^^^ usually using the same dirty sponge and water they did the last 5 cars with... Fine if you hate your paint LOL.
Fresh paint can be glazed but not sealed. It needs to be allowed to breath to allow the solvents to fully evaporate. Waxing or sealing (and vinyl wraps, some stickers even) will cause the paint to sag/sink/lift/blister. Depending on the type of paint and the application techniques and how it was "cured" afterwards you can wait 30 - 90 days before its safe to cover fresh paint with anything.
Of course you may get away with doing it earlier, but its not recommended.
I'd like to give my car a proper clean, although 80's man has left a lot of gunk on the inside. What would be the best thing to use with my nylon brush?
Personally, I'd use a toothbrush and a bit of sugarsoap (available in spray-form from Wickes) for any of the non-fabric bits or a solution of bicarbonate of soda. Not ideal for leathers and fabrics, but great for hard plastics and as long as you don't get stuff too wet should lift all the nasty gunk off in short order.
For switches and smooth surfaces, a fingernail or a guitar plectrum work quite well to scrape off the crust of grime.
Excellent post - really cuts though all the BS spouted by people who don't know what they're on about.
However, sometimes paint is just too far gone to save. About 2 years ago, I washed, polished (AG SRP) and waxed (old style turtlewax in a tin) my Imp's paint. It stayed red and shiny for a whole fortnight before starting to go flat and pink again. At that point I gave up on the paint - I think I've washed it once, or maybe twice, since then...
This seems to be because the paint used for it's respray was horrible - on the roof there are some areas where the top layer has lifted, and the paint underneath, despite never having seen polish or wax, is red and slightly shiny.
Caution: As the buoys marking the shoals are often out of position, mariners are cautioned to be on their guard when navigating these shores
Interesting guide, AK. Way more attention to detail than I have ever put into cleaning any of my cars, but I do have one point to make.
Where you talk about soaking off bird poo before you wash the car, why do you use straight car wash? I've always found that the same mix of suds that you've got in the bucket does just fine. When the bucket is full of fresh suds I use my wash mitt to wring out a bit of sudsy water onto each bird dropping or tree sap spot. Then I start washing the car as normal, leaving them to soak until I get up to that spot, at which point I (AK please stop listening here) rub them off with the glove and rinse it out.
Also, there is something to be said for the order in which you wash panels. If you're doing that fancy two-bucket thing then it wouldn't matter, but as a general rule to try and keep your glove/water clean it's best to wash the cleanest panels first. I usually do the roof, followed by the boot lid, then down the sides, up onto the bonnet and then the front.
Oh, and if you want a handy hint (which I feel slightly guilty about doing, but still do anyway), I use the back side of my wash mitt for the wheels. So I do the whole car first with the 'clean' side, then the wheels with the 'dirty' side. I do have an extra wash mitt which was at one stage designated as the wheel mitt but that approach went out of the window after about two washes as I couldn't be bothered to go back into the shed at the end of the wash for another mitt.
I used neat car wash for the job because it seemed to lift it better. Could be my imagination. Also if you are just removing poo and not washing the whole car you don't want to faff making a bucket up. If you are washing the car then sure, try it with just the mixed suds.
As the missus's Frontera has a brand new soft top i asked the manufacturers how to wash it (she likes a clean car) they suggested hoovering it first with the bristle brush attachment on the hoover pipe to get any bits of grit off that would damage the surface, then just wash as normal.
Thought i'd pass that on.
Volvo back as my main squeeze, more boost and some interior goodies on the way.
Great thread! I always thought I knew what I was doing when was and polishing cars UNTIL I read this!
I am now a convert to the 2 bucket method. Yes it took me a little longer, but I didnt even think the Bee-em was that dirty when I washed it yesterday but you should have seen the amount of dirt, grit etc in the rinse bucket plus the general filthy blackness off the water when I finished! Unbelievable.
Once I'd dried it down using a fancy high absorbency towel from Halfrauds (it was huge, quick and a pleasure to use), it was onto the £45 Autoglym wax kit. I had *5* sets of neighbours come over to chat about the car as I was buffing the wax off which meant it took twice as long but always makes the time go quicker if you know what I mean!
With a good thick coat of wax the shine on the car is unbelievable, plus I know don't worry about traffic grime and bird crap as I know it'll come off easily!