As you are aware, we are currently the only shop in Ireland that is stocking Labocosmetica products and I think it's time to write about their products, explain what they do and why they can be superior compared to other pre-wash snow foams, shampoos and coatings on the market.
The amount of research and development that Ma Fra, Labocosmetica's parent company, puts into new products is extensive. Unlike some of their competitors, Labocosmetica creates products that are being requested by detailers and enthusiasts around the globe or simply because their team faces challenges when maintaining their own cars and then will figure out a way to overcome these hurdles with a new product.
Testing is done not only in the laboratory but also in different places around the globe ensuring that the products work and perform as intended in different climates and use cases. Summer in Ireland is very different to summer in Australia or Thailand. On top of that, contaminations on vehicles also differ from country to country and Labocosmetica wants to make sure that their products are the best to work with everywhere and every time. Labocosmetica also pays a lot of attention to the user experience, the way products feel and smell making all Labocosmetica products worthy of their premium title.
Click here for a full resolution version of the 3PH leaflet
Today I am going to speak about Labocosmetica's 3pH wash routine that was created to eliminate any kind of dirt and contamination while maintaining either Labocosmetica's own nano-ceramic protection but also coatings, sealants, waxes and other protections applied from other manufacturers. The 3pH wash routine can be used for any vehicle without any protective sealant or coating and will fully restore and reset the car's surface before adding a possible protective layer with Labocosmetica #Revitax for example.
Labocosmetica's 3pH maintenance program, or wash routine, consists of 3, or 4 products that we will review in more detail today.
#Primus is a >7pH alkali based pre-wash (spray or foam depending on dilution) that removes organic grime such as dirt, grease, road salt etc. This has some real cleaning power and is highly effective at removing traffic film.
#Purifica is a <7pH acidic based pre-wash (spray, or foam depending on dilution which removes inorganic dirt such as limescale and mineral deposits. It also has rejuvenation properties that help revive the protection.
#Semper is a pH neutral shampoo that contains no protection additives. A pure shampoo and recommended for regular use.
Alternatively, #Revitax is a ph neutral revitalising shampoo that mechanically removes whatever dirt is left on the vehicle following the pre-wash process. This shampoo has protection properties that restore the water repellency of your paintwork. Recommended for use every 4th or 5th wash.
Why "3pH" and not simply "3 step" or similar?
The reason is simple when you look at the pH scale and then compare the 3 products.
All 3 products differ in the pH range providing the best cleaning power while being absolutely safe, if used as described, for paintwork, plastic trim, glass or any other exterior components of your vehicle. To take it a step further, Labocosmetica even recommends the 3pH wash routine for classic and vintage vehicles which not every manufacturer does for their products.
But lets see in which order to use these products, how to use them and what to look out for.
Step 1 - Labocosmetica #Primus pre-wash snow foam
The first step in the 3pH wash routine is to dilute some #Primus into a spray bottle or pump sprayer, diluted to 1:20 (product/water) and soak the lower 3rd of the car. This is because the lower part of your vehicle always contains the most contamination. #Primus in a spray bottle will help to cut through the grime and start breaking it down. Once the lower 3rd of your car is sprayed with #Primus, it's now time to use #Primus with the snow foam gun. Dilute #Primus 1:60 to 1:80 and start foaming your car. The best way to apply any snow foam is to start from the bottom and work your way upwards until the whole car is covered in #Primus snow foam.
With the snow foam soaking in and working its magic, literally, you should consider treating other areas. If wheels and arches are heavily soiled, #Primus can be used to treat those areas with a dilution of 1:10 to help shifting even the most stubborn dirt.
Labocosmetica does not recommend to touch the car just yet. Not with a brush or anything else. The reason being is that #Primus is powerful enough to make sure that 90-95% of all contamination will be loosened up without physical contact. Even in the most difficult to reach and awkward places like lettering, logos, and badges. Using a brush at this stage to try to loosen dust or sand in between the model designation letters on the back of your car will only result in micro scratches as you will not remove the dirt but drag it to a different spot.
#Primus needs between 3 and 5 minutes to dwell before rinsed off with a power washer. It's incredible to see the amount of brown foam that is dripping to the ground, showing just how capable #Primus is and why it is important to always do a pre-wash to minimise scratches during the contact wash phase.
After rinsing, the majority of organic dirt and road grime will have been removed, or at least, significantly softened which will make it easier to remove during the later stages of this process.
Stage 2 - #Purifica pre-wash
The second step in the process is to dilute (1:15) #Purifica into a spray bottle and, as with #Primus, apply it with a spray bottle to the lower 3rd of the car. This is the first step towards rejuvenating any protection or coatings that are on the car. The idea behind #Purifica is that it removes any limescale and mineral deposits that often hamper the performance of coatings and sealants by clogging the surface. Like you did with #Primus, use #Purifica with the snow foam lance, diluted 1:60 from the bottom up until the whole car is covered in foam. Make sure to cover all gaps such as door shuts, wheel arches etc.
Remember, you still have and will not touch the car with either a brush or a mitt. Simply let the chemical do the work by removing as much contamination and dirt as possible while rejuvenating any coatings or have a sparkling cleaning car.
As with #Primus, leave #Purifica dwell for 3-5 minutes before rinsing it off with a power washer.
Stage 3 - #Semper or #Revitax pH Neutral shampoo
The third and final step in the 3pH washing routine is to carry out the actual contact wash with a wash mitt. Since we have used now an alkaline pH product and an acid pH product, we now move to a pH neutral product to round things up. As always, it’s best practice to use the two-bucket, if not three-bucket, method and a good quality wash mitt.
At this stage, there are 2 products that can be used and we start off with the pH neutral #Semper shampoo that can be used every time the car is washed.
#Semper is highly concentrated and can be diluted 1:1000. That's 10ml in a 10L bucket! #Semper can be used with cold or warm water. Warm water is preferred as it will help to remove any remaining contamination. #Semper is incredibly slick and lets the wash mitt glide over the paintwork while encapsulating any dirt or contamination particles that are left. As said, #Semper can be used for any maintenance washes and is safe on all exterior trims.
Alternatively, #Revitax shampoo can be used once every 4 or 5 washes at a dilution of 1:100. #Revitax is also pH neutral, boasts with high gloss enhancing properties and added protection for up to 5 months. No other shampoo can claim such durability. #Revitax is very hydrophobic and I find it very satisfying to watch the raindrops simply run off the bonnet when driving along in the rain. Absolutely superb!
With the car fully cleaned, it’s time to get it dried and apply some finishing touches. While air dryers are not in everyone's budget, a good drying towel is a must. Either a plush one, like the ADBL Puffy XL or Ad's Drying Towel that perform incredibly up to the moment they are full or the more durable drying towels from Autoglym such as InstaDry that I reviewed here.
While being at it, I prefer a quick detailer like Labocosmetica #Perfecta that helps to minimise streaks to a minimum and will not cause any detrimental effects to the protection, if anything it helps add a sacrificial barrier way beyond your next wash.
washme.ie offers the 3pH maintenance kits here or each product individually in sizes from 100ml to test, 500ml, 1L and 4500ml here
The incredible power of the Labocosmetica products and ease of use puts them ahead of many of its competitors. While it might sound a bit difficult with all the different dilution ratios, we do offer the Labocosmetica dilution ratio bottles making it very easy to use the correct amount of product for each application. No risk of over-applying or wasting any product. The bottles come green, red or blu and are available in 500ml or 1L sizes with optional sprayers.
We also recommend printing out this dilution ratio table or save it on your phone, tablet or computer.
You can also download a dilution ratio calculator for your iOS or Android device.
Great article, love the idea of the dilution calculator and have just downloaded straight away after rading this! The dilution bottles from Labo however are a must have, so easy to use!