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Old 04-13-2012, 11:27 AM   #4

1BADLS3's Avatar
Drives: Sold: 2011 2SS/RS
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1,896
3...2...till this gets moved to the detailing forum...

I wash. With a big bucket of water, a cotton wash mit, carwash soap. Top to bottom, front to back, and if the car is really dirty I'll pop the doors and wash the rocker sills and where it meets the quarter panel. I hit the wheels and exhaust tips with simple green and clean them up with a separate wish mitt. To dry, I squeegee with a water blade and then touch up with an Absorber.

Once or twice/year I'll fully detail the car. I've got a pressure washer. I open up the doors, hood, etc and hit all the jambs, engine bay, fender wells, wheels, underside of the hood, cowl, gas door, etc with simple green. If it's really dirty, I'll work it in with a brush around technical spots. Let it soak for a minute while I fire up the pressure washer. I blast it all. Then I button the car back up, hit the exterior with a pressure washer. Then I hand wash the car as mentioned above. Pressure-rinse. Then, clay. Another quick once-over and rinse. Dry as mentioned above, except I use an air compressor to blow out the gaps and common 'drip' spots, jambs, etc so I can wax it without soaking a wax pad. I haven't had an older car in a while, so usually just a hand wax is fine. No cutting or polishing necessary, just wax.

The interior gets its cracks blown out with the air compressor, same with the seats, then the hard surfaces and seats wiped down, carpets vacuumed, the leather surfaces cleaned and conditioned with Lexol, the plastic gauges and radio face get wiped down with a MF cloth that's got a bit of wax on it to keep the surfaces from scratching, same with HUD. Windows get cleaned with newspaper.

I go back and clean up any missed spots, or residual water on the underside of the hood, engine bay, etc with a wet rag.

Takes me 2-3 hours total, I'll usually start in the morning and finish up well before lunch so I can enjoy the rest of the day and a clean car. If I'm going crazy, I'll hit the tires with tire shine, but on the whole I don't like to do that for environmental reasons. If I need to touch up the tires, honestly, a stiff scrubbing in the wash process followed up by using a bit of cheap leather conditioner when the car is all done gives them a very nice matte-black finish just like new with no overspray or fling on adjacent panels.

All the mitts/rags get washed after I'm done. And since I'm paying attention to the car anyhow I'll check all the fluids, tire pressure BEFORE I do the process so I don't have little fingerprints on everything.

Edit: FYI, I'm not a product whore. Simple Green is the only name brand product that I really like. Wax--I go with pure caranauba, no petroleum distillates EVER, the brand varies depending on what I buy, but I think Mother's is probably the most readily available. I also use their claybars, which are ridiculously small, so I bought two and smashed them together. I keep it in a glass mason jar when it's not in use, and before I use it, I knead it real well so it's warmed up and soft. When I've had to "cut" before, I used Meguiars scratch-X or whatever it was, by hand. Not advisable to use that crap unless you've got and know how to use a buffer. Light cutting agents available at an autobody supply store are MUCH better, and if the Camaro ever gets real bad with swirls, etc, that's what I'll go buy. But with good care I don't ever see having to cut the clearcoat for a very long time. My wash mitts are whatever's on sale and doesn't pull apart. I prefer chenile cotton to synthetic as synthetic mitts tend to leave light scratches. Hand waxing...I do a panel at a time, let the wax haze over, and then wipe with a microfiber cloth. *your hands shouldn't get tired*.

Last edited by 1BADLS3; 04-13-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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