SO you drive your car… it’s going to get dirty! Even in good weather your car will get dirty. What should you do? I have to be very careful what I write as I’m VERY biased on how this should happen and well most of you just don’t have the time to do it the right way every time. So I am going to try and shed some light on this subject. You spend a lot of money to keep your car looking good and you get it detailed the last thing you want is to waste that money by washing your vehicle the wrong way.
First I will describe the best way to wash your car on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I am sure 99% of you do something similar to this however there are some key things you need to do it write so you don’t remove the wax and or worse scratch and or put the dreaded swirl marks into it. Lets quickly look at what you need. 1 or 2 buckets, a grit guard, a good Microfiber wash mitt or similar, Car wash soap/shampoo, and chamois/very soft towel. Now you have the basics lets use them. So you saw I said 1 or 2 buckets this is where I start to show you were your missing some steps. IF you only have one that’s ok but you need to have a grit guard in the bottom. This adds a 2 inch space that allows the dirt to fall and not get on your wash mitt. You stick you had to the bottom and rub the mitt on it to sort of clean the mitt and by the next time you dunk you hand in the dirt should have settled. Now if you want to do this the “right way” you would have a 2nd bucket to do that cleaning and then go to the soap bucket… yes its an added step but it’s a good step.. and even with the 2 bucket system you will want two grit guards. As far as mitts go I like the microfiber mitts that look like noodles and it picks up a lot of soap and is very easy on the paint. If you get a mitt from a major car care company you’re going to not go wrong. I do like Meguiars as I have yet to have a bad product from them, but Mothers is also good. Soap… really can’t go wrong here as long as its for cars and NOT dish soap. Dish and hand soap will remove waxes that you paid to have applied. The one I uses to use at home is Meguiars Ultimate wash and wax its like $10 at Walmart and not only adds some wax to your ride but it also adds Shine!! And some water repellant to your glass. Just follow instructions does not take a lot of soap in the bucket. While washing the rig, start at the top or roof do windows and hood and trunk. After washing a panel flip it over do the second one and then go to wash bucket. (or water bucket then soap if using 2 buckets) then do the finders top side to doors and finally do the front and bottom side of car and back end of car. Rinse well and dry. (ill cover that in a second or two) If your more like me and want to help the environment you can step it up to a rinse free type wash… everything is the as above other than you don’t need to rinse you just wipe it off. You can find these products on AutoGeek.net I really like the Optimum No Rinse (ONR) and or Meguiars Rinse less wash. Saves a step saves you time and water! So now its time to dry your car DON’T just get a bath towel. Next to Brushes the wrong towel will ruin your paint!!! I like to water magnet that is a synthetic chamois and or a Microfiber Drying towel. SO of all the ways to wash your car the ONR is my pick EVERY time. Here is why. The Polymers in the solution surrounds the dirt and encapsulates it so it will not mark up your paint. And as you dry you will remove the dirt and add a shine because of those polymers!
IF your car is dusty and you want to wash it no need to drag out the hoses and soak the car down… Nope get a waterless wash and a few good microfiber towels. Fold towels in in 8ths and the spray down the panel wipe panel flip towel to clean side and buff to shine, go to next panel open towel to a clean side and repeat till towel in done and then get new towel. DO NOT use a California Duster… well you can once… but they get dirty and well you’re going to rub the dirt all over… your starting to get the point.
Now about what most of you most likely do… even though I beg you not to… BUT if you’re going to go to a tunnel car wash here is what you need to know about those washes, and what is good and or bad… As I know in a pinch I’ve used a touchless car wash. It May not get your car 100% clean it’s better that most. But if you use a touchless on a weekly basis here is what you need to know. They use very harsh chemicals to get the dirt to release from the paint. Most use a high pressure pre wash that has an alkaline based chemical to start the cleaning. Then your car is hit with an ACID… Yes acid this sets off a reaction with the alkaline that actually pulls the dirt out… then one last time with an alkaline to neutralize the acid. Over time this will weaken the clear coat and will dull the pain and give it a faded look. This is still 100x better in my opinion than a touch or soft touch wash. SO IF YOU MUST… use a car wash that touches your car… DO NOT use one with brushes… EVER! So if you pull up and you see something that looks like a spinning hedgehog keep driving! Now if you pull up and the car wash has what looks like chamois hanging down and the car wash is CLEAN odds are you’re going to be ok. But don’t make this a part of your weekly washing. As it will rub dirt on your paint. I would recommend in a pinch MD’s Car wash on Division and Mister Wash, they take great care of their equipment and also Squeaky’s car wash in the valley at the HiCo.
If all else you can call me and we can discuss options for your car washing needs with Mr. Magic. You spend good hard earned money and I respect that so let me help you have every penny’s worth!!