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What is an applicator pad

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An applicator pad is a small round tool that can be used to apply a liquid or paste product. It is often made of a foam-like material, but can also be made from microfibre or random fabric.

Why an applicator pad

Certain products are often applied with a cloth. In the past, people used old shirt and blouses to apply wax or other liquid products. When using a blouse or other fabric that isn’t microfibre, you run the risk of damaging the surface. The fabric doesn’t distribute the liquid evenly and has a thin and rough surface. Microfibre has specially designed microscopic fibers that don’t have these downsides. An applicator pad is specially designed to distribute the product evenly within its own structure, to have minimal effect on the surface you applying it on and to give you something that is easier to hold on to.

What is an applicator pad made of

There are several different types of pads. But the most commons ones are either made from foam or from foam covered with microfiber. There is a difference in density between applicator pads, this is expressed in PPI. The average applicator pad is around 90 PPI (Pores Per Inch). When the number of PPI increases, it means that the poures of the foam become smaller. You don’t want these to become to small, because it could be to difficult for the product to enter the top layer of the foam. However, if these are to big they might adsorb unwanted particles and to much product, that would get wasted after you are done and clean the applicator pad. It is very similar to the technique used for polish pads. The correct PPI will help the pad to distribute the product evenly and to absorb enough to go on for a while. The material used for the foam is in most cases a type of polyurethane.

What to use it for

An applicator pad can be used to safely apply wax, sealants, dressing an many other products. In theory you can use it with almost every liquid or paste product that needs to be applied evenly to a surface. The most common use is for wax, sealant and dressing. But it can also be used for glass sealants, some types of coatings, chemical polish and even leather cleaners/conditioners. Due to polyurethane being a type of plastic, it is a good idea to test out a product on the pad first. Some products contain certain solvents or other type of chemicals that dissolve the applicator pad.

polish with an applicator pad, and apply with a polish pad

Because there are many similarities between a polish pad and an applicator pad. You can use an applicator pad to polish, and a polish pad to apply product with. However, the applicator pad will have very little cutting power, so the effect will be much less then a proper polishing pad. When using a rough polish pad to apply wax, the rough material might leave marks on the surface. It is recommended to not use anything more rough then a finishing polish pad. Some manufacturers even make special applicator pads to use on a polishing machine. These can also safely be used by hand.

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