Your car wash workflow

Broid

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I'd be interested in the thread where you all post your car wash workflow. How do you do it, in what order and what products do you use? Let's try and keep it simple.
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Bobn57

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for me its simple...I mostly have been using Zaino products since 1999 with great results.
First rinse car with hose to get off loose dirt. All work is done top to bottom...except....
clean wheels first with Chemical Guys or other name brand wheel cleaner.
Use two bucket method with Zaino car wash starting at the roof and all glass. Soap with quality mitt, then rinse. Repeat at hood, fenders, front end and rinse. Continue to doors and quarter panel one side at a time. Finish with trunk lid and rear of stang. Use good quality drying towels and dry stang from top to bottom. Open and shut doors and trunk to remove excess water. Leave hood, doors and trunk open to shed any additional water. Dry wheels last. Man I'm tried! :crackup:
 

coz0502

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I clean the wheels, tires, calipers & fender liners first using a sponge and cleaning accessories that only get used on those areas. I rinse out bucket and add just a little car wash and water with a different sponge. I spray the car off with just water to eliminate any loose dirt. Then I use the foam gun and cover the entire car. Scrubbing from top to bottom and use the foam gun again when needed. Top to bottom for me, means roof, hood and trunk, then sides and rear of the car. I finish by cleaning the front end often times with a scrubber design to remove bugs.

I live in Florida so I am usually spraying the car down with water multiple times to keep the car wet and avoid water spots. I use Meguiar Ceramic Spray Wax per the bottles instructions unless I'm planning to put wax on the car.

Once it's clean it's into the garage to dry, again to avoid water spots from the Florida sun. I dry from top to bottom, then the wheels, door, hood and trunk jams using towels specific for those areas. Then I'll clean the interior.

Once done I'll go back over the car where it likes to "cry" and finish up with some tire shine, usually using Cover All.
 

Idaho2018GTPremium

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My main technique looks like this:

Clean the wheels 1st:
Clean wheels with mitt 1 and soapy bucket of water. Rinse mitt with hose before dipping it back into the soapy water (that prevents the need for 2 bucket system), clean the wheels and calipers, and the inner barrel of the wheels (as best as I can reach).

Exhaust tips 2nd:
Clean exhaust tips (exterior and ~4" inside them) with mitt 1 and very soapy bucket of water. Same technique as wheels. I should probably use a 3rd mitt for this in hindsight (and will moving forward).

Car 3rd:
Rinse entire car with hose. Using clean mitt 2 and a 5 gal bucket of soapy water: start at the top and work my down and around. Careful to rinse the mitt with the hose (I have a nozzle I shut off between rinses) every time before putting it back into the soapy water. Rinse soapy water off car frequently with hose. In the lower areas I do much smaller areas between rinses mitt because more street grime tends to build up low on the car and behind the wheels.

Door jambs 4th, Mitt 2. Minimal soap and water, to prevent water from entering the cabin or electronics. Lastly, under side skirts and rear diffuser (the areas that face downward to the street).

Complete rinse before drying.

Initial dry with leaf blower, careful not to ever blow toward the ground, as that can kick up rocks and dirt onto the car.

Detailed dry w/ clean microfiber towels. On average I probably use 12 m.f. towels to completely dry the car. Typically starting with windows and upper surfaces first, and work my way down and around. After drying the body and windows, I dry the detailed areas of the car usually in this order: front grilles and headlights, rear taillights (using the corner of the microfiber cloth to get inside the areas where a regular wipe won't reach), wheels, door jambs, under rear decklid/around trunk, bottom of side skirts and rear diffuser, and lastly, the engine bay. I use a fresh microfiber towel at each step, so the towel that dried the wheels only dries the wheels, etc.

This has worked pretty well for me, no swirl marks in my paint.

A tip: don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets with microfiber towels - it clogs the mf and makes them lose their water absorbency. I always do an extra rinse cycle with the mf towels and wash and dry them alone.
 

K4fxd

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Pull up to carwash, insert money drive into wash bay, let machine do it's thing.
 

Muhnopoly

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I'm also curious to hear people's process but with a twist.

How do yall wash your cars at a coin car wash ? For people like me who live in apartments and don't have access to an area with a hose.
I absolutely refuse to use a drive thru wash because they chipped my paint on my last mustang
 

K4fxd

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I use the touchless car washes. One close actually does a good job due to the proper use of chemicals.
 

JuicySmollet

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Two Bucket System
  1. Wheels and tires first - pressure wash away dirt, use mitt, brush and tire brush using 2 bucket system, pressure wash off
  2. Pressure wash entire car off, pour out 2 buckets and add clean rinse water and new soap
  3. Depending on my mood, either just wash with specific for paint mitt or spray down with soap (GSF) - typically wash everything but the front and back, rinse and then do front and back and rinse
  4. Blow dry off everything with Airforce blower
  5. Spray down missed spots with Beadmaker and MF - I still don't know if I love Beadmaker on a black car, I find it sometimes leaves a residue.
  6. Open hood and blow out water in the intakes and other spots, clean inside truck lid and door sills
  7. EDITED: I use CarPro Perl on the tires too....it works wonders on faded plastic too (12 yr old F-150 looks like new)
 
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Konamoth

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I'm also curious to hear people's process but with a twist.

How do yall wash your cars at a coin car wash ? For people like me who live in apartments and don't have access to an area with a hose.
I absolutely refuse to use a drive thru wash because they chipped my paint on my last mustang
I frequent a coin wash local to my work for in-between rinses if I notice I've picked up an unpleasant layer of grime in my coming and going. Much of the same as has been said above; rinse first, then wash. Top-to-bottom starting with roof, hood, trunk lid. Go around the upper half of the body panels, then finish at the bottom. Rinse frequently.

You can use the standard watery wash, or foam if your local provides it. Though it's a given, never use the brush(es) that may be provided at those places—they will ruin your paint. I carry a wash mitt in the tirewell in case I need to rinse down.

My local provides a blower drying tool, but if yours doesn't have that, carry a large chamois cloth to wipe standing water off the car.
 

WD Pro

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Then I wake up, sigh and get my buckets out … :cwl:

As you asked for it in simple steps :
  • Power wash with snow foam.
  • Power wash rinse (including 90 deg jet for under arches and sills etc).
  • Two bucket hand wash. Lambs wool mitt. Two grit guards.
  • Rinse with open hose - little need to dry here as we have great water.
  • Remainder of the wash soap used on wheels with microfibre wash mitt (individual fingers), microfibre wheel brush and boars hair brush.
As and when required, I will add into the process :
  • Iron remover wheel cleaner.
  • Door, hood and trunk shuts.
Everything else is just done when needed - exhaust trims, plastics etc etc.

WD :like:
 

cbdallas

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Pressure wash fender liners and wheels/tires
Use dedicated mitt and wheel brush on liners, wheels/tires
Pressure wash car
Foam cannon car
Wash with dedicated mitt
Rinse with garden hose
Sheet water with garden hose
Leaf blow grille, mirrors & other water collection spots
Dry windows
Dry paint with drying aide (Beadmaker) and microfiber drying towels
Dry door & trunk sills, & under hood with small microfibers
 

Idaho2018GTPremium

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I'm also curious to hear people's process but with a twist.

How do yall wash your cars at a coin car wash ? For people like me who live in apartments and don't have access to an area with a hose.
I absolutely refuse to use a drive thru wash because they chipped my paint on my last mustang
15+ years ago when I lived in apartments, I would use the coin car washes. I'd spray the car down with high pressure soap, then spray the brush really well with the high pressure soapy water to clean off any debris, then use the "clean" brush that spits out soap while brushing it on the car. Then rinse and dry. I did that on my old Camaro Z28 and my Trans Am, but I am more OCD now than I used to be as my cars get more expensive, so I'm not sure I'd do that with my ZL1.

The problem with using only pressure washing is it doesn't get all the grime off; it leaves a thin dirty residue and when you dry the car, that puts fine scratches and swirls in the paint. So you really have to rub it with a soapy soft brush or mitt to safely carry away that thin layer of grime, even after pressure washing.

Also, it's a definite no to the drive through car washes. I don't even think my rear 305s will fit most drive through tracks.
 

The Demon

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I'm also curious to hear people's process but with a twist.

How do yall wash your cars at a coin car wash ? For people like me who live in apartments and don't have access to an area with a hose.
I absolutely refuse to use a drive thru wash because they chipped my paint on my last mustang
Since I live in an apartment I use a service that comes to me every two weeks. They do the same process you are all doing and then I usually quick detail it almost everyday. Yep...I'm OCD about the car being clean....until they come back. It rarely rains in SoCal so it is easy top keep it up.

Then I fully detail it once every two months at home with the Liquid Glass.

No car washes or coin places for me.
 

FKE SNK

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Two Bucket System
  1. Wheels and tires first - pressure wash away dirt, use mitt, brush and tire brush using 2 bucket system, pressure wash off
  2. Pressure wash entire car off, pour out 2 buckets and add clean rinse water and new soap
  3. Depending on my mood, either just wash with specific for paint mitt or spray down with soap (GSF) - typically wash everything but the front and back, rinse and then do front and back and rinse
  4. Blow dry off everything with Airforce blower
  5. Spray down missed spots with Beadmaker and MF
  6. Open hood and blow out water in the intakes and other spots, clean inside truck lid and door sills
This
Also, I just switched to GSF and I love it. Blow dry with an EGO 650
 

TonyNJ

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Spray it with water from a garden hose,

Brush it dowm with a soft soapy wet brush,

spray it again.

Squeegee, towel, drive.
 
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