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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Do any of you use one of those self serve coin washes? After some experimentation, I found this to be the most effective way to clean your car.

1. Use wax wash to spray down the entire car. Try to get all the grit off your paint
2. Use the foam brush and spray the car wash soap into a bucket. DO NOT use the foam brush on your paint.
3. Use a couple clean microfibre rags and carefully wipe down the whole car. Take your time with this step to ensure the wax seals a good layer on your clean clear coat. Do not use a swirl motion to avoid swirl marks. Flip, fold, scrub and squeeze the rags often to ensure you’re not scraping grit into your clear coat. This is especially important with you people that have darker paints which show imperfections easily.
4. After the car is covered in soap, give it one more rinse with the wax wash. All this wax you using will build a layer on your clear coat which keeps your paint always looking fresh and reduces the frequency that you need to wash your car. Once you get a layer of wax on your car, any grit just comes right off so you don’t need to worry about scratching your clear coat when you are wiping everything down.

You have the pay for the coin machine system twice to do this properly, but it’s still half the price of an automated car wash and your paint will look amazing after you build a layer of wax on your paint. You will reduce rust and keep your car looking fresh for a very long time

For the interior, all you really need is a light detergent or interior detailer to clean everything, including the seats. The seats have a protective coating on top of the leather so don’t bother wasting your time “conditioning” the leather, because it’s not getting past the protective layer. Use a soft horsehair bristle brush to scrub the solution into the seats. You can also hang up the interior carpets on the wall at these self serve places and give them a good clean with the pressure washer... you will be amazed at how clean the mat looks afterwards and how much grit came out. Just be sure to give them a good couple whacks against the wall before you put them back in your car and once you get home, allow them to fully dry overnight somewhere ventilated to avoid bacteria buildup in your car.

A cheap, and effective way to keep your car looking fresh for those of you who gotta do it themselves. Just be very careful with your clearcoat when wiping down the car.

Cheers
 

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Good suggestions. I used to do this 15+ years ago when I didn't have a driveway. Including in the winter in New Jersey. I would skip the bucket - you risk dirt entrapped in the brush being rinsed off into your bucket and onto your rag. I soaped the car up and then put my dry rag on the windshield and hit it with the sprayer, then re-hit it frequently while washing. Also, I wouldn't rely on car wash wax. Who knows what that really is. Clay bar and polish once a year regardless.
 

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Good suggestions. I used to do this 15+ years ago when I didn't have a driveway. Including in the winter in New Jersey. I would skip the bucket - you risk dirt entrapped in the brush being rinsed off into your bucket and onto your rag. I soaped the car up and then put my dry rag on the windshield and hit it with the sprayer, then re-hit it frequently while washing. Also, I wouldn't rely on car wash wax. Who knows what that really is. Clay bar and polish once a year regardless.
For the bucket/dirt problem, I highly recommend this: Chemical Guys - Cyclone Dirt Trap Car Wash Bucket Insert

Unlike the "blade" traps, this one actually works exactly as it is designed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good suggestions. I used to do this 15+ years ago when I didn't have a driveway. Including in the winter in New Jersey. I would skip the bucket - you risk dirt entrapped in the brush being rinsed off into your bucket and onto your rag. I soaped the car up and then put my dry rag on the windshield and hit it with the sprayer, then re-hit it frequently while washing. Also, I wouldn't rely on car wash wax. Who knows what that really is. Clay bar and polish once a year regardless.
For the bucket/dirt problem, I highly recommend this: Chemical Guys - Cyclone Dirt Trap Car Wash Bucket Insert

Unlike the "blade" traps, this one actually works exactly as it is designed.
Thanks! Yes I should use something like this. I just make sure to carefully wipe down the paint with my mitt and to scrub the mitt frequently in between wipes to ensure that I?m not getting any grit on my paint.

I agree on the no name wax, but honestly it?s working quite well for me. It stays on the car for months and everytime I use the wax spray it builds a thicker layer and the paint looks showroom new even with 50k miles on the clock.

Anyways, I?d rsther have a layer of no name wax protecting my paint rather then a layer of dust like most other people!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think it's very important to wax your car as much as possible, and unless your paint is very dirty I would suggest to limit the amount of soap you use while washing.
 

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For the bucket/dirt problem, I highly recommend this: Chemical Guys - Cyclone Dirt Trap Car Wash Bucket Insert

Unlike the "blade" traps, this one actually works exactly as it is designed.
This.

Also, the amount of soap has little to nothing to do with longevity of the wax. It's the type of soap you use. Chemical Guys makes an excellent wash as does Griot's Garage. I hope I don't need to mention that Dawn is a no no unless you are stripping the wax.

I have more, but it's late lol.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This.

Also, the amount of soap has little to nothing to do with longevity of the wax. It's the type of soap you use. Chemical Guys makes an excellent wash as does Griot's Garage. I hope I don't need to mention that Dawn is a no no unless you are stripping the wax.

I have more, but it's late lol.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
Yup, I've made the mistake of using dishwashing soap on my car before which did take off wax. never again. Better to use no soap VS. something not formulated for cars.
 

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Oh Lol 😂 this sounds a lot to what I posted before on auto detailing which byakuya and other fellas said I’m wrong and have no knowledge yet when someone else posts it is suddenly good suggestions

I said many times before on here that is useless to use leather products on the seats cause they have a coating and all you need to do is clean them
 

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Interesting, I use a spray wash all the time to do light cleaning in between hardcore washes, but I've never used the wax setting. I'll give it a shot next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
it is useless to use leather products on the seats cause they have a coating and all you need to do is clean them
That’s is correct. Use a horsehair bristle brush and some vinyl/leather cleaner for best results.

Interesting, I use a spray wash all the time to do light cleaning in between hardcore washes, but I've never used the wax setting. I'll give it a shot next time.
It’s not the best wax but it works pretty well. If you apply it directly to a clean surface it seals the paint pretty nice. Try to avoid using soaps unless your paint is dirty.
 

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Oh Lol 😂 this sounds a lot to what I posted before on auto detailing which byakuya and other fellas said I’m wrong and have no knowledge yet when someone else posts it is suddenly good suggestions

I said many times before on here that is useless to use leather products on the seats cause they have a coating and all you need to do is clean them
Oh I wonder why. Could have something to do with your reputation on here.
 

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Do any of you use one of those self serve coin washes? After some experimentation, I found this to be the most effective way to clean your car.

1. Use wax wash to spray down the entire car. Try to get all the grit off your paint
2. Use the foam brush and spray the car wash soap into a bucket. DO NOT use the foam brush on your paint.
3. Use a couple clean microfibre rags and carefully wipe down the whole car. Take your time with this step to ensure the wax seals a good layer on your clean clear coat. Do not use a swirl motion to avoid swirl marks. Flip, fold, scrub and squeeze the rags often to ensure you’re not scraping grit into your clear coat. This is especially important with you people that have darker paints which show imperfections easily.
4. After the car is covered in soap, give it one more rinse with the wax wash. All this wax you using will build a layer on your clear coat which keeps your paint always looking fresh and reduces the frequency that you need to wash your car. Once you get a layer of wax on your car, any grit just comes right off so you don’t need to worry about scratching your clear coat when you are wiping everything down.

You have the pay for the coin machine system twice to do this properly, but it’s still half the price of an automated car wash and your paint will look amazing after you build a layer of wax on your paint. You will reduce rust and keep your car looking fresh for a very long time

For the interior, all you really need is a light detergent or interior detailer to clean everything, including the seats. The seats have a protective coating on top of the leather so don’t bother wasting your time “conditioning” the leather, because it’s not getting past the protective layer. Use a soft horsehair bristle brush to scrub the solution into the seats. You can also hang up the interior carpets on the wall at these self serve places and give them a good clean with the pressure washer... you will be amazed at how clean the mat looks afterwards and how much grit came out. Just be sure to give them a good couple whacks against the wall before you put them back in your car and once you get home, allow them to fully dry overnight somewhere ventilated to avoid bacteria buildup in your car.

A cheap, and effective way to keep your car looking fresh for those of you who gotta do it themselves. Just be very careful with your clearcoat when wiping down the car.

Cheers
As a part time detailer who does this for money, i suggest few changes to your method.

1. Use coin-op wash if that's the only place where you have access to running water.
2. The initial 30 seconds of the high pressure wash is heavy alkaline , so avoid spraying on your car's body.
3. Almost all car wash places DO NOT allow you to hand wash the vehicle. It is difficult to do a 2 bucket wash while at a public carwash anyways, so just hit the car with high pressure water, and clean the wheels with a foam brush while there.
4. Once home, pull out your favorite rinseless car wash and add 1oz to 2 gallons of fresh water and soak 4 to 5 good microfiber towels into the bucket.
5. Put another 1/2oz of rinseless wash into a spray bottle or pump sprayer and fill with water.
6. Go to your car, and start spraying the rinseless wash+water solution - one panel at a time.
7. Fold the soaked microfiber into fours, and gently in long strokes start cleaning.
8. Only do one panel at a time. Once clean, use a good drying towel to soak up leftover rinseless wash from the panel.
9. Each panel depending on the size should take no more than one to two sides of a microfiber. So a car of Mazda6's size should take no more than 5 to 6 towels.
10. Once all 4 sides of the towel are dirty, put it away in a bag , do not put it into the rinseless wash bucket.
After the car is clean, use the leftover rinseless wash solution to clean your wheels with a separate microfiber towel. DO NOT mix this towel with your good towels. The wheels have microabrasive brakedust, so it is imperative to not use these towels on your body.
11. Take 2 highpile microfiber towels, use your favorite spray wax and spray directly on a towel and start wiping one panel at a time.
12. Immediately buff off with a dry, high pile towel. Spray wax flashes very soon, so do not allow it to sit.
13. Dust off the interior with dedicated leather or vinyl cleaner. Again, spray on a dedicated microfiber towel that you'll use only for interiors and give it a wipe off.
14. You DO NOT have to go to a car wash unless there is a heavy dirt built up. Just soaking a panel with rinseless solution and using the method described above will suffice for maintenance washes.

Discipline is everything here. If you can spare an hour each week, then you'll likely never go to a car wash again unless it is covered in snow/ice/off road mud. And even when it is, you'll just have to follow the same steps above to blow off the crud and then do a rinseless wash.

Once you ace the rinseless method and realize how easy it is you'll never clean your car any other way. And if you keep your car clean enough and are confident about the technique, then switch to waterless wash method. The waterless wash is a more heavy concentrate of rinseless wash solution, but there's no soaking towels here. Just spray and wipe with clean towels, you'll require atleast 10 to 12 towels to do a car.

Few products i use : Wolfgang rinseless wash concentrate, Ultima waterless wash concentrate,Blackfire synthetic spray wax, rag company 600 gsm towels for buffing and 390 to 500 gsm towels for rinseless wash. AMMO Mud for tires and trim, Lexol and aerospace 303 for interiors. My car and my customers cars always get Blackfire Sealant topped with Poorboys carnuba.

Goodluck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As a part time detailer who does this for money, i suggest few changes to your method.

1. Use coin-op wash if that's the only place where you have access to running water.
2. The initial 30 seconds of the high pressure wash is heavy alkaline , so avoid spraying on your car's body.
3. Almost all car wash places DO NOT allow you to hand wash the vehicle. It is difficult to do a 2 bucket wash while at a public carwash anyways, so just hit the car with high pressure water, and clean the wheels with a foam brush while there.
4. Once home, pull out your favorite rinseless car wash and add 1oz to 2 gallons of fresh water and soak 4 to 5 good microfiber towels into the bucket.
5. Put another 1/2oz of rinseless wash into a spray bottle or pump sprayer and fill with water.
6. Go to your car, and start spraying the rinseless wash+water solution - one panel at a time.
7. Fold the soaked microfiber into fours, and gently in long strokes start cleaning.
8. Only do one panel at a time. Once clean, use a good drying towel to soak up leftover rinseless wash from the panel.
9. Each panel depending on the size should take no more than one to two sides of a microfiber. So a car of Mazda6's size should take no more than 5 to 6 towels.
10. Once all 4 sides of the towel are dirty, put it away in a bag , do not put it into the rinseless wash bucket.
After the car is clean, use the leftover rinseless wash solution to clean your wheels with a separate microfiber towel. DO NOT mix this towel with your good towels. The wheels have microabrasive brakedust, so it is imperative to not use these towels on your body.
11. Take 2 highpile microfiber towels, use your favorite spray wax and spray directly on a towel and start wiping one panel at a time.
12. Immediately buff off with a dry, high pile towel. Spray wax flashes very soon, so do not allow it to sit.
13. Dust off the interior with dedicated leather or vinyl cleaner. Again, spray on a dedicated microfiber towel that you'll use only for interiors and give it a wipe off.
14. You DO NOT have to go to a car wash unless there is a heavy dirt built up. Just soaking a panel with rinseless solution and using the method described above will suffice for maintenance washes.

Discipline is everything here. If you can spare an hour each week, then you'll likely never go to a car wash again unless it is covered in snow/ice/off road mud. And even when it is, you'll just have to follow the same steps above to blow off the crud and then do a rinseless wash.

Once you ace the rinseless method and realize how easy it is you'll never clean your car any other way. And if you keep your car clean enough and are confident about the technique, then switch to waterless wash method. The waterless wash is a more heavy concentrate of rinseless wash solution, but there's no soaking towels here. Just spray and wipe with clean towels, you'll require atleast 10 to 12 towels to do a car.

Few products i use : Wolfgang rinseless wash concentrate, Ultima waterless wash concentrate,Blackfire synthetic spray wax, rag company 600 gsm towels for buffing and 390 to 500 gsm towels for rinseless wash. AMMO Mud for tires and trim, Lexol and aerospace 303 for interiors. My car and my customers cars always get Blackfire Sealant topped with Poorboys carnuba.

Goodluck.
Very good advice and information, thank you.

I used these self car washes because I live in a condo. Plus my parking spot is sloped, so it's just not easy to clean the exterior of my car in the garage. Plus it's not very well ventilated in there. I think my method works well considering my situation, but I will be using your wax method from now on.
 

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Do any of you use one of those self serve coin washes? After some experimentation, I found this to be the most effective way to clean your car.

1. Use wax wash to spray down the entire car. Try to get all the grit off your paint
2. Use the foam brush and spray the car wash soap into a bucket. DO NOT use the foam brush on your paint.
3. Use a couple clean microfibre rags and carefully wipe down the whole car. Take your time with this step to ensure the wax seals a good layer on your clean clear coat. Do not use a swirl motion to avoid swirl marks. Flip, fold, scrub and squeeze the rags often to ensure you’re not scraping grit into your clear coat. This is especially important with you people that have darker paints which show imperfections easily.
4. After the car is covered in soap, give it one more rinse with the wax wash. All this wax you using will build a layer on your clear coat which keeps your paint always looking fresh and reduces the frequency that you need to wash your car. Once you get a layer of wax on your car, any grit just comes right off so you don’t need to worry about scratching your clear coat when you are wiping everything down.

You have the pay for the coin machine system twice to do this properly, but it’s still half the price of an automated car wash and your paint will look amazing after you build a layer of wax on your paint. You will reduce rust and keep your car looking fresh for a very long time

For the interior, all you really need is a light detergent or interior detailer to clean everything, including the seats. The seats have a protective coating on top of the leather so don’t bother wasting your time “conditioning” the leather, because it’s not getting past the protective layer. Use a soft horsehair bristle brush to scrub the solution into the seats. You can also hang up the interior carpets on the wall at these self serve places and give them a good clean with the pressure washer... you will be amazed at how clean the mat looks afterwards and how much grit came out. Just be sure to give them a good couple whacks against the wall before you put them back in your car and once you get home, allow them to fully dry overnight somewhere ventilated to avoid bacteria buildup in your car.

A cheap, and effective way to keep your car looking fresh for those of you who gotta do it themselves. Just be very careful with your clearcoat when wiping down the car.

Cheers
As a professional detailer, I have a few problems with your post. And this is not a post to talk down on you or anything, just a few pointers from a pro

1) Never use wax from the coin washes. It's absolute garbage and a dirt magnet. The ONLY thing the coin washes are good for is having an access to a pressure washer.
2) Never let a nasty car wash brush, or even a clean one, touch your paint. I don't care if it's a $20K or $1M car, this is the second largest purchase of your life outside of your house, treat it as one. So you got that one right, but.... Don't use nasty car wash soap either. It's basically diluted off-label dawn soap.
3) some car washes specifically post that they don't allow the use of your own buckets. If yours does, bring 2 buckets with you. Fill one with water and good PH neutral soap, the other just with water for rinsing out your mitt. Do use a circular motion to wash the car, a clean mitt properly rinsed out after each panel will not create swirl marks.
4) again, don't use wax from them. Instead, rinse off all the soap with high-pressure water and then spray down any kind of quick detailer as you are drying your car. It makes the drying process extremely efficient, lubricates your drying towel to avoid marring the paint, and adds a layer of protection all in one step.

Take the car home, dry any left water that will inevitably come out of places like the mirror, etc. Then top the car off with a choice of sealant or wax. or both. Always remember, sealant first, wax last.

For interior, you can invest one time in a $120 steamer from amazon and that's all you'll ever need. No chemicals. Cleans and disinfects without drying out any surface. If you want to coat it for UV protection or shine, invest in a good brand. Just going by amateur reviews on amazon isn't going to cut it. Ge yourself a gallon of Meguiar's Hyper Dressing from their professional line of products - ironically available on amazon. Dilute it with distilled water and that thing will last you a lifetime. Use it on all interior plastics, exterior trim and tires! For tires, as is product will create a shiny surface. The more you dilute, the more it dulls out. I like to use it 3:1 ratio for a perfect satin finish.

I have a lot of info on my website, www.ocdautospa.com if you are interested in finding out more about different products etc. And all of you feel free to ask me here or via email if you need any pointers on products and/or process of taking care of your paint.

Below is my business flowchart to outline all possible steps (depending on what package/services customer choses)


what is sodium aluminum sulfate
 

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I rinse, then use my foam cannon (Chemical Guys Snow Foam), followed by top down wash (using two bucket method w/ grit guards, microfiber or wool wash mitts. Dry with waffle microfiber. As far as removing wax, there is none. The front 1/3 is covered in Expel paint protection film and all paint is also ceramic coated. I use a detail spray that contains ceramic reload. Paint looks better than new.
 
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