While I was doing research on my car, I found out about a type of car polish called Zaino. It sounded interesting and is enormously complicated, which makes it even more appealing. I thought about ordering the starter kit (it’s kind of expensive) back when I wrote about car clay, but decided not to since we aren’t allowed to wash our cars and that’s a big part of the process. Then time went by and I felt like I really needed to put some kind of protection on the car so the finish doesn’t go bad like it eventually did on the Honda. I’ve paid to get the car washed a couple of times, but getting it waxed properly is really expensive and doesn’t last anyway.

So I ordered a kit a week or so ago and got it yesterday. Naturally I couldn’t wait very long to use it, so I took today off from work and started the process. First I read some very lengthy tips but that was crucial. The Zaino Store also has good tips on how to use each individual product, referred to by their Z numbers.

There are an enormous number of steps:

  1. Wash the car with Dawn to remove dirt and strip any oil or wax already there.
  2. Towel dry the car.
  3. Use a clay bar (Z-18) and watered down car wash soap in a spray bottle to remove all the surface particles and give a smooth finish.
  4. Wash the car again with Zaino car wash (Z-7)
  5. Towel dry the car.
  6. Mix the polish (Z-2) with hardening agent (ZFX) and apply as sparingly as possible to car.
  7. Wait for polish to dry and rub off with a towel.
  8. Apply a supergloss spray (Z-6) and rub that off with a towel as you go.
  9. Apply a second coat of polish.
  10. Wait for polish to dry and wipe off.
  11. Apply and rub off another coat of supergloss spray.
  12. Apply a third and final coat of polish.
  13. Wait for polish to dry and wipe off.
  14. Apply a third coat of supergloss and wipe it off.

I didn’t do the last step because it was dark by that time (it took about an hour for the polish to dry each time). And I don’t know how well it worked for the same reason. It takes at least 10 towels (it took two to dry the car each time; the instructions are very particular about the towels and advise cutting the tags off). Instead of using Z-2 polish, I could have used Z-5 polish which is geared more towards filling in light scratches and swirls, but I didn’t notice any of those while washing the car. The idea is that this should last 6 months (with washings in between) and then I can apply a few more coats of polish. I shouldn’t have to do the Dawn wash again and the clay bar shouldn’t be needed very often. I used about 1/5 of the Z-2 polish, so I could easily do 4 more applications in 2 years before it goes bad.

7 thoughts on “Zaino

  1. I believe it was consumer reports that said really the best thing you can do is wash your car to keep the dust and grime off. That is what is most damaging to a finish. Polish / wax is not really needed. So I wash often and rarely wax or polish. Now if you are doing it for sun protection, that may be a different story… and you may want to build a garage.

  2. I was getting paid because I have vacation time at work and didn’t take off any entire days during December. I don’t see how waxing my car once every six months could ever cost more than a car.

    In daylight today the car was shiny and it has that great smoothness of a waxed car where a dry towel will just float across it. But it didn’t really jump out at me how shiny it is. Some people put dozens of layers on their cars and I only did three. And certain colors like black or silver show a shine more than others.

  3. I put two more coats on today. Since on the initial application I had finished up in very low light, I didn’t originally notice that I had missed a few spots of polish, so there were some greasy-looking spots. I washed the car (in Alabama) and the water would just cascade off of the car. Instead of staying on the car as it went down, if it came to an edge it would shoot off over the edge (all over me and my shoes).

    It seemed like a lot of work today, but hopefully I have a good strong coat of protection on the car that won’t need any more maintenance until May or so.

  4. I put on two more coats over the weekend. Really the second coat didn’t cover everything because I ran out of the mix of polish and hardener. But the old coats had held up pretty well and water still beaded. I had washed the car a couple of times in between. It looks like I will be able to polish the car only every six months or so. I have about half a bottle of polish left. There is another bottle of polish for filling small scratches that I have never used, so I could start using that when the other polish runs out.

  5. I put on three more coats today. The car is now two years old, so I have accumulated some scratches and dings, but I’m pretty happy with the performance of Zaino. I have about a third of a bottle plus an unused bottle of a different polish that was included in the kit.

  6. I hadn’t waxed the car in a while and summer is coming up. So I washed the car and then used the clay bar to get the surface really smooth. Washed it again to get the clay bar and soapy water residue off and then dried it. Then I put on two coats of Zaino wax followed by the supergloss. So I skipped a few steps (didn’t dry the car after the first wash, didn’t apply supergloss after the first coat of wax, only used two coats of wax), but it still came out really nice.

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