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Old 04-11-2009, 09:37 PM
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Default How do you clean a wool buffing pad?

I have a heavy wool buffing pad on my Makita buffer. It's the kind that the pad is not removeable, it's all one piece. The pad is full of red gelcoat from my old boat. I want to use it to buff out a boat that I just purchased but I don't want the red to get all over the white boat. How do you clean one of these things?

Russ
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:56 PM
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There is a tool known as a spur (looks like numerous small metal wheels mounted to a handle) used to clean and fluff the pad during use. A simple alternative is just use a wood shim or strong stick with a sharp edge and run it back and forth across the pad as it is spinning. For a thorough cleaning I just threw 15 - 20 of them in a washing machine with soap. On a small scale, I'm sure hot water and dish or laundry soap and a stiff scrub brush would work just fine.

Mike.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:35 AM
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I'm just guessin' here. Put in the washer with some Woolite?
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
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I'm just guessin' here. Put in the washer with some Woolite?
That's what my buddy does in his body shop. I have a stack of old ones from him.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:47 AM
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use laundry detergent- it's made to rinse out...not dish detergent which is not...autogeek.net sells some powder just for this purpose...
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mpwitte View Post
There is a tool known as a spur (looks like numerous small metal wheels mounted to a handle) used to clean and fluff the pad during use. A simple alternative is just use a wood shim or strong stick with a sharp edge and run it back and forth across the pad as it is spinning. For a thorough cleaning I just threw 15 - 20 of them in a washing machine with soap. On a small scale, I'm sure hot water and dish or laundry soap and a stiff scrub brush would work just fine.

Mike.

Here is the tool to use.

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Old 04-12-2009, 07:56 AM
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You can also use a plastic scraper to clean the head (the same way you would use the stick).

I wash them in Simple Green- seems to work.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:24 AM
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if going from a red boat to a white boat swap pads. You can end up with very hard to remove red residue in the pores of the gelcoat that can be a real bitch to remove, it has happened to me a few times.

As another tip- you can get the same effect when you polish over stainless trim, the black from the metal polishing can get stuck in the gelcoat pores, always put a piece of masking tape around trim you want to polish against.

For the $10-$15 cost of the pad keep a few on hand, and keep them cleaned with the already mentioned spur,another tip- a new spur also slightly stains the pads!
A piece of wooden mixing stick cleans the pad pretty good if you dont want to buy a spur.

Newer gelcoat in better condition you have less of a chance of staining, but older gelcoat stains much easier.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:50 PM
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Thanks for the advice from everyone. As Raybo points out I don't want to get the red color into the white gelcoat on my new boat. I am sure I'm going to have to wash the pad in water and soap. It's not the kind of removeable cover that goes over a rubber buffing disc, this is a very heavy duty wool buffing pad that is all one piece with the disc and arbor integral to the pad. I thought about putting it in the washing machine but my wife would kill me if the red would get all over the inside of the washing machine. I think I will try soaking it in Woolite in a tub of hot water and see what happens.

Cleaning it with a spur isn't going to work because it won't remove the red gelcoat color from the oxidation on my other boat.

Thanks, Russ
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:07 PM
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Ok Pro Tip- in Laundry with all rags and pads. Detergent and a half bottle of simple green. Works Great!
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:12 PM
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New one.
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:40 AM
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Just drop it in a bucket of hot water with some laundry detergent, take it out and scrub with a stiff brush after about 2 minutes of the hot water soak. Also you can put some laundry detergent directly on the pad before you scrub it. Works for me.
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