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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How to use ScratchX by hand to remove defects like these:
1. Scratches
2. Swirls
3. Bird Dropping Etchings
4. Water spots
5. Scuff and Mars
A couple of important notes to consider:
1) Clear coats are harder than traditional paints. This means they are more difficult to remove defects out of, especially by hand. This is part explains the increase in popularity of the Porter Cable Dual Action Polisher.
2) ScratchX is not a wipe-on, wipe-off product, (WOWO), it's more of a wipe-on, work-in product, (WOWI). You need to apply with a clean foam applicator pad and when you're applying it you need to put a little passion behind your pad.

Here is how to remove a bird dropping etching or an isolated scratch.
1. Only work a small area at a time - about 6 inch by 6 inch area or smaller
2. You can apply using a combination of circular motions and straight-line motions
3. Work the product against the finish until it looks as you have almost run out of product.
4. Re-apply the product and repeat the above steps 2-3 more times
When I apply ScratchX like I have listed above, I am able to get out about 95% of a bird dropping etching or isolated random scratches.
The trick is to work the product in until it just begins to disappear and to apply more than one application. You see, the ScratchX, like all Meguiar's Paint Cleaners, contains a diminishing abrasive; as you work ScratchX in, the microscopic diminishing abrasives gently abrade the surface removing small particles of paint. As you work it in, these diminishing abrasives breakdown, thus, they quit abrading the finish and actually polish the finish to a clear, high gloss. This diminishing action turned polishing action is a benefit to you because it enable you to work out defects without leaving scratches behind.
Because the diminishing abrasives breakdown, you need to re-apply and repeat the process until the defects are removed.
Note: You can rarely remove a bird dropping etching, or a scratch, from a clear-coated finish with one application.
"A little technique goes a long way"
ScratchX works, if you work it. It takes a little practice to get the hang of removing defects out of modern clear coats with hi-tech products like ScratchX. It' not like the old days with a traditional lacquer or enamel paint job where you could apply some old-fashioned rubbing compound and in a few passes, the scratch would be gone, (and so would a lot of your paint).
High gloss clear coats are thin delicate surface coatings that are easily dulled and easily scratched. Once they are dulled down and/or scratched, it takes the right product, the right technique together with the human element of care and passion to massage them back to a glistening gemstone.
Have patience, and if at first you don't succeed, try again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
What it means to remove a scratch out of anything...

We get a lot of questions from people trying to remove scratches out of all kinds of things, for example:
How do you remove a scratch out of:
* Glass?
* Clear plastic like a headlight lens, radio face plate, dash gages?
* Chrome, like a chrome wheel?
* Paint?
* Interior plastics like a plastic door sill or glove box door?
* Stainless steel, like a stainless steel door sill protector?
* Aluminum?
* Rubber?
* Pebble textured plastic like trim components?
This article isn't about the how-to for removing scratches out of the above materials or coatings but about the practical science behind how you remove a scratch or any below surface defect out of any material or surface coating.
Read the below statement and think about it for a few minutes...
"Some materials and/or surface coatings don't lend themselves well to being abraded with the end-result looking good or looking like the original appearance"
In order to remove a scratch out of anything, metal, plastic glass, paint, etc. You must remove material around the scratch until the upper most portions of the surface are level with or equal to the lowest depths of the scratch or defect you're trying to remove.
Does that make sense?
The below diagram is for paint, however the same idea applies to just about any coating or surface material.

In essence, you don't really remove a scratch; you remove material around a scratch.
Then the big question becomes...
”Is the material or coating workable?”
As in, can you abrade small particles of the material or surface coating and leave behind an original looking surface.
For example: Some things you can abrade, (remove the scratch), but you can never completely remove all of your abrading marks, thus you can't really fix the problem, all you can do is exchange one set of scratches of a different set of scratches.
The next factor you have to consider or at least understand is;
How thick is the surface material or material you're working on?
You are limited to what you can do with any material or surface coating. By this we mean there is usually a limit as to how much material you can remove before you run into the risk of removing too much and exposing the underlying surface or removing so much material that you change the component you're working on in a way that it won't look good and you can't undo the damage.
"Sometimes you don't know what you can so until you try"
It's always a good idea to test your choice of products, applicator materials and application process, (by hand or by machine), to an inconspicuous area. If you cannot make a small area look good with your product, applicator and process, you will not be able to make the entire surface look good.
It's always a good idea to test first and error on the side of caution, versus make a mistake you cannot undo over the entire component or vehicle.
 

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Re: Working by Hand (pwaug)

Speaking of 105, I don't get it. It is meant for hand or rotary application but not DA application. Since when does DA and by hand not go, well, hand in hand. I thought a DA wash just your hand on steriods. It doesn't make sense. Please explain.
I have not seen 105 used by hand in person, so I am REALLY sceptical about some of the reults I am seeing on the internet. I just don't see how something that high on the cut scale will not mar the paint when used by hand.
 

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Re: Working by Hand (67Customs)

Quote, originally posted by 67Customs »
Speaking of 105, I don't get it. It is meant for hand or rotary application but not DA application. Since when does DA and by hand not go, well, hand in hand. I thought a DA wash just your hand on steriods. It doesn't make sense. Please explain.
I have not seen 105 used by hand in person, so I am REALLY sceptical about some of the reults I am seeing on the internet. I just don't see how something that high on the cut scale will not mar the paint when used by hand.

2x
 

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Re: Working by Hand (67Customs)

I can't explain exactly how 105 works, but something about diminishing abrasives. My wife's 11 year old car had never been cared for (my bad) and I wanted to get it into respectable shape without purchasing a DA. I rarely hand washed it so it has been through numerous commercial car washes and was full of swirls. After washing and claying I used M105 with a MF applicator with considerable passion. Most areas of the car where 99% swirl free after one application, but some others needed two. Larger scratches were greatly diminished. Afterwards I gave it a coat of ColorX (applied with some passion) which took care of the remaining minor swirls. Topped it with ZCS and a coat of Optimum Spray Wax. That was two months ago and it still looks great.
 

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Re: Working by Hand (67Customs)

That's something I was wondering about when we first got briefed on 105. Honestly, it's one of those things that you just have to try and see for yourself. By hand it works very very well; with a DA it's kind of a hit or miss. We as a company did not see consistant results using 105 with a DA so we made the decision to not endorse using it with a DA. I have used it with a DA and didn't see much results; 80 was able to pull out more defects. But by hand though 105 pulled out more than 80 with a DA. Weird.
 

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Re: Working by Hand (pwaug)

Quote, originally posted by pwaug »
I can't explain exactly how 105 works, but something about diminishing abrasives. My wife's 11 year old car had never been cared for (my bad) and I wanted to get it into respectable shape without purchasing a DA. I rarely hand washed it so it has been through numerous commercial car washes and was full of swirls. After washing and claying I used M105 with a MF applicator with considerable passion. Most areas of the car where 99% swirl free after one application, but some others needed two. Larger scratches were greatly diminished. Afterwards I gave it a coat of ColorX (applied with some passion) which took care of the remaining minor swirls. Topped it with ZCS and a coat of Optimum Spray Wax. That was two months ago and it still looks great.
See, no disrespect to you what so ever, but that is the kind of thing I am sceptical about.
You need speed and heat to make their deminishing abrasives work and your hand just can't provide either. That is true for all abrasive polishes. You can't break them down by hand. They may dry up, but they don't break down.
Did you do a 50/50 wipedown after using M105? Also, ColorX didn't remove any swirls. It filled them. Which I also suspect 105 is doing.
 

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Re: Working by Hand (67Customs)

Quote, originally posted by 67Customs »
See, no disrespect to you what so ever, but that is the kind of thing I am sceptical about.
You need speed and heat to make their deminishing abrasives work and your hand just can't provide either. That is true for all abrasive polishes. You can't break them down by hand. They may dry up, but they don't break down.
Did you do a 50/50 wipedown after using M105? Also, ColorX didn't remove any swirls. It filled them. Which I also suspect 105 is doing.

M105 Ultra Cut Compound does not use diminishing abrasives. It is a proprietary micro fine abrasive that Meguiar's has exclusive rights to. The abrasives in M105 are not only very fine in size, but extremely hard and uniform in shape. That's why it cuts so well and finishes remarkable well - almost to the point of defying logic. Since it is a compound and not a cleaner/polish it contains no polishing oils and so it can tend to get a bit dry if it doesn't have the heat and power of a rotary behind it.
When used on a DA it can tend to dust more than most people like. Not always, but often enough that we can't comfortably endorse its use that way. When worked by hand on isolated defects - a specific scratch, bird dropping etching, etc - it works great for several reasons: you aren't using a lot of product so dust isn't an issue; working a very small area by hand you can generate a lot of friction in that very small area for a short duration - the DA will spread that work over a larger area and diminish the effect; because the abrasives in M105 are so fine they won't scour the finish when worked by hand like an old school compound (think "rocks in a bottle") would.
 

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I've used, and still use, #105 with a DA and purple foamed wool and/or orange pads. It works extremely well. Yes, it dusts a huge amount, but when you're an avid Menzerna user such as myself, that's just run of the mill for a day's work



Modified by FliGi7 at 12:09 PM 9-30-2008
 

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Re: Working by Hand (67Customs)

Yes, I did do a 50/50 wipe down after using M105. After everything I read about not being able to remove defects by hand and my experimenting with other products, I was sceptical. After the wipe down there was no difference and the 105 didn't introduce any marring of it's own as compounds have that I tried. There were very little swirls remaining (in some areas of the car there were none) and yes I understand that the ColorX filled those few remaining. It was no easy task as it took me 3 days for the total detail.
I posted a few pictures at this link. Not the best pictures, doesn't show the extent of swirling before well, but I think it shows the results well
http://www.meguiarsonline.com/...25186
 

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Re: Working by Hand (pwaug)

So, after removing the scratch with ScratchX, do I just spray with Quick Detailer and apply a layer of wax?
It sounds like ScratchX takes a piece of clear coat along with it!

I have a small nick (sp?) on my rear fender that is deep enough that it makes my car look like a I have a small black bug on it.
 

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Re: Working by Hand (auditt2t)

Quote, originally posted by auditt2t »
So, after removing the scratch with ScratchX, do I just spray with Quick Detailer and apply a layer of wax?
It sounds like ScratchX takes a piece of clear coat along with it!

I have a small nick (sp?) on my rear fender that is deep enough that it makes my car look like a I have a small black bug on it.

After applying ScratchX you can go straight to a wax, you do not need to use the Quik Detailer in between the two. Also, yes the Scratch, along with any other paint cleaner, will remove some clearcoat. You do not need to be too cautious though as you could use ScratchX once a month for the life of the car and never worry about going through the paint.
 
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