Detailing Tips and Gear for Basic Cleaning Please

Discussion in 'Detailing & Cleaning' started by RogerH69, Tuesday 16th Sep, 2014.

  1. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    I've always been the (lazy) type of person that pops their car to the car wash and let's a bunch of random strangers 'clean' it for me, while I sit back and read a newspaper.

    However, I'd like to get into the habit of cleaning my car myself, so would appreciate some guidance on cleaning my car (how regularly, using what soasp / shampoo, how and when to wax etc.).

    So far, I have -
    Bunch of micro fibre towels
    Micro fibre drying towel
    Karcher pressure washer (I guess I should get the scrubbing and wheel brushes for this too)

    The type of guidance I'd need are -

    What's the 'correct' way to give a car a basic wash, so as not to scratch it / damage paintwork etc. ?
    How often should I wax it ? With what? Using power tools or by hand ?
    How often should I treat the leather seats ? And with what ?
    Best cleaner to use on inside of windscreen to stop it from misting / icing up too much in winter ?

    Pretty much, any advice you have :Smile:
     
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  2. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    @wanner69 is our resident detailing expert, but I'll try and give my two pence.

    The generally accepted best practice for a basic shampoo wash is the two bucket method, two buckets full of water, one correctly diluted with a decent shampoo and the other pure. At the bottom of the buckets a grate or grill so that any debris will get caught beneath and not go swilling around in the water. With a lambswool mitt, or another soft non abrasive brush, use the shampoo bucket to wash, and the pure water to rinse and catch the debris. Always rinse the mitt/brush in the water before going back to the shampoo, you should never go from the car back to the shampoo bucket.

    I use AutoGlym Bodywork Shampoo or Honda Pro Shampoo & Wax blend generally, though lots of other will have recommendations. Dodo Juice Born to Be Mild is another favourite, but even APC will do.

    Owning a pressure washer, you can snow foam the car first to loosen/remove a lot of the dirt, you'd just need to invest in a foam lance. There's a few threads covering this already.

    I wax my car every 1-2 months generally, though last winter I saw my wax was still beading after 4-5 months. With soft waxes it's easy to do by hand, everyone has their own preferences but I personally use either a finger applicator or a applicator pad to apply it evenly across a panel with rows of circular swirls, then buff off with a microfibre once it's hazed. I generally go panel by panel around the car until I'm finished. You can do the buff off with an orbital and that would be the preferred method for many. I'll go with 2 coats if the car hasn't been waxed in a very long time, 1 coat if it's within a month or two.

    Use a dedicated leather cleaner to clean seats, and a leather balm or beeswax to keep it supple and vitalised. It's important that you try and avoid products with silicone as they tend to dry and damage the leather over time.

    For cleaning glass and windows I use AutoGlym Fast Glass, it's quick and effective - best I've found by a country mile. If the screen has oily residue or is in general just terrible, I'll use white vinegar and water with newspaper - great at removing contaminants.

    About the only wash I've logged on the site is here, names a few of the products I tend to use. @FirstHonda has a lot of knowledge on detailing products as well :Smile:
     
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  3. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Great write-up. thanks !!
     
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  4. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    I am only an enthusiastic amateur, albeit one who has read a lot on the subject, and tried to get my technique "right" (whatever that means!) with the help of a couple of pros over the years.

    There are loads of threads in the detailing section, so have a look through. As with many things, there are various opinions on products, but as I have found recently in going back to old "forgotten" stuff, the results can be surprising. What you get also depends on your budget...for the basic type products that you can get at Halfords, I've always had more success with Meguiars than Autoglym, but that is a personal preference.

    Last time I did a full clean, I posted some thoughts on products here:

    Detailing - Cleaning day is finally here! • Honda Karma

    Specifically on leather seats, I treat mine a couple of times a year - mainly to stop them from going "shiny." Last time I did them I posted it here:

    Detailing - Leather seat clean & treat • Honda Karma

    ^^The Swissvax stuff I use is great, but very expensive!

    Any questions, just ask, and I'm sure we'll have a good debate :Smile:
     
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  5. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Thanks guys. Lots of really helpful info there.

    Thanks for the tip about the snow foam. I've already got the Foam lance, with attached bottle for my Karcher (bloke at Halfords asked if I was getting the Karcher for the car, and when I said I was, he said the foam lance is a must - it was pretty cheap too).

    LOL - someone at work saw me going through car washing info, and read my post and said the most important piece of kit I need is my bright green mankini.... I'm not sure that a fat bloke on a bright green mankini snow foaming a car is something that people want to see when they're out for a nice leisurely weekend stroll.
     
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  6. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Him.... but bigger... WAY bigger (and no skates)


    Now there's a good idea for a charity fund raiser :shock:
     
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  7. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    :Rolf:

    You know how we all like pictures on this forum to go with posts? We can make exceptions.
     
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  8. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Awww come on... aren't you just a LITTLE bit curious ? :Need Pics:
     
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  9. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    More curious to see if you'll do it more than actually wanting to see it :Laughing: That's right, peer pressure's on now.
     
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  10. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    I'd need someone to do the camera work. Seeing as @Nighthawk lives relatively nearby, and has offered in the past to help, maybe he'll let me borrow his driveway for some filming....
     
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  11. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    Don't you need some kind of license for that kind of filming?
     
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  12. RogerH69 Premium Member Club Supporter

    South Africa Roger Oxford, UK
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    Good point
     
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  13. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard Milton Keynes
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    That would torment my kids for years, I think I draw the limit on helping when it comes to this kind of thing.

    Alternatively, you could just find a field.....



    Rather amusing to watch, but back on topic, I am quite anal about cleaning but I fear it would complicate things if I threw my two cents into this post as well. I would suggest though that you get yourself a nice DA polisher. They work wonders. Get a medium clay bar as well whilst you are at it.

    I've always used these guys, really great and there is loads of information on there about detailing your car

    Car Care Products | Detailing Products | UK - Clean Your Car

    Anyway, a guide to cleaning

    CleanYourCar.co.uk • View topic - Basic Car Washing Guide
     
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  14. wanner69 Detailing & Styling Trader

    Wirral
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    Sorry guys only just seen this thread and you all have it pretty much covered:Thumbup:
     
  15. Cloughy Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Alex Reading
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    If not already mentioned, once the car has been waxed, the 'open hose' method of rinsing on subsequent washes means hardly any water is left on the paintwork to dry off :Smile:
     
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  16. Garrydhu Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Billy Dor Carrigaline
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    Great clear advice,always heard about the 2bucket method,now I know how to do it,,tnx.
     
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  17. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    @Garrydhu if you are going to use the 2 bucket method, the grate/grill is invaluable. Well worth the money.
     
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  18. Garrydhu Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Billy Dor Carrigaline
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    Will do,tnx
    - - - Updated - - -
    First must buy a transponder key,as car came with one only,expensive here in Ireland, even though a friend can get me 20% discount,,,,manages a Honda dealership, but I'll try and not misplace the original until that happens
     
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