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What is the swipe-test

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When you apply a protective product, that product will start to cure. At a certain point, it is ready to be buffed off. But how do you know it is ready? By doing the swipe-test.

Why do the swipe test

The right time to buff a product depends on several different factors. Humidity, temperature, oiliness of product and such can play a big role in this. With most products, it is impossible to see visually when a product is ready to be buffed off. The swipe test is a very simple but effective way of seeing when a product is at the point that is can be buffed off.

The swipe test

When a protective product is almost ready to be buffed off, you can do the swipe test.

  • Wrap a piece of microfibre towel over the end of your finger.
  • Swipe the area with the towel-covered finger in a similar way you would do with a touchscreen
  • If the protective product is ready to be buffed off, you will see a smear-free clear swipe.
  • If the product is NOT ready to be buffed, you will see an oily smear over the protected surface.
  • If the product isn’t ready yet, wait a little longer and repeat the swipe test.
Swipe test
Swipe test

There are exceptions to the rule. There are a few product on the market that don’t haze at all. They don’t need to cure. You apply them, wait a certain amount of time and then just wipe them off. These are often show waxes: more gloss, less durability. Another example are some QD’s and/or spray sealants. These are applied to the surface and immediately wiped off again with another MF towel.

Hazing and curing

Hazing is the process of the film of wax turning matte, due to it drying out and loosing it’s liquid content. This takes only minutes.
Curing is the process of the wax fully hardening. This can take up to 24 hours.

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