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LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

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LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby PiP » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:06 am

Taken from a posting I recently made on a US forum.

Hi Guys,

As many may know, I have been arguing about the ineffectiveness of supposed LSP stripping techniques. Here we have our basic WOWA sealant, water based and gives routine 3 month durability. It is about a month old. I have applied to it neat TFR, which is a highly alkaline degreaser (pH>13) with a number of surfactants. Here is what it looks like after a good wiping with a sponge soaked in the product and then a couple of buckets of water thrown over to rinse.

Surface 'stripped'.jpg
Surface 'stripped'.jpg (66.5 KiB) Viewed 7065 times


OK - so there are no beads. If you look closely, you can see that most of the surface is wet with the water sticking to the surface, just like you expect when your LSP is stripped. So we have stripped the LSP then, just as one expects from a very strong APC/degreaser type products. But wait one minute, lets give it a wipe with neat IPA. Lets see what we get when we throw another bucket of water over it:

Surface wiped.jpg
Surface wiped.jpg (56.65 KiB) Viewed 7065 times

LSP recovered!.jpg
LSP recovered!.jpg (56.9 KiB) Viewed 7065 times


So I have wiped the top left corner with IPA and the first picture shows this close up. It looks rather different to a moment ago! The second picture shows the bonnet as a whole so you can see that the surrounding area is still behaving as it was in picture 1 (it has now had 3 buckets of water thrown on it so has been rinsed more than most people will do). So my IPA wipe (which many believe will strip an LSP) has magically recovered my LSP! Wow!

Now lets summarise my (and some others) thoughts:

Many supposed LSP strippers are surfactant containing. Many surfactants will 'stick' to surfaces either through design (e.g. to enhance gloss or stop water spotting) or because they see the LSP as rather similar in structure to the oils they like to bond with. As a result, many surfactant products will leave a film of surfactant on top of the LSP, this will then attract water so hide any beading or sheeting of the LSP.


This is what has happened in my first picture - there is a surfactant film. With the IPA wipe, I have dissolved the film and uncovered the LSP and thus pictures 2 and 3 show the beading has returned.

So there you go, absolute proof that the above mechanism is not just theoretical! Had someone tried to apply a fresh LSP after the step 1 'stripping', the fresh LSP would have been highly compromised, had it been a fussy LSP (e.g. nano sealant), there is a chance it might have failed to bond totally.
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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby PiP » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:11 am

Ok, so now we have established that surfactant products can act to leave a temporary residue which would have a user think that the LSP has been stripped. On the various forums this has been posted, no one has really tried to question the results.

So the next thing to consider is a supposed ‘stripper’ shampoo. So we went and bought one of the most popular such products in the UK and had a go.

We have one bonnet which you can clearly see has some protection but could not be described as the best. The stripper shampoo was applied (neat!) to a wet sponge and you can see what it looks like after a good going over, all good so far. The third picture starts to make you wonder. The car has a number of different products on it because we test new formulations here and you can clearly see that this section doesn’t have a nice look to it, the stripper shampoo has actually ‘beaded’ on this section (for what it is worth, this section has a moderate durability polymer product on it). Final picture is what it looks like after I have thrown another bucket of water over it. Doesn’t look totally stripped, doesn’t even look partially stripped.

Stripper on polymer.jpg
Stripper on polymer.jpg (60.2 KiB) Viewed 6971 times


Ok, polymer sealant so maybe that is too much. So lets start again. This time the area has a spray wax applied to it. No hybrids, nothing fancy, just our standard liquid wax. Picture 1 shows that I have actually applied the shampoo, neat, to the surface. Picture 2 and I have worked it over an area with the sponge. Picture 3 is the first rinse – looks like it might have actually done something this time! Picture 4 is after a second bucket of rinse water is applied – oh dear, some of the ‘stripped’ area is already sheeting off. Picture 5 is after another bucket of rinse water and it really looks although most of the area is behaving just as it was before we did this experiment. What you might notice is that there is a strip on the left where the surface appears to be stripped. So I gave a section of that strip a wipe with IPA – picture 6 shows quite clearly just where I wiped it after I tossed another bucket of water over the area. So, once more, this little section shows that there can be a temporary surfactant residue, this time down to a, so-called, stripper shampoo.

Stripper on spray wax.jpg
Stripper on spray wax.jpg (95.38 KiB) Viewed 6971 times


Overall the conclusion I have to come to is that this:

a) Can leave a temporary surfactant residue which could fool a user into thinking the LSP was stripped.
b) Was actually unable to even overcome the hydrophobicity of our polymer product so wasn’t even able to leave a surfactant residue.

So yet more reason for you guys to question the myth of easy LSP stripping - here we have failed to remove even a simply spray wax inspite of using a product routinely recommended for stripping of all coatings. LSP STRIPPING IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK!
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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby G3valeting » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:36 pm

So would claying be the route mr pip ? Excellent informative post as always...
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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby PiP » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:27 pm

G3valeting wrote:So would claying be the route mr pip ? Excellent informative post as always...


I will be honest, clay is not something I know about beyond what the rest of us do. My feeling is that it is targeted at bonded particulates so will not specifically chase the LSP - but it might lift it or degrade it as an unintended effect. For me, the only guaranteed removal is a polish. Tar removers will remove some LSPs. APC/TFR will remove fewer and surfactant/shampoos will remove almost nothing.
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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby G3valeting » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:48 pm

i have noticed that an apc pre-wash removes very little if any at all of any lsp i have tried it on tbh which is good news for washing but not for removal i guessed polishing would be the answer but was intrigued as to the part clay would play in lsp degeneration.... if that is the correct wording...
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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby PiP » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:58 pm

G3valeting wrote:i have noticed that an apc pre-wash removes very little if any at all of any lsp i have tried it on tbh which is good news for washing but not for removal i guessed polishing would be the answer but was intrigued as to the part clay would play in lsp degeneration.... if that is the correct wording...


This is detailing - we never use the same wording as any other sector!!

I am surprised more people don't voice the concern you just did. I used to ask whether people even tried what they came online and recommended, now I know better!
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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby Big Stig » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:26 pm

Fantastic information here.

Many thanks for your insight Mr PiP

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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby G3valeting » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:19 pm

think tbh pip most assume that a product does what it says on the tin ,and to a point as in your explanation it does ..kind of .. but thanks to people like yourself these things get highlighted to be not all they seem on the face of it .... i for one have always been a bit dubious about these kinds of things ... in reality the £5 car wash types are not probably doing as much damage with the tfr type products as we first thought then ? would that be the correct assumption?
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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby PiP » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:15 pm

G3valeting wrote:think tbh pip most assume that a product does what it says on the tin ,and to a point as in your explanation it does ..kind of .. but thanks to people like yourself these things get highlighted to be not all they seem on the face of it .... i for one have always been a bit dubious about these kinds of things ... in reality the £5 car wash types are not probably doing as much damage with the tfr type products as we first thought then ? would that be the correct assumption?


Of course I cannot comment for every LSP out there but, on the basis of the majority of products we do, I would tend to agree with what you say. That said, the bigger risk will be their wash media etiquette and whether they scratch the paint.
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Re: LSP Stripping Easy - think again.

Postby G3valeting » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:21 pm

i agree the technique and or tools used to wash vehicles is the thing that would probably do the damage not so much the tfr for arguments sake ,although as we all know too strong in direct sunlight and it will eat into chrome effect roof rails etc on an unprotected vehicle but as for a protected vehicle it would seem it has little or no detrimental effect on lsp . now that is interesting.
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