Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

Ok, I'm new to this owning a car business. So "detailing" means cleaning?

Anyway...

I've had my car for 2 weeks now. The dealer I took it from had it cleaned to an immaculate standard. It's starting to look a bit dirty, so I figure I should start thinking about how to clean the car.

I went to Halfords today and started picking cleaning stuff up. I didn't really know what I should be buying. There is a rather large choice of stuff there. I made my way to the till, then figured I should go back to the aisle and count up what I had in the basket. I had nearly 70 of stuff. I decided to put it all back expect the Autoglym convertible roof cleaner set.

My problem is I live in a 2nd floor flat, so getting a hose to the car isn't really an option. Washing the car probably wouldn't be too bad, but I figure rinsing will be nigh on impossible. Now that I think about it, I don't think I have seen anyone in my set of flats ever cleaning their cars.

I'm thinking I should save the on expensive cleaning kit and just go get it hand washed at one of these car cleaning stations. I know some people don't trust these places but they can't be that bad - otherwise they wouldn't be in business. Right?

So does anyone else here have no access to a hose but manage to clean their car with no problems? Do you think going to a hand wash place is ok?

What do you think I should do?

Are there some definitive "cleaning my car and what you need to buy for beginners" threads here?

Excuse the dumb questions. I'm used to cleaning my motorbike which I did with a bottle of Greentec, a bucket of water and a sponge. And you should see the crappy state my bike is in!
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

I have a lack of time at the moment so find it simpler to go to a BP garage and use the jet wash! I rinse it off with cold water, then hot soap spray and then rinse off of with the cold water again. Then take it round to the hoover part and then remove the waterwith a water magnet towel.

It works for me as in the summer I layered it up with planey of wax and it is still lasting, will need a winter coat soon but still beads up lovely when it rains!
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

I go to a hand car wash where they wash it for me, only costs £5. and if its not up to standard you know to try a different one next time, they normally have a section to vacume your car, check the tyre pressure and a water station aswell. Or you can try the ones at petrol stations, but your sometimes fighting against the clock to get it all washed and rinsed in time, and you have to do it youself in this blooming whether.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

If you want a fully detailed car with immaculately gleaming paintwork then it's going to cost you a lot of pounds and hours. You'll be there all day with all sorts of polishing compounds, whizzy cloths ... and then you'll drive it once in this weather and un-do all your hard work.

If you want a good looking clean car, bottle of car shampoo, wax, bucket, sponge and cloth will do. Shouldn't cost you more than a tenner for the lot.

If you're in a flat and can't get a hose out, wash it with a bucket of shampoo'y water, rinse with a watering can, wax it every few months and it'll stay looking good. Hoover it out every now and then. You could take it to a car wash but even the hand ones don't get into the door hinges and the parts where the doors and the boot closes. OK if that doesn't bother you but I don't like a clean car, opening the door and it's all grubby behind the doors.

Just don't fall into the advertising trap and the 'oh you'll need this ... and that ... and separate wheel cleaner .... and separate tyre cleaner'. Big bottle of Autoglym shampoo will do the trick.
 
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

I live in a 2nd floor flat, and I can't get a hose to the car.

Get yourself a nice big bucket and some car shampoo. It takes a lot of trips up and down to do it but it's not a big problem.

If it's really dirty then go to your local garage and give it a blast with the jet wash before hand washing it.

I finish off with a layer of Mer. I find by keeping this topped up the dirt comes off easily at the next wash, even on the alloys.

And when you have a spare 6 hours, clay the whole car

Have fun.

PS, I have a garage near me with a coin op hoover, so that sorts out the interior.

Speak softly and carry a big stick.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

I bet there's a hose somewhere... The people who fix the grounds must have one tucked away in the bushes somewhere.


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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

I get the Polish boy's at a nearby petrol station to do mine, who do a grand job inside and out for a tenner.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

The only tip I'll offer Major, for what it's worth, is NOT to clean it in your kitchen.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

Some car wash places will let you use their equipment to wash your car (at a price of course) if you don't trust their staff. Then you will have the best of both worlds: A nice place to wash your car with plenty of clean water and a spray nozzle but the piece of mind (and maybe even the enjoyment) of sorting out your own car.

At the very least you need:

1. A bucket
2. Good quality car shampoo
3. A wash mitt - preferably don't use a sponge
4. A waffle weave drying towel - preferably don't use a chamois.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

I used to live in a flat with the kitchen overlooking the car park . I invested in one of those clampy things that fit over the end of the tap and you connect the hose to it , i also had 2 50ft hoses joined together and just chucked the hose out the kitchen window .

Bish Bash Bosh job done
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(Post Link) post #11 of 16 Old 07-12-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

Quote:
Originally Posted by springbok View Post
At the very least you need:

1. A bucket
2. Good quality car shampoo
3. A wash mitt - preferably don't use a sponge
4. A waffle weave drying towel - preferably don't use a chamois.

Well, cheers for all the tips. Watering can was the winner! The car got a decent clean at the weekend. What's wrong with sponges and chamois? I'll admit I've always found chamois a bit crap. They're meant to dry the car with no streaks right? They just seem a bit crap to me. I guess I should investigate this waffle weave drying towel then.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

Both Sponges and Chamois tend to induce swirls and light scratches into the paintwork as they drag the small particles of dirt across the surface as you wipe the car. You don't mention the colour of your car but those with dark colours especially black are driven almost to distraction by the constant swirls that appear on the surface which are visible in sunlight. Almost all of these are instilled by poor washing methods

Microfibre products draw the particles up into the material which are then rinsed away every time the wash mitt or mf cloth is rinsed in the bucket.

I did not even mention the two bucket system or the use of a gritguard in the bottom of the bucket.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

Quote:
Originally Posted by quadrifigolio View Post
I get the Polish boy's at a nearby petrol station to do mine, who do a grand job inside and out for a tenner.
I did that a few weeks ago. I had to leave the car with them 'cos they were busy, and when I returned they had scratched the front bumper on a concrete post and left a few deep scratches on my roof and boot lid.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

When I started washing cars when I was a young boy we didn't didn't have a hose we used a bucket. Would seem like a good solution in this instance.
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

Lived in a first floor flat last year and just made trips up and down the stairs with a bucket - no problem at all! Don't be such a wuss
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Re: Cleaning a car when you live in a Flat

I just use three buckets, two 'noodle sponges', autoglym shampoo and autoglym aquawax.

One bucket has shampoo in it, another has clean water for rinsing the car, the last bucket has clean water for rinsing the sponges.

I use one 'noodle sponge' (it has a noodle-like material on it that draws the particles up away from the car) for shampooing and the other for rinsing the shampoo off. Then apply the aquawax while the car is wet and buff to a finish with a microfibre cloth. Takes me about an hour and a half to get a reasonable clean.
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