how to wash a car?

Hey, I am teaching my teenage daughter about cars, and I realized that
I am really not happy with the way I have always washed cars. I use
a bucket with hot water and Spic-N-Span and hand sponges, and a garden
hose to rinse with. It works, but today I was thinking there HAS to be
a better way.
Is there?
Grant Erwin
Reply to
Grant Erwin
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yeah , go to a car wash for $5.00
lol
Reply to
Tony
Are you serious? Cold water and a sponge from bottom up and change sponges or rinse a lot so you don't scratch the paint on the way up and rinse down. I could only get a job at a car wash and would kick their ass and be on top in no time or them playing games to keep me in vacuuming. Some of my greatest days where sucking up Michael Jackson tapes on purpose about half way through and breaking the tape off and leaving it for them to find or the chick with her top wide open on the other side of the car doing the same job. One time this guy says "wipe the car clean , if you find anything be sure to through it away." First thing in the back seat is one of those underwater cameras when they first came out. I was like Hmmm... And second hmmm and left it in his car.
How old is she??? I'm curious if your serious. Lots of work and towel dry the puppy and the whole job as fast as you can. Its only a car.
I never , hardly ever wash my truck, when I do I have people ask me if I'm sick. Now, if I did I would (with my luck) get a ticket ! I wash my windows and that is it with a tool at the gas station.
It sucked working at a car wash when your thinking of math problems. And now buying swimming pool tile at a place that the toilet runs 24-7 when we're running out of water and building pools like crazy.
Reply to
Sunworshiper
I use low pressure power washer setting first, if needed, then a bucket of warm water, sheepskin washing gloves and a combination wash/wax cleaner. For a quicky, the $2.00 coin car wash thing is great. Never use the bubbly brush on anything you don't want damaged. The gloves are the ticket to easy hand washing; you can cover the car pretty fast with both hands. JR Dweller in the cellar who knows all about easy hand washing- my 25' MaXum is like washing 4 big cars...
Grant Erw>
Reply to
JR North
Let your daughter wash the car. HTH
Reply to
John
Spic-n-Span is awfully harsh for washing cars. How does the paint look? Dull?
Lane
Reply to
lane
Well, I do this :- wash from the top down with a water brush attachment on your garden hose to get most of the simple dust or lumps of bird crap off. Then use a bucket and a dash of car shampoo with a soft sponge to get the road scum, splattered insects and general grime off. Squirt that off with your hose and - most importantly - dry all the beads of water off with a real leather chamois ( or however its spelt ) because they are the best thing for pulling all the water off without leaving water marks behind. One thing about leather chamois - they stink like an old fish when they're drying afterwards ! If she really loves her car, she can wax it. This always turns out to be a more tiring job that it looks. I prefere Kitten brand to Turtle as is less likely to leave a streaky finish. But its really important to wax it in the shade and only do a couple of square feet at a time because the longer you leave wax, the harder it is to get off. A freshly waxed car always looks fantastic.
Dean. ( Can you teach her how to grind the valves and clean the carbie jets ? What a GAL ! )
Reply to
Dean
Depends on how anal you want to be. As a former Porsche owner (of a Very clean, all original limited import car with a rare color), I learned about being anal real quick. Never wash with anything other than a car shampoo unless you're planning on putting on some quality wax right away. I only used unsented Dawn to remove my wax (once a year, in the spring - before concours season), and a P21S car shampoo for all the other times which was about every 2~3 weeks. Cold water only, never used a sponge, towel, rag or anything other than a 'microfiber' cloth and I usually swapped 4 or 5 of them for the car. Always from the top down (top gets seen the most and has the least dirt), dried with a synthetic chamois (real leather strips wax) and did a final wipedown with another microfiber towel. If it was needed, I'd use a 3m Hand Glaze to get out any scratches or swirl marks (always from front to back ~ if you do circles and introduce scratches they're MUCH easier to see). Then I'd apply my wax paste with bare finger tips. The heat from your fingers helps the wax melt and you have a Much better tactile feel of when you need more wax, or where flaws in the paint might exist. Finally buff it all out with more microfiber towels.
All this is done on a cool car (to the touch) in complete shade. Like I said... anal. My motorcycles hardly ever get washed.. to be accurate, they get washed when it rains. A good site for learning about car care is here:
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It's a good way to spend a day, and a great way to waste a summer if you're entering a lot of car shows.
Brian
Reply to
Brian McCoy
For starters, Don't use Spic-N-Span, that stuff is formulated for cleaning kitchen floors. Dedicated car washing soaps are formulated to not etch anything, strip off the wax, or do nasty things to the chrome & aluminum brightwork if left on for too long. And you can buy the no-name stuff cheap enough by the gallon.
Rinse down first and knock off all the big bugs and chunks. Wash top to bottom, soft 'fake fleece' wash mitt or nice cotton terry ex-bath-towel rag. Polyfoam sponges are okay if they're soft, and not used for anything else so they're grit-free clean.
Slop on the soapy water so the dirt can float. Rinse the washing towel in the soap bucket often, the dirt you loosen turns into an abrasive unless you get rid of it. Dunk and swish it around often and vigorously, and let the big dirt chunks fall off and settle to the bottom of the soapy water bucket.
And final rinse top to bottom again. Don't shammy over dirt, it will scratch. Grab a can of Sprayway glass cleaner and some soft paper towels to do the windows.
Or better yet, get a pressure washer with a soap injector, and the special car wash soap formulated for pressure washers. Rinse, wash, rinse, Bada-Bing, done in no time. Back to your shop. ;-)
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
back in the 50's i used spick and span to wash my dads car... a 54 chevy.. after of year of washing with the spick and span the paint was just about all gone.. well i was a kid and did not think about it at the time.. and he was not there when i did it and thought he just had a bad paint job....
Reply to
jim
I have only one thing to add...
I give a final rinse with air conditioner or dehumidifier condensate. It's pretty much distilled water, and I get a sparkling clean vehicle with no water spots WITHOUT drying , as there are almost no dissolved minerals.
I save the condensate in old plastic water jugs.
Les
-- Leslie M. Watts L M Watts Furniture Tiger, Georgia USA
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CNC for sale:
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Reply to
Leslie M. Watts
Wet the car, use brush on a pipe attached to a hose with the long soft bristles. Dunk this in a bucket with mild detergent like dish washing soap or laundry soap, and brush and dunk til the grime and slime are gone. The brush on a stick thing keeps me from getting sopping wet and allows me to stand back far enough to see.
For the old clunker wit that thick layer of oxide, after washing, get a large terry towel and soak it in water. Dump a pile of Comet on to the towel and smush it around till you have a nice paste. With the car wet, use this to cut through the film avoiding the corners or you will cut all the way through the paint. You don't want to use a lot of pressure, the weight of the towel and the abrasive does all the work. It is important to not allow the car to dry during this process. This works best on solid colors (non metallic).
Reply to
Roger Shoaf
Did you mis-read the title?? It doesn't say "How NOT to wash a car"
Those brushes are handy for trucks and industrial equipment where you have to cover a lot of ground fast, but it's way too easy for hem to pick up and embed dirt, and scratch the paint all to hell.
If the car has nice paint now, don't use a brush - or at least wait until you have all the heavy dirt knocked off with the first rinse.
And do NOT use household cleanser as a substitute for the proper polishing compound, there is no control over the grit of the abrasive. You can be through the paint, the primer, and down to bare metal before you blink.
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
Hi Grant
I spent a summer as a lot boy at a new and used car place in Lake Oswego, Oregon and I can tell you how we did it (on the "good" cars - the used cars got short shrift). You want a soap that won't stip the wax (Spic & Span will). Get a car washing soap at an auto store, Armor All makes a good product.
Basically you want to float the dirt off so you don't scratch the paint. So the proceedure we used was:
1) Wet the whole car down. 2) Start on the roof and work down (let gravity help). 3) Use a soft mitt to scrub. (use an old mitt on the wheels and the lower edges of the body) and use big looping strokes since curved scratches are harder to see than straight lines (human eye is sensitive to lines) 4) Soap and scrub (gently) as much area as you can before the first area starts to dry (1/2 of the car if you hussle). 5) Rinse area and rewet the next area. 6) Do the wheels last so you don't get all that grit on the paint. 7) Rinse the whole car again. 8) Wipe dry with an old towel making sure you open all the doors and trunk and wipe down their edges and the sills.
Takes 10-15 minutes once you get the skills down. It's easier if you stay after it. After a winter of mud, probably take closer to 45 minutes.
Jim
Reply to
Jim McGill
wash??? a vehicle?
You can do that?
No kidding? And it dont hurt anything?
So once a year with a putty knife is not the proper way?
Damn
Gunner
The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of "loyalty" and "duty." Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute -- get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed. " Lazarus Long
Reply to
Gunner
Roughly my response :-)
Gunner you're sure up on your rules & regs. It indeed is against Federal law (Water Reclamation Act) to wash your car in your own driveway if the soap and greasy (road :-) grime runs into a storm sewer.
Also illegal per many more specific state regs.
"loyalty" and "duty."
You may possibly
Reply to
Toolbert
Of course, there is : "Jetwashes are Macho say men in new survey"
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Reply to
PR
A city wide blackout at Tue, 03 Feb 2004 19:11:28 GMT did not prevent Gunner from posting to rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
Washing cars if for people who don't drive where it rains.
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
Which is why you want to pick up a soap designed for washing cars. The good ones are non-toxic to "helpless woodland creatures" (not that they encourage drinking the stuff, it usually tastes horrid) and quickly biodegradable, and won't hurt the lawn at all if the soap runoff from your wash session goes off thataway...
I wouldn't worry about the EPA unless it's a corporate fleet washrack - and those need a sanitary sewer connection and permit, you can't let that much soap into the storm drains or creeks. For a house, they aren't going to send the Stormwater Runoff Stormtroopers to bust down your door and run you in for washing a car or two - at least, I hope it never gets to that point...
(You can pry my wash-mitt and shammy from my cold, dead fingers.)
And to forestall the inevitable "Lawn - What's that?" question, around here that just means "natural lawn" - crabgrass and whatever has enough balls to take root and grow, watered enough to keep reasonably green, and knocked down with a mower every week or two. In one area we sprinkled a 20-year-old can of dichondra seed, and it germinated and took over, we might try that again. The neighbors like wasting big money on fancy landscaping and a gardener twice a week, not us... ;-)
If we're feeling nice, we'll mow often enough so the dandelions can't bloom, germinate and go to seed...
No, that's too infrequent. But my usual is just to hose the car off with plain water every week or two - I only wash the car carefully when I'm going somewhere nice, or when it gets thick enough that people can scratch "Wash Me" reminders with their fingers - which is annoying, because that scratches the paint up something fierce...
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
I wished that were true. It rains here (pacific northwest) a lot, and my cars are filthy. I don't wash them as often as I should 'cause it's just going to rain and get them dirty again.
The OP lives here also.
Lane
Reply to
lane

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