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Old 12-14-2006, 12:40 PM   #4
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Toronto
Posts: 256
How to: Properly Wash your Car

First some basic rules:

1. You should always wash your car out of direct sunlight. I usually wash my car in the evening once the sun starts to set giving me enough shade on my driveway. This will help to avoid water spots.

2. Don't ever wash your car immediately after driving it. Two reasons for this;
-Your rotors are still hot. Spraying cold water on them will cause them to warp
-Your hood will also be warm making it more susceptible to nasty hard water spots


1. Use a nozzle gun that will allow you to control the intensity of the water you are spraying onto your vehicle.

2. Always start with your rims, rubber, and wheel wells. Start with the two front wheels since they are the dirtiest. Fill up one bucket with car wash soap. Spray the rim, rubber, and well with water. Mist the rim lightly. Use full force on the rubber, and well. Dip a sponge in the soap. Start by cleaning the rim. When complete, mist off the soap. Spray water on the sponge at full force to clean the gunk from the rim off of it. Wring out the water when complete. Dip the sponge back in the soap, and clean the well. Spray the soap off when complete. Clean the sponge with water, wring it out and place it back in the bucket. Clean your rubber by using a tire brush. Try scooping only the suds from the top of the bucket onto the bristles. Work the suds into the sidewall until you are satisfied they are clean. Use full pressure water to clean the soap off. Use the full pressure from the nozzle to clean the brush. Place it back in the bucket. Repeat this process for the next 3.

3. When finished step 2, clean the sponge and brush as outlined in step 2. Dump the soap from the bucket and rinse the bucket out with clean water.

4. Fill up the now clean bucket from step 3 and another clean bucket with car wash soap. I usually put 4 or 5 cap fulls of soap in my bucket. It allows my to fill up the bucket with more water half way through my wash, and still maintain good suds. Put two different dedicated 100% chenille wash mitts into each bucket. Do not re-use the sponge from step two on your paint! One bucket/mitt will be used to clean all horizontal surfaces and all vertical surfaces above the middle of the door. The other bucket/mitt will be used to clean all areas of the car below the middle of the door. Why am I doing this you ask? Well, the areas below the door tend to be dirtier, thus you wouldn’t want to use the same mitt on the horizontal areas as it will most likely cause swirls. I use two buckets because it allows me to keep my wash water cleaner during the process. Using one bucket will guarantee dirty water and in turn create swirls.

5. Start by washing the highest part of your car and working your way down.

You should mist the roof and front and rear windows with water. Dip your sponge for your top part of the car into its bucket. Gently glide the mitt over the paint. Try not to apply pressure. The weight of your arm should be enough. Go in a front to back motion, NOT circular. I can't stress this enough. Why? Well, if you get grit trapped in your mitt, it will create swirls in your paint. Front to back swirls are much harder to see than circular, minimizing the damage. Do half the roof. Flip your mitt over and do the other half of the roof. Then use the remaining soap on the mitt to clean the front and rear windows. Rinse the roof and windows with misting water. Rinse the mitt by spraying both sides with full force.

Wring the water out, dip it in the bucket and begin cleaning the hood. Do half the hood with one side of the sponge, the other half with the other side. Rinse the hood with misting water. Clean the mitt and wring it out. Put it back in its dedicated bucket.

Take the bottom mitt and begin cleaning the front grill, headlights and front bumper, fogs, etc. Rinse the area with water. Rinse the mitt and place it back in its bucket.

Move onto the trunk. Take the sponge for the top and clean the trunk lid. Flip it over and clean the back of the trunk above the bumper. Rinse the areas and rinse the mitt.

Take the bottom mitt and clean the area below the bumper. Rinse the area and rinse the mitt.

Take the sponge for the top and clean the rear quarter panel, flip the mitt over and clean the rear door (if you have a sedan) above the molding. Take the remaining soap and clean the frame above the window and the window itself. Rinse the door and quarter panel, window and the mitt.

Do the same thing for front fender and front door. Rinse the area and mitt. Do the opposite side in the same manner.

Take the mitt for the bottom part and clean the front door below the molding. Flip the mitt over and clean the rear door. Use the remaining soap to clean the rocker panel. Rinse the area and the mitt.

Do the opposite side in the same manner.

Your car is now complete!

Just some general notes:

Always mist the area with water before washing it with the mitt.

Always mist the paint when washing the soap off. Directing a high-pressure spray is not good for the clear coat.

Always go in front to back motions with the mitt.

Always glide the mitt over the area.

Always rinse the mitt with a full spray before dipping it back into the buckets. This will ensure the mitt and wash water stays clean
1997 318i
Boston Green Metallic with Beige cloth interior
15" Steel Wheels with Plastic Hubcaps

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