View Full Version : car wash tips

17-10-2006, 02:53 AM
Proper Vehicle Washing

Many of us enjoy the benefits of a freshly hand washed car. However, without proper knowledge, you may be doing more harm than good. Washing a car improperly will induce micro-marring known as Swirls or Spider-Webbing.
The cause of this damage is due to foreign particles trapped in your washing materials. This can happen several ways such as,

A. Improper storage of materials when not in use.
B. Improper materials such as using Dishsoap* (See bottom note), old T-Shirts etc.
C. Improper washing techniques which lead to further damage in the drying stage.


The following materials are recommended for proper washing.
A. Two regular Wash bucketís or a single grit trap bucket.
B. Either 100% Sheepskin Wash Mitt, Cotton Chenille Mitt, or a Microfiber Wash Mitt.
C. Sponge, or Terry Towel for wheels.
D. Quality Car Wash Soap such as P21S, or Wolfgang.


1. When washing a car try to do it in an atmosphere where the paint surface is not hot to the touch. Shade or garages are the best atmosphere. Overly high temperatures cause the water and soaps to evaporate too quickly, not giving them a chance to remove the necessary particles.

2. Start by thoroughly spraying the entire vehicle with a nozzled hose or pressure washer. Pay particular attention to heavily soiled areas, trying to remove as much dirt as possible in this stage. If possible work from top to bottom in a downward angle.

3. Use a soap specifically designed for washing automotive paints. These soaps have special oils and lubricants in them specially designed to lift and remove foreign particles. These soaps are also very low on the PH scale and will not strip previous waxes.

4. Start by washing the wheels, this will eliminate any brake dust, or harsh wheel cleaners from contacting a freshly washed panel.

5. By using two buckets you greatly reduce the possibility of tracking dirt into your wash mitt. Your soapy water will also stay much cleaner. Simply fill one bucket with your soap/water mixture and the other bucket with just water. After every application of soap/water dip and shake the wash mitt in the water bucket.

This will loosen and clean the wash mitt BEFORE applying more soap/water to the mitt. The soap solution will stay much cleaner and the majority or dirt will stay in the water bucket. You can also use special Grit Trap buckets. These buckets have a screen or false floor in the bottom where loose particles fall beneath. This makes it impossible to come in contact with these particle when re-entering the wash bucket for more soap.

6. Scrub the vehicle from top to bottom, try to follow the contours of the vehicle or any distinct body lines. By doing this, any mishaps are much less noticeable. By washing in a circular motion any mishaps will be at all angles and much more noticeable. Rinse often! After every application of soap rinse the vehicle before going back for more soap.

7. After you are finished washing, do a final rinse on the entire vehicle. For the final rinse remove the hose nozzle. Start from top to bottom and with the flowing water inches away from the surface sheet off any remaining or misses debris/soap. This sheeting rinse will pull materials down and leave much less water on the surface. There will be little water beading with this technique making it much easier and quicker to dry.

17-10-2006, 03:11 PM
They are pretty good washing tips. The point about washing in sunlight is good, best to do it while overcast or evening when sun has gone if you can not find shade.
Do you recommend drying with a shamii (spelling?) after washing? Or just let it dry on its own?

17-10-2006, 08:35 PM
It leaves some nasty water marks on the paint sometimes. All the dust in the air sticks to the left over water as it dries and it stays on the car after it does. Then you need to wash it again!

14-12-2006, 10:47 AM
I use a microfibre towel from America ( i will post a pic 2nite), dries the car perfectly, leaves no streaks or rubs any polish and you can dry the entire car without rinsing the twoel unlike the chamoise.

23-01-2007, 06:47 PM
I have found a great bunch of car care products which are natural. They are called Zymol and i think they are a german brand and really good! they are pretty expensive but great

check them out at

As Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes- Benz, Ferrari, Rolls Royce and Bentley use them for years so i think they would be good enough to use for HSV ;)

22-06-2007, 07:52 PM
I always fill the washing up bucket with more than halfway with boiling hot water & then fill the rest with cold.
After the first initial rinse, I found that it comes up alot cleaner removing alot more rubbish from the paint.
I guess it doesn't help when my car isn't undercover at home & work in a industrial area in Perth.


29-06-2007, 08:28 PM
If you leave it to drip dry, the minerals, and salts will stain the paint and become harder to polish out.

Ive also found that cleaning the windows with a finishing spray poilsh will put a great shine on the windows and rain glides off easier.

Does anyone have a tip for removing polish fro black plastic????

23-07-2007, 07:56 PM
try some sort of sylicon free armorall and a tooth brush lightly

04-09-2007, 04:31 PM
Would you guys ever consider one of those waterless spray-on products for a quick spruce up?

At the servo the other day a bloke raced over and did a demonstration before I could even blink. He sprays this stuff onto dirt, which apparently dissolves it makes it harmless then wipes it off leaving a clean surface. He then proceeded to demonstrate that the clean section would be impervious to fingerprints and dirt for the following four - six weeks.

Secretly i was actually impressed, but I didn't buy any of the stuff because I still had those inescapable feelings of scepticism.

Insta Finish
24-09-2007, 11:04 AM
Great car washing tips thus far from all members...

For further detailing tips n tricks including what and how the Pro-s do it, check out

--- www.instafinishcardetailing.com.au ---

We always recommend to Clay Bar the paint work if it's not in Concourse Condition, this will remove all contaminents and in built dirt from the paint work (that normal washing does not remove) before applying any form of Paint Protection, Polish, Final Finish Wax or Compound.

Clay Baring is the Pro-s trade secret to ensure you get the best results from any polish / wax application process..

If you have any further questions on the best way to "clay bar, polish, compound or wax" a vehicle's paint work, please feel free to contact me direct and I would be happy to share my knowledge and advice.

Cheers and I hope to here from you soon.

Insta Finish