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Old 03-05-2007, 10:29 PM   #1
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Zaino: A Guide

Product Overview

With a recent surge in interest around Zaino, I thought I'd writeup some of my own thoughts on these products to help answer some of the common questions that get asked.

This guide is only my personal opinion after using Zaino, other people may have other tips and techniques (which they are welcome to append).

Z2 Pro & Z5 Pro Show Car Polish

The two original sealants in the Zaino product range.

(Please note that these products are designed for clearcoated paint finishes. Z3 should be used for non clearcoated paint finishes.)

A common question asked is which product should I choose?

One of the main differences between the two sealants is that Z5 Pro is marketed as having a swirl filling ability against no such ability with Z2 Pro.

In my experience Z5 Pro will only fill the lightest of marks. Do not rely on this to fill 'average' swirls, as you will be disappointed.

The key to a good Zaino finish is to have your paint as defect free as possible.

Aside from this feature, it is suggested by some people that Z5 Pro is better on dark colours and Z2 Pro on lighter colours.

Having tried both, I couldn't notice much of a difference, the Z5 Pro being slightly deeper and the Z2 Pro being slightly glossier. I would be happy with either sealant. (Or indeed both, you can put these sealants on top of each other and see what finish you prefer)

ZFX Flash Cure Accelerator

ZFX is an additive which can be used with Z2 Pro, Z5 Pro (and Z3). It effectively activates the sealant like a two part epoxy and allows the sealant to be layered up to three times in any 24 hours.

The marketing text also states that ZFX increases the bond that the sealant makes with the paint, therefore I would assume this is translated into increased durability.

It should be noted that when ZFX is added to one of the Zaino sealants, that sealant must then be used the day you mixed the two products together.

The key is not to mix too much so you don't waste product.

Note that if you mix ZFX with a Zaino sealant, you must clean the mixing bottle of the product within 12 hours or you should discard the mixing bottle (according to Zaino).

Z6 Ultra Clean Gloss Enhancer Spray

Z6 is the Quick Detail spray in the Zaino range. It adds a certain lustre to the finish and is useful for preparing the paint to receive the Zaino sealant and for preparing applicator pads before applying Zaino sealants as well as usual QD duties.

Z7 Show Car Wash

Z7 is the shampoo in the Zaino range. The shampoo is very good indeed, the wash is extremely slick and it cleans very well. I use 2 oz's of shampoo per standard 12 litre bucket so bargain for 8 washes out of a bottle.

In my experience you do not have to stick to a Zaino shampoo when using the Zaino system. Many people use other shampoos but choose to maintain the surface with Z6 or Z8.

If you are on a budget I can highly recommend Duragloss 901 as a substitute shampoo. Z6 and Z8 add much more to the finish than Z7 in my experience.

Z8 Grand Finale Spray Seal

Z8 is the spray sealant in the Zaino range. Like Z6 you can use this product to maintain a Zaino finish, the Z8 will actually add protection to the Zaino finish against Z6 simply bringing back the finish.

I tend to alternate between a Z6 wipedown and a Z8 wipedown after washing the car. Z8 definately delivers a more bling finish.


Zaino All in one is a paint cleanser with a mild abrasive and sealant.

I have used this product in a variety of manners now, a foam applicator and a foam pad on the PC and I much prefer using the PC if at all possible.

On the PC I find myself using alot less product than by hand. You only need the smallest amounts of product on the pad with a PC. I prime the pad with one spritz of Z6 and then prime the pad with some Z-AIO and work the product into the panel on speed 3, give the paint a good few passes to really get it working.

You should leave the residue to dry before removing it. You can tell when the residue is ready for removal as when you swipe a finger through the residue it should remove cleanly. I do find that Z-AIO residue takes longer to dry than that of Z2 or Z5 Pro. You should probably allow 45 minutes for the residue to dry in good, warm weather.

With Z-AIO always remember that less is more, when applying Z-AIO the residue that I leave to dry is only just visible, you should be able to do an entire car in about 1/2 oz of product i.e. not much at all. Z-AIO works well on hot panels and in direct sunlight and just seems to spread and spread without prematurely drying.


Zaino ClearSeal is a new sealant in the Zaino range which unlike other sealants in the range, can be applied over other manufacturers products (if they are fully cured).

This product is simply wiped onto the paintwork with a microfiber applicator, but unlike Z2 or Z5 Pro does not require buffing off as the product sets clear.

I apply Zaino ClearSeal with a microfiber applicator which is dedicated exclusively to use with Z-CS. If the applicator does not require washing I place this applicator in a zip lock bag ready for use the next time.

With Z-CS you should prime the pad with one spritz of Z-CS and then spritz the panel and wipe on with the applicator. I tend to go with the application by feel, paintwork feels slightly slicker when you apply the Z-CS. It will be difficult to see where you have applied the Z-CS.

With every Zaino product, you should use Z-CS very sparingly. I would recommend 2-3 spritzes of Z-CS as suitable for an average sized bonnet, the same for the roof and then 1-2 spritzes for other panels on the car. You do not need alot.

Z-CS is marketed as being a wipe on product without the need to buff off, i.e. it should dry clear. I have found that this claim is true, but it may take some time, especially if you have used too much.

In applying the product to my alloy wheels, I found that it did indeed set clear during a week. On my paintwork I found that after 1 hour I could see hologram style marks in the paint and decided to buff the car down with Zaino Z8 and this removed these marks.

In a nutshell, if you can wait, the marks should clear themselves, i.e. the product will fully cure. If you cannot wait, QD the car with either Z6 or Z8.

Zaino versus the great british weather

The Z2 and Z5 Pro sealants need to set once they have been applied to the paint. When they have set, the residue is then removed and the next layer can then be applied, or the finish can be left.

The drying time depends on weather conditions. Damp weather and temperature have an effect on how long the residue takes to dry. I believe the lower temperature limit to be around 13 C (i.e. below this it will take too long to dry to make application practical). In 15C damp weather Z2 Pro with ZFX did not dry in 4 hours it was on my car. In similar temperature but without dampness the residue dried in 50 minutes.

In warm temperatures with little moisture (20 C upwards, sunny) the residue can dry in 15 minutes.

In short, if you have doubts about the weather, do not mix up a huge amount of sealant with ZFX as you may end up wasting it.

Surface Preparation

(This section is relevant to Z2/Z5 Pro sealants. The new Z-ClearSeal can be applied over other manufacturers sealants and waxes).

The Zaino sealants are fussy and need a clean surface (of other products) to bond to.

It should also be noted at this point that due to the optical clarity which the Zaino sealants offer, they really show off any defects in your paint finish. To get the very best out of Zaino you should ensure your paintwork is as defect free as possible before you think about applying Zaino.

A few routes exist to prepare your car for Zaino. In the text below we refer to carrying out a IPA wipedown (a wipedown of Isopropynol and Distilled water). This is good to clean off any remaining oils on the paintwork from previous products to leave a perfectly clean surface. We mix these two products 50/50 in a spray bottle, IPA is more expensive and we dilute this product as even at a 50/50 dilution ratio, it will still clean very well and therefore make the product go further.

1) Polish first

After polishing your car you should then proceed to carry out an IPA wipedown to remove any oils from the polish. This will leave a surface that you can then follow up with a Z6 or Z8 wipedown to prepare the surface for a Zaino sealant.

2) Removal of previous wax with Zaino AIO

The new All in one product from Zaino now allows you to cleanse other wax off your paintwork and prepare the surface for other Zaino sealants all in one. Or indeed use this as a single step product due to the included sealant. When you have used this product you can go straight to the Zaino sealants such as Z2 or Z5 Pro.

3) Removal of previous wax with other paint cleanser

Before Zaino AIO was available, I have successfully cleansed a car with Meguiars Deep Crystal Step 1 (commonly available in Halfords). As this product is a pure paint cleanser which doesn't leave any sealant behind you can successfully cleanse a car with this product and then carry out an IPA wipedown to remove any oils.

Where do I get IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol / Isopropynol) and Distilled water?

Most chemists will be able to supply you with some Isopropynol, just ask at the counter. Electronics stores are also a source as it is commonly used for cleaning electrical components.

Distilled water can be had from many high street stores and supermarkets in the car section (can be known as battery top up water).

How much Z2/Z5 Pro do I need to put a layer on my car?

On an average sized car I can get three layers of Zaino out of half a Zaino mixing bottle (1 oz of product). The first layer uses more than the subsequent layers.

How to apply Z2/Z5 Pro

Take a clean microfiber applicator and spritz the pad with Z6 or Z8. I now take a small syringe (ebay) and take some of the mixed sealant from the Zaino mixing bottle. I now syringe this onto the applicator in lines. I almost make a small grid on the applicator. A little goes along way.

I apply Zaino in straight lines front to back on the horizontal surfaces and top to bottom on vertical surfaces.

How do I know when the product is ready to be removed?

A swipe of the residue with a finger should see the residue removed cleanly. If you get any smearing of product then it is not ready to remove yet. The residue should remove cleanly and easily.

How do I use Z6/Z8?

Both Z6 and Z8 should be used extremely sparingly. A few spritzes per panel is all that is required, buff to a clear shine with a QD towel.

How to clean Zaino mixing bottles

Zaino advise that you clean your mixing bottle within 12 hours, if you have exceeded this time then you are advised to bin the mixing bottle.

To clean the mixing bottle pour neat washing up liquid into the mixing bottle (about 1cm), now screw the lid on and shake, the sealant should turn very liquidy.

Now empty the solution and then add another 1 cm of washing up liquid and shake again (Do NOT add water at this stage, otherwise you can get residue sticking to the bottle. Now shake again and then bottle should rapidly be looking clean.

Empty the washing up liquid and then add a fresh 1cm of washing up liquid with a tiny bit of water, shake well, rinse and then add a little more washing up liquid and water, shake, rinse and then continue rinsing until the bottle is clean.

If you have any stubborn residue, a toothbrush is handy.

How to clean pads that have Z-AIO residue on them

I have found that Z-AIO seems to stick to foam pads alot more than other Zaino products have to other applicators. I have found that my usual technique of washing the pads with fairy liquid and then plenty of rinsing hasn't worked well, you can still see where the residue has been on the pad.

I have played with pre rinsing pads in a CG Microfiber+ solution for an hour and then putting them in the wash with my microfibers (using Fairy Non Bio Liquid) and this seems to shift alot more residue and leave the pads relatively clean.

I do believe with Zaino that you should wash pads as soon as your finished with them, i.e. at the end of the day. I think if you leave the pads then the residue starts to set and become difficult to remove from the pads.

Last edited by Neil_S; 15-07-2007 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:31 PM   #2
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Great guide Neil,

Thanks for taking the time
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:41 PM   #3
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Pleasure mate
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:42 PM   #4
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Exellent Write Up, A Fantastic Read!!

Making me want my Zaino more and more!!
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:44 PM   #5
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Great write up!

The mixing bottle thing especially, ive just been throwing mine away
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:48 PM   #6
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Great guide thanks, I think I may use Zaino for Winter prep but look like I will have to do it in September whilst the weather is good!
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:50 PM   #7
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Excellent post Neil
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:03 PM   #8
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Nice guide,whats your view on using the terry cloths/applicators.
Been thinking about AIO & Z5 its just the cost as you also need Z7,Z6,& probably Z8 aswell.
What do you use as a drying aid with Zaino?
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:54 PM   #9
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Terry cloths should be fine, I believe Sal Zaino recommends these, but I've always been happy with microfiber.

For drying I just rinse with my water filter and leave it to dry naturally. You can just dry it in the usual way with a microfiber waffle weave though. If you go over the car with an open hose pipe the Zaino sheets water very effectively, this only leaves only a little water to remove.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:06 PM   #10
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I missed this yesterday mate.

Thanks for a superb write up mate, and just in the nick of time
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