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Zaino Instructions 101, or Zaino for Dummies

Old 03-01-2004, 06:54 PM
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Lightbulb Zaino Instructions 101, aka Zaino for Dummies and First Time Users

Zaino Instructions 101


This thread is intended to compliment the numerous others threads that already instruct you on how to use the Zaino line of products. Although Zaino, in my opinion, is the best polish you can purchase, it is also intimidating to use because of the complicated names given to Zaino products and because their instructions are somewhat confusing. If you read and want to use the “clay bar” for example, your knee-jerk reaction after reading the company’s instruction, may be to skip this step and hope it all works out, but if you give my instructions a read, you may change your mind and do it right the first time out.

By the time you finish reading this thread, you will have a higher comfort level on how use and perform the Zaino process. I will painstakingly explain what each step is and how to apply for your own use.

The Zaino instructions are written by folks that make polish and that’s what they do well, without question. But have that same group of folks write instructions on how to use their products, and you’re quickly lost. In fact, if you look at the product line: Z-1, Z-2, Z- 5 and so on and so forth, they’re not even named or numbered in the ordered for intended use, they just plucked numbers from the sky and thus the names have no bearing for the nomenclature in which they are named after.

First, purchase the entire Z-Kit ($90 for the kit), it has everything you will need (products are listed below) to maintain your vehicle’s paint and the paint of 10 or your best friends car’s, if you so desire. Also while your at it, get at least one extra bottle of Z-6 (spray on gloss enhancer).

Lets start by listing the complete Zaino Kit in the order they are to be utilized:

1. Z-7 (Liquid Car Soap) simply put, its car wash/shampoo, when mixed with water, this is what you will wash you car with week-in and week-out.

2. Z-18 (aka Clay Bar) you get two yellow bars they appear to be like “play-dough” don’t be intimidated and don’t skip this process. The clay bar removes contaminates and other debris from your cars paint. I’ll explain in a minute how to use this product.

3. Z-2 & Z-5 (this is the Car Polish) , Z-2 is intended for vehicles with clear-coats and Z-5 is intended for vehicles with both clear-coats & regular paint surfaces, but adds a swirl remover. It should be noted that you should use Z-5 first “if” and only if, you have light scratches; since most of us have new cars we would go right to the Z-2. Z-2 is a finer polish than Z-5, so Z-2 has better optical properties, but Z-5 has more power when it comes to removing imperfections in your paint. Considers Z-2 and Z-5 brothers and sisters, you will want to spend most of your time with the sweet more refined sister (Z-2) but from time-to-time, when the going gets tough you’ll need to hang out with big brother (Z-5).

4. ZFX (Polish Hardener) Here is another interesting little devolvement that Zaino has designed. ZFX is a “hardener” that allows either Z-2 or Z-5 polishes to dry in about half the usual time. ZFX comes in a kit that includes a tiny vile (only 2ml) of blue liquid, it reminds me of the Locktite product. When you purchase ZFX you also get four 2 ounce, empty-clear-bottles used for mixing either Z-2 or Z-5 (polish). Mix only prior to the intended use. Add 4-5 drops of ZFX for each 1 ounce of polish you plan on using. Your polish will harden faster allowing you to remove the wax in about 30-60 minutes for the first-coat and at least 60 plus minutes plus for the second-coat. I don’t recommend applying more then two coats in a weekend, but you can. You will only need to use one of the 2 oz bottles at one-time, it seems they give you extra bottles in case you don’t rinse the bottle prior to the "activated" polish hardening. Zaino states hardening will take place within 12 hours after being mixed. Also, these convenient little bottles fit in your back pocket, so when polishing your car, you’re not hanging on to a large bottle of polish, wondering where to put the bottle down. ZFX replaces the original Z-1 that had a different application all together, so I wont’ address Zaino’s Z-1 in this thread.

5. Z-6 (aka Gloss Enhancer) This is a clear watery spray that is used between coats of polish. It’s like adding liquid “wet” to your car. The polishes (Z-2 & Z-5) deepen the paint and Z-6 makes it look wetter. Again, I recommend getting two bottles of this “Jewel in the crown” of the Zaino product line. Some have stated that they’ve diluted Z-6 with distilled water so it will be less expensive to use. Draw you own conclusion if indeed that is worth the extra savings. Like they say, don’t fool with Mother Nature, plus you only use about 1 to 2 ounces of the product, per application anyway.

Now that will all know what we have, lets talk about how to use Zaino for the first time:

1. Wash car with Z-7, the liquid car shampoo (follow instructions on the label). I washed my car twice, cleaning out both the rinse water, and soapy water buckets between washes. I want my car to be squeaky clean prior to taking the Clay Bar to it. If you’re going to clay your car (and you should prior to starting the Zaino process for the first-time) then go ahead, wash it twice.

2. Using the Clay Bar (Z-18), although this seems to be the most intimidating part of the process, you can clay your entire car in about 15 minutes and here’s how it works. After washing, leave your car super-wet and pull vehicle into a covered garage. Prepare a spray bottle with one cap full of Z-7 for every 12 ounces of water, this will be the lubricant used when rubbing the clay bar on your car. The clay bar runs over you car like your using a bar of soap on your body when you’re in the shower (sans the bubbles and foam). Place the Clay Bar in your hand and while the car is wet, gently rubbing back and forth in one direction, in a straight line (no circles), it should slide easily across the paint, if not, immediately spray the location you’re working on using the pre-mixed Z-7 solution in the spray bottle. As you rub, you will quickly get the hang of using the clay bar. If you’re unsure, begin by claying the roof of the car. Also you may notice that sometimes you come across spots that feel sticky, those are imperfections or debris in the paint, give those areas an extra 10 seconds of rubbing (adding extra lubricant of course) and they should smooth out right away. By the time your finished the clay bar will have changed shape and may be very thin and as big as your hand, no problem. Take a look and you’ll see black lines in the bar, that’s simply the stuff plain washing can’t remove. If you drop your clay bar, the parties over, throw it away. If you know your car has lots of bugs or other particles problems, use tar remover prior to washing your car.

3. Rewash car with blue liquid Dawn Dishwashing Soap, for two reasons: 1) To remove the clay bar residue and 2) Dawn will remove the old wax from your paint.

4. Dry car thoroughly with highest quality towel you can get. I used a chammy and that worked well for me.

5. If you have a new car go right to the Z-2 (polish). Mix 4-5 drops of ZFX and 1 ounce of Z-2 in one of the bottles included in the ZFX Kit, I like to mix just one ounce at a time. Place cotton Zaino applicator in your hand; make it moist by spraying Z-6 or by using droplets of water. Squirt a “dime-size” amount on the applicator (you can rub the polish around the applicator if you like, at first) and pick an area to clean, do one area at a time, hood, fender, door etc. Let the entire car completely dry which should take at least 30 to 60 minutes on an average day. If it’s cold or moist, you’ll be waiting a long, long, time. It should be noted: You don’t need to use the ZFX drops; ZFX only lessons the time it takes for the polish to dry. Side Note: If it’s a super hot summer day, skip the ZFX additive all together

Now here’s the trick. Don’t use more then 1 ounce of polish per coat on an average sized vehicle, if you do, you’re using “way” too much polish. Zaino works best when applied as lightly as possible, in fact my car barely had a haze on it after applying polish. Moreover, the first coat, I only used 3/4 of an ounce of polish and the second coat I tired to use an entire ounce. I notice a big difference in how hard the second coat was too remove only because I used that extra 1/4 ounce of polish; if you use just 3/4 of an ounce your right on target to getting the best results.

6. Remove the polish, by using an old soft cotton t-shirts, what can be softer? Zaino polish goes on easier and come off much easier they your typical wax; truly the work up front pays off in the long run.

7. Let the car sit for at least 15 minutes and then start spot spraying and wiping the car with Z-6 Gloss Enhancer.

8. Let the car sit for at least 30 minutes and apply the second coat of polish. The second coat should stay on for at least 60 minutes. For best results, don’t apply more then two coats of polish per weekend. Note: While your waiting for you car to set-up, you can vacuum your car, wipe down the interior or clean inside windows etc.

9. Let the car dry for another 30 plus minutes and re-apply Z-6 spray. You’re done!
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Old 03-01-2004, 06:55 PM
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Page 2

Now that you have gone through this process, in the future if you keep up on the maintenance of the paint, it will be easy to wash, polish and Z-6 your car. It should only take 25 minutes (sans you washing your car and the time needed to let the polish dry).

Zaino becomes deeper and deeper as you build coats, after the initial Zaino treatment, apply coats of polish and Z-6 Gloss Enhancer, one on top of the other. I did have a need to use Z-5 polish, when I found a few fine scratches on my new vehicle. It worked well.

Last but not least, there is another little product I must tell you all about, it’s called “Brillianize” which was purchased at Tap Plastics in California for $4.25 for an 8 ounce spray bottle. This product was originally intended to clean computers and computer monitors. I use it on my Navi screen, interior, chrome bits, glass, clear plastic and rubber. You can even apply right to the paint of your car if you so desire, but not recommend for a Zaino car. I used it on my entire motorcycle and achieved a cleaner then new shine form this stuff. On plastic, you can builds coats and take dull plastics to a better than new appearance.
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:38 PM
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Vffr1,

Thanks for detailing this information. I just purchased the zaino kit and your info will be helpful.

One thing though, in the product description #3 you state that :

"Z-2 is intended for vehicles with clear-coats and Z-5 is intended for vehicles without clear-coats."

It is acutally z-3 which is intended for vehicles without clear coats. It in effect replaces z-2 on non clear coated cars.

At least that's how I understand it. You are right couldn't they just name the products or at least number them in the order you would use them. We shouldn't need classes on how to wash cars ;-)

Matt
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:01 PM
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should be sticky
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:45 PM
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Thanks for the information. I certainly have a better feeling about the Zaino process. I'm just waiting for my new car to arrive and have a nice weekend to start the Zaino treatment. After being a "wax" person for years, it's going to be a learning process to experiment with this stuff and see if I like it better than my Pinnacle wax I've used for years. I love the smell and feel of carnuba wax, but I'm looking forward to trying Zaino. Thanks for a very informative thread....GOOD JOB!....and I appreciate it.
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by Kooz
Vffr1,

Thanks for detailing this information. I just purchased the zaino kit and your info will be helpful.

One thing though, in the product description #3 you state that :

"Z-2 is intended for vehicles with clear-coats and Z-5 is intended for vehicles without clear-coats."

It is acutally z-3 which is intended for vehicles without clear coats. It in effect replaces z-2 on non clear coated cars.

At least that's how I understand it. You are right couldn't they just name the products or at least number them in the order you would use them. We shouldn't need classes on how to wash cars ;-)

Matt


The Zaino Kit doesn't include Z-3 so I didn't include it in my write-up, but is a polish for regular paint. Z-5 is for both clear coat & regular paint too, with emphasizes on removing swirls. Z-3 is Z-2 for regular paint though. The post has been corrected, but I plan on using Z-5 on my regular non-clear coated vehicle, then switching to Z-2 as the swirls disappear. I checked with Zaino on this first.
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:02 PM
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Re: Zaino Instructions 101, aka Zaino for Dummies and First Time Users

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Vffr1
[B]Zaino Instructions 101
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:02 PM
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What I have yet to see is someone do half of a panel with Zaino, and the other half with a quality competing product. Or one door panel with Zaino, and the door next to it with something else. THEN take photos of the reflections. Is there honestly a difference? Showing pictures of great reflections on a car doesn't mean anything. Yes, the cars are shiny, but so is any newish freshly-waxed car. Even before and after pictures don't mean anything, unless lighting is the same and wax freshness is equal with a competing brand. I've used Zaino, and followed instructions. I regard the results as similar to many other products. But I've only used it on lighter-colored cars (white and silver).

There are, however, differences in reflectivity between different products. They aren't all the same. CR proved that in their wax tests years ago. (One where I think NuFinish came out on top, and NuFinish has been using that result in their advertising for probably 10 years now). Some products actually decreased reflectivity over a non-waxed car. So I'm not saying it's impossible Zaino is the most reflective product out there. I just haven't seen any objective evidence of it. I've seen some quotes from "The Wax Test" or whatever, but that's about as unscientific as it gets in the methods they use.

I also question the multiple coat thing. Some wax companies admit that you can't keep putting more coats on and have the wax get thicker. It just doesn't work that way. Once the surface is covered (actually filling in microscopic pits and depressions, not forming a true barrier or seal over everything) adding another coat won't add more wax (unless you don't buff it out!). It may be of help, though, because you won't get 100% coverage of the surface the first time. Meguiars site at least used to explain this and show drawings of what the wax does. I don't see that now, but they do say: "Are many coats of wax beneficial?
Environmental conditions today do demand more frequent waxing to prevent costly damage to the outer layers of paint. However we don't recommend applying two or three coats of wax at one time. While there is some slight incremental protection with each application, you'll gain greater benefits by spreading the same number of applications over a longer period. " Here's the link, which has lots and lots of other info too:
http://www.meguiars.com/fastrack/fastrack_browse.cfm

(Oriented to their product, of course.)
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:11 PM
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Hybird,

Why don't you perform the side-by-side test as you mentioned and let us know what happens.

Oh by the way you can call your thread, "Side-by-Side Zaino Test - Now I'm a Believer"

Mike Smeezy
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:23 PM
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As I said in my post, I HAVE used Zaino. Even multiple coats, and I did follow the correct procedures with the various products. Not bad results, of course, or even disappointing, but nothing unusual. I still have a small quantity left. I have even tried some simple side-by-side tests. No difference that I could see. No photos. I may have to work on that.
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:45 PM
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the TL is a clear coat car right?
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:56 PM
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how many times can you use one pack of clay bar for? do you have to use it every time you polish, and how many times should you polish a month.
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by tlxlr8s
how many times can you use one pack of clay bar for? do you have to use it every time you polish, and how many times should you polish a month.
That depends on how clean your car is, I plan on using each clay bar twice, once on each side. You should only need to use the clay once in a great while, again, it depends how long you let your car go before you polish it.

Polish your car as much as you'd like, I think you could reach a point of obbsession pretty quickly. I have two coats, and I plan on puting one more coat on next weekend, then I'll take it on a month-by-month basis.

Mike Smeezy,

PS. Yes, TL's have a clear coat.
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:15 PM
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does anyone use a buffer machine when they wax?? if so what are some good ones?
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by crajeemonkey
does anyone use a buffer machine when they wax?? if so what are some good ones?
Zaino states it's not needed because it's not a wax, and they also state a buffer would use so much more product.

Mike Smeezy
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:25 PM
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Seems to me we need a Zaino training camp: "Hey Mayo, drop that Clay Bar and you'll be dropping for 50!"

Seriously, you've done some excellent, clear instructions Vffr1 and I might give it a try. Then again, I might just buy SSM as it seems to look good with most treatments. Kudos to you for your explanation, it demystifies a complex subject. In addition to some pics of wax versus Zaino on adjacent panels it would be helpful to see pics after a few months of washings.

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Old 03-01-2004, 11:31 PM
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this is a great po... vote for sticky!
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:09 PM
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STICKY PLEASE
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:11 PM
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is the clay bar necessary for the first time wash of your new car?
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:07 PM
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A Few Points -

1. ZFX is not required - Before ZFX you had to use the Z-1 primer once or twice a year to provide "grip" for the polish to stick to the paint. However, ZFX not only acts as a primer, it cures the polymer faster so you can do more coats in one day. With Z-1 you had to wait at leasat 24 hours between coats, one reason car detailers were not able to offer the Zaino process.

Please Note - You CANNOT apply the Zaino polish without using Z-1 or ZFX! It will not stick or cure properly!

2. Clay Bar - Lay a piece of Saran Wrap on your car, and run your finger over it. If you feel anything other than perfectly smooth, you will benifit from claying. It is recommended that you tear the clay bar in 2, so you have a backup in case you drop it. If you drop it, DO NOT use it - you will surely grind some grit into your paint. The clay bar can be used several times, you keep kneading it as you use it. Be sure to use lots of the supplied lube so that the clay doesn't stick to the paint. It should glide easily

3.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:14 PM
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3. Multiple Coats- This has little value with waxes, as the solvents in wax dissolve the previous layer as you put on a new one. The only benefit is covering spots you missed. With Zaino Polymer, each new layer adds to the previous one, so it continues to get smoother and shinier with each coat.

4. Buffers - Simply not needed, and it would WASTE a great deal of polish. Zaino is simple wiped on and wiped off. It takes me 15 min. to apply and 5 to dust off. However, if your paint needs a little work, it can hlep to use a "glaze" or "swirl mark remover" with a random orbital buffer to smooth the paint before polishing. ANY random buffer is OK, since you will hardly ever need it.

5. Side-by-side tests - MANY of these have been done, and Zaino always tops the list for the longest lasting shine and protection.

6. Towels - Be sure to use only 100% American-made Cotton towels. Other towels have polyester in them. The Poly is harder than your paint, and will cause minor scratches or "spider-webbing". I doubted this myself for a long time, but then noticed how the fine scratches appeared in dark finishes when using certain towels. I sorted out the "bad ones" and now have no more scratches! It is worth it to find some good Cannon towels on sale, and buy 3-4 JUST for the car. Don't use fabric softener, it coats the fibers.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:15 PM
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There was a test done of the leading "wax" products. here is the link.

http://www.gurureports.org/press/wax...2-release.html
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:59 PM
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Thanks!

Hey folks, I want to thank you for all of your support on this Thread. I'm glad you have found it to be helpful.

At this point, the topping on the cake will be for this Thread to become a sticky (just look at the stickys we have now).

With as many questions that will continue to come up for Zaino, I feel a sticky will save 100's of future Threads as Zaino continues to become more and more popular.

Sticky, Sticky, Sticky (come on everyone) Sticky, Sticky.

Michael
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:15 PM
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Gents:
One point that may not be apparent in the need to clay the vehicle, and the need to reduce the "hands-on" time. You may not realize that brake dust actually sticks into the paint. If you don't clay, your washing will cause swirl marks, scratches in the clear coat. Other particulates also don't easily come out in a hand wash. So, to be safe and nice to your beloved's clear coat - don't wash and wax as much as you'd like to! Twice ayear is adequate for wax. Use the do-it-yourself spray booth to avoid touching the paint/clear coat. Never, ever go into a public car wash, either one with those big swirling brushes or the ones where they swarm your car with towels. With both, you're asking for major scratches. You've got to do it yourself, spend the large amounts of quality time, and do it right.
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Old 03-03-2004, 01:59 AM
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could i use any dishwashing liquid not specifically Dawn?
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Old 03-03-2004, 08:05 AM
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Quick question: They say use 100% cotton towels. Got some from costco that are 92% cotton and 8% polyester. Will they be OK for use on the car?
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Old 03-03-2004, 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by PaulKCK
Quick question: They say use 100% cotton towels. Got some from costco that are 92% cotton and 8% polyester. Will they be OK for use on the car?
When I Zaino'd my car over the weekend, I went to a Bad Bath & Beyond and bought 3-4 100% cotton bath towels which cost roughly $18 per towel and this contained no poly at all.

I think the point of getting an all cotton towel and then cutting off the outside binding is to ensure that no polyester or any other fabric besides cotton will touch the surface of your car. Anything else could be harmful and cause scratches as noted above.

My take on it is, better safe and spend a few more dollars than be sorry....after all, you just spent $30K+ on a car and why skimp on the towels.
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Old 03-03-2004, 08:12 AM
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Originally posted by x420actionx
could i use any dishwashing liquid not specifically Dawn?
Sal Zaino specifically says to use Dawn....blue Dawn actually. I used that and followed Sal's directions to a "T" and was very happy with the results.
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Old 03-03-2004, 12:32 PM
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Great post (sticky?), but it sounds like a heck of amount of work. Isn't there some additive I can put in my gas tank that will make the car shine forever?

Seriously, what are we talking in terms of time from start to finish? An hour?
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Old 03-03-2004, 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by soljc
Great post (sticky?), but it sounds like a heck of amount of work. Isn't there some additive I can put in my gas tank that will make the car shine forever?

Seriously, what are we talking in terms of time from start to finish? An hour?
Hell, I can't even handwash my car and get all the waterspots off of it in an hour.

Wash and dry, claybar, wash and dry, and three coats of Zaino w/ Z-6 in between took me, if I would have worked continually and not stopped for anything, approximately 4 hours.

That's my best guess.
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:08 PM
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Is there a minimum air temperature required to use the Zaino products?
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by PMF13
Is there a minimum air temperature required to use the Zaino products?
Recommended, I believe, is higher than 45; however, if it's cooler than that the Zaino product just takes longer to dry.
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:38 PM
  #33  
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Originally posted by PMF13
Is there a minimum air temperature required to use the Zaino products?
a quote from the zaino site."Let Z-5 or Z-2 polish dry at least one hour. Please NOTE: Zaino Show Car Polish works best at 60 degrees or higher. However, it can be applied down to temperatures of 45 degrees. It just will take much, much longer to dry. As much as two to three hours drying time is required if the temperature is 50 degrees or below. Also, If the humidity is high. Longer drying time is necessary. Humidity is a killer on the drying time of Z-2 or Z-5. The moisture in the air hinders drying time up to four times longer than normal."

click here for for the complete instructions on appling all zaino products.

http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/...de=APPLICATION
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:28 PM
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Again, this deserves to be sticky! Great Write UP!
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:02 AM
  #35  
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I Agree

Originally posted by bdowell
Again, this deserves to be sticky! Great Write UP!
I agree, my intent was to put an end to the entire Zaino maddness, did I mention that in the long run it will save 100's of new post? To me this is as important as some of the other stickies i.e. Memory Seat post.

Mike Smeezy

PS. Again, thanks for your support everyone
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Old 03-05-2004, 05:33 AM
  #36  
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Sticky, please...

BrandHdriver
'04 TL Silver/Ebony/5AT/non-NAV
Austin, TX
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:26 AM
  #37  
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great thread. just bought the kit yesturday and I am going to try it out on the first nice NY day....
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Old 03-05-2004, 01:57 PM
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Re: Zaino Instructions 101

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Vffr1
[B]Zaino Instructions 101


This thread is intended to compliment the numerous others threads that already instruct you on how to use the Zaino line of products...
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Old 03-05-2004, 01:58 PM
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Re: Zaino Instructions 101

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Vffr1
[B]Zaino Instructions 101


This thread is intended to compliment the numerous others threads that already instruct you on how to use the Zaino line of products...


Thanks for this info, it's great!
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Old 03-05-2004, 03:47 PM
  #40  
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Does step 8 and on mean:

After applying the Z6 Gloss Enhancer for 30 mins.. then apply a second coat of polish (Z2 or Z5) for about 90 minutes... and then use the Z6 again for the final touch?
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