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Pressure washer or DA polisher?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by The Doctor, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. The Doctor
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    The Doctor Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 18, 2012]
    Hi guys,

    I have an unusual opportunity to spend a couple of hundred £s on the car & it's a choice between either a pressure washer or a DA polishing kit.

    I usually use a normal garden hose with the Gilmour Foamaster foam gun from PB as a pre-wash, then a lambswool mit & 2 bucket method to wash the car. I've been considering buying a pressure washer for some time to get a better initial clean, but haven't had the free cash available to get one. Will it make a significant benefit? I always remove any loose dirt with the foam gun & hose before starting the wash and religiously wash from roof panels downwards to minimise the chances of swirling. I tend to wash the car about once every other week (limited time due to young family). Twice a year the car is clayed, hand-polised and waxed, with additional layers of wax applied when the weather & time allows (approx every other month).

    I know that I'll probably get less use out of a DA polisher, however whilst my paintwork (all original) is in good condition it does have some light swirling (the car is now 9 yrs old). I want to be able to return it to an un-blemished finish that is only possible with a machine polisher. It will be my first machine polisher, hence why I am thinking of going the DA route.

    My preference is to spend the cash on the polisher, because I will see a greater improvement in the car from that compared to a pressure-washer, which will only help to prevent further damage being inflicted when washing the car in a very dirty state (like it is now after all the snow etc!). I was thinking of getting the DA polishing kit from Polished Bliss, but I can no longer see it on their website - is it still available?

    Thoughts & suggestions?
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  3. Farhan
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    Farhan Active Member

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    [Feb 18, 2012]
    Hmm, Personally i would get a pressure washer and maybe use another persons DA in the mean time to sort everything out,or have a small lesson with them then opt to buy one later.

    Just remember with the polisher you may need to invest further in polishes and pads.

    Pressure washer may be good, I personally use the small karchers and it works excellent. I bought a basic one from karcher outlet for circa 45-50 quid. That may allow you to still get a dodo juice buff daddy or das-6 :)
    #2
  4. cloughy
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    cloughy Member

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    [Feb 19, 2012]
    I'd get a das-6 with megs 105 & 205 (good for hard paint) then whatever pads you like

    as above you might be able to get both
    #3
  5. Khanage
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    Khanage Member

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    [Feb 19, 2012]
    I'd say both. I have a Nilfisk that I bought from Amazon a month or so ago for £45, leaving you plenty for a DA
    #4
  6. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Feb 19, 2012]
    The first option should be the pressure washer as it is very important to get the wash technique correct before moving on to paint correction, otherwise you'll spend hours correcting the paintwork to simply get ruined again relatively quickly by washing poorly. You'll then correct again in what will become a vicious circle.....bear in mind the paint can be corrected only so many times.

    There are usually good deals around on pressure washers and now foam lances and prices on DA's can be found for £79.00 (ours included) therefore if you do your homework you could quite easily achieve both, without compromising on quality.
    #5
  7. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 19, 2012]
    Another vote for pressure washer first. You'll get more use out of it than a DA. I'm in the same situation as you, young family, and have both. Pressure washer is handy for the car and a whole load of other things: cleaning patio slabs, brickwork, wooden gates to name a few things I have done with it! Also I find it's brilliant at this time of year for cleaning the wheels. Most of the grime blasts off leaving little washing to do.

    HTH.
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  8. John @ PB
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    John @ PB Member

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    [Feb 19, 2012]
    Our Hard Paint kit is here: PB Hard Paint Polishing Kit | Machine Polishing Kit For Cars With Hard Paint it's showing our of stock as Menzerna are stopping making their pads and we're swapping the pads. It'll be back in stock very soon.

    However, I'd say a pressure washer would be a better investment: get your washing sorted (and a pressure washer will remove a lot more grime than a regular hose) and minimise marring and you'll have less need to correct the paint.

    :)
    #7
  9. The Doctor
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    The Doctor Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 19, 2012]
    Hmm, interesting responses, thanks guys. Glad I posted my thoughts now.

    If I go down the pressure washer route which basically you're all advising, then what brand/model would you recommend from your experience? I've heard that the induction motor models are better than the universal motor models for reasons of durability. I'd be using it probably once every other week on average, particularly during the winter when the car gets filthy really quickly. I have a limited budget so don't go recommending all-singing all-dancing industrial models. Where do prices start for reliable induction motor pressure washers?
    #8
  10. nally
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    nally MPG the new BPH

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    [Feb 19, 2012]
    with jen on this one DA is a summer purchase for me but the prep is key. would never be without my foam lance now
    #9
  11. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 20, 2012]
    I've got a Karcher K3.97 deluxe, it has an induction motor. The deluxe bit just means it comes with a bunch of tools in particular the T-Racer patio cleaner which I wanted as I have lots of patio slabs. It's 4 years old and has been used frequently. I suspect this model has been superceded by something as you only tend to find them in the Karcher outlet shop now.

    Before Christmas it started pulsing (Google for "karcher pulsing" and you'll see) and I feared the worst. It turned out that the gun was leaking so it was easily sorted. When I thought it was dying I was looking at the Nilfisk C110 pressure washer on Amazon as they were £45 at the time.

    I'm afraid this is one of those subjects where you'll find half the people will tell you to avoid a Karcher at all costs and equally half the people will tell you to avoid Nifisks at all costs! :) I've always looked after my Karcher and made sure I drain the water after every use in winter to stop it freezing up (which is what kills most pressure washers) and it's been fine.
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  12. wez3570
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    wez3570 Member

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    [Feb 20, 2012]
    +1 for the Nilfisk C110

    I've had a few different brands and this one has been the best yet.

    I sold my Gilmour Foamaster 2 with the intention of buying a foam lance but the Nilfisk foam gun (included) works really well.
    #11
  13. ZeeSaffa
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    ZeeSaffa Member

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    [Feb 28, 2012]
    I'm considering the c110 as well.
    Although the c120 is pretty reasonable here: http://www.worldofpower.co.uk/nilfisk-compact-c120-3-6-120-bar-1700w-pressure-washer.html

    Having never used a compact pressure washer before - just wondering how much of an effect the mains pressure would have on it?
    Ours is low to medium.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
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  14. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 29, 2012]
    The pressure washer pump will "pull" the water to some extent. I use my Karcher with a water butt and that works fine. Also it says in the manual that you can do this. Not sure if the Nilfisk is the same, this might help...

    Does a Nilfisk need a mains water feed? - Detailing World

    Basically it looks like you'll be fine as long as you get 9 litres a minute which you could test with a bucket and stopwatch.
    #13
  15. Steven.c
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    Steven.c Auto-Motive Restored Deatail

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    [Feb 29, 2012]
    i also have a nilfisk after my karcher packing up and i wanted to try something different. The nilfisk is really good and heavy duty, i've used it on tons of cars and its as good as the first day i got it. cant fault it one bit! Great value for money.
    #14
  16. nally
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    nally MPG the new BPH

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    [Mar 1, 2012]
    i have a normal home sized karcher, and have a polished bliss snow foam lance
    here are the results with valet pro ph nutral snow foam
    Audi A3 sline Snow Foam - YouTube
    #15
  17. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 2, 2012]
    Nally, your car's not even dirty in that video. Come on, own up, you were just playing! :)
    #16
  18. Alan H
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    Alan H Need a V8 or Bi-Turbo.......

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    [Mar 2, 2012]
    With a couple of hundred quid, as long as you shop around you should be able to get a PW and a DA. Karcher Outlet has some higher spec PW's for excellent prices, thaen if you shop around you will get a DA kit with pads and polishes..

    Jobs a good 'un..
    #17
  19. nally
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    nally MPG the new BPH

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    [Mar 2, 2012]
    normal ten day wash lol
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