How To Clean Polishing Pads in 2022
Cleaning Polishing pads can be really easy, but if neglected can become a total nightmare. Join me as I share with you simple easy tips to cleaning your pads.
Tip Number 1 - Use a dedicated cleaner - Dedicated pad cleaners are usually an emulsified detergent that cleans polishing oils very well, but also is able to be rinsed from the foam pad without leaving residue behind that can cause issues when used on the next paint correction.
Tip #2 - Use microfiber towel cleaner when cleaning microfiber pads to keep them the best and cleanest as possible. I've found when cleaning mf cutting or polishing pads that The Rag Company "Rags to Riches", or "Micro Restore" are the two best cleaners for both microfiber towels as well as mf pads.
Tip #3 Wool pads can be cleaned with just a traditional spur or tornador blow gun. Many people use a tornador blow gun for cleaning microfiber pads during the cutting or paint correction process, but they work great for breaking up polish in traditional or DA wool pads. Wool pads can be washed in water, but it can change them slightly due to the shrinking nature of wool.
Pad washers like the Lake Country System 4000 or the previous system 3000, System 3000D, and system 2000 pad washers have been a great way to clean pads easily. The LC system 4000 seperates the dirty water from the clean water to provide the best cleaning experience and avoid cross contamination. The grit guard pad washer has been a staple in the industry for some time, but the rough nature can damage pads if not careful.
The newest version of a pad washer is the Detail Guardz Pad washer which is a much more cost effective version but is also more manual in how they are cleaned.
Whether wool, microfiber, foam or other material, most pads these days can be washed in water or even a washing machine.
MOST PADS SHOULD AIR DRY AND NOT BE FORCE DRIED WITH HEAT TO AVOID DAMAGE.
A pressure washer can be a great way to clean heavily soiled pads also, but we recommend this with caution, as washing too close could damage the pad face.
The last method to clean a pad is there most basic way, but sometimes the only option. when a blow gun or compressed air isn't available, a brush is a good option.
The best tip I can give is keeping your pads wet after use. I like to use 3-6 pads per car (per step) and when swapping pads out, I will toss the used pad in a bucket of water (and possibly some cleaner in the bucket as well).
The pad will remain wet or moist and helps the compound not dry to the pad. This helps significantly when rinsing and cleaning them after the job is complete. Compound and polished can dry like concrete when left in pads for long periods of time.
I hope this pad cleaning guide and tutorial was helpful when cleaning your oberk polishing pads.