Friday, February 29, 2008

Want Your Car to Really Shine? Don't Depend on Water Beads!

(MS) - For years the most reliable way to tell if any wax was still on your car's surface was by careful observation of the water beads after a rain. If the beads were high and small, the wax coating was either fresh or most of it was still there. Large flatter beads meant the wax coating was wearing off and no beading meant the wax was gone.

Most people are under the false impression that if they see any water beading on their car, their wax is still creating the same gloss it did when first applied. Actually, shine diminishes each time a car is washed, driven, or exposed to rain, snow or ice. Simply drying the paint with a cloth after washing can reduce gloss. Don't be fooled by some of today's synthetic waxes, as some will continue beading water even though shine has dulled.

If you want to keep your car really glossy with that just waxed look, you should reapply whatever product you use when gloss diminishes. Never depend on water beading to indicate the condition of the shine.

Here's a simple way to determine the condition of gloss on your vehicle. Just wash and dry the hood. Apply wax to one small section of the hood. Now compare gloss in the waxed and the unwaxed areas by looking at your face's reflection. If you can see your face more clearly in the waxed section and it looks better overall, then only waxing the entire car will restore maximum gloss.

The telltale sign of a good wax is when the color of your car appears so vivid and deep that the paint actually looks wet. Such is the look many car-show aficionados aim for with their own vehicles.

While veterans of the car-show circuit know the ins and outs of which wax to use, that might not be the case for most other drivers. Unknowingly, some car owners might be applying a wax that actually dulls a car's finish. Products that claim to wax, clean and remove scratches from paint contain abrasives, which could possibly be removing a little of your car's paint with each application.

New cars, especially, should not be exposed to waxes containing abrasives. An abrasive-free wax, however, is meant to be applied to clean car paint to create a very smooth and shiny appearance while protecting against nature's damaging elements. It's the ideal choice for new cars fresh off the lot or even cars that have just come out of the car wash.

An important ingredient to look for in an abrasive-free wax is Carnauba, an all-natural extract derived directly from the leaves of a unique palm tree. Accustomed to battling harsh weather conditions in the rain forests of Brazil, Carnauba provides the ideal protection for your car's paint job. All products that contain Carnauba are not necessarily what you're looking for. Carnauba comes in many different grades, some of which are more durable and provide a longer-lasting finish. Lower grades of Carnauba may not give the shine you expect.

Finding an abrasive-free wax that utilizes the best grades of Carnauba can be difficult. Since 1979, Malm Chemical Corp. is the popular choice among car show veterans, who reportedly pay up to $125 for an 8-ounce jar of high-grade Carnauba paste wax. Along with all-natural Carnauba, Malm's special formula includes additional unique ingredients, which blend together to yield the best results for your vehicle. Malm also produces a concentrated liquid Carnauba that many users boast can wax an entire vehicle with less than half an ounce.

Malm's products are sold at a limited number of new Porsche dealers. Check with the manager of parts at a dealership near you. In addition, readers of this article can obtain a special offer of an 8-ounce bottle of Malm's Concentrated Liquid Carnauba for $24.95 (plus $5 shipping and handling). Along with the 8-ounce bottle, which is good for up to 24 applications, readers will receive a 32-page insider's guide to detailing titled "Car Detailer's Secrets." It covers a multitude of tips on everything from caring for your car's finish to preventing scratches to washing your car correctly. The limited-time offer is valid for new customers only and comes complete with the company's strong guarantee: if you don't think the wax outshines anything you've ever used on your car, return it for a full $29.95 refund.

Write to Malm Chemical Corp., PO Box 300, Dept. ME-408, Pound Ridge, N.Y. 10576, or visit them online at www.malms.com. Note: this special offer not shown on the company's Web site.

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