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  #1  
Old 08-29-2006
BrightEyes BrightEyes is offline
 
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Lightbulb Care of Vinyl Striping

I think that this is a great forum with a wealth of information.

I just took delivery of a brand new Ford Mustang with factory applied white vinyl striping over the finished clearcoated paint. The white vinyl side stripes have had sections cut out to create vinyl lettering.

I plan to apply Mothers Protectant to the black vinyl / plastic / rubber exterior trim to avoid wax contamination before applying the Seal and Glaze followed by Mothers Pure Carnauba Liquid Wax to the painted metal and painted plastic sections of the car.

Should I also apply Mothers Protectant to the white vinyl striping before detailing the painted surfaces of the car?

Will any of these products adversely affect the white vinyl striping i.e. cause discoloration or lifting of the striping etc. if some should find its way on to the vinyl striping?

Will Mothers Protectant or Mothers Back-to-Black adversely affect the painted surfaces of the car if they make such contact. What would be the best and safest way to remove these two products from any painted surfaces?

Many thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom!!!
  #2  
Old 08-29-2006
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

BrightEyes,

Welcome, and congratulations on your new ride!

Protectant and Back-to-Black won't adversely affect your wax, but you'll just want to be careful as you approach edges during application. Sometimes a finger wrapped in a microfiber cloth or a foam paint brush or other sharp-edged foam appicator can be useful. If you do get some of that product on the paint, you might just use an instant detailer such as our Showtime to remove any streaking that won't wipe off -- which you'll see with any vinyl dressing.

Personally, I do like to dress my trim before waxing.

We've had some forum visitors report good results with FX SynWax on top of Ford vinyl striping, instead of using a dressing. Likewise, Reflections Car Wax and Reflections Top Coat -- all three having synthetic formulas -- and might be a little more forgiving than Sealer & Glaze and Pure Carnauba.

I'm sure other forum members will offer some valued opinions.

You might take note that Back-to-Black on new finishes should be buffed well or you might get some streaking after a rain or heavy dew -- likely Protectant is all you will need on most of your finishes.

Of course, when making a wax regimen recommendation, it would be helpful to know the condition of your finish as well as the color.

And we'd also like to recommend our Clay Bar Paint Saving System for any new vehicle, though it sounds like you might set aside the included Carnauba Cleaner Wax foranother project.
  #3  
Old 08-30-2006
BrightEyes BrightEyes is offline
 
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Smile Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

Thanks for the great recommendations.

The car is Ford Torch Red in color and being brand new, the finish appears flawless to the naked eye.

I will also seriously consider the Clay Bar Paint Saving System that you have recommended. Has it been scientifically shown that the Clay Bar has absolutely no deleterious effects on the Clearcoat? Currently I'm somewhat confused.

The web site for one automotive detailer states, "Realize that you are also removing some paint with the contaminants, so usage of a clay should be utilized only after all other more gentle methods of cleaning your paint have failed." I can provide the specific link for the site if you like.

With respect to preventing wax from getting on exterior trim, another online detailer has stated, "When you go to wax your car I recommend using blue painter's tape to mask any plastic or vinyl trim to prevent any wax getting onto the trim."

Also, the same detailer has stated, "I would not recommend using (the) polish on your vinyl striping because the vinyl is softer than clear coat and it may slightly damage it. However, if you do need to polish the stripes you may use (our) Plastic Polish as the polish granule in that polish is lighter and designed for a surface like that striping. Once the car has been polished as needed you may freely wax over the entire area including the vinyl striping."

Being a fan of Mothers products, then would Mothers Plastic Polish also be a good choice for the vinyl striping?

Anyone's thoughts regarding the above opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by BrightEyes; 08-30-2006 at 07:44 AM.
  #4  
Old 08-30-2006
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Forrest T. Forrest T. is offline
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

If you're not comfortable using clay, or feel some web site makes a valid claim for not using clay, then don't.

But, we've sold hundreds of thousands of clay bar kits over the years, and I've been using it even before that. I have yet to remove the paint on one of my vehicles by using clay. Used properly, it's the quickest, easiest way to remove contaminants. The alternative is the use a compound and rotary to remove the top layer of paint where the contaminant is embedded. Which one do you think removes paint?

I've not seen a "gentle method of cleaning paint" which removes contaminants that are embedded in it.

There are literally thousands of detailing and car care sites around, and varying opinions can be found on them to support any stance you want. Rather than say one is right, and one is wrong, my suggestion is to pick the one you feel most comfortable with, frequent it, and learn.

BTW, Plastic Polish is made for hard, clear plastics. It's not appropriate for vinyl decals. But, if you like what he says, and believe in it, have at it.
  #5  
Old 08-30-2006
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

Brighteyes, your concerns are understandable.

The Mother's clay will not damage the clear coat. It's safe. The only likely way that you would cause damage to the paint using Mother's clay is to drop it on the ground, getting it dirty, and then using it on your paint. Mother's clay bar isn't aggressive enough to hurt anything. There are more aggressive clay bars on the market, but they are marketed at professional detailers and body shops. I have never used any of them, but they may be where this line of thinking originated. From my own experience, the use of Mother's clay has only improved my finish - no damage. If it caused any problems, I wouldn't use it.

I could possibly see where a strong (abrasive) polish used with a rotary would not be recommended on the vinyl decals. However, normal hand polishing should not hurt anything. I use FX Synwax over my vinyl decals and have had no problems. A mild hand polish would also probably be safe. If you are concerned, just avoid machine polishers and aggressive polishes over the decals. Also, don't use the Mother's Plastic Polish as Forrest mentioned because it is not designed for that purpose. You may also want to check with Ford or whomever applied the vinyl for a recommendation.

You can use the blue painter's tape to tape off your rubber seals, vinyl, etc. However, it is very time consuming and aggravating to me. It is easier to apply a protectant or dressing before waxing or polishing.

When picking up tips on detailing, sometimes you have to look at the context of the tips. Good luck and congrats on your new ride.

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Bama; 08-30-2006 at 09:11 AM.
  #6  
Old 08-30-2006
BrightEyes BrightEyes is offline
 
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

Thanks for the further insight.

I'm definitely not trying to be argumentative, negative or "stir the pot." I regret if anyone has gotten that perception from any of my posts.

As I indicated, I am a fan of Mothers products. I first purchased them years ago.

I'm just a new car owner striving to determine objectively what is the best approach based on proven positive outcomes and logical reasoning. I think considering alternate suggestions is part of making an informed decision.

I do appreciate the advice given so far and plan to use Mothers products in my detailing.
  #7  
Old 08-30-2006
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

It's easy for me to share Forrest's frustration about some of the "information" out there.

It is important to note that there are different grades of clay, and ours would be considered mild -- it does not remove paint or shear-off high bumps of paint. There are some pro grade clays that might do that, but I'm never heard of any of the consumer products doing so.

Clays in general glide across the surface on top of a layer of lubricant and the friction of the clay against the contaminant grabs the contaminants and shears them off.


And if you don't feel comfortable using a synthetic wax on your vinyl decals -- and it's fine to do so as long as they're a smooth surface and not a "flat" -- you might consider using your protectant product on the vinyl as well as the trim before you wax. This method works pretty good and is much less hassle (and cheaper) than masking all of your trim with low-tack painter's tape. Though if you're using a machine, tape makes more sense, but if you're doing it by hand, I wouldn't bother.

And given your decals, the Torch Red and the condition your paint is in, I'd consider using Reflections Car Wax and Top Coat or FX SynWax.
  #8  
Old 08-30-2006
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightEyes
I'm just a new car owner striving to determine objectively what is the best approach based on proven positive outcomes and logical reasoning. I think considering alternate suggestions is part of making an informed decision.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I understand what you mean. In the end, it is your car and your decision. We learn by experience and asking questions. If you are ever skeptical about something, err on the side of caution.

Hopefully, we have helped you out.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2006
Vob Vob is offline
 
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

Brighteyes,
Welcome! I also own a new Mustang, and I can say from my own experiences, that using the Clay Bar will not harm your paint. I use Reflections wax and Top coat with great results!
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2006
BrightEyes BrightEyes is offline
 
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Thumbs up Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

Thanks to everyone for their useful suggestions / recommendations.

Congratulations on your own new Mustang, Vob.

As a consumer, I definitely agree with Bama's statement, "If you are ever skeptical about something, err on the side of caution." Caveat emptor!

I had checked the 2007 Mustang Owner's Manual previously for any specific guidelines regarding the care of vinyl striping but didn't find any. This isn't surprising since the vinyl striping isn't usually applied to the standard Mustangs. Ford does have numerous Ford brand car care products of its own but the Parts Dept. at the dealership indicated that there wasn't much demand for them.

I did speak to the Autobody Shop Manager at the Ford dealership regarding the care of the vinyl striping. He indicated that the application of carnauba wax "should be safe" to apply to the vinyl striping as long as the striping isn't "flat." I told him that my factory striping was Performance White applied to a Torch Red Clearcoat finish coat.

Unfortunately, I wasn't successful in finding any retailers in the Toronto area that carry the Reflections Car Wax or Top Coat. If there is one, perhaps Mothers could let me know. I did find one retailer who carries the FX SynWax but it will significantly increase the profits of the petroleum industry to go get it.

I've purchased the Mothers 3 Step products and will dress the trim etc. with Mothers PRESERVES PROTECTANT before I use those. So far, I've also picked up Mothers SHOWTIME Instant Detailer. I plan to do the clay detailing in the future.

Now I can do like the Karate Kid, "Wax on, wax off!"
  #11  
Old 09-01-2006
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

Sounds like a plan. Good luck. Post some pics when you are done. I would like to see your ride.
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2006
BrightEyes BrightEyes is offline
 
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Default Re: Care of Vinyl Striping

Due to time constraints, it will be a while before I finish detailing my car. However, if you want to check out the model, go to http://www.svt.ford.com/.

Hopefully.the Reflections line of products eventually will be available in the Toronto area.

Thanks again for everyone's helpful suggestions / recommendations.
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