“Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Breathe in through nose, out through mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important. ” – Mr. Miyagi, in “The Karate Kid” (1984)
Old Miyagi knew crane kicks and bonsai trees, but his car care techniques leave something to be desired.
We do everything in our power to avoid introducing scratches and swirls into our paint, right? But there is always the possibility that we use a little too much pressure when washing, or some dust blows up on the car while detailing that could get rubbed into the surface, thus creating the dreaded scratch. And following Mr. Miyagi’s car care advice, that unfortunate scratch will become an unsightly circular swirl faster than you can say, “Sweep the leg!”
Next time you’re detailing, forgo the circular “wax on, wax off” motion and instead follow the cross-hatch pattern recommended by the sensei of car care, Mr. Griogi, of Griot’s Garage. You’ll save yourself the embarrassing swirl marks, and have an easier to remove (and much less noticeable) straight scratch.
Straight-line passes and the cross-hatch pattern should be used any time you are touching the paint with a pad, towel, or wash mitt. It’s safer than the circular motion, and you are able to easily overlap each pass to ensure full coverage of the car.
Say it with me: “Wax on, cross-hatch. Wax off, cross-hatch. Breathe in through nose, out through mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don’t forget to clay, very important.”