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Car Wash Tips


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With spring around the corner and the slew of indoor carshows I have been asked quite often for advice on proper car washing. While washing your vehicle may be common knowledge to some, many people still cause damage to their surface by using improper car wash equipment or techniques. I hope my following article helps avoid this!

Proper Vehicle Washing

Many of us enjoy the benefits of a freshly hand washed car. However, without proper knowledge, you may be doing more harm than good. Washing a car improperly will induce micro-marring known as Swirls or Spider-Webbing.

The cause of this damage is due to foreign particles trapped in your car wash systems. This can happen several ways such as,

A. Improper storage of materials when not in use.

B. Improper materials such as using Dishsoap* (See bottom note), old T-Shirts etc.

C. Improper techniques which lead to further damage in the drying stage.

Materials

The following materials are recommended for proper washing.

A. Two regular Wash bucket’s or a single grit trap bucket.

B. Either 100% Sheepskin Wash Mitt, Cotton Chenille Mitt, or a Microfiber Wash Mitt.

C. Sponge, or Terry Towel for wheels.

D. Quality Soap such as P21S, or Wolfgang.

Procedure

1. When washing a car try to do it in an atmosphere where the paint surface is not hot to the touch. Shade or garages are the best atmosphere. Overly high temperatures cause the water and soaps to evaporate too quickly, not giving them a chance to remove the necessary particles.

2. Start by thoroughly spraying the entire vehicle with a nozzled hose or pressure washer. Pay particular attention to heavily soiled areas, trying to remove as much dirt as possible in this stage. If possible work from top to bottom in a downward angle.

3. Use a soap specifically designed for automotive paints. These soaps have special oils and lubricants in them specially designed to lift and remove foreign particles. These soaps are also very low on the PH scale and will not strip previous waxes.

4. Start by washing the wheels, this will eliminate any brake dust, or harsh wheel cleaners from contacting a freshly washed panel.

5. By using two buckets you greatly reduce the possibility of tracking dirt into your wash mitt. Your soapy water will also stay much cleaner. Simply fill one bucket with your soap/water mixture and the other bucket with just water. After every application of soap/water dip and shake the wash mitt in the water bucket.

This will loosen and clean the wash mitt BEFORE applying more soap/water to the mitt. The soap solution will stay much cleaner and the majority or dirt will stay in the water bucket. You can also use special Grit Trap buckets. These buckets have a screen or false floor in the bottom where loose particles fall beneath. This makes it impossible to come in contact with these particle when re-entering the wash bucket for more soap.

6. Scrub the vehicle from top to bottom, try to follow the contours of the vehicle or any distinct body lines. By doing this, any mishaps are much less noticeable. By washing in a circular motion any mishaps will be at all angles and much more noticeable. Rinse often! After every application of soap rinse the vehicle before going back for more soap.

7. After you are finished washing, do a final rinse on the entire vehicle. For the final rinse remove the hose nozzle. Start from top to bottom and with the flowing water inches away from the surface sheet off any remaining or misses debris/soap. This sheeting rinse will pull materials down and leave much less water on the surface. There will be little water beading with this technique making it much easier and quicker to dry.

Edited by SW03ES
Removed spam links
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It is a nice writeup, too bad its thinly veiled spam. All the links point back to some foreign automatic carwash system, I think its a way to increase search engine exposure maybe...

I removed the links and banned the poster, but we'll keep his writeup! I'm going to move it to Detailing

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey guys, i just recently bought a car cover from www.carscover.com for my IS and was wondering when is the right time to use it? I was planning on just throwing it on the car whenever...but my friends are telling me that i should have the car washed or detailed before i use it. I do have an aftermarket paint job so im trying to protect the paint but keep the car clean as well. The cover is great and i really want to use it...but i dont want to have my paint scratched or such...

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I've been looking for a new car wash brush. All the ones I see are mostly crap. The one I use now has bristles around the sides and the face so when you get to the edges like bumpers and side view mirrors you don't mark it up and bang it on your car. I have really liked that feature. I also really like the longer pole style handles. But I never see any quality brush heads that allow you to put the handle on, and have enouph protection around the edges of the head to not be banging your car up with it. I was looking at this microfiber one: microfiber car washer but there has to be a better one out there. Anyone go any ideas? I would like a boars hair one, but again, I haven't really found one that I like.

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I just read about the 2 water bucket idea also. Hmmm, that is a good idea. I have the bucket with the grate thing, but the 2 bucket idea sounds even better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just take my car to a Coin-Op wash place.

I use their hose for the soap, rinse, and deionized final rinse.

I scrub with a microfiber mitt I bring. And dry with 2 microfiber cloths I bring.

I will not use their foam brush except on the under carriage, and only after rinsing the brush with the pressure spray.

Costs 5-7 bucks depending on how I time myself.

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I just take my car to a Coin-Op wash place.

I use their hose for the soap, rinse, and deionized final rinse.

I scrub with a microfiber mitt I bring. And dry with 2 microfiber cloths I bring.

I will not use their foam brush except on the under carriage, and only after rinsing the brush with the pressure spray.

Costs 5-7 bucks depending on how I time myself.

Yeah, I try to stay away from all commercial car wash places. You just never know what soap they use. The soap I use at home is designed to condition the paint and not to remove the wax I spent 2 hours putting on the car.

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