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  1. #1

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    Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    I recently had a conversation with a guy that owned a dark blue F430 Spider. He told me he uses a natural sea sponge exclusively to wash all of his cars. I found this interesting, and this is a big assumption but, I would think with the advances in MF and the many synthetic mitts and sponges on the market, a natural sponge would be rendered obsolete, right?

    Regardless, it got me thinking and I did a little research. Apparently, the characteristics of a natural sea sponge make them a very suitable medium to wash a vehicle with or any delicate surface for that matter.

    • The cell structure of a sea sponge makes them extremely soft when wet. In fact, they are often used to wash newborns and infants because they are so gentle on sensitive skin.
    • The many pores help the sea sponge feed by filtering water in the ocean currents. They trap what they need and release what they donít
    • They are very durable and can last years with proper use and quality car soaps

    Anybody have experience using sea sponges? Information seemed to make sense and after reading a good article on the topic, I think Iím going to give one a try Ė I could do a review on it later perhaps. In the meantime I would like to get your feedback.

  2. #2

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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    In my mind a sea sponge won`t compare to the nap of a quality microfiber mitt.

  3. #3
    Mr. Gloss's Avatar
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    According to some retailers, once you experience a sea sponge wash, you never go back to mitts.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Pats300zx's Avatar
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    If you like Sea Sponges then you willl love grout sponges for washes. I found them to be much softer.
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  5. #5
    Wax Waster Ronkh's Avatar
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    if you use sea sponge, make sure you soak and rinse NUMEROUS times before use. due to sand and "flaking" sponge
    Formerly the "Best Detailer", now just Super Wax Waster Man. Not necessarily tactful, but normally right. It`s good to be da King !!!

  6. #6
    Pay Attention Boy... RTexasF's Avatar
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    As RonK mentioned they must be rinsed MANY times to remove sand and grit. They are not inexpensive either. I`d go to Lowe`s and get grout sponges instead. Cheap, clean, and disposable.
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  7. #7
    Just a regular guy Todd@RUPES's Avatar
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    The best wash media is one that doesn`t scratch your paint. Autopia offers a host of different quality washing sponges and mitts.

    I personally love sea sponges and think they do an excellent job.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    All natural sea sponges go through a very rigorous cleaning process after they are unloaded from the sponge boats at the docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida but always remember youíll should wash and rinse them very well before use to remove any leftover sand or any other abrasives that may be trapped in them when you get them. Once you rinsed thoroughly, you canít beat the quality of these sponges when washing a vehicle.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    MF towels work perfectly for me, I tossed all my mitts out years ago.

  10. #10

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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    i just ordered a dozen 1" thick m/f towels from cg to start doing the gary dean method. his way just makes sense to me.

  11. #11
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by glfahlc1 View Post
    i just ordered a dozen 1" thick m/f towels from cg to start doing the gary dean method. his way just makes sense to me.
    This method is what I use a lot. BUT if your car is really saturated with dirt and contaminates you want to rinse it down heavily with a waterless wash spray and possible some APC on the lower panels. Trying to get all the main dirt off with out scratching your paint like you will if you just run a towel across literal dirt.

  12. #12
    Wax Waster Ronkh's Avatar
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoomzoom mazda5 View Post
    All natural sea sponges go through a very rigorous cleaning process after they are unloaded from the sponge boats at the docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida but always remember youíll should wash and rinse them very well before use to remove any leftover sand or any other abrasives that may be trapped in them when you get them. Once you rinsed thoroughly, you canít beat the quality of these sponges when washing a vehicle.
    Used to use em on my JB bmw. THen switched to PB dreadlock mitt.
    Formerly the "Best Detailer", now just Super Wax Waster Man. Not necessarily tactful, but normally right. It`s good to be da King !!!

  13. #13

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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    Thanks for the input. I know that many sea sponges manufactured specifically for auto use are conditioned before being released on the market. However, it may not be a bad idea to take additional precautions.

    Not sure comparing a sea sponge to a grout sponge is comparable. One is synthetic and lacks important characteristics you want for washing your car, not cleaning grout.

    I have had many issues with wash mediums creating swirl marks in my paint and am adamant about eliminating this problem.

    I found the following article was really good on why sea sponges are great for washing a car.

    squidoo.com/why-a-natural-sea-sponge-is-the-best-product-for-washing-your-car-or-truck

    I`m hoping this may solve my issue

  14. #14
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    Grout sponges are designed to pick up, move and carry away grout to prevent marring or scratching of the newly tiled surface. Grout contains sand particles. Grout sponges do an amazing job of moving those sand particles across a new tile floor, especially glossy ones, without marring or dulling the surface.

    The most advantageous characteristics of a grout sponge are:

    1. Hold tons of wash solution
    2. Rinses Clean.
    3 Soft and kind to paint.

    I believe they are as comparable as synthetic can get to a sea sponge.

  15. #15
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    Re: Are sea sponges the best for washing your carís paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoomzoom mazda5 View Post
    All natural sea sponges go through a very rigorous cleaning process after they are unloaded from the sponge boats at the docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida but always remember youíll should wash and rinse them very well before use to remove any leftover sand or any other abrasives that may be trapped in them when you get them. Once you rinsed thoroughly, you canít beat the quality of these sponges when washing a vehicle.
    I`m not aware of the cleaning processes which take place, but I have used 3 sea sponges over the course of a decade plus and I have always take care to repeatedly soak and rinse my sponges before use. I do not recall seeing much, if any, sand/grit during my own cleaning process, so they must be doing a pretty good job during the initial processing.

    I use a variety of wash media including the "dreadlock" MF mitts/sponges, chenille sponges/mitts, sheepskin, grout sponges (have I missed any? ) and while all work well, I agree that the natural sea sponge cannot be beat. Sheepskin are my least favorite and grout sponges are largely relegated to the lower panels. They are pricey, but IME their durability softens the initial purchase price shock.
    "If you get to thinkin` you`re a person of some influence, try orderin` somebody else`s dog around."
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