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Safely Washing & Drying Your Car

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  • Safely Washing & Drying Your Car

    Introduction

    Regularly washing your car is the first step to maintaining your car and a crucial part in keeping it in great condition over the long term to stop the build up of contamination.

    Most imperfections like swirl marks, scratches, water spots are caused by incorrect washing and drying techniques, it is important to use quality products and use the correct technique to minimise this type of damage.


    Wheel Washing

    It is best to always start with the wheels, if you wash the paint first then you run the risk of the water drying on the car while you are washing the wheels which may cause water spotting.

    1. Spray wheel with wheel cleaner / degreaser to break down any tough dirt and grime.


    2. If you have an open spoke wheel it is best to use a quality wheel brush to clean inside the wheel.


    3. Clean spokes and face of wheel with a soft sponge.


    4. Rinse Wheel.



    Washing

    Always ensure you are working in the shade and not in direct sunlight. It is always best to start with the cleanest panels first and the dirtiest last, which usually means washing top to bottom. There is no need to "scrub" the paint work as the dirt and grime is only sitting on the surface, a light pass with a microfibre wash mitt or sponge is all that's needed, the less wiping you do on the paint work the better.

    1. The best method to avoid swirl marks is to Pre-Soak the paint with foam letting it dwell to encapsulate the dirt lifting it from the surface and then pressure washing off, this will remove majority of the dirt and grime on the paint so there are less chances of getting swirl marks.


    2. A two bucket method should also be used, this involves having one bucket full of soapy water and another with clean rinse water.


    3. Firstly load the wash mitt or sponge up with soapy water washing one panel at a time, after each panel rinse the wash mitt or sponge in the clean water to remove any dirt and grime before repeating the process for each panel.


    4. Rinse



    Drying

    A Microfibre Waffle Weave Drying Towel is best for drying the car, they are highly absorbent and scratch free. Lightly wipe each panel to absorb the panel, and even safer method is to lay the drying towel over the panel and pat it to absorb the water rather then dragging the towel over the panel.




    Tyre Shine

    Tyre Shine can really add the final touch to your perfectly clean car, and also maintain the condition of the rubber. The type of product use comes down to personal preference - Gloss or Matte. Most high gloss tyre shines will be silicon based whilst the matte finish tyre shines are water based. It is important to not apply too much product as this will cause slinging of the product down the side of the car, it is also best to remove any built up tyre shine from the grooves of the tyre.







    End Result




    Tips

    1. Do not wash the car in direct sunlight – If possible, work in the shade. A hot surface causes the water to evaporate too quickly, which will cause water spotting. It is best to park on a slight incline, this allows rinse water to run off moldings, trim and recessed areas better.
    2. Wash the wheels first – If you wash the car body first, the water will dry and spot on the paint and windows before you can finish washing the wheels. Do not use the same wash water on your car’s paint as you used on your wheels.
    3. Use a car wash shampoo only – Do not use any detergants such as dish washing liquid as these will strip any wax and also dry out the rubber door seals. Car wash shampoos are gentle on the car and designed to lubricate while washing to prevent scratches and contain conditioners to keep a gloss to the paintwork.
    4. Use a quality wash tool – Lambswool Wash Mitt, Microfibre Wash Mitt or Foam Wash Mitt are the safest. These tools have a large number of fine filaments or crevises that draw dirt and grime away from the surface being cleaned into their internal structure. Sponges and washcloths can trap dirt, grit and grime on the surface, which will scratch your car’s paint.
    5. Wash from the top down – This ensures your not working all the heavy grime at the bottom of the car to the top causing it to scratch the paint.
    6. Harsh car washes – Stay away from harsh car washes such as do it yourself car wash bays or automatic car washes, the bristles on the brushes will leave minor scratches all over your paint.


  • #2
    Good write up Scott ...
    Jason & Tracy
    | Phone: 0429 707 066
    | Web: http://www.glossdetailing.com.au
    | Email: enquiries@glossdetailing.com.au
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    • #3
      Thanks mate, everyone has different techniques but it puts the newbies in the right direction.

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      • #4
        Great stuff Scott. Thanks for the write-up

        Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2


        Specialising in high-end detailing for enthusiasts

        E: dansgaragedetailing@gmail.com
        M: 0417 587 004
        W: www.dansgaragedetailing.com
        F: http://www.facebook.com/DansGarageDetailing

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        • #5
          Awesome techniques mate, great write up.

          This should be sticky for sure!

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          • #6
            I'd normally sticky, but there aren't that many threads in this part of the forum. If it grows I might look at stickying a few key ones


            Specialising in high-end detailing for enthusiasts

            E: dansgaragedetailing@gmail.com
            M: 0417 587 004
            W: www.dansgaragedetailing.com
            F: http://www.facebook.com/DansGarageDetailing

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            • #7
              Yes I agree, this is worth a sticky as Scott can add to it or clarify the original post where queries like mine below can be updated if he sees fit...

              A very useful write-up Scott. Thanks very much.

              One question: "3. Firstly load the wash mitt or sponge up with soapy water washing one panel at a time, after each panel rinse the wash mitt or sponge in the clean water to remove any dirt and grime before repeating the process for each panel."

              Each time you clean a panel you rinse the mitt/sponge in the clean water. Do you then replace the bucket of now sudsy water with clean water with each panel you finish?

              Cheers

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stevothedevo View Post
                Each time you clean a panel you rinse the mitt/sponge in the clean water. Do you then replace the bucket of now sudsy water with clean water with each panel you finish?
                Hi Stevo,

                No you you can use the same bucket of rinse water unless of course its getting extremely dirty, any large dirt particles will usually sink to the bottom anyway, which is why a product like "Grit Guard" is also useful.

                If your using a wash mitt its also good to fill the mitt with water so therefore any dirt and grime is getting flushed out of the fibres.

                By the end your rinse bucket will look similar to this depending on how dirty your car was: http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/r...5/Image1-4.jpg (You can see after its been rinsed there is no dirt getting in the wash/shampoo bucket and being put back on to the paint).

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                • #9
                  Finally! Thanks man that's a great start for me and my ride is a Grit Guard essential?

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                  • #10
                    I wouldn't not wash the car cos I didn't have the grit guard yet but it really is a great bit of kit , for two reasons firstly it creates a space at the bottom of the rinse bucket where the crap settles and the water doesn't get stirred up ... it also is good to agitate the mitt against to release the crap ....$20 for a bit of plastic stings a bit but it really is a good idea and should last a lot longer than most of the stuff you have in your Kit......get on it !
                    "The bitterness of poor quality remains
                    long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." -Benjamin Franklin

                    Relax......... I'm from the internet!

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                    • #11
                      Top write up Scott. Clients look at me intrigued when I go in depth about safely washing and drying their cars.. Whats common sense to us almost seems like science to them lol.. I cringe when i see people go straight from washing their wheels to washing the paintwork with the same sponge.

                      My SS Torana doesn't see water above the top of the guard/hatch. Water gets trapped in inconspicuous places even after a blow dry. Obviously this is a rust prevention tactic

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                      • #12
                        That's some valuable infromation thanks for that

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Justo View Post
                          My SS Torana doesn't see water above the top of the guard/hatch. Water gets trapped in inconspicuous places even after a blow dry. Obviously this is a rust prevention tactic
                          how do you wash the roof?

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                          • #14
                            Nice tips in there fella ! Real nice ride also .
                            05 Smoke Met Nissan M/T SER Altima,NismoCAI/CatBack , Dynomax Resonator OBX Headers , RacingLine FSTB& BTD tbi, RedLionRacing Shifter Bushings tbi , EBC RedStuff Pads/ 06 350Z Base Rear Brakes/EBC Rotors , H&R springs & Triple C Camber Bolts tbi , RP MaxATF psf , Motul Brake fluids & clutch fluids , LiquiMoly Motor oil/Wix Filter , Pennzoil Synth Gear Oil , Wix cab filter , Interstate Battery , Michelin Pilot A/S+ ,

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                            • #15
                              Fantastic advice there Scott!

                              Couldn't agree more with what you have listed on the opening post.

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