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Old 12-29-2007, 03:29 PM   #1
HoldenC
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Post 10 Steps To The Perfect Hand Wash

f you have experience with detailing, you know important it is to wash your vehicle correctly. For those who are new to detailing or who are just discovering my blog for the first time, we will be covering the basic steps.

Before we begin, you will need:

2 Large Buckets (preferably new)
Car Wash Soap (for now, use a name brand such as Meguiars)
Microfibre Wash Mitt
Microfibre Drying Towel

1) Pour a small quantity of car wash soap (about 2-3 capfuls) into one bucket and fill both buckets with lukewarm water.

2) Begin by pre-rinsing the vehicle. Move around the vehicle at a gentle pace, making certain to soak the paint as much as possible with your hose. Try to remove or dislodge as much dirt as possible while still being gentle to the paint. Do not use a pressure washer.

3) Once the car is pre-rinsed, you may dip the wash mitt into the soapy bucket and begin washing the car. Use gentle, even strokes in a uniform direction - do not use a circular pattern. This is to prevent a common occurrence called "swirls," effectively millions of tiny scratches caused by small particles of dirt in your wash media. Use of the former method should virtually eliminate the recurrence of swirls.

4) Once you have completed the top half of the vehicle (hood, roof, windows, and trunk), you may rinse the soap off. For this step, remove the nozzle of the hose. This will allow you to "sheet" the water off the car, reducing the amount of time spent drying afterward.

5) Now that the top half of the car has been rinsed, you may begin washing the lower half. Insert the wash mitt into the bucket of clean water. This will remove some of the dirt particulates that have accumulated in it. Resume washing the lower half.

6) With the lower half completely covered in suds, it is now time to rinse for the final time. Use the "sheeting" method as described earlier.

7) Dry the vehicle with a microfibre drying towel. Be certain to remove every drop of water as the minerals that form from a drop of water can etch the paint.

8) Protect all of your rubber trim with a protectant. My favourite product for this is 303 Aerospace Protectant, however products such as Poorboy's Natural Look and Mother's Back to Black may serve you just as well.

9) Wash all of your wheels in the same manner described above. You may use either car wash soap or a dedicated wheel cleaner. Be careful of over the counter products as they contain acids that may harm alloy wheels.

If you are using plain 'ol soap, employ an old rag or wash mitt. Never use the same mitt for the wheels as you do for the paint. Simply cover all four wheels with suds. By the time the last wheel is covered, you may return to rinse each wheel in turn. Dry the wheel with a microfibre towel.

Employ the same methods with wheel cleaner gels, allowing them time to eat away at brake dust, grime and dirt before rinsing away.

10) Dress your tires and wheel wells in the same manner as door and window trim. Now, you may sit back and enjoy the view.

This is the manner which I have used successfully in my business. It may work for you or you may have to adapt this process to suit your schedule and needs.

This is from my new blog entitled The Perfect Shine and is located at http://theperfectshine.blogspot.com. Thanks, and please visit any time you like.

If you have any questions about detailing, just send me a PM and perhaps I will include it with one of my blog postings.
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:56 PM   #2
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Nice write up! Can't wait to start hand washing my car in the spring
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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sweet stuff man

i'm not sure if its the same for other soaps out there, but meguiars gold class shampoo and conditioner give that extra shine

one question, what do you use to dry your car? after one washing and drying, the cloth becomes way too oily for the next drying(even after extensively cleaning them)?
the drying cloth i use is the microfibre thing from canadian tire
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2ozebozz View Post
sweet stuff man

i'm not sure if its the same for other soaps out there, but meguiars gold class shampoo and conditioner give that extra shine

one question, what do you use to dry your car? after one washing and drying, the cloth becomes way too oily for the next drying(even after extensively cleaning them)?
the drying cloth i use is the microfibre thing from canadian tire
Use that Lamp Skin to dry it.
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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n2ozebozz: I answered your question on my blog. I hope it helps =).
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Old 01-01-2008, 12:30 PM   #6
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you rock man!!! those links are awesome!!

Last edited by AceOfSpades; 01-01-2008 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:18 PM   #7
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Hey, could we get a sticky for this thread?
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:56 AM   #8
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Also to reduce swirls, wash the cars top parts (hood, roof, trunk) with a front to back stroke. The sides of the car with a top to bottom stroke... so i've been told by a reputable detailer.
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Manimillion View Post
Also to reduce swirls, wash the cars top parts (hood, roof, trunk) with a front to back stroke. The sides of the car with a top to bottom stroke... so i've been told by a reputable detailer.
Yes, that is correct. Avoid circular patterns when you wash your car. If you do, you reduce the opportunity for tiny particles of dirt to cause "swirls".
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:09 AM   #10
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you rock man!!! those links are awesome!!
You're very welcome. Happy detailing!
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:03 PM   #11
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New article posted today. Check it out: http://theperfectshine.blogspot.com.

Comment on some of the articles, give me some feedback, and keep visiting; there are great things to come
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Old 01-09-2008, 02:03 PM   #12
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:12 PM   #13
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hang on... so using steel wool to wash my car is a BAD idea?
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:02 AM   #14
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I'd like to add that you shouldn't use any household dish detergent soaps if you don't have an automotive-grade soap... these household products are extremely strong and will strip any wax you have on the car instantly. If you intend on removing the wax for a reapplication, then be my guest!
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:16 PM   #15
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Why does everyone use microfiber towels? They don't absorb jack, just streak water around. I just use ordinary cotton towels.
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