Originally Posted by Chuck Baier
Don't use any of the acidic cleaners on your Awlgrip. It will not show up today but will significantly shorten the life of your paint. The dirt should wash off easily so if it is not something else is going on. This is perhaps paint dust or something else chemical. You could try wiping down with Awl-Prep and then do an immediate wash down. This won't damage your paint and should remove any substance. This is the product used to wipe down the surface prior to painting. Worse case situation, use a slow speed polisher and 3M Finnesse-It compound. A solution of white vinegar and warm water
sometimes works. I have not been able to get even the lightest dirt off of Awlgrip with thier cleaner.
Chuck et. al,
First, Awlgrip does state not to use acid based cleaners on Awlgrip. For the majority of knuckle heads this is good advice drawn down to the lowest common denominator.
You can in fact use products such as FSR or acid based cleaners on Awlgrip, and tech support will tell you this, provided you do not let it sit on the paint any longer than it takes to remove the stain. Imediately once the stain is gone thoroughly rinse the surface and move on to the next 6"-12" area then rinse it. NEVER let an acid based cleaner, including metal polishes sit on the paint! Always rinse as fast as possible and you will not acid etch the paint. It can be done if you have some common sense. The Awlgrip instructions are written for the lowest common denominator (power boater
) so keep that in mind.
Second, I would not advise any novice
to use any product containing "grit" including Finesse It II on a polyester LPU after the curing process is finished. Use Awlcare! Awlcare has zero abrassives, zero silicone, cleans well protects and resists dirt and polutants instead of attracting them.
Awlgrip cures similar to the way water and oil
seperate. The hard solids migrate to the top or exterior and the pigment sits bellow this "hard shell" of a surface resin. This resin layer is very, very thin and one can buff through it quite easily even without any polish or compound and jsut a damp wool buffing pad. Once you have ruined this hard shell the finish is toast!
Awlgrip should never be compounded!!!! It cures like a clear coat / base coat system with the clear solids rising to the surface of the paint creating a hard, high shine shell. If you buff through this layer it's toast!!
Essentiall the linear polyester resins can not be re-melted, what actually happens when you compound or buff a painted surface, because the window time of time between melt & disintegrate is so narrow. It is nearly impossible, and totally impossible for a novice
who has not had serious specialty training or woring with LPU's, to keep an LPU at the right temp to re-melt without destroying it in the process. It sort of goes like this when buffing Awlgrip.
To cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, right temp for a split second, destroyed
two part paints such as Imron or Awlcraft 2000 can be buffed because the re-melt window is much wider and they don't cure the same as a polyester LPU like Sterling, Awlgrip or Alexseal. The pigment on an acrylic
LPU is the full thickness not sitting under a thin layer of clear solids..
illustrates a destroyed Awlgrip finish. Note the shine on the majority of the hull
even after many years. Now look at the center of the photo
and you'll notice a large dull area. This is what happens when you chew through Awlgrips "protective shell". It is destroyed...
To answer the original question I would go in this order;
1) Wash with Awlwash or IMAR boat soap removing any dust or dirt.
2) Try Awlcare using a soft terry cloth rag.
3) If Awlcare does not work use Starbrite Black Streak Remover. Do not let this sit on the surface and do small sections then rinse. This stuff works amazingly well and it was suggested to me by the Awlgrip rep. The WM Black Streak Remover does not work as well and is clearly not made by Starbrite for West Marine. BSR also works very well for removing aluminum
oxide staining from aluminum
Those three products, and very occasionally some FSR or MaryKate On/Off Gel, are the only ones that touch my Awlgriped hull.. Paint jobs are very,very $$$$$ don't ruin it..!