Graphene Shampoo and Graphene CS3 will certainly make your vehicle clean and shiny, but they may not always be enough to remove heavy bonded contamination, iron particles, and iron deposits that embed into paint, chrome, and other exterior surfaces. Bonded contamination can occur from many instances, driving conditions, or environments. Vehicles may come in contact with over spray mist in the air from a neighbor painting a fence or spraying pesticide for weeds, road construction dust, industrial fallout from a nearby factory, minerals from rain, road oil films, sand particles from the beach, tree sap, salt, ash, and magnesium chloride from winter driving, and more. These types of contamination can become bonded with the surface of your vehicle, meaning that a typical wash or even a pressure washer may not fully remove these films.
Iron deposits are a second type of contamination that eventually build up on both coated and non-coated vehicles and can be difficult to remove. These iron particles appear as tiny brownish-orange dots, almost like a rust spot the size of a pinhead or smaller, and they especially stand out as an eyesore on lighter colored vehicles like white, silver, gray, and so on. There are specific ways to safely remove each type of contamination, whether they are ferrous (containing iron) or more organic substances. In other words, what works on iron and metal particles may not work well on other contamination, and vice versa. First we will discuss how to remove iron decontamination from a graphene coated vehicle with Adam’s Iron Remover, then we will move into removing other non-ferrous types of bonded contamination from a ceramic coating, using our Fine Grade Clay.
Adam’s Iron Remover is a spray-on and rinse-off decontamination chemical designed for a specific purpose - to safely target and dissolve iron deposits that embed into the exterior painted surfaces of your vehicle. As mentioned above, iron contamination can be present on any vehicle, but you will usually only notice it on lighter colored paints like white and silver, since it appears as very small orange dots that really stand out on white paint! These orange dots will usually be more concentrated to the lower parts of doors, rocker panels, behind tires, the rear bumper, and trunk panel. These are the areas where brake dust will travel back onto the vehicle as you are driving and using the brakes. Dust on streets can also contain metal particles from vehicle exhausts traveling on the roads every day, which tires can then kick up onto the vehicle. You may see significant iron deposits on the front bumper as well if you are frequently in bumper-to-bumper traffic, where the vehicle exhaust in front of you could be putting deposits onto your car.
These pesky orange dots can be difficult to remove. You can scrub and scrub them with soap and a wash pad and not even reduce their appearance, and possibly scratch the surface in the process from scrubbing so much. You can clay them with a clay bar and maybe reduce half of the dot, but be frustrated that it did not go away completely. You can machine compound them off, where you run the chance of overheating the paint or removing more clear coat than you would like to in very focused areas at a time. As the saying goes, work smarter not harder - Adam’s Iron Remover eliminates these frustrations and takes care of these iron oxide particles with far less effort than the methods mentioned above. We recommend using Iron Remover after you have washed and rinsed the vehicle of normal dirt, mud, and debris - this way the chemical contacts the surface directly rather than having to try to cut through dirt first. Work in the shade if possible, or wait until the evening or early morning when direct sunlight is not as harsh.
Iron Remover should not be used on a warm or hot surface, so allow the vehicle to cool off or rinse it again with cold water before use. Spray Iron Remover generously and directly onto a painted surface, and allow it to dwell for a few minutes. On light colors, you will begin to see it turn these orange dots into a purple color as the iron activator ingredient begins to dissolve them. It will appear as if your vehicle is bleeding purple streaks down the panel - this is normal and expected. Do not let this purple residue dry onto any surface. Once it has worked on the panel for a few minutes, rinse it very thoroughly with your hose or pressure washer and you should find that the orange dots are now gone! For very stubborn iron deposits, you may have to do this process a second time. With the surface now decontaminated of iron and metal particles, it’s now time to decon with Fine Grade Clay to make the surface smooth, unclog the coating, and bring back that awesome water-repelling behavior that you expect.
Note: It is very important to mention that Iron Remover can stain or discolor plastic trim and other non-painted surfaces, such as window trim, roof rails, plastic mud flaps, etc if it sits on these surfaces for too long or dries onto these components. Never let it dry on any surface. Exercise care when spraying the product to avoid these areas, and when you do rinse a panel, make sure to rinse all surrounding areas, plastic, and rubber trim.
Fine Grade Clay
Sometimes a degreasing wash with Graphene Shampoo may not be strong enough to remove all contamination. The vehicle may look clean and very shiny after a wash, but you may notice that your drying towel seems to drag on the surface a little or you may feel a clean door panel or trunk and it may still feel bumpy or make some audible noise as you gently rub your hand on the surface. As Adam always says “Your paint should not have an audio track.” If your paint begins to feel rough or bumpy with bonded contamination, and sounds like sandpaper when you gently glide your hand over the clean surface, the protection layer underneath is not going to perform as well. You could use Compound or Polish to remove this contamination, but you do not want to risk weakening or removing the graphene coating with micro-abrasives and a machine polisher, or causing scratches by picking up contaminants in a machine polishing pad that is oscillating thousands of times per minute on the surface.
Using a clay bar is the safest option to remove contaminants while having minimal potential for damage or weakening the coating. Like with many aspects of detailing, the least aggressive method approach applies here as well, so this is why we recommend our Fine Grade Clay. It is our softest and most delicate clay option, so it will have the lowest chance of weakening the coating or creating any marring on the surface. By “marring,” we mean very light scuffs or haze introduced into the clear coat. Clay, by design, is very slightly abrasive. If you do not stretch and fold the clay to a new clean work surface often enough, or if you do not keep the panel lubricated enough with Detail Spray, there is potential to introduce very light damage into the graphene coating layer.
Two common misconceptions are that you should never have to use a clay bar on a ceramic coated vehicle or that you cannot clay a coated vehicle at all. We disagree with these statements. Graphene coatings can and will still build up contamination over time that needs to be removed in order for the coating to perform its best. At a minimum, we recommend claying the areas that come in high-contact with road debris - the sides of the vehicle, bumpers, and the trunk/tailgate - at least twice per year, but you may find that you need to use Fine Grade Clay more often or less often than this, depending on your driving conditions and how frequently you drive your vehicle. Only clay a surface after it has been washed - if you clay a dirty surface, the clay bar will become saturated with dirt and grit, which can then scratch paint. You want to use the clay to remove the bonded contamination that is still present after washing, not the dirt itself. For a full explanation and demonstration on claying your vehicle, Adam covers this topic in this video:How to Properly Decontaminate A Vehicle With Clay.