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Discussion Starter #1
The right way to wash a car.

CheckList:

Hose with adjustable pressure/spray nozzle.
Large bucket.
Wash mitt (all cotton).
Additional wash mitt for wheels and wheel wells.
Chamois, absorber, water squegee, or terri towel
Bristle tire brush
An area out of direct sunlight
12oz spray bottle

Make sure all your items are clean and free of dirt and debris. If you accidently drop a chamois, rag, or wash mitt on the ground THROW IT OUT!
It will pick up items that will SCRATCH your paint. It is worth the few dollars to buy a new one than to incur paint damage.
* Wet down the entire vehicle, start with a full force spray in the wheel wheels, then start from the roof, and work your way back down.
* Use the wash mitt to lather up the vehicle,starting at the roof, side windows, windshield and rear window.
* Thoroughly rinse before soap begins to "separate". If you notice the soap deteriorating on the paint before completion of the top section,
rinse before it drys.
* Repeat process for hood, rinse. Rear, rinse. Doors and quarter panels, rinse. (Please remember to wet the car constantly, as you do not
want water to "dry" on the paint before completion.
* Lastly, wash wheels with separate wash mit, and scrub tires with bristle brush.
* Once the entire vehicle has been washed and rinsed, rinse again to ensure all soap has been washed away.
* Dry thoroughly, starting at the top of the vehicle, and working your way down, and around.
* Once body is dry, wipe down door jambs, trunk channel, engine bay, under tail lights, headlights, and gas cap with a terri towel.
If your door jambs and trunk channels have never been cleaned, Mix a drop of wash soap into a 12 floz bottle of water in a spray bottle, and use a separate terri towel to remove excess dirt and debris.

Cleaning Engine bay:

If your car is new, or has a clean engine bay, you can use the soap/water mixture to do cleanings whenever you wash. Wipe down everything with the exception of pullies, alternator, belts, fuel injector rails, etc.

If you own an older Celica, you can use a mild degreaser like Simple Green or Castrol Super Clean. Spray only non-moving parts.
Avoid spraying pullies, alternator, belts, fuel injector rails, etc...and wash excess degreaser with the soap/water mixture in a
spray bottle, then wipe down with a terri towel.

Upon completion, do a load of laundry. Wash your rags and mitts with the same soap you washed your car with (not the same water though!). Put in dryer without fabric softener
or let air dry (indoors)

Wash at least once a week to maintain your hard work!
 

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You can take this a step further by having two buckets - one that contains the soap and the other just water to use as your rinse bucket.

When you are washing from top to bottom and need to dip your mitt into the soap to "re-soap", dip it into the rinse bucket first and shake it around to remove any dirt particles that might have clung onto the mitt. You don't want to have it end up in the soap bucket where there's a potential of ending up on your car again.

Also, I advise washing the wheels first, as there might be dirt and grime that have the chance of splattering onto the body that you had washed already if you did the car first, and then you have to wash again.

One last tip - unscrew the nozzle from the hose and use the "stream" of water as you're doing a final rinse. It'll save you some time in the drying process.

I'm not an expert in car care, but this has worked for me in the past with very minimal swirls/scratches. However, I do use a leafblower to air dry my car to prevent scratches while drying - keeps my neighbors entertained with the noise. :D
 

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Luwin1026 said:
Also, I advise washing the wheels first, as there might be dirt and grime that have the chance of splattering onto the body that you had washed already if you did the car first, and then you have to wash again.

One last tip - unscrew the nozzle from the hose and use the "stream" of water as you're doing a final rinse. It'll save you some time in the drying process.
Make sure to use a different bucket if you do the wheels first. The brake dust and the dirty tires/wheels may contaminate the soap for which you may use on the car next. However i always do my wheels last, but i guess it just comes down to personal preference, because in the end, the car gets cleaned.
 

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Thats a great write, however I don't even put soap on my car when washing it. I used pressure water only. I do keep the car wet while I wash it. I worry about the paint/soap element a bit much.
 
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