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Detailing & Appearance Discuss washing, waxing and detailing information as well as interior/exterior cosmetic modifications. This includes neons, body, cosmetic wheels, etc. Even under the hood detailing.

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Old 09-28-2004, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default Car Wash Review - Personal Experiences

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:
  1. roof
  2. all windows
  3. trunk
  4. rear end
  5. passenger rear fender
  6. passenger side doors
  7. passenger front fender
  8. drivers rear fender - making sure to clean inside of the gas door
  9. drivers side doors
  10. drivers front fender
  11. hood
  12. 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.
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Old 09-28-2004, 03:44 PM   #2
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I now use the Meguiars Crystal wash (last 2 years) and have had the same results as yourself, I love it.
Before the crystal, I used Turttle wax car wash and found that it dried out too quickly and the suds would go flat in the bucket after only a few mitt rinses.
I'll have to look for the NXT product next time, sounds like it worth a try.

Tip: I used to chamois the car down after a wash and it took forever, this spring I bought a Califonia Water Blade and it is 10x better. Not to mention faster. A quick 2min terry cloth is all thats needed to finnish up after the blade
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Old 09-28-2004, 03:48 PM   #3
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I have the California Water Blade as well, but didn't know if I should use it on the Bonnie as black really shows off EVERY single scratch that is on there. I use it on my truck all the time, but it doesn't show hardly any scratches (even though there are plenty). I'll have to use that after the next wash. Even with the blade, I still go along with the chamois on the truck to get all the rest of the water off so it doesn't drip and leave spots.
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:31 PM   #4
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My process -

1) Bleche White on tires, Ealge One on rims
2) Pressure washer - blast rims/tires first, then wet the whole car
3) 1- 5 gallon bucket wash with Meguiars Gold Class and lambs wool mit
4) Rinse with pressure washer
5) dry with absorber

i use meguiars gold class shampoo and conditioner.....
1 gallon = $9.99 at Target
great shine, lots of suds, and nice lubricity for claying

previously used Duragloss
1 gallon was like $20 at Carquest
also had good results similar to the gold class, but half the price

tried turtlewax zipwax back in the day.......
no suds and no shine.....NEVER AGAIN


it looks like someone else has a passion for clean cars!
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Old 09-28-2004, 09:09 PM   #5
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Please try to include your experiences with the various car wash soaps as well as possibly how much they cost you and where you got them from.

As for all of my soaps, the Meguiar'* stuff came straight off the local Wal-Mart shelf, while the Mr.Clean thing came from Autozone. The Deep Crystal car wash cost me $4.99 and the NXT car wash cost me $5.99. The Mr.Clean AutoDry setup cost me $19 something with a $5 rebate.
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Old 09-28-2004, 11:19 PM   #6
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For a regular wash I use:

2 buckets (1 for the bodyof car, 2 for the wheel well wheels and rocker panel)

hot water( Bleech White for wheels and rims)

car wash or joy soap

2 wash mitts

to dry car I use 3 absorbers

1 for the windows-body towel to go after for no streaks on windows(THIS WORKS)
2 for the body
3 for the inside of door and door jam

Black Magic Tire and Trim Silicone and paint brush with a small container to pour it in.

Car looks like it has been waxed. Trust me!!!
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:21 AM   #7
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I will stick to my mr.clean car wash until it fails. not using a rag to dry it is a big relief, especially for my crappy gm paint job.
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
not using a rag to dry it is a big relief
Please don't tell me you really do use a "rag"..... that is just so wrong

ken
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Old 09-30-2004, 01:33 PM   #9
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does that mr clean stuff make the windows look like air? My method does and I dont evrn use nothing but water, asborber and a bath towel.
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Old 10-02-2004, 11:24 PM   #10
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Background:
I have been taking care of car finishes since 1959 when I was 10 years old, under the supervision of my father of course. We had a 59 Catalina Station Wagon and could make it shine. I have always taken care of my cars back in the 60* and 70* I used Blue Coral, a 2 step system, and Simonize. I selected the Mothers 3 step system when I could no longer find the Blue Coral 2 step system. I used Mothers up to 2002 when I first found out about Zaino and the benefits of using a Porter Cable random orbital buffer.

I still use Zaino but I now use micro fiber cloths for almost 80% of all detail work on my cars.

Tools to wash and clean car:
Two buckets- one for wash solution and one with clean water to rinse cleaning tool.
Boars Hair Brush
High Quality sheepskin wool mitt.
Old worn out sheepskin wool mitt.
Chenille wash mitt.
Three waffle weave micro fiber drying towels.
Two micro fiber glass cleaning towels.
Five ultra plush micro fiber towels.
Worn out Zaino cotton product applicator.
Boars Hair 1 inch paint brush.
Vacuum cleaner.
Leaf Blower

Product I use to clean car.
Zaino Z7 car wash.
Zaino Z16 perfect tire gloss.
Zaino Z6 ultra clean gloss enhancer spray.
Bon Ami window cleaner
Pledge
Eagle 1 A2Z tire cleaner

Wash and clean routine:
Use 1 in Boars hair brush to clean cracks and crevices in the interior of the car.

Use pledge to clean wood dash kit.

Clean interior windows using Bon Ami and micro fiber glass cleaning towel.

Vacuum car and clean mats.

If tires are really dirty I will use Eagle 1 A2Z to clean tires. Otherwise Zaino Z16 will be all I use.

Wash exterior or the car using a Boars hair brush to clean the hood, top, trunk and doors down to the rocker panels. Use a high quality sheep skin wool mitt to clean rocker panels and body panels that lie under the car. Use worn out sheep skin wool mitt to clean wheels and finally use a chenille mitt to clean the wheel wells. Before I replenish the cleaning solution on the tool that I am using I rinse the tool off in the clean water.

Use leaf blower to blow off excess water from car.

Use the three waffle weave micro fiber towels to blot dry the car including the underside of the trunk and hood. Also open the doors and do the door jambs.

Use Zaino Z6 and remove with Ultra Plush micro fiber towels.

Use worn out Zaino product applicator to apply Zaino Z16 to tires.

Use Bon Ami and micro fiber glass cleaning towel to clean exterior glass.

This process takes me about an hour and a half from start to finish. When this is finished if I choose to do so I can now apply another coat of Zaino Z2 or Z5. The application of Zaino takes me about an hour and a half to do the entire car including under the hood, trunk, and the door jambs. I also use Zaino on my wheels as a carnauba wax will melt once the wheel heats up in the summer time.

Yes some of us like to keep a clean car. I am a firm believer that a clean car runs better.
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