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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I decided to start washing my new TLX to keep it clean. It gets dirty quickly and it sure looks better when clean and shiny.

I used to get the car washed at work, but since I work a later shift, the car wash often becomes fully booked and closed by the time I get there. I guess I need another chore on the weekend.

I haven't personally washed my cars in a long time.

Anyone have any recommendations on soaps and wash rags? Temps are climbing back to 80s so outside hose washing should not be an issue. In the past, I used old t-shirts as wash rags. Does anyone recommend a certain type of cloth to wash the car? Micro-fiber or other?

Thanks for any advice. :)
 

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Save the environment and try a waterless or low water product. Hose only to remove buildup of mud on body and wheel wells. Some other tips:

- Micro-fiber cloths for washing (small ones) and drying (large towel). Wiipe gently, no scrubbing.
- If using a hose, bucket, and rag, use a product designed for car washes and not dishwash detergent
- Meguiar Quick Detailer spray-on after the wash and polish with a large micro-fiber to enhance the shine
 

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You must PROMISE to post pictures of your sparkling clean car!

I have a microfiber mitt that I use from Meguiars that is perfect. It's super soft and doesn't trap dirt. (I am also meticulous about keeping the mitt clean as swirl marks are the devil!).

As far as the actual wash, I use Optimum products. They tend to leave the surface feeling the best and have the best protection.

Drying? WAFFLE WEAVE TOWELS. I swear by them! I just slap the whole thing on a panel and pull. Water comes right off and the panel dries with no spots or other marks.
 

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I live in the Boston area where we have had 100+ inches of snow and the coldest February in history. I have been surviving by taking my car to a touchless laser wash to rinse the salt off - looks ok from 80 feet away and allows some sense of automotive sanity. I will NEVER go through an automatic car wash, they are a scratch fest. Last Sunday it warmed to a scorching 37 degrees. Shoveled three feet of snow off the garden hose, stretched it out and let it lay in the sun for an hour to defrost, poured a mixture of hot water and windshield washer in it and finally success -running water. Filled my foaming gun with a mixture of Optimum car wash and water. Pulled out my two five gallon buckets with grit guards. Filled the wash bucket with Optimum car wash, warm water and a cap full of Optimum no rinse for a little extra lubrication and clear water in the rinse bucket. I washed with a natural sea sponge (my personal preference over wash mitts) top down, one panel at a time and then dry with guzzler waffle weave micro fiber towels. Car looked great other than a huge chip in the passenger door - battle scar from driving the Southeast Distressway through Boston every day. My sanity returned, yes!! there was a clean car hiding under that crusty mess. The next day I drove to work and by time I got there I could see the filth returning ;-( ......Spring cannot come soon enough.
And yes, my wife reminded me that I had to spread ice melt on the driveway as the sun set because it had turned into a skating rink. So @Summest - "temps are climbing back to the 80's so outside washing should not be an issue" What?!? How do you survive those extreme conditions? For me outside hand washing is good 33 degrees and above.
 

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@timbocool has 100 inches of snow, we have 100 inches of road salt (not worth trying to keep clean), and @Summest is torturing us with 100 degree sunshine...
@crownr0yal - you put a permanent coating on your car as well, if I remember? Is that helping with your wash routine?
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oops! I forgot where the majority of my audience lives. >:D

Thanks for the tips. I think I will shop on Amazon tonight for car washing supplies and also pick up some sun screen. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cash Wash Items List

I have my list ready to purchase on Amazon.

If I use a micro-fiber wash mitt, I guess I don't need the multiple micro-fiber towels to wash the car when I use a hose?

Is the following list adequate, insufficient or overkill? I am not entering my car in any car shows. :)

Tire Wash Mitt
Wheel Brush
Grit Guard for bucket
Wheel woolies (set)
Lug nut brush
Tire Swipes (Dressing)
Meguiars Wash Mitt (for car body)
Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine
Optimum Car Wash (Do I still need this if I get the No Rinse Wash and Shine?)
Multiple Micro-fiber drying towels
Meguiars Ultimate Quik Detail
A couple of micro-fiber towels to apply the Quik Detail.

Thanks for your help. :)
 

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Very comprehensive, but some overkill:

Wheel brush: I have one and found that spray on is sufficient, something like Meguiar's Hot Shine Tire Spray or some generic brand
Wheel woolies & Lug Nut Brush: no idea what these are and I have been beencleaning my cars for many years.
Tire Swipes: never used, really like Tire Spray
Optimum Car Wash: Optimum No Wash is enough

Quick Detailer is spray on and shine with micro-fiber towel (bath size). First pass with towel to dry and second to shine if not already dry (depends on heat and humidity). Keep folding to a clean dry section of the towel.

If you are going to use No Wash then you should not need the Tire Wash Mitt.
 

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I bought a small pressure washer from Amazon for the routine washes. I'm thinking about getting a foam cannon to go along with it. So far the soap bottle it came with has been able to get rid of all the debris just fine without scrubbing. That is mainly due to me only driving the car in good weather. I drive my pickup on rainy and snowy days.

However, every 3 months I plan on using a bucket with a grit guard and a wash mit so I can reapply a nice coat of wax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One more question, for now...

What do you use to wipe down the inside of your car? Use a damp rag to run over the dash, door molding and center console?

I have some LED screen cleaner spray for the LED screens.

I don't want to wipe down anything using a oily substance or something that might dry out the plastic. I guess I can worry about the leather seats later.

I am excited. My cleaning supplies should arrive this evening for tomorrow's wash. :)

Thanks again for your help!
 

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Swiffer dry pad to dust eery month or two, and a car leather cleaner applied to a polishing pad two or three times a year. Stay away from the leather wipes unless you plan to use them weekly as they dry out after a couple of months.

A damp rag to clean up spills or food droppings, but this can be avoided if you do not eat or drink in the car of have a baby seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very comprehensive, but some overkill:

Wheel brush: I have one and found that spray on is sufficient, something like Meguiar's Hot Shine Tire Spray or some generic brand
Wheel woolies & Lug Nut Brush: no idea what these are and I have been beencleaning my cars for many years.
Tire Swipes: never used, really like Tire Spray
Optimum Car Wash: Optimum No Wash is enough

Quick Detailer is spray on and shine with micro-fiber towel (bath size). First pass with towel to dry and second to shine if not already dry (depends on heat and humidity). Keep folding to a clean dry section of the towel.

If you are going to use No Wash then you should not need the Tire Wash Mitt.
Thanks. I ended up ordering the tire spray as well. Got all of my items this evening from Amazon. Looking forward to the big wash tomorrow.
Here is a link to the Wheel Woolies and LugNut Brush. They were mentioned in a video someone told me to watch. Got'em, might as well use them. :D

Amazon.com: ABN Wheel Woolies Wheel Brushes Kit (3 Brushes) Scratchless Brushes for Rims: Automotive

Amazon.com: Griot's Garage 15597 Lug Nut Cleaning Brush: Automotive
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Car Wash

You must PROMISE to post pictures of your sparkling clean car!

I have a microfiber mitt that I use from Meguiars that is perfect. It's super soft and doesn't trap dirt. (I am also meticulous about keeping the mitt clean as swirl marks are the devil!).

As far as the actual wash, I use Optimum products. They tend to leave the surface feeling the best and have the best protection.

Drying? WAFFLE WEAVE TOWELS. I swear by them! I just slap the whole thing on a panel and pull. Water comes right off and the panel dries with no spots or other marks.
Only because you made me promise...

Got up early and washed the car before the Sun came out. It did come out, but behind clouds. In any case, I washed the car and remembered the 2 reasons why I like having someone else wash the car:

1. It's a lot of work.
2. I don't have to see all the dents and scratches in my new TLX.

The car wash came out pretty good. I tried to wash and dry in panels as recommended.







The tires look really good and were a but easier to clean with the wheel woolies. (The tire dressing should arrive from Amazon later today.)



The wash tools and equipment were very good recommendations. Thanks!



It was a lot of work. Luckily it was overcast today or I would have really sweated up a storm.

Tomorrow I will have to clean up the interior, without pictures. :)
 

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Mine could use a bath too. But with more winter weather coming in tonight I think I will wait awhile... Time to put more gas in the snow blower. :-(
 

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Well ... it got up to a balmy neg 5 C here in Toronto... (that's about 20F)... AND it
is a beautiful sunny Saturday without a cloud in the sky. As such, the line ups a the car washes were at least half an hour long. So I gave mine a "sponge bath" in the driveway using that bucket technique. It took some time, but came out OK.
 

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It was a lot of work. Luckily it was overcast today or I would have really sweated up a storm.
Something does not not right in those nice photos, oh yeah, there is no snow:)

Think of the hour spent washing a mental break and some physical exercise. Also a reminder to:
- not drive too closely to other vehicles on the highway to avoid those stone chips
- not park close to other vehicles to avoid door opening that will dent the car.

I did my rinse and waterless wash on Thursday and it is already covered in salt dust and dirt even though the roads have been dry. Spring cannot get here fast enough.
 

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Something does not not right in those nice photos, oh yeah, there is no snow:)

Think of the hour spent washing a mental break and some physical exercise. Also a reminder to:
- not drive too closely to other vehicles on the highway to avoid those stone chips
- not park close to other vehicles to avoid door opening that will dent the car.

I did my rinse and waterless wash on Thursday and it is already covered in salt dust and dirt even though the roads have been dry. Spring cannot get here fast enough.
No kidding. Like @bruce.dow, i saw the long lines today and decided to continue to drive my Salt Copper Pearl for another week. Two more snow dumps forecasted = more salt

Or a trip to @Summest for a lesson in washing ! :D
 

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Any of you guys ever consider finding detailers around you??

I know you can have good luck with finding independent detailers operating out of their home garage or some small operation that charge a decent price for a quality wash
 
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