Upon request, after several conversations with SSR owners at shows and over the phone I'm am posting about certain things to avoid when choosing car care products. Please keep in mind every thing I post is with the intentions of providing "proper" car care tips to prolong the life of the car finish and interior materials. No good to have a shiny dash that is all cracked and dried up right?
Not as many products to avoid as the car care industry of today is light years ahead of what was offered back in the 50's-60's and even 15 years ago. From what I've heard back then you basically had 1-2 choices, WD-40 or Armor All
Also back then the exterior paints were basically what we now call SS paint or Single Stage paint meaning Lacquer Enamel base with no protective clear coat. After 6-12 months or less if sitting outside often, it would easily begin oxidizing and need to be scrubbed fresh (cleaner wax) which is why many still believe to remove swirls, defects, flaws and scratches, it just needs a "good waxing".
Back to the original subject, what to avoid? The one major agent I always stress to avoid in all products are PETROLEUMS. Before you read any further, go into your garage, take out every single bottle of car care stuff you own, whether it be interior cleaner, interior dressings, tire shine, paint cleaner, paint waxes, glazes whatever you have and flip over the bottle are read the label. Does it say anything about Petroleum Distillates? If so, just do yourself a favor and throw it away now.
Basically you have a bottle of oil there with some other cleaners or waxes or whatever agents they put in to market it as that type of product.
So for interior products with petroleums in it you're basically rubbing oil all over the plastic and leather parts..... I know I know, it looks all shiny and clean but all it's really doing it creating an environment for which dirt, dust and everything else will stick to it and it gets all over your clothes hands. Plus oils do not nourish or soak into to the plastics or leather (as previously thought) they actually take away. Water is actually used in moisturizers for your skin so why would it be any different on a cow hide leather or plastic? You never see people putting oils on there skin to moisturize.... In other words you want your interior to last longer then use water based cleaners and conditioners not oil based.
For exteriors plastics and rubber weather stripping you would really want a pure silica compound. Silicone and Petroleum are different. Petroleum on rubber and plastic will wash off with soapy water and run down the windows and side of your SSR and create more mess also taking away any benefit you thought it would be giving you.... It kind of has a rainbow effect look in the light.
Petroleums on the paint whether it be in a wax, or a glaze will make the car finish look amazing, which is why it's so highly used in waxes. This look is created by the oils covering up or hiding the defects and flaws and swirls which in return makes the finish appear much better then it really is. I can imagine the reason Glazes are called glazes is because they literally "glaze" over the defects making them temporarily disappear. However in a few washing these oils rinse off leaving behind the reality of swirls and flaws.
So basically boils down to Petroleum based products are bad (even if they look good) and water based products are good (even though they don't look shiny).