Why I Love Washing And You Should Too

Personally there are not many things that give me more satisfaction than backing your pride and joy into the driveway on a saturday morning, mixing up some awesome smelling, bubbly car wash and making that baby shine. However with this simple joy also comes a great amount of responsibility if you are serious about the care of your vehicle, the majority of scratches and swirl marks that you see in vehicles are a direct result of poor washing and drying techniques. You can always tell the ones that are ran through a car wash once a week due to the severe swirling and general lack of shine, as I tell all my clients don’t even think about it if you are serious about your car or have a mild case of OCD like myself.

These washing induced paid defects lead to expensive paint correction work if your lucky enough to be able to save the paint or clear coat failure and ultimately paint respray’s in the worst case scenario. Weekly to fortnightly hand washing is the recommended course of action to prevent contaminants such as bird droppings and bug remains attacking your clear coat and can also be spot removed both as required for even greater care. Also don’t forget those wheels including the inner barrels as the brake dust from the rotors and metal shavings will settle on the wheels and lower paint work, I’ve lost count of the amount of wheels basically ruined due to embedded brake dust that will no longer come off.

Down to the correct technique, firstly we need the right tools, wash mitts that are plush and deep, be it microfiber or lambs wool, both have the ability to be gentle on paint while also being deep enough to accommodate dirt away from the paint. Next we need a quality wash, there a numerous on the market using different technologies certainly don’t be afraid to experiment and see what suits you individual tastes. Currently at Polishd we are using Car Pro Reset as our go to wash because it has a great foaming action along with the ability to lift deep dirt and grime without stripping protection, this is the important bit once your car has been waxed or sealed you want a gently wash that will not strip that protection which a number of cheaper washes and degreaser will certainly do.

Next we need two buckets one filled with fresh clean water and the other filled with your shampoo and water solution. It is helpful if both of the buckets have a grit guard inserted, a grit guard is simply a filter that sits at the bottom on the bucket to settle the water and trap dirt below it so it cannot contaminate your wash mitt as your mitt pickup dirt off the paint the idea is to run the mitt over the grit guard in the bucket to dislodge it and trap it at the bottom of the bucket so as to not pickup that same dirt on the next fresh water pass.. Next is a drying towel, anything microfiber in a waffle weave pattern is the go here, they can absorb a lot of water while still being soft on your paint and finally a pressure washer and foam lance if available to really take your wash to a whole other level.

Now to the fun part washing, remember to use the foam lance first (if available) and let the foam sit for a few minutes, next you want to use the pressure washer to get as much dirt off of the car as possible remember the more you can remove without touching the paint the less chance you have to scratch it. Now the fun part dip your mitt into your soapy, bubbly wash solution and begin on the top panels such as bonnet, roof and boot. Now the side panels start at the top and work your way down to the dirtier areas at the bottom remember all the brake dust and dirt will be on the lower panels. Dip your mitt in the wash solution and begin washing in long, smooth strokes with minimal pressure, each time you need to reload the mitt with solution make sure to dip the mitt into the fresh water solution and run the mitt over the grit guard to remove any dirt trapped in it. You should be able to reload the mitt one panel at a time if not excessively dirty, if it has been a while between washes perhaps aim to reload twice per panel.
Once you have finished washing its time to rinse again a pressure washer is ideal but if not available a simple garden hose will suffice, rinse off each panel to remove all remaining wash solution. Drying is equally important, if really watery and not in direct sunlight you can let the vehicle sit for a few minutes to alow some water to run off and make drying easier conversely if you are in direct sunlight (not ideal) you will need to be quick drying to remove the water. If water is left to sit the mineral deposits in the water will bond to the clear coat called water spotting and again will require paint correction down the track.. Once the excess has been removed start drying with your microfiber towel again work from the top down, once dry wipe down door and boot jambs.

Now the best part stand back and admire your hard work.

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