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  1. #1
    bennylava's Avatar
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    Two questions from a detailing newb

    1. Is there any point in spraying iron remover on the brakes? Seems pointless to me, but I see people doing it. The rotors just fling out iron constantly when in use, I can`t see how getting the iron off the brake system components is going to help anything.

    2. Does covering the car in that foam actually do anything? We`ve all seen the videos where the whole outside of the car just turns into a foam that you can`t see through. What is this foam actually doing? Are we to believe that it`s somehow doing some of the work for us, and as such we won`t need to put in as much manual labor wiping down the car?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Here are my thoughts to the questions. Probably not the most popular opinion, but hey...we all have them!

    1. I don`t think so. I DO use wheel cleaner on my wheels and brakes when washing, but I`ve never used an iron remover. A good wheel cleaner should get the wheels and calipers clean as long as you keep up with it and don`t let things get too grimy. Not every wheel gets you good access to the calipers, so occasionally it`s worth cleaning them with the wheel off, but again a good wheel cleaner should do the trick.

    2. I`ve wondered the same thing. I think the idea is the foam does break down the dirt and makes the washing process more gentle/faster/easier. I don`t have any shade near my driveway, so I`ve never tried any foaming. Always figured it would dry on the car faster than I could wash it off. I can do a simple bucket wash pretty quickly and haven`t seen the need to foam. I think some folks foam AND bucket wash.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    1. Is there any point in spraying iron remover on the brakes? Seems pointless to me, but I see people doing it. The rotors just fling out iron constantly when in use, I can`t see how getting the iron off the brake system components is going to help anything.

    2. Does covering the car in that foam actually do anything? We`ve all seen the videos where the whole outside of the car just turns into a foam that you can`t see through. What is this foam actually doing? Are we to believe that it`s somehow doing some of the work for us, and as such we won`t need to put in as much manual labor wiping down the car?

    Thanks!
    1. No, just the wheels wells/rims.

    2. I don`t think it does much personally. It was fun the first few times but basic foam as a pre-wash is a waste of time + resources if you ask me. Some people like to foam up there car and then immediately use a mitt. I`m going to give it a whirl soon.

  4. #4

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    1)There`s a product called "Hydes`s"..think that`s the name IIRC (sorry, not running out to the shop to check ) that`s made for this: you spray it on the rotors. I quit using it as *something* messed up the finish of the calipers my wife`s A8, coincidentally it happened when I used the Hyde`s. Never did it before, but *what a PIA*, had to get `em rebuilt/refinished with the car out of action for ages, stored on the lift until they came back. So use at your own peril, YMMV, etc. etc.

    2) That`s not what *I* am after when I use my foamguns, but I do believe that it does a *LITTLE* (OK, very little..) bit of presoak-action. And if nothing else, it oughta impart some additional lubricity. Just don`t expect miracles.
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  5. #5
    bennylava's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Ok well I think that answers my question for the most part, but it does raise another one for me:

    Is there any real way to wash a car that doesn`t scratch the paint? It seems like a power washer is going to push some dirt particles into the clear coat before it blasts them off the car. And of course we all know that wiping a car just rubs dirt into the finish. These both clean the car, but they do some measure of damage to the clear coat.

    Is there any way this can be avoided? Seems like the answer is no, but I just thought I`d ask.

  6. #6

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    It sounds like you are looking for a reason not to clean your wheels or wash your car. Don`t do it if you don`t want to.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Ok well I think that answers my question for the most part, but it does raise another one for me:

    Is there any real way to wash a car that doesn`t scratch the paint? It seems like a power washer is going to push some dirt particles into the clear coat before it blasts them off the car. And of course we all know that wiping a car just rubs dirt into the finish. These both clean the car, but they do some measure of damage to the clear coat.

    Is there any way this can be avoided? Seems like the answer is no, but I just thought I`d ask.
    You will most likely get some wash related defects.

    Thats one reason many folks like to polish/correct their cars every 1-2 years IE a one step or multi step paint correction.

    However, with an AIO like 3D Speed you can probably fly over the car twice a year and not have to worry about clear coat issues.

  8. #8

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Is there any real way to wash a car that doesn`t scratch the paint?
    Sure, mine will pass Dark Field/Point-Source Illumination inspections for years on end, and I let `em get *filthy* between washes.

    Yeah, I gotta do a proper writeup sometime...

    t seems like a power washer is going to push some dirt particles into the clear coat before it blasts them off the car.
    NEVER happened to me. I can see how it`d be possible, but I`ve never experienced it in the least.

    And of course we all know that wiping a car just rubs dirt into the finish.
    Which is why I do the "dislodge and flush" approach using the foamgun. I got by fine for years without a pressure washer, but that does make it all a lot faster/easier.

    "How bad do ya *want* it?" comes to mind though...I spent countless hours thinking on this stuff, and dozens of washes fine-tuning my technique. And I use a gazillon gallons of water per wash, along with over a pint of shampoo total each time. And even after being dialed-in for years, each moment is still *VERY* challenging/demanding as the slightest "oops!" will result in marring. NOT FUN by any means and if I weren`t trying to preserve the current vehicles the way I want `em...well, even I wouldn`t bother. Heh heh, I`m often tempted to lease a white Disposable Vehicle, run it through a tunnel-wash, and never give a [flip].
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  9. #9
    bennylava's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    It sounds like you are looking for a reason not to clean your wheels or wash your car. Don`t do it if you don`t want to.
    lol no I can`t stand dirty cars so they`re getting washed one way or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post

    "How bad do ya *want* it?" comes to mind though...I spent countless hours thinking on this stuff, and dozens of washes fine-tuning my technique. And I use a gazillon gallons of water per wash, along with over a pint of shampoo total each time. And even after being dialed-in for years, each moment is still *VERY* challenging/demanding as the slightest "oops!" will result in marring. NOT FUN by any means and if I weren`t trying to preserve the current vehicles the way I want `em...well, even I wouldn`t bother. Heh heh, I`m often tempted to lease a white Disposable Vehicle, run it through a tunnel-wash, and never give a [flip].
    You sound like the person to ask: What would a perfect wash bay look like? If you were going to build it from the ground up and cost was of little/no concern, how would you do it? I mean what all would you include? I`m guessing it would have an overhead swing arm for the power washer. As well as a drain in the floor. And it would be indoors, so washing in the winter time wasn`t uncomfortable. But what else? I want to build one lol

  10. #10

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    If you wanna get an idea on how accumulator washes his car watch this video at the 8:04 mark. His method is similar but i believe is a little/ lot more labor intensive.

    I alternate from method in video to bucket wash with about 10 wash mitts. If i use accumulator/ video metgod i use 5-7 mitts.

    Audi R8 BLACKBIRD: Basic Car Wash Techniques - /DRIVE CLEAN - YouTube


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  11. #11
    Hooked For Life Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Yep,that`s pretty much the ultimate wash for me. No marring and not quite as labor intensive as I thought.
    Treat it like it`s the only one in the world.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    1. Is there any point in spraying iron remover on the brakes? Seems pointless to me, but I see people doing it. The rotors just fling out iron constantly when in use, I can`t see how getting the iron off the brake system components is going to help anything.

    2. Does covering the car in that foam actually do anything? We`ve all seen the videos where the whole outside of the car just turns into a foam that you can`t see through. What is this foam actually doing? Are we to believe that it`s somehow doing some of the work for us, and as such we won`t need to put in as much manual labor wiping down the car?

    Thanks!
    1. I wouldn`t bother with iron remover intentionally just on the brakes, but I use it on the wheels to help cut through the buildup from the brakes. Mainly when I`m planning on reapplying a LSP on the wheels.

    2. I think it depends on what kind of foam you`re talking about, and for what approach.

    I`ve never been a believer in the YouTube/Instagram "look at how foamy the car I`m washing is!" process of foam the car with a standard car wash soap and then bucket wash it. My detailing brain doesn`t understand what benefit/protection from marring those tiny little bubbles of soap are going to provide when you smash them with your wet wash mitt.

    But, I do see the function when you talk about the Accumulator/Bill D method of using a foam gun (not pressure washer foam cannon) providing a constant stream of water/soap mix on the area you`re gently agitating with your wash media. At that level it`s almost functioning like industrial cutting equipment that has a constant supply of lubrication piped onto the cutting area - providing lubrication as well as rinsing away any damaging debris.

    Also, if you have a soap specifically designed to be used as a pre-rinse foam, I`ve become a believer in that approach. The idea with a soap of this design is that you foam it onto the car, with the foam serving the function of allowing full contact/coverage of the paint and the soap does it`s magic (bonds to/lifts/helps remove dirt/debris). You then rinse it off with a pressure washer and proceed with your regular contact wash regimen.

    I use the Griot`s Foaming Surface Wash for this approach. I bought it for two reasons - Admittedly I`m a large fan of the brand and am prone to buy any of their new stuff; also I was hoping to be able to do more frequent no/low contact washes. To be honest, I bought it highly suspicious about how well it could actually work (see my opinion above...). As it turns out, I`ve actually quite liked it. It`s a pretty gentle soap in the grand scheme of things, so it`s not going to break down heavy road film, but it does work well to lessen the amount of dirt (especially abrasives like dirt/sand) that you deal with during your wash process. When I pretreat with the Surface Wash, the wash bucket has notably less funk in it that it would during a normal wash, or even if I had only started off with a pressure washer rinse (yes, I`ve done comparos...). Again, it`s not a miracle product; but it`s gentle enough it`s not going to mess with whatever LSP you have, and in most cases I`d feel perfectly comfortable pulling the car into the garage and just doing a Rinseless wash.
    I feel like if I had time to use it weekly (I drive 75-80 miles per day), I could probably actually get away with a lot of non-contact washes, but unfortunately I`m just not able to get to it that often.

    (Brief side note regarding instructions for use of the Foaming Surface Wash - you foam the car first thing while the car is dry, starting at the bottom working your way up, allowing maximum dwell time for the soap to get to work. If the car is wet, the foam will just start to run off faster than it would otherwise. You then rinse off starting at the bottom again, work up, and final rinse top down).

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    Ok well I think that answers my question for the most part, but it does raise another one for me:

    Is there any real way to wash a car that doesn`t scratch the paint? It seems like a power washer is going to push some dirt particles into the clear coat before it blasts them off the car. And of course we all know that wiping a car just rubs dirt into the finish. These both clean the car, but they do some measure of damage to the clear coat.

    Is there any way this can be avoided? Seems like the answer is no, but I just thought I`d ask.
    I think that the act of washing the car is largely quite safe if done responsibly. I would be willing to bet most folks induce marring during the drying phase - too much pressure/poor quality towels, etc.

    My thoughts on your pressure washer question - I can see the theory of what you say, but I think in practice it`s highly unlikely you`re going to damage the paint from dirt during pressure washing. I would think it`d have to be a mud crusted off roader to induce damage that way. And in that case, I`d probably presoak the car to help soften it before washing.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    You sound like the person to ask: What would a perfect wash bay look like? If you were going to build it from the ground up and cost was of little/no concern, how would you do it? I mean what all would you include? I`m guessing it would have an overhead swing arm for the power washer. As well as a drain in the floor. And it would be indoors, so washing in the winter time wasn`t uncomfortable. But what else? I want to build one lol
    Heh heh, I`m tempted to say that no matter what ya do, or how much ya spend....you`ll always find stuff you should`ve done differently! But I did get pretty close to my ideal when I built the current shop here at the house.

    Off the top of my head (sorry this is kinda disjointed ), what comes to mind is:

    Lighting (both fluorescent and point-source), *floor drain* (which will require an oil-separator system like they have at commerical places), water and air on both sides so you don`t have to drag hoses around the vehicle. Having a *third* hose bib in the front/back would`ve been good for my undercarriage wand/pressure washer. Lots of electrical outlets with high-amp ratings for things like a pressure washer/steamer/extractor.

    Bill D would add to get some kind of lift, but I never used the one I had in the previous shop so I didn`t do that. If I were doing it over, I really dunno if I`d get one or not...I`m kinda used to jacking them up. Which brings me to having floorjacks/stands on both sides to make the undercarriage/wells/etc. easier to get to.

    Wash/rinse buckets on both sides just like the water/air/electrical...again to avoid dragging stuff around. (With the time it takes me to wash, every second I can save is helpful.)

    Water heater, washer/dryer, HVAC, and a *bathroom* with an RO unit for drinking water. Separate softeners for the shop/house. Nonslip flooring that`s impervious to water, and I went with white walls for better visibility.

    Lots of room! IME the shop is never big enough..."crap accumulates to fill the space available" and all that

    I`d like to have a "big industrial shower curtain" to help contain any overspray, but I`ve gotten by without one for over 20 years with minimal "oops!" episodes.

    That`s probably all the really important stuff...I kinda went nuts on this shop (bigger/nicer than my first house by a long shot) as compensation for my wife going nuts on the rest of the property (Heh heh, OK, OK...can`t blame Accumulatorette...we *both* went nuts on the whole shebang, but this is the Forever Home, at least until one of us dies).
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  14. #14

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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by bennylava View Post
    2. Does covering the car in that foam actually do anything? We`ve all seen the videos where the whole outside of the car just turns into a foam that you can`t see through. What is this foam actually doing? Are we to believe that it`s somehow doing some of the work for us, and as such we won`t need to put in as much manual labor wiping down the car?

    Thanks!
    A few anecdotal notes from someone who has been using a pressure washer & foam cannon for the past 2-3 years and now washes mostly w just a hose at home:

    1. I miss my pressure washer *FAR* more than the foam cannon that attached to it.
    2. When I used the pressure washer and foam cannon I generally only did a 1-bucket wash (heresy, I know ) and never really found much residual dirt on the bottom of my white wash bucket
    3. Using just a garden hose I have moved to actual 2-bucket washes and now make sure to check buckets as each one now needs wiping out/cleaning before a wash. Not a lot of dirt in there but a dark/light film of dirt.

    That`s what I`ve noticed since stopping with the pressure washer/foam cannon. My cars used to see about 400 miles a week and now about 50 miles a week, w little to no freeway these days. Not sure what to make of it all but it is definitely something I`ve noticed since changing wash routines. :shrug:

    Looking to hopefully better `washing days` next Summer I see the pressure washer piece as being functionally advantageous and the foam cannon being an efficiency/convenience item that will speed up soap distribution and insure a little more safety w/ respect to marring. I am far more careful w/ my wash technique now than I was when using pressure washer/foam.

    There will obviously be times where a good soak w foam helps (lotsa mud, bugs, bird bombs...the "why you soak a frying pan in the sink for a bit after cooking eggs in it" scenario`s) but for regular maintenance washes/getting things clean so you can squirt some fun stuff at the paint, pressure washer trumps foam cannon for me.

    Edit: I`ll go back to using both when possible but if given a choice between *only* one or the other, pressure washer gets the nod.

  15. #15
    bennylava's Avatar
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    Re: Two questions from a detailing newb

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    ...
    Off the top of my head (sorry this is kinda disjointed ), what comes to mind is:

    ...
    Thank you for the reply! The reason I`m asking is because I`m actually going to build one about 8 months from now. And I`m not opposed to spending the necessary money to build a really nice one. For me, "nice" just means super convenient. Real easy to do a good wash job with minimal time spent doing it. And hopefully minimal mess. So I`d like to see all this in some form of a picture, to hand over to the builder. I can have someone make the picture/plans, but I`ll need a list to give them. So from your post, the list would look something like:

    1. Floor drain (with oil separator)
    2. Water and air hoses on both sides. Coming from the ceiling for convenience
    3. Ten 70 amp outlets on each side (having extra is good here)
    4. Florescent and point source lighting (point source means pole mounted lights I can move around?)
    5. Nonslip flooring
    6. Size... but how big? Maybe 30`x36` would be ideal? Or 40x40? I wonder how much space you really need if you`re gonna have the curtain.
    7. A huge shower curtain. (I love this idea. It just sort of closes around the car when you`re spraying stuff... correct?)
    8. Plenty of shelving along the walls for storage
    9. Heated power washer on a swing arm?
    10. Water heater (for power washer I assume?)
    11. Washer/dryer
    12. Buckets and shelving on both sides for all wash equipment like more buckets and towels, soap, etc
    13. Jacks and jackstands (yeah i prefer those too as opposed to lifts)
    14. HVAC - (will already have for the workshop area but this car wash may be a different room)
    15. Anything else anyone would add? To make the washes go as quickly as possible?

 

 
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