The sky is falling, the sky is falling - Chicken Little
Pollen (Microgametophytes) Grains
[: a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes]
In the US, oak pollen starts to cause problems in February and is gone by the end of April. Most late summer and fall pollen is usually ragweed,
The yellow fines to coarse powders you see in the air is made up of small sperm cells from blooming plants and are one of the most common allergy triggers. The smallest pollen grain is approximately 6 µ (micron) wind-borne pollen grains can be as large as 90–100 µ (micron) diameter
The pollen from trees are the main concern, vehicles get hit with pollen laced trees that include: oak, western red cedar, elm, birch, ash, hickory, polar, sycamore, maple, cypress and walnut (which also leaves an oily residue). Pollen grains of pines, firs, and spruces are winged.
Pollen must be strong to protect the male gametes on their journey. The outer wall of the pollen grain, called the exine, is composed of a very unusual substance called sporopollenin which is very tough.
The inner layer is made of cellulose and is similar in construction to an ordinary plant cell wall; pollen will literally ‘wear’ away wax or polymer sealants. Pollen isn't removed by air friction as you drive because it adheres to a surface with microscopic barbs that can attach to even a very slightly uneven surface, and adheres to a natural wax better than a synthetic polymer
As well as being allergic pollen is also very abrasive (due to its exine or barbs) and slightly acidic dust, although its inert until its mixed with moisture and should therefore be removed from paint surfaces as soon as is practicable.
To remove heavy pollen dust (do not use a California Duster as the pollen exine (barbs) will cause surface marring) instead use Optimum (OPT) No Rinse Wash™ & Shine New Formula (ONR) a quick ‘wash’; formulated with surfactants to keep dirt in suspension, avoiding surface contact, it also provides surface lubrication, thereby avoiding surface marring. Alternatively use Optimum Instant Detailer - this formulation penetrates and encapsulates light dust (pollen) dirt, and grime, allowing for their removal without scratching or dulling the surface. As soon as is practical, thoroughly rinse the vehicle with a hose and clean water to ensure all the pollen is removed.
Light Surface Dust
To remove light, dry surface pollen dust or pollen without causing scratches by applying very little surface pressure, dusting with long strokes in one direction only, use a product that contains a surfactant; this will lessen surface scratching as they ‘lift’ dust etc. into the media used avoiding surface friction (use a solution of Optimum™ no-rinse (ONR) diluted 1:20 / distilled water in a fine mist spray bottle) or Optimum ™ Instant Detailer. Do not use on a hot paint surface (soon after driving) as this will cause streaking?
Use a long nap micro fibre towel to ensure the dust lifted from the paint surface will remain in the nap and not on the towel surface thereby causing surface marring. Shake the towel occasionally to ensure any particles picked up will drop out rather than come to the surface while you’re using it.
Notes: Dust build-up-with low humidity conditions and friction on the paint surface will cause static electricity (this is exacerbated by the use of polyester (nylon) Micro fibre) resulting in dust attraction to the paint surface.
It important to use this methodology only for the removal of dry surface dust, don’t use if surface has condensation or dew, or if the vehicle has oily road film, road tar, damp pollen or dust, etc. in these instances the vehicle surface should be subjected to a conventional or Optimum (OPT) No Rinse Wash™ & Shine New Formula (ONR) car washing process
No wax or polymer sealant can provide a permanent shield against: Micro gametophytes (pollen) an acrylic polymer like Klasse or Jeff Werkstat resist acid attack better than most. Collinite 845 Insulator Wax is probably the most durable Carnauba wax product and / or Finish Kare FK425 Detailing Spray; are very good sacrificial protections, but these may only provide enough of a barrier to enable it to be removed quickly before causing too much damage to the paint film surface
I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire. Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated
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