Pad Maintenance Tips:
The first thing you'll need is a bucket of water. The purpose of this is to saturate the pad and to keep it moist/hydrated. We've noticed that if you attempt to wash the pads without this step and leave them out to dry prior to cleaning, the compounds or polishes cake into the foam/microfibre and despite washing, this does not come out easily. The best way to prevent this is to ensure the pad is constantly kept in water after use (and before a clean).
Following this once you are ready to clean the pad, whip out an old toothbrush with some All Purpose Cleaner (APC) and scrub the pad surface. This will dislodge the the compound/polish entrenched in the pad. Finally, using the same toothbrush, saturate the pad under a tap/garden hose and scrub it thoroughly.
Dry the pad with a microfibre as much as you can to extract any residual oils. Then air dry. Make sure you leave it facing up to air dry. It should take between a day or 2 to air dry. Following which, pop the pad into a ziploc bag or the like to make sure it is kept clean and free from dust.
What's the deal with straight vs tapered pads?
Tapered pads allow for a buffer between the backing plate and any edges you might come up against whilst polishing.
Straight pads tend to be the preferred choice of the more seasoned detailer or those that prefer a rotary or forced rotation machine.
Tapered pads are typically paired with dual action forced rotation machines.
Why do some pads have holes in the middle?
The hole in the middle assists in enabling better ventilation and minimises the build up of heat on the surface of the pad during polishing.
Does my pad need to be the same grade as my compound?
No it does not! A cutting pad need not necessarily be paired with a cutting compound. Some people might prefer a softer pad with a cutting compound to contour better to the surface they are working on.