Kia Cadenza Forum banner

Your method of washing your car

  • Automatic car wash

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Wash car yourself (by hand or other means)

    Votes: 3 75.0%
  • Don't wash car/dont care

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4
  • Poll closed .
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Did not find threads here under detail regarding this topic so thought I'll start one and get some feed back from the rest of you. There's so much info on the web of different methods of washing your car.

I've never really given it much thought before until I purchased my Cadenza and over heard a conversation between several co-workers. The thing mentioned that was an eye opener was several of my co-workers mentioning that you should never take your car through a automatic car wash. They claimed it scratches your paint. Now my initial thought was scratches that you can see immediately after the wash and those just happened to be isolated incidents for some unlucky customers. Then I researched it some and found quite a few YouTube videos or documents on web that would back up the suggestion/reason you should not use automatic car washes. Also just about every video or document I read there always seems to be a sales pitch on products you should buy to wash your car. So is it a scare tactic, state that automatic car washes ruin your cars paint/appearance and you should buy our products and wash you car yourself. There's also countless videos of "so called" professionals that show you how you're washing your car yourself improperly.


So I'm curious on how you guys wash your vehicles? Do you have any tips/tricks? I also created poll, Automatic car wash or Wash car yourself or Don't wash my car/don't care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Did not find threads here under detail regarding this topic so thought I'll start one and get some feed back from the rest of you. There's so much info on the web of different methods of washing your car.

I've never really given it much thought before until I purchased my Cadenza and over heard a conversation between several co-workers. The thing mentioned that was an eye opener was several of my co-workers mentioning that you should never take your car through a automatic car wash. They claimed it scratches your paint. Now my initial thought was scratches that you can see immediately after the wash and those just happened to be isolated incidents for some unlucky customers. Then I researched it some and found quite a few YouTube videos or documents on web that would back up the suggestion/reason you should not use automatic car washes. Also just about every video or document I read there always seems to be a sales pitch on products you should buy to wash your car. So is it a scare tactic, state that automatic car washes ruin your cars paint/appearance and you should buy our products and wash you car yourself. There's also countless videos of "so called" professionals that show you how you're washing your car yourself improperly.


So I'm curious on how you guys wash your vehicles? Do you have any tips/tricks? I also created poll, Automatic car wash or Wash car yourself or Don't wash my car/don't care.

I wash my car once (sometimes twice) a week by hand. When I first bought my car it was washed by hand every other day... :D


It is very true that automatic car washes scratch your paint. Think about it, if you go through a popular automatic car wash they are washing hundreds of cars daily, without cleaning the surface that touches your car. All that dirt and gunk has to go somewhere, its being transferred to your car from the very thing that's supposed to clean your car. I'll admit I've been through several automatic car washes, and I cringe every time. If I'm on the road and I need to wash my car I usually go out of my way to go to a self car wash place. I keep several towels and car wash mitts in my trunk for this.



If you want good tips and tricks for washing your cars, check out the Car Cleaning Guru on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/CarCleaningGuru


He goes into detail with things you should and shouldn't do, and quite frankly listening to him talk is enjoyable.


I use a cheap electric pressure washer with a foam cannon that foams up my whole car, let it sit on the car for a few minutes and then rinse. Then again, foam the whole car and wash by hand with a wash mitt. My car gets bombarded by bee poop everyday (orange sticky stuff), and that stuff is not easy to get off, so that's why I do a two step process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
So how much time does your typical car wash take? How much does it cost you per wash?

Takes me about an hour and a half to two hours for a good wash that includes tires & rims, body, door jams, a quick vacuum inside, wipe down of interior parts, and if needed some glass cleaner and tire shine. I never really thought about how much it costed me since that wasn't too important but a gallon of soap costs $24, the wash mitts are about $5 ea, towels $5 ea.


I use 3oz of soap which will foam the whole car twice. Which means for a gallon of soap I get ~42 car washes out of it, each costing ~56 cents for 3oz of soap. The pressure washer uses ~1 gallon of water per minute which is next to nothing.. After I'm finished the towels and wash mitts go in the washer with very little soap then laid out to dry.


Guess I'm a little crazy with my car wash routine but it has paid off, my car still looks brand new minus some chips and dings that are normal for highway driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
I take mine through express washes every now and then for convenience and because it gets the stuff off my car that can really harm the clear coat and paint (sap, bird dropping, acid rain, etc..). I will was my car myself every now and then and enjoy doing it but I suck at drying it because I always have streaks or water marks. It doesn't help that I do it on really hot days where it dries really quickly outside (gets on my nerves). It's usually either way too hot or way too cold here to give good washes, on those rare days I will usually do my inside as I can use the commercial car washes for the outside real quick.

I try to seal my car once or twice a year as well and that helps prolong the paint and adds a nice shine. It also makes it much easier to clean as most of the water/debris just beads off. Mine will usually last a good 3-6 mo. That whole process takes a long time though, usually 6-8+ hours including hand washing, claying, sealing, buffing, and drying. It will usually take me an hour or so do to the inside of the car too. I use water based cleaners on the seats, steering wheel, and shifter skirt, and water based conditioner too, then drying them off. The dash, door panels, and armrest can all get armoral (never ever use on your leather). I forgot what window cleaner I use on my glass but it doesn't have ammonia in it because ALL of my windows are tinted (50% full windshield lol). I'll also clean my weather tech floor liners with some Dawn and water.

As for the exterior make sure you go from top to bottom as a general rule. Be careful around the wheel wells from debris from your tires. I make a rule to NEVER use an implement on your car if it is also used on your tires. I have a mitt/brush from my tires only and other pieces for my car's body. Those tires put out some nasty debris when you're braking including metal shavings, using the same mitt on your tires can transfer those debris onto the mit and if you go to your body you're now just creating microscratches all over your car, or even larger visible ones immediately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Anyone use a foam cannon/gun? What's your take on them, useful or waste of money/time? Can you get away with just using a foam cannon/gun and rense with pressure washer because would save a lot of time?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
So I wanted to update this post. Shortly after my last post I decided to go for a foam cannon and pressure washer. I really enjoy using the cannon and pressure washer, makes washing the car fun. So here's a run down of the items I got.

Pressure washer: TackLife 2300 PSI 1.8 GPH high efficiency electric power washer. Amazon purchase, though I can't find it any more.

Foam cannon: MATCC adjustable 1 liter bottle snow foam lance with 1/4" quick connector. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CE78VO8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Note: This cannon states it requires pressure washer to have 2.0 GHP, however with a little research I found replacing the orifice nozzle tip with a smaller 1.1 mm you get a better foaming.

Cannon Orifice Nozzle Tip Replacement: M Mingle Foam Cannon Orifice Nozzle Tip for snow foam cannon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F81LHP8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Foam wash: Chemical Guys Honey Dew snow foam. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06VS4JH62/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Sediment filter: Thunder Hardware sediment filter attachment. I purchased this just to make sure no debris/sediment got into the pressure washer pump, as I read that's the first thing to fail and that's why it fails. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DSVSF83/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I have not yet tried using just the foam cannon and then rinsing off with pressure washer, the car is usually just too dirty to try that. I use multiple microfiber towels to wash the car after foaming it up. Then a rinse and dry it with more microfiber towels. I'm looking into getting a water blade to help aid in the drying process. If I remember the next time I wash I'll get a little video together on how well the foam cannon/pressure washer work together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
I only ever get streaks using microfiber towels, it just always feels like they don't do anything to retain water. What is your secret!?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I only ever get streaks using microfiber towels, it just always feels like they don't do anything to retain water. What is your secret!?
Use one microfiber to get as much of the water up as I can. Then gently go over the same section with second microfiber. As I'm not getting a lot of water with second microfiber, it stays pretty dry throughout the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I never dry my car with anything other than an electric leaf blower. It takes about 5 minutes to get it completely dry and it gets the water out from all the little nooks that always end up dripping right as you are about to wax it.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top