Panel wipe is a specific product that is designed to remove polish residue in order to prepare the surface for protection. This often means it has to remove oils and silicones. Most panel wipe are also good glass cleaner.
The need for panel wipe
Panel wipe is needed to prepare the surface for another product. For example: when you want to apply a wax, sealant or coating to a surface. After polishing there will be some product left over on the surface, and this can prevent some products from adhering properly. In real terms this means that the durability and stability of the product is negatively affected. Instead of a few months, a sealant might only last a few weeks. In case of coatings, this is especially important. It can make the difference between 12 months of protection or 2 months of protection.
Although a panel wipe doesn’t have to be of the same ingredient, most are based on solvents. IPA is a popular panel wipe and is based on a form of alcohol. This is also the basis for several types of glass cleaner. The point is that the solvent removes any grease or oils allowing it to be wiped off. The residue of the panel wipe will just evaporate without leaving any traces. Even panel wipes that are water based work with certain polymers that mimic the effect of a solvent, giving the same effect with difference ingredients. Most panel wipes are also the basis for a glass cleaner. So if you’re short of a glass cleaner, use your panel wipe.
Please not that not all panel wipes are designed to remove all residue. There are a few products on the market that have the words panel wipe on the label, but actually prepare the surface for wax. It doesn’t prepare for sealants and/or coatings. Panel wipe comes in liquid form such as Synergy Prep, ready from the bottle, as a concentrate or even as wet cloths.
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