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Old 05-25-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
chaos311clarity
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Default CHAOS detailing blog: Weekly wash and meet prep tutorial!

Ok, well I finally got around to taking the pictures for this write up and its time I share my technique and tips. I'll try not to get too in-depth with the

terminology. The main goal here is to shed some light on how to properly wash a car. Also, Keep in mind that everyone has their own technique so mine might

not match up exactly with your favorite detailer.

First things first, you've got a dirty car.

The car in question here is a 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STi. The color shown is "friendly" to dirt in that it doesnt show up that well, but i asure you this

car is not clean.

Some before pictures.



notice the dirt laying on the bumper and trunk.


bugs and the like


more dirt...


and the heavily dusted wheels.




PRE-TREAT

I like to start out with a bit of pre-treating. After a normal week of driving (about 200 miles or so) you will start to accumulate some crud all over the

car. Some of that stuff requires a bit of chemical help to loosen up for the wash.

Here are the products I like to pre-treat with....



from left to right:
Poorboys APC (all purpose cleaner/degreaser) cut 4:1
P21S total auto wash cut 4:1 (strong citrus based cleaner)
Poorboys Bug Squash cut 4:1
P21S Wheel Cleaning Gel (not cut)


Treat the wheels first, so that the product has ample time to dwell on the wheels and do its thing.


Make sure to get every bit, even the inside.



Use the bug squash and spray the front and other body panels where you may see some bird crap or bug guts or things of that nature.


Then give the wheel arches a spray of the APC as well.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:02 AM   #2
chaos311clarity
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Engine Bay


Once you've got the pretreating products dwelling, you can move on a bit to the engine bay. I like to do this before i wash the car because it doesnt matter

if you splash a bit onto the paint before you wash it. It is essential that you know what to cover and what doesn't need covered in your engine bay before

attempting this.

Before:



You'll want to start by giving the engine bay a good spritzing of the P21S TAW. Scrub the stubborn/caked on parts with a brush.

After being sprayed with the TAW:


Let that dwell a bit and then rinse with low pressure.



Once you've done that, you can start drying it off a bit.



Take a microfiber drying towel and dab up all the excess water, this may take some time to get the technique right and find out where water likes to sit.

When you have it dry to your satisfaction, go ahead and close the hood and get ready for the wash.



The Wash

Ok, so you're all set to wash the car. There are 2 ways of doing this. The one bucket method and the 2 bucket method. A lot of folks prefer the 2 bucket

method because it reduces the chances of swirling, so that's what ill be using today. The only real difference is that when using 2 buckets you have a wash

bucket and a rinse bucket, with the one bucket method they are one and the same.

So here are my 2 buckets.

The one on the left, is going to be my rinse bucket. The one on the right, my wash bucket. The Orange goo in the bottom is my favorite soap, Poorboys Super

Slick N' Suds. The yellow thing is called a "Grit Gaurd", its meant to kind of scrub out the dirt from your wash mitt and keep it at the bottom of the

bucket.




Fill them both up with water. I like to use warm water in most cases. Your rinse bucket doesnt need anything besides water. The wash bucket needs to be

filled up so that youve got some good sudsing going on. I usually toss my mitt in to let it soak while i hook up the pressure washer.



Now, don't be worried about not using a pressure washer. Not everyone has one and a regular hose with a proper nozzle will work just fine. I prefer the

pressure washer because i feel it makes the job a good bit quicker.


The next little toy I like to use is called a Foam Cannon. Very similar to a Miracle Grow garden sprayer, it mixes the wash mixture with high pressure water

and creates a nice thick foam to spray on the car. There are low pressure foam guns available as well, the most popular being the Gilmour.

Here is a picture of my mix...


The reason this stuff is colored a bit weird is because i have several products in it. The main one being Poorboys Super Slick N' Suds, then a bit of bug

squash, and a little bit of ONR (optimum no rinse).

Here it is attached to the pressure washer gun.



Now you can crank up the pressure washer and get started.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:02 AM   #3
chaos311clarity
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You want to basically cover the entire car in foam now.

Here are a few snaps of the process...






Now let that dwell on the paint and start to remove the contamination.



If the car is dirty enough, you'll see some of the dirt sliding off with the foam. This is exactly what you want.

Notice the dirty line of foam under the side skirt?


Also, Notice that the brake dust is now running off the wheels a bit from letting the gel sit on it for a while.



I usually let the foam dwell until i see most of it has run off the car.

Its then time to rinse.

For this first rinse I use a high pressure. That will help get some of the loosened dirt off the paint.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:03 AM   #4
chaos311clarity
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Some pictures of that process...





Be sure to get the wheels and wheel arches.







See all the crap running off the wheels?





and here's what you should be left with... a mostly shiney, wet car.


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Old 05-25-2008, 09:03 AM   #5
chaos311clarity
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Now you can start to actually wash the car.

Take the wash mitt (sheepskin in this case) out of the bucket and start lightly washing from the top down. You dont want to press super hard and grind the

remaing dirt into the paint so take it easy and be sure to get every section of the car.



Once the mitt gets a little dirty, or youve done a body panel or 2, rinse it in the rinse bucket.








RINSE

Once you're confident that you got every panel. Its then time to rinse. This time with low pressure. Again from the top down...



The reason i say low pressure is because you want the water to do the work. By using lower pressure the water tends to run off in bigger sections, leaving

less water on the car. It makes drying a good bit quicker.

This particular car has had every exterior surface waxed and has been decently maintained.... notice how the water just runs right off the glass and body

work?



Also, notice the good beading from a good coat of wax still remaining on the car.



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Old 05-25-2008, 09:03 AM   #6
chaos311clarity
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Now, you're ready to dry the car. This is another section where you need to be careful and mindful of marring and swirling. If the drying implement (a thick

waffle weave microfiber towel in this case) gets dirty, you can inflict a LOT of swirls and marring.

Here is a picture of it..


and this is how i like to use it... folded into 4ths.


There are a few reasons for the folding. First, its a bit easier to control than a giant rag flopping around in your hand. Second, you can reduce swirls by

flipping it over if it gets dirty. Also, i find that if i stay mindful to get one section of the towel completely wet before flipping it, i do a better job

of drying. If the car is big enough, you may need 2 or more drying towels. I highly frown upon using bath towels because they can be very abrasive and really

do some damage.

I like to start with the glass first to avoid water spotting..



and then move onto the paint...



Another tip...

If your car has a spoiler, you may want to open the trunk all the way and let water drain out from under it while drying the car, this helps prevent runout

after you think youve gotten the car completely dry.






Dressing/Treating

We've come to the final stages. After drying the car, i like to let it drip/runout a bit to make sure i've got all the water. Once im absolutely sure ive got

the car dry. I move on to dressing/treating the exterior. First off, i bust out my Trim Restorer for all the black bits that may fade. Like the mirror peices

and cowl.

I usually apply a small dab to a microfiber cloth and apply. Sometimes several coats to get the desired effect.





I also apply this to the mudflaps on the STi to keep them looking new.

Next, i dress the tires with Poorboy's Bold N' Bright. (Sorry no pictures of this, but come on, its not that challenging)

Finally, I bust out my favorite quick wax/quick detailer and start dressing the paint. In this case, i'm using OCW aka Optimum Car Wax. It's an awesome quick

wax and leaves a nice wet shine to the paint.

Lightly mist the paint with the QW and then buff with a soft MF cloth to a shine.



Be careful not to use too much as it may cause smears and more work to get buffed up to a nice shine.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:04 AM   #7
chaos311clarity
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At this point you are pretty much done. Step back, and enjoy your work.


(it was getting dark so the pictures arent that good)










I hope this has helped a bit.

Thanks for reading.

- Jon
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:40 AM   #8
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Nice write up!!
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:53 AM   #9
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I have a question. Mind you i use 1 bucket to wash my car because if I fudge my crap up the Imfamous Martin D live right up the road I just take it to him.

But why wouldnt the nifty crap catcher plastic thing be in the Rinse bucket? so youcould scrub it and get all the dirt out of the mit? or I guess if they are cheap enough one in both haha.

Just wondering. Nice car BTW
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:24 PM   #10
chaos311clarity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbieshonda View Post
I have a question. Mind you i use 1 bucket to wash my car because if I fudge my crap up the Imfamous Martin D live right up the road I just take it to him.

But why wouldnt the nifty crap catcher plastic thing be in the Rinse bucket? so youcould scrub it and get all the dirt out of the mit? or I guess if they are cheap enough one in both haha.

Just wondering. Nice car BTW

simple question simple answer lol... the thing didnt fit in the rinse bucket. ... .so now i use them the other way around lol. i know its retarded. and if i had 2 round buckets id put one in both.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:28 PM   #11
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Thanks. I didnt know if that was some sort of trick way of doing something haha. Ive been thinking about getting a few of those to attempt to keep the swirls to a minimum. Good write up.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:16 PM   #12
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nice work...311 fan?
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:19 PM   #13
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A few comments,

Why not use a California Water Blade? I have found that you can remove about 90-95% of the water off of a car with one and you are reducing the number of places that you are touching with a towel. Also, do you have any sort of blower? Again, from experience, there seems to be really no possible way to remove the water from all the cracks and crevices without some sort of high velocity blower.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:54 PM   #14
chaos311clarity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxey View Post
nice work...311 fan?

haha maybe.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2BlackWRX View Post
A few comments,

Why not use a California Water Blade? I have found that you can remove about 90-95% of the water off of a car with one and you are reducing the number of places that you are touching with a towel. Also, do you have any sort of blower? Again, from experience, there seems to be really no possible way to remove the water from all the cracks and crevices without some sort of high velocity blower.
simple, i dont trust em. some guys love em... the only place theyll see on my car is the windows. they work well on the windows. as far as a blower goes, i have a shop air compressor in the garage that ill bust out from time to time but that wasnt the point of this write up. this is something that everyone can do without too many crazy tools or techniques. i understand what you are saying tho, there will usually be runout after washing without blowing it out... but it really doesnt effect the end result if you are good about wiping it off.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:59 PM   #16
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is that a homemade foam gun? if not whered ya get it?

why dont you use the foam gun a second time to apply soap, then use the watery mitt to agitate it a little bit? i would want more soap on that mitt for proper lubrication.

how is the poorboys trim dressing? have you used it on tires? more pics?

good call on the water blade. i would never want to drag a plastic blade all over my car. i stick to microfiber.

good write up man!
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubya301 View Post
good call on the water blade. i would never want to drag a plastic blade all over my car. i stick to microfiber.
Its actually a very soft rubber if you have ever felt it and IMHO its much safer than a microfiber as long as you clean your car. It is also much quicker than using a microfiber towel.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:13 PM   #18
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Ocw Ftw!!!!
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:25 AM   #19
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I've seen your youtube videos
Care to go into detail with your foam cannon? What exactly needs to be purchased? How much it costs?
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:51 AM   #20
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holy crap that's a long wash..

nice write up!
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:32 AM   #21
chaos311clarity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubya301 View Post
is that a homemade foam gun? if not whered ya get it?

why dont you use the foam gun a second time to apply soap, then use the watery mitt to agitate it a little bit? i would want more soap on that mitt for proper lubrication.

how is the poorboys trim dressing? have you used it on tires? more pics?

good call on the water blade. i would never want to drag a plastic blade all over my car. i stick to microfiber.

good write up man!

i bought it online ... honestly i cant find the place right now...

theres plenty of lubrication from the soap in the wash bucket. no need to foam again.

I enjoy the poorboys trim restorer... its very similar to "black wow" if youve heard of that. I dont use it on tires because i have tire dressing. what kind of pix are you looking for?
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:33 AM   #22
chaos311clarity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FD777 View Post
I've seen your youtube videos
Care to go into detail with your foam cannon? What exactly needs to be purchased? How much it costs?
haha thats funny. for anyone that doesnt know what hes talking about, there are videos of me using the foam cannon on youtube.


As i mentioned, i bought it from an online retailer. Cant seem to find the link right now. Basically all you need to operate it is a pressure washer, and soap lol.. it attaches right to the thing and thats it.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:48 AM   #23
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You said it's crucial to know what to cover while cleaning the engine bay.... just curious what you covered and what you didn't.

How does Poorboy's trim restorer hold up over time? I use Poorboy's natural look on trim pieces right now but it doesn't last too long, usually 2 or 3 days before the trim is looking dull again.
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:36 AM   #24
chaos311clarity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03YellowWRX View Post
You said it's crucial to know what to cover while cleaning the engine bay.... just curious what you covered and what you didn't.

How does Poorboy's trim restorer hold up over time? I use Poorboy's natural look on trim pieces right now but it doesn't last too long, usually 2 or 3 days before the trim is looking dull again.
i actually didnt cover anything. now before you guys jump on me for this... i let the car sit out for an entire day with the hood up after washing it like this. therefore everything is well dried before use.


the trim restorer lasts a good while. the natural look is meant for interior bits... so it works well there... and the TR is meant for the outside.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:18 PM   #25
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Nice write up and very similiar to what I would recommend. I always do I pre-wash soap and rinse before actually applying a washing mit to the paint. P21S Wheel Cleaner Gel is a great product for expensive wheels!!!
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