Iron dissolving liquid cleaners first appeared in the UK in 2010, and have firmly changed the way that most detailers tackle the decontamination process. This is mainly because they reduce the need for claying, which saves time and reduces the risk of marring the paint, which is particularly beneficial in cases where no machine polishing is planned. However, none of these products released to date have been perfect. Those that react quickly and powerfully have tended to be so thin as to run off of treated surfaces almost immediately, meaning that you end up using a lot more than necessary to get the job done. On the other hand, those that have used thicker gel-based solutions have tended to be slow reactors, and thus costly in terms of the time spent waiting for them to get the job done.
In response to this situation, Auto Finesse have revised the chemistry involved and developed a new iron dissolving cleaner that combines the best features of previous products. Auto Finesse Iron Out uses a thick gel-based solution that is very clingy, meaning that applied product stays where it is meant to be, rather than running off onto the floor. Furthermore, it uses a higher concentration of the main active ingredient than any other equivalent product currently on the market, which means it reacts more quickly and more effectively too. This has the knock on effect of making it more expensive, but time is money for a lot of detailers, so you should factor this point in when choosing what to buy.
Auto Finesse Iron Out is an intensive cleaner designed to dissolve brake dust and iron-rich contaminants upon contact. Although best suited to the cleaning of neglected wheels, it is also perfectly safe for use on other exterior surfaces in situations where iron contaminants are proving difficult to remove. Examples of such contaminants include railway dust, which can be highly resistant to all but the most aggressive clays, and iron-rich fallout, which can be hard to see but easy to feel with your fingertips.
The main ingredient in Auto Finesse Iron Out is a powerful neutralised acid salt. This reduces iron particles into a soluble form, making them easy to rinse away with a stream of water. As a result, Auto Finesse Iron Out is safer and less harsh than traditional acid-based wheel cleaners, but equally as effective in terms of cleaning power. Its gel-like composition means it clings to treated surfaces with ease, extending its working time and minimising the need for agitation in all but the most extreme cases.
Auto Finesse Iron Out comes pre-diluted to the correct strength for safe exterior use (it is suitable for use on all exterior surfaces). In all cases, wash and rinse the surfaces you are going to treat in the normal way. Next, working on 3-4 panels at a time, spray Auto Finesse Iron Out on liberally and allow 5-10 minutes for it to work; during this interval the initially transparent solution will gradually turn purple as ferrous compounds and sintered iron particles dissolve into solution (this effect can be very pronounced, but don’t panic because it’s quite normal and to be expected).
Although Auto Finesse Iron Out is essentially a touchless cleaner, you can agitate it with either a microfibre towel (on bodywork and glass) or a brush (on wheels) if needs be. After 10 minutes or so, i.e. once the dark purple solution has started to dry (it’s perfectly safe to let Auto Finesse Iron Out dry out, provided that you are working somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight), rinse the surfaces you have treated with a strong stream of water. Note that if the solution has dried fully you may need to use a stronger jet of water from a pressure washer to remove the residue.
After rinsing off, check the treated surfaces for residual contamination by running your fingertips over them while they are still wet. Clean paint and glass should feel perfectly smooth (if your fingertips aren't particularly sensitive you can magnify your sense of touch by putting your fingers inside a thin cellophane wrapper first). If you can detect any remaining rough spots or grittiness then it’s likely that the treated surfaces are still contaminated with non-ferrous particulates (e.g. paint overspray) and will need to be carefully clayed before any polishing is done or any protection is applied.
|Strips sealants and waxes:|| (partially)|
|Removes inorganic contaminants:|
|Safe for all wheel types:|
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