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Skafhold911

Car Cleaning/Wash Tips

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Hi All,

I've recently purchased my first Porsche, a 2003 996 Turbo. I'd like to keep her looking pristine at all times, and would appreciate any feedback/tips from those experienced members.

Do you have particular products that you use?

Do you have a particular method?

Is there a frequency you do this for maintenance reasons, or simply after a drive when the vehicle has become dirty?

Any other tips you can share would be appreciated.

 

Cheers!

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Congratulations on your purchase.  Great choice of model.

A good starting point is to take your car to a quality detailer who can deal with any paint correction needs.  This will give you a good base to keep your car well maintained.  There are threads on this site with recommendations who to go to, depending on where you are located.

I normally order products in bulk online and down size into squeeze or spray bottles.  The larger quantities are much cheaper in the long run.

As a rough guide, some products I have used and like are:

  • Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss - you don't need to use much so it goes a long way
  • Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel cleaner
  • Chemical Guys Silk Shine for interior trim and plastics
  • Thick microfibre cloths (plenty of them)
  • Waffle drying cloth
  • EZ wheel brush (standard and small size)
  • Mother's tyre brush

Keep your cloths clean.  I always use several and wash them after every use (I sneak them into the washing machine when my wife isn't looking).

For general glass cleaning, I use a very light detergent mix - wash with one cloth, wipe with another clean damp cloth, then buff with a dry clean cloth.  I use glass cloth for buffing as it doesn't leave fibres on the glass like some microfibre ones can.

There are other products you can use for restoration work (ie. lenses, leather, trim) so if you need any tips on these take some pics and I'm sure you'll get some advice.

 

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2 hours ago, DS911 said:

Congratulations on your purchase.  Great choice of model.

A good starting point is to take your car to a quality detailer who can deal with any paint correction needs.  This will give you a good base to keep your car well maintained.  There are threads on this site with recommendations who to go to, depending on where you are located.

I normally order products in bulk online and down size into squeeze or spray bottles.  The larger quantities are much cheaper in the long run.

As a rough guide, some products I have used and like are:

  • Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss - you don't need to use much so it goes a long way
  • Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel cleaner
  • Chemical Guys Silk Shine for interior trim and plastics
  • Thick microfibre cloths (plenty of them)
  • Waffle drying cloth
  • EZ wheel brush (standard and small size)
  • Mother's tyre brush

Keep your cloths clean.  I always use several and wash them after every use (I sneak them into the washing machine when my wife isn't looking).

For general glass cleaning, I use a very light detergent mix - wash with one cloth, wipe with another clean damp cloth, then buff with a dry clean cloth.  I use glass cloth for buffing as it doesn't leave fibres on the glass like some microfibre ones can.

There are other products you can use for restoration work (ie. lenses, leather, trim) so if you need any tips on these take some pics and I'm sure you'll get some advice.

 

Thank you for this helpful information.

I will take your advice, and make some enquiries on getting a detail done.

Any thoughts on whether a coating of some sort is worth the money?

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13 minutes ago, Skafhold911 said:

Thank you for this helpful information.

I will take your advice, and make some enquiries on getting a detail done.

Any thoughts on whether a coating of some sort is worth the money?

No problem at all.

I'm not an expert but I believe that most good detailers would have their preferred coating.  In my experience it does prolong the gloss and makes lighter work of washing the car.

Bear in mind that there is a very big variation in detailing 'professionals'.  If you are in Melbourne I can recommend Final Inspection.  They have a few good videos, including one on how to properly wash a car : https://youtu.be/76UHGYuqGSo

Note that they also manufacture and sell products.  I have used Dark Matter to maintain a coating they did for me.  This was for a black Cayenne which was parked outside overnight.  It maintained its glossy 'wet look' much longer than expected.  I would pretty much trust all their products and advice.  This sounds like an ad, but I have no affiliation!

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My 2c and worth no more than that.

For all of my cars, whether daily hacks or special ones, I take the following approach:
 
Once paint is protected (see below below), cleaning routine is:
 
Pressure spray/rinse with water
Foam spray (which is just an attachment that goes on the pressure gun, with foam on it)
Pressure spray rinse with water
The above steps take 5 to 10min and take care of 80% of the debris on the car.
Then, panel by panel apply a 'Quick Detail' spray and wipe clean.  The word wipe is the key here, not rub or polish in a circular motion.  The idea is to take a microfibre cloth and wipe in one direction, in one motion.  If you look at this surface of the microfibre you will see there is dirt in it.  Can't use that surface now as you will effectively be dragging dirct across your paint, resulting in micro scratches and swirls.  So fold microfibre and do the same trick again....and again.  Each microfibre is effectively good for either 8 or 16 wipes, depending on how you choose to fold it.  Place dirty microfibre in bucket, pick up a clean one and go again.
This sounds convoluted but it's actually quite fast and you are essentially letting the microfibres do the work.  Do not use a sponge (they retain dirt).  After you've fininshed with the car, the microfibres get a hot wash in a washing machine, dried out & ready for next time.
Start with 20 microfibres....you will be surprised how many you use.  The same microfibres, with the same quick detail solution can be used safely on the interior.
I use the following products for the 'foam' and 'quick detail'.  If you buy in bulk it's muuuuch cheaper and products have a forever shelf life.
3D Pink Car Soap is a high concentrate shampoo that can be used as both a traditional bucket wash, or with a foam lance as your foaming agent.
www.zas.com.au

 

This product can be used as snow foam with an applicator or it can be put into a bucket to use for a 'two bucket wash' if the car is too dirty for the above cleaning approach (ie you've been on a 1 week trip etc).
 
For Quick Detailer/Cleaning/One Wipe method I've used:
HD Touch, 3D waterless wash, Meguirs QD, Optimum Car wash
Waterless Car Wash is a revolutionary soap-less car wash that cleans any automotive surface. Waterless Car Wash cleans, and protects without using water. It can also be used on chrome, glass, dashboards and door panels. Just spray-on and wipe-off with a clean soft microfiber towel. Waterless car wash formula will pen
vgautopaints.com.au

 

 
I tend to buy whatever I can get my hands on in a 4 to 5L size as I do a lot of cleaning.  The brand is less important than the approach.  In principle, you want to get the dirt off the paint....without touching the paint 🙂. So the less invasive the solution and approach, the better (ie snow foam and then a waterless wash/QD spray and wipe).  Next best is two bucket wash and then if you have items truly stuck in paint there is the hot cloth approach (microfibre in hot water, place on stain/dead bug, leave 3 min then wipe area with QD spray & it should come right off.
 
You can buy harsher chemicals (bug & tar remover etc) but the general rule is....try the least invasive first.
 
In terms of protecting the paint, the general process is:
 
Clean (as above)
Rub entire car with clay bar and lubricant (QD)
Apply polish or pre wax/protectant solution
Apply layers of wax or protectant.
 
Note that polishing is the gentle abrasive process used to rub out any small scratches or imperfections.  Waxing or coating the car is the process of applying the protective layer.  A product that says 'polish and wax' cannot do both well 🙂
 
The paint correction and protection process, by hand, on a car about the size of the 944 will take about 3 hours and then 30min for each additional coat of protectant.  The clay process basically takes the paint back to a clean surface (the clay lifts impurities such as dirt etc from the paintwork).  The paint is then ready for preparation/correction (whether by hand or machines) and then protection (wax or chemical coating or ceramic coating).
 
The time you invest in the clay/polish/wax routine will be returned ten fold by the ease of cleaning afterwards.  Dirt will literally wipe off the paint (or even better, hose off).

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Now I feel inadequate. I use one of the new hybrid ceramic washes. Most impressed.

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1 hour ago, Damienb said:

Great posts @Gavin (CliffToCoast)@DS911.

Any tips on a pressure washer? Brand, PSI, what to avoid? Never had one but looking to buy.

Hi Damien.

I just use a low powered Gerni - just the basic one from Bunnings.

You'll want to avoid high pressures to make sure you are not giving the paint a mild sandblasting effect.  Over time this can diminish the gloss level.

The main reason I use a pressure washer rather than hose is to save water and also get into the wheel wells and under the car.  The exterior paintwork is always sprayed at a distance, just close enough to rinse it clean.

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On 05/10/2021 at 17:37, Gavin (CliffToCoast) said:

My 2c and worth no more than that.

For all of my cars, whether daily hacks or special ones, I take the following approach:
 
Once paint is protected (see below below), cleaning routine is:
 
Pressure spray/rinse with water
Foam spray (which is just an attachment that goes on the pressure gun, with foam on it)
Pressure spray rinse with water
The above steps take 5 to 10min and take care of 80% of the debris on the car.
Then, panel by panel apply a 'Quick Detail' spray and wipe clean.  The word wipe is the key here, not rub or polish in a circular motion.  The idea is to take a microfibre cloth and wipe in one direction, in one motion.  If you look at this surface of the microfibre you will see there is dirt in it.  Can't use that surface now as you will effectively be dragging dirct across your paint, resulting in micro scratches and swirls.  So fold microfibre and do the same trick again....and again.  Each microfibre is effectively good for either 8 or 16 wipes, depending on how you choose to fold it.  Place dirty microfibre in bucket, pick up a clean one and go again.
This sounds convoluted but it's actually quite fast and you are essentially letting the microfibres do the work.  Do not use a sponge (they retain dirt).  After you've fininshed with the car, the microfibres get a hot wash in a washing machine, dried out & ready for next time.
Start with 20 microfibres....you will be surprised how many you use.  The same microfibres, with the same quick detail solution can be used safely on the interior.
I use the following products for the 'foam' and 'quick detail'.  If you buy in bulk it's muuuuch cheaper and products have a forever shelf life.
3D Pink Car Soap is a high concentrate shampoo that can be used as both a traditional bucket wash, or with a foam lance as your foaming agent.
www.zas.com.au

 

This product can be used as snow foam with an applicator or it can be put into a bucket to use for a 'two bucket wash' if the car is too dirty for the above cleaning approach (ie you've been on a 1 week trip etc).
 
For Quick Detailer/Cleaning/One Wipe method I've used:
HD Touch, 3D waterless wash, Meguirs QD, Optimum Car wash
Waterless Car Wash is a revolutionary soap-less car wash that cleans any automotive surface. Waterless Car Wash cleans, and protects without using water. It can also be used on chrome, glass, dashboards and door panels. Just spray-on and wipe-off with a clean soft microfiber towel. Waterless car wash formula will pen
vgautopaints.com.au

 

 
I tend to buy whatever I can get my hands on in a 4 to 5L size as I do a lot of cleaning.  The brand is less important than the approach.  In principle, you want to get the dirt off the paint....without touching the paint 🙂. So the less invasive the solution and approach, the better (ie snow foam and then a waterless wash/QD spray and wipe).  Next best is two bucket wash and then if you have items truly stuck in paint there is the hot cloth approach (microfibre in hot water, place on stain/dead bug, leave 3 min then wipe area with QD spray & it should come right off.
 
You can buy harsher chemicals (bug & tar remover etc) but the general rule is....try the least invasive first.
 
In terms of protecting the paint, the general process is:
 
Clean (as above)
Rub entire car with clay bar and lubricant (QD)
Apply polish or pre wax/protectant solution
Apply layers of wax or protectant.
 
Note that polishing is the gentle abrasive process used to rub out any small scratches or imperfections.  Waxing or coating the car is the process of applying the protective layer.  A product that says 'polish and wax' cannot do both well 🙂
 
The paint correction and protection process, by hand, on a car about the size of the 944 will take about 3 hours and then 30min for each additional coat of protectant.  The clay process basically takes the paint back to a clean surface (the clay lifts impurities such as dirt etc from the paintwork).  The paint is then ready for preparation/correction (whether by hand or machines) and then protection (wax or chemical coating or ceramic coating).
 
The time you invest in the clay/polish/wax routine will be returned ten fold by the ease of cleaning afterwards.  Dirt will literally wipe off the paint (or even better, hose off).

Thank you, very helpful response. 

I'll be picking up some product tomorrow to give the vehicle the first wash with me.

Did you have your vehicle undergo a paint correction and coating by a third party at some stage to create a base to work off?

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@DS911 - as above, Gerni or Karcher or similar.  The main thing I go for is hose length (they never seem quite long enough) and non plastic pump internals (impeller etc) if possible.  That will generally put you into the mid range of those brands.  As above, don't use the ball bearing/concrete blasting hose end...just the standard one.  I also like to keep a bit of distance unless it's the rims.  The snow foam attachment is worth buying separately from a detailing shop.  You'll probably get one with the pressure washer in the box but the better ones have a concentration flow you can dial up and down to get just the right mix of fluffy in your snow foam :)  Buy some spare O rings when you buy the pressure washer...will save you a trip back to Bunnings when they fail (this won't happen often but it's nice to have a spare or two on hand).

@Skafhold911 - for some cars, yes (like a 911 for example), I'd be happy to pay for a quality person to run a paint correction and set up a base.  Talk to them about what type of coatings they like to use and why.  Once you delve into the world of protective coatings you'll see there are differences between types (wax, ceramic etc) and also within types (brighter harder waxes and softer buttery ones).  

If you're looking around in Melbourne for detailers still, I'd recommend Dan at Dans Garage  (http://dansgaragedetailing.com)- I met him via detailing and he's both a passionate professional, a mad car nut and a great guy.

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On 05/10/2021 at 17:37, Gavin (CliffToCoast) said:

My 2c and worth no more than that.

For all of my cars, whether daily hacks or special ones, I take the following approach:
 
Once paint is protected (see below below), cleaning routine is:
 
Pressure spray/rinse with water
Foam spray (which is just an attachment that goes on the pressure gun, with foam on it)
Pressure spray rinse with water
The above steps take 5 to 10min and take care of 80% of the debris on the car.
Then, panel by panel apply a 'Quick Detail' spray and wipe clean.  The word wipe is the key here, not rub or polish in a circular motion.  The idea is to take a microfibre cloth and wipe in one direction, in one motion.  If you look at this surface of the microfibre you will see there is dirt in it.  Can't use that surface now as you will effectively be dragging dirct across your paint, resulting in micro scratches and swirls.  So fold microfibre and do the same trick again....and again.  Each microfibre is effectively good for either 8 or 16 wipes, depending on how you choose to fold it.  Place dirty microfibre in bucket, pick up a clean one and go again.
This sounds convoluted but it's actually quite fast and you are essentially letting the microfibres do the work.  Do not use a sponge (they retain dirt).  After you've fininshed with the car, the microfibres get a hot wash in a washing machine, dried out & ready for next time.
Start with 20 microfibres....you will be surprised how many you use.  The same microfibres, with the same quick detail solution can be used safely on the interior.
I use the following products for the 'foam' and 'quick detail'.  If you buy in bulk it's muuuuch cheaper and products have a forever shelf life.
3D Pink Car Soap is a high concentrate shampoo that can be used as both a traditional bucket wash, or with a foam lance as your foaming agent.
www.zas.com.au

 

This product can be used as snow foam with an applicator or it can be put into a bucket to use for a 'two bucket wash' if the car is too dirty for the above cleaning approach (ie you've been on a 1 week trip etc).
 
For Quick Detailer/Cleaning/One Wipe method I've used:
HD Touch, 3D waterless wash, Meguirs QD, Optimum Car wash
Waterless Car Wash is a revolutionary soap-less car wash that cleans any automotive surface. Waterless Car Wash cleans, and protects without using water. It can also be used on chrome, glass, dashboards and door panels. Just spray-on and wipe-off with a clean soft microfiber towel. Waterless car wash formula will pen
vgautopaints.com.au

 

 
I tend to buy whatever I can get my hands on in a 4 to 5L size as I do a lot of cleaning.  The brand is less important than the approach.  In principle, you want to get the dirt off the paint....without touching the paint 🙂. So the less invasive the solution and approach, the better (ie snow foam and then a waterless wash/QD spray and wipe).  Next best is two bucket wash and then if you have items truly stuck in paint there is the hot cloth approach (microfibre in hot water, place on stain/dead bug, leave 3 min then wipe area with QD spray & it should come right off.
 
You can buy harsher chemicals (bug & tar remover etc) but the general rule is....try the least invasive first.
 
In terms of protecting the paint, the general process is:
 
Clean (as above)
Rub entire car with clay bar and lubricant (QD)
Apply polish or pre wax/protectant solution
Apply layers of wax or protectant.
 
Note that polishing is the gentle abrasive process used to rub out any small scratches or imperfections.  Waxing or coating the car is the process of applying the protective layer.  A product that says 'polish and wax' cannot do both well 🙂
 
The paint correction and protection process, by hand, on a car about the size of the 944 will take about 3 hours and then 30min for each additional coat of protectant.  The clay process basically takes the paint back to a clean surface (the clay lifts impurities such as dirt etc from the paintwork).  The paint is then ready for preparation/correction (whether by hand or machines) and then protection (wax or chemical coating or ceramic coating).
 
The time you invest in the clay/polish/wax routine will be returned ten fold by the ease of cleaning afterwards.  Dirt will literally wipe off the paint (or even better, hose off).

would the following two products essentially cover what you discuss in the first part?

https://www.carcareproducts.com.au/gyeon-q2m-snow-foam-1l.html

 

https://www.carcareproducts.com.au/gyeon-q2m-quick-detailer-1l.html

Foam and spray retailer.

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On ‎30‎/‎09‎/‎2021 at 10:51, Skafhold911 said:

Hi All,

I've recently purchased my first Porsche, a 2003 996 Turbo. I'd like to keep her looking pristine at all times, and would appreciate any feedback/tips from those experienced members.

Do you have particular products that you use?

Do you have a particular method?

Is there a frequency you do this for maintenance reasons, or simply after a drive when the vehicle has become dirty?

Any other tips you can share would be appreciated.

 

Cheers!

Just a view, but not much commentary on the interior . 

Most underrated , cheap and goto products for me  for interiors is meguires 4litres general purpose cleaner.   put it in a spray bottle  with 1 to 4 dilution and then buy the cheap arse 100 pieces of knock off magic erasers on ebay that disappear to nothing..   Counter intuitive but I use the  all purpose cleaner on all the interior including leather (with a horse hair detailing brush on the leather and scrub pretty hard ) then always wipe off with micro fibre towels as noted above,     But if you don't like the non shiny leather look, then the all purpose cleaner is not for you as it  leaves the leather looking matte (no shine).

stoners tyre shine is my goto spray on for anyting black to dress after using the all purpose cleaner

when repco have 25% off meguires sale, I topup on the all purpose cleaner.  I also use it on leather furniture with magic erasers  and wipe off with  microfibre towels and general cleaning.

 

 

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On 09/10/2021 at 22:45, Skafhold911 said:

would the following two products essentially cover what you discuss in the first part?

https://www.carcareproducts.com.au/gyeon-q2m-snow-foam-1l.html

 

https://www.carcareproducts.com.au/gyeon-q2m-quick-detailer-1l.html

Foam and spray retailer.

Yes - they are much the same thing.  I would add that if you buy a dedicated snow foam solution it will be 10% better than a generic detergent (that can also foam if using the right equipment) but a good bit more expensive than a larger more general detergent.  It probably makes little real difference if you're doing one car on an occasional basis but something to consider if you start to fall in love with snow foaming :)

 

 

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If you really want to go down the rabbit hole check out this guy..

https://www.obsessedgarage.com/

he has taken an OCD diagnosis and applied it to his passion. I was so convinced I bought one of the high end pressure washers from a local agent.. 

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18 hours ago, tk111 said:

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole check out this guy..

https://www.obsessedgarage.com/

he has taken an OCD diagnosis and applied it to his passion. I was so convinced I bought one of the high end pressure washers from a local agent.. 

...down we go :)

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