Author Topic: Best way to wash car?  (Read 821 times)

dreamer8887

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Best way to wash car?
« on: January 10, 2018, 05:30:08 PM »
Hello,

Despite being a grown-up, I've only just purchased a car for the first time. Now I need to wash it! It's dusty from a gravel road this weekend, and it also looks (inexplicably) like someone through a tomato or piece of fruit on the back window, so I want to wash it today after work.

This might be obvious to people who've owned cars before, and I have WASHED a car before, just not my own - so never had to buy the supplies. What do I need to wash a car? I don't want to buy things that aren't necessary. What are the essentials?

I have a bucket. Is it necessary to use car-specific cleaning products, or will other household products do the job and save me money/space in the storage cupboard? Can I use a dusting cloth or is there a reason people buy car-specific chamois-type things?

Thanks!

brokescientist

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Re: Best way to wash car?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 07:42:35 PM »
I would recommend checking out www.autogeek.com   I used to detail cars as a side gig... I could go into a lot of detail, but I will save my breath because everything you need and need to know is on that site.

-BrokeScientist

lbmustache

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Re: Best way to wash car?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 07:50:58 PM »
Household cleaners will strip your clear coat or otherwise damage your paint.

Because I live in California, I use a one or two bucket method. This requires only 1-2 gallons of water (seriously) and you do not have to waste water rinsing your car off with a hose or other BS.

I use this product and highly recommend it: https://www.amazon.com/Optimum-NRWW2012Q-Rinse-Wash-Wax/dp/B00GG9FB8U/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1515638771&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=no+rinse+car+wash+chemical+guys

There is the two bucket method (http://www.detailingspot.com/?page_id=15) - I actually usually do the 1 bucket method (same thing, just no extra bucket of clean water) WITH a grit guard even though I know the likelihood of scratches on my paint is much higher.

A dusting cloth will NOT dry your car, a microfiber or waffle weave cloth will save you much time and hassle. The dusting cloth will work fine for the inside of your car.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Best way to wash car?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 09:39:43 AM »
Depends on the car too....

For my volt, I rarely wash it, and when I do I use a pressure washer with a soap cannon.

For my (unmmm) vette, I use the two bucket method with a few extra rinse cycles to avoid any chance of swirl marks. I also hand seal the paint once a year. (Black car)

For any *normal* car, the two bucket method is pretty much the easiest, but I still recommend a good spray down and maybe soap blast if you have the tools.

facepalm

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Re: Best way to wash car?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 06:54:05 PM »
Household cleaners will strip your clear coat or otherwise damage your paint.

Which cleaners, specifically? Dawn dishwashing detergent is a well known wax (but not paint/clearcoat) remover.

To the OP: Is this a NEW new car in brand new condition, or a vehicle with some miles? Assuming the latter, just buy a bottle of Meguiar's or some other brand of car wash soap and follow the directions.

Use two washing mitts--one for above the beltline, and one for below/wheels. The two bucket method with a grit guard works really well. Wash in the shade, not in direct sun.

After washing, rinse, then dry with a good quality microfiber drying towel. Go over your windows and you are done.


Waxing is a completely separate subject and a rabbit hole in its own right.