your convertible tops
|These instructions where obtained at the C5 Birthday Bash 2000 and posted to the C5 Registry Net by Ted Mallen:
The Convertible Top Cleaning Products are:
Haartz® Roof Cleaner
303 Hi Tech Fabric GuardTM by 303 Products, Inc
The Roof Cleaner and 303 Fabric guard can be obtained from:
513-451-6700...MIAMI RUBBER.... Ask for Tim Nihous (mention that Corvette was recommending that we use their products.)
Double wash, if you have a little extra time
|This extra step is optional. It allows me to clean all of those little spots that I missed on the first pass. Sometimes bug stains and such are unnoticeable until the dust is removed from the car. This is my "touch up" step to make sure the finish is as clean as possible before applying any polish.|
Rinse, and rinse very well
|That same 1 inch hose from Griot's Garage comes into play here again. However, this time is use it without the nozzle. Letting the water run freely from the hose with no nozzle seems to minimize water spots for me. It is also helpful if you can get someone else to rinse the car for you as you wash. Keeping water flowing over the car right up until the point you want to dry also minimizes the chances for water spots.
I have more little ritual I go through be for I actually start to dry the car. I do a final rinse with the PEC Spot Free Spray Bar. According to their web site, the water is "treated" so it will not leave water spots. If you have not guesses, I am paranoid about water spots. You can spot a water spot a mile away on a MagRed finish so I try to take every precaution I can.
Drying, a multi-step process
|Drying the car is another multi-step process.
- Optional -
|I ran into a few problems with some nasty water spots and a few bug stains that refused being removed from my finish. As a last resort, I used something called Meguiar's Clear Coat Body Scrub. It did a pretty good job. You need to go out to Meguiar's web site and read about this stuff. I really like it for cleaning up the surface before claying.|
Wax (or in my case, Polish)
|I have only used one polishing product on my 99 MagRed C5 and my wife's 98 Carmine Red C5; Zaino's Z-2 Show Car Polish for Clear Coated Finishes. After the car has been completely dried, I apply a coat of Zaino's Z-2 Polish, let it dry for a few hours. I use Zaino's #314 Custom 4x5 Polish Applicator to apply the Z-2. When thoroughly dry, I remove it by hand with a 100% white cotton towel. After waiting 24 hours, the car is ready for a second application. I clean the entire car with Zaino's Z-6 Ultra Clean "Gloss Enhancer" Spray and then apply the second coat of Z-2. Doing the Z-2, Z-6 and then Z-2 procedure in a 24+ hour period definitely leaves a great shine on my car.
If you do use Zaino's polishes, a personal warning. Make sure it is dry before you try to remove it or you may not be pleased with the results. We have found out the hard way. Here in the Houston area, it may take hours for the polish to completely dry.
Clean the engine compartment
|Cleaning my engine is another multi-step process because some of my covers have been custom painted and other are carbon fiber. Both need a little special care when detailing the engine.
Detail the wheels
|For me, this step almost requires assistance from my teenager. She like to step in a help me out cleaning the wheels. It's a little easier for a 15 year old than it is for a 49 year old. I also have HRE 540 performance wheels, not an easy wheel to clean.
I have found that Mother's wheel cleaner (in the red jar) works best for me. This is a long process. The wheels have to be cleaned until black stops coming off on the pad. I use a number of different shaped foam pads to clean the wheels. When they are clean, I apply a light coat of Zaino's Z-2 polish. The Z-2 makes it easier to keep the wheels clean and cuts down on the amount of time needed to touch the wheels up before a show.
Now the tires
|I know this is going to be a big surprise, I use Zaino's Z-16 Perfect Tire Gloss to clean my tires. I like the Z-16 because it leaves a more natural finish. It does not leave the tires all glossy, just clean, almost brand new looking.|
|A friend turned me on to a product called Blue Magic Metal Cleaner that I use on my B&B Stainless Steel Exhaust. This stuff is great! It does a much better job than wheel cleaner. It makes those exhaust pipes sparkle.|
Clean glass, inside and out
|It's time to clean the glass, front, rear and headlights. I use Griot's Garage glass cleaner. I have tried just about everything on the market and believe that Groit's cleans best. I always spray the cleaner on the cloth and then clean the windows. I do not spray anything that might get on the finish. This is especially important when trying to clean the insides of the windows. Even though I always show my car with the convertible top down, I still make sure the glass in the top is clean, both sides. And remember to clean the head lights, they get dirty to.
Griot's sells these disposable lint free, non-streaking blue towels for window cleaning that are just terrific. They work much better than cloth or regular paper towels and will save you a ton of time.
Vacuum all carpeting, clean floor mats
|I always use a shop vacuum that plugs into an outlet. Those portables are nice for quick and dirty touch-up work but they just don't have the power to really clean the carpets in a car. So I pull out all of the mats, vacuum everything I can reach, vacuum the mats outside the car, replace the mats and I'm done.
I use the mats that came with car for my daily driving. I use a set of Lloyd mats with the C5 logo embroidered on them for shows.
Clean inside plastic and dash board
|It now time to clean all of the plastic inside the car. I clean everything (console, door panels, etc...) with Zaino's Z-14 Plastic-Magic Cleaner & Polish. Everything with the exception of the Dash. I absolutely do not use cleaners on my dash. I dust it and if it needs cleaning, I use a soft cloth and warm water. The dash has a non-reflective surface that must be maintained. If you use a cleaner on the dash that leaves a shine you are asking for driving problems.|
|I usually only clean the leather right before a big show or when something "needs" to be cleaned up. I use Zaino's Z-9 Leather Soft Spray Cleaner when I have to do a complete cleaning job. In between cleanups, for those little touchups and just to keep the leather smelling new, I use Zaino's Z-10 "Leather in a Bottle" Treatment and Conditioner.|
Finally, at the show...
|Finally, at the show, there is all that last minute touch-up. If I have time I will apply a complete coat of Z-2 Pro Polish. If the car looks really good already, I will just touch the car up with Z-6 Gloss Enhancer and Z-8 Grand Finale™ Spray Seal. Before applying Z-6, I dust the entire car with the California Duster. I use the large Duster for the outside and use the small California Duster to clean the interior. I clean the tires with Z-16 Tire Gloss, clean all of the windows with Griot's window cleaner, clean the wheels with Z-6 and I should be ready for the show.
Don't forget to clean and polish any of those extras you bring along for your display. We polish my toolbox, fire extinguisher, and clean the glass on our signs to insure there are no finger marks.