Any good sudsing car wash is enough... do not get the one that is combined
with teflon, wax, etc... they are just garbage.
You also need a good washing mitt... lambswool mitt are great...
Lastly, get yourself a synthetic chamois-like towel... this will save you
tons of time to wipe down the car and laundry associated with terry cloth
towel. As for genuine chamois... It takes alot of care to keep the real
stuff good for long time... save yourself the hassle and get the synthetic
Don't go overboard on what you pay for those stuff... warehouse clubs got
great deals on car wash... mitts... and sometime wax (Meguiar Gold Class).
You also need good wheel cleaner... Espree Magic Wheel (green) is excellent.
FWIW: As a kid, one of my summer jobs was with a car wash. I was tasked with
doing the inside windows, jumping inside to wipe the just-sprayed ammonia
from the glass... choke, choke... stationed at a humongous blower. It was
noisy as hell but did make it much easier for the "outside" drying crew (the
lucky bast*rds! :o)
Fast forward to a time when Paulie has a little more money in his pockets:
<g> Gleaning from that past experience, I've taken to using a back-pack
style leaf blower to remove excess water from the surface as well as the
nooks and crannies on my vehicles. It works like a charm, and a quick wipe
with a drying cloth/chamois leaves them spotless. Naturally, properly a
polished and waxed surface makes the task easier still. Neighbors thought I
was crazy (well, I may be, but that's not the point!), but several now use
the same method!
--- http://www.astro-nut.com ---
But... there is little worry of air-borne sand in most areas, even so, it
wouldn't get past the intake filter most (decent quality) blowers employ. If
the wash pad area (the driveway) is paved, there should not be a debris
problem, as the car... and thus the wash pad have just been soaked with
water... n'est pas?
I tend to keep my vehicles for a v-e-r-y long time (15 years on the most
recent one to leave the stable), have used a blower for twice that amount of
time and the only paint problems ever encountered were from road debris (New
England winters, and the towns throw *%$#! sand and gravel on the highways!)
Give it a try and you may just be impressed. Not too early in the morning
though, please... or your neighbors will definitely NOT be impressed! (Oops!
--- http://www.astro-nut.com ---
There are many opinions on this. I have been using Mr. Clean just because
of the spot-free rinse (I have very hard water which tends to leave some
nasty spots on the finish). I use mostly Meguiar's products. Clay and
polishing compound will be your friends. Last weekend, I spent about four
hours doing the "full job" on my black ML320 as follows:
Washed with Mr. Clean, using a lamb's wool mitt. Dried with microfiber
Clayed with a slightly abrasive clay and Meguiar's NXT Spray Wax as the
Removed excess clay and wax with microfiber cloths.
Polished with Meguiar's ScratchX to remove more contaminates and swirls
Removed excess polishing compound with microfiber cloths.
Waxed with Meguiar's NXT Tech Wax
Removed excess wax and polished with microfiber cloths.
When washing, make sure you often rinse the dirt from your wash mitt or
brush to reduce the possibility of scratching with contaminates. Don't wash
the car with the same mitt you used to clean the wheels and tires. I end up
using between 15 and 20 microfiber cloths during the entire process. As
soon as I start seeing dirt or chemical build-up on one, I switch to a fresh
one. I do this at least once a year, sometimes twice. Otherwise, I just do
a regular wash and wax job at least monthly.
There's nothing better looking than a clean, shiny black car!
LOL! Ain't that the truth! Actually, I just got back from about 400 miles
of Interstate driving and some rain, and the black still looks pretty good.
I think I'll do a quick rinse and dry and maybe some spot treatment with
spray wax, though.
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