Frequently Asked Questions
About Flitz Polish :
Flitz Polishing products have been used and loved for more than 30 years. Everything started with a father and son who had an idea to create polishing products that would be universal, effective, and easy to use. In a time when there was very little in the market that didn’t require multiple steps and mixing, our polishing paste changed everything! Our signature product is our universal “blue” polishing paste. We make it with high quality ingredients from Germany and manufacture it in Waterford, Wisconsin. Some of our well known customers are Cutco Knives, Snap-on tools, and Grady White Boats. All over people use our polishing products to restore oxidized paint on cars, clear oxidation off “foggy” headlights, remove scratches from clear coat paint, polish fiberglass boats, and remove oxidation from aluminum.
What is the difference between the Paste (tube) and the Liquid (bottle)?
Besides consistency, the paste has the most concentration of cleaning power. The paste also has an added ingredient for longer lasting protection. This protection will keep your shine the longest.
The liquid is not as concentrated as the paste, but will give you comparable polishing results on most surfaces. The protection will not last as long as the paste, but it will last longer than most other liquids on the market today. The liquid polishes cover more area for less money, so they are the best choice for large areas like boats or RVs, and areas that you must maintain on a more regular basis, like brass rails or sinks. Many people find the liquids easier to work with because of the spread-ablility.
What types of surfaces can I use Flitz on?
The list is endless. Flitz is non-toxic, non-acidic, and non-abrasive, which makes it very safe to use as a strong, effective cleaner on just about any solid surface. This includes all metals, from your best gold and silver to the aluminum and chrome on your car or motorcycle. Other solid surfaces include Fiberglass, Acrylic, Tile, Marble, Granite, Ceramic, Corian, Plexiglas, Eisenglass, and smooth vinyl. Flitz is also great on hard laminates like Formica.
What if the Flitz makes no difference?
This can happen for a few reasons. The corrosion may be too heavy (like heavy green corrosion or heavy rust) and it would need to be stripped with an abrasive to get down to good metal. Flitz has no acids or abrasives (this makes it extremely safe to use on hundreds of surfaces without damage).
If you are trying to clean brass or copper, then you need to consider whether the piece has ever been lacquered. Most brass and many copper pieces are lacquer-coated during production because these metals are quick to tarnish. This lacquer or clear-coat finish can break down over time and the small holes and cracks that develop allow moisture and air to get through to the metal, which produces the tarnish. Flitz has no acids, so it cannot remove the lacquer. The lacquer must be removed with a stripper and then the metal is ready to polish. You should only strip the lacquer if the piece is solid brass or copper (or whatever metal it is). If the item is only plated, then a stripper will remove the plating along with the lacquer, and you will have nothing left to polish.
What is the shelf-life of Flitz Polish?
Flitz polish has an indefinite shelf life as long as kept in a cool dry area. Preferably, if purchased in a can or jar, best to store upside down. If ever it becomes too "liquidy" use a standard stir stick and stir back to a more creamy consistency. Whether liquified or creamy, the results from the product will not ruin its performance and still accomplish the polishing needed.
How can I tell if the item is only Plated?
Using a magnet, you can tell whether an item is solid brass or copper. Brass and copper are not magnetic, so the magnet will not stick. If the magnet sticks, then there is another base metal underneath. Silver pieces usually have a stamp on them indicating whether they are silverplate or not. Solid gold usually is stamped with the karat value of the solid gold. Many times you can just make an educated guess based on the amount you paid for the item.
Can Flitz be used on Plated Items?
We don't recommend it on soft platings. Most older silverplate is okay, but we recommend that you try to polish the piece in an inconspicuous spot to test. DO NOT use Flitz, or any polish, on any plated item unless the manufacturer specifically recommends it. Flitz is not dangerous to use on any metal, but the actual polishing is what rubs the plating off. Chrome plating is different and quite thick. Flitz is safe on Chrome.
Can I use Flitz on Plastics?
Flitz Polish works great on most plastics. It will remove oxidation, graffiti, stains and minor scuffs from Plexiglass, Lucite, Acrylics, Vinyl windows (like in convertible roofs), and many other plastics. We recommend that you test the Flitz polish in a small, hidden area to be sure.
How can I clean up my dull headlights?
1. Apply a thin layer of the Flitz Polish to the surface of your headlight.
2. With the X-Large BuffBall attached to your drill (run at a minimum of 1800rpm up to maximum of 2500rpm), apply slight pressure & buff with back & forth motion over headlight.
3. Repeat if necessary.
For acrylic headlights with distressed clearcoat & extreme fading/yellowing:
1. Moisten the ultra fine scuff pad enclosed with Headlight Restoration Kit with water.
2. Buff the surface of the headlight with the moistened pad in a back & forth motion.
3. Wipe residue away and proceed with steps 1-3 shown in first instruction paragraph above.
You mention countertops, appliances, and serving pieces; Is Flitz safe to use on surfaces in contact with food?
Yes, Flitz Polish is completely non-toxic. Flitz can be safely used on serving pieces, such as silverware, without any danger. After polishing, just wash the piece in warm soapy water and dry off as usual. The Flitz will not leave any flavor or smell behind.
Can Flitz be used on Gun Bluing?
As long as the gun has been blued during manufacturing, or hot-blued. This type of bluing is actually made part of the metal. Flitz will clean and protect the barrel inside and out without any oily film or danger to the inside of the barrel.
If the gun has been cold-blued, then the bluing has been painted on. Flitz will treat this like graffiti and clean it off of the surface of the barrel. Check with a qualified gunsmith to be sure.
Any tips for polishing aluminum?
Aluminum is a softer metal and it will release a large amount of oxidation when polishing. It's important not to overuse Flitz. Apply enough Flitz to just cover the surface of a small area, and buff with a paper towel for maximum absorbency. Then do a final buff with a soft cloth. Doing your initial buffing with a paper product will help to absorb all of that excess oxidation faster.
What about tips for polishing Diamond Plate?
Apply Flitz with a rag (only about one square foot at a time). Buff off with an old towel that has a thick pile (paper towels would just get torn up). BETTER YET, do your initial buff with an old piece of carpeting that has a good nap. You can staple it to a piece of 2x4 to make it easy to grip. This will allow you to polish deep into the grooves of diamond plate. Then follow with a buff with an old towel. Best Solution - use Flitz Polishing and Buffing Ball. It is an excellent choice for polishing diamond plate metals. It can be very difficult to get into all the nooks and crannies, and the that's where the Polishing Ball really "Shines!"
How often should Fiberglass be maintained?
Fiberglass should be maintained on a regular basis. So just how regular is regular? In order to answer that question we have to ask what kind of exposure to the elements the vehicle receives. If the vehicle is kept dry and inside a garage away from the elements, then exposure is minimal and the fiberglass can be maintained about every 6 months or so with great results. However, if the vehicle is kept out in the elements under constant exposure, then regular maintenance should be done every 3 months without fail. Without regular care and maintenance, fiberglass will begin to show signs of oxidizing in 4 to 12 months.
Choose products suitable for fiberglass, like Flitz Metal Polish, Fiberglass & Paint Restorer and Flitz Wax with UV Protectant. Regardless of the product you select, be sure to follow the application instructions to ensure that you get the best results and all the benefits that the product has to offer. Be sure to apply the products using the regular intervals suggested above. For larger vehicles you may decide to develop an application schedule. This will help reduce the amount of effort spent caring for the vehicle at any one time. Mentally divide the vehicle into three workable areas. In the case of a motorhome, this would be: 1) the driver side, 2) the passenger side, 3) the front and back ends, or caps. Treat the whole vehicle to begin the process. Next month select the side of the vehicle that receives the most sun and exposure to the elements. This will be side one and will be the first side treated during each cycle. In the second month treat the area of the vehicle selected as side 2 and follow with side three one month later. In this manner your fiberglass vehicle will be cared for once every three months with a minimal amount of effort. In between regular treatments each month, you may want to check areas of the vehicle that are exposed to contaminants from the road or moisture in the air. These would be areas like lower parts of a motorhome that are close to the road. You may also want to check the front cap. On a boat these would be areas that are horizontal on the topside and vertical areas close to the water line.
For RVs and boats that have been oxidized and have some fading or dullness, waxes and polishes may seem to restore the shine, but often don't maintain it for more than a month or so. This is because the gelcoat surface has microscopic pits and crevices in it from oxidation. Waxes cover the surface and provide a barrier between the elements and the gelcoat surface. Waxes work well for vehicles in good condition, but not so well for older vehicles which have weathered a bit. After awhile, the wax wears off and the elements oxidize the surface of the gelcoat. This is similar to how rust occurs on steel or iron, or fading on older car paints. The result is a faded or dull appearance. You can remove the oxidation and then reapply wax.
Polish products are similar to waxes but they may also contain a small amount of abrasive that rubs off some of the oxidation and can restore some shine to the surface. These products work best for vehicles that have slight to moderate oxidization. Polishing compounds are a similar product which have more abrasives and can remove heavier oxidation but do not provide any protection afterwards, so you need to apply some protective coating after cleaning (preferably a wax so the process doesn't begin again).
There really isn't any secret to cleaning moderately faded or dull fiberglass, you just need some elbow grease and something to remove the oxidation such as a polishing compound or other accepted liquid abrasive. The application varies for different products, but in general you need to rub the surface with the oxidation remover or polishing compound to remove the oxidized layer. You then let the product dry to a haze and buff it off to reveal the clean shiny surface. This may require two or three different steps depending on the product or products that are selected to do the task. The surface should then be protected with a regular application of wax or polish. For moderate oxidation, we suggest Flitz Metal Polish, Fiberglass & Paint Restorer finishing up with our Flitz Wax Protectant.
Older fiberglass often oxidizes to an extreme. No matter what is used for polishing the surface, it still looks dull. The first question is... Is the surface truly dull and will not shine, no matter what is used... even professional products? If so, then read section #1. In some cases owners have even reported seeing small fibers at the surface. After a long conversation with experts in the field of fiberglass technology, we have a little bit of extra information that will prove helpful. For fibers at the surface... we know that you can see what looks like a fiber or strand of fiber coming to the surface. However, what we need to determine is if the fiber can actually be grabbed with tweezers and pulled away from the glass. If the answer is yes, then following section #2 will provide the steps needed to correct the situation. If the fiber will not pull away from the glass then read the section of this article marked #3. The information below is provided so that you can become familiar with the process that should take place to correct the problem. It should not be taken as instruction. There are far too many variables in the process. If you are still unsure how to proceed after reading this information, please seek professional advice or call our office.
#1.) If the fiberglass is faded and will not shine even after using professional grade products, you will need to do a wet sanding. (Professional grade products are those products found only at paint and body supply stores.) If you are not familiar with wet sanding it is suggested that you take the vehicle to a good body shop. Wet sanding or blocking takes time, patience and a lot of attention to detail. Sanding paper with grits in the 600 – 2000 or higher ranges are soaked for a 24 hour time period. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, the paper is placed on a foam block and the sanding begins. Once the sanding sequence is complete and the surface is smooth to the touch it will then need to be polished. Using a professional grade super duty polishing compound purchased from a professional automotive paint supply store and a speed buffer, the surface is buffed free of scratches. Most professional polishing products suggest a 3 or 4 step sequence to obtain the best finish. Be sure to read and follow all manufacturer instructions for best results. Again, do not be afraid to take this task to a good body shop. This is not a task for the amateur or faint of heart.
#2.) If you have succeeded in pulling the fiber away from the gelcoat then you have an erosion problem. Though uncommon, it does happen. Most of the time it occurs on very old vehicles. The correction for the problem is a choice of two things. First, you can take the vehicle to a body shop and have them paint the surface after a thorough preparation. Or, you may choose to have the surface re-gelcoated. This process takes about the same amount of time as painting does and is about the same in price. The product recommended to us for the task is called PRESTEC, manufactured by Simtec Coatings. A good paint and body shop that does re-coating will be familiar with this product. If more information on the product is needed, call our 800 number or e-mail us and we will be happy to help. Remember, it is better to seek out a tradesman familiar with the process and this product or similar products, to get the best result. Re-gelcoating will last longer than a typical paint and is therefore a better choice.
#3.) If you can not pull the fiber away from the gelcoat, then you have a different situation called printing or imprinting. The situation happens when the fiber is thick enough to make an impression on the surface during the lay-up phase of production. This kind of thing does happen though it is an irregularity. The fix is a simple one that requires more time and effort than money. What you will need to do is a process called Blocking and Color Sanding. It requires Wet & Dry Sandpaper and a sanding block with a padded backing. Please use the suggestions found in section # 1. Here again, it would be a good idea to stress that you may want to consult a good body shop and obtain their input on exactly how to proceed.
Under no circumstance should the above information be taken as definitive cause and solution. If you are not sure about what your specific problems are, please do not hesitate to consult a professional detailer or paint and body shop. Also, get references before you pay for any service or repair.
About Flitz Stainless Steel Cleaner :
What can I use on Brushed Stainless Steel?
Polishes or dressings for stainless steel can be difficult to use and leave the surface with funny streaks or an oily film. Flitz has a new Stainless Steel & Chrome Cleaner spray designed as a cleaner and maintenance for these surfaces. This spray has a degreaser which makes it great for appliances, grills, and car chrome surfaces which need a good cleaning, but don't get very oxidized. (If you have a stainless steel or chrome surface which is showing cloudy oxidation or surface rust, use the Flitz Polish first to remove the oxidation.)
The spray is easy to use and it will leave the surface clean without any oily film to attract dust and fingerprints.