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FAQ - "Do the products have a shelf life?"

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So you've invested a good amount of money into detailing chemicals to care for your car, truck, SUV or bike. Because some chemicals, like polishes, are low volume use its common to start to have bottles that are a few years old before they're completely used up. The listing below is to serve as a guideline for product 'expiration' and means to determine if you need to replace something. This by no means is an exact timetable. Products should be evaluated regularly to determine their usefulness. If you have any questions about the current condition of a product you own please email tips@adamspolishes.com with a description of your concern and a picture of its undisturbed state.

HOW MUCH OR HOW FREQUENTLY TO BUY

As tempting as it may be to show your friends up with a complete collection of 5 gallon refills, this might not always be the best practice when it comes to keeping your chemicals fresh. As a general rule try to never buy more of any one product than you can see yourself reasonably using in 1-2 years time. Not only are some products fickle when it comes to use beyond that time frame, at Adam's we like to reformulate and tweak formulas every few years. Often times its to keep up with advances in chemical engineering, but increasing environmental regulations and a diversified automotive finishes drive the need for product updates. If you're stocked up with 5 years of chemical, it can be rather frustrating when that new product is released.

 

BEST PRACTICES

There are a few general rules that should be followed with all your detailing chemicals for care and storage that will keep them usable and at peak performance.

  • TEMPERATURE - Products should be stored in a temperature controlled environment whenever possible. If your garage dips below 40* in the winter months or sees temps north of 85-90* in the summer it would be in your best interest to store the products indoors. Heat and cold will have a dramatic impact on some products, can alter their composition, and even render them useless or ineffective.
     
  • SUNLIGHT EXPOSURE - Whenever possible detailing chemicals should be stored in a closed cabinet or at the very least out of direct sunlight exposure for extended periods of time. Sun can cause color and scent changes, as well as performance issues with products like Glass Cleaner, Waterless Wash, and APC. Chemicals being exposed to sunlight during use isn't a concern, but try to return the bottles to a shady or covered area if they won't be used for more than a few minutes.
     
  • SHAKE BEFORE EACH USE - All chemicals should be shaken well prior to each use. Chemicals that have been in storage for extended periods of time should be shaken even more and for a longer period to ensure that they are fully mixed. If a product will be stored for an extended period of time without use, try to at least make a point to shake the bottle very few months to prevent permanent separation.
     
  • LONG TERM CAPPING - Any chemical that will be stored for more than a few months without use should be re-capped with the red shipping plug that was inserted at the time of bottling. Remove any sprayers and replace with caps if possible. The red shipping caps under the lids ensure an air tight seal and reduce the chances of product failure from oxygen exposure.
     
  • CLEANING BOTTLES - before storing your products be sure that there is no residual chemical residues on the bottom or sides of the bottle. Not only will these make a mess of whatever storage area you have chosen, there is also a risk of damage to the label or bottle which could potentially result in a leak or other issue with the product while not in use. Wipe each bottle dry before putting it away.

 

 

INDIVIDUAL PRODUCT CONCERNS

In general we guarantee our products to remain in good, usable condition when stored properly for a period of up to two years, but this is only to serve as a general guideline. Some products will last longer if stored correctly.

  • APC, Leather Cleaner, TID, GWC, DS, and UCS are all relatively forgiving when it comes to temperature. They may have some visual chemical separation or slight color changes over time, but so long as the product can be shaken and does not re-separate it is safe to use. APC and LIC are especially susceptible to sun exposure. As little as 10 minutes in direct or intense sunlight will bleach these products out... it still works fine, but may have an odd aroma if this happens. UCS experiences a higher than usual expansion and contraction rate with heat... as such it can cause bottles to crack and/or leak when the bottle is outside of the recommended temp range. Keep this in mind when choosing your storage area as it can stain if it does leak.
  • Super VRT, Original VRT, DWC, and Rinseless Wash are particularly susceptible to cold. Freezing of Rinseless Wash or SVRT will result many times in an odd separation, change in color, or consistency of the chemicals. Even after shaking these may not return to normal. Deep Wheel Cleaner will change colors dramatically. This does not necessarily impact the cleaning power of the product, but the color changing aspect can potentially be reduced by prolonged periods of freezing.
  • Paint polishes including Paint Correcting Polish, Finishing Polish, & Revive are comprised of 2 parts (liquid and solid) they tend to separate mostly with time. Heat and cold tend not to play as large a role in their storage as other chemicals. Because of this polishes can generally be stored outdoors (garage) so long as no freezing occurs. Some separation will happen even after a short storage in ideal temps so it is absolutely required that all polishes be shaken well prior to use. Failure to get the product fully mixed can result in an abnormally high or low amount of abrasives suspended and ultimate change how the product performs on your paint during use.
  • Metal Polish 1, Metal Polish 2, and Brilliant Glaze separate quickly. This is perfectly normal... a clearish solution will rise to the top while the larger, more opaque solids fall to the bottom. Its suggested that you not allow these products to sit in a 'separated' state for more than 3 months at any given time as they may become difficult to remix. Avoid freezing temps at all costs, all 3 products are more forgiving of heat than they are of cold.
  • Buttery Wax, Leather Conditioner, Clay Bars, and Liquid Paint Sealant should be stored in a temp controlled environment. Freezing and/or excessive heat have detrimental effects on these products performance so storing in the proper location is key. Buttery Wax specifically may experience some oily separation on the upper layer if exposed to high heat. Try shaking the bottle well and inspecting to make sure it remixed. If it begins to develop that oily upper layer again the product is likely no good and should be replaced.
  • Americana and Patriot Wax are mostly harmed by high heat which can cause melting, separation, and tub warping. On the positive side hard waxes like Americana can be stored in a refrigerator without any harm to the product. If storing in a refrigerator make sure to allow additional time before use for the product to come up to a usable temperature. DO NOT MICROWAVE THE PRODUCT AT ANY TIME! While refrigeration is a great way to keep your paste waxes at their best, freezing is not! Make sure you are storing in a way that they wax is kept above freezing. SPECIAL NOTE: When storing Americana or Patriot Wax the surface of the wax should be free of any debris and the applicator should be removed from the pot. Never store an applicator under the lid with the wax for any period of time. Applicators should be stored outside the container.
  • Aerosol products like In & Out Spray and Quick Sealant can be stored in moderate environments without any degradation to performance. Some caution should be exercised in conditions of extremely high temps as the added pressure can result in sprayer failure or other problems. When done with any aerosol product dispose of the can appropriately by holding it upside down and expelling the remaining propellant into a trashcan. Avoid inhaling the fumes. Once fully discharged the can is 100% recyclable.

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I FREEZE OR OVERHEAT A PRODUCT?

Don't panic. You left a bottle of Detail Spray in the garage and it froze? You left your Car Shampoo outside in the summer and it got cooked? Don't automatically assume the product is bad. If the appearance or consistency of the product has drastically changed start by taking a picture of the product and emailing it to us. Include a brief description of what happened to the product so we know what it was exposed to and can advise you from there.

 

After you've documented the current state move the product to something that will contain any leaks. Extreme heat or freezing can cause unwanted expansion and contraction of the PET plastic used in our bottles. While this plastic is great for its sturdy construction and crystal clear appearance it can be damaged by extreme temperature changes. A frozen bottle might not show signs of leaking right away, but as it thaws it will begin to seep product in some cases. Setting the bottle in a bowl, bucket, or even a gallon freezer bag while it thaws will prevent messes and lost product.

 

For frozen products NEVER heat the product. Allow it to thaw at room temperature until it is completely thawed then shake well to mix the product and set it somewhere for a few hours. If you return and the chemical looks normal you're good to use it again. If the color has changed drastically or the product has separated out significantly (for products that don't typically separate) it may be a product you want to replace.

 

For products that have been exposed to high heat move them somewhere at a reasonable temperature and allow them to cool naturally. Do not place them in ice or anything that will accelerate the cooling process. Place the product in a bag, bowl, or sink in case the bottle begins to leak after heat expansion. Once the product has returned to room temperature give it a shake and inspect. If you notice a drastic change in color document it and send us a picture. Open the lid and note any changes to scent. For products like Glass Cleaner and TID which will be used on the interior of your car, odor changes can be less desirable.

 

WRAP UP

Long story short - take care of the products that take care of your car. While it can be inconvenient to have products stored in your laundry room or basement in the off seasons your detail products represent a sizable investment in the care of your vehicles appearance, so you don't want to waste them.

 

Obviously gallons are easily transported and stored with the handle built in and 16oz bottles can be stored easily inside of our wash buckets. The gamma seal lid keeps the smell of car care from permeating the room you're storing them in. For frequently used products a travel bag or even a 6 pack bottle holder from your favorite brewery makes a great way to manage your most frequently used products.

 

However you choose to store your products, rest assured if you have a question about a product you can always reach us via email for guidance and advice by emailing tips@adamspolishes.com

Edited by Chris@Adams

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Great information here. I have been wondering about which items needed to be stored in a climate controlled environment and which ones didnt need to be

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Good write-up, but.....

 

How do we mix the 5 gallon containers?

 

I stand mine on end and rock it back and forth.

 

If you want to get really serious take a wire coat hanger and bend it into a snake-like shape. Stand the container on end, remove the spout, insert hanger and stir by hand, or insert into your drill chuck and 'whip' the product into a froth :D

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I stand mine on end and rock it back and forth.

 

If you want to get really serious take a wire coat hanger and bend it into a snake-like shape. Stand the container on end, remove the spout, insert hanger and stir by hand, or insert into your drill chuck and 'whip' the product into a froth :D

 

HA :lol:

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about melting americana, is it bad to melt it to get it looking purdy inside the tub again? i know a few of us did this because chunks were coming out. i have used mine since melting and storing in the fridge, and application was the same after. curious if we affected the protection it gives any.

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about melting americana, is it bad to melt it to get it looking purdy inside the tub again? i know a few of us did this because chunks were coming out. i have used mine since melting and storing in the fridge, and application was the same after. curious if we affected the protection it gives any.

 

Its not ideal because it can cause some separation in the ingredients. Americana (and any paste wax for that matter) is more than just wax in there. So long as the melt isn't prolonged and the product doesn't visually separate its probably OK.

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So my dream house will have a temperature controlled room from the garage like a walk in closet or humidor that has nothing but my chemicals in it. It should also have a glass door that opens automatically and has the Adam's logo etched into it.

 

And it makes that Star Trek door opening sound.

 

Overkill. Its the stuff we dream of.

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Just received my gallon of car wash and it was partially frozen. See pic.

 

I will shake vigorously when I get home and let it sit for the weekend and let you guys know how it looks on Monday.

 

IMAG0178.jpg

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Chase,

 

Let it thaw at room temp too... don't rapidly heat it or anything. If you notice it doesn't return to one solid, consistent color, let me know and we'll get you a replacement.

 

We've been vary lucky so far this year dealing with frozen product and timing shipments to miss extended sitting at low temps, but looks like yours wasn't as lucky.

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Chase,

 

Let it thaw at room temp too... don't rapidly heat it or anything. If you notice it doesn't return to one solid, consistent color, let me know and we'll get you a replacement.

 

We've been vary lucky so far this year dealing with frozen product and timing shipments to miss extended sitting at low temps, but looks like yours wasn't as lucky.

 

 

Will do. It is sitting right beside me in my room temp office...

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I have had some product for two plus years but it has been temp and light controlled area the whole time and the waterless wash is still the original color it was. I am trying to use up the old stuff lol but not having much luck

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Chase,

 

Let it thaw at room temp too... don't rapidly heat it or anything. If you notice it doesn't return to one solid, consistent color, let me know and we'll get you a replacement.

 

We've been vary lucky so far this year dealing with frozen product and timing shipments to miss extended sitting at low temps, but looks like yours wasn't as lucky.

 

 

Everything returned to a nice rich cherry color and it shakes up and resettles well. I am going to give it a shot, if something looks or acts weird during the first wash I will let you know.

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New to Adams and received my first kit today. Just want to make sure I have this right...so as long as they are kept climate controlled and out of sunlight, all the products should be good for about 2 years give or take?

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