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!!
Dogs… Dogs….Dogs… we all love our dogs… And for you cat people, Cats too. We cater to them love them and yep Take them everywhere! Most of us just let them load up in the car or truck and you’re off. But this is not only unsafe for you and your dog but makes a heck of a mess in your car. If you’re going to take your beloved pet with you place them in a crate. This will keep them in a safe location that can be buckled down so in case of an accident they will not fly around your cab and get hurt or killed. Also will keep them off of you while you drive thusly keeping you from getting in an accident. But the best reason for using a crate is keeps your car clean!!
So you decide to just let your dog sit on the seat next to you or in the back seat with the window down with its head hanging out, and loven life. Here are thing you are going to want to do so you don’t have a huge mess and or damage to your vehicle after taking your little friend out for a drive.
First thing is wipe down the windows from the nose prints and or slobber. Its not going to hurt the glass but it does look gross! Speaking of Slobber you will want to wipe that off the door panels and seats. Yes this can stain the plastics and or leather in your car. Saliva has acids in it and can leave Permanent discoloration to your interior parts. Second is vacuum out your car so the hair won’t work its way into the fabric of the seats and carpet. This will also get rid of any dander that is in the car creating a healthier environment for you and passengers. Also make sure any dog food gets picked up as this attract rodents!
Now what to do if you have hair that will NOT come out. This is where it gets tricky and why most details charge extra to remove it. So ill go over from the least aggressive to last resort. First just rub your hand over the carpet in short quick strokes. Make a pile and vacuum it up. If that does not do it try putting on a rubber glove and do the same thing. The rubber glove works great and will allow you to get hair out of areas that are too tight for your vacuum as well as the open areas where the little suckers just will not come out. You can also buy a rubber comb. They do work but I personally feel the rubber glove works just as well if not better. Just like the glove you will want to use short quick strokes to grab and pull the hair lose. If those don’t work this is the last resort and does work but can cause some damage. They make dog hair removal bricks. Some, like the one I use look like lava rock but are made of a glass composite and you can find them on Amazon or my favorite store Autogeek.net. If you don’t want order one you can get a BBQ cleaning brick. It’s a pumas like stone that you can cut down to a workable size. The down side to a BBQ brick is it smells like sulfur and will leave some of the brick behind as it will crumble as you use it. Either one you use will shave some of the fabric as you use it, and you will not want to touch any plastic as it will damage it. Make small strokes and vacuum it as you go. It’s a slow process but it can be done.
But do you and your car a favor. Just leave your pet at home. Its just better for everyone.
I am sure I am behind the times, and maybe no one even reads blogs anymore… but this is mine and I hope that at least once a week, maybe more I will add things to this about detailing and car care. We spend a lot of money buying cars, and well we need to spend money to keep them running and looking good so when the time comes we can sell them and get the most back that we can. My hope is that readers of my blog will get some helpful information that will not only help them save money but maybe help with some DIY things as well. Other times I may post just about things I come across that makes my job interesting and other crazy things in the life of a detailer…
Feel free to ask questions about Detailing and car care and I will do my best to answer them for you... Thank you for reading... I'm sure they will get better as time goes on....
Together we can make the world a Shinny Place to live!