Do any of you use one of those self serve coin washes? After some experimentation, I found this to be the most effective way to clean your car.
1. Use wax wash to spray down the entire car. Try to get all the grit off your paint
2. Use the foam brush and spray the car wash soap into a bucket. DO NOT use the foam brush on your paint.
3. Use a couple clean microfibre rags and carefully wipe down the whole car. Take your time with this step to ensure the wax seals a good layer on your clean clear coat. Do not use a swirl motion to avoid swirl marks. Flip, fold, scrub and squeeze the rags often to ensure youíre not scraping grit into your clear coat. This is especially important with you people that have darker paints which show imperfections easily.
4. After the car is covered in soap, give it one more rinse with the wax wash. All this wax you using will build a layer on your clear coat which keeps your paint always looking fresh and reduces the frequency that you need to wash your car. Once you get a layer of wax on your car, any grit just comes right off so you donít need to worry about scratching your clear coat when you are wiping everything down.
You have the pay for the coin machine system twice to do this properly, but itís still half the price of an automated car wash and your paint will look amazing after you build a layer of wax on your paint. You will reduce rust and keep your car looking fresh for a very long time
For the interior, all you really need is a light detergent or interior detailer to clean everything, including the seats. The seats have a protective coating on top of the leather so donít bother wasting your time ďconditioningĒ the leather, because itís not getting past the protective layer. Use a soft horsehair bristle brush to scrub the solution into the seats. You can also hang up the interior carpets on the wall at these self serve places and give them a good clean with the pressure washer... you will be amazed at how clean the mat looks afterwards and how much grit came out. Just be sure to give them a good couple whacks against the wall before you put them back in your car and once you get home, allow them to fully dry overnight somewhere ventilated to avoid bacteria buildup in your car.
A cheap, and effective way to keep your car looking fresh for those of you who gotta do it themselves. Just be very careful with your clearcoat when wiping down the car.
As a part time detailer who does this for money, i suggest few changes to your method.
1. Use coin-op wash if that's the only place where you have access to running water.
2. The initial 30 seconds of the high pressure wash is heavy alkaline , so avoid spraying on your car's body.
3. Almost all car wash places DO NOT allow you to hand wash the vehicle. It is difficult to do a 2 bucket wash while at a public carwash anyways, so just hit the car with high pressure water, and clean the wheels with a foam brush while there.
4. Once home, pull out your favorite rinseless car wash and add 1oz to 2 gallons of fresh water and soak 4 to 5 good microfiber towels into the bucket.
5. Put another 1/2oz of rinseless wash into a spray bottle or pump sprayer and fill with water.
6. Go to your car, and start spraying the rinseless wash+water solution - one panel at a time.
7. Fold the soaked microfiber into fours, and gently in long strokes start cleaning.
8. Only do one panel at a time. Once clean, use a good drying towel to soak up leftover rinseless wash from the panel.
9. Each panel depending on the size should take no more than one to two sides of a microfiber. So a car of Mazda6's size should take no more than 5 to 6 towels.
10. Once all 4 sides of the towel are dirty, put it away in a bag , do not put it into the rinseless wash bucket.
After the car is clean, use the leftover rinseless wash solution to clean your wheels with a separate microfiber towel. DO NOT mix this towel with your good towels. The wheels have microabrasive brakedust, so it is imperative to not use these towels on your body.
11. Take 2 highpile microfiber towels, use your favorite spray wax and spray directly on a towel and start wiping one panel at a time.
12. Immediately buff off with a dry, high pile towel. Spray wax flashes very soon, so do not allow it to sit.
13. Dust off the interior with dedicated leather or vinyl cleaner. Again, spray on a dedicated microfiber towel that you'll use only for interiors and give it a wipe off.
14. You DO NOT have to go to a car wash unless there is a heavy dirt built up. Just soaking a panel with rinseless solution and using the method described above will suffice for maintenance washes.
Discipline is everything here. If you can spare an hour each week, then you'll likely never go to a car wash again unless it is covered in snow/ice/off road mud. And even when it is, you'll just have to follow the same steps above to blow off the crud and then do a rinseless wash.
Once you ace the rinseless method and realize how easy it is you'll never clean your car any other way. And if you keep your car clean enough and are confident about the technique, then switch to waterless wash method. The waterless wash is a more heavy concentrate of rinseless wash solution, but there's no soaking towels here. Just spray and wipe with clean towels, you'll require atleast 10 to 12 towels to do a car.
Few products i use : Wolfgang rinseless wash concentrate, Ultima waterless wash concentrate,Blackfire synthetic spray wax, rag company 600 gsm towels for buffing and 390 to 500 gsm towels for rinseless wash. AMMO Mud for tires and trim, Lexol and aerospace 303 for interiors. My car and my customers cars always get Blackfire Sealant topped with Poorboys carnuba.