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Discussion Starter #1
One of things I have discovered is that some (not all) hand car washes use acid to remove surface contaminants from a cars finish. Problem is that acid not only removes the contaminants but it also removes all the polish/wax/sealant on your car. One of the major car wash detail facilities near me (I won't mention the company but they have a turtle on the sign) Acid will also soften the clear coat. Ask questions, be informed, protect your car.Gary
 

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Ask questions indeed.

Here is my first one: Where in the world did you hear that acid is used to clean a car? Acid is on the opposite end of the ph scale from soap and detergent.

You are going to have to convince me of this one because I don't believe it.

Anybody else have some input here. Sounds like a myth to me.
 

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I'm glad you asked because I have first hand information on this one. Before I opened my business I went to work at Turtle Wax, (undercover) My intention was to find out what goes on at large commercial car wash detail centers. At this facility they have an automoatic car wash/ a hand car wash/ and about 7 bays for detail work. The detail bays are visible through see through windows where the public and car owners car watch the work being done. here is the real kicker. In the pre wash section (WHICH IS NOT VISIBLE TO THE PUBLIC) they have 2 wash bays. in either one attendants pick from car wash soap or acid. They have rubber boots that go up to their crotch, rubber gloves that go past the elbow, and masks. I was told that Every car that came infor a detail must get an acid wash. This was normal procedure. I have seen people pay $30 for a hand wash and witnessed the $7 an hour attendant spray acid on the car. I stayed their for 2 months, just enough time to get sick to my stomach. Now, 4 years later I teach the art of detailing, and even helped published a book on the subject. I'm here to educate you people, and as scary as this post it, it goes on. if I didn't witness this first hand I wouldn't believe it either. Gary Owner Perfect Auto Finish. p.s. glad you remember the PH scale, at least you know how dangerous this procedure is.
 

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turbomangt,

I don't want to stick my nose in here unnecessarily. I just wanted to add to your information. Please correct me if (when? :) ) I err.

The idea behind using acid THEN base (soap/detergent) is to get everything that will dissolve to dissolve. Certain things stuck to your car will be much more soluble at low pH (acid) than at high. Unfortunately, your wax is one of them! :( (old-time lye soap is just saponified (basic salt) waxes and fatty acids)

I am trained as a chemist, granted a theoretician, but I do know acid from base :), and turbomangt is definitely correct in his statement that acid washes are not good for your finish. A good soap and loving care will get it clean before detailing.

(climbing back into my Ivory Tower :lol: )

--Chemist (professor by contract, "waiter" (for my sweet Solstice) by choice! ...)
 

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No need to eat with salt or pepper.
Turbomangt has been reliable on these maint topics.

If too much Salt may have to go to Car wash and get an acid treatment. :lol:

TOO SLOW: The Chemist beat me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Chemist, a little off topic but my son is going for his masters degree in Analitical Chemistry. now back to the thread, its sad to see in this day and age that every thing is based on hurry up and get it done now. This is one reason I do little dealership work, the only one I do work for appreciates the art of detailing and is willing to pay for it. In my business I focus on education on car care, which is why I'l like to start a detailing section here before I turn 90. :brentil:
 

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turbomangt said:
One of things I have discovered is that some (not all) hand car washes use acid to remove surface contaminants from a cars finish. Problem is that acid not only removes the contaminants but it also removes all the polish/wax/sealant on your car. One of the major car wash detail facilities near me (I won't mention the company but they have a turtle on the sign) Acid will also soften the clear coat. Ask questions, be informed, protect your car.Gary
Gary, thanks for the information. But what would you have done in the case of im-be-sol, with his rail dust? They did an acid bath for his Solstice. Here's a link to his thread on the problem:

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=111482#post111482

.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rail dust can be removed with the clay bar process. however it takes more time. Your friend should not worry about the one time acid wash. as long as he polished and sealed it after the process. I don't want to scare anyone, just want to educate so in the future your knowledge helps you make intelligent decisions. gary
 
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