As a result of improved foam manufacturing technologies, foam pads have made great advances in performance and durability. Like their wool counterparts, foam pads must be properly cared for to insure consistent performance.
If the pad is new or dry, dampen the pad's surface by misting it with water. This will aid in compound/polish dispersion. If you're working with water-based formulas, continue periodic misting throughout the task.
Apply a very small amount of polish or compound in a ring around the middle or concave area of the pad (just enough for lubrication). Place the pad on the surface of the vehicle without turning on the machine. Rub the pad across a small area to be polished. This will disperse the product over the area and the pad. Turn the machine on low and slowly raise the speed. Work the product over the area until the product has disappeared. Repeat until you reach your desired result.
Foam pads will "load-up" with product at different rates, and will require wiping with a coarse towel. If the pad becomes dry or caked with compound/polish, spur the pad with a foam cleaning tool. We recommend our DuospurTM pad cleaning tool, which features nylon spur wheels that gently clean the foam without leaving any foreign particles on the pad's surface. Do not use the spurs recommended for wool pads.
When you are finished with a pad, place it in a bucket of car wash soap. This keeps your pads moist and begins the cleaning process while you finish detailing. Never allow a used pad to air dry before it is washed.
Washing foam pads is necessary after each use. This prevents the compound or polish from drying out or becoming caked in the foam. Hand wash in warm water with our Snappy Clean Citrus Degreaser or a mild detergent. Do not use high-foaming products like Dawn dish washing liquid. These powerful detergents will attack the adhesive backing and the foam is almost impossible to remove.
Do not machine dry foam pads. This will shorten the life of the pad. Do not twist or wring dry velcro backed pads. This weakens the backing's bond to the foam. Press the pad between your hands until the bulk of the water is eliminated. Finally, air dry pads in the open to avoid the formation of mildew.
Foam pads can become torn or out of balance. This not only shortens the useful life of the pad, but also produces uneven surface patterns requiring additional work. The foam can be rebalanced with our Duospur™ tool. The sides of the tool have an abrasive callus plate designed for simple grinding. Place the Duospur™ on a clean, dry surface as the pad spins on the buffer.
It is difficult to effectively spur pads on an orbital polisher. Remove the pad from the tool and hand wash in warm water using a mild detergent, then air dry. You can also move the pad to a rotary machine for spurring and rebalancing.
Proper Wool Pad Use & Care:
4 Ply Twisted Wool Twisted wool pads are designed and constructed for hard compounding. Twisted tufts, which resemble rope, are more aggressive than single or untwisted strands. During the buffing process, the compound attaches itself to the twisted tufts producing a stiff bristle type action. If the pad becomes overloaded with compound, it can become too aggressive, resulting in scratching.
All pads have a performance cycle, meaning you will get the desired results only to a certain point. That point of declining performance is typically caused by compound overload. With proper cleaning this situation can be avoided.
Wool pads must be cleaned after each use to insure a decent life expectancy, but the use of improper cleaning tools can do more harm than good. The wrong tool can cause the wool to unravel. As the tufts unravel, the pad becomes less aggressive and performance is reduced.
Knitted Wool and Wool Blends Knitted Wool pads are used primarily for polishing applications. The polishing process refines the working finish to eliminate compounding swirls and scratches. Proper cleaning is especially important in achieving optimum pad performance.
Make it a practice to periodically check the pad during the buffing process. Clean the pad in our Snappy Clean Citrus Degreaser when the pad surface begins to glaze over from compound/polish build up. We also recommend washing or spurring the pad prior to storing for future use. Our buffer powered system System 2000™ pad washer and Duospur™ tool are specially designed for these tasks.
Never use a screwdriver, fork or other stationary "tool" to spur a pad. This promotes the untwisting of the tufts and may damage the pad's backing. We recommend using our Duospur™ cleaning tool instead. This patented product features glass filled nylon spur wheels that move with the pad, limiting the untwisting action.
After washing, do not dry pads with high heat as this promotes wool shrinkage. Instead, let pads air dry or spin them using the buffer. Do not store damp pads. This will promote mildew.
Keep pads in a clean location when not being used. This will minimize foreign particles from coming in contact with the buffing surface the next time you use the pad.
Special Tip - Run all wool pads through our pad washer before the first use to reduce wool blow-off.