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Frequently Asked Questions About Zaino

This document almost entirely consists of material written by Tony Lauer. Thanks a bunch for your permission to post this, Tony!

Challenges and Prepurchase

  • Are you part of some sort of cult?
    Uh.. no. People do single those out that are extremely careful about their car's condition, but I'm not in any sort of cult.

  • I'm very satisfied with XYZ product and its results and don't understand all the hype with Zaino. My car looks awesome with the stuff I'm using!
    What do you want then? Not to be a smart aleck, but if you are satisfied with your current product and don't have a desire for change, why are you asking about Zaino? The easy to use, deep, long lasting shine, and superior protection is good enough for me! I used to use other products too. I'm the kind of guy that always wants the best and top of the line, are you?

  • I'll bet my car looks better than yours. I just used the XYZ stuff this weekend and my car looks killer.
    Good for you.. it's all about personal pride in *your* vehicle. I take pride in my car and am happy that others can find personal satisfaction in the products they choose and the way they can make them look. If you drive your car down my block, I'll admire it with you.

  • It seems like I hear that Zaino is a lot of work. I just get the stuff at Wal-mart to take care of my car. My wife already thinks I'm a fruitcake. Is it worth it?
    In my opinion, it is definitely worth it. It may cost a few bucks more than what you get at Wal-mart, but it will go on easier, look better, and last longer. As for the degree of work involved.. I'd say the ardest part about the whole process is the patience that it takes for it to dry. You must apply Zaino in thin coats and allow enough time to dry. As for your wife.. I'd caution the use of Zaino products because it is addictive.\

  • I was going to place an order but noticed that there are three different kinds of polish. What do I need for my Corvette?
    Z-2 is the polish for clear coated finished (yours). All newer cars nowadays have clearcoats on them. If you have an older vehicle that doesn't have a clear coat on it, then you need Z-3 instead of Z-2. Z-5 is the polish to remove fine swirls and scratches. If you're car has any marks that need to be worked out.. this is the stuff. Z-5 is however, *not* an abrasive.

  • I really can't afford all this stuff. What should I buy as a minimum?
    You need minimally Z-1, Z-2, Z-6 and a cotton applicator pad. Z-1 Polish Lok is the foundation to the Zaino process.. it's the "primer" coat. Z-2 is the polish that gives your car deep and lasting shine and protection. Z-6 is the Gloss Enhancer Spray that you use to keep your car dust free and looking beautiful, kind of like a quick detail spray. Z-6 is used between coats of Z-2 to provide enhanced gloss.

  • I hear that "polishes" are just to give shine but offer no protection. Is this true of Zaino?
    I think when Sal Zaino named the products, he definitely didn't want to call the products waxes, because this implies a base use of carnuba. So I suppose it had to be called a polish. Zaino polishes are somewhat unique because they offer superior UV protection. Sal also says it's extremely difficult for anything to stick to Zaino, and he's right. Dirt, industrial fallout, pollen, brake dust, chemicals, etc.. have a hard time sticking to Zaino. This is why it becomes much easier to wash the car once it's Z'd. Ever tried to wash a car that has no polish on it? :|

  • I don't see Zaino on the shelves at the auto parts store. Where can I buy it?
    Sal will never have his products on the shelf next to Turtle Wax or the like. You must purchase the product through a distributor, or direct through Sal at his website:


  • What do I need to do before using Zaino?
    You need to completely clean the finish of the car. I recommend a couple car washes with Liquid Dawn for the initial application of Zaino. If you are so inclined, you can also perform the clay treatment. Liquid Dawn has a high alkaline content that cuts down on the grease and removes other waxes and polishes on the car.

  • Everyone tells me that I'm crazy for saying I should use dish soap on my car before polishing. They tell me that it removes all the wax, sealers, and polish that is on the car.
    That's exactly the point. Since Zaino is near optically perfect, you want to remove all the other stuff before putting Zaino on. You want to start with a clean slate, so to speak.

  • What kind of dish soap should I use to initially clean the car before Zaino?
    I use plain old blue Liquid Dawn. Make sure that you don't use the stuff that has the extra chemicals in it that make your hands soft and smelling good.


  • This polish takes forever to dry! It's been hours already and it's still wet!
    How thick did you apply it? Often times, when a person is used to working with other products, they apply Zaino far too thick. The key to Zaino is thin even coats. Also keep in mind that the first time Z-2 is applied after Z-1, you have to deal with both products drying at the same time. If it really is too thick, just wipe it down as best as you can with a damp towel. You may leave behind streaks, but that's okay; simply wash your car to make them disappear.

  • I thought this stuff was supposed to be easy to put on and take off? I put it on easily but it's a pain in the butt to take off.
    This indicates a problem with your technique. It must not be dry when you try to remove it. Either you didn't wait long enough, or you put it on way too thick. If you put it on too thick, you'll need to wipe it down with a wet towel to remove the excess product.

  • How long does it take for Zaino polish to dry?
    This depends on a lot of things. If you have low humidity and high temperatures, Zaino polish can dry in minutes. If you have high humidity and low temperatures, it takes hours. To check to see if the polish is dry, take your clean finger and wipe a hazed section. If the polish comes off with barely any effort, then it's dry.

  • I know multiple coats are good for optical purposes but do more coats actually protect significantly better than just two or three?
    Yes. More coats serve better protection. The more thinner coats of Zaino, the thicker the polish will be on the car. The protection is against hard water, water spots, bird droppings, etc.. Some have reported less chip marks after several coats of Zaino, but I'm not sure if I believe them.

  • I am planning to wait overnight (in a garage) between subsequent coats of Z-2 & Z-6. If there is dust, even a very fine layer, on the car in the morning, do I need to wash it again?
    This is a part of the purpose in Z-6'n prior to subsequent coats of polish. Not only does it add to the gloss, it removes dust that may have accumulated. I keep mine in a warehouse that is not dust free. So naturally, when the ventilation systems kick on, there is a little dust spread around. Just Z-6 before you move on to the next coat of polish.

  • Man, I'm tired as heck. Is gloss enhancer really necessary? Or will the last coat be okay by itself?
    Z-6 between coats of polish heightens the final level of gloss. It also makes the polish go on, and come off easier. It's not absolutely necessary though if you're too pooped to do it, but I would.

  • My question is, how important is it for me to "wait" after buffing on subsequent coats? In other words, will waiting overnight between each coat make that much difference? Or is it most critical for the first one?
    The wait you are referring to is the "cure" time. The "cure" time is between removal and repolish. I think with all the energy you are going to expend, you should wait the "cure" time. I'd say eight hours of time between removal and repolish would be dequate. Sometimes I use "cure" time to work on other areas of the car, sometimes I nap. ;) Remember that the first coat of polish has Z-1 underneath it, so you are waiting for two products to dry. The first time will take a little longer to dry. Just remember to apply coats even and *light*, then your drying time won't be any longer than necessary. ;) The biggest mistake some people use is too much Zaino.

  • Can I use my orbital buffer to apply and remove Zaino?
    Yes, you can.. but in my opinion, you waste too much product doing it this way. It's really easier in my opinion, to do it by hand. If it's difficult to remove, it's not dry yet.

  • How often does this stuff need to be done?
    The more you do it, the better it looks. But for mere protection on your car, I'd recommend twice a year.

  • When you put on a coat of whatever, and you have to wait for it to dry, is your car out of commission, or can you drive it around between coats?
    While the polish is "hazing" on the car, before you remove it, you should not drive the car. Once you remove it, feel free to drive it around... but you may need to re-wash it to remove any dust or dirt that has accumulated.

  • Also, not being fortunate enough to have a garage, is it safe to do this outside in the sun? Or should I plan on getting some flashlights and doing it at night?
    I'm in the same boat. I don't have a garage either. I try to borrow someone else's garage or am fortunate enough to have a rather large warehouse facility at my office. Outside in the sun for polishing is not a problem though. It may even accelerate the drying time.

Scratches and Swirls

  • I have a huge scratch mark in my paint from what looks like a coat zipper. Can Z-5 remove these?
    I've found that multiple coats of Z-5 can often fill most swirl and scratch marks. Each time Z-5 is used, the scratches or swirl marks should gradually go away. If it's more than Z-5 can handle, I'd try some 3M Foam Pad Polish and a cotton towel to remove or minimize the scratches. Otherwise, your choices are limited to seeking professional paint touchup.

  • How does Z-5 work? Is Z-5 an abrasive product?
    Nope, Z-5 is not an abrasive at all. That's the beauty of Z-5. Think of scratches in your paint as tiny V channels. An abrasive product will bring down the walls of the V (your clearcoat) to make the V's not look so bad. Basically, what they do is make lots of little scratches to makethe bigger ones not seem so bad. Z-5 fills in the walls of the V. To get Z-5 to work it's wonders, you have to apply several thin coats. Some have reported great results after only one or two coats. Some people apply one coat thinking their problems will be solved, but it takes a little more work than that usually.

  • How should I use Z-5?
    After Z-1 is on the car, you want to use Z-5 to fill in the swirl and scratch marks on your car until you are happy with it. Just keep using Z-5 until you see the swirls and scratches disappear. Once you are happy, follow up with a coat of Z-2 to heighten the gloss.

Towel Notes

  • What's all the hype about picking out the right towels?
    I cannot stress enough the importance of selecting the correct towels for your vehicle maintenance. What are all the swirl marks in your car, it's never been buffed before? You put them there!
    The safest way to wash, dry, remove polish residue, apply Z-6, etc.. from your paint is with a white, made in the USA, quality 100% cotton name brand bath towel, such as Cannon or Fieldcrest of the > $15 variety. Anything other than 100% pure white cotton may scratch your paint finish. You should use white towels because the dyes in colored towels can leave a chemical residue on the paint, and cause streaking. Also, it's important to either remove the stitched borders from your towels, or keep the towels folded in a way that keeps the borders away from the paint. The borders (edges or designs) can scratch your paint, as they are usually not 100% cotton.

This page was last updated on 05/28/01 by HYPRACTV


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