Do's and Don'ts of car washing. - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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 04-05-2015, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default Do'* and Don'ts of car washing.

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Old 04-06-2015, 02:30 AM   #2
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Ya very good video. I need this guy to do my rides !! (often)
Cold water does not clean as well as 80 degree water and it dries quicker with warm too.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:08 PM   #3
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I agree, all good stuff! The only procedure he recommends I would not follow all the time, is cleaning the vehicle from top to bottom. This is definitely the way to go with most paint colors, but white paint reacts differently many times.

Mostly, this only applies to white vehicles that are dirty, or have road film on the lower section - below the belt line.

Starting at the top creates lots of soapy "runners" that, as they slowly creep down the sides, seem to strip away the film way better than your scrubbing can accomplish. Then, when you get down to washing that part, you can still see the really clean runs it made after you have scrubbed it and rinsed.

Depending on the paint and detergent you're using, these extra clean "runner" areas may be faint or extra bright and noticeable after washing and rinsing - like a bad paint job.

On my white E350, I've taken to washing it from the bottom up - beginning with the wheels and wheel wells. Then, when those soapy "runners" float down the sides as I work my way up, any runs are less visible, if at all. I don't know why this seems to work, but it does.

If no one here has ever experienced this, I will assume I had an automotive nightmare and made it all up

Oh! I almost forgot the best part..

I had a '92 Delta 88 demo I had to wash after our first snowfall that winter. It was white. All I had on hand was powdered Tide clothes detergent - soooo....

Wellp That stuff stripped all the gloss off all the black body moldings. It stripped all the wax.. all the sealant.. and darn near got the clearcoat. I'm convinced if I had not rinsed it as I was going - in sections - the clearcoat would have rinsed off too.

Live and learn..
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:25 PM   #4
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Great informative video! Thanks for sharing...
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:12 AM   #5
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Nice vid and tips. I always do the 2 bucket method in washing all my vehicles to avoid unwanted scratches and marring.
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:58 AM   #6
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I realize this is an old thread but I would like to point out a few things in helping others.


The video is ok but some advice is poor. Just FYI, I managed a detail business for 14 years and have been a car enthusiast for almost 40 years. I've detailed tens of thousands of vehicles both professionally and personally with an exceptional reputation.

My major objection is that he uses a MF towel to wash the vehicle. You never want to do that, period. Always use a quality wash mitt such as a Merino wash mitt. Those will safely lift and remove contaminants from the paint surface such as a MF towel cannot. Secondly, he uses a MF towel that has a tag on it which again is a mistake as it can causes scratches. Most quality MF towels come with no tags or they are made to be removed easily.

1) Use two buckets to wash with.

2) Always wash from top to bottom! This is very important, so ignore John01 recommendations. Yes, white can show streaking but that only happens to paint which has been neglected or otherwise is in need of a major detail. The paint is streaking because the paint is dirty and normal washing will not clear it up. It needs to be decontaminated, clayed and then buffed/waxed.

3) Always use dedicated and quality wash mitts as well as microfiber towels. You want to use different mitts/towels for different jobs (washing, door jambs, tires, etc). Always reserve a quality mitt and towel for the paints surface.

4) Always use quality automotive soaps. Many detailers do use dish liquid on occasion to decontaminate paint prior to buffing and waxing (etc) but DO NOT use dish liquid for normal washing. It strips the paint of natural oils and/or waxes whereas a car wash soap will replenish oils and offer other beneficial qualities.

5) Apply a quality paste or liquid wax on occasion and use a spray detailer/wax regularly. This will significantly aid in the maintenance of your vehicle in addition to making follow up washes easier.

6) Apply a polish and wax (2 stage) or a cleaner wax (1 stage) once a year. The former being the best method. Polish has cleaning agents that will restore your paint and correct minor issues whereas wax simply protects it. A cleaner wax has both wax and cleaning agents so it'* a all-in-one scenario.

God Bless,
Ralph
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