Hello from Maryland, folks. I got into auto detailing for my daily driver a few years ago. I recently purchased a sweet (by my standards, at least) new, "obsidian black" Lexus NX and I want to do a better job keeping it clean, beautiful and protected!
Unfortunately the biggest gripe about my previous auto detailing routine was that it left me sore and tired the next day. So I started looking at products that would make my routine less labor and time intensive. That's what is attracting me to Optimum products.
After some research, I think my routine will be:
1. Maybe rinse the car down with a foam gun. I have some Meguiar's Gold Class soap that I could use.
2. Pre-spray heavy dirt/bug areas on car with Optimum No Rinse in spray bottle. Wash using the "Garry Dean method" with microfiber towels.
3. Use a nanoskin to decontaminate the car with Optimum No Rinse in spray bottle as lubricant.
4. Do another quick ONR wash or spray/wipe down with Optimum No Rinse in spray bottle to remove any final contaminants left over from the nanoskin.
5. Apply Optimum Opti-Seal to paint. Allow the sealant to cure
6. Use the Optimum Car Wax.
I will do the #1-6 above every six months in early spring and early fall. I will do #1,2,6 every month as maintenance. The Optimum Car Wax (step #6) will be a drying aid in my monthly maintenance.
I think the nanoskin, Opti-seal and Optimum Car Wax in particular will help reduce the time/effort compared to my old routine. My previous routine used a 2 bucket wash system, Meguirs Gold Class soap, clay bar with Meguirs Quick Detailer as lube, and collinite.
The interior routine will be simple: just use a dilution of Optimum No Rinse and microfiber towels on everything.
How does my six month & monthly routine sound?
Would using Meguiar's Gold Class soap be ok if I want to apply Opti-seal later? I wonder if Meguiar's soap will leave some type of residue behind to prevent Optimum products from adhering to the paint. If so, what product is recommended?
Would using Opti-Seal and Optimum Car Wax be a good protectant to use on chrome, black plastic trim, "satin finished" plastic, door seals and Suntek paint protection film (particularly the edges)? I'm pretty sure the answer is "yes" to all the above.
Should I layer on Opti-Seal? If I put two layers of Opti-Seal, would it last ... 12 months?
In the videos I have seen, a small yellow foam applicator is always used. Would it be ok to use a similar-sized microfiber applicator pad? I like how the microfiber pads can be attached to a "grip handle" using velcro.
Maryland Dept of Transportation loves to lay down the salt in the winter. If I use a touchless car wash in the winter a few times, how quickly would Optimum products rinse away? I really don't have much of a choice, besides a salty car, since I don't want to freeze in my driveway. Would there be enough seal and wax to get me through the spring?
Am I able to use the Optimum Car Wax monthly as a drying aid and maintenance layer without decontaminating with a nanoskin?