The number 1 question we get after one of our VCC details is "How do I keep my car this way?" So we wanted to put together a quick guide to aftercare for your vehicle. First thing to remember here. Avoid HARSH and stay CLEAN. Put back the "soft cotton" rags you are using to scrub your pits, and the Dawn stays in the kitchen! Here is a list of things you need to get started.
qty : 2 Required 3 Optional
Get 2; 1 for the wash & 1 for rinse. A 3rd bucket will be for the wheels and tires
2) Grit Guards
Qty : 2
Grit GuardFor your existing buckets (these are included in link above)
3) Wash Mitt
Microfiber is preferred. Qty : 2
Dragon Hybrid Car Wash Pad(one of my favorite mitts)
4) Microfiber Towel
Qty as many as you can muster!
6) Soaps/Wheel Cleaner
Again, one that is made for washing CARS
(Optional, but suggested)
Clay/Lube :Clay Bar and Lube Kit
Lube : Optimum No Rinse
Shaded area of your driveway or at a local self serve car wash.
Fill all 3 buckets and place the grit guards in the rinse and soap buckets
Add roughly 3-5 oz of soap to your soap bucket. Grab the grit guard and agitate till enough foam bubbles to indicate soap and water have mixed.
Add the wheel cleaner to the 3rd bucket
Place all Mitts, body brushes, and 2-3 Microfibers in the soap bucket
Place all wheel brushes into 3rd wheel bucket
Since wheels and tires are one of the hardest parts of the wash. Brake dust, road dust, most modern vehicles wheels get very dirty very fast. To avoid any water spots from forming due to time spent on wheels. Start here.
Spray down all 4 tires and surrounding wheel arches to get as much of the road debris off of them as possible.
Spray down all 4 wheels with the Iron X/Sonax and allow to sit to remove any iron deposits
Agitate any remaining dirt and filth from tires using assorted brushes. Pay attention to corners of spokes and lug nuts
Can also use this on exhaust tips and suspension pieces that might be visible.
Rinse from top to bottom.
Take 1 clean mitt to begin your wash. Each wash mitt should be flipped 1 time then returned to the rinse bucket.
You should be able to get about 2 panels per cycle. We normally start at the roof and work down.
Since most of the dirt will be focused on the bottom of the panels, try to only wash half way down before rinsing the mitt out.
Pop your gas cap and take the body boar's hair detail brush and clean one of the most overlooked areas.
Take a microfiber towel and make sure all your wheel arches and side view mirrors and all the other hard to reach areas have been cleaned.
Rinse Entire car and overview your work. This is normally where any "missed" spots are going to show. Take a microfiber to the wheels for any areas that you can see remaining dirt.
Now that all of the filth is off the surface of the car, its time to remove the contaminants that are working their way into your clear coat. Pollen, Iron, Sap all are found attached to the clear and the only way to remove them is through a decontamination regimen. This is probably one of most often avoided steps when doing a wash and is one of the most rewarding. If your paintwork doesnt feel absolutely clean, like a mirror, then it will never be able to achieve a mirror like finish.
Claying is easy. Lubricate and wipe. You can almost hear how bad it is when you are doing it, and once you can no longer hear the "scratching" then move of. The trick here is that it is NOT about pressure, but about FRICTION. You do not have to SCRUB when claying. Depending on just how bad the paint is, Knead the clay or rinse the block often. (Benefit of the block for the amateur: if you drop it, which you probably will, you can rinse it off and go. Clay you are normally not so lucky.) Take the ONR solution and mix according to instruction for "clay lube" (note: this can be used as a supplement in your wash water or as a waterless wash all together). I also like the clay mitts as you are able to combine 2 "steps" into one while washing. (Wash on "rag" side, then clay on the "clay" side, rinse repeat)
We normally then go over the vehicle with 1 more round of washing to make sure no residue from the clay is left over. For those of you in the "car wash" bay, flip it to "Spotless" to use the deionized water which will aid in drying and avoid type 1 waterspots.
Take 2 clean wrung out microfiber towels or a waffle weave drying towels and begin to dry your vehicles surface to prepare for wax/sealant
Take your wax/selant of choice and begin applying with a dense foam applicator and apply as directed.
Throughout the week:
keep a clean microfiber cloth and some of the v7/aquawax to attack any dust, bird bombs, bug splats and you will keep that car shining!