Many of us were detailing our motorcycle during the July 4th weekend. Hopefully we were able to really enjoy a beautiful sunrise, or a magnificent sunset during our weekend. The reason the sky appears blue at mid-day, and the vibrant colors during sunrise and sunset is the size of the particles in the air. The particles floating in the air are bending and reflecting the suns rays. This is what changes what we call color.This is called the refractive index, or the bending of light. Water and other materials use to formulate cleaning and detailing products bend light differently. We can see this effect when we look into the water at a fish or an object below the surface. The object is not where we believe it to be.The waters refractive index is what we are experiencing. How much of the light is bent is what determines how shiny a surface appears.The refractive index along with surface texture is what makes products different. This means you can use one cleaning product, and then follow with another product and change the shine of your bike. You could either increase or diminish the shine of the first product. This is based on the second products refractive index and surface texture.That is why it is important to use a product that cleans and leaves a streak-free finish. If you can use a product that cleans and polishes you are accomplishing two tasks at once. The product you choose following your wash must leave a surface smoother than the wash. When we wax and polish the resulting finish is based on the particle size and lack of film residue.