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Discussion Starter #1
Correct Wash Technique

As a professional detailer, I have seen many many cars with paint defects caused by poor washing by the owner or someone else. When I carry out a detail for a customer or when doing demo days representing Swissvax, I’m always asked about the correct wash technique.

Let’s start with what you need:

• 2 x Buckets
• Shampoo
• 2 x Lambs Wool Wash Mitts
• Sponge
• Hose (with gun attachment)
• 1 x Microfibre (2x optional for ease of use)
• Pressure Washer (Optional)
• Grit Guards (Optional)
• Detailer Spray (Optional)

You want to fill the first bucket with look warm water with the correct dilution ratio for your shampoo and the second bucket with look warm water. Add the grit guards if you have them




To start with you want to rinse off the car, start with the roof and work your way down so the water and dirt is constantly moving downwards on the car. Pay particular attention to the arches/sills and remove as much dirt as possible. This will be easier if you have a gun attachment on the hose and easier again with a Pressure Washer.



With your first wash mitt, dunk it into the clear water bucket to remove any contaminates within the wash mitt. Then dunk into the bucket with the shampoo. Start with the roof in the middle and work in long straight lines from the windscreen to the rear window from the middle of the roof to the edge. Never work down the car and back up or in circular motions as this will cause swirls in your paint work. At this stage you want to dunk into the clear water bucket and shake to remove any dirt from the wash mitt. Repeat the process on the other half of the roof.



Then onto the bonnet of the car, same process as the roof, long straight line from the back to the front of the bonnet. Half way down the bonnet again rinse the wash mitt and again back into the wash bucket and keep going.

Onto the sides of the car, start at the top and one full length of the car and work your way down in steps, once your half way down the door move to the other side repeat the process and the same for the rear. At this point because of the amount of dirt lower down on a car, move onto your second wash mitt and keep going.



Now use the sponge dunked into the shampoo bucket to wash the tyres and alloy wheels and inside the arches, every time it’s heavily soiled dunk into the rinse bucket until all 4 are complete.

At this stage you will notice one of the buckets (the rinse bucket) black with dirt and the other bucket (the wash bucket with shampoo) still clear.



You want to rinse the car, using your hose with gun attachment or Pressure washer, again starting from the top and working down again paint attention to the wheels and arches.

Empty both buckets safely.

To dry the car, fill one of the buckets with warm water again and use the microfibre to dry the car, if it become dirty rinse in the clear water and ring out. If you have detailer spray then use this first before using the microfibre as this will help to disperse the water and give a better finish.

If you are looking for any other help please do not hesitate to contact me

Robert
Prism Detailing
 

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Thanks for the input! Washing and detailing is tough work, I gotta say. Especially for dark coloured vehicles...

So just to verify, are pressure washers in fact safe for paint?? I was told that pressure washers could actually damage paint, if not at least over time... though many people do use them on a regular basis.
 

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Prism,

Nice work - and thanks! Like the bucket trays at the bottom to help keep the grit from returning back on the mitt...we'll have to find something like that!

To JeepNorth's point, what's the suggested maximum psi if using a pressure washer?

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input! Washing and detailing is tough work, I gotta say. Especially for dark coloured vehicles...

So just to verify, are pressure washers in fact safe for paint?? I was told that pressure washers could actually damage paint, if not at least over time... though many people do use them on a regular basis.
Pressure washers are safe to use, as long as your not silly with it.....Dont be too close (within a couple of feet), any broken paint/rust patches may strip the paint.

Maximum PSI is not a question i can immedately answer, but I have seen some industry ones causing damage for example:



Anything sold as for home/consumer should be safe enough.
 

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oh - and what your answer to bugs please for the weekly wash, I can get it nice and clean but then there is bug smears, that's always tempting to go in and scrub at furiously...
 

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so wet n dry not the best then?

I always think that the bug dissolvers will take your polish off too, maybe I'm wrong there.

and their webpage says use a paper towel .. that can't be right on your paintwork surely?

Still - nice little order coming together for a detailing site :thumbsup:
 

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I've found over the years the best answer to this is to have a decent coat of wax well maintained from the start. Back in my TT days I splashed out on a tub of Swissol wax. Best way to apply it (to a perfectly clean car!) seems to be melt it in your hands (no rings) then rub on with bare hands. Let cure, then usual lint free buffing. Meaning to do some pics, so might do a proper clean and wax this weekend when we get home if the weather is right.

First coat of swissol went on with help from 4 year old and some areas got missed :( Still it beaded the rain beautifully today.

Half tempted to wax the back screen, first car in a while with no rear wipe and it's buggin me big time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am asked about removing bugs all the time, even I'm having to do it on a daily basis on my own van, if you wax/seal your car properly the a pressure washer should take it off initially, if not still follow the above steps but instead of using a microfibre to try use a waffle drying towel and quick detailer. With this combination there is no risk to to protection you have previously applied. Obviously the longer you leave it in the sunshine the harder it will be to remove so try not to leave for weeks
 

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Many thanks and a question about dodo juice Red Mist

Robert -

I have to say, I truly enjoy your posts. I find them informative, simple to understand, and without bias.

I have a question for you regarding the RedMist. I recently purchased some (in no small part due to your recommendation) and find the product to be as good as advertised with one small issue.

Is it me or is the sprayer included complete rubbish? I find it difficult to use, and while it seems to mist ok, the action in the handle leaves me frustrated in the least.

Anyone else find issues like this maddening?

And on a completely different topic Go England on Sunday.
 

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Lou, I've been using Red Mist since last summer and I absolutely love it. You'll learn to love the sprayer considering this stuff is so expensive and it gives such a fine mist at a time. Red Mist offers some nice protection as a stand alone product IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Red mist is a fantastic product for protection but the stay heads sometimes gum up :-( if you email thedodo at dodojuice dot com (written so not picked up by web spiders) they will replace it for you. Dodo customer service is definately one of the best out there :)

Regards

Robert

Robert -<br><br>I have to say, I truly enjoy your posts. I find them informative, simple to understand, and without bias.<br><br>I have a question for you regarding the RedMist. I recently purchased some (in no small part due to your recommendation) and find the product to be as good as advertised with one small issue.<br><br>Is it me or is the sprayer included complete rubbish? I find it difficult to use, and while it seems to mist ok, the action in the handle leaves me frustrated in the least.<br><br>Anyone else find issues like this maddening?<br><br>And on a completely different topic Go England on Sunday.
 

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Sorry for bringing this great thread back...glad i use the same technique. One question tho I have is. Is something like AG Metal polish etc ok to use on the aluminium look sill surrounds and on the chrome exhausts?
 

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Not an authority on this but wouldn't use on Alu cill strips as these are anodised. Metal polish is usually an abrasive and you dont want to abrade the anodising.

Exhaust is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As for the sills, I use Brilliant Metal Polish, but only with a cloth, you could use Swissvax Metal Polish as well, they will not cause damage as they are not abrassive enough. On the exhaust what make "that" difference is the use of the steel wool, but thats a definate no no on the sills.
 

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being new to the site , i have just spotted this

this is excellant stuff -- i allways thought i washed a car rather well , but this goes to a new level . if my new RS5 ever arrives i will certainly take the hints and tips

i have shiyed away from a black car for the first time due to washing aggro
and black being (what i thought) the worst for showing blemishes and minor scratches ,

i cant believe somethimes these people who got to these 'eastern european' car washes that are everywhere in Astons . Bentleys Etc , either they are very lazy , very stupid or just plain dont care
 

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Sorry for bringing this great thread back...glad i use the same technique. One question tho I have is. Is something like AG Metal polish etc ok to use on the aluminium look sill surrounds and on the chrome exhausts?
I use shampoo & wax to clean mine and then Fk1000p afterwards to bring them up to a shine.

As a slight deviation to the above I use soft brushes on my alloys, so I start with them due to spray from the brushes. I fill the bucket with shampoo as above, but I then dip in a bottle with a spray head. I then use this to spray the shampoo on to the wheels.

Rest I do as above (apart from the roof) as it’s a Cab! :)
 

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Rest I do as above (apart from the roof) as it’s a Cab! :)
I have planned on doing more "How To" threads and Cab roof cleaning and protection will be part of it as well as many other parts, its just finind the time to sit down and write them. Maybe next week (except for the cab, as need to work on one to take pics of each step) :thumbsup:
 
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