Car Washing Basics
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Cadillac Detailing and Bodywork - Interior and Exterior including Body and Wheels Discussion, Car Washing Basics in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; ...
  1. #1
    turbomangt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Car Washing Basics

    Here is an article I wrote for a local newspaper, thought I would share it.
    Car Washing/Basics

    I spend a great deal of time helping people with their car care needs.
    The number one question I get asked is about how to properly wash a
    car. Many people are going to automatic car washes these days because
    itís convenient and saves time. The reality is that the best procedure
    and the way to ensure a great finish is to hand wash your car
    yourself. Before I discuss the steps on hand washing, letís take look
    at the different automatic washes and how they affect your car. I have
    had many people tell me their car looks great and all they do is run it
    through a car wash once a week or so. I have also heard a number of
    people tell me they had wheels damaged, antennas broken, outside
    mirrors cracked, and paint swirled from automatic washes. To those
    having good luck using automatic washes, eventually your luck will
    end. Odds are that at some point your car will get damaged. The brush
    car washes come in direct contact with your carís finish. This is how
    swirls occur in paint. The touch-less wash is better for your finish
    and is the preferred method for cold weather washes when you canít do
    it yourself outside. The best solution is to make sure you properly
    detail your car twice a year, getting a good quality paint sealant on
    the finish. Hand wash whenever possible, and only use a touch-less
    pressure wash in cold months. If you clay your car during every
    complete detail, it will be easier to maintain during the cold months.
    (See my web site for how to clay www.perfectautofinish.com)
    When you hand wash always use car wash soap -- NEVER use dish detergent
    or laundry soap. Work in the shade; the sun can cause water spots.
    Use the two bucket method Ė one bucket for soap, one for rinsing. Use
    chenille mitts or micro fiber mitts, donít use sponges or towels.
    Have some all-purpose cleaner on hand for the wheels and tires, Simple
    Green or 409 work well. To start, rinse the car, getting it wet from
    top to bottom. Starting at the top and working with the soapy water
    solution and wash mitt, do a small section at a time, rinsing as you
    go. Pay attention to problem areas that wonít come off with the soap,
    like tar and overspray. Donít worry about those areas now; come back
    to them after the initial wash. Change water as often as necessary,
    depending on how dirty your car is. When you take the mitt from the
    soapy water to the finish, return it to the plain water bucket, that
    way you wonít transfer contaminants back to your car. After you wash
    the entire vehicle, rinse well. Before you get to the wheels and
    tires, you should dry the car so water spots donít occur. To dry, use
    an electric leaf blower and a waffle weave micro fiber towel. Donít
    use terri towels or chamois because they can scratch the finish. The
    electric leaf blower will get water out from behind emblems, trim,
    molding and other areas where water can sit and hide. Next, spray some
    all purpose cleaner on the tires and wheels. Use a wheel brush and
    soapy water to clean tires, wheels and wheel wells. For stubborn brake
    dust, use an alkaline cleaner (see my web site for more info) then
    rinse well. Now go back and inspect the finish. If you see any
    foreign contaminant on the finish, use a small piece of clay to remove
    it. Spray some water based dressing on the tires, stay away from
    solvent dressings. Make sure you move the car up a little to dress the
    underside of the tire. Apply a coat of wax or paint sealant on
    wheels. Keep in mind that it is extremely important to clay your car;
    this procedure removes surface contaminants that do not come off during
    the wash cycle. (for claying information see my web site) Drying your
    car without removing these particles will create all sorts of problems
    like swirls and scratches. If you follow these simple guidelines you
    will keep your car looking its best.

    --

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  3. #2
    dp102288's Avatar
    dp102288 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    Very good read. Thanks for posting!

  4. #3
    SoCadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    Hey...you forgot to mention the Deionized Water

  5. #4
    gary88's Avatar
    gary88 is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    Great article

  6. #5
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    en you hand wash always use car wash soap -- NEVER use dish detergent
    or laundry soap
    ok so this goes against what other people have said, supposedly dawn will break down the layers of waxes and get you back to the finish where as car wash soap is formulated to not break down wax so as to make the wax last longer

  7. #6
    Elvis's Avatar
    Elvis is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    Quote Originally Posted by OffThaHorseCEO
    ok so this goes against what other people have said, supposedly dawn will break down the layers of waxes and get you back to the finish where as car wash soap is formulated to not break down wax so as to make the wax last longer
    Yeah, I'll use Dawn maybe once a year or less, always in conjunction with claybar/polish/wax. I'd never use it if I didn't plan to immediately follow up with a good coat of wax.

  8. #7
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvis
    Yeah, I'll use Dawn maybe once a year or less, always in conjunction with claybar/polish/wax. I'd never use it if I didn't plan to immediately follow up with a good coat of wax.
    ok i always wax after dawn. i only use dawn every few months, when i spend the whole day on the car. other than that i just spray the dirt off, use carwash soap and follow up with quick detail spray

  9. #8
    turbomangt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    Did you notice this pertains to just washing, NOT detailing, I don't like to confuse poeple, down is ok when you are doing a complete detail. this post is for washing only, in which case you never use dawn. Gary

  10. #9
    92EldoTC's Avatar
    92EldoTC is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    i use a pressure washer all the time and recently stopped using the soap cycle.
    Now I just give it a good high pressure blast of water all over the car.
    I then dry it with a chamois and use a terry towel (not good) to dry the rest.
    With the exception of the terry towel, will pressure washing hurt over time?
    Also, where can I get the detailing clay at?
    thanks

  11. #10
    turbomangt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Car Washing Basics


  12. #11
    92EldoTC's Avatar
    92EldoTC is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    ok, thanks

  13. #12
    wjfm1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    Depending on the type of dirt, a pressure washer can push the dirt further ito the paint and possible scratch the surface. The two bucket/hand wash is the preferred method.

  14. #13
    92EldoTC's Avatar
    92EldoTC is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Car Washing Basics

    thanks, i'll keep that in mind.
    usually when i pressure wash it, the car isnt really that dirty, more dust than anything.
    but the two bucket method sounds more logical to keep dirt from going into the paint.

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