Your car wash workflow

DFB5.0

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Agree with Lorne, regarding the pressure washer. Asked about the final rinse before drying. Guess most don't think that is very interesting or considered a key part of the cleaning.
A final rinse prior to the drying process is probably just as important as the initial rinse. The final rinse will remove any lingering dirt and, of course, soap residue.

As you mention, the use of a foam cannon tends to necessitate a more targeted final rinse step, with attention given to the various shut lines around the car. To be honest, I have been using a foam cannon and pressure washer for so long now this step is just second nature to me. I also use my blower to drive water (and occasionally soap) from these areas anyway and follow up with a towel and a drying aid.

Is this over complicated or over thought............ probably. Keep in mind though, when I wash my car it's generally as a way to unwind. Adding a step here or there, and therefore adding more time to the task, doesn't bother me as I'm generally having a good time, enjoying some me time........and making my car look awesome in the process.

 

DFB5.0

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In terms of using a pressure washer for car cleaning, I totally get the faff it can be to get it all set up and running, then packing it all away at the end. I washed my cars with a hose and bucket for year and years despite owning a (crappy) entry level pressure washer for that very reason.

As a bit of a counter argument, a good pressure washer set-up can make the whole process more efficient and enjoyable. In terms of actual pressure, my unit has a high flow rate with only about 1000psi, the pressure controlled via the nozzle orifice. I have also found having a good hose, nozzles, gun and wand transforms the use of a pressure washer. Most pressure washers are supplied with equipment not especially suited to the task of car washing, despite what the manufacturer says on the box

There are pro and cons to using both a garden hose and pressure washers. What matters is the most is using what makes you comfortable or happy.
 

kilobravo

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Quote: Pressure scatters and blows water/soap into crevices.

Perhaps it is my OCD when rinsing, but I don't have this problem and never find soap lingering afterward. But, even if it did, the Max Blaster blow dryer would take care of it.

Quote: Long story short.. between the setup, fuss and mess, electrical cord, etc the pressure washer has become more of a chore than what I really wanted to deal with...

I hear that. The more efficient you can make this part, (QC's help) the less time wasted. For me, car washing is therapeutic and I enjoy it.
 

kilobravo

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K12 Foamer - Bought one for the wheels, complete waste of money. It barely foams in the first place and you wind up spending the vast majority of your time pumping the thing up. If you pay for postage, you can have my worthless POS.
 

kilobravo

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Ira: Not a method I would use. For one thing, putting the tip of the PW inside the mitt and then placing it directly against the paint, runs much too great a risk for the very high pressure water to hit the body or, heaven forbid, the tip itself, if the mitt slips off.

IMHO, the author was way too close with that tip when rinsing as well. I'm over the top and only use the 25-degree tip for wheels and tires then move up to a 40-degree for the rest.

I also like to "feel" the car under my mitt hand and allow my fingers to get into the nooks and crannies. Trying to replicate that with a mitt at the end of a PW wand doesn't seem smart, to me.

My two or three cents.
 

Bikeman315

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Ira: Not a method I would use. For one thing, putting the tip of the PW inside the mitt and then placing it directly against the paint, runs much too great a risk for the very high pressure water to hit the body or, heaven forbid, the tip itself, if the mitt slips off.

IMHO, the author was way too close with that tip when rinsing as well. I'm over the top and only use the 25-degree tip for wheels and tires then move up to a 40-degree for the rest.

I also like to "feel" the car under my mitt hand and allow my fingers to get into the nooks and crannies. Trying to replicate that with a mitt at the end of a PW wand doesn't seem smart, to me.

My two or three cents.
Exactly my feeling but I thought maybe I was wrong. Actually ever since I've started using the Gyeon Bathe+ I follow their recommendations as it just makes water fall off the car.

First I use the standard two bucket method. Then I wash a second time using the shampoo directly on a clean mitt. Takes an additional few minutes but so worth it. I finish off with Gyeon Ceramic detailer and absolutely nothing stays on the paint. Now my Mustang is ceramic coated but my wife's Volvo is not. Her car beads up as much as mine. Of course , it will not last as long.
 

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K12 Foamer - Bought one for the wheels, complete waste of money. It barely foams in the first place and you wind up spending the vast majority of your time pumping the thing up. If you pay for postage, you can have my worthless POS.
Do you know which Model? I use an Adams IK foamer for my Wheels.
https://adamspolishes.com/products/adam-s-ik-foam-sprayer

I also use an IK Foamer Similar to this one in the link below:
https://www.iksprayers.com/en/ik-multi-9-83811911.html
I use it primarily for a Traffic Film Remover

There are 3 colored tips that determine the amount of Foam produced. Also check your dilution measurements for some of the chemicals and water combinations, as there's some trial and error involved.
 

DrZed

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A foam cannon and two buckets changed the game for me. I could never get all the dirt off my car, some always stayed behind.

A foam cannon with chemical guys suds on a power washer (not garden hose type).

AT home:

1) Pressure wash car top to bottom just water.
2) Foam cannon the car. Wait 3-5 mins.
3) Pressure wash car top to bottom just water.
4) Foam cannon the car. Immediately:
5) Bucket 1: clean water.
Bucket 2: water with 2oz of foam cannon soap.
6) Wash one panel with the soapy water then dunk in fresh water bucket and squeeze out. Repeat until the whole car is soapy.
7) Pressure wash car top to bottom just water.
8) Chamois dry

Coin-op:

1) Pre-soak entire car with that setting. It's a low pressure dirt remover, most have it.
2) Rinse high pressure
3) High pressure soap
4) Rinse high pressure
5) Chamois dry

My car is PPFd so this makes a difference I've found in how easily the dirt comes off. The coin op procedure for me is so darn easy and in 8 minutes I can have 95% complete of a job as the, far more labour intensive, power washer method. Even if the car gets super dirty the pre-soak with the PPF gets everything off.
 
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kilobravo

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Jay, I don't recall the brand but it looked exactly like the one in your clip. Got it from OG and I wound up just throwing it away. Tried another one from them, a Marolex, and while slightly better, it still didn't work worth a darn so I gave up on the sprayers.
 

Rapid Red

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A final rinse prior to the drying process is probably just as important as the initial rinse. The final rinse will remove any lingering dirt and, of course, soap residue.

As you mention, the use of a foam cannon tends to necessitate a more targeted final rinse step, with attention given to the various shut lines around the car. To be honest, I have been using a foam cannon and pressure washer for so long now this step is just second nature to me. I also use my blower to drive water (and occasionally soap) from these areas anyway and follow up with a towel and a drying aid.

Is this over complicated or over thought............ probably. Keep in mind though, when I wash my car it's generally as a way to unwind. Adding a step here or there, and therefore adding more time to the task, doesn't bother me as I'm generally having a good time, enjoying some me time........and making my car look awesome in the process.

Bottom line : "making my car look awesome in the process."

Could not agree more, my car looks just as awesome when done.

Just do it faster, with less hassle, it comes down to the execution.

I've known mechanics with tool boxes the size of a freight car. Full to the brim with Snap-on tools, that could not change a tire.

Point is tools used are a means, same results can be attained . Using a foam cannon (I just love the word) or bucket and a hose, set up/clean up time, the only real difference.
 

groove93

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Jay, I don't recall the brand but it looked exactly like the one in your clip. Got it from OG and I wound up just throwing it away. Tried another one from them, a Marolex, and while slightly better, it still didn't work worth a darn so I gave up on the sprayers.

For the smaller IK Foamer, I do recall having to clean the small foam tip inside the housing where the solution shoots out, as I was getting no foam and just liquid shooting out of the sprayer. I had to remove this piece, wash it out, then re-insert it into the socket. This fixed the foaming issue for me.

On the larger IK Foamers, it comes with extra foam tips, and 3 colored nozzles. Each nozzle affects the foam output of your solution.
 

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I was using P&S brake buster or Auto Fanatic Wheel cleaner on a foam cannon but now I use the IK Foam Pro 2. I think it is easier with the IK than the foam cannon.

Today I received the Maxshine M15 Pro and the new Auto Fanatic Mega Gloss Tire Shine. AF sent me a sample a while ago to test it and it is really good. I was using CG VRP for tires but found that AF last more than VRP.

20211203_120129.jpg


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Lorne34

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K12 Foamer - Bought one for the wheels, complete waste of money. It barely foams in the first place and you wind up spending the vast majority of your time pumping the thing up. If you pay for postage, you can have my worthless POS.
 

Lorne34

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I've been watching the AMMO NYC Academy Videos and really like his thought process and methodology. He talks about doing a proper full wash, but in between doing maintenance washes which are quicker, less drama and keep the car looking nice all of the time. That's been my struggle is dealing with a dirty car that is not really needing a power washer, foam canon, 2-bucket etc...
Going to try a bunch of different options this spring, including ONR, Ammo NYC's Ammo Hydrate method and possible Ammo Frothe...
 

 
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