Ford Mustang Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

Recently I worked on my friends 2017 Challenger Scat Pack with CSL+EXO. While it was nice to teach someone how to do the entire process itself, what wasn't nice was correcting a car littered in scratches predominately from car washes and foam brushes from self cleaning bays. As I was working/teaching I knew that I wanted to do a write up on the dangers of car washes. While I am sure some of you are aware of the dangers of car washes and why they really aren't a good idea, there are a lot of people who don't know.

The entire car was littered with scratches like this. The scratches were heavier in common high friction touch points with car washes.

776947


After some buffing:

776948


IMO there are 3 types of car washes; your stereotypical car wash, luxury car wash and touchless.

1. Stereotypical car wash: These car washes use bristles/brushes at high speed to clean your car. I refer to these bristles as death bristles since they can cause good scratching/swirling in your paint work. I won't talk about product or drying here. The bristles/brushes that make contact with your car are the biggest problem here. These bristles/brushes are not cleaned after every washing, some probably aren't even cleaned everyday. They collect a lot of dirt/grime and then make contact with your car at high speed. Simply put, it is just a bad idea that will cause scratching and even damage to trim.

2. Luxury car wash: These washes advertise themselves as paint safe due to softer materials used, and may even have a hand component. As opposed to those death bristles, they use soft cloths that droop down. This produces safer agitation in comparison to a stereotypical car wash, but still falls victim to same issue. They don't clean the cloth's after every car. Dirt/Grime from previous cars will be pressed into your car which will cause scratching/swirl marks over time. Let's move onto the hand component as many luxury car washes offer hand applied tire shine or drying. Many of these people do not use a proper technique, in fact I have seen some people drop a towel on the ground only to use it on the same car. Poor drying technique and poor quality towels can produce nasty swirls.

3. Touchless car wash: IMO the safest option in the automatic car wash world. Still, there are a couple drawbacks here. First, because it is touchless the use of aggressive chemicals are used here, more so than the above options. This is not good for people who uses a sealant, wax or even a ceramic as it will cause premature wear over time. As aggressive as the chemicals are they don't remove everything either. Heavily soiled cars may have a good amount of grime left over. Using a waterless wash/QD can help here but you have to be mindful of your towels. Finally, the drying aspect is garbage. Usually you get 60-120 seconds which is nowhere near enough time to dry your car. This will produce water spots, which are not hard to remove with a QD, but if left unchecked for a long period of time can prove to be fairly stubborn to remove.

4. Self Cleaning/Do It Yourself Bays: While not an auto car wash I wanted to post on these as they are fairly common and a great way for people that lack the space (apartment/condo) to clean their cars by hand. Just show up with your own cleaning products and use the "power washer" to rinse. Couple things to note with self cleaning bays. If you are not using their chemicals for soap, I would avoid them, spray the power washer on towards the ground for 20 seconds to remove any potential soap residue caught in the line. Finally, avoid the foam brushes like the plague. They are rarely clean and aren't paint safe to begin with.

To be clear I do not use car washes nor would I ever recommend that someone use a car wash, but I do get it. There are some scenarios where I think people could understand why someone would use a car wash (harsh winters as an example). If you must use an auto car wash use a touchless one. Just try be very sparing in your frequency of visits and leave the bulk of your exterior detailing to proper handwashes/care. End of the day, if you can clean your car by hand you really should. A
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Hi Everyone,

Recently I worked on my friends 2017 Challenger Scat Pack with CSL+EXO. While it was nice to teach someone how to do the entire process itself, what wasn't nice was correcting a car littered in scratches predominately from car washes and foam brushes from self cleaning bays. As I was working/teaching I knew that I wanted to do a write up on the dangers of car washes. While I am sure some of you are aware of the dangers of car washes and why they really aren't a good idea, there are a lot of people who don't know.

Thanks for taking time to inform people like me, who never really had to take care of a car before, also do you have any advice for cleaning/care of vinyl stripes that are on cars?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for taking time to inform people like me, who never really had to take care of a car before, also do you have any advice for cleaning/care of vinyl stripes that are on cars?
You are welcome, happy to help. It depends, these are exterior stripes correct? If so, generally speaking I use a ph neutral shampoo (Gtechniq G Wash or CarPro Reset are my two favorites) to clean my car. Once dry and the paint has cooled use Gtechniq C2. C2 is very quick and easy to work with. It can work on its own or as a sacrificial layer for a ceramic coating. It can be used stand alone for protection or layed on a ceramic coating to provide a sacrificial layer of protection. You can spray it on the stripes, paint work, exterior plastics and carbon fiber. Not intended for glass. That would be my quick and dirty recommendation. You can go a step further by using a quality quick detailer prior to using C2 and for very light touch ups, but it isn't a need. You will need some quality microfiber buffing towels (Rag Company or Gtechniq are some favorites). Ideally you would have a ceramic coating + topper to protect the body work of your car as it is long term protection, which everything mentioned is safe for a ceramic + topper, but it is not for everyone as the prep work is time consuming.

If you are looking for a place to by quality detailing products, detailed image is a wonderful company to work with. Great customer service.

If this is interior "vinyl" then it will be a different array of product(s).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
You are welcome, happy to help. It depends, these are exterior stripes correct? If so, generally speaking I use a ph neutral shampoo (Gtechniq G Wash or CarPro Reset are my two favorites) to clean my car. Once dry and the paint has cooled use Gtechniq C2. C2 is very quick and easy to work with. It can work on its own or as a sacrificial layer for a ceramic coating. It can be used stand alone for protection or layed on a ceramic coating to provide a sacrificial layer of protection. You can spray it on the stripes, paint work, exterior plastics and carbon fiber. Not intended for glass. That would be my quick and dirty recommendation. You can go a step further by using a quality quick detailer prior to using C2 and for very light touch ups, but it isn't a need. You will need some quality microfiber buffing towels (Rag Company or Gtechniq are some favorites). Ideally you would have a ceramic coating + topper to protect the body work of your car as it is long term protection, which everything mentioned is safe for a ceramic + topper, but it is not for everyone as the prep work is time consuming.

If you are looking for a place to by quality detailing products, detailed image is a wonderful company to work with. Great customer service.

If this is interior "vinyl" then it will be a different array of product(s).
Yes it’s the exterior stripes... unfortunately I have cloth seats in my car at the moment.... number 101 on my list of things to change 😁
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,594 Posts
I use the self serve bay, I bring a 4 gallon sprayer that has car wash soap and water mixed. I bring my sponge and hand wash it in the bay
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top