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  1. #1

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    Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Hi all, looking for some advice.
    I have 4 cars I like to keep clean and no time to do it. My routine right now is...
    once a month:
    -Vacuum
    -Wipe down leather and dash with a damp microfiber
    -Clean glass
    -Wash & dry, double bucket of course
    -Scrub wheels & tires with left over soap and dedicated wash mitt.
    -Spray wax paint

    I do this once a month for all 4 vehicles. Is this enough? Should I add anything critical to the routine? I`m all about the 80/20 rule here.

    2 cars are garage kept, the other 2 sit outside.

    Thanks


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  2. #2

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Three suggestions:
    1) Use an quick interior detailer like Meg`s Quick Interior Detailer spray (available over-the-counter at Walmart) or better, Nextzett (formerly Einszett) Cockpit Premium Spray cleaner for interior wipe-downs, including leather. Just remember to spray it on an applicator (Cotton cloth or microfiber cloth) OUTSIDE the interior and not directly onto a surface.
    2) For vehicles parked outside 24/7 (un-garaged for the most part), use a long-lasting wax like Collinite 476S or Finish-Kare`s FK1000P Hi-Temp (Sometimes referred to as Great White) wax. Yes, it`s a lot of work to hand-wax a vehicle, depending on size, BUT if you do this twice a year (early spring & late fall), your clear-coat (assuming they are vehicles less than 20 years old and not white Toyota`s, because older vehicles & white Toyota`s MAY have single-stage paint and NOT be clear-coated) will last (IE, not be as susceptible to clear-coat failure from sun oxidation or acid rain/environmental fallout) much (as least in my opinion) longer than with spray waxes.
    3) When washing using a 2-bucket method, try using an electric leaf-blower to blow off excess water after final rinse. Just be careful you do not touch the vehicle surface with the nozzle end OR that you have used the blower as a vacuum to suck up lawn grass or leaf debris, if the blower can be used as such.
    Gas-powered blowers COULD be used, but they are heavy and difficult to hold up to the roof of a vehicle. Getting water out of "inaccessible areas", like side mirrors, gas filler door/lid, side trim moldings, front egg-crate grills and headlight/fog lamp gaps, door jam gaps, and wheel rim spokes and lug-nut holes are a real time-saver.


    In an effort to reduce water spotting, wash the vehicle body (side panels, front grill/bumper, back bumper, and windows) exterior and door jams first and dry. THEN wash the wheels (tires and rims) and wheel wells next, rinse and dry ONE AT A TIME (remember leaf blower suggestion). This is especially true on warm, dry, windy days. You may even need to find yourself doing the top (roof, windows, and hood) FIRST, then having to rinse and dry them, THEN do the rest of the vehicle`s sides NEXT and door jams after that, then finish with wheels. I find that if you wash,rinse and dry too fast of an entire vehicle to prevent water spotting, you will miss MAJOR dirty areas. If the vehicle is REALLY dirty,(like from an off-road or dirt road excursion) you may need to wash the sides and wheels first and throw-out-and-refill the bucket wash soap-n-water and bucket rinse water frequently.

    Best suggestion? Get a gas small engine-powered pressure washer and foam gun. Your washing/cleaning of four vehicles on a (very) regular basis would greatly benefit that and the time you save and thoroughness of vehicle cleaning will pay for itself, not to mention the other household tasks the power pressure washer could be used for (like brick/vinyl house siding or glass windows, cement driveways/walkways, lawnmowers, and boats/4-wheelers/trailers/RVs). It`s also a nice "bartering chip" to use with neighbors for borrowing their tools or utilizing their services for "free".
    GB detailer
    Likes trashmanssd liked this post

  3. #3

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    RandomHero- IMO you could drive yourself nuts wondering "should I do more?" but you can only do what you can and life`s a matter of prioritizing.

    While I basically echo Lonnie`s suggestions, and I`m the *last* guy to say how to speed things up, my Big Q is: do you notice anything issue(s) that make you think something needs changed?
    Likes trashmanssd liked this post

  4. #4
    Ummm.... Ya..... TroyScherer's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomhero View Post
    once a month:

    -Vacuum
    -Wipe down leather and dash with a damp microfiber
    -Clean glass
    -Wash & dry, double bucket of course
    -Scrub wheels & tires with left over soap and dedicated wash mitt.
    -Spray wax paint

    I do this once a month for all 4 vehicles. Is this enough? Should I add anything critical to the routine? I`m all about the 80/20 rule here.

    2 cars are garage kept, the other 2 sit outside.
    Your process looks good and if you are happy with it then keep on going. I will touch on each of your items just to give you a little different opinion.


    -Vacuum:
    I don`t do this monthly. If you need to then I would; but I use rubber matts and so I don`t need to vacuum every month. I average every other month or so. I base it on how it looks and if it needs it.

    -Wipe down leather and dash with a damp microfiber:
    There are multiple options and prodcuts you can use. I ahve Meg`s QID which can be picked up online or locally. It cleans and protects in 1 step. Another option and one that I like if you are trying to minimize prodcuts and steps is the use ONR at the normal wash dilution. If you are using ONR as your car wash this make this step easier.

    Clean glass:
    I am crazy and I clean my glass multiple times a week or as needed. I might be a little OCD about clean glass but haze and even bug splatter on the glass really "bugs" me.

    -Wash & dry: 2 bucket of course
    Wash and dry can be the most time consuming at times. A good wash mitt, drying towels, and process will always help.

    Another option though is to go to more of a rinse-less washing usng ONR or many other rinse-less products. I have started using a modified version of this process depending on how dirty the vehicle is. When doing the rinse-less method I like the multi-towel method so I am always using a fresh clean towel. Doing a rinse-less method takes some time to get use to but I can now washa car in 3/4- 1/2 the time depending on what I am doing.

    -Scrub wheels & tires:
    Are you using any kind of wheel protection? Using a sealant or coating to protect the wheels will make it even easier to clean and thus saving you more time long term. I use a lot of coatings but even a spray sealant like CarPro Reload works well

    -Spray wax:
    What spray wax / protection are you currently using? I really like Optimum Car Wax and Sealanats like CarPro Reload.They are easy to apply can last 2-3 months and make touching up and protectiting a vehicle super easy.


  5. #5

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Hey Lonnie I just bought a 2017 white high lander how can I tell whether it has clearcoat or not

  6. #6
    trashmanssd's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishroes View Post
    Hey Lonnie I just bought a 2017 white high lander how can I tell whether it has clearcoat or not
    Dark colored towel (or pad if you have a polisher) and some polish or compound and do a test spot and see if you get white transfer to the towel. If you get transfer you have single coat paint if you dont get color transfer then you should have base coat with clear cot over it. i beat you to it lonnie

  7. #7

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    I just polished it with pc and 2 coats of powerlock. White pad for polish. Should`ve used the black one

  8. #8

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    On the sticker there was a $250 charge that said special paint. I assumed that was for the metal flake I thought all new cars had clear coat on them from factory but there`s my mistake, thinking again��

  9. #9

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    Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Wow Guys thanks for the replies!

    Lonnie -
    I enjoyed using the Megs QID awhile ago. It gave a nice clean feel, product was OTC, and smelled good. I tried the new Ultimate QID and i dont like it on the dash. How would this work on leather? Personally I dont like any shine greasiness to an interior, so i started just using plain water. I think I`ll go back to the QID. But before I buy some, how is the new Mother`s Speed Interior Detailer? I`ll give the leaf blower trick a try, especially on my car with the Chrome wheels. I`ll try the dry as you wash method too.

    Accumulator - One thing I don`t like is the leather in my C6 Corvette. The seats don`t slide very easily making it noticeably harder to get in and out of the car. Should I be using a leather conditioner on this? As stated above I do not like any slick, greasy or shiny interior products. Something that adds some "softness and smoothness" to the leather without the Greasy feel. Perhaps Mother`s VLR?

    Thanks for the comments Troy, Ive looked at ONR for some winter cleanings in the garage!

  10. #10
    Ancient_1's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    I use Gyeon leather coating on my car seats. I don`t know if it makes it softer but does make it much easier to get in when I slide my old fat a$$ past my side bolster. The leather in my seats is plenty soft so making it softer is not a concern of mine, just the wear on the bolsters is.



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  11. #11

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Your highlander is blizzard pearl paint it is clear coated no worries


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  12. #12

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    I too like the Gyeon leather products !


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  13. #13

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Glad to hear that. Thanks Matt

  14. #14

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Quote Originally Posted by trashmanssd View Post
    Dark colored towel (or pad if you have a polisher) and some polish or compound and do a test spot and see if you get white transfer to the towel. If you get transfer you have single coat paint if you dont get color transfer then you should have base coat with clear cot over it. i beat you to it lonnie
    Yes, you did!
    The rubbing with a polish and seeing if any pigment transfers to a cloths or foam pad is a pretty fool-proof method for determining if a paint is single-stage (no clear coat) or clear-coated for ANY color.


    Seems to be a lot of discussion about Toyota white vehicles being single-stage or clear-coated. Would asking a Toyota dealership`s Body Repair/Paint department be a good resource for a particular vehicle?


    I do know that white single-stage paints use titanium dioxide as it`s pigment for that color and being made from titanium, it can (and is) a somewhat harder paint, meaning it will resists swirls more easily than some "soft" pigments. This also makes it more difficult to correct when compounding and polishing. While white tends to "hide" swirls and marring, it`s probably there if you look closely in the right light and at a certain angle. Correcting white single stage can be "challenging" without the proper machine, pads, and compounds and polishes, not to mention detailer methodology in applying said items. However, white is one of those colors, when it`s clean, looks SO pristine on a vehicle and makes smaller vehicles look larger than they really are.
    (More than you really wanted to know...)
    GB detailer

  15. #15

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    Re: Lots of cars to clean and little time!

    Do you wash all four at the same time? If so using a power washer and air dryer is going to save you a considerable amount of time. With a power washer, you can safely knock off all the abrasive dirt off the car quickly. Then you can be quite a bit more sloppy about your wash technique and/or use a single bucket.

    I personally like to do the wheels on a car first. The wheels, tires and the wheel wells take about as long to wash as the rest of the car. Especially when its hot out, that means the rest of the paint is drying and getting water spots on it IF I wash that first. If I wash the wheels first, that isn`t an issue.

    Using a leaf blower to dry the cars is going to save you considerable time when it comes to drying, especially all the nooks and crevices, and wheels! Depending on your wax/coating, you actually can get away with blowing the car off and then spray waxing to get the last few droplets of water off.

 

 
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