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The problem with using a QD

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Many detailers will post up pictures of their vehicle showing great beads, and then claim their layer of protection is very old. However, that doesn’t add up. When a wax is a few months old, it doesn’t bead very good anymore, and that is normal. So how did this person manage to use a normal wax and get such great beads after all that time? Because he used a QD!

The effect from a QD

A Quick Detailer is a product that is often used to “top up” or “boost” a layer of protection. This is very relative unfortunately. Like the article about Quick Detailer explains, it doesn’t actually boost wax. It creates a new layer on top of the wax that will offer temporarily improved water behavior. When a manufacturer uses similar polymers, it is possible to create cross-linking polymer interaction. This simply means that certain ingredients inside the layer of protection AND the QD adhere to each other in such a way that the layer of QD “bonds” with the layer of protection underneath.
But even if this happens (and unfortunately, this doesn’t happen very often) you are still looking at a layer of QD on top of the layer of protection underneath.
In many cases, a QD is an emulsion between wax, oils, polymers and water (or another carrier).

Are the beads genuine

Well, kinda. The beads you are seeing are real. The QD is designed to increase the water behavior in a beneficial way. Allowing water to have a higher surface tension than the surface energy from the surface, it becomes much easier for the water to slide off. Which is a nice side-effect that also looks good. So the water behavior you see isn’t fake. However, it is NOT the water behavior created by the original layer of protection. It is causes by the QD!

In this image you can see the effect from a QD.

Beading 50/50
The left shows beading caused by a QD | The right shows the performance from the wax itself, without QD

So what is the problem

When somebody posts a photo online of a very old layer of protection beading and sheeting like it is new, then people might get the impression that this is due to the layer of protection on the car. But in fact, it is the fresh layer of QD that is showing the beads.
You are not looking at the beads from the layer of wax (for example) underneath! You are looking at the fresh coat of QD that lies on top of the old layer of wax.
The layer of wax is worn, and doesn’t perform very good anymore. But the fresh coat of QD performs pretty good because it is very new.
Other people might think they need to buy this wax to get these beads and sheeting. But in fact they should buy the QD.

And that’s not all…

A fresh coat of any protective product will sheet and bead pretty good. That’s not a surprise. You can take an old car from the junkyard that hasn’t been washed in 5 years, spray some sealant on it, wipe it off and have beading. It’s that simple. However, a QD isn’t designed to last very long. A wax might lasts for 2 months, but a QD will only last weeks (some don’t even last that long).
So pictures of beading from a fresh coat of protection is very predictable.
However, show people the beading and sheeting from a 2 month old layer of protection WITHOUT having used a QD in that period, and people might actually be interested. Because it shows the performance of a protective product in an honest way. No gimmicks, no QD, just real-life and honest results.

To put it simple: (this applies to pretty much every product on the market)

Timeline Action Beading and sheeting
The day of application Just applied the product Perfect beading and sheeting
After 1 week Just a normal wash Decent beading and sheeting
After 2 weeks Just a normal wash Slightly less beading and sheeting
After 1 month Just a normal wash Beading and sheeting is affected
After 2 months Just a normal wash Beading and sheeting is almost gone
After 3 months Just applied 2 coats of QD Very nice beading and sheeting
After 3.5 months Just a normal wash Beading and sheeting is affected
After 4 months Just a normal wash Beading and sheeting is almost gone

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