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Old 10-07-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
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Perfectlap's supermarket car wash

This is for those of you who want to wash the car on the run, or are too lazy to get out the bucket and hose like me, or live in an urban dwelling, or just hate paying for others to scratch up your paint. This method of car washing is also easier on the paint as long as you pre-soak the car.


I stopped by Wal-Mart for some self-inflicted aggravation (everything esle was closed) and on my way out I noticed they had a decently stocked car care section. I ended up picking up the following:

3 gallons of distilled water ($3)


2 car wash buckets ($4)
They appear to be the generic brand that I've only seen at Wal-Mart. They have a little grit trap a the bottom and the bucket itself is made of a very thin plastic which is perfect for mobile detailing. They easily fit in the front trunk. One bucket is for cleaning the wheels with the water/turtle wax solution left over from cleaning the paint and the other is only to be used for cleaning the paint. It's the bucket in this picture, the brand is on the label for the yellow towels (which you should NOT buy) and blue wash mitt (which are okay to use).


1 chenille wash mitt ($4)


1 small soft bristle wheel brush ($4)
Not sold online for some reason. It looks like this but has a grey handle, its from that same generic brand Wal-Mart brand. It's very lightweight for keeping in the trunk.



1 bottle of Turtle Wax Rinse Free Car Wash ($7) Tthis is nearly $14 at some auto stores!
At 34 oz's this is enough to do 17 washes or $0.40 cents per wash. A bargain. But check online to see if your local Wal-Mart has it on the shelf, they don't seem to carry a large stock. And the 34 oz's at $7 must be an introductory price. I bought two bottles... Optimum No Rinse, the most well known competitor in this category, is $16 for a smaller 32 oz bottle before shipping.



1 roll of Scott Shop Towels ($2)



This whole wash took about 5-7 minutes. Clean up took 30 seconds.

#1) I pre-soaked the car with about half of the first bottle of distilled water. Next I poured two ounces of the Turtle Wax solution into bucket #1. It should just cover the bottom. I then emptied out the second container of distilled water completely into bucket #1. I dunked the chenille sponge to mix up the solution and water, and in one long pass, going in the direction of the wind, I cleaned from the headlight to the rear tail light. Dunk the sponge again, give it a wring, and work your way down. Add a little more water and solution if you start to run low. Do the hood and trunk in the same way, long downward passes, no back and forth. Leave the bottom areas of the car (skirting, wheel well edge, bottom of bumpers) for last as these are the dirtiest. Obviously, don't use this stuff on the canvas top, Raggtopp cleaner there only.

2) Wheels: next take bucket #2 and pour in the second half of the distilled water from the pre-soak and add the remaining water/solution from the other bucket used to clean the paint, so basically recycle the leftover solution in buckegt #1. Dunk the soft bristtle brush and clean the spokes and lug wholes. Then wipe the whole outer rim of the wheel. I would stand behind the wheel when doing this because the solution is very thin so its going to spray all over and get on your shoes. I keep a roll of blue shop towels in the car, these work well for drying the wheels. No need to wash a dirty cloth towel full of brake dust. You may have to wet down the shop towel a little bitt to get it soft.

Rinse down: this step is optional and somewhat contradictory to name of the 'rinse free' product title, but I like to be thorough in washing away any debris that may still be on the paint without having to actually touch the paint. So just take the third bottle of distilled water wet down the car, rinse out the buckets and wash your hands. Use the shop towels to clean out the buckets.

Drying: None. Don't touch the paint. Towel drying is where most of the scratching occurs. Just get in the car and drive it fast for five minutes. When you get out afterwards I recommend doing a once over with your favorite spray wax and these Griot's towels. They have a high loft and do not feature prickly ends like typical auto store microfiber towels. Try getting them online when Advanced Auto have 30 or 40% sales (via email coupon) otherwise they're about $5 a towel in-store, kind a steep when you need to keep at least 12 of these handy. I like to use this spray wax, also from Griot's. It leaves a wet shine without having to use a paint-rubbing/swirl creating paste wax. These days I'm only using liquid polishes and sealants. All waxing is done from liquid sprays to cut down on paint rub.

p.s.
This stuff is really good for tires. They carry this Surf City line at Wal-Mart as well, I also see it at Advanced Auto and most other auto stores. It leaves a nice dark finish with no bling shine. I spray the tires liberally before I do this rinse free car wash, that way I clean off any of the dressing that drips down onto the wheels.


Also, the Griot's leather cleaner is excellent for Porsche leather. I was very suprised how well it worked. I'm not usually a product fanboy, and Griot's has been around the concourse scene for a long time, but I just like the convenience of being able to buy this level of product over the counter at Advanced Auto instead of paying for shipping from a detailing products website. I also don't like to wait for things! Too bad other boutique brands don't do the same with other retailers.

So if this works for you always pick up a couple of bottles of distilled water from the supermarket. You can clean your car anywhere.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 10-08-2013 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:46 AM   #2
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id rather not wash my car at all then have someone else wash it for me.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:52 AM   #3
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Here's a great video from Larry Kosilla on the proper way to clean windshields. It's how the pros do it, involves using a razor blade and clay bar.

Car Glass: Cleaning and Polishing -- /DRIVE CLEAN - YouTube
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 10-07-2013 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:00 PM   #4
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Bikini Bay Car Wash

Here in Winter Park, FL there's a place that has some really nice looking Bikini clad girls that wash your car. Now they can take all the time they want. I mean really skimp bikinis...oh, great bodies too.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #5
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Great post. The distilled water won't spot, good idea. I tend to stay way from mitts, they collect particles. Believe it or not I just use a high quality microfiber 16x16 towel, cut the edges off and make sure when it touches the car it has plenty of surfactants. I move in one direction to pick up all particles. Rinse them off and then with the towel rinsed make another pass in any direction since all particles that could scratch are removed. The nice thing about a flat towel and not the mitt is you can see what it has taken off and you can make sure it rinses off the towel before touching the car again. I always use white.

Or you can just do this...but only in a bind

Spray-On Car Wash Kit - Cleaners - Car Washing - Car Care - Griot's Garage
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:59 PM   #6
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Wow! So glad I don't have to worry about water. Although I don't use all the same stuff, I like your choices. One other thing, for all of the bashing WMT receives, they don't make you wait for.a special like the car stores to pick up product.

Driving the car works great. I use a leaf blower. My kids used to give me crap about it.....until they got their own cars! Now I'm smart, although they won't say it!
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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Hm, what I'm really missing in this procedure is the initial hose down to get all the abrasive stuff off the car. I don't like to touch the paint on any of our cars without first hosing them down from all sides for 10 minutes or so.

Btw, if you don't like drying your car them wash it while it is raining. Distilled water for free!
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nieuwhzn View Post
Hm, what I'm really missing in this procedure is the initial hose down to get all the abrasive stuff off the car. I don't like to touch the paint on any of our cars without first hosing them down from all sides for 10 minutes or so.

Btw, if you don't like drying your car them wash it while it is raining. Distilled water for free!
Got one of those a few years ago at half price ($95 or something). I was sick of washing the house windows by hand. Makes my cars' wheels shinny shinny shinny as well

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Old 10-08-2013, 10:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipE350 View Post
Great post. The distilled water won't spot, good idea. I tend to stay way from mitts, they collect particles. Believe it or not I just use a high quality microfiber 16x16 towel, cut the edges off and make sure when it touches the car it has plenty of surfactants. I move in one direction to pick up all particles. Rinse them off and then with the towel rinsed make another pass in any direction since all particles that could scratch are removed. The nice thing about a flat towel and not the mitt is you can see what it has taken off and you can make sure it rinses off the towel before touching the car again. I always use white.

Or you can just do this...but only in a bind

Spray-On Car Wash Kit - Cleaners - Car Washing - Car Care - Griot's Garage
Those chenille mitts are so cheap that I rarely use one for more than a couple of washes. I no longer use standard microfiber towels for cleaning because the hooked ends are overkill for a well-maintainted surfaced. The only exception is if you have constant tree sap (which gets onto my refridgerator door during summer!) or bird bombs. But even then I'll opt for clay bar and pressure washing before I go to the invasive towesls. In most other instances it's really just light soil that can be easily guided away with any soft touch cloth or mitt -- so as long as you are using some kind of lubrication like the rinseless wash or a foam gun.

Come to think of I think going forward when doing the rinseless washing I'm going to use Griot'sdisposable paint towels for washing. My friend, who is not really an enthusiast, uses similar ones on his black Merc SUV and I can barely see a single swirl on that car on a sunny day. An impressive feat for a black car.

"have tiny holes allowing contaminants to be carried inside the cloth and away from your paint surface. They are also great for removing polish and for clean up."


And the big downside of standard microfiber auto towels is that they are stubborn at letting go of what the little hooks get into. I used to have to constantly wash them 2 or 3 times in a row until they were like new clean.
I've since gone towards only using the long nap green and blue towels from Griot's for paint work. But your point about the pre-soak to clear abrasives like road sediment is very true. But unfortunately getting out a hose or pressure washer is not always possible. I even have a hard time finding the coin operated car washes just to rinse down the top before doing a Raggtopp cleaning.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 10-08-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:35 AM   #10
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Nice thread, bookmarked for me.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap View Post
Those chenille mitts are so cheap that I rarely use one for more than a couple of washes. I no longer use standard microfiber towels for cleaning because the hooked ends are overkill for a well-maintainted surfaced. The only exception is if you have constant tree sap (which gets onto my refridgerator door during summer!) or bird bombs. But even then I'll opt for clay bar and pressure washing before I go to the invasive towesls. In most other instances it's really just light soil that can be easily guided away with any soft touch cloth or mitt -- so as long as you are using some kind of lubrication like the rinseless wash or a foam gun.

Come to think of I think going forward when doing the rinseless washing I'm going to use Griot'sdisposable paint towels for washing. My friend, who is not really an enthusiast, uses similar ones on his black Merc SUV and I can barely see a single swirl on that car on a sunny day. An impressive feat for a black car.

"have tiny holes allowing contaminants to be carried inside the cloth and away from your paint surface. They are also great for removing polish and for clean up."


And the big downside of standard microfiber auto towels is that they are stubborn at letting go of what the little hooks get into. I used to have to constantly wash them 2 or 3 times in a row until they were like new clean.
I've since gone towards only using the long nap green and blue towels from Griot's for paint work. But your point about the pre-soak to clear abrasives like road sediment is very true. But unfortunately getting out a hose or pressure washer is not always possible. I even have a hard time finding the coin operated car washes just to rinse down the top before doing a Raggtopp cleaning.
Good points! It's a great subject, always learning new ideas from others. Appreciate it!
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by WhipE350 View Post
Good points! It's a great subject, always learning new ideas from others. Appreciate it!
You should check out Larry Kosilla's YouTube posts on Drive-Clean.
He also sells his own line of paint protection under the label Ammo.
I may have to try his sealant.

AMMONYCdotcom - YouTube

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