View Full Version : Washing the car and evaluating the surface,interior

07-08-2009, 09:21 AM
Postby omegabenz on Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:22 am

Something from an email I wrote to a friend...

(2) 5 gallon buckets
(1-2) grit guards for 5 gallon buckets - used to scrape dirt and grim off your cleaning mitt
www.gritguard.com (http://www.gritguard.com)

only use a car wash soap, dish soap will clean off the wax!
I like:

Then you need a wheel cleaner. I prefer this one:
http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car ... als&page=1 (http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+care/wheels+%26+tires/wheel+tire+cleaners/wheel+cleaner%2C+35+ounces.do?search=basic&keyword=wheel+cleaner&sortby=newArrivals&page=1)
but you can buy these at walmart: get the aluminum one, it is the mildest!

Then you need a microfiber washing mit.

A water blade:
http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car ... als&page=1 (http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+care/car+drying/ultimate+paint+squeegee.do?search=basic&keyword=squeege&sortby=newArrivals&page=1)
http://www.amazon.com/Original-Californ ... 272&sr=1-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Original-California-Jelly-Blade-Colors/dp/B000EQ38XG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1221758272&sr=1-1)

Then an absorber towel: - the fire departments use these to dry off their trucks
http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car ... als&page=1 (http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+care/car+drying/ultimate+paint+squeegee.do?search=basic&keyword=squeege&sortby=newArrivals&page=1)

Then some terry towels and microfibers - get them at costco.
www.costco.com (http://www.costco.com)

Assortment of brushes for doing the wheels: walmart is a good source. You want a semistiff bristle for the tires, and a very soft bristle for the wheels. A medium/soft one for the barrels of the wheels where all the brake dust gets stuck.

IMO, the Griot's garage stuff is the best for the leather. I've tried it all from the walmart brand, horse saddle stuff to this. this is the best. next best is the MB meguiars stuff

http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car ... +ounces.do (http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+care/interior+detailing/interior+cleaner%2C+35+ounces.do)
http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car ... +ounces.do (http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+care/interior+detailing/leather+care%2C+16+ounces.do)

Eventually you will want brushes and stuff
http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car ... brushes.do (http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+care/interior+detailing/two+boar%27s+hair+detail+brushes.do)
http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car ... f+swabs.do (http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/car+care/interior+detailing/set+of+swabs.do)

Glass cleaner:
Zep industrial

the glass cleaner at costco/sams sucks, it's call invisible glass. That's what it's called before you use it. After that it is hazy glass.

Don't use glass cleaner on your tint. use a very low concentration of soap and water, then rinse with a water bottle, and wipe the water off. Outisde you can use the glass cleaner.

For the dash board, I really like this stuff from Mercedes
A000 986 47 74 12 its about $10 for a spray can.
http://accessories.mbusa.com/MBUSA/Simp ... reProducts (http://accessories.mbusa.com/MBUSA/SimpleProduct.aspx?CS_ProductID=A000986477412&CS_Category=acAutomotiveSubCarCareProducts&CS_Catalog=MBUSA&CatalogNavigationBreadCrumbs=MBUSA;AutomotiveAcces sories;acAutomotiveSubCarCareProducts)


Postby gerryvz on Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:01 pm

It's unfortunate that about 3-4 years ago California laws (emissions !) required Griot's Garage to change their window cleaner formula from an alcohol-based to an ammonia-based formula. Alcohol-based cleaners are significantly more powerful and effective than ammonia-based cleaners.

I was lucky enough to be tipped off by Griot's management and was able to score a few gallon containers of the "old" stuff before they switched over.

Good post though. I've found the Griot's leather cleaner to be good for leather chairs in the house as well as car leather.

The wheel cleaner is pretty good but I hear (never tried it) that P21S is also stellar.

For interior cleaning, I have found that 303 protectant is EXCELLENT with some UV protection and a nice lasting shine. I also use the Griot's interior cleaner for stains and their vinyl and rubber protectant is quite good, though SUPER spendy.



Postby 2phast on Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:16 pm

I prefer to use the water filter and rinse the car with purified water and let it air dry, which leaves no spots. If you don't want to purchase the Griots filter, Mr Clean has one that attaches to the hose and uses replaceable cartridges. I own both.

As for the Griots window cleaner, they did change the formula, but then changed it again. As the first forumula was total crap. I don't know what they changed it to the second time around, but it works quite well, no streaks or film residue.

2000 CLK32k & 1993 500E


Postby gerryvz on Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:32 pm

The heresy and crassness of the liquids that you subject your cars to. My God man, how could you? I would never pollute my car with common tap- or hose-water.

Rather, when I want to wash my car, I go to Wal-Mart and buy two pallets of steam-distilled, 100% de-ionized pure distilled water, in one-gallon plastic containers. This requires the E320 station wagon and use of one of the store's pallet-jacks.

Upon getting home, I heat 3 gallons of this water on the stove to combine with Griot's Garage car wash and then combine it in the yellow wash bucket. Then I pour the gallon containers over the car (one by one) to wet it, soap up the car and scrub it with the boar's hair brush, then laboriously starting on the roof, I rinse it gallon-by-gallon. Then dry the car off with a Griot's microfiber dry towel (per what omegabenz said WRT fire trucks).

Then I repeat the complete process again. I've got it down to 3.5 hours for a full wash. All towels and brushes used are disinfected and dry-cleaned for purity and sanitization.


P.S. One positive by-product of this is that I have a never-ending supply of gallon-jugs for recycling used oil.


Postby need2speed on Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:00 pm

I really enjoy using a natural chamois and find it very effective as well as compact for travel. Plus there is a bit of an art to it so the spray-wash crowd are always interested in a lesson so I don't mind letting them dry my car :coolgleam:

500E500 owners motto: "Lead, follow, or better yet, get out of the way."


Postby omegabenz on Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:57 am

the Zep glass cleaner is a blend of various alcohols. Like I said I think it works the best of any glass cleaner that I have tried.

By no means was this a complete list or guide on my part. Just posting up something to get the flow of info started.

I tried to wash my car today, but it was a neverending battle. I was being bombarded by needles from the trees and the rain! I did my best.


Postby gerryvz on Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:23 pm

Austin, good luck keeping your car clean and looking nice consistently in Seattle. You will be washing it once a week if not more if you're driving it regularly.

Coming from Arizona, I'm wondering come about February or March how you guys will be liking the gray and rain. My Californian wife made it in Portland (less rain, higher temps, more sun than Seattle) for about 12 years before lobbying hard for a change to a sunnier clime. Me ... I'm a Seattle native, so no problems there. I had lost my umbrella shortly after moving to Portland in late 1995. The movers found it as they were putting our stuff on the moving van - it had fallen behind my workbench in the garage, and been there for all that time.

The mark of someone truly from the Pac Northwest - never use umbrellas ;-)