A word about paint contaminationGeneral Knowledge(self.Detailing)
submitted1 year ago byneildmasterProfessional Detailerstickied
There is a lot of misinformation about paint contamination and when it occurs and what to do about it.
First, contamination is simply any foreign object that gets embedded in the paint. It could be brake dust, fallout, dirt, pollen or whatever. Embedded means that a basic soap wash will not remove, nor a strip wash. How does something get embedded? There is only one way. It has to sit on the paint for weeks, typically about three weeks. There is no other way for anything to get embedded in a car's paint.
This is why washing your car every few weeks is a good idea. With this wash interval, you are pretty sure to never get anything embedded in your paint and therefore have to decontaminate it.
How can you tell if your paint is contaminated? Simple. When it is wet, lightly rub the paint with your hand. How does it feel/sound? If it is clean, it should feel soft, smooth and make no noise. If your paint is contaminated, it will feel rough and make a 'swoosh' sound when you gently rub it.
How do you decontaminate your paint? Easy:
- Wash the car to get rid of surface dirt
- Chemical decontamination, using an iron remover product like Iron X, Ferrex, Iron & Fallout Remover, etc. then rinse
- Physical decontamination, using a lubricant like ONR and a clay bar, clay pad or mitt, then rinse
It is always a good idea to check your work by feeling the paint after you've decontaminated it. It should feel silky smooth. If it doesn't clay it a bit more.
Your car isn't contaminated as soon as you drive it after a wash. It is dirty.
If you wash your car regularly, your paint is very likely NOT contaminated. Decontamination risks scratching the car, so only do it when needed. Always test it first.
For a daily driver, the horizontal surfaces will be the most contaminated, as stuff falls on it and sits there. For people that drive off road a lot, the lower section of a truck or SUV may be more contaminated if dirt is left on the paint for a long time (and the lower portions are more likely to get dirty).
I hope this clears up a lot of misinformation.