Tag: 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 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.