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  1. #1

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    I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Hi everyone, long time no see! I used to browse this forum heavily about 12 years ago when I was getting out of college and was doing detailing as a side job. But once I got my stash of products filled up and a full time job, I stopped learning about new products and techniques, and now I feel like I`m off my game, especially after a wash of the wife`s car that left a ton of fine scratches all over the car! I`ve been doing things the same way for a long time and I need to update how I do things. I`ve done some reading of more recent posts, and came across some products that sound cool, but I`m not sure exactly how they work. So I figured I would come and ask for some help!

    As embarrassing as it is to post up here, this is what made me realize I needed help:







    I did all that damage with a single wash. The first wash after I had done a complete polishing and sealing job!!! Argh! We bought this 2007 Infiniti FX35 last fall, and I was able to give it a full detail around the start of the new year.



    Half the reason we bought this was because of the awesome paint color. Upon detailing it, I realized how nice the paint was. In some areas there is NO orange peel, and everywhere else it is very minimal. I was stunned, I haven`t seen paint this smooth and orange peel free in a very long time. So aside from the black plastic parts all over the car, detailing was a breeze and a pleasure. Does anyone know if Infiniti paint of this vintage is especially hard of soft?

    Here`s my technique, as best I can describe it. Please feel free to critique!

    1. Power wash the car with my puny electric power washer, at something like 1500 PSI. I don`t have a soap foamer, because my washer doesn`t support one as far as I can tell, and most of them out there seem to get pretty poor reviews. Is a soap foamer a necessity these days, or is it just one more thing to do with no real benefits?

    2. I have an old wool wash mitt, the kind you stick you hand inside. Since I made my washing mistake on the FX, I learned that wool mitts require maintenance, and I have never done any of it, and likely never will I also learned that Accumulator likes these mitts, but only if you fill them up with the soapy water and lightly wisk them over the paint, letting the suds soak out and keep the surface moist. I have been doing it wrong this whole time, sticking my hand in the mitt and applying pressure. That`s likely the main cause of all the scratches. Also, I haven`t been using the two bucket method, nor have I been using a grit guard. I do, however, spray the mitt very well with the hose and wring it out before putting it back in the soap bucket. I feel like the hose gets stuff off better than just throwing it in a second bucket of just water, but I`m starting to reconsider that. I plan on buying a grit guard and will use two buckets in the future. Do I need two grit guards, one for the wash and one for the water bucket?

    3. I`ve been using the fine blue Clay Magic clay bars for years now, and don`t know anything else. I have a feeling I`m not as meticulous with it as some people are. I will often smush it into a shape about the size of my palm, and use it over an entire panel before smushing it again. I`ve read that some people will fold it over after going like 6". Manipulating my clay isn`t exactly easy, and can tire out my hands, so reforming it every 6" of travel doesn`t seem especially realistic or productive. How terrible of a detailer am I for only folding it over after each panel?

    4. I usually wash the car again to remove the clay remnants, and then move on to polishing. I have a Flex 3401 and a variety of pads. I think I`m pretty comfortable with this aspect of detailing. For polishes, I use Menzerna Intensive Polish and Final Finish. If I`ve never detailed an older car before, chances are I`ll start with a round of the IP on my harshest pad, and then do a round with the FF on a softer pad. The Flex is great, but boy does it vibrate like a mofo and it makes a ton of unpleasant noise when running at full speed, which is where I usually leave it. I don`t have time for slower settings!

    5. I finish up with some Klasse Sealant Glaze. Normally I`ll try to do two coats, but I read someone mention that it doesn`t start to get good until you put down 6+ coats or something ridiculous. I don`t have time for that! I also have some Finish Kare 1000P, which I have been using only on wheels. Well, apparently Accumulator strongly recommends the FK1000P over the KSG for a variety of reasons, so now I think I`ll use it instead of the KSG.

    So that`s it. I`m not a pro doing this every day. At most, the cars get a full detail once a year, and infrequent washes in between. I need to increase the frequency of my washing for sure.

    Since I don`t want to deal with the upkeep of a wool mitt, I`ve been considering a MF mitt instead. Quality and design are all over the map. Right now, the best one that I *think* is best is this $25 Incredimitt by Microfiber Madness.

    Thoughts?

    I`m also considering splurging on a boar hair brush, the fancy one Accumulator recommends.

    But I`m still unclear on the best way to use one. He mentions not using long strokes with it, but I`m not clear on how to do that in practice. Do I need to wipe 12" and then rinse it off completely? How do I avoid scratches when using a BHB without spending 5 hours just washing the car? Part of the reason I don`t wash as often as I should is that it simply takes too long!

    I also came across clay bar rags/mitts, like this one from Nanoskin:

    https://www.autopia-carcare.com/auto...wash-mitt.html

    Given how not fun a typical clay bar is to work with, this intrigues me. Can something like this really be effective and safe? How do you remove contaminants from it during use?

    Last up is the Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine:

    https://www.autopia-carcare.com/opti...inse-32oz.html

    I`ve read the review and product description and still don`t understand what this stuff is supposed to do. I live in Virginia where there are no water usage restrictions, so rinsing the car is not an issue, and is the easiest part of the job. Why do I need this product, and why does it appear to be so popular? I`ve read about people who just soak MF towels in a bucket of this stuff, and then casually wipe the car down with no prep work. How in the world does this not ruin the paint? What am I missing here?!?

    Then there`s the whole development of ceramic coating. I`ve read great things about durability and minor scratch resistance that really piqued my interest, but I`ve also read they can help cause severe water marks if water sits and dries on it. All of our cars are daily driven, no garage queens here. Can these ceramic coatings hold up that much better than FK1000P on a daily driven car that isn`t washed weekly? It seems their effectiveness decreases if the car isn`t washed regularly.

    To sum it up, I need some help crafting a wash technique that won`t mar the paint, but also won`t take half the day. If there are "new" products out there that will help me achieve this, please tell me about them!

    Thanks everyone!
    Last edited by Liz@Autopia; 07-05-2019 at 07:33 AM. Reason: remove outside links
    1996 Infiniti I30, 1998 BMW M3, 2007 Infiniti FX35 AWD
    Flex 3401 buffer, Menzerna IP and FF, FK 1000P, Klasse SG
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  2. #2

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    That "burnt orange" color is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine, GM used it a bit back in 2003-2004 and I would see those cars and think "that`s a cool color". I`m also admiring your garage with the mid-rise lift.

    Things have changed here and you`re going to get in trouble for posting non-Autopia or non-Autogeek links.

    I`ll just hit on a few other things briefly...that marring that you think you got from your wool mitt...it could be from the mitt, it could be from your technique, it could be from drying. Yes, it seems most people have moved on from wool mitts and use some type of microfiber. There are also knockoffs of that Incredimitt, of varying quality.

    Clay substitutes are very popular. You only use your Flex at full speed? I don`t think I have EVER used mine at full speed. As trusty as those old Menzerna polishes are...abrasive technology has completely changed since IP/FF was a thing...lot of good polishes now. Also KSG is pretty passe, but it`s not heresy to use it.

    ONR...if you spent some time here in 2007 you might remember QEW that people would use during the winter when it was too cold to use a hose. ONR came out around that time and kind of changed things regarding these "rinseless" washes, and away from only winter use. Now there are a lot of them and I`d say most Autopians use them to some degree or another. There are a lot of different techniques and permutations, but as far as the "why", it`s just faster and less cleanup, less chance for water spotting, etc.

    One other trend to think about, if you are trying to increase the frequency or effectiveness of your washing, is that a lot of washes today, either conventional or rinseless, are "wash and wax" products, and there are a lot of good "spray waxes" that people use as drying aids or after washing, that are quick and easy ways to protect or extend the protection of your vehicle. The "wax" in these products could be wax, sealant, or coating components.
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  3. #3

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    That "burnt orange" color is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine, GM used it a bit back in 2003-2004 and I would see those cars and think "that`s a cool color". I`m also admiring your garage with the mid-rise lift.

    Things have changed here and you`re going to get in trouble for posting non-Autopia or non-Autogeek links.

    I`ll just hit on a few other things briefly...that marring that you think you got from your wool mitt...it could be from the mitt, it could be from your technique, it could be from drying. Yes, it seems most people have moved on from wool mitts and use some type of microfiber. There are also knockoffs of that Incredimitt, of varying quality.

    Clay substitutes are very popular. You only use your Flex at full speed? I don`t think I have EVER used mine at full speed. As trusty as those old Menzerna polishes are...abrasive technology has completely changed since IP/FF was a thing...lot of good polishes now. Also KSG is pretty passe, but it`s not heresy to use it.

    ONR...if you spent some time here in 2007 you might remember QEW that people would use during the winter when it was too cold to use a hose. ONR came out around that time and kind of changed things regarding these "rinseless" washes, and away from only winter use. Now there are a lot of them and I`d say most Autopians use them to some degree or another. There are a lot of different techniques and permutations, but as far as the "why", it`s just faster and less cleanup, less chance for water spotting, etc.

    One other trend to think about, if you are trying to increase the frequency or effectiveness of your washing, is that a lot of washes today, either conventional or rinseless, are "wash and wax" products, and there are a lot of good "spray waxes" that people use as drying aids or after washing, that are quick and easy ways to protect or extend the protection of your vehicle. The "wax" in these products could be wax, sealant, or coating components.
    Thanks for the reply! I changed my ONR link to Autopia, but two of the products aren`t sold by Autopia/Autogeek, do I need to remove those links?

    Can I ask how you use your Flex? I guess I`ve got more to learn than I thought!

    What are some popular replacements for Menzerna stuff?
    1996 Infiniti I30, 1998 BMW M3, 2007 Infiniti FX35 AWD
    Flex 3401 buffer, Menzerna IP and FF, FK 1000P, Klasse SG

  4. #4
    Administrator Liz@Autopia's Avatar
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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Welcome back! I love the color on that car! As Setec Astronomy noted, the rules of the forum may have changed since your last visit. You are welcome to discuss any products you`d like here, but we do ask that you not post direct links to other retail detailing supply sites. No trouble, just a friendly reminder.

  5. #5

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
    Can I ask how you use your Flex? I guess I`ve got more to learn than I thought!
    I just don`t do any heavy correction any more except maybe on a spot basis, I just don`t remember feeling the need to crank my Flex up all the way. Maybe I have.

    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
    What are some popular replacements for Menzerna stuff?
    Menzerna has some newer formulations, and I think they`ve updated IP and FF (if they still make FF). Anyway, Menz has changed things so many times since PG/IP/FF or FFII was the go-to combo. I think the biggest change since then is that there really is no 3-step anymore, no need to do compound/intermediate polish/fine polish, the abrasive technologies allow you to do no more than 2 steps. This change really started with the "SMAT" technology that Meguiar`s brought to market with M105/205.

    But to answer your question, there are lots of great polishes today. Optimum has a nice line that comes in small bottles if you don`t use a lot. There are good choices from Wolfgang, Pinnacle, McKee`s 37, I guess Blackfire (they have changed the line recently), Jescar (which is made for them by Menzerna), etc. etc.
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  6. #6

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz@Autopia View Post
    Welcome back! I love the color on that car! As Setec Astronomy noted, the rules of the forum may have changed since your last visit. You are welcome to discuss any products you`d like here, but we do ask that you not post direct links to other retail detailing supply sites. No trouble, just a friendly reminder.
    Hi Liz,

    Got it, thanks for the heads up. I changed my email notification settings to "Instantly, using email", and subscribed to this thread, but I`m not getting any emails when people reply. Is there another setting that I`m missing that will enable email notifications? Thanks!
    1996 Infiniti I30, 1998 BMW M3, 2007 Infiniti FX35 AWD
    Flex 3401 buffer, Menzerna IP and FF, FK 1000P, Klasse SG
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  7. #7

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
    Hi everyone, long time no see!
    Welcome back! Since you mentioned me a few times I figured I`d better chime in, maybe something will be useful.

    I too really like that color!

    From what I`ve read here, I gather Infinity paint trends soft.

    1. Power wash the car with my puny electric power washer, at something like 1500 PSI. I don`t have a soap foamer, because my washer doesn`t support one as far as I can tell, and most of them out there seem to get pretty poor reviews. Is a soap foamer a necessity these days, or is it just one more thing to do with no real benefits?
    FWIW, I use a similar pressure washer and I don`t use a foamer and I don`t have problems with wash-induced marring. BUT hey, that`s just me.

    FWIW#2, my wash technique is utterly dependent on the use of a FoamGUN (not a "foamer"). I simply have to use that or I`d do exactly what you did- mar the paint.

    2. I have an old wool wash mitt, the kind you stick you hand inside. Since I made my washing mistake on the FX, I learned that wool mitts require maintenance, and I have never done any of it, and likely never will..
    All I do is make sure it`s clean and I run it through the washing machine with Woolite if it`s not.

    The whole thing with any wash medium is that once it gets dirt on/in it, it`s sandpaper.

    I also learned that Accumulator likes these mitts, but only if you fill them up with the soapy water and lightly wisk them over the paint, letting the suds soak out and keep the surface moist. I have been doing it wrong this whole time, sticking my hand in the mitt and applying pressure. That`s likely the main cause of all the scratches.
    Right. BUT...even using it that way, I have to spray foamgun output at the point of wash medium-to-paint contact or I`ll get some marring. Others do OK without such measures, so I don`t think it`s absolutely necessary for everybody, but it sure is for me. IF you wash tiny sections at a time and don`t let the vehicle get too dirty maybe you can get by without the foamgun, but I`d hate to try that.

    .. I haven`t been using the two bucket method, nor have I been using a grit guard. I do, however, spray the mitt very well with the hose and wring it out before putting it back in the soap bucket. I feel like the hose gets stuff off better than just throwing it in a second bucket of just water, but I`m starting to reconsider that. I plan on buying a grit guard and will use two buckets in the future. Do I need two grit guards, one for the wash and one for the water bucket?
    What you`re doing oughta be OK if you do it often enough, but it might be a huge PIA (and those never last long...you get tired of messing with it).

    I use/like/recommend GritGuards and Cyclones, but IME they don`t work miracles.

    I bet you`re doing areas that are too large, resulting in the mitt getting too dirty before you clean it.

    I do like the 2BM, even though (if I do it right!) my Rinse Bucket hardly ever gets dirt in it (thanks to the foamgun/etc.).

    3. I`ve been using the fine blue Clay Magic clay bars for years now, and don`t know anything else. I have a feeling I`m not as meticulous with it as some people are. I will often smush it into a shape about the size of my palm, and use it over an entire panel before smushing it again. I`ve read that some people will fold it over after going like 6". Manipulating my clay isn`t exactly easy, and can tire out my hands, so reforming it every 6" of travel doesn`t seem especially realistic or productive. How terrible of a detailer am I for only folding it over after each panel?
    Heh heh...I won`t gauge you on the "how terrible..", but I myself don`t clay even a 4" area unless I`m planning on a really major correction. Same as with the Wash Media, once the clay gets something abrasive on it, it`s sandpaper.

    Q: Do you *need* to clay? It`s sorta become "something everybody does all the time" but that doesn`t mean you need to do it. I only spot-clay most of the time, only doing a full-vehicle claying every so many years (and I don`t mean just two or three, I hardly ever need to do it).

    4. I usually wash the car again to remove the clay remnants, and then move on to polishing. I have a Flex 3401 and a variety of pads. I think I`m pretty comfortable with this aspect of detailing. For polishes, I use Menzerna Intensive Polish and Final Finish. If I`ve never detailed an older car before, chances are I`ll start with a round of the IP on my harshest pad, and then do a round with the FF on a softer pad. The Flex is great, but boy does it vibrate like a mofo and it makes a ton of unpleasant noise when running at full speed, which is where I usually leave it.
    FWIW, I can`t finish out well with my Flex 34014, even on my harder clears. I`d at least turn the speed down for the final work, even though I too generally run my polishers fast.

    I don`t have time for slower settings!
    Heh heh, I`d consider a mindset adjustment Some things just take (a lot) more time than we`d like.

    5. I finish up with some Klasse Sealant Glaze. Normally I`ll try to do two coats, but I read someone mention that it doesn`t start to get good until you put down 6+ coats or something ridiculous. I don`t have time for that! I also have some Finish Kare 1000P, which I have been using only on wheels. Well, apparently Accumulator strongly recommends the FK1000P over the KSG for a variety of reasons, so now I think I`ll use it instead of the KSG.
    I`m gonna give you whiplash if I change my recommendation back to KSG, but if your clear is very soft the KSG will provide more marring protection by far than the FK1000P. But I`m the guy who says that KSG only gets good after 4 layers and that 6 is better and that takes a lot of time.

    Note that on the soft/smooth/glossy plastic trim, I still use KSG for the marring protection.

    But OH MAN would the FK look better on that paint!

    ... I`m not a pro doing this every day. At most, the cars get a full detail once a year, and infrequent washes in between. I need to increase the frequency of my washing for sure...
    I could`ve posted that exact same thing And yeah, you should probably wash more often (easy for me to say).

    ..Since I don`t want to deal with the upkeep of a wool mitt, I`ve been considering a MF mitt instead...
    I use my wool mitts all the time but only use my MF ones with a RW (and then only after I`ve otherwise cleaned the car first). MF mitts can retain dirt worse than wool and can even be "too gentle", resulting in more pressure being applied to make `em more effective (result = marring).
    Quality and design are all over the map. Right now, the best one that I *think* is best is this $25 Incredimitt by Microfiber Madness.
    If you want a MF mitt that`d be a good, if pricey option, but you`ll need a few of `em IMO. I really don`t think the mitt material is the problem here.

    I`m also considering splurging on a boar hair brush, the fancy one Accumulator recommends.
    I`d only use a BHB *with a foamgun*, otherwise I fear it`ll lead to things getting worse instead of better. It`s just *SO* tempting to use a BHB the wrong way because that lets you cover ground very quickly. And note that, used *properly*, a BHB is very, *VERY* gentle, too gentle to get things perfectly clean with just one pass, or evey to get things thoroughly clean *at all*. I always follow up my BHB + foamgun combo with at least one additional step (which is basically a whole additional carwash process).

    But I`m still unclear on the best way to use one. He mentions not using long strokes with it, but I`m not clear on how to do that in practice. Do I need to wipe 12" and then rinse it off completely? How do I avoid scratches when using a BHB without spending 5 hours just washing the car? Part of the reason I don`t wash as often as I should is that it simply takes too long!
    To be perfectly clear: I do spend all those hours on each wash, but it`s *NOT* because of the care I take to avoid marring, it`s because I spend hours on aras that many wouldn`t bother with at all. My basic "wash the exterior" part of the wash happens almost as fast as I can walk around the vehicle a few times. (But hey, I`m really dialed-in on my technique after all this time.)

    Gotta use a foamgun with the BHB, or else forget it. There. Awfully unconditional, but that`s how I feel about it. If you`re washing all the time, like every few days, that`d be different, but I bet that`s not in the cards.

    The foamgun flushes the BHB clean while you`re washing, so the dirt gets flushed away. Otherwise it`s the same problem- dirty wash media = marring and it gets dirty the moment it picks up dirt.

    I also came across clay bar rags/mitts..
    Plenty of people love those, but I won`t touch one because I`d bet my life I`d mar the paint. And again, do you really need to decontaminate all that often?

    How do you remove contaminants from it during use?
    Bingo.

    Last up is the Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine
    I prefer Garry Dean`s Ultimate Use Detail Juice. Others love the stuff from Ultima. But I only use such stuff after first cleaning the car the old-fashioned way. Otherwise, I get marring. Others don`t seem to have that problem, but I do.

    .. I`ve read about people who just soak MF towels in a bucket of this stuff, and then casually wipe the car down with no prep work. How in the world does this not ruin the paint? What am I missing here?!?
    I don`t think you`re missing anything. I wonder the same things.."how do they do that?!?" All I know is that 1) I can`t explain the positive experiences that others report, 2) I don`t have those same positive experiences when I try it, and I`m confident I`m not doing anything wrong.

    ..Then there`s the whole development of ceramic coating. I`ve read great things about durability and minor scratch resistance that really piqued my interest, but I`ve also read they can help cause severe water marks if water sits and dries on it. All of our cars are daily driven, no garage queens here. Can these ceramic coatings hold up that much better than FK1000P on a daily driven car that isn`t washed weekly? It seems their effectiveness decreases if the car isn`t washed regularly.
    I think the coatings might be great for your situation, *IF* you can find the right one, and apply it properly, and find the right way to maintain it. Just because I stick with FK1000p (or even KSG), only using coatings for some wheels, that doesn`t mean that the right coating might not be perfect for you...I just don`t know.

    ..To sum it up, I need some help crafting a wash technique that won`t mar the paint, but also won`t take half the day...
    I`m all about using the foamgun (the way Bill D and I use it), but it goes through a *LOT* of water and shampoo, and it does have a learning curve (not like I got squared away after just a dozen washes, not by a long shot). Repeating- That`s *NOT* why my washes take so long, but yeah I do take longer than many if only because ...well... I basically wash the car a few times (pressure washer rinse, BHB + foamgun until it looks "clean", mitt + foamgun until it really *is* clean, and then a Rinseless Wash as my Drying Aid).

    A Q that`s Autopian Heresy: Do you *really* care all *that* much? I bet you could make things quite a bit better without going off the deepend the way some of us do. I did pretty OK without the foamgun, but I did have wash-induced marring. Not awful, but enough that it bugged me. On vehicles that I washed after most every drive (yeah, really ) I did OK, but, well...so what, who`s gonna do that?

    Yikes, this is one *long* post even for me! Hope something in it is of use...let me know if I can clarify anything and I`ll try my best.

    Quick EDIT: Goodness knows how many typos are in the above, kinda rushing...
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  8. #8
    Administrator Liz@Autopia's Avatar
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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
    Hi Liz,

    Got it, thanks for the heads up. I changed my email notification settings to "Instantly, using email", and subscribed to this thread, but I`m not getting any emails when people reply. Is there another setting that I`m missing that will enable email notifications? Thanks!
    I know our tech team has been working on this issue, so don`t worry, it`s not something you are doing wrong. I`ll check in with them and see where we are with troubleshooting on that one.

  9. #9

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Accumulator- Holy moley, you actually took the time to answer all of my questions, you`re awesome! I`ve been on forums for almost 20 years now, and considering how many questions I asked at once, your response is nothing short of amazing. Thank you, it is extremely helpful!

    May I ask what brand of foam gun you use? Does it run off a garden hose or your pressure washer? Also, how are you managing to hold and move the BHB around while accurately spraying the foam gun? I have a feeling a video of the process would be entertaining

    I do consistently and thoroughly spray down the mitt before putting it back in the wash mix, that`s something I don`t skimp on since I know I`m not using the 2BM.

    I don`t clay THAT often, but I do tend to do it before doing any paint correction. I`ve been detailing my Infiniti I30 for 16 years now, so I know the condition of the paint, but on a car I`ve never done before, I pretty much always clay before a polish. But maybe I should be more thoughtful of how much of the car needs a claying before I do it next time, instead of just habitually doing the whole car.

    Could you quickly elaborate on what situations call for slower speed on the Flex?

    I`m glad you share my concerns about the clay rags and ONR wash technique, that makes me feel better!

    Do you still use the Menzerna IP and FF, or have you moved on to something newer and better?

    Thanks again!
    1996 Infiniti I30, 1998 BMW M3, 2007 Infiniti FX35 AWD
    Flex 3401 buffer, Menzerna IP and FF, FK 1000P, Klasse SG

  10. #10

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    I`m looking at the two different foam sprayers for sale here, one that hooks up to a garden hose, and one that connects to a power washer.

    https://www.autopia-carcare.com/auto...cannon-hp.html

    https://www.autopia-carcare.com/autopia-foam-gun.html

    And I started thinking about using each while I was washing the car to flush away dirt. And I thought that it sure would be hard to wash the car and use my power washer at the same time, but I think I could manage the garden hose. The one for the power washer should would be great as a pre-wash, but for a constant stream while I`m washing, I`m thinking the garden hose style is going to be the better bet. How many people actually do the stream of soapy water while washing?
    1996 Infiniti I30, 1998 BMW M3, 2007 Infiniti FX35 AWD
    Flex 3401 buffer, Menzerna IP and FF, FK 1000P, Klasse SG

  11. #11
    Hooked For Life Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    I always do the stream of soapy water from the garden hose connected foam gun. This is the technique I learned from Accumulator. I also wash with several mitts—one per section of the car— about 4 to 6—even if the car isn’t that dirty. This is how I’ve avoided marring for 9 years. I’ve never had to polish my 2010 Accord.
    Treat it like it`s the only one in the world.
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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    I’ll jump in and suggest getting the Blackfire Clay Mitt. It’s good and it’s inexpensive. Just use a good clay lube, Immolube from CarPro is a good one. Don’t forget to use an iron remover before claying, like Iron-X, this will save you time and lower the risk of marring from claying.

    Lots of good new products on the market. Menzerma is still good and one of my favorites. Infiniti paint is normally on the soft side so from the pictures you might be able to just use Menzerma 3500 to clean up those swirls. Check out some of the new SiO2 products like Gyeon CanCoat for your LSP. You will be surprised how the technology has changed.
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  13. #13

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
    Accumulator- Holy moley, you actually took the time to answer all of my questions,..it is extremely helpful!
    Oh good, I wasn`t just wasting bandwidth after all Let`s see if I can keep it going...
    May I ask what brand of foam gun you use? Does it run off a garden hose or your pressure washer?
    The Gilmour Foamaster in your *second* link to the Autopia store.

    Oh man, I simply *gotta*do a proper write-up some day, but it`d be a CHORE and consider that my response yesterday was "just a quick reply" so a "chore" is kinda daunting! Anyhow..

    That`s the foamgun I use. I unscrew the awkward pistol-grip (and throw it away), replacing that with a shutoff valve that I can operate with my thumb. A quick-connect attaches that to the end of my "foamgun hose", which *also* has a shut-off.


    EDIT: So it`s: foamgun-male quick connect-female quick connect-shutoff-end of hose.

    I have numerous spare bottles for it so I can swap them out instead of refilling all the time, but that`s just me.

    I do mix up gallons of Foamgun Shampoo Concentrate: 7oz. shampoo + enough water to make 1 gallon. (FWIW, I also use that for washing wheels/wells/etc. though I might dilute it a little more if I think I can get away with it.) I use the two-three strongest soap dilution settings on the foamgun.

    .. how are you managing to hold and move the BHB around while accurately spraying the foam gun?..
    Awkwardly Seriously, well kinda...it did take me a while to get comfortable with it, but now it`s easy-peasy.
    I have a feeling a video of the process would be entertaining
    Yes indeed, but don`t hold your breath

    Quick version of technique:

    -Spray foamgun output on panel
    -Hold foamgun in one hand, wash medium in the other
    -Spray foamgun output at point of medium-to-paint contact, preferably just ahead of the medium
    -Move wash medium in short, jiggling motions while spraying, maybe move the foamgun nozzle up/down the wash medium to keep it uniformly soaked
    -Stop frequently to rinse and gauge progress; maybe the foamgun will flush all the dirt away so you won`t have to rinse out the wash medium, maybe it won`t, adjust technique accordingly

    I`d much rather do many *very gentle* passes than fewer more aggressive ones. With Infinity clear trending soft, I`d do that with yours too.

    Yeah, there`s an element of "rub stomach, pat head" moving both arms in slightly different ways. But I`m not, IMO, abnormally (un)coordinated and I do think that it`s easy enough to get comfortable with if you stick with it for a little while. Especially if you *force yourself* to go slowly and carefully while getting used to it.

    I do consistently and thoroughly spray down the mitt before putting it back in the wash mix, that`s something I don`t skimp on since I know I`m not using the 2BM.
    Right, and I for one won`t say that`s wrong/better/worse. All a matter of whether it works the way you do it. With the BHB, *and my boosted water pressure* (not sure how necessary that is), I find that the BHB + foamgun output basically self-cleans to where I seldom even need to rinse it out. Then after that gets the "big stuff" off, following up with the mitt + foamgun can kinda do the same thing (although I do rinse it out pretty often just to be on the safe side). Maybe it`ll work that way for you and you can go fast, maybe it *won`t* work and you`ll have to stop and rinse out the wash medium...just have to see how it goes.

    I don`t clay THAT often, but I do tend to do it before doing any paint correction. I`ve been detailing my Infiniti I30 for 16 years now, so I know the condition of the paint, but on a car I`ve never done before, I pretty much always clay before a polish. But maybe I should be more thoughtful of how much of the car needs a claying before I do it next time, instead of just habitually doing the whole car.
    OK, that all sounds good to me. If you`re not really worried about a little extra marring on those others, then the Clay Substitutes like rlmccarty2000 recommended might be perfect for you. On *yours* I`d be more gentle and only do such stuff if it`s really necessary.

    If you get your wash squared away, maybe you can be like Bill D and me and basically not have to polish any more!

    Could you quickly elaborate on what situations call for slower speed on the Flex?
    TBH, I don`t turn mine down. I found that it did finish out a *little* better when the Final Polishing was done at a lower speed, but just not as well as my other polishers. IF the Flex 3401 is all you have, then I`d try using a lower speed for the final work.

    But hey, if you`re OK with how it finishes out for you, then never mind what I think or do, just keep doing what works for you

    I`m glad you share my concerns about the clay rags and ONR wash technique, that makes me feel better!
    I`m sure others do fine, but I gotta go by my experiences. And I`m not gonna struggle to master anything that requires a lot of work to get squared away...that`s not "Accumulator-proof" IMO and there are plenty of approaches that *are* Accumulator-proof.

    Do you still use the Menzerna IP and FF, or have you moved on to something newer and better?
    You must be thinking of somebody else, I`m not a Menzerna fan, in fact I utterly *hate* a few of their polishes. I`m almost exclusively all about non-diminishing abrasives these days, or the "smart technology abrasives" or whatever they call `em. Stuff you don`t have to "work until it breaks down". And stuff that`s not too oily the way Menzerna and many Meguiar`s polishes are.

    I`m using Meguiar`s M101 for my aggressive stuff and HD Polish for my milder work. IF replacing them today, I`d probably lean towards Griot`s stuff instead.

    Hope something in this reply was useful too.
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  14. #14

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I always do the stream of soapy water from the garden hose connected foam gun. This is the technique I learned from Accumulator. I also wash with several mitts—one per section of the car— about 4 to 6—even if the car isn’t that dirty. This is how I’ve avoided marring for 9 years. I’ve never had to polish my 2010 Accord.
    Good idea, I`ll order a few extra mitts so I can use multiple while doing one car. That`s amazing you haven`t needed to polish in 9 years, congrats! Maybe with a little work I can achieve something similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarthy2000
    I’ll jump in and suggest getting the Blackfire Clay Mitt. It’s good and it’s inexpensive. Just use a good clay lube, Immolube from CarPro is a good one. Don’t forget to use an iron remover before claying, like Iron-X, this will save you time and lower the risk of marring from claying.

    Lots of good new products on the market. Menzerma is still good and one of my favorites. Infiniti paint is normally on the soft side so from the pictures you might be able to just use Menzerma 3500 to clean up those swirls. Check out some of the new SiO2 products like Gyeon CanCoat for your LSP. You will be surprised how the technology has changed.
    I`ve had a bottle of spray-on Iron-X for years now, and keep forgetting to use it. Next time!
    1996 Infiniti I30, 1998 BMW M3, 2007 Infiniti FX35 AWD
    Flex 3401 buffer, Menzerna IP and FF, FK 1000P, Klasse SG

  15. #15

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    Re: I`ve been gone for 10+ years, what`s new?! Need some help with wash technique...

    Accumulator:

    Thanks for the explanation on your foam gun setup. I`ll try it out as-is and see how it suits me. Your thumb operated lever sounds interesting. Got a link for it, or a pic of your setup?

    The concept of polishes being oily is tough for me to wrap my head around. Is that a remnant of "old technology" polishes? A way to improve the finish?

    I take it the M101 is not oily like other Meg`s products?
    https://www.autogeek.net/meguiars-m1...-compound.html

    And by HD polish, you mean this 3D HD stuff?
    https://www.autogeek.net/3d-hd-polish.html

    As far as the Griot`s stuff goes, I found a couple options, but I`m not sure how they compare to my IP and FF.

    Complete Compound:
    https://www.autogeek.net/griots-gara...-compound.html

    Complete Polish:
    https://www.autogeek.net/griots-machine-polish-2.html

    Boss Fast Correcting Cream:
    https://www.autogeek.net/griots-boss...ing-cream.html

    Which two should I get? Is the Boss FCC as special as they make it out to be? Why the preference switch to Griot`s?

    My biggest complaint about the Menzerna stuff is the dusting. I hate all that dust! I also wish it were easier to remove. I remove my polish by hand. Should I be using a machine, and if so, with which pad? Is it true that the 3D HD is actually almost dust free? How about the M101?

    Yes, that post was helpful too Thank you all very much!
    1996 Infiniti I30, 1998 BMW M3, 2007 Infiniti FX35 AWD
    Flex 3401 buffer, Menzerna IP and FF, FK 1000P, Klasse SG

 

 
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