What’s The Difference Between Wash & Wax, and Full Paint Correction?
A basic car wash will only remove topical dirt and road grime acquired over short term driving. Regardless of how thorough the wash is, using just car wash soap doesn’t deep clean, polish or restore the paint from damage done by bonded contamination, embedded dirt and staining, and different types of below surface defects. Well maintained and properly detailed cars are really the only cars that truly benefit from a basic wash and application of a good wax or sealant. The idea being that you have already gone through the process of decontamination (which is different from just washing) and either a light polish, which deep cleans the paint to remove embedded dirt and stains or a full polish, which can completely remove oxidation and below surface paint defects (think restoration) and your paint just needs to be maintained by a wash and wax or a maintenance detail.
Bonded Contaminants & Paint Decontamination
There is a crucial step between washing and polishing, which is referred to as Paint Decontamination. Paint Decontamination is a process that breaks down and removes bonded contaminants such as industrial fallout (another name for pollution), brake dust, rail dust, tree sap and tar that embed themselves into the surface of the paint leaving the surface gritty and rough. An easy way to check whether or not your car is covered in bonded contamination is to use the Baggie Test. All you need to do is place a sandwich baggie over your hand and feel your paint after washing. The plastic sandwich baggie enhances your sense of touch and makes inspecting your paint
easier. If your paint feels rough and gritty that means it’s contaminated. If your paint feels smooth as glass with no bumps or rough patches more than likely it’s free of bonded contamination.