Safe washing & drying......
Q. How, when and why should i wash my car?
Washing is the process of removing dust, dirt and grime from the exterior surface of your car. If the car is used daily, then washing it once a week will be enough to keep it looking good. The main reason a car should be washed is due to surface contamination, such as bird droppings, dirt and grime. The sooner fresh contamination can be removed the better.
Below is an example of ''bird etching'', this is bird droppings that have been left on the paintwork for too long resulting in etching of the clear coat.
This bird etching photo is a result of bird dropping being left on a cars paint far too long. Bird droppings contain Uric acid which will eat into your cars paintwork if left untreated. Remember to always remove ASAP!
The basic tools required to enable safe washing are:
Plush Wash Mitt
Pre Wash Solution
High Quality Microfibre Drying Towel
- Clean Water
Choosing the correct Shampoo:
For weekly washing once the vehicle has been polished & protected, a dedicated car shampoo will suffice. This will be strong enough to remove dirt and grime and avoid stripping any protection applied.
A good quality shampoo will be well-lubricated and provide great cleaning power.
Suds do sud all!
Don’t be concerned with how much suds a car shampoo has. What's more important is the lubricity shampoos can provide. A great shampoo will enable the wash mitt to glide effortlessly across the paint, this will help move dirt away from the paint easier whilst encapsulating dirt and grime in the shampoo/wash mitt.
Sponge Vs Lambswool Wash Mitts
Due to the flat face of a sponge this can be dangerous to vehicle paint. If grime, debris or dirt particles are present on the vehicle, using a sponge will rub these across and into the paint.
Imagine having your back against a hard surface, such as a brick wall, now imagine another wall is on top of you? You will have nowhere to go apart from up, down and side-to-side.
A lambswool wash mitt is the complete opposite, due to the plush deep pile in the mitt; this allows grime, debris and dirt to absorb into the deep pile and away from the vehicle paint. Now, if you image yourself against a brick wall and having a big soft plush object on top of you now you’re able to move/trap yourself into the pile without any damage done.
This is not to say that a sponge is 100% useless! It can be used if you are certain all dirt, grime and debris is removed from the paint and utmost care is taken.
Although lambs wool/sheepskin wash mitts are great for washing cars they are not the strongest structured wash mitts and can be susceptible to damage quicker than a conventional sponge.
To reduce the risk of damaging the mitt, take care when washing and avoid catching the pile on edges of the vehicle such as, grilles, badges and window wipers etc. Once the wash mitt is finished with, rinse out thoroughly with fresh water and hang to dry, do not wash in machine or tumble dry.
Step 1. To ensure damage is not done to the paint it is vital the vehicle is subjected to a thorough pre wash, this will strip away as much dirt, grime and debris before making any physical contact with the paint.
Either a degreaser, traffic film remover or snow foam should be applied to the vehicle before even touching the paint with a wash mitt. Once the pre wash has been applied, leave to soak on the vehicle before thoroughly rinsing. As most of the grime and dirt is now removed, making physical contact with a wash mitt will highly reduce the risk of inducing scratches or swirl marks into the vehicle’s paint.
Step 2. The next step is to wash the car, using a soft, deep pile wash mitt, two clean buckets and a good quality shampoo.
In the first bucket, fill with clean water and add the recommended shampoo amount. In the second bucket add just clean water. This is what is refered to as the two bucket method.
Begin washing the vehicle once the mitt has been plunged into the wash bucket, once a panel has been washed, plunge the mitt into the clean water bucket and rinse it. This will help remove any dirt/grit from the wash mitt which will reduce the chances of any damage being done to the vehicles paint.
wash each panel in a straight back & forth motion with little pressure.
If you come across any marks that wont come off with gentle movement of the wash mitt, do not try to scrub or apply heavy pressure to remove the mark. This just means it will require a stronger cleaner such as a tar remover, clay treatment or polish for complete removal.
Start from the roof and work down, this is because most of the dirt is often found on the lower halfs of vehicles, this process will at least stop any transfer to the top areas of the car. Try to avoid letting the shampoo dry on the paintwork as this will cause streaks, for this reason try to avoid washing in direct sunlight. If you are in direct sunlight, it may be neccessary to wash and rinse a panel at a time to avoid stains or streak from appearing.
Step 3. The vehicle has now been washed, its time to thoroughly rinse, pay close attention to any gaps & crevices such as, wing mirror surrounds/casings, door panels/shuts, fuel caps, grills and roof slots/bars.
When drying the vehicle, use a plush microfibre drying towel, pat the vehicle dry as opposed to rubbing. This is to reduce the chances of any fresh debris on the paint surface being dragged across the paint.
Ensure the bodywork is cool to the touch before applying any product to the surface.
The lower halfs of the vehicle are now sprayed with a citrus degreaser. This will help loosen & remove dirt, grease & grime. Always rinse the vehicle prior to any pre wash applications if the surfaces are hot.
The vehicle has now been thoroughly rinsed. It is very, very important to take time and rinse, dont be frugal with the water! Any unrinsed product could leave major staining on the paint surface.
From the top of the vehicle, wash in straight lines, back & forth or side to side. The wash route should always start at the top then work down and around the vehicle until the half way point.
I have now rinsed the vehicle due to the heat and then continued washing the lower halfs.
After a thorough rinse, its now time to dry with a plush microfibre drying towel.
This type R has now been washed and dried.
Pump sprayer - Kwazar venus pump sprayer
Pressure washer - Kranzle K7
Drying towel - Fluffly drying towel
Pre wash - Valet pro citrus pre wash
Shampoo - Zymol auto wash
Advanced washing & drying guide coming soon.....