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How many pads and towels do I need?


shane@detailedreflections
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Just thought I'd share a little visual representation for the amount of pads and towels we go through during a detail since it seems to be a frequently asked question.  The real answer is that you can never have too many.  Sometimes we use a few, sometimes we go through a lot.  Today was a lot...

 

We filled about 1/3 of a 5 gallon bucket with dirty pads.  

 

And the dirty rag bin is a probably 2'x2' or even slightly bigger.  And we filled it close to the top.  You could say we go through some pads and towels.  The benefit for us in having them is that if something seems questionable, we just swap it out and grab a fresh one.  

 

So when you're thinking of buying a towel or pad...maybe grab two.  Build your collection over time.  Your vehicles will thank you when you do need them.

 

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Shane, I was actually going to PM you, I was going to ask a question that would fit into here perfect.  What type of Pads do you recommend, the Adam's ones work good, but do you have any that I should add to those 4.  I only got one set and have quickly learned that I need more.

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I am just taking care of my two vehicles that I have owned since new and take very meticulous care of... I rarely use more than one of each color pad - If I need serious correction and I dip into orange correcting polish and use an orange pad I will only need one orange pad for the session, assuming I finish the detailing project in one day, move onto a finishing polish and a white pad, I'll only use one, etc and so on... I probably go through 5-8 single soft towels.... That all assumes I do all my polishing in one day, that I don't drop or have a pad fail mid detail, that I don't drop pads or towels etc and that I am working on my two 2016 Chevy's that don't really need much work anyways...

 

If I am working on an older / rougher shape car, I might go through 2x correcting pads but, doubt that any of the other pad usage would increase....

 

If you're going to spread your detailing over back to back days and plan on doing polishing two days in a row you're going to need more pads no doubt..

 

I am no doubt a major amateur but, I try to follow the advice of people who know more than I do and not assume that I know it all by any means... 

 

Bare minimum for a newer decent shape car, I would want to have two of each color pad, and 10 clean single soft towels at my disposal... Ideally I would like to have 3x of each color pad and 20x clean single soft towels on hand... I probably do have 20x towels I have two sets of pads and I will probably get a third set of at least white & orange foam pads this summer...

Edited by imcrazy
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Just to add on to what Shane posted:  I have some of those orange pad with the 'dots' on them - they are older, and little worn.  I use them for the lower parts of the doors and fenders, and the rear bumper - where the 'shine' is not a noticeable, and where you could dirty or damage the 'good' pads. 

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