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Hand car wash

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Jay, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Jay
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    Jay Member

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    [Jun 20, 2007]
    I'm planning on a total clean out this weekend ...polish,wax, wheels etc..I was thinking of washing it myself first and then taking it to a local hand wash place.... just to make sure its extra clean.

    However, i've been told you can't polish after taking it to the car wash as they use wax in the shampoo. Is this true?
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  3. mastayoda
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    mastayoda Member

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    [Jun 20, 2007]
    i wouldnt bother taking it too the hand wash car place, just do it your self, spend a bit longer and use the saved £5-7 on a bottle of meguiars tech wax and give it a good session....should look sweet. I dont think it is a problem to polish your car after using a car wash but im sure some one will be along soon to confirm this.
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  4. joe6886
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    joe6886 Member

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    [Jun 20, 2007]
    I always polish after a wash/wax. Never caused any problems, but with a bit of care and attention you will do a better job than a hand car wash so i'd save your money.
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  5. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 20, 2007]
    ask in the detailing section
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  6. Stewart
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    Stewart Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    Just bear in mind that the minute swirls in your paintwork (more noticeable on dark coloured cars :( ) are caused by careless/lazy washing and polishing.

    Basic rules of thumb are :-

    1. Always always ALWAYS rinse your car thoroughly first, preferably with a jet spray (cheap ones can be had for £30). This gets rid of any large or small abrasive dirt that may be on your paintwork.
    If you dont rinse/jet first then you are just going to trap this abrasive dirt in between the sponge and paintwork.

    2. If you are intending on a full detailing session then fairy liquid as the shampoo is good as it will remove any wax/polish on the bodywork so you can start from scratch with your waxes and polishes.
    If it's just a good wash/clean session then any decent car shampoo will be fine. Use copious amounts of soapy water, splash it all over, you dont really want it drying during the wash as it may leave sud/tide marks. Always make sure your sponge is spotlessly clean and in good condition. Old knackered sponges will retain dirt.

    3. Always always rinse thoroughly, again preferably with a jet spray.

    4. Dry with chamois leather

    5. Start your detailing session proper. N.B general rule of thumb for polishing (not waxing) is rub in a straight line!! Also, depending on the severity of the swirling, you start with products that 'cut' the top layers of paint/lacquer back and basically use finer and finer products (graduating to waxes then polishes with cutting properties) until finally sealing with a hard glazing type product of your choice.

    Would advise looking at the faqs and guides on www.detailingworld.co.uk, it may sound like a lot of hassle to some people but the results really are worth it if you have pride in your motor.

    Badly swirled paintwork can make the car look dull and un-interesting as the light is almost 'absorbed' (reflected on many different surfaces due to the swirls which are in effect very minute scratches obviously).
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  7. Jay
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    Jay Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    Thanks for the advice guys....just bought myself some maguries tech wax ....cost me £15 from halfords!!! is that right? also some AG resin polish as i've heard this is best for dark coloured paint.

    I'm also looking to give the wheels a proper clean i've read this is best done by removing them first but don't have a torque wrench....is this really needed to put them back on?
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  8. PorkyWill
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    PorkyWill Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    Never ever let fairly liquid near your car...ever, period!!

    Also you are better off using a water magnet style drying towel rather than a shammy leather...

    The reason you need to polish your car is to get rid of the swirling, this is caused by the above reasons and going to the hand car wash is a false economy...

    I would jet wash it, shampoo with something decent, jet wash again, dry with a drying towel, megs clay and quick detailer. wash again.

    Then use Megs 3 stage paint cleanser and polish (stage 1 & 2) and do at least 2 to 3 coats of each, then finish this off with decent carnuba style wax like Dodo juice. 24 hours later, apply another coat of dodo juice (you may need to either wash or use a microfibre and QD before this)

    Also when applying all products use a decent applicator pad and buff off with microfibres....

    HTH!

    Will
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  9. buckas
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    buckas Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
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  10. Stewart
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    Stewart Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    What the hell is wrong with drying a car with a chammy?!?

    A good quality chamois is fine, they have been used for decades with no problems, why re-invent the wheel wish some fancy named 'fibremit' or micro mit.

    Also in reply to the fairy liquid part, it IS fine if you are intending a full detailing session as fairy WILL, i REPEAT WILL, strip off any wax or polish on there.
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  11. PorkyWill
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    PorkyWill Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    Unless you are a proper detailer then I wouldn't start trying to strip off waxes with anything to harsh...?

    Fairly is full of salt for a start and that's not good....just best to use shampoos intended for washing cars...

    As for chamois leathers, it's not reinvnting the wheel, it is progress with car washing/veleting/detailing, call it what you will....

    fact is, if you want to get rid of swirling and you use one bucket, a sponge, fairy liquid and a chamois, then you are not doing yourself any favours!!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to rile you or prove you wrong.

    Will
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  12. PorkyWill
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    PorkyWill Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
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  13. Jay
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    Jay Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    Thanks for the link....any advice on my wheel question.

    cheers
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  14. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    They'll need torqueing up eventually Jay,I recently changed wheels and went to the inters doing the quarter mile and none have fallen off so I reckon no
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  15. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Jun 21, 2007]

    Current preffered method is the waffle weave towel. Padding dry, obviously.
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  16. monkeytrousers
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    monkeytrousers Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    I rinse the car down with a normal hose to remove obvious dirt. Then light sponge the rest off under the hose jet. You have to be careful because swirlies are caused by cleaning when you rub dirt into the paintwork.

    Then I do a foamy turtle wax type wash. Then rinse. Then dry with chamois leather. Then polish with Zymol which removes swirlies. Then fine spray water and dry off with cotton cloth.

    Careful with the jet wash, they can lift paint off if you get too close. I use jet washes for wheel arches but keep a safe distance from paintwork with them.

    I would never trust a handwash service with a black car but I have no evidence against them. I just know that black is a very easy paint to damage. Looks brilliant when polished though - the best colour in fact.
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  17. ADP
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    ADP Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    Try this, I've posted else where:

    The full Monty;
    Washing the car;
    Washing the car is the most likely point where you will cause swirls so you need to take a few simple steps to minimize these. Hose the car down first to remove the majority of the dirt. Then, by using two buckets of water (one filled with hot water and the other with soapy water), start from the top, where it is cleanest and wipe in one straight direction from back to front. Each time you do so, rinses the mitt in the fresh water and repeat again in the soapy water. It is better to use a wash mitt rather than a sponge because it will capture any grit within its pelt, rather than wiping over the paintwork. When you get near to the bottom of the car be more vigilant about rinsing the mitt in fresh water, as this is the most likely spot any grit may remain.
    Now you need to clean the wheels; start by spraying the wheels with a wheel cleaner, then using a spoke cleaner work the product in between the spokes. Rinse this off thoroughly using a wash mitt and some fresh water. This is the grubbiest part of the car so you may want to keep a wash mitt specifically for doing this.

    Don’t bother drying it at this stage, as you are about to go over the car with a claybar.

    Claybar;
    Now you car is clean there are still contaminants stuck to the paintwork that washing alone will not remove such as old waxes, tar and tree sap. Take your claybar and leave it in some hot water for a while to soften it up. Now break off a manageable piece and knead this in your hands.
    Again starting from the top, spray some quick detailer on the car and gently rub the claybar back and fourth across this area. Depending on how much contaminants there are on the car you will start to notice the claybar starting to discolour, Don’t worry about this, it shows its doing its job, just fold it in on itself so you are using a fresh piece of the bar and continue until you have gone over the car completely.
    One very important note, it is very easy to drop the claybar as quick detailing makes it very slippery. If you do drop it THROW IT AWAY!!! Your paintwork is much more expensive to replace than a claybar, it will have picked up grit even if you cannot see it.
    Now put the claybar back in its container wrapped in a little Clingfilm, it can be used time and time again just, replace it when it starts to look grubby.

    Rinse and dry;
    The car is going to look rather mucky now with all these streaks over it, you need to repeat the wash again to get rid of all the claybar/quick detailer mix.
    Once washed you need to dry the car.
    Start off with a Waffle Weave Micro Fibre Towel. For the towel to work well it needs to be slightly damp, I find the best way is to wipe down the roof and glass first which will get it damp. Now rest the towel flat across your paintwork, do not wipe it, it will soak any water up. Continue doing so across the car by resting it or dabbing it across the paintwork. Never wipe, you are risking wiping grit across the paint.

    Swirl removal/cutting polish
    Now your car is prepared it has no waxes or contaminants on it and it may actually look dull. The reason being is any damage that was hidden by waxes and polishes will now show up, this is a good time to inspect your car and decide how you want to tackle it. The most common bit at this point is swirl removal; these you will usually see in the garage forecourt at night, they look like spiders webs across you boot or bonnet. The cause of these is poor washing technique, they are microscopic scratches microns deep caused by grit being wiped across the car. You remove these by smoothing off the paint using a cutting compound such as Meguiars DACP Swirl removal. This can be done by hand or by machine, machine being the faster approach. If working by hand, do this over several days and try to work on a small area at a time.
    By machine, depending upon the severity of the swirls you will start off with a cutting pad or a polishing pad, it is usually best to start off with the latter and then inspect the results.
    Prep the pad by lightly spraying with quick detailer, and then add a small blob of DACP about the size of a ten pence piece onto the pad. Rest the pad on the paintwork and set the machine to a slow speed of around two and start working the machine up and down over an area of 18 square inches overlapping each time. After a couple of passes, set the speed to medium high, around number 4 (6 being tops) and continue until the polish starts to turn into dust. Spray the area lightly with a little distilled water mixed with isopropyl (optional), then wipe with a buffing towel and inspect for swirls again. By using the isopropyl mix you are removing any fillers that may have been left behind by the compound. Once you are happy with what you need to do to remove the swirls, repeat this over the whole car overlapping each area you work upon at a time.
    Be careful on edges this is where the paint is thinnest so try and work either side if you can. You may also want to consider taping over any gaps as polish dust will get into these and you will have to clean them out.
    If your pad starts to clog up, give it a quick rub down with a stiff brush such as one used for cleaning dishes. If it is wet with compound then you are using too much.

    Glazing you paintwork
    Now you car is clean but it’s not very shiny, the cutting compound has removed the swirls but in doing so it has left its ultra fine marks, these need to be buffed out with a polishing pad.
    Swap your pad for a polishing pad and using the same technique as above go over the car using a glazing product such as Meguiars Speed Glaze. Step back and have a cup of tea or beer at this point and appreciate all your hard work. Trust me it will last, you have just repaired damaged paintwork, well done.

    Selants;
    Now you car should looks nice and shiny but we don’t stop there, you are looking at bear paintwork that has been smoothed to the point of being optically perfect, but its not protected and will get damaged. We need to start off by putting a sealant on the car such as Poorboy’s EX-P. This is a chemical polish that will bond with the paint and give it UV protection. As an alternative you can go on to using the Zaino products at this point which are polymer resin polishes that work on layering and will do just the same.
    Using an applicator pad wipe a very thin layer of EX-P over the cars bodywork making sure that if you pick up any dirt you replace the pad. Now leave this for at least half an hour so it can cure and bond to the paintwork then wipe it off using a Microfibre polishing towel, folding the towel over each time. You can now apply a second layer or go on to waxing it. A second layer will help but it is a diminishing return.

    Waxing;
    The car is now protected and you could drive off, but you can do more by applying a carnauba wax over the top, this will give it a deeper shine and act as a protection. My preferred wax is Zymol Japon, but everyone has their preferences so experiment. This I apply by rubbing a small piece about the size of a pea between the palms of my hands. I then wipe my hands in a back and fourth motion across the paintwork of the car applying the wax as thinly as humanly possible. Once I have covered a panel I will buff it off using a fine spray of quick detailer and a MF polishing towel. Then I repeat until the car is complete. After an hour I will buff over the car again to finish off. If you leave the car for at least 24 hours you can apply another layer on top, any more that this though will start to get pointless.

    Wheels and trim;
    No pint in having a shiny car if you wheels look pish, as soon as you post some pictures there will be a smartypants to point this out, so;
    Alloys help by being waxed, there are waxes out specifically for this but I find any carnauba wax to be fine. Work on the same method as above and it will help protect your wheel.
    Finally you want to dress the tyres, again there are many products out there for doing so, I personally find Chemical Guys tyre Gel works for me because it is hard wearing and cheap.

    Sit back and enjoy your hard labours, with a little care and good practices the car will stay shiny for a very long time and it will be easy to wash. You should only need to buff the car once a year just top up the wax once a month and it will stay looking good.

    What is a sealant?
    Sealant is a bit of a misnomer; a wax’s such as Poorboys Natty's wax IS a sealant as it is acting as a barrier between the paintwork and the forces of nature. What is usually gets described as a sealant is a polymer polish such as Poorboys EX-P. This chemically bonds to the paintwork and act as a protection with nice shine. Waxes are usually Carnauba based, which is a natural product, they react to the air giving a temporary protection, and will absorb all the **** then drop off ready for you to apply some more.

    Can I put a sealant over a wax?
    You cannot put a sealant over a wax as it has to bond to the paint, so it will eventually fall off with the wax. On the other hand, and it is good practice, you can apply a wax over a sealant so giving you a better shine and better protection, in fact you can get an even deeper shine if you let the wax cure overnight and apply another layer over the top, but only a couple of times as you will get a diminishing return.
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  18. Spacecowboy
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    Spacecowboy Member

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    [Jun 25, 2007]
    Should try to avoid using power washers as they can create a 'sand balsting' effect with the grit that is on your car already. The trick is to float off the crud with a regular hose
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  19. Smoke Breather
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    Smoke Breather Member

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    [Jun 25, 2007]
    Some great points on here but we're getting away from a quick wash and into a full detail, we'll be starting on paint correction techniques next! ADP's mini guide is excellent, this basically sums up what I do to my car. I do mine at work, where I can spend hours on it in a heated floro lit "garage", a full job like that generally takes me a full day maybe 1 1/2 days and the weekly wash would still take 3 to 4 hours but hey at least I'm getting paid whilst I'm doing it. My work mates see it as sad, anal, obsessive etc but if you take pride in your car, and who on here doesn't, then its deffinately worth doing and if done right can make your car look better than it bit when it came out of the factory.
    A few things I do differently....... First stage is to foam the car up with a Gilmour Foam Gun, this is left to soak in for about 5/10 minutes and get rid of most of the dirt before you even touch the car and risk dragging grit particles over your precious paint work. This is then rinsed of with a hose with no attachments on it to promote "sheeting". I then foam it up again and give it a work with a lambs wool mitt and rinse again. After that a pretty much follow the process that ADP listed but using different products that I think work better on my car but alot of this may be down to differences in paint colour.
    A good place to look for guides is the Polished Bliss website, they sell all the products you will ever need at good prices as well, failing that there is Detailing World. If any one wants a copy I have a couple of full guides in PDF format that I will happily email to you. :icon_thumright:
    #18
  20. Smoke Breather
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    Smoke Breather Member

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    [Jun 25, 2007]
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  21. Jay
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    Jay Member

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    [Jun 25, 2007]
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  22. vrbob
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    vrbob Thats no Moon, Thats a space station!

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    [Jun 29, 2007]
    I would guess people already know this but just incase i was looking for some good cleaning products to make my car nice n shiny! a few people have mentioned Meguiars and said they are good but not overly expensive so had a look online and it turns out that halfords are doing a 3 for 2 offer on that range of products. Worth checking out i think, i will probably get the 3 step system of Paint cleaner, Polish n Carbauba wax as it only comes to under £20 inc del (not sure if you can get it in store).
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  23. mastayoda
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    mastayoda Member

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    [Jun 30, 2007]
    ive got the 3 stage meguiars stuff, and it did work well on my silver s3, although imo do all that work to a silver car is depressing. However when we did it to my mates faded red corrado, the results were absolutley stunning. After that i now just use that tech wax stuff, once a month or so.
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  24. joe6886
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    joe6886 Member

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    [Jun 30, 2007]
    I'm still a firm believer in a bucket and sponge, its only lately that everyone seems to have jumped on this 'detailing' bandwagon. Alot of it just seems total overkill to me.
    #23
  25. god_thats_quick
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    god_thats_quick Numptie of the highest order

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    [Jul 1, 2007]
    To answer the other question as I can't see it's been answered unless it's in a very long post about polishing, you don't need to use a torque wrench on your wheel bolts, Audi don't, any tyre place won't so don't worry about it. Just make sure they are as tight as you can get them (within reason) with the Audi supplied wrench.
    #24
  26. joe6886
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    joe6886 Member

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    [Jul 1, 2007]
    If the wheels have been removed, everywhere should use a torque wrench. Especially a professional outfit.
    #25

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