Proper Car Wash Steps:
Produce your best finish with the following tips.
1. Set yourself up for success. Never begin your work on a finish that is too hot to the touch. If necessary, move vehicle inside or find a way to block the sun’s rays until the finish is cool. A covered area helps to avoid issues such as wind, contaminants and heat.
2. Use cleaning products made specifically for cars. Soaps that clean and protect car finishes are a must. I like Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Professional Car Wash. Washing products that include gloss enhancers (3M Gloss Enhancer) or surface conditioners are ideal. When it comes time to mixing the product, always use clean water and always follow directions. Keep an eye out for new innovative products and ask questions about its effectiveness for your project.
3. Use a two bucket system for car cleaning/washing exclusively. You don’t want a bucket used for a chemical spill clean up to also be used to clean your cars beautiful finish. It just doesn’t make sense. One bucket will have clean H2O used to rinse dirt and contaminants from a wash mitt. While the other bucket will contain clean car wash soap and H2O that will be used to reload your clean mitt for your next area to be washed. Make sense?
4. Synthetic wash mitts with plush and plentiful filaments are ideal for washing your ride. These mitts are made to draw dirt / contaminants from vehicle surface into their internal structure. Thus, minimizing the possibility of scratching the surface of the vehicle. Stay away from flat sided sponges and wash cloths because they tend to trap contaminants in the surface causing unwanted scratching. Micro fiber mitts and cotton chenille mitts are also good choices. Meguiar’s Miccrofiber Wash Mitts are a good choice.Note: Never spray a chemical or H2O on hot wheels.
5. Wash tires and wheels first. Wash and rinse one wheel/tire at a time. Washing the body first, water will dry and spot up the painted surface before you finish washing wheels. Never use the same soap water used on the wheels on the vehicles finish. Thoroughly clean and refill buckets after cleaning the wheels. You can use a multi purpose cleaner.
6. Always wash a vehicle from the top down. Overlap wash strokes and do not use a circular motion on the painted surface. Using front to back cleaning strokes start in front of the vehicle working your way and finishing in the rear.
7. Rinse the finish often and thoroughly to prevent soap from building up and spotting the surface. If you’re washing outside always keep entire car wet to prevent spotting. Final Rinse: take sprayer head off hose end. With open ended hose simply allow free flowing water to roll over entire car. This process will cause water to sheet off the painted surface. Thus, shortening the drying process.
8. Drying the vehicle is best done with an air tool. An electric leaf blower is perfect for the job. It’s light, cheap, quick and very effective. Start from the top down. The leaf blower allows you to get standing water out of places you just can’t get to with a chamois. Mirrors, lug nut holes, grilles, wheels etc… are a snap to dry this way. Simply take a chamois at the end to wipe off any remaining water residue. Note: using air to dry vehicle eliminates the possibility of scratching your just cleaned finish.Happy Motoring!
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