Loving my first Alfa
AO Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2017
Ok, NBBMW - you asked! My wash routine is admittedly a bit anal, but is as follows:
1. Spray wheels with Iron X fall out remover. Use small brush to work into tight areas. Allow to dwell for a few minutes then jet wash off, included wheel arches. If your wheels are treated, they'll now be 90% clean
2. Spay wheels with strong dilute solution of Dooka Wheel Shampoo. This is a PH neutral wheel maintenance shampoo. Allow to dwell, then jet wash off. The wheels are probably now clean. Never use acid.
3. Using Dooka Wheel Shampoo in a 5litre bucket and a lambswool wheel pad, clean inside and outside of spokes and the wheel calipers. Jet wash off. Your wheels will now be ultra clean
4. Apply snow foam. I use Lovely Bubbly after trying loads of other products, with a specialist snow foam bottle with a fitting to suit my Nilfisk. While it is dwelling for 5 mins, I fill my other 2 5litre buckets, which both have grit guards in the bottom. Jet wash off, but ensure you jet wash at 45 degrees to the paint, not 90 degrees.
5. I use Carpro Reset shampoo. 40ml in 5 litres is about right. I use a good wash pad (Dooka) and the object is to swish this over the paint with as little pressure as possible. Again, with the coatings and the shampoo, the wash pad should feel really slick on the surface. Use one bucket for the shampoo and the other to rinse your pad. Jet wash off.
6. I live in a hard water area, so I then rinse with softened water using a Race Glaze cylinder through my jet washer with the pressure attachment removed, so that I can sheet off the water. This leaves the car almost dry.
7. I then dry using Monster drying towels for the paintwork (using zero downward pressure) and small yellow Dodo Juice drying towels for the wheels.
8. I use the damp drying towels for all the door, boot and bonnet shuts etc.
9. Every 3rd wash or so, I treat the tyres with Gyeon Tyre Dressing. This lasts really well.
10. If I have lots of bug splatter, I use Gtechniq Bug Remover and allow to dwell as I'm doing my wheels.
11. When needed, I clean the glass with Dodo Juice Clearly Menthol.
12. Non abrasive Chrome cleaner on the exhaust tips
This takes me about 50 minutes and I've grown to really enjoy it, particularly on a car as sexy as the Giulia. I don't even let the garage valet it when it goes for a service.
Others will use other equally good products, but I've found products such as Dooka and Lovely Bubbly after many years of trying other products. The ceramic coatings, including the hydrophobic work best when they are decontaminated. For eg, I don't have to use my windscreen wipers in the rain over 50 mph and the car stays cleaner for longer and is easier to clean when it does get dirty. Ultimately, what you are trying to do is avoid marring, hologramming and swirl marks in your paint, particularly if you have a dark colour.
There is a whole world of reading and research if you want to get into wax vs coatings!
Bet you wished you never asked!