Tag: car wash

Maintenance Car Wash Routine

Maintenance Car Wash Routine

A proper maintenance car wash routine is an important part of keeping your car’s paint in great shape. Cars with ceramic coatings can be a bit quicker and easier to wash. However, our maintenance wash process is the same whether or not the vehicle has a ceramic coating. The goal of a maintenance wash is to keep the car looking as good as possible between detail washes without spending tons of time or breaking the bank. Here’s a look at our preferred maintenance wash routine and a few of the products we like.

2-Bucket Wash Process

To avoid smearing dirt across the vehicle, we think a two-bucket wash is a must. The two-bucket method simply uses a separate wash bucket (with soap) and a rinse bucket (with water). After each section of the car is cleaned, the wash mitt is first dipped into the rinse bucket before being loaded up with suds. Here are the steps for our typical two-bucket wash.

  1. Wheels first – The wheels are usually the dirtiest part of the car which is why we like to hit them first. To begin, give them a good rinse using either a pressure washer or garden hose with a jet nozzle. Next, spray the tires with a rubber cleaner and give them a quick scrub with a tire brush. After cleaning the rubber, spray a generous amount of wheel cleaner and use an EZ detail brush to remove all the dirt and brake dust from the barrel of the wheel. To finish the wheel, give it a good rinse and repeat the process on the remaining wheels.
  2. Rinse – Now that the wheels are clean, give the car a good rinse. Make sure to use high pressure on areas with lots of dirt or particles stuck to the paint.
  3. Foam gun (Optional) – If you have a foam gun it’s time to cover the vehicle in foam. We like to start with the top the vehicle and work toward the bottom. We like to think of the foam as a lubricant for our cleaning with a wash mitt, so we don’t rinse it off the car before the next step.
  4. Hand wash – With the car already covered in foam it’s time to get the wash mitt, soap bucket, and rinse bucket out. Starting at the top of the car and working toward the bottom load the mitt up with soapy suds and work in sections, rinsing and reloading the mitt as needed. We prefer to start at the top because most of the dirt tends to be at the bottom and we want to avoid grinding any grit into the paint.
  5. Rinse – A quick rinse using light pressure (ex. shower setting on an adjustable hose nozzle).
  6. Dry – There are a few options to drying. Either first blow the vehicle with a blower to remove the majority of the water or use large waffle weave towels. Next, using a drying aid and high-quality microfiber towel to remove any water spots and add a nice shine.
  7. Wheels – To finish this wheels, we like to use a microfiber and dry them while removing any dirt that wasn’t picked up in step 1.
  8. Finishing Details – In this step it’s time to wrap up the maintenance wash and hit any of the final details. Tire dressing, glass, mirrors, and door jambs are all little details that you don’t want to forget!

Maintenance Wash Tips

Here are a few tips to consider when performing a maintenance wash.

  • To avoid water spots, perform the wash in the shade and preferably cooler weather.
  • Use high-quality microfiber towels and wash mitts to keep from scratching the paint.
  • Have dedicated microfiber towels for different parts of the car (ex. wheels, paint, interior).
  • Don’t use too much pressure – let the cleaning products do the work!
  • Use a high-quality car shampoo, not dish soap – especially if your car does not have a ceramic coating.

Wash Products

High-quality wash products are an important part of a maintenance car wash. Below you’ll find a list of some of the products we like to use.

The Best Foam Gun For A Garden Hose And Car Wash

The Best Foam Gun For A Garden Hose And Car Wash

Don’t have a high-pressure washer but still looking for the extra suds from a foam gun when washing your car? No need to worry, as long as your garden hose has decent water pressure Gilmour’s Foamaster II will give you most of the same benefits at a fraction of the price. In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of using a foam gun, how to use them, and why we think the Foammaster II is the best garden hose foam gun.

Foam Gun Benefits

As we have mentioned in some of our previous posts, washing a car is all about providing lubrication between the wash mitt and the paint. Foam guns provide a quick and easy way to coat the car with the sudsy foam lubrication from the car shampoo. Typically, foam guns are used with high-pressure wash systems which professional detailers use but we managed to find one that attaches to a garden hose and works surprisingly well. The foam gun is also great for covering hard to reach areas like the wheels and wheel wells. Even though you may not be able to scrub back there just applying the soap and rinsing helps remove some of the build-ups.

How To Use A Foam Gun

The Gilmour Foamaster II is very easy to use. The foam gun comes with a screw on attachment to your garden hose, the fluid reservoir, and the foam sprayer. The foam sprayer has a quick disconnect attachment to switch between water and foam quickly. To use this for a car wash, we fill the reservoir with car shampoo – we use enough to have 3/4 inch – 1 inch of the container filled. Next, twist on the foam sprayer top and connect the foam gun to your garden hose. The foam sprayer has a dial setting with 5 different levels, labeled “A” through “E”. The “A” setting is the lightest and “D” or “E” seems to give us the best foam production.

Foam Gun Car Washing Tips

  • Don’t mix the car soap/shampoo with water, just pour it into the container.
  • When foaming the car, spray the top first and work toward the bottom last.
  • Use enough soap, you don’t want to have to add more part way through.
  • Hold the container upright when spraying for maximum foam.
  • Spray the wheels and tires with soap.
  • Use the “D” or “E” setting on the foam sprayer.

If you’re looking to improve your wash without spending tons of cash on a high-pressure wash system, make sure to check out the Foamaster II on Amazon. Also, if you need help with finding the best car wash mitt checkout our recommendation.

Weekend Wash – Top 10 Car Wash Supplies

Weekend Wash – Top 10 Car Wash Supplies

Want a little extra shine out of that weekend car wash? Our top 10 car wash supply list will get your car looking showroom ready without breaking the bank! Or if you’re feeling lazy, this car wash kit from Adam’s is a pretty good start.

Top 10 Car Wash Supplies

  1. Microfiber Wash Mitt / Wash Pad

    best-wash-mitt

    • A high-quality microfiber wash mitt is essential for anyone serious about taking care of their vehicles.Using the wrong mitt can leave your car with swirling and scratches in the paint. The mitt is one area you don’t want to cheap out on. We recommend the  2-pack Premium CYCLONE Korean Microfiber Wash Mitt and Huge 10″ x 10″ CYCLONE 10X Wash Pad by THE RAG COMPANY. You can read more about why we think this is The Best Car Wash Mitt & Pad.
  2. Adam’s Car Shampoo

    adams-car-shampoo

    • Car shampoo is all about suds, lubrication, and water spots. This shampoo is great for all 3 – cleaning power, it doesn’t scratch, and it’s water spot resistant.
  3. Wash and Rinse Buckets (2-Bucket Wash)

    2-bucket-wash

    • The two bucket car wash method is a must. It is the simplest change you can make to your car washing process to achieve some of the best results. If you are using one bucket, then you’re smearing your grit across your paint causing swirl marks and marring.
  4. Waffle Weave Drying Towels

    waffle-weave-drying-towel

    • Similar to using a high-quality wash mitt (see #1), waffle weave drying towels are designed to remove water quickly and without scratching. The faster you are able to dry the car, the less likely you are to have water spots.
  5. Microfiber Towels

    microfiber-towels

    • After removing all the majority of water with a waffle towel, we like to use a drying aid (see #6) and a microfiber towel to give the car a bit of protection and shine. We love these microfiber towels from THE RAG COMPANY.
  6. Optimum Car Wax (Drying Aid)

    optimum-car-wax-drying-aid

    • It’s tough to dry a car and avoid spotting, especially in the heat of summer. We use Optimum Car Wax as a drying aid leaving us with a nice shine and no water spots. After removing most of the water with waffle weave towels, we work panel by panel using a few squirts of Optimum Car Wax and wiping it down with a microfiber towel.
  7. EZ Detail Brush

    ez-detail-brush

    • Ever wondered how car detailers clean the barrel or inside of the wheel? Their secret is a brush like this – the EZ Detail Brush makes it easy to clean wheels, wheel wells, and exhaust.
  8. Car Pro Perl (Rubber/Plastic Protectant)

    car-pro-perl

    • Car Pro Perl leaves your tires looking new but not wet. It’ll restore that deep black color to your rubber without giving you all wet shine.
  9. Chemical Guys Foam Block (Dressing Applicator)

    chemical-guys-foam-blocks

    • We use these foam blocks from The Chemical Guys to help us apply Perl to our tires. The foam blocks are great, a quick rinse with the hose after each use and they are ready for your next car wash!
  10. Adam’s Wheel Cleaner

    adams-wheel-cleaner

    • The wheels are usually the direst part of the car, filled with brake dust and grit. A few squirts of Adam’s Wheel Cleaner before getting in their with your EZ Detail Brush makes this process quick.

Now that you’ve got the top products, make sure you aren’t committing any of the Top 10 Car Wash Mistakes.

The Best Car Wash Mitt & Pad

The Best Car Wash Mitt & Pad

 

To achieve the perfect car wash, a microfiber mitt that doesn’t create swirl marks or marring is a must have. The problems most people run into are either using a microfiber towel/cloth that doesn’t have enough fibers to hold lubricating shampoo or using some type of a sponge/wash mitt that is just too abrasive! With our obsessive attention to detail, we set out to find the best car wash mitt and pad.

We think the 2-pack Premium CYCLONE Korean Microfiber Wash Mitt and Huge 10″ x 10″ CYCLONE 10X Wash Pad made by THE RAG COMPANY are the best out there without breaking the bank. The thick microfiber wash pad has a nice foam cushion on the inside that keeps you from using too much pressure when washing.

The combo pack is a great value, we like using the pad for all the big, long stretches of the car and the mitt for harder to reach areas and angles. The only drawback is the pad seems a bit big at first and takes a few washes to adjust to the size. We think a 9″ x 9″ wash pad would be perfect (don’t worry, we’ll let you know once we find one)!

Wash Mitt Stats

  • 70% Polyester / 30% Polyamide
  • Weight: 12 ounces

Wash & Mitt Pro Tips

  • Always wash new microfiber products prior to first use.
  • Skip the fabric softener when washing, this can clog the microfibers leaving your mitt rougher than intended.
  • While washing your car use a separate rinse and wash bucket.
  • When using the mitt, we like to tuck the wrist portion of the mitt inside, causing only the microfiber portions to touch the car.

m3-washed-with-best-mitt

If you can’t tell we’ve put a lot of thought into creating the best wash experience, check out some of our other articles where we share our thoughts on shampoo, drying aids, towels, and car detailing accessories.