Car Washing

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monquixotemonquixote Frets: 8224
I know boring topic right...

I'm a bit perplexed about the whole car washing thing.

Up until recently I had two 15 year old cars and as a result I didn't really bother keeping them nice. When I did attempt to keep them clean I didn't have the best time of it.
One time when I took my car to a car wash it didn't really get it clean, another time it ended up stripping a load of the paint off (luckily the owners paid for the car to be repainted) 
I took my car to one of the many Eastern European car washes that seem to be everywhere and they managed to put a bloody great scratch in one of the side windows. 

Now I have a new car and I'd like to keep it in some semblance of nice condition. I have a pressure washer so I could maybe use that.

What do you guys do?
Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • ronnybronnyb Frets: 600
    Bucket of hot water, a cap full of turtle wax wash stuff and sponge. Polish twice a year using a decent make polish.
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2364
    Bucket of water, wash and wax goo, sponge, hose it off.

    If I'm feeling really posh, I'll dry it off with a shammy.
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • robgilmorobgilmo Frets: 1710
    I have a decent car, I usually don't bother washing it, if I do, foam spray, rinse, bucket of hot soapy water and a sponge, wash, rinse, let dry, then wax, or sometimes tcut then wax, fuck all that shit with detailing, two bucket system, blah blah, its a school run taxi, not a 200k supercar.
    My old fanny magnet though, that never gets washed.

    https://i.imgur.com/7AIJcaK.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/Om1787n.jpg

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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 456
    When I first got my car back in August I took it to a local place to have it cleaned inside and out, for £55 it wasn't worth it considering most of what they did I could do myself. Try to wash it as often as I can myself, usually use buckets to pour cold water all over the loosen up dirt/grime. Then fill up one bucket with warm water and the car shampoo and the other with cold to rinse (otherwise its putting dirty water back onto the bodywork). Go over in 4 segments, top, sides then front and back. When satisfied I'll rinse off with cold water. Then dry with a microfibre towel. If I have the time I'll polish it up but the car shampoo has wax in it to bring out the shine a bit.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2148
    Take it to asda, let them pre wash the outside and take it through the car wash, costs a tenner, looks fine, its a lease car!
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  • LodiousLodious Frets: 832
    I always clean it myself using the 2 bucket method and dry it properly. I used Sonax alloy wheel cleaner which makes wheels a doddle. It doesn't take long, maybe 20-30 mins. 

    No car washes, no drive through hand washes, no dealer washes it when it's serviced. All of these things can really ruin the paint on your car. 


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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 13766
    edited April 15
    Rain.
    Anything too stupid to be said..... is sung.

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  • m_cm_c Frets: 424
    If you value your paintwork, never use a brush, as any grit that gets caught in the brush ends up scratching the paint, and you won't know until you see the scratches.

    Best option is to go over it with a pressure washer to get rid of any lose dirt, then go over with a bucket and sponge, before rinsing off. Then add the occasional coat of wax to help moisturise and protect the paint.
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  • RedRabbitRedRabbit Frets: 261
    edited April 16
    Lodious said:
    I always clean it myself using the 2 bucket method and dry it properly. I used Sonax alloy wheel cleaner which makes wheels a doddle. It doesn't take long, maybe 20-30 mins. 

    No car washes, no drive through hand washes, no dealer washes it when it's serviced. All of these things can really ruin the paint on your car. 


    Very much this especially the drying it off if water spots bother you (they never bothered me until I got a new motor).

    Not done mine for a few weeks now due to poor weather and laziness.  If it's nice this weekend I'll be doing a full job of it as well going over it all with a clay bar and finishing off with wax.
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  • Now you're talking my language!! 

    Massively into detailing an thoroughly enjoy giving my car a full on 5-6 hour going over (a lot longer for paint correction).
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  • rlwrlw Frets: 1723
    edited April 16
    Don't stand too close with the pressure washer.................

    Two buckets, one sponge/glove for car and another for the wheels.  Don't use cheap shit car shampoo.

    Rinse thoroughly and dry properly including around the doors, boot and bonnet.  Do not drive it to dry it off s

    Wax, not polish and no cheap shit wax either, every three months if it lives outside.

    Additionally, take off the wheels and clean inside the rims, wax all over, and take the opportunity to clean all the crap off from inside the wheel arch liners and off the brakes and suspension.

    Vacuum the inside, remove carpets, wipe everything down with a slightly moist leather and apply non shiny protection to all plastic parts.

    Clean and treat the leather seats once a year.

    Alternatively, if you want to do it properly.........................


    Save a cow.  Eat a vegetarian.
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  • StevepageStevepage Frets: 911
    Christ sake don't use a sponge.

    Use a wash mitt with one bucket with clean water and the other bucket with what ever shampoo you use. Always rinse mitt in the clean bucket of water so you rinse off any dirt/grit which will minimise scratches.
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  • CHRISB50CHRISB50 Frets: 1935

    Main dealer service. They always clean it. Job done.

    I can't help about the shape I'm in, I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

    But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to

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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6275
    edited April 16
    I almost cleaned out some of the old pasty bags the other day, think that's about as close as I get to cleaning the thing. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2148
    Mine gets a more detailed clean once a body has been in it of course.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 967
    I use the Polish they charge £9 to do the outside of the Kyron and do a better job than I could be arsed to do
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • JerkMoansJerkMoans Frets: 2128
    Generally rely on the elements to sluice off the worst of the grime. 
    Self-confessed Blues Lawyer
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  • jakzekjakzek Frets: 54
    Used to be massively into my detailing, best advice would be to join the detailing world forum. Absolute plethora of knowledge on there.

    But like others have said, avoid the £5 hand car washes like the plague, use wash mits instead of sponges, if you’ve got time use snow foam before washing (highly recommend bilt hamber auto foam), wash using 2 bucket method, hand polish with something like autoglym super resin polish, or if you have a dark car then poorboys black hole is fantastic, then seal it all in with a decent wax (autoglym ultra high definition wax is great and can easily be found at Halfords). Once polished and waxed you should only really need maintenance washes for a good few months (quick snowfoam, shampoo wash and a dry down).

    You can go into a lot more detail, such as claying the car, tar removal etc but it does get time consuming. But be warned, detailing does become very addictive and you may find yourself with OCD rather quick! 
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  • JerkMoansJerkMoans Frets: 2128
    jakzek said:
    Used to be massively into my detailing, best advice would be to join the detailing world forum. Absolute plethora of knowledge on there.

    But like others have said, avoid the £5 hand car washes like the plague, use wash mits instead of sponges, if you’ve got time use snow foam before washing (highly recommend bilt hamber auto foam), wash using 2 bucket method, hand polish with something like autoglym super resin polish, or if you have a dark car then poorboys black hole is fantastic, then seal it all in with a decent wax (autoglym ultra high definition wax is great and can easily be found at Halfords). Once polished and waxed you should only really need maintenance washes for a good few months (quick snowfoam, shampoo wash and a dry down).

    You can go into a lot more detail, such as claying the car, tar removal etc but it does get time consuming. But be warned, detailing does become very addictive and you may find yourself with OCD rather quick! 
    ‘Detailing’?!

    is this something one can do on one’s front drive in a reasonably respectable neighbourhood?
    Self-confessed Blues Lawyer
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  • JerkMoans said:
    jakzek said:
    Used to be massively into my detailing, best advice would be to join the detailing world forum. Absolute plethora of knowledge on there.

    But like others have said, avoid the £5 hand car washes like the plague, use wash mits instead of sponges, if you’ve got time use snow foam before washing (highly recommend bilt hamber auto foam), wash using 2 bucket method, hand polish with something like autoglym super resin polish, or if you have a dark car then poorboys black hole is fantastic, then seal it all in with a decent wax (autoglym ultra high definition wax is great and can easily be found at Halfords). Once polished and waxed you should only really need maintenance washes for a good few months (quick snowfoam, shampoo wash and a dry down).

    You can go into a lot more detail, such as claying the car, tar removal etc but it does get time consuming. But be warned, detailing does become very addictive and you may find yourself with OCD rather quick! 
    ‘Detailing’?!

    is this something one can do on one’s front drive in a reasonably respectable neighbourhood?
    Yeah of course it is. YOu get some funny looks the first few times but neighbors soon get used to it.

    I really enjoy the 'missed a bit' or 'you can do mine next' comments! 
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  • underdogunderdog Frets: 5723
    On one forum I use (car forum) one of the guys is in to detailing in the biggest way. He made a thread of progress on his 20 year old van. The results were amazing, but one of the stages was wet sanding the paint, that must have took some balls.
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  • JerkMoansJerkMoans Frets: 2128
    underdog said:
    wet sanding the paint, that must have took some balls.
    I’d be inclined to use sandpaper, personally, but I suppose anything moderately abrasive would do the trick.
    Self-confessed Blues Lawyer
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  • DeadmanDeadman Frets: 2602
    Most of the above. It also always amazes me how many people don't thoroughly soak the car before taking a wash mitt to it.
    My trading feedback is here 
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  • RandallFlaggRandallFlagg Frets: 5876
    edited April 16
    JerkMoans said:
    jakzek said:
    Used to be massively into my detailing, best advice would be to join the detailing world forum. Absolute plethora of knowledge on there.

    But like others have said, avoid the £5 hand car washes like the plague, use wash mits instead of sponges, if you’ve got time use snow foam before washing (highly recommend bilt hamber auto foam), wash using 2 bucket method, hand polish with something like autoglym super resin polish, or if you have a dark car then poorboys black hole is fantastic, then seal it all in with a decent wax (autoglym ultra high definition wax is great and can easily be found at Halfords). Once polished and waxed you should only really need maintenance washes for a good few months (quick snowfoam, shampoo wash and a dry down).

    You can go into a lot more detail, such as claying the car, tar removal etc but it does get time consuming. But be warned, detailing does become very addictive and you may find yourself with OCD rather quick! 
    ‘Detailing’?!

    is this something one can do on one’s front drive in a reasonably respectable neighbourhood?
    Yeah of course it is. YOu get some funny looks the first few times but neighbors soon get used to it.

    I really enjoy the 'missed a bit' or 'you can do mine next' comments! 


    I obsess over car cleaning, am on the Detailing World forum and use 2 bucket, wash mit, Dragon's Breath wheel cleaner (which is fantastic), and finish with a detailing spray, Bouncers Done & Dusted. I also use Bouncer's Bead Juice sealant occasionally and have been through no end of tyre gels and blackeners.

    It can get out of hand though...I caught myself with some cotton buds cleaning dirt from the corners of the front plastic grille the other week.

    Michael Fish is God

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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2491
    If the muck is visibly thick then jet wash first, in any event soak with a hose to soften the stuff. You can buy brushes that go on the end of a hose for about £10 as a first wash to get the worst of it off but ultimately a bucket of hot soap water and a sponge is the kiddy here.
    Old school soak a chamois leather then wipe over the rinsed bodywork to leave a steak/spot free finish once it dries fully.

    Use a car shampoo not dish soap or anything like that.

    There are a number of modern wax type silicon which are easy to apply and last reasonably well. Or good old fashioned car wax that is an effort to rub on and polish (must be done in the shade) and takes half a day unless you have an electrinic buffer.

    Beware of 'Europeans' washing cars in supermarket car parks etc. They use a mildly acidic wash that take off the dirt, silicon and wax protection all at once leaving the paintwork unprotected. Even traffic grime offers better protection to the paint! They will offer to wax/silicon finish too but it's often badly applied and uneven.

    There are some reputable hand car washes, look for those that are not in supermarket car parks, are  busy all the time and have a lot of luxury cars lined up to be washed, pay for a decent level of finish and you will probably be OK as they survive on reputation rather than convinience.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 11430
    I don't do car washing. Never have. Only interested in getting from A to B.

    The only time I ever used to get a hose on the car is when I wanted an excuse to soak my daughters who used to want to help
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  • strtdvstrtdv Frets: 1261
    Rinse loose dirt off, then a 2 bucket clean using a wash mitt (ideally lambswool) and some Autoglym shampoo, then dry.

    I use Dodo Juice rain repellent on the glass, and twice a year the car gets a "proper" clean which involves washing, removing the old wax (fairy liquid works well for this), levelling the paint (I use a mitt rather than a clay bar), washing again, drying, waxing (and polishing any marks), then sealing the wax. I also use a wheel cleaner on the wheels to remove brake dust and then put a wheel sealant on the wheels, as well as treating the plastics.
    The whole process takes about 10 hours but keeps the car looking good and easier to clean the rest of the year (and makes bird dropping etching less of a problem).
    Robot Lords of Tokyo, SMILE TASTE KITTENS!
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  • DrJazzTapDrJazzTap Frets: 921
    Bucket, turtle wax and a mitt. It's easier to do it in the rain though. 
    I would love to change my username, but I fully understand the T&C's (it was an old band nickname). So please feel free to call me Dave.
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  • JerkMoansJerkMoans Frets: 2128
    You might not ever get rich.
    But let me tell you: it's better than digging a ditch.
    Self-confessed Blues Lawyer
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 7528
    strtdv said:
    Rinse loose dirt off, then a 2 bucket clean using a wash mitt (ideally lambswool) and some Autoglym shampoo, then dry.

    I use Dodo Juice rain repellent on the glass, and twice a year the car gets a "proper" clean which involves washing, removing the old wax (fairy liquid works well for this), levelling the paint (I use a mitt rather than a clay bar), washing again, drying, waxing (and polishing any marks), then sealing the wax. I also use a wheel cleaner on the wheels to remove brake dust and then put a wheel sealant on the wheels, as well as treating the plastics.
    The whole process takes about 10 hours but keeps the car looking good and easier to clean the rest of the year (and makes bird dropping etching less of a problem).
    Fairy liquid?

    FFS... don't let that stuff anywhere near good paint. That stuff kills the top layer of paint.

    The more you *polish* the more paint you remove. Polish is an abrasive and removes a minute amount of the top layer *safely*. However, break through the lacquer and you'll know all about it.

    Therefore, avoid *polishing* all the time (that includes clay bars and the like - they should only be used infrequently), use a proper wax (I prefer proper Carnuba wax - and back in the day, when I was a motoring journalist, I tested lots of different ones... don't be bullshit into thinking that expensive = somehow better at the domestic end of the market) and then you'll not need to wash the car so often.

    That said, these days, I really don't give a shit about the look of my everyday car - life's too short - and so it looks like crap most of the time, until my wife gets fed up with it and takes it to the local Eastern European hand car wash...
    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

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