Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama (formerly Mich.)
Maserati Life Posts: 407
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I'm fussy about my cars, and can appreciate the amount of work it takes to have a truly clean and detailed car. I always wash my cars by hand, and detail them the old fashion way...with lots of elbow grease. We have to remember, every time we clean a car, we are adding little scratches to the paintwork. Here are some of the things I do to preserve the finish as much as possible. You may think I'm anal, but my daily driver is 11 years old and looks almost new. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm nuts, but oh well.
1. Always rinse the car very thoroughly before touching anything.
2. Avoid washing in direct sunlight if possible, if you can't....rinse the car very frequently.
3. I use different several different wash mitts, one for the upper body, one for the lower body, and one for the wheels.
4. Always wash the car from top to bottom.
5. Never - ever scrub the paintwork, let the soaps and cleaners do the majority of the work.
6. Rinse the wash mitt often, just in case a piece of grit gets lodged in it....you don't want to drag is across the paint and create more scratches.
7. Most of us wash our cars outside, if your next door neighbor is mowing their lawn and kicking up dust & dirt - wait until they are through before washing.
8. Try to wash horizontal surfaces in a front to back motion, and vertical surfaces in an up and down motion. Avoid going in circles.
9. I actually wash my cars at least two times in a row, for black cars....I sometimes wash them 3 times in succession.
10. For drying the car, I initially use an electric leaf blower to get water out of the door mirrors, grill work, and other areas that trap water.
11. I then use 100% cotton towels and gently dry the rest of the car, let the towel soak up the water - again....don't rub the paint work too hard with the towel.