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Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

Discussions to express your inner nerd.
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BostonCharlie
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Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#1

Post by BostonCharlie » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:26 pm

Maybe something is in the air, since we, too, recently purchased a new-to-us car. A black 2016 VW Passat w/ 26k miles for $16k OTD from CarMax.

The only things I know about cleaning cars I picked up from a fanatic I knew long ago: 1) Use clean towels, clean water and clean tools! 2) Use a chamois to dry (keep it clean! but use only water!), 3) Use Meguiars #40 (M40) for vinyl, etc.

Other than that, I use clean rags from our rag bag, liquid dish soap for washing, generic window cleaner, and either paper towels or blue stout shop towels for dirty work.

What do y'all use?
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#2

Post by ManOnTime » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:00 pm

Sounds like you have a pretty decent method. The only thing I'd change is to stop using dish soap. Most will remove waxes and other protectants.

All my car-guy friends generally use Meguirs, Chemical Guys or Adams products. I like Turtle Wax, and they may seem old fashioned, but they make great stuff too.

The best glass cleaner I've found, hands down, is this:
InvisibleGlass.jpeg
It's inexpensive, and it cleans more than glass. Since it is ammonia-free it is safe to use on trim and under-hood pieces.
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#3

Post by Robotaz » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:05 pm

Yes the meguiars carnuba soap is all I’ve used for 20 years. It will keep your wax job going for a year if you laser wash between hand washes. Dry the car with microfiber. Wring it out frequently. Make sure and rip the tags off the towels.
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#4

Post by Boourns » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:18 pm

Optimum No Rinse with the 2 bucket method will change your life. You can wash a car in about 30 minutes with 2 gallons of water.
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#5

Post by Robotaz » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:24 pm

Boourns wrote:Optimum No Rinse with the 2 bucket method will change your life. You can wash a car in about 30 minutes with 2 gallons of water.
Is there a version that waxes?
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#6

Post by CVP33 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:26 pm

I wash my vehicle at least once a week.

1) 2 bucket method, with strainer inserts.
2) While buckets are filling I hit all 4 wheels with Sonax, stuff really works with heavy brake dust. Spray front with bar/tar remover as needed.
3) Then Chemical Guys foam cannon and pink soap. Goal is to wash the entire car, keeping it wet the entire time. Don't dry until the end.
4) Separate microfiber wash mitts for car and wheels.
5) Set of 3 wooly brushes for wheels.
6) 1 final rinse to remove all soap.
7) Dry with leaf blower
8) Door jambs, hood, trunk all dried with wooly mammoth drying cloth from Chemical guys.
9) Glass = Invisible glass
10) Leather = VLR from Mothers
11) ArmourAll = Wheel armour coat
12) Tire shine = any brand, just always dry off excess
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#7

Post by Boourns » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:34 pm

Robotaz wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:24 pm
Boourns wrote:Optimum No Rinse with the 2 bucket method will change your life. You can wash a car in about 30 minutes with 2 gallons of water.
Is there a version that waxes?
Yes:

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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#8

Post by BostonCharlie » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:49 pm

Thanks, guys. I'm going one step at a time, here, but just a few changes made a big difference.

* I picked up some car wash concentrate. Even though the wash + wax is probably made for me, I went with straight wash so that when I start waxing I won't have to second guess which product is doing what. Or I'll just upgrade to wash + wax and relax.

* I replaced my wash rags with Meguiar's microfiber towels. I like to fold as I go.

* The two-bucket system ... I've clearly been living under a rock. This just makes sense. Our Flex was pretty grimy. Judging by the bottom of the buckets after I emptied them, 80%+ of the grime was in the rinse bucket.

The leaf blower drying is pretty smart, too. I bet it's much faster than wiping. I imagine it depends on the surface having some good water repelling to start with. If I tried it on my car right now I'd probably be left with interesting streaks where the drops simply dried as the air pushed them along.
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#9

Post by Boourns » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:03 pm

For microfiber rags I bought these:

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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#10

Post by AndyS » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:09 pm

Boourns wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:03 pm
For microfiber rags I bought these:

IMO, those are fine for cleaning lots of stuff, but not necessarily paint. You need something more like these to have enough fibers to keep from just dragging dirt and contaminants around. Higher GSM (grams per square meter) the better:



The Rag Company has good quality across the board. The edgeless towels are especially nice to use drying your car.

I'm not a nut about this stuff, but am pretty picky.

CVP33's process is fairly close to mine, including foam cannon and leaf blower use :)

I will recommend a couple of products for their ease of use that you can buy at Walmart:

Meguiars Hybrid Ceramic Spray wax. It's cheap, extremely easy to use, and while probably not a real ceramic wax, protects well for a few washes. If you don't want to spend a bunch of time protecting paint, but still want good beading for taking an extra 5 minutes at the end of every 2-4 washes, this is your product. Simply spray the cleaned wet car, wipe down with a microfiber, then spray off again and dry as normal for the first application. Going forward, you can just spray the car after the wash, then rinse another time, and dry.



Two options on similar wheel cleaner (with bonus other use options like functioning as a much cheaper iron paint decontaminating product than Iron-X)
Meguiars Ultimate Wheel Cleaner - Spray on, it turns purple as it activates to pull out iron and brake dust off your wheels. Will still require scrubbing on really dirty wheels, but it helps a lot. I don't use it every wash, but when the wheels are extra dirty:



Cheaper product I've started using from Eagle One is their Plasti-Dip and black wheel cleaner. Also has that Iron-X style chemical that turns metal deposits purple as it removes it, but quite a bit cheaper than the above Meguiars or the even more expensive Sonax product:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Eagle-One-Bl ... /405613587
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#11

Post by BostonCharlie » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:41 pm

Any recommendations for bug remover? I thought I could soak them off, but dang.
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#12

Post by Spirit of the Watch » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:27 am

I spilled soup onto the passenger seat made of cloth... any tips on how to get it out?
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#13

Post by watchpalooza » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:48 am

Spirit of the Watch wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:27 am
I spilled soup onto the passenger seat made of cloth... any tips on how to get it out?
Tell the wife?
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#14

Post by BostonCharlie » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:02 am

watchpalooza wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:48 am
Spirit of the Watch wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:27 am
I spilled soup onto the passenger seat made of cloth... any tips on how to get it out?
Tell the wife?
If it were me, that is exactly what I'd be trying to avoid -- our car is her baby. Many years ago a guy bumped into us, sending it to the body shop. Ever since then his name is included in her (rare) bursts of road rage curses.
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Re: Car Cleaning & Detailing: products and practices

#15

Post by tommy_boy » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:08 am

BostonCharlie wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:41 pm
Any recommendations for bug remover? I thought I could soak them off, but dang.
Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover works for me. Either the liquid or foam version.

Spring and Summer driving through the Northwest mountains will yield a yellow-colored grille. This stuff will make it easier to get the bug guts off. Two bucket cleaning process (I use a soft sponge) is advised. :D
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