I thought cleaning a car would be simple... - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 41 Old 27-09-09 Thread Starter
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I thought cleaning a car would be simple...

I have come from using fairy liquid, a sponge and turtle wax (the green tin...remember that?) method of cleaning a car.

I never knew how complex it could be to clean a car.

Well for the first time ever I have bought a car (Solid Black MiTo) from new and after reading various articles on detailing world, cleanyourcar and on here, I seem to have bogged myself down in too many products, too many details and too ways to clean a car.

I was hoping to get the opinion of fellow Alfa owners on the best approach to take to clean a brand new car and the type of products to use and when?

I really don't want to screw things up on the brand new paintwork.

I have cleaned the car once since I drove it out of the showroom over a week ago but I used the local garage's jetwash and Turtle Wax ICE (Synthetic)???

I look forward to hearing from you all.
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I go for the AG body shampoo and aquawax for a normal wash. No jet washes or car washes.

When I really go for it I use the AG super resin polish and finish with AG HD wax.

I work from the top down and use a different mitt for the bottom of the car, wheels and inside the arches.
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I've had previous bad experiences with jet washes lifting paint. If there's any grit in the end from when somebody before you has dropped it on the floor, this can also give a nice sandblasting effect.
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Washing up liquid is a definite no-no as it contains salt and will remove the wax from the car.

A car shampoo is better, anything sort other than washing up liquid will do, even Asda smart price.



Detailing is as complicated as you make it, some people spend a fortune on specialist products, I prefer to spend a moderate amount and keep it simple.

Turtle wax original is well proven, but I am sure there are newer formulations available that are easier to use and which last longer.

I am currently using Zip wax shampoo, Turtle wax platinum precision car wax, and Turtle wax platinum extra gloss sealer over the top. I also use Colour magic on occasion to help mask the small scratches and swirls.

I get a great shine and without too much effort. I have tried Autoglym, Simoniz and Car plan Triplewax polishes, but none really come near to the Turtle wax for ease of use shine and value IMO.

Others will have their own preferences with what they use, like they do with oil and tyres.

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I used AG HD wax for the first time last week, cleaning her this week was a doddle and she came up really nice, I also use Megs quick detailer spray for a quick top up and for removing the water marks made by water coming out of the mirrors.

As said above it can be as complicated as you want to make it, but also very rewarding to look at the shiniest car in the car park.
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Hose the beast down with a hosepipe.

Wash it. Use two buckets (first one to rinse your woollen or microfibre mitt, second one with the soapy water and your favourite car shampoo).

Use a woollen or microfibre mitt, not a sponge as they "absorb" any bits of grit better and take them away from the surface, though using lots of water and rinsing a sponge frequently is also good.

Rinse then dry it with a microfibre towel (I use a chamois leather.. which is generally disapproved of.. but if it's spotless after the wash/rinse, it shouldn't scratch, should it?)

If the paint is rough (after some time, after winter etc.) clay the surface.

Apply a glaze. Buff off using microfibre towel. Paint should be very smooth so this is just a "wipe on", rather than anything aggressive.

Apply a wax. Buff off using microfibre towel.

That's more or less it. In time you might find that the paint pi cks up contaminants or swirls and scratches .. or becomes dull etc. Then you might need to consider polishing (after the clay stage above) and that's a whole separate subject.


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No bullets for Chaingun..
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If it's a quick and easy job you're looking for try:

1. Wet the car first to get surface dirt off (I go round with the hose on a low setting and then a higher one under the wheelarches)
2. Shampoo (and to be honest any reasonable car shampoo will do) with plenty of bubbles Avoid using a sponge - I have a cotton fingered sponge thing.
3. Use AutoGlym's Aquawax - spray on a damp car and buff off to a fantastic shine.

I do this more often than not.

Always use Microfibre cloths - even for drying off the car.
 
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For drying... Washed my car on Sunday. Was always a chamois man but decided to have a go with a micro fibre towel as everyone is always banging on about drying cars with micro fibre. Well... WOW! what a different. Dried the car in a third of the time and perfectly too. After drying went back to the house and binned the chamois straight away. I've now converted to the micro fibre clan
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Excellent that man
 
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It looks like I'm going to have to join the microfibre revolution too. Where's best to get them?
 
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You can buy them cheaper (and the same quality) at a supermarket. Lidl do good sized ones.
 
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A word of warning regarding Autoglym SR wax...although it produces a very nice shine it contains very fine abrasives which I would caution against using on brand new paintwork!!! Since you've forked out for a brand new car why not go the extra mile and buy a quality wax - with high carnauba content...the cheapest Zymol bottle works well but I'm afraid I have fallen into the trap and use a 40 quid tub of Smart wax...though it should last a wee while yet...I also use a field glaze to wipe away fingerprints and water marks from the pesky wing mirror demons!!

Good luck
PS NEVER EVER use a carwash or a jet wash pleeeeaaaaasssssssseee...they will destroy yer paint...good old hose down and a quaility shampoo with lots of bubbles works every time...and ALWAYS dry her off - I use the AG synthetic chamois but microfibres are great too

Last edited by alfascozia13; 08-10-09 at 10:26.
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SR wax? Super Resin is a polish, not a wax. It is meant to slightly cut into the surface to polish away the rubbish.

I meant AquaWax which is a wax spray used on a wet car. It's a good product.
 
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Quite right Paintergirl....most common mistake is difference between a wax and a polish.

Euneeq, your new car is BLACK probably the worst colour for showing swirls, ask GIZTO29 on this forum. He nearly had a nervous breakdown with swirls on his new black Mito. Do not use a car wash, repeat do not use a car wash. The advice above regarding 2 buckets, mitts and microfibres are all spot on. Be very careful how you wash your car and you will not get swirls. Do not use a car wash.

Oh, BTW, DO NOT USE A CAR WASH!!!
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(Post Link) post #15 of 41 Old 28-09-09 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by springbok View Post
Quite right Paintergirl....most common mistake is difference between a wax and a polish.

Euneeq, your new car is BLACK probably the worst colour for showing swirls, ask GIZTO29 on this forum. He nearly had a nervous breakdown with swirls on his new black Mito. Do not use a car wash, repeat do not use a car wash. The advice above regarding 2 buckets, mitts and microfibres are all spot on. Be very careful how you wash your car and you will not get swirls. Do not use a car wash.

Oh, BTW, DO NOT USE A CAR WASH!!!
OK so if I have it right springbok..."DON'T USE A CAR WASH" Ok understand!
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Welcome Euneeq,

as a lot of people have said the key to getting a good shine is using the right polishes/waxes.

in addition always use two buckets and try not to use sponges, they collect dirt which will scratch the paintwork.

As far as waxes as concerned you can ask 20 people and get 20 different answers, i use Dodo juice purple velvet which has been specially designed for dark coloured cars, but i know a lot of people who don't get on with it

the only other advice i would give is don't use a shampoo with wax built into it, it will get all over the windscreen and make it all smeary...

have fun and remember to enjoy it
 
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Originally Posted by paintergirl View Post
SR wax? Super Resin is a polish, not a wax. It is meant to slightly cut into the surface to polish away the rubbish.

I meant AquaWax which is a wax spray used on a wet car. It's a good product.
SRP is really an all-in-one, in that it has some cut, and can be used as an LSP, but durability not great. Aqua wax is good as a quicktop up after a wash, but again durability not great. For winter I have already got Colly 476 on both the 147 and the GT, and I put a coat of Vics Concours on the 147 at the weekend. Weather permitting will do the GT this coming Weekend.
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I still think Microfibre drying towels are for people who don't have the forearm strength to wring out a chammy though!

You're all limp in the wrists...!

Mind you, if I could find a huuuuge one, I would probably give it a try. Don't they get all waterlogged and then start smearing the water? Chammy gives a spotless finish (well mine does, anyway).

I also wonder how many people swear by a 40 wax but only use a tatty 1 chammy they bought from the pound shop. I have a Pittard and it's blinkin' indestructible and never marks the paint (though I'm a bit anal with rinsing it out thoroughly after use).


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(Post Link) post #19 of 41 Old 01-10-09 Thread Starter
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Many thanks for all your replies, I never thought I would need help to clean a car but having not owned a new car I suppose I never appreciated a car until now.

So with all my new ofund knowledge I opted for the DODO range of products (Sour Power and Velvet Blue). I did not think I shoudl CLAY my car just yet been 3 weeks old and all.

So thanks again.

I will post an update for any other people that may ask the same quesitons as I.
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I still think Microfibre drying towels are for people who don't have the forearm strength to wring out a chammy though!

You're all limp in the wrists...!

Mind you, if I could find a huuuuge one, I would probably give it a try. Don't they get all waterlogged and then start smearing the water? Chammy gives a spotless finish (well mine does, anyway).

I also wonder how many people swear by a 40 wax but only use a tatty 1 chammy they bought from the pound shop. I have a Pittard and it's blinkin' indestructible and never marks the paint (though I'm a bit anal with rinsing it out thoroughly after use).


Ralf S.
chamois does not absorb water as well as microfibre, plus microfibre doesn't leavt swirl marks in the paint

i used to swear by chamois, and then borrowed a MF cloth, never looked back, just so much more efficient
 
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Try drying with a MF and you will never look back.
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For advice - I wouldn't recommend using AG Aqua Wax following AG extra gloss protection. I buffed off the gloss protection thouroughly (or so I thought) and about an hour later just finished off using this so called 'express wax'... it had a bad 'sticky' reaction and it took another hour and a half of tough effort to remove this wax... the end result was good but there was a brown residue on the microfibre mitt suggesting it lifted off the EGP... there's no warning on the label about this (unless I've missed something) and it was hardly 'express wax'... be wary!
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AG Aquawax has to go on when the paintwork is wet though... essentially it contains water dispersants. If you applied and buffed EGP, that suggests the beast was dry...?

The water layer keeps the two products from sticking together.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by euneeq View Post
Many thanks for all your replies, I never thought I would need help to clean a car but having not owned a new car I suppose I never appreciated a car until now.

So with all my new ofund knowledge I opted for the DODO range of products (Sour Power and Velvet Blue). I did not think I shoudl CLAY my car just yet been 3 weeks old and all.

So thanks again.

I will post an update for any other people that may ask the same quesitons as I.
Your car is black so you may not see it very easily if at all, but I can assure you that there's most likely going to be baked-in dust/particles/oil in the bodywork. This comes from the factory, whilst it's on the transporter, sitting in the shipping yards, etc, etc. Contaminants like these that are not removed within a reasonable period of time get baked-in, especially if your car has been sitting in the sun.

I only noticed it after I gave my Mito a wash and was about to apply the wax when I noticed black dots around various panels around the bodywork. The only way to remove this dirt is to clay it.

Another good way to test whether your car needs claying is to give it a wash and then dry it. Then run your hand over each panel. If it feels a bit rough, like there's sand on it, then you should clay it. This removes these tiny particles and ensures that you got a super smooth and super clean surface to apply a wax on. I can guarantee that you will notice a difference in the smoothness of the panel after you've clayed it.

One of the purposes of waxing is to ensure that you get a layer of protection on your bodywork - but there's no point in sealing in the dirt with it.
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i find autoglym too intensive, and even more so with turtlewax, so i stay clear from both, only meguires is good enough for my cars (although it comes at a price)

check out meguiars.co.uk for products
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