Friday, May 25, 2018

Quick Review of Soft99 Kiwami Extra Gloss Shampoo

Ever since I tried the Soft99 Fusso 12 Month Wax (see here), I am very impressed with its water beading capability. Though high water beading does not always mean better protection as discussed here but it surely gives the "wow" effect. So, when I saw a discounted Soft99 Kiwami Extra Gloss Shampoo on sale, I just couldn't resist to test it out.


There are several variants of this shampoo but I am really not sure about the differences. Since my main car is silver, I went for the silver shampoo. The other 2 variants are white and black. See Soft99 website for details.

Well, the bottle that I bought came bundled with a wash sponge. Yup, the dreaded wash sponge. I am not going to go into the debate of wash sponge here but it is something that I never use.

So I left the sponge unopened.





Well, when I was trying to read the back of the bottle for instructions, I realized that I can't read Japanese :D


Yup, everything is in Japanese.

So I had to go to Soft99 website and read the English version. I am quoting the instruction word for word below.

"1. Rinse off dirt or dust in car wash.
2. Put shampoo directly with soaked sponge, make the bubble well. If the bubble get weaken or difficultly remove dirt area, put the liquid more.
3. Rinse off with water until the bubble is disappeared.
4. Wipe off water with towel or absorbant cloth.
* In case of unevenness occured, wipe off with wrung towel or dry towel.
"

Apart from the Japan-glish, all seems good.

Wait! What?!

Pour directly on the sponge? Err... ???

So it seems to be like applying body shampoo when I am taking my shower?

Okay, this really freaks me out a little. I ended up not following the instructions because of 2 reasons. First, I don't use wash sponge. I don't like the idea of using a sponge. Second, if I were to pour the shampoo on the sponge for each panel, I am afraid I might finish up the entire bottle in single wash like what I did with the Fireball Premium Easy Coat. So, I improvised. I pour out the shampoo and used a 2 bucket wash method. As for the dilution, I just followed Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash.

Doing so resulted in a car wash that has zero suds. Think of it like Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner (if you are familiar), divide it by 100 for suds.


This is how the car looks like after wiping it with the wash mitt filled with the car wash.


Although there is no suds, the wash mitt did feel "lubricated" when gliding over the surface. The lack of suds does not make it less effective as a car shampoo. In fact, the cleaning ability seems good. This is the condition of the second bucket after washing.


Well, putting the steps and instructions all aside, the end result is pretty amazing for a shampoo that I did not use according to the manufacturer recommendation.




After hosing down the car, I noticed that there is a high amount of water beading all over the car. I have not gave my car a full wax since months ago. All I did was regular wash and spray wax. And because I was a little busy recently, the last time I wash was about a month ago. So I don't think the beading is due to the previous spray wax. This Kiwami shampoo really made the water bead. Great job Soft99.

Anyway, after wiping the car dry, I followed with my regular spray wax routine as I do not feel that the surface is slick and I just wanted some protection as high beading might cause water mark. This is evident in the Soft99 Fusso 12 Month Wax comparison test.

Alright for the conclusion. Would I recommended this? Yes and no. Yes, if you are okay with wash sponge and zero suds and looking into high beading. No for the opposite :P

So, that's all for this post. As always, the above is just my opinion.
Happy detailing.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Quick Review of Glaco Glass Refresh and Glaco Roll-on Coating

I have been wanting to do this write up for a very long time but things would not always go as planned. So this is my quick review and opinion on Glaco Glass Refresh and Glaco Roll-on Coating.





Glass Refresh is a glass polish that is claimed to be able to remove not only dirt but watermarks. It came packaged with an applicator. The content inside the bottle is a white milky liquid.

So after giving the car a wash, I did snapped some before pictures of the windscreen.


As can be seen, there are some heavy watermarks.

I used to applicator to apply the milky liquid evenly with some force. I did left to right then top to bottom to make sure I covered the windshield evenly.



After a while, the liquid dried up to a powdery like form. Once fully done, I rinsed off the whitish stuff and immediately I noticed a difference in the water behaviour. The way the water flows off the windshield showed that there is totally nothing on the glass - no hydrophobic effect at all. The water just fully "wetted" the windshield.



Now this is a very clean glass. But this will not be ideal for driving. Visibility will be poor when raining.

This is where the coating comes in. After drying the windshield, I forgot to do the most important step - to take an after picture! Yes, sorry folks, there is no after picture. But trust me, most of the heavy watermarks are removed. I believe applying a second round would remove those stubborn ones.

So, after drying, I applied the roll-on coating. It is stated that the surface has to be very dry when applying. After applying, I let it fully cure (dry). It became hazy when dried up. Then, I buffed off with a dry microfiber towel. As per instruction in their website, I let it cure for more than 12 hours. So no more after behavior picture too :(.

After drying, I did not forcefully test it with water but when it rains, the water for forms droplets like any treated glass. Much like RainX. However, the coating will cause the wipers to be a little juddery but not like disco style. Still barely acceptable.

So there you have it guys. A short review.
Thanks for ready and happy detailing.









Monday, August 28, 2017

Detailing the Details

Details like emblems, logos, model numbers, key holes are hard to care for. Those areas tend to be neglected when washing. They become a pain in the b*tt when polishing and waxing as the polish or wax would get "trapped" in between them. After prolong time, they become caked up with polish and wax residues combined with all the road grime and dirt. Soon they would become an eye sore on your nicely detailed shinny ride.

In this post, I would share how I normally detail those details. As always, the following methods are what I normally practice. They are just my personal preference. The methods would depends on the level of dirtiness as well as the condition of your ride. I hope this would serve as a reference. Know your ride and find out what is the best method that suits you and your ride.

The general idea is to detail these areas while washing the car. Take advantage of the suds generated in your car wash bucket. The tool to use would be a soft bristle brush. It could be anything from a detailing brush to a paint brush or a dusting brush. If you feel that the paint on your ride is hard enough a soft bristle toothbrush might even work. Just test on a small area to make sure that it would not mar the paint. Just don't use toothpaste! They are meant for your teeth and not your car. The abrasives in toothpaste might mar and ruin your ride's paint.

Here I would normally use a detailing brush. This particular one is from Autoglym but any soft detailing brush would work fine. This brush came together with Autoglym wheel cleaner set and it is meant for alloy and painted wheels. I tested on my ride's paint and it seems gentle enough.

autoglym detailing brush
Autoglym Detailing Brush

Get a generous amount of car wash on those area. Dip the brush into the wash and then gently brush the area. Brush and agitate gently. Let all the suds lift up the dirt as you are brushing.




The idea is to use the brush to get into every nook and crevice to brush up all the dirt. The suds from the car wash would help lift them up.

The same thing could be done on the door handles too especially on the under side.



Besides using normal cash wash shampoos, no-rinse and  waterless wash could be used too. The lack of suds on waterless wash is compensated by the increased lubricity and dirt encapsulation capabilities. Similar to using normal cash wash, soak the area with plenty of waterless wash and gently clean with a brush.

Rinseless and Waterless Wash
No-Rinse and Waterless Wash


If the dirt proves to be too tough to remove, a stronger solution could be used. They could range from a pH neutral wheel cleaner like Chemical Guys Diablo or diluted all-purpose-cleaner like Optimum Power Clean (aka Alien Clean).


chemical guys diablo gel wheel cleaner

Optimum Power Clean


Do make sure to wax back those areas after cleaning as they might strip away existing protection.

There you have it. A quick and effortless method to detail the details.
Happy detailing.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Synthetic Waxes Durability Test Update: Month 3 (end)

It has been slightly more than 3 months and the results are as follows.
Please see here for the initial post.



This was taken on July 29th 2017.

The below picture shows what were applied.





SealantsWater BeadingWater Sheeting
Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection11
Finish Kare Hi-Temp Paste Wax11
Fusso 12 Months Wax22
Meguiar's Ultimate Paste Wax11

It seems that the effects of most of the sealants are starting to diminish. However Fusso seems to be still working but I am not impressed.

True to most of our understanding and suspicion, there are "severe" water marks on the Fusso section.






As discussed in earlier post:
"The general idea of a hydrophobic surface is that dirty liquid will not "wet" and smear all over the surface. But if those water droplets are left to stay till dry (hard water and/or with some dirt encapsulated in them), there could potentially be water mark".

My wife drives to work every weekday and the car is park under the sky at her workplace. If it rains, the rain water plus surface dirt will bead up on the Fusso section. When the rain stops with the sun coming out, the water bead will dry up and whatever that is inside the droplet would be etched onto the car surface.

So far, I did not see any water mark on other sections. That is why I used the word "severe" earlier. As such, I do not intend to continue this evaluation. As mentioned in the initial post, to have a fair evaluation I skipped using spray wax on this particular test surface. Being a spray wax lover, I believe using spray wax would have minimized the water marks.

As a general conclusion (based on my personal observations and opinion), most sealants tends to last about 3 months in our Malaysian climate. Fusso might seem to be the strongest contender but the high water beading is also its biggest downfall. It does give the "wow" effect but in terms of protection, other sealants might be doing a better job. I think it is quite conclusive that high water beading might not be a quality one should look for in terms of protection in a tropical climate.

I strongly believe that using spray wax after every wash would not only prolong the longevity of the sealants but add to another layer of slickness and protection. So get yourself a spray wax and start spraying! Read about spray waxes here.

That's it for this comparison.
I would like to thank those who followed this comparison and provided constructive comments.
Stay tuned for more new posts.
Happy detailing.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Synthetic Waxes Durability Test Update: Month 2

It has been 2 months and the results are as follows.
Please see here for the initial post.


This was taken on June 24th 2017. The Fusso is still holding pretty strong. The difference compared to others is very obvious.

The below picture shows what were applied.





SealantsWater BeadingWater Sheeting
Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection12
Finish Kare Hi-Temp Paste Wax13
Fusso 12 Months Wax35
Meguiar's Ultimate Paste Wax12


That's it for this month. Let's hope the sealants can last another month.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Quick Review: Meguiar's Headlight Protectant

I got this protectant quite a while ago. It was on sale and my itchy hand "clicked" it. It was in a sealed condition on my shelf for a very long time until I decided to try it after polishing my wife's daily drive recently.




To keep things short, I was not impressed.

First off, when I open the bottle I was greeted by a familiar scent, then a familiar look, then a familiar feel. This things smells, looks, and feels like another product from Meguiar's - Ultimate Protectant.



From my experience, everything feels exactly the same. Ultimate Protectant is marketed as a product for both interior and exterior. Both of them have UV blockers.


Ingredients


To satisfy my curiosity, I searched for Safety Data Sheets (SDS) of these 2 products to compare the key ingredients. They can be found here:

Headlight Protectant
Ultimate Protectant

The key ingredients for Headlight Protectant are as follow (% by weight):
NON-HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS: 60 - 80
POLY(DIMETHYLSILOXANE): 10 - 30
PETROLEUM DISTILLATES: 5 - 10
ACRYLIC POLYMER: 1 - 5
PROCESSED CASTOR OIL: 1 - 5
BIS(1,2,2,6,6-PENTAMETHYL-4-PIPERIDINYL) SEBACATE: 0.1 - 1.0
POLYMERIC BENZOTRIAZOLE DERIVATIVE: 0.1 - 1.0
POLYMERIC BENZOTRIAZOLE: 0.1 - 1.0

The key ingredients for Ultimate Protectant are as follow (% by weight)
NON-HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS: 60 - 80
POLY(DIMETHYLSILOXANE): 10 - 30
PETROLEUM DISTILLATE: 5 - 10
ACRYLIC POLYMER: 1 - 5
PROCESSED CASTOR OIL: 1 - 5
CONDITIONERS: <5

Although they are not exactly the same, they are very similar. Well, it is not compulsory to declare non-hazardous ingredients in SDS. I could not find out what they are as they are trade secret (in whisper). I have a strong feeling that the non-hazardous ingredients are very similar in both products.

I am not saying if this is right or wrong. I am saying that this is how marketing works!


Performance


Well since there is no yellowing in my wife's daily drive headlight, this would be more of a protection and prevention.

I followed the instructions and applied. I used a typical yellow round applicator pad.







It goes on oily. Then I wiped off with a towel as per instructed. After that, the surface felt "dressed" and oily.

And the best (worst) thing is that it washed off after a single wash.


Conclusion


If you just polished your yellowed headlight and looking for something to protect it, go for a proper clear coat instead of this. This is a short term solution and you might have to reapply it after every single wash or worse still after raining.

If you are looking for something to prevent your headlight from yellowing, skip it too. A proper sealant would do a better job. If you are a fan of spray wax (like me), who use spray wax after every wash, spray wax would be much better than this headlight protectant. It is more convenient too. Spray waxing the whole car is fun :p.

Happy detailing.
Disclaimer: 
Headlight Protectant does not add more shine to your headlight.
All the above are just my personal opinion.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Synthetic Waxes Durability Test Update: Week 5

Please see here for the initial post.

This was the behavior of the sealants last weekend (May 20th).


The below picture shows what were applied.




SealantsWater BeadingWater Sheeting
Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection12
Finish Kare Hi-Temp Paste Wax14
Fusso 12 Months Wax55
Meguiar's Ultimate Paste Wax13


As can be seen, Fusso 12 Months Wax is still beading water very well after 5 weeks of application with several washes in between using Meguiar's Ultimate Wash & Wax and Gold Class. As for the others, although they are not beading water, they are still sheeting water quite well. Kudos to all manufacturers.

Again, I want to stress that the above rating is very subjective and not absolute.

I received some questions about water beading and water sheeting - which is better?
Not a straight forward answer but here is my take on it.

If water beads up it shows that the surface is hydrophobic (hydro for water and phobia for scared/ disliked) and because of the own surface tension of water, it will not "wet" the surface and beads up. The general idea of a hydrophobic surface is that dirty liquid will not "wet" and smear all over the surface. But if those water droplets are left to stay till dry (hard water and/or with some dirt encapsulated in them), there could potentially be water mark. If the car is moved before the water droplets dry off, then it should be good.

In my opinion sealants protects the paint by being a sacrificial barrier. They prevent dirt from sticking directly onto the paint. Be it hydrophobic or slick. A slick surface that sheets away water and dirt is as good as a surface that beads water. It is just that a surface that beads water gives a Wow effect. And this is where the marketing gimmick works :)

I am more into durability than gloss and deep shine. That is why I only have synthetic waxes or sealants but the wowing effect is irresistible. Having my car parked directly under the sky in my office every weekday, maybe it is not such a good idea.

Opinions? Please share them :)

That's all for this post. Next post will be on the next month on this durability series.
Happy detailing.