I would like to start a thread on the many different car washes that are available and what everyone'* experiences have been with what you have used.
Here'* the list of ones that I have used in the past on various different vehicles:
-Meguiar'* Deep Crystal Car Wash
-Mr.Clean Auto-Dry Car Wash
-Meguiar'* NXT Car Wash
Now with that said, I started off with dish soap before all of these wonderful products became available. When I first bought my Chevelle (at the ripe age of 14 more than 10 years ago), there really weren't many soaps available specifically for automotive use. And, after just spending my life'* savings on a car, didn't leave many options. My mother used Dawn to wash her dishes, so I used it to wash my car.
Since then, there has been an explosion of products that seem tailor made for every little segment of the market. I would like this to turn into an informative thread based off of experiences with the various retail car washes available, hopefully ranging from the cheap all the way up to the professional (read $$$) car washes and ofcourse your opinions of each and every one that you have used.
My Car Wash Process:[list=1][*]Wet down entire car[*]Soap up Rims and Tires with Car Wash soap from Rim/Tire/Wheel well bucket of soap[*]Soap up front facia with body panel bucket and let stand being careful to not let the soap dry by reapplying soap as necessary[*]Scrub rims, tires, wheel wells with rag or bug pad as necessary to clean then rinse thoroughly[*]Wash with overlapping strokes twice over and thorough rinse between each step:
- all windows
- rear end
- passenger rear fender
- passenger side doors
- passenger front fender
- drivers rear fender - making sure to clean inside of the gas door
- drivers side doors
- drivers front fender
- front end
[*]Open all doors and with a wet/damp rag, wipe down all of the areas that are open to outside dirt/debri - cleaning the rag in water as necessary to keep it clean[*]Open trunk and wipe down the underside of the trunk lid beyond the seal as well as the drip channels.[*]Rinse the entire car once more[*]Dry with chamious(sp?)[/list:o:3a82c7b3f2]
A little note for this. I waxed my car at the beginning of the summer and have not since. The AutoDry car wash was the first to be used on the Bonneville after the wax job, then the Deep Crystal, then the NXT car wash. Onto my list of products I have tried...
Over 2 years ago I purchased a bottle of Meguiar'* Deep Crystal Car Wash and was VERY pleased with how well it cleaned and removed even stubborn bug stains. This wash suds up fast and holds the suds for even the longest of wash jobs. Although, if you are washing more than one vehicle after the first, the suds won't last that long.
Having always been a person to try out the newest thing on the block, I grabbed the Mr.Clean AutoDry Car Wash as soon as it became available. This was a while after the last time I had used the Deep Crystal wash as I had found a very good soft cloth car wash with reasonable prices and my car at the time didn't look the greatest. Anyway, I was impressed by this new AutoDry thing, at first. In the commercials it shows the person wetting down the car then spraying on the soap/water mix and wiping the car down with a wash mit. Although this may work in a commercial, in real life, this is very difficult to do and keep the areas from drying before you can get all of the panels clean. Even braking up the car into sections caused more work than a regular wash with bucket required. And even with the dry rinse polymer gimmick, I still had to dry the Bonneville to keep water spots off the nice black paint.
It wasn't until I found my old bottle of Deep Crystal again that I decided to give it another try. There was just enough to do a thorough wash job. Compared wtih the AutoDry, it was like night and day. Removing the bugs from the front end used to take close to an hour with the AutoDry, but with the Deep Crystal, it only took around 10 minutes. With the AutoDry I always had to use a separate wheel cleaner (Meguiar'* Hot Rims), but with the Deep Crystal, that was practically unnecessary as the Deep Crystal would remove all but the most stubborn of brake dust.
After that, I finally gave up on the Mr.Clean AutoDry car wash and went to the store to see what was available. Meguiar'* has always been my choice for automotive care products and was pleased to see the Deep Crystal formula still on the shelf. There next to it was the NXT formula car wash from Mequiar'*. I said, "What the hell... Couldn't have gotten any worse (than the AutoDry)." and it wasn't too much more than the Deep Crystal. I decided to give it a try. The first wash proved it to be everything that the Deep Crystal was and MORE! After the final rinse, I saw the water sheet off the car and practically dry in front of my eyes. No special fiter or plastic case to make this happen. I still had to wipe down most of the car, but not all of it. The results were VERY nice and the time spent on washing the car was down 25 minutes from a comparable AutoDry session.
Now lets hear some other experiences with these products or others. My hope is to have an all inclusive thread based on Car Washes only that would allow the reader to draw their own conclusions on which product to use.
***The views expressed on these products are based upon my own experiences with them. Others may have had better/worse experiences.