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Old 05-03-2018, 02:03 PM   #1
Peteo48
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Autoglym and use of sponges

It's been established thinking for some years now that the use of sponges is not a great idea. I no longer use them preferring a wash mitt. I "get" the idea that a sponge will drag any rogue pieces of grit across the paint causing microscopic scratches and/or swirling.

Yet in more than one Autoglym video, I've seen sponges used. The most recent one was an Australian YouTube video about Aqua Wax but I also remember a UK one in which the presenter said something like "wash mitts are great but a worn out mitt is no good" - or words to that effect.

So are sponges as bad as they have been portrayed or are Autoglym badly out of step here?
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:41 PM   #2
GleemSpray
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The problem i always have about this subject is that many people declare sponges to be so very bad for paint scratching, yet happily use similar sponge applicators for applying wax.

My opinion, for what its worth, is that most damage is as a result of careless heavy-handedness or using contaminated applicators - i really don't think it makes that much difference if its a wash mitt, a sponges or even a silicon blade, so long as its clean, well lubed and used gently with a bit of thought.

Bottom line for me is always that anything that touches the paint has to be able to glide - which means water, soap, polish or wax between the paint and whatever you are using.

I have used a soft drying blade for years and none of my cars have ever had long scratch marks in the paint, however faint, because i clean it and use it very carefully.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:56 PM   #3
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The thing about lubrication makes perfect sense to me. It's the argument, as I see it, for rinseless washes.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:02 PM   #4
mangove21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GleemSpray View Post
The problem i always have about this subject is that many people declare sponges to be so very bad for paint scratching, yet happily use similar sponge applicators for applying wax.

My opinion, for what its worth, is that most damage is as a result of careless heavy-handedness or using contaminated applicators - i really don't think it makes that much difference if its a wash mitt, a sponges or even a silicon blade, so long as its clean, well lubed and used gently with a bit of thought.

Bottom line for me is always that anything that touches the paint has to be able to glide - which means water, soap, polish or wax between the paint and whatever you are using.

I have used a soft drying blade for years and none of my cars have ever had long scratch marks in the paint, however faint, because i clean it and use it very carefully.
Wax doesn't have grit in it, if your car is prepared correctly then of course you can use a sponge applicator!

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Old 05-03-2018, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peteo48 View Post
It's been established thinking for some years now that the use of sponges is not a great idea. I no longer use them preferring a wash mitt. I "get" the idea that a sponge will drag any rogue pieces of grit across the paint causing microscopic scratches and/or swirling.

Yet in more than one Autoglym video, I've seen sponges used. The most recent one was an Australian YouTube video about Aqua Wax but I also remember a UK one in which the presenter said something like "wash mitts are great but a worn out mitt is no good" - or words to that effect.

So are sponges as bad as they have been portrayed or are Autoglym badly out of step here?
Established by who? Detailing suppliers selling pricey, premium lambswool wash mitts?
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:35 AM   #6
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When using any product or applicator or remover on car paint, three words spring to mind "inspect,inspect,inspect"
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mangove21 View Post
Wax doesn't have grit in it
It could if you're a burglar..............
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:32 PM   #8
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The perception is sponges bad, mitts good, and while it might be generally true, it is a very big generalisation. The problem is that not all sponges (or mitts for that matter) are created equally.

The normal, everyday, run of the mill, traditional, 50p from the petrol station, or whatever you want to call it, cellulose generic sponges are without a doubt, truly awful, hateful things which are probably the source of the humble sponges bad press if the truth be told. The problem is simply that these type of sponges do not pick up any dirt or grit because there is just no where in their construction for it to go, instead they push the dirt out of the way which can then obviously mark the surface.

There are sponges that don’t have this problem, natural sea sponges for example have a much more open structure that allows them to hold grit away from their surface, synthetic tile grout sponges are similar, as are the specifically designed car wash sponges from dedicated detailing manufacturers. So there are good sponges and bad sponges, just as there are good mitts and bad mitts, or good fat and bad fat, or anything else.

Any tool can cause damage if it not used properly, or more specifically in this case, if the car is not prepared properly. That’s why we go to such lengths with pre-washes and snow foam, to remove as much unwanted material from the surface before moving to a contact wash. Using quality tools like good wash mitts can help to minimise the risk, but it does not remove it, so as ever, technique is key. I always used to use a silicon water blade and it did a brilliant job of removing the bulk of water from the car prior to drying, but as I got more into detailing and therefore more critical, I always remember the legendary Larry Kosilla of Ammo saying that he would never use one because even he admits that his own wash technique cannot guarantee that every last bit of dirt is removed from the surface and it only takes one missed particle to ruin your hard work.
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