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Best way of getting road salt off your car?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Mart77, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Mart77
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    Mart77 Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    Total noob to car cleaning :s in the past I've mostly gone to the local scratch and kinda wash place.

    anyway since getting my Audi and joining up on here I've started getting really pissed off with the state of the car due to the weather. So my question is whats the best way to wash the car with all this salt over it??, I'm a little worried about the damage it could leave.
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  3. Kaza
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    Kaza Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    You can try snow foam, I've never used it myself but I know a lot of people do in this sort of weather.

    Jet wash is good too as that can loosen a lot of dirt.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
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  4. Mart77
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    Mart77 Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    Yeah I was thinking that was probably the best option
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  5. nbray67
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    nbray67 Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    Do you have a pressure washer?? I haven't recommended any products as there are so many out there with lovers and haters of all.
    If so, opinion is divided here on wet or dry application of snow foam. This what I do with great results on a glacier white car.

    1) Jet wash it first with water to remove the top film or the really ground in areas.
    1a) Spray Tar-X or Korrosol onto panels where you can see 'spotting', DON't let this dry, jet off once you see it re-acting.
    2) Snow foam it, leave it 5mins or so, try to not let it dry.
    3) Jet wash it all over. Repeat if it's really, really dirty.
    4) Wash with a good quality mitt, lambswool etc.. with the 2 bucket method, invest in a grit guard for one bucket(the rinse one), or both to reduce rubbing the grit back in
    5) Jet wash to rinse off
    6) Dry with a large drying towel, Kent or Wooly mammoth. (before I dry off each panel I spray a diluted mix of demon shine on each panel that helps disperse the water to aid drying, also leaves a decent streak free shine if you can't be bothered to wax afterwards)
    7) Polish, wax and seal

    Without polish or waxing, takes me about 1hr to get our current G.White Megane RS looking superb.
    If you can, clay it at least twice a year then treat the paintwork to a quality wax and sealant. This'll help every time you wash it as more layers of wax and polish will help prevent road grime getting a good hold of your paintwork. The beading when it's wet is quite pleasing to see for some strange reason also. Sad I know but getting it / keeping it clean can get quite obsessive.
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  6. Mart77
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    Mart77 Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    Thanks for for in info.

    yeah I've got a pressure washer. To be honest I've gone from not really cleaning the car to me getting really obsessive with it lol, looking to buy me a da next month.

    1 question though I'm guessing claying in this weather ain't ideal?
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  7. nbray67
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    nbray67 Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    Claying takes time so if it's outdoors in this weather then not a wise move as you'll be freezing. I've never used a DA before, I think the more experienced detailers use them as they know how to use them with the correct products. Basically, be careful with one, you may end up doing more damage than good as they tend to be used for paint correction.
    Claying, polish wax n sealant followed by regular wash n waxing will keep your paint in tip top condition without the need for a DA.
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  8. TrisLC
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    TrisLC Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    Personally I would leave the clay until the weather improves, but worth noting that to clay in direct sunlight (summer) is a PITA.

    I usually clay mine in march/april and then again in october (weather dependant), the important thing to remember with Clay is to use lots of lube to avoid causing marks on the paint work.

    I cleaned my car yesterday to remove the build up of salt, Mine was less stages than above but I have already sealed the paint with a wax a few weeks ago.

    As for the DA, get a bonnet from a scrap yard to learn the skill. This way you will get to kow how much pressure to apply before you go to far. Hand polishing a car can only go so far, with a DA you can save so much time and make the paint look 100% better.
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  9. AUDI_ADDICT
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    AUDI_ADDICT Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    If you dont want to have the expense of getting the correct snow foam lance & product (around £80-90 should get you a decent combination) or a new pressure washer for that matter, then you could always try a citrus pre-wash like Auto Finesse. Check out Polished Bliss or Juicy Detailing websites for guides and products.

    :sign_welcome:
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  10. ajax1976
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    ajax1976 Active Member

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    From my experience snow foam clings better to a dry car, start from the bottom and work up. If you scoosh it with the jet wash before you foam I don't think you get as good results.
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  11. willowsdad
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    willowsdad Sideways

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    [Mar 29, 2013]
    I'd foam on a dry car and leave for 5-10, if your stripping right back you can use a capful of apc to give it some bite.

    I'd clay in this weather as long as the water isn't freezing on the car. I'd foam then rinse with the jet wash, then re-foam and run around brushing the panel gaps and clean your wheels, then wash the foam off using your normal 2 bucket method. Then it should be clean enough to de-tar and fallout remove if your doing this, then rinse thoroughly. Then clay and wash again.

    Then you're ready to attack with the da. They're pretty easy to use, just start with the softest combo and work up until you find a perfect combination. You shouldn't do any damage if you're careful. Use a nice amount of pressure but make sure your pad is always spinning, and do small areas slowly. Then you can work on your protection, be it a sealant or wax, or a glaze and wax combo. Just be prepared to spend loads of time and a fair wedge of cash, and it may take time to get used to products before you get perfect results.

    everyone has their own favourite products and their own routines, so find what's best for you. Happy scrubbing.:icon_thumright:
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  12. pockers1
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    pockers1 New Member

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    [Mar 30, 2013]
    I was the same yeaterday,looked at my car in the mornin (8oclock)and wasnt a happy bunny it was virtually white cause of the salt!i have a black audi s3 8L.i washed it 3 times with auto glym bodywork shampoo conditioner but it still looked a mess amd very white!I lightly rubbed some auto glym intensive tar remover all over the affected area and then wiped dry and it worked amazingly well.then i used some auto glym super resin polish to condition the paint then went over all the car with some simoniz polish and wax just to seal it.looks great now ill try and get some pics up as soon as. hope this helps
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  13. Steve220
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    Steve220 Member

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    [Mar 30, 2013]
    Snow foam is your best option, but it really depends what type or brand you put in. I use AMDetail foam or APC depending on the type of wash I'm doing. The overall best action against road salt is to protect your car, ie a good wax or sealant, again I use a sealant as it puts little dresser en the paintwork reducing the chance of re-swirling for the applicator.
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  14. pockers1
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    pockers1 New Member

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