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  1. #1
    RedOak's Avatar
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    Smile Getting initiated properly?

    Hello to the board!

    I used to work for a fairly good size GM/Pontiac/Buick dealership back in the late 70s ... and, yep, I did what they called "detailing" to get those nice new cars -- like the Trans Ams -- looking as good as the one that The Bandit drove all those years back. Obviously, things have changed -- especially the cars themselves -- and I`m now [seriously] scratching my head when it comes to taking good care of our vehicles.

    It wasn`t so bad until recently, though. Why? Because we recently added a new `19 Subaru Outback to the family and, quite frankly, that nice-looking [semi-metallic] black paint job surely scratches easily! We`ve had a couple of black vehicles before, but, man, these new paint jobs seem to require some serious babying.

    With that in mind, I thought that I`d ask about how we might be able to employ our professional high-pressure gas-powered pressure washer for taking care of our vehicles [please read: without] actually touching the vehicles?

    I`ve seen all manner of videos and read all manner of text about how to wash a black car, but I haven`t really been able to find credible advice on using a high-pressure-washer to take care of vehicles without damaging them. Regardless, I`ve seen what I`ll call a "foam cannon" to apply foaming wash products to a painted surface, but do they require a low-pressure-washer to function properly?

    In short, we need a serious primer on how to go about washing our black vehicles -- I also have a nice black truck -- without scratching the [insert expletive here] out of them.

    Thanks very kindly for your time ~ Red
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  2. #2

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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    RedOak- Ah, I decided to hop back online just in time to see your "check out this thread.."

    Heh heh, small world...I too worked in New Car Prep back in the `70s, and my first New Car was a `77 TA...black of course. That GM lacquer was softer than I`d expect your Subie to be! (OK, I haven`t had a Subaru for ages, but mine weren`t all *that* soft..)

    Note that I figure "Clearcoat is clearcoat" no matter what color basecoat it`s over. Black just shows flaws more readily than lighter colors. Sorry, guess that`s not helpful

    The Home Touchless will probably only get you so far...at some point you`ll need mechanical agitation to truly get things clean, at least without using harsh chemicals. (IMO..noting that I`ve never used one!...the Foam Cannon/Lance approach would be a disappointment for this reason, but see what others who use them regularly say.) But yeah, a pressure washer is great for the initial work, "getting the big stuff off". I myself am doing well with a *really* cheap/weak electric one (despite past experience with potent ones, including gas-powered). With a good LSP on there, you don`t need a lot of pressure to get that big stuff off.

    If you want to investigate the Home Touchless more (hey, maybe it`ll work great and you can prove me wrong! ), see what you can turn up about the system from Griot`s Garage. I`m still certain you`ll need to do some touching, but that`d be worth looking into, and it uses a fairly mild pressure washer too (if you buy the whole system from Griot`s).

    Here`s the underlying issue: there`s dirt on the paint. That dirt is probably abrasive. If you apply pressure to the dirt (i.e., via some Wash Medium like a mitt), and then move that dirt under pressure (moving the mitt across the panel), the result will be marring. How to avoid that?!? That`s what you`re thinking the Touchless will do..maybe it will, at least to some extent.

    Sorry, no time to post what I do at present, but that`s the thing to sort out. (Regulars here know I`m forever failing to put together a proper write-up of how I wash...which would probably be in that "too extreme" category for most people, although at least two others here are using a variation on my theme with good results.)
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  3. #3
    Hooked For Life Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    Waiting for Accumulator to elaborate on his wash method will be worth it. I use a variant of it and have enjoyed not even having to polish my daily driver in nine years!
    Treat it like it`s the only one in the world.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    There`s no such thing as too extreme, one time I did a waterless wash on my car, which was too dirty for a waterless wash. And I seriously used 28 Eagle Edgeless Microfibers. On a Saturn Sky Redline (small car) 28 towels! And I folded and used all 8 sides, so that was 224 4x4 towels.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Waiting for Accumulator to elaborate on his wash method will be worth it...
    Heh heh...maybe. But I don`t want people holding their breath

    A few times I`ve gone over it pretty well, wish I could find those posts and just cut/paste something... (latest excuse: Accumulatorette is visiting the in-laws over the Holiday Weekend, and that leaves me stretched pretty thin).
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  6. #6

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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    Quote Originally Posted by quebert View Post
    There`s no such thing as too extreme...
    I can`t help but chuckle over that, given my inability to wash in under 5 hours even though I`m extremely efficient (redundant systems on each side of washbay so I don`t waste time moving buckets/hoses) and never waste a moment

    OK, OK..the "basic wash" doesn`t take me all that long, but washing the whole vehicle to my satisfaction sure does.

    Quebert- If I just *had to* do a purely-RW (Rinseless Wash), I`d certainly use that many too. Doesn`t sound the least bit extreme to me even on that size car.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D
    I use a variant of [Accumulator`s Wash method] and have enjoyed not even having to polish my daily driver in nine years!
    You, of course, came immediately to mind

    Note that Bill does it without doing the BHB (Boar`s Hair Brush) Step too! IIRC, no RW Step either! But then, he doesn`t let his cars get "what color is that?"-dirty the way I sometimes do.

    SuperBee364 does a version where he doesn`t do the Mitt Step, substituting a Rinseless Wash (which I often do after the Mitt Step).

    My point being, like so many things, you can use the Cafeteria Approach, taking what you want and leaving the rest.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    When it comes to the PW I might help a little. First what do you have on the max psi and gpm?

    You might think that the pressure is the most important when it comes to cleaning vehicals. But IME it`s the gpm from the PW to clean with more effective that`s does the trick. I live in Sweden so we have 220v-240v electric outlets as standard here. This makes us to use more powerfull electric motors. 3000W is what you can have on a normaly fused homes electric outlets. So the Kärcher K7 PW I have now has 2600psi and 2.6gpm specs from the PW pump. From the nozzle I go full effect and that`s around 2300psi. The benefit with this is that you hold the nozzle tip farther away from the vehical and you are able to clean a wider area from the water pressure. This is on the edge of the pressure you want to go with 2.6gpm. If I would have more gpm I would be needed to be lowering the pressure from the PW.

    To dial in the the water pressure from the PW if you don`t can`t adjust it on the PW pump. Is that you calculate the gpm from the PW pump and the size of the nozzle tip orifice to get which psi you gets. The same is with the foamcannon that has a orifice inside of it which is easy to switch out your self. There you go with a diagram to see which orifice you should have in the foamcannon. If you have a very high pressure from the PW with the orifice in the foamcannon you often needs to be buying a proffessional foamcannon as they call them. But with not too of extreme of gpm you can use the most common ones. They have a good calculator on the MTM website to see what you need for sizes of the orifices.

    So you would benefit from haveing QC to the nozzle tip. And for not being awkward to use the foamcannon also have QC to the wand/lance.

    I do sometimes touchless wash at home with the PW and foamcannon. And this is where it`s almost 2 camps if it`s doing any difference or not anything. That`s the prewash foam you use in the foamcannon. What`s a little unusual is that with these dedicated prewash foams we have a lot of more brands that have these in the EU. Griots Garage BOSS Foaming Surface Wash is what I`ve heard close to be in the top range of these dedicated prewash foams. Other products that`s great is Gtechnic W4 Citrus Foam and Gyeon Foam. In my experience an ordinary car soap don`t help you much with desolving and loosens the dirt effectively enough to get away with touchless washing. Car soaps are made to be aggitated to be effective and it`s a whole other thing than just be dwelling.
    The next thing that`s most important is how you use the PW. I use it as a wash media almost. But it`s the water pressure from the PW that does the cleaning and the most of it too. So dial in the distance that is as far away but still is effectively cleaning ability from it. When you clean off the prewash foam or any other pretreatment. I start from the bottom and work my way up with hitting every part of the vehical with a great water pressure. First it`s cause dirt gets reattached lesser and runs off better on a clean paint. Second it`s easier to see where you have hit the paint with the water pressure. Third is that It`s dwelling as long as possible before It`s gets rinsed off. This is only when I clean with the PW and when I rinse off the car soap it`s the normaly from top to bottom. I useally take the extra minute to rinse from the top and down to at the same time inspect if I have missed a spot or 2 LOL.

    I always does a 2bm wash or where I use multible wash mitts. So the mitt that has been on the vehical it don`t get in the car soap wash bucket again. I still have the rinse bucket out to rinse out the wash mitts. And even when I wash a very neglected winter dirty car the rinse bucket after a wash for me is almost clean after a wash. The use of the rinse bucket is to evaluate for my own purpose how well the prewash foam and if I used any tar remover or iron remover worked to clean up before I do the touching wash.

    If I`m doing a touchless wash it`s useally during the summer months but happens sometimes during the winter months too but lesser. For me I don`t want to touch the vehical after a touchless wash and that`s where it can be tricky with the drying. If I could afford it I would have a water DI-system and do the last rinse with it and let it air dry. The second would be a Master Blaster the big one or the big Bigboi blowdryer. These put out a warmer air to dry it more effective. I use a corded Ryobi leafblower on 3000W and it works okay. But with holding a hose instead when blowdrying would be easier on the body LOL.

    I would not be afraid to do a waterless wash or rinseless wash after a prewash. You could often get away with useing a drying aid when drying with a mf drying towel.

    I have seen this on 2 webshops in the US but only remember the Hstuning dot com. If you want to try the best prewash foam available today it`s Bilt Hamber Auto-Foam. I have used other different high quality dedicated prewash foam. But BH Auto-Foam is my favorite and out perform any other I have used. And if you see a comparison review with this in it you can bet it`s going to win. Another great thing is that it has rust inhibitors in it which actually works quite good. As if I`m only do clean the wheels with the prewash foam and the PW and no other products. The rotors don`t even gets that light surface rust on them. Also it don`t leaves anything behind as in protection and glossenhancers. And the rust inhibitors left behind don`t interfear with the water behavior from the LSP. The LSP is also important to have a high sheeting ability from it to make it easy to blowdry the vehical. I have used some SiO2 sealants and a couple of other ones that has been good. Keep them topped up so the water behavior has a high performance is a benefit too when it comes to blowdry the vehical.

    During the summer months I can do weekly touchless washes 3-4 weeks before I need to be doing a touching wash. This is also depending on the environment you live in and what kind of dirt and contaminants you have there. And if it has rained a lot during the week it can also be to much of road film to get away with touchless washing. So I`m prepared to be doing a touching wash if I see it`s needed when I have cleaned with the PW.

    Since you have a marring and scratch sensitive paint. I would look into a DI water system or a car blowdryer. One of the most gentle wash media is lambs wool or merino wool mitt or pad. The downside is that they need to be have a great maintance and actually comb it LOL. Carpro Wool Wash Mitt is a great one for an example. Also to use a very great car soap with a high lubrication and cleaning ability from it. The lubrication says it`s self and with a great cleaning ability you don`t need to be aggitate as much as with less better ones. The Carpro Reset car soap is my favorite car soap. I like car soaps that leaves nothing behind as then I get what I want to get the protection and gloss from the LSP I chose to use. They have been more popular since the ceramic coatings has entered the detailing products. Many car soap that has been great on waxes and sealants. Can be leaving something behind that clogg your coating. Not always after a wash but after some washes you see the water behavior and self cleaning ability from it degrades. Which it should not happens until for many months on a coating. Also some sealants with a high water repellent ability and self cleaning ability can be masked by these car soaps too. Then you have the car soaps that leaves SiO2 and glossenhancers behind that`s for maintance to top a ceramic coating with that can be nice to use monthly or every other month. The new Wolfgang über SiO2 Wash seems to be great and you have Carpro Hydrofoam and Gyeon Bathe Plus and Angelwax Enigma Ceramic Infused Car Schampoo and Tac System Mystic Water Repellent to name a few of these. Some even use these as stand alone LSP with washing with it monthly or as you see the water behavior degrades. Sonax PNS and BSD is a sealant and a QD that you get a coating like behavior from and even better than a some full blown ceramic coating in the behavior from them. Soft 99 Fusso Coat paste wax is also one that you get a high water behavior and self cleaning ability from and is also very chemical resistant and durability is 6-9 months of high performance from it. The coating lite range of products as Carpro Lite and IGL Premier and Gyeon CanCoat and Tac System Moonlight. Where if you prep with their primer polish you can get over a year of longevity from them.

    So some of my experiences with the methods I use and products. There are other ways to go and works. So try out what you find to could be suit you.

    / Tony
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  8. #8

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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    Compare/contrast the following sorta-random comments with what SWETM posted. He and I deal with *very* different situations/factors.

    Rinse Buckets- If I see an appreciable amount of dirt in my Rinse Buckets, I figure I blew it. I try to "Dislodge and Flush" the dirt off the vehicle and down the drain, *NOT* transfer the dirt from the paint to the wash medium. Rationale: once the Wash Medium gets dirt on it, it becomes sandpaper; by the time you rinse it out it`s already rubbed that dirt into the paint.

    Home-Touchless Wash Efficacy- With a good, dirt-shedding LSP, I was surprised how well I can clean the dirt off, even nasty Winter-messes. The Pressure Washer Pre-Rinse gets a lot of it, and my Lonn Cleaning Gun (compressor-powered siphon-feed sprayer) gets most of what`s left. Doing a final pass with the Lonn using a Rinseless Wash improves things even more. That Lonn Cleaning Gun has really enhanced my ability to do the Home Touchless.

    BUT...I still don`t do a touch-Dry after that kind of wash. Ever. I don`t even try blotting with my best (plush) Drying MFs, not even when it looks perfectly clean. I blow the vehicle dry as best I can and say "good enough". Which leads to..

    Deionized Water- This is, IMO, mandatory for Touchless Washing. Even then, some residual dirt/non-DI water/whatever will seep out of nooks and crannies, rendering things a bit less than perfect no matter what the purveyors of Deionizing systems say. And FWIW (this might oughta go without saying), I mix my Rinseless Wash Solution with either Deionized or Distilled water even though my water`s awfully good by the time gets to the shop (softeners, prefilters, etc. etc.).

    Sheepskin/Lambswool Wash Mitts- I`ve never had a bad one and mine last a long time. I don`t treat mine "properly", most here would probably say I abuse/neglect them. But they never really get very dirty (since I`ve always done so many steps before I switch to them) so just rinsing them out well suffices for me. I don`t even hang them up to dry, I just lay them over the edge of a bucket.

    EDIT: Nothing rinses clean like a Boar`s Hair Brush. Nothing. BUT, I`d never use one without a foamgun (other than on wheels/wells/undercarriages). It`s very easy to mar paint with a BHB, it`s far easier to use a BHB incorrectly than it is to use it properly, with the result being marred paint, but used *properly* I love `em and never wash without one.

    MF mitts, OTOH, can *really* retain some kinds of dirt (including the kind that`s really abrasive) and I *NEVER* use them until/unless the surfaces appear to be "already perfectly clean" (e.g., a final Rinseless Wash after I`ve already cleaned the vehicle via conventional methods). Which brings me to...

    The CD-Test- Everything that touches my paint gets the CD-Test first. Yeah, it`s highly imperfect, but the data side of a CD/DVD is a (very) rough approximation of "average-hardness autopaint" so if it scratches that disk (inspect the disk under magnification!) it`s likely to scratch paint, so I won`t use that. Remember to "test it like you use it", in the case of Wash Media that means soaking wet with Wash Solution.
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  9. #9
    Hooked For Life Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    I might try MF mitts based on the review of the mitts I saw in a video. I was surprised how sheepskin fared:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0pfRZ9mjq8
    Treat it like it`s the only one in the world.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I might try MF mitts based on the review of the mitts I saw in a video. I was surprised how sheepskin fared:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0pfRZ9mjq8
    Brian`s videos are awesome, he knows his stuff and he`ll test basically any product people ask him to.

  11. #11
    Mary B's Avatar
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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I might try MF mitts based on the review of the mitts I saw in a video. I was surprised how sheepskin fared:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0pfRZ9mjq8
    Quote Originally Posted by quebert View Post
    Brian`s videos are awesome, he knows his stuff and he`ll test basically any product people ask him to.

    Welcome aboard RedOak


    That was a good one. Made me consider swapping out my 8 MF wash pads (the noodle kind, and I use all for one wash).
    For the newer shag carpet lookin` ones. I would prefer a pad over a mit though.
    I like the freedom of swinging them around, where a mit feels controlled, and limited.


  12. #12
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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    Welcome to the club, many of us here are “old guys” and remember the 70’s fondly.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the pressure harming the paint. Use common sense and don’t concentrate the PW on a small area. Way back I used to use the touchless car wash PW and tried to remove dried on pine tar and would concentrate the stream on the pine tar and could not remove the tar and the paint did not suffer any damage, so it’s not likely that your gas powered PW will do any damage.

    A foamer connected to a PW looks good but it’s cleaning ability is not great. Like others have said, the only way to get a vehicle truly clean is with some mechanical agitation. On a slightly dirty vehicle (everyone has a different definition of this) a foamer and a PW may give a sufficient clean, that will be up to you to decide. I use a clean rinsing soap (CarPro Reset) that contain no glossifers and keep my car coated so nothing much sticks to it. Coatings are not the “be all/end all” products manufacturers tout but right now the are the best protection (besides PFF) on the market. Coatings are not really difficult to apply, just more attention to detail and time consuming than older products. There are many threads on coatings here and we are always available to help!

  13. #13

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    Re: Getting initiated properly?

    Will somebody please give me the Cliff`s Notes version Re Sheepskin Mitts?

    Not that I really care for *myself* since I`d never use a mitt until the surface appears already clean...but I have just enough curiosity to ask (not enough to watch the `tube).

    Do people actually *wear the mitt like a glove*?!?" Yikes...that kind of pressure is just asking for trouble IMO, I`d never do that even though the paint is "already clean" by the mitt step.

    Heh heh...after so many people here whom I respect said they`re OK, I actually tried the "noodle"/"Muppet" ones...now used to wipe the floor of the subbasement, so I guess they wasn`t a *total* waste of $.

 

 

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