Washing your vehicle

Pressure washing/cleaning

Using a pressure washer (with pressure not exceeding 1200 psi) is the best way to remove heavy soiling and grime before washing.

Lightly rinse heavy dirt off the vehicle with water from top to bottom. Use low pressure and spray more than 3 feet away from the vehicle.

Spray shampoo onto the vehicle using either the detergent tank in your pressure washer or a foam cannon.

Spray shampoo in the wheel wells and under the vehicle if desired.

If using a foam cannon, let the shampoo foam sit on the car for at least a minute before rinsing. Avoid allowing the shampoo to dry, as this could leave a residue on the car.

Thoroughly rinse the vehicle from top to bottom, keeping the pressure washer hose more than 1 foot from the surface of the car.

The car will need to be more thoroughly rinsed than when hand-washing, as shampoo reaches more cracks and crevices when using a pressure washer.

Hand washing/cleaning

Hand washing provides the best results and gives you an opportunity to closely examine all areas of your vehicle.

Place your vehicle in a cool, shaded area. Avoid direct sunlight. Follow the steps below.

Pre-Wash Check List:

Before soaping up the car, prepare your equipment and supplies.

  • pH neutral car wash shampoo.
  • Soft car wash mitt, wash pad/microfibre sponge.
  • Two buckets with grit guard grids at the bottom
  • Hose and sprayer with shut-off nozzle.
  • Alcohol-based window cleaner (not vinegar – or ammonia based) or mixture of 50% alcohol and 50% deionized water.
  • If needed, tar remover or mild solvent.
  • Microfibre soft cloth suitable for matte or low-gloss finishes.
  • Chamois or microfibre towel for drying.

Care of Matte or Low-Gloss (Satin) Paint Finishes

A matte or low-gloss (satin) finish is a unique exterior finish that gives your vehicle a distinctively different appearance.

It requires special care to maintain its unique look.
A low-gloss finish is different from other automotive paints. Standard high-gloss paints use a clearcoat finish that reflects light and gives a glass-like or shiny appearance. A matte or low-gloss finish uses a different type of coating that diffuses light, causing the flat or dull appearance.
Unlike a standard high-gloss coating, damage to a low-gloss coating caused by scratches or aggressive cleaning cannot be polished or buffed out. Once an area becomes damaged or glossy, the original matte or low-gloss appearance cannot be restored.
The specialist nature of these paint finishes does mean that they require a little more care than ‘regular’ gloss or metallic paint coatings.

DO:

  • Use the two-bucket method, or a handheld foam gun to wash the vehicle by hand.
  • Use a wax-free, pH neutral, car washing shampoo. The car shampoo needs to be wax-free because the wax in normal vehicle shampoo will create a mottled and cloudy finish. The pH neutral part will help avoid any potential damage caused by the soap.
  • Remove bird droppings insect remains, tar spot and road dirt as soon as you can to prevent damage to the matte finish.
  • Use alcohol-based window cleaner for or a mix of 50% alcohol and 50% deionized water for basic surface bodywork clean up.
  • Use soft, clean microfibre towels and wash mitts when caring for a matte/low gloss surface.

DO NOT:

  • Do not use any type of wax, polish, detail spray, or any products made for a standard, glossy finish.
  • Do not use products that are even mildly abrasive, such as rubbing compounds or glazes.
  • Do not use mechanical/electric buffers or polishers.
  • Do not use commercial car wash facilities and/or their finish enhancement/protection products. Places that use mechanical brushes or towels can damage the low-gloss finish.
  • Do not use brush or sponge when washing
  • Do not use terrycloth (e.g., a bath towel), cloth, or paper towels when washing or drying.
  • Do not rub the finish with any force. This will burnish the finish, causing a shiny spot that is perpetual.
  • Do not wash or dry/wipe vehicle using a circular motion. Lightly wipe the vehicle in a forward and backward motion.