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  • Cleaning the Car

    Well today I cleaned the mighty Miata and I found it strangely therapeutic. While I was doing it I was thinking of how my techniques have changed over the years.

    I started off with the brutal, whatever liquid soap I can find mixed into the power washer followed by air dry and cake the wax on. And now I've got a specific set of fluids and devices I use.

    I start with a rinse, then focus on a certain section of the car with a microfibre sponge that was sitting in my bucket full of Mcguirer's soap. Follwed by another rinse, and move onto the next area. This is all topped off with a final rinse and dry with the California drying blade.

    Then if I feel like waxing I use Mothers Cararanananauba liquid love and put it on one microfibre pad and scrub it in really hard in tight circles. Let it dry, and remove with the other pad.

    And then sit back and prey there's no rain for a few days!

    What are your methods?

  • #2
    RE: Cleaning the Car

    My techniques have changed a bit over the years, too. Here's what I do now:

    Zipwax car wash liquid in a bucket. This stuff suds like crazy. Love it. I only use a boars hair brush from Giot's Garage. It is pricey, but lasts forever and does an awesome job. I dry with The Absorber and soft terry cloth towels. Usually when I buy new towels for the house, the old ones turn in to car towels.

    I usually top it off with a coat of Meguiars Quick Detailer.

    If I wax, I do the above. Then, I use the clay from Griots Garage. This one is by far the best, and I've tried them all. It is larger than most and does a remarkable job of removing contaminants from the paint. I used to use Mothers Liquid Carnuaba (or however the hell you spell it) but have recently tried Meguiars Gold Class. So far, it is superior. I think I'll stick with it for a while.

    My ways are constantly evolving so it is quite possible that some of this could change. So far, that's my science. ;)
    - Lee -
    '13 Liquid Silver Metallic Club PRHT | SOLD!
    '06 Sunlight Silver Touring | Mazdaspeed springs & sways | SOLD!

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    • #3
      RE: Cleaning the Car

      OMG this is where i have learned the most so far when it comes to cars. At first i was just like jack and evolved into a perfectionist. I remember the days of using like dish soap and any possible towel i could find. Not nothing BUT microfiber touches my car. lol
      16' VW Golf R | 97 Salvagewon Eliminator | 90 SC'd Track Project

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      • #4
        RE: Cleaning the Car

        god dont remind me its time to spend some time on mine, next time at a minimum itll probably be a good wash, clay magic bar, then im gonna break out the DA polisher, hit it with some meguiars swirl free polish, then probably another finer polish before finally going over with the wax, even this tiny car takes forever, and if it those fine swirls and scratches dont come out that means its finally time to start using the meguiars DACP which adds a whole nother step. crap i just remembered i needed new towels:cry:

        but thank god i dont have to do that too often

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        • #5
          RE: Cleaning the Car

          What are those buffer's like? I'm always convinced they'll leave swirl marks.

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          • #6
            RE: Cleaning the Car

            Originally posted by JDM88
            What are those buffer's like? I'm always convinced they'll leave swirl marks.
            I have a buffer and it does not leave swirl marks if you do it right.
            16' VW Golf R | 97 Salvagewon Eliminator | 90 SC'd Track Project

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            • #7
              RE: Cleaning the Car

              Originally posted by caseyfoster
              I have a buffer and it does not leave swirl marks if you do it right.
              Exactly. If you know what your doing then it will come out flawless but if not, you could make it look a lot worse and possibly burn the paint. That would be bad.

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              • #8
                RE: Cleaning the Car

                Originally posted by MeFryRice
                Originally posted by caseyfoster
                I have a buffer and it does not leave swirl marks if you do it right.
                Exactly. If you know what your doing then it will come out flawless but if not, you could make it look a lot worse and possibly burn the paint. That would be bad.
                yup
                a proper Dual action polisher will do wonders with compound and polishes, but if you screw it up, youve ruined the paint

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                • #9
                  RE: Cleaning the Car

                  Here are a few sites that offer great products and I've ordered from autogeek before w/ no issues. :)

                  http://autogeek.net/

                  http://www.autopia.org/shopping/

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                  • #10
                    RE: Cleaning the Car

                    My first post here. No longer a virgin :)
                    Just wondering how you folks are actually washing your cars at home? With the water restrictions in place for so long I've been forced to use a coin op spray wash nearby...which sucks. I actually made a call to the county and was told in no uncertain terms using the hose to wash a vehicle was strickly verboten.

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                    • #11
                      RE: Cleaning the Car

                      Well considering I live in the boonies, I have no neighbors that can see when I wash my car. :)

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                      • #12
                        RE: Cleaning the Car

                        Well I read that people could use their hoses for plants and etc for a certain time period and seen as my family isn't using up that water for plants I just allocate it to my car :lol: The drive also sits far enough back for it not to be an issue.

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                        • #13
                          RE: Cleaning the Car

                          When I worked at a dealership, I just washed it there. Free supplies FTW.

                          Now I'm just like MeFryRice, out in the middle of nowhere, and on filtered-well water. They couldn't say anything about it even if they wanted to.

                          Originally posted by miata5620
                          Eric's Garage ... You buy all the parts I tell you to and you will have a killer car... If you want other parts used your car will suck and it will cost you more...

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                          • #14
                            RE: Cleaning the Car

                            To wash both Jenn's car and mine at the same time, i barely use any water... it doesn't even get to the end of my driveway before drying up...no evidence of the cars being washed:cool:


                            I have my little ritual too. Takes me about 2-3 hrs to properly wash and clean the car.

                            I start out with Meguiars Gold Class wash. Good stuff. I use a microfiber washmit and give the front bumper, windshield and hood the first wash over and let the soap sit on there while I wash the rest of the car. This helps sofen up the bugs and junk for easier removal just before I rinse the car off.

                            After that, i use the space-age Absorber cloth to dry the car off. Sometimes i'll drive the car down the street and back to shake the water out of the wheels and other areas that water will spill out of later 9mirrors, door handles, trunk area etc...). After the car is throughly dried, I will do either a quick once-over with a microfiber and Meguiars QuikDetail spray or I ger serious. By serious, I mean I break out the DA. The DA is different than a buffer. You cannot really damage paint with a DA because it does NOT make nearly as much heat and friction as a buffer but still works wax/polish into the clearcoat better than doing it by hand. I'll use one buffing pad to apply a coat of Meguiars Scratch-X over the whole car. Then I use a microfiber to remove it. It's bad to buff any compound off the car in a circular manor. It's best to use 90* actions... like a "+" pattern/toward and away AND left and right. Make sense. Otherwise you'll be rubbing any loose compound/debris into swirls. So once the scratch-x is removed, I go back over the car with Meguiars Gold Class wax. It goes on like butter! Obviously, i also use the DA, but with a new/seperate pad for the wax. I'll do the whole car at once, and in the sun if i can. Use the same "X" or "+" pattern for removing the wax. Sometimes i'll go as far as to remove the license plate and clean under it.

                            After the wax, i'll clean the windows with Rain-X cleaner/repellant (the 2-in-1 stuff). For the interior, i'll use the same microfiber wash mit with water to clean the dash, center console and door panels. Then I use Turtle Wax ICE detailer on the dash/center/door panels by applying it to a rag rather then spraying it all over the place. It won't look like much at first, but it will get slightly hazey after a few minutes and is buffed off with a microfiber cloth. The seats will get a scrubbing with Blue Coral upholstery cleaner...the one with the blue scrubber attached to the top. I also use the ICE detailer on the leathre of the seats, the rollbar and the rims. Last is Meguiars tire shine, forgot what it's exactly called, but it comes in the aerosol can, but i spray it on a rag and wipe it onto the tires.

                            Ta-da!

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                            • #15
                              RE: Cleaning the Car

                              I used to be a real detailing perfectionist.

                              I'd wash the car with a meg's gold class stuff and a really nice mitt using the 2-bucket method. I'd dry it with a waterblade and then the leftovers got blown out with the air compressor, then QD. about once a month I'd do that process, then Clay, and then depending on the condition of the finish I'd mask off the chrome and trim and then hit it with megs #80 then #83, or just #83 with my PC polisher, then sometimes If I felt like it, I'd do #7, and to top it off I'd wax it with NXT. If I felt like a pimp I'd then add a coat of show car glaze. after all that I'd grab my detail brush, scrub crud out of embelems and stuff, then QD. took all fooking weekend.

                              then I wrecked my car, now I dont give a damn
                              The only thing that oughta be hella flushed is a toilet.
                              http://www.miataramblings.blogspot.com

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