Having trouble with white streaks after wash on Shadow Black

Colt1945

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Hi, I've had my car for 2 years now in Oklahoma, and consistently battle these white streaks. I had a ceramic coat done ( I think it was cquartz) on the car when I first got it, and installed a water softener to help with the terribly hard water we have here.

I use Meguiars gold class in a foam cannon, a two bucket wash method, blow dry with a leaf blower, spray chemical guys after wash spray, than dry with microfiber towels, and always wait until after the sun sets to even do a wash.

It's difficult with how quickly the car dries to do it by myself, and the only time I've had the car come out truly "okay" was when I had help. First, am I damaging the paint with these streaks, and 2nd what the heck is it, is it my water?

The streaks are harder to see in the sun, and with a change in temperature getting hotter, it pops out way more.

Thanks for your time.

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GMB Racing

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I have to wash my car in sections not the whole car or I get some streaking like that from the soap drying too fast
 

ChrisJ

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Water softeners add salt to the water which lowers the hardness of the water but doesn't take minerals out of your water. Look into getting a deionized water filter, I have one that will take my TDS from 75 down to 0, dries spot or streak free. They aren't cheap, paid $400 for mine and the media needs to be changed once a year.
 

Louk

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Kristian87

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Interesting photos, quite nasty streaking you have there. Sounds like you are doing the right things, but I would ask about your towel situation...what are you using as a drying towel? Do you have good quality drying towels that you only use for the drying task? Also, how are they washed? Microfibre towels degrade over time, and even quicker if they are not washed correctly.

Sorry to ask such an obvious question, but that would be my first guess from what you've written above. You may need to look into a full decontamination and polish of the paint to get back on track IMO.
 


kilobravo

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Water softeners add salt to the water which lowers the hardness of the water but doesn't take minerals out of your water.
No offense Chris but your statement, while heard a lot when talking softeners is, completely incorrect. A water softener creates a brine solution that charges the softener's resin particles. Once charged, they attract minerals as the water passes through them and the bad stuff sticks to them. Periodically the softener rinses the hard minerals off the resin and the process starts over.



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The amount of NaCl in the water that is consumed by an average human per week is the equivalent to the salt content of two pieces of bread so the softener is not the problem.

Marc: There is some contaminant in the equation and I'm thinking that GMB is on the right track. I'm in South Texas so I can relate to sun and heat and I never wash the entire car without rinsing.

Instead I do the top half and one end, rinse, bottom half and the other end, rinse. When the wash is completed, I do a final rinse using a CR Spotless DIC-20 rig, (a second softener is all it is,) because like you, we have terribly hard water. With this method, I only see water spots if I miss a few drops here or there when blow drying.

Do you have a whole house softener or just something like the DIC-20 for car washing? If you have the whole house rig, odds are minerals are not your problem.

My recommendation would be to start out with the partial wash/rinse idea, blow dry, and then use a spray wax like Adam's Detail or similar to wipe her down and see how it goes. Best of luck regardless.
 

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Hi, I've had my car for 2 years now in Oklahoma, and consistently battle these white streaks. I had a ceramic coat done ( I think it was cquartz) on the car when I first got it, and installed a water softener to help with the terribly hard water we have here.

I use Meguiars gold class in a foam cannon, a two bucket wash method, blow dry with a leaf blower, spray chemical guys water spot remover, than dry with microfiber towels, and always wait until after the sun sets to even do a wash.

It's difficult with how quickly the car dries to do it by myself, and the only time I've had the car come out truly "okay" was when I had help. First, am I damaging the paint with these streaks, and 2nd what the heck is it, is it my water?

The streaks are harder to see in the sun, and with a change in temperature getting hotter, it pops out way more.

Thanks for your time.
Can I ask, is this the product in question? -
Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover | (chemicalguys.com)

As a general rule of thumb, a water-spot remover is only something you should use occasionally to remove etched water marks, not after each wash. These products are acid based in an attempt to neutralise the etching. Continued use would start to degrade the coating or cause unpleasant results.

Or do you mean a detail spray? If not, then I think we have found your problem.
 

Kristian87

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As a general rule of thumb, a water-spot remover is only something you should use occasionally to remove etched water marks, not after each wash.
Good observation, 100% agree. I suffer hard water and washing in the sun (hard to avoid). Finish Spray Exterior by Koch Chemie has been my friend for years now. It does a superb job at wiping away hard water marks where detail sprays sometimes struggle. It's essentially a slightly acidic detail spray so perfectly safe. Never experienced streaking with this, whereas I have with other products - mainly when applied in direct sunlight. I have black painted wheels, and I spray this stuff on after rinsing and blowing away most of the water, then use wheel only drying towels. The finish always look excellent, even if protection is minimal.

https://www.koch-chemie.com/en/products/finish_spray_exterior
 
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Colt1945

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Can I ask, is this the product in question? -
Heavy Duty Water Spot Remover | (chemicalguys.com)

As a general rule of thumb, a water-spot remover is only something you should use occasionally to remove etched water marks, not after each wash. These products are acid based in an attempt to neutralise the etching. Continued use would start to degrade the coating or cause unpleasant results.

Or do you mean a detail spray? If not, then I think we have found your problem.
Sorry I mispoke, it's this specifically.

https://www.chemicalguys.com/after-...twJfPaGVtIhj1WL7KgGGrpBH8LspO6WwaAgRrEALw_wcB
 
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Colt1945

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No offense Chris but your statement, while heard a lot when talking softeners is, completely incorrect. A water softener creates a brine solution that charges the softener's resin particles. Once charged, they attract minerals as the water passes through them and the bad stuff sticks to them. Periodically the softener rinses the hard minerals off the resin and the process starts over.



1652346925098.png



The amount of NaCl in the water that is consumed by an average human per week is the equivalent to the salt content of two pieces of bread so the softener is not the problem.

Marc: There is some contaminant in the equation and I'm thinking that GMB is on the right track. I'm in South Texas so I can relate to sun and heat and I never wash the entire car without rinsing.

Instead I do the top half and one end, rinse, bottom half and the other end, rinse. When the wash is completed, I do a final rinse using a CR Spotless DIC-20 rig, (a second softener is all it is,) because like you, we have terribly hard water. With this method, I only see water spots if I miss a few drops here or there when blow drying.

Do you have a whole house softener or just something like the DIC-20 for car washing? If you have the whole house rig, odds are minerals are not your problem.

My recommendation would be to start out with the partial wash/rinse idea, blow dry, and then use a spray wax like Adam's Detail or similar to wipe her down and see how it goes. Best of luck regardless.
I have a whole house water filter, bought it specifically to help wash the car, I'd hope it'd be good enough as it wasn't cheap. I only drive the Mustang once every other week, so it's not getting real dirty either.

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Colt1945

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Interesting photos, quite nasty streaking you have there. Sounds like you are doing the right things, but I would ask about your towel situation...what are you using as a drying towel? Do you have good quality drying towels that you only use for the drying task? Also, how are they washed? Microfibre towels degrade over time, and even quicker if they are not washed correctly.

Sorry to ask such an obvious question, but that would be my first guess from what you've written above. You may need to look into a full decontamination and polish of the paint to get back on track IMO.
https://www.amazon.com/Chemical-Guy...+guys+microfiber+towel&qid=1652361907&sr=8-11

I use these and wash them as recommended, I also only drive the car a couple times a month so I'm not washing it often.
 

kilobravo

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Marc: You have the same softener hardware as I with slightly different tanks. I have a matching carbon filter tank as well plus Big Blue 20's with sediment and final filters. The hardware has been extremely reliable so you should get good service.

Tip: Keep the brine tank no more than one third full of salt and occasionally let it dissolve all the rocks. Otherwise, you get a solid block at the bottom of the tank that has to be removed.

Tip2: If you haven't already, pick up some water test strips at The Depot or a pool store. If you have the ability to test UNtreated city water, compare them and if not, see if you can find a hardness level for your city online. The lowest I can get our city water is around 400ppm which is still rather hard and that's why I got the DIC-20 for rinsing.

Sooo...my thinking is back to soap residue. Try that partial washing/rinsing routine and see if the smudges return and let us know..
 

DFB5.0

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That's ok, I was a touch worried there for a moment.

The streaking certainly seems like a residue from something in the mix, almost oily. I don't think this is a water issue. A couple of things to consider -

-Is the soap drying on the paint? From what you mentioned in the OP, I don't think that's the case. To rule this in/out, wash and dry one panel as a test, say the bonnet or front quarter panel. Don't use the drying aid to get a good gauge. In this test, you can start to eliminate the possible causes one by one without having to rush around the whole car.

-How much of the Chemical Guys product are you using? Over applied, that can cause streaking. Usually with these products, you prime the towel with a few sprays, then 2 - 3 sprays on each panel. That should be enough to provide lubrication and add gloss. Overloading the panel or working too big of a section can also lead to streaking.

-Has this streaking started recently or from the very beginning of the ceramic coating? If it's recent (weeks/months), try doing a decontamination wash. Ceramic coating can become "clogged" over time and often a wash with an appropriate soap (use CarPro Descale if you have Cquartz) and the use of an iron remover can rejuvenate the coating. Is it still beading/hydrophobic? If not, the coating could be clogged or be needing that decon.

-If all of this leads to no luck, then return the car to the detailer who installed the coating and ask for their advise.

I hope that helps, I can certainly understand your frustration. I had some product ghosting on the bonnet of a car, I ended up having to re-polish the panel to level it back and start again. It happens.
 

Cobrajet70

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Check out obsessed garage, alot of good info but on thing I noticed from poking around was he doesn't use detailers or washes that have wax in them for that exact reason.
Also His Detail/ waterless wash solution as well as his Drying aid is killer. Car Pro reload is good stuff too for coated cars.
 

ay1820

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It's hard to tell, but those streaks look like something that is smearing across the surface when drying. I am inclined to think that there is some sort of residue from washing. Maybe try switching soaps? I have been using the Chemical Guys car wash on my Shadow Black Mustang with good results. Also, if you have some sort of buildup, it may be time to use a clay bar to strip away anything that has accumulated.

A coupe of other less likely but not impossible things to consider. If you use your buckets with household cleaners, you could be getting some sort of chemical cross contamination that is causing a problem with one of the products you are using. Also, very unlikely, but I could envision and extreme case where mixing products from different manufacturers could cause problems (i.e.; something in the car wash from manufacturer A may not mix well with something in the drying agent from manufacturer B).
 

 
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