1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The cleaning & detailing thread

Discussion in 'Problems, Fixes, Tips...' started by alz2605, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. alz2605

    alz2605 Copenworld Regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Ceredigion
    Car(s):
    Daihatsu Copen
    VW Golf TDi
    What's your car cleaning routine entail? What products do you recommend?

    Never really cleaned a car by hand properly before & just relied on car washes both mechanical ones & more recently drive through hand car washes. But do I want to carry on paying £5 a time for a quick half decent wash with varying results each time? I must easily spend £25 a month getting 2 cars washed!

    So how do you actually wash your car properly & what do you use?

    Who uses a clay bar? What is a clay bar? How do I get rid of paint swirls & light scratches?

    Bring on the knowledge :D
     
    data-ad-format="auto">
  2. debs

    debs Copenworld Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Car(s):
    Copen 659cc '53 plate, plus BMW 520d estate.
    Hi alz2605

    I'm not an expert on these things, but I do know that drive-through and even public hand car washes are not recommended if you want to avoid scratches and swirls. I personally use Autoglym products - shampoo (usually once a week, if I'm using Dinky regularly) then a wax and polish whenever I think it's necessary (if the water doesn't 'bead' any more when rinsing, it's usually time to do this). One tip is to not use a sponge to wash your car, as they trap grit, etc., which scratches your paintwork. You should use a microfibre mitt instead. Another tip is to have two mitts and two buckets of soapy water. The first to get the worst dirt off - usually around the wheels, etc., rinse, then use the second bucket to give it an all-over wash.

    T-cutting, waxing and polishing will help disguise/ eliminate light scratches, but clay barring is needed for a professional finish. I've not used one as yet, but I'm sure someone else can enlighten you on that score...?
     
  3. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    I'm a Meguiars man myself.
    I use a clay bar, great stuff. When you wash your car & it's dry, lightly drag your fingers across the body. Can you feel lots of little rough bits? These little bits detract from the shine of the cars body. Clay bar eliminates this to leave a silky smooth surface. It's hard work doing it, luckily the Copen is small.
    The clay bar is like a lump of blu-tak. You warm it up in your hand to make it plyable, then flatten it out. Then using a lubricant (usually a water like spray) you rub it over the panel. You'll see dirt & grim lift onto the clay from what you thought was a clean panel. This is a once a year job, best when the weather starts to get nice.

    I use Meguiars Gold class shampoo, using a two bucket system. One has the shampoo the other is just water. Using a micro fibre mitt, use the shampoo bucket starting at the top of the car. Swill out the mitt in the other bucket. That way all the dirt goes in one bucket leaving your shampoo bucket clean.
    Once done give it a hose off.

    I use a silicone blade to remove excess water, followed by a Meguiars water magnet drying towel.

    Wax I use is Meguiars Gold Class Carnuba +, microfibre cloths to polish off.

    Once all waxed I use Meguiars Ultimate Quick detailer to wipe over the body.

    Lastly some Meguiars High Gloss tyre gel applied with a special sponge to the tyres.

    Interior I use Meguiars Quick interior detailer on the plastic & Meguiars Gold class rich leather cleaner & conditioner on the seats.
     
  4. ClareL

    ClareL Copenworld Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Location:
    Essex
    Car(s):
    1.3 2008 Copen
    Only for the enthusiast...

    Clay bar: this will remove any tar and grime that has 'bonded' to your paintwork, it takes a little nerve to do but as long as you use plenty of lubricant, I use a cheap finishing spray, it produces an amazing result, a finish that feels like glass when it started out feeling like a fine sand paper, I bet if you lightly smooth your hand over your paint work now, that's probably just how it feels, this process strips everything back to a bare finish, just right for you to start building a polish to make your car shine like never before... This only required maybe once a year or as required, certainly not regularly.

    The Wash:
    1) Snow Foam, for this you need a foam gun and a pressure washer, you cover the car in a foam which you leave for 5 mins or so as it breaks down the dirt and grime on your paintwork, whilst leaving any polish untouched, then you pressure wash this off

    2) Twin Bucket Wash: as previously suggested, better to use a microfibre mitt, one bucket with your car wash product in, never use a washing up detergent for this, one bucket with clean water in. Wash from top to bottom, leaving the bottom sills, wheels bumpers etc, for these you would use a separate mitt or cloth to your main mitt, the main one never goes near the grit and grime lower areas, too greater risk of picking up scratch producing grit..., wash each area in small sections, rinsing the mitt in the clean bucket, this leaves any grit behind before recharging the mitt with fresh soap for the next section.
    It's better to rinse as you go too, soap drying will leave marks
    Another tip, start with the wheels and rinse them, they take longer than you think and you don't want the car to dry whilst doing these

    3) The Dry: this may seem extreme, I use a microfibre towel, a chamois is not the best tool , but one I used for years, the towel just lays on a section and absorbs the water, no wiping or smearing, reduces the risk if swirling again!

    4)The Polish: I use a polymer based system, this builds layers, the more the better, but are easy to apply and the results only get better as you wash regularly.
    First a mild abrasive to remove any surface grime, applied with a microfibre pad, polished off with microfibre cloths

    5) Second Stage Polish: a non abrasive polish to finish improve the shine and increase the depth and clarity of shine and reflectivity, again applied with microfibre pad and polished off with microfibre cloths

    6) Third Stage Polish: a finishing 'finale' spray seal, that seals your polish producing an almost wet look finish and produces that ultimate beading when it gets wet, this is applied simply by spraying on and wiping off with microfibre cloths in small areas as go around the car.

    I use Zaino products, they are easy to use and very efficient, use as instructed and they really do work with very little product, less is more in the world of Zaino. Available from any good detailing supplier on line, limited availability in the high street...

    That's the wash, then you can start on the leather, interior and glass - if you still have the will :rolleyes:

    Should anyone want any further detail on any of the above feel free to ask, however, I am no professional, just a hobby Copen detailer...:D

    Garry
     
  5. ClareL

    ClareL Copenworld Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Location:
    Essex
    Car(s):
    1.3 2008 Copen
    The above is all done by Garry, my husband, who never cleans his own car (or any car I have owned before) but finds washing the Copen therapeutic and relaxing.:p
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  6. alz2605

    alz2605 Copenworld Regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Ceredigion
    Car(s):
    Daihatsu Copen
    VW Golf TDi
    Thanks all. Some great advise. I'd better go shopping then & prey for a dry day!
     
data-ad-format="auto">

Share This Page