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Guest DetailingDude

My Washing Guide

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Guest DetailingDude

This is my Washing Guide:

 

Much of the damage I see on cars is self-inflicted wounds. 60% of the damage comes from washing and/or drying (30% from polishing/waxing and 10% misc.). Tool and product selection is as critical as the technique used.

 

Firstly, choose a pH balanced car wash solution. When a car is washed in solution that has a pH level higher than 7 the solution can be stripping the oils out of your black trim. Once the oils are gone the plastic constricts and the trim turns white and/or dulls and/or fades. Lusso Auto Bathe pH7, P21S Total Auto Wash pH7.2, Pinnacle Bodywork Shampoo pH7, Zaino Show Car Wash ph7.2 and Zymol Clear pH7.1. All are at or close to being pH balanced (University of Arkansas) all are pretty much in the acceptable range.

 

Additionally, if your car has been properly maintained with wax you may not need to use a car wash solution at all. However, one advantage of some car wash solutions is that they can offer a little surface lubrication.

 

Secondly, choose some sort of soft cloth like a 100% cotton towel or an ultra micro fiber towel. You can trim off the sewn edges or just be very alert of their inherent danger they possess of scratching your paint.

 

Finally, move your car into a cool, shaded area. I suggest you wash either at night or early in the morning just make sure that it is in a shaded area (preferably not the shade of a tree unless it is the cast shadow and you are not directly under the tree). If you are doing some general paint maintenance afterward you might want to wash it at night.

 

Step 1: Fill your wash bucket with luke-warm water then add your chosen car wash solution per mfr's instructions.

 

Step 2: Saturate your car with a hose.

 

Step 3: Dip your washing towel into the wash bucket and stir the solution. With your towel saturated wash the sides of your car first. Most everyone else says to start washing on the roof (because that is where the dirt particles are the smallest), but when you do that you are leaning on the sides of the car and grinding the largest particles of dirt on the paint into the paint so wash the sides where you would be leaning first.

 

Tech Tip: When you wash just glide your towel across the surface and then rinse. Keep your towel completely soaked folding it to a clean area. I suggest a hand towel size.

 

The washing should only be for getting rid of the stuff that happens in the daily grind of a commute. (Anything that has bonded with your paint should be addressed individually after you have dried the surface). You should not press down or scrub the surface. If there is anything that is adhering to the surface come back to it later with a problem-specific cleaner.

 

Step 4: Rinse your car thoroughly.

 

Step 5: Dump out your bucket and rinse upside down thoroughly. Or, if you have 2 wash buckets begin washing from the second one.

 

Step 6: Begin washing from the top and work your way down. Be methodical by washing then rinsing each panel. Save the rear portion for last as that is where there is a gathering of several types of dirt.

 

Note: You may notice that as you wash your car the bubbles in the car wash solution begin to disappear. This is because as the water cools the surface tension of water bubbles increases the bubbles pop. It doesnâ€â„Ã

 

‚¢t mean that the solution is no longer being effective.

 

Step 7: Rinse your entire car again thoroughly.

 

Maintain wax on your car. Good quality waxes will keep dirt from bonding with your paint. The importance of this is not only for protection against the elements but also for making the washing process easier.

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Guest DetailingDude
Originally posted by smoothy@Jan 19 2003, 10:31 PM

You know what, that is fairly close to how i wash my car. wierd... :blink:

Kewl, got tips?

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I do the wheels first(with a separate cloth than used on paint of course), then the roof on the passenger side(I'll admit I didn't wash the driver/passenger doors first to avoid leaning into dirt, but I will from now on ;) ), driver roof, trunk, hood, passenger front fender, front bumper, driver front fender, driver front door, driver rear door, driver rear quarter, rear bumper, passenger rear quarter, passenger rear and finally passenger front door. Whew! Microfiber is great(especially the waffle weave drying towel) and I'll never go back to terrycloth!

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Guest DetailingDude

I like it! I am putting up my updated washing guide later on today once I get it formatted for this site.

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Ill tell ya what I do...

 

I do wash the top first. However, I use a step ladder thingy, so I know I dont touch, my dad told me this a looong time ago, when he made me wash his vehicles :rolleyes: . And I dont wear a shirt when I wash, simply cause you can wash dirt off of your skin, but not out of your clothes, and it just seems smoother to tought the car with your tummy vise your shirt that maybe holding dirt particles.

 

then I wash half way down the car alll 360, then I wash the wheels, with a separate bucket and washing solution, then I wash the bottom half of the car with a third bucket after everything else is done.

 

Then, I chamois the car. After I chamois, I dry the wheels, and then put a shield around the fenderweels, so as not to get overspray, and apply my tire wetner!!

 

Is this okay DD?

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Guest DetailingDude

Yeah, that is a killer method! Except for the chamois.... throw that sucker away!! In a week or two I'll be posting a vid on here of how to dry your car with water. It will make it so much easier and quicker to dry your car, but also reduce the actual contact with your paint so as to virtually eliminate actual physical contact with your paint.

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HMM, how the hell do you do that. I will throw away my chamois if you tell me how to do this.. I plan on buying some Zaino soon, and zaino cure my car, so I needs to know this bit of info...

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Guest DetailingDude

I'll send you a video I did on the process!

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Sounds almost like my method too. I always start with the wheels, I spray them with a soap/degreaser mix and let it set in, then wash the car, then scrub the wheels...and then wash the car again to get anything I missed. I always start at the top. I don't have a step ladder but I can reach the top of my car from the curb on my street to I don't rub on the car. 2 seperate buckets, on efor wheels one for the car. I usually wash it twice, I have washed it as many as 3 times...but that is usually only when it's the first real cleaning of the season. I always have a few coats of was on the car so it only takes a few minutes to wash the entire car. I use one of theose "absorber" things to dry the car. Works really good. No streaks. I useit kinda like a squeegie.

 

 

How about some interior/engine cleaning cleaning tips!?

 

My best friend for this is simple green automotive. You can use it mixed with water to clean your carpets in the car (use a scrub brush). I use a 50/50 cleaner/water solution and a long soft bristle brush to clean inside the door jambs (there are some tough to reach area's and the long bristles make it easier. I also use the brush to reach inside the grooves and such in the plastic trim along the door sills. Get's all the gunk out.

 

Engine is as simple as it gets. Cover the battery, coil pack, and intake (if open element) with plastic bags. Wet engine (light spray with hose...don't spray directly on electrical stuff). Spray simple green right on the engine (cold engine!!) and let it set. Make sure you spray anywhere there are lots of crud buildups. While it's setting you can clean the underside of your hood (if you took off the liner) and also the frame, down on the wheel well, etc. etc. Pay special attention to the top of the strut towers. Those black rings hold alot of dirt. And take your engine cover off! It gets real dirty! Before the engine dries (don't let it dry) hose off lightly again. Take your time, make sure it's clean!!! You shouldn't have to scrub anything. Then leave it sit to dry. Wash your engine cover seperately. After it's all clean I like to hit it with some mothers "back to black." Dry off the rest of your engine with a towel or whatever. You can clean your intake and battery if they are still dusty (which they probably are). If you're real patient you can hit the hoses with some back to black or armor all as well. Engine will look like new. I'll post some pics as soon as my car comes back from it's tranny rebuild.

 

Also it's a good idea to remove the front headlights/grille every few months as it gets pretty dirty under there. And also the rear tail lights hold ALOT of crap behind them. Alot. Believe me... :wacko:

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