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  1. #1
    Just a regular guy Todd@RUPES's Avatar
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    Washing: What To use and When...

    Washing: What To Use and When...



    There are a lot of detailing products available that promise to wash your car quickly and easily while leaving behind a great shine. These products range from quick detail sprays and waterless washes to rinseless washes and car shampoos, as well as mops often called dusters. If you are new to car care or wanting to refresh on the basics, then this article is for you.

    A foreward: Water and a kitchen sponge are all you really need to clean your paint. Sometimes just a dry towel will remove dirt, grime, and with enough scrubbing, stains. However ALL OF THE ABOVE are dangerous for your paint because they will inflict microscopic (and macroscopic) scratches that quickly dull your paint`s shine.

    When we talk about washing or cleaning your vehicle, we are referring to ways to clean the paint without scratching or dulling the surface. Achieving clean, soil free paint is just one part of the equation. Cleaning the abrasive dirt away safely in a manner that retains the paint`s gloss without abrading away the protective wax layer is equally important.


    Listed below are common methods, ordered from the amount of soiling they can safely remove, from the least to most...



    Car Mops and Dusters- Car Mops and Dusters work well for removing light dust from the paints surface. They offer a large surface area of soft yarn, often coated in a paraffin wax material, that allows dust to stick to them. However, Car Mops and Dusters do not offer any lubricity (slip solution) so they can not encapsulate dirt or grime. This can/will cause swirl marks and scratching if the surface has anything more then light dust.

    When to use- Use Car Mops and Dusters to clean light dust from the surface if the car hasn`t been driven and exposed to more abrasive elements. An example would be that you wash your car and store it in the garage for a couple of weeks. A light amount of dust will settle on the paint. You can safely use a Car Mop or Duster to remove the light dust without scratching. Do not use one if you have driven your vehicle as it will be exposed to more abrasive elements that can cause scratching.

    How to use- Lightly and slowly sweep the Car Mop over the paint with little to no pressure. You should be holding the Car Mop off of the paint so that the just the ends of the yarn are lightly wiping.


    Popular Car Dusters:

    California Duster
    Carrand Long Handle Duster


    Quick Detail Sprays/Instant Detailer Sprays- Detail Sprays offer an increased ability to clean dust, light soiling, and smudges from the paint safely. Most Detail Sprays have a gloss enhancing agent (such as wax, sealant, or silicones) that replenish the protective coating on the paint and temporarily increase gloss, giving the surface a “just detailed” look.

    When to use- Use Detail Sprays to remove light dust and soiling between washing or after washing to add gloss and remove any wash streaks. You should not use Detail Sprays if there is noticeable soiling on the surface as the lubricants will be overwhelmed and scratching may occur. Many detailers will dry their car using a detail spray to avoid scratching the paint while adding gloss and removing any water spots. Keeping a bottle of Detail Spray in your trunk is valuable tool to clean any bird bombs before they damage the paint.

    How to use- Always use Detail Sprays in conjunction with a soft, plush microfiber towel such as a Supreme 530. Lightly mist a panel with the Detail Spray and wipe using the plush side of the microfiber towel. Flip to a clean side of the towel and wipe dry. Some Detail Sprays can be applied to a wet surface (after washing) to increase lubricity and prevent water spots.

    Popular Detail Sprays:

    BLACKFIRE Midnight Sun Instant Detailer
    Finish Kare 425 Extra Slick Body Shine
    Ultima Detail Spray Plus


    Waterless Wash/Spray Wash- Waterless Wash products have gained popularity in today`s environmentally conscious world. Waterless Wash products function much like a detail spray -you spray and wipe- in the way they clean although they often use a higher concentration of lubricants and/or polymer additives to fully encapsulate dirt and grime. Waterless Wash products can remove light soiling from paint without scratching or dulling the finish.

    When to use- Use Waterless Wash Products to remove lightly caked on soiling, dust, smudges, and road dust. Modern Waterless Wash Products can safely clean moderate dirt without scratching. Often times, the polymer ingredients in Waterless Wash Products will add considerable protection and gloss to the paint as well.

    How to use- Always use Waterless Wash Products in conjunction with a soft, plush microfiber towel such as a Supreme 530 Microfiber Towel. For light dust and smudges lightly mist the panel and allow 30 second to dwell before wiping clean with the plush side of the towel. For heavier, caked on soiling apply more liberally to the surface, wetting it. Allow to dwell 30 second to 1 minute then wipe with the plush side of the microfiber towel. Switch to a clean side or a separate dry microfiber towel and wipe dry.

    Popular Waterless Washes:

    BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond Waterless Wash
    Optimum Opti-Clean Cleaner & Protectant
    Ultima Waterless Wash Plus Concentrate


    Rinseless Wash- Rinseless Washes are highly concentrated solutions that mix with water in order to flush away most soiling, dirt and grime. Rinseless Wash work in a manner similar to regular car wash soaps but do not require rinsing. Rinseless Wash solution encapsulate dirt and coat the paint allowing for a buffer that allows the offending grime to be removed without scratching. Many Rinseless Wash products feature a high amount of polymers that coat the paint, even after use, adding shine and protection.

    When to use- Use Rinseless Wash solutions when the vehicle is dirty and coated in road grime. The powerful, concentrated formula will encapsulate the dirt and allow it flow off the surface without scratching. Do not use Rinseless Wash solutions on vehicles that are caked in debris such as mud or heavy soiling unless it is removed by rinsing first.

    How to use- Mix the recommended amount of Rinseless Wash solution in at least 2 gallons of water. For more protection when washing we recommend using at least 4 gallons of water solution (adjust the amount added as needed). Use a high quality sponge, mitt, or plush microfiber towel. Wash and dry a panel at at time, starting with the uppermost panels and working downward. Flood the surface with solution and lightly wipe, then dry with a soft microfiber waffle weave towel such as a Cobra Guzzler.

    Popular Rinseless Washes:

    BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond Rinseless Wash
    Optimum No Rinse & Shine
    Pinnacle Liquid Glossl Rinseless Wash with Carnauba


    Car Wash Shampoo/Soaps- Traditional bucket washing is the safest and most effective cleaning method for the dirtiest of paints. By combining a large amount of soapy solution with free running water all dirt and grime can safely be removed from the surface. Washing with a traditional shampoo can be more time consuming and requires more set up, but provides the maximum amount of safety. It is the only way to clean heavily soiled cars without scratching.

    When to use- Use traditional washing methods to clean the heaviest soiled vehicles safely.

    How to use- For the safest possible wash start by filling two buckets -known as the two bucket method- with water. Add the recommended amount of soap solution to the wash bucket; the second rinse bucket only needs water. Remove as much soiling as possible by rinsing away dirt and grime with water. The wash and rinse a section of the vehicle at a time, starting with the top and working downwards. Frequently wash your wash mitt or sponge in the second rinse bucket to avoid scratching. After washing, dry the entire vehicle using a soft microfiber waffle weave towel.

    Popular Car Shampoos:

    BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond Conditioning Shampoo
    Poorboy`s World Super Slick & Suds Shampoo
    Ultima Paint Guard Wash

  2. #2
    Wors's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Great chart Todd! The explanations are very good.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Pats300zx's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Excellent work Todd. Very informative.
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  4. #4
    AMG Classic Car Detailing Old Pirate's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Very helpful for all the newbies out there looking for what to use in washing their vehicles.
    AutopiaForums is the place to be.
    Remember to Shop Autopia-CarCare.com for your Detailing Needs!

  5. #5
    Custom Care's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Could this be a sticky?

  6. #6

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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    I like the use of charts. I think there should be more out there like this one and the polish comparison chart. It makes it easier on people especially with product purchase decisions as well which products they will most likely use in a detail. I think it would be great to see a buffing pad comparison chart for the brands that are available; but that would take some time to put together.

  7. #7
    Detailing Gnosis Bunky's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Nice graphic explanation!

    Al
    The Need to Bead


  8. #8
    psnt1ol's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...


  9. #9
    I like teeth ihaveacamaro's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Sticky your own thread Todd!

  10. #10
    Just a regular guy Todd@RUPES's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveacamaro View Post
    Sticky your own thread Todd!
    Isn`t that against the law?

  11. #11
    Ummm.... Ya..... TroyScherer's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...


    Nice article Todd. It is will be good to be able to steer new members to when questions come up about what washing technique to use when...

  12. #12
    dc52nv's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Very informative. Thanks so much for spending your time making this. It will help many members for years to come

  13. #13
    I like teeth ihaveacamaro's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Helme View Post
    Isn`t that against the law?
    You make the laws around here bud

  14. #14
    tropicsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    thanks for taking the time to make up a very helpful chart !

  15. #15
    Detailers Workshop The Driver's Avatar
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    Re: Washing: What To use and When...

    I love it, Great chart.

    I never use rinseless washes though, I`m far too paranoid of excess sediment building up on the mitt/cloth. I always stick with a traditional two bucket grit guard method. Always water for me.
    Rupes 21 MK II, Rupes 15 MK II, Rupes 21, Rupes LHR75e, Rupes Duetto, Rupes Ibrid-L, Rupes LH18ENS, Flex PE-14-2, Dodo Juice V1

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarty2000 View Post
    At $21.99 it will remain a secret to me.

 

 
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