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BMW 5-Series (G30) Forum Cosmetic Maintenance: Wash, Wax, Detailing, Repairs Foam It Up!

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      07-30-2019, 07:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksoze View Post
For zero drying with no water spots use a de-ionized water solution. Allows you to simply do a final rinse and walk away with no drying towels, etc,. to drag across the newly cleaned surface. Expensive - sure, but makes the car wash process even less painful.

https://crspotless.com/
Or rent from a local detail supply company...I found this to be a better solution for about $52 per 80ish car washes
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      08-18-2019, 05:31 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
Hah - YouTube vids are what got me into detailing too. Way too many hours of Pan & Larry.

Have been thinking about a true foam cannon for a while. For now I got some cheapo $20 thing that hooks up to a regular garden hose; but actually does a decent job of setting a layer of soapy film on the paint and getting most of the major gunk off.

I still go over everything with a mitt but dirt and crap just kind of sweeps away at that point.

Those of you with true foam cannons - are you actually able to just foam up the car, rinse, and be done for maintenance washes? The most back-breaking part for me is cleaning the wheels and drying. And then every 2nd/3rd wash I usually want to hit it with a quick wax or something to re-up the protection (I don't have any wrap or ceramic on mine).
The foam cannon IMHO cannot be used for simple maintenance washes. It has the potential to leave particles on the car that you will then drag over the paint surface when you dry it. It is a step in isolating and removing particulates from the paint surface. There is no real substitute for wiping the panels of the car with a mitt or micro fiber towel to get it clean.

Something like Optimum No Rinse would be a better solution for quick maintenance washes. If done right it uses less water and will protect the paint better. Using multiple micro fiber towels soaked in Optimum No Rinse can work. With this method use only use each towel side once. You use it on the panel then flip it and use the other side. It then goes into a dirties bin. You continue using new towels until you have cleaned all the panels. You do not have to rinse it and it drys without streaking. I think this works in a pinch but I am not convinced that some particles are not getting dragged across the paint even with the one towel one panel method. Every now and then would be ok or if you live somewhere like CA with water restrictions.

When I wash my M3 or M550iX I rinse it first with a pressure washer. This removes a lot of the heavy debris. From there I foam it with a foam cannon. I let it sit for about 5 minutes and make sure not to let it dry. If it is hot out I do it in sections not the entire car. I then rinse the foam off. The foam in theory frees up and coats the particulates on the car. I then rinse them off safely with a pressure washer.

From there I do a 3 bucket wash. I start with the wheels. I spray them down with the cleaner of my choice and let it dwell. I then go back to the first one I sprayed and use wheel woolies and a rinse bucket, bucket #1, with a grit guard to clean the wheels. I get in the barrel, spokes etc... I then spray off with the pressure washer and move to the next wheel. Once the wheels and the wheel wells are done I then move on to the car body. My wheels have been ceramic coated so the scrubbing is minimal. The cleaner and the pressure washer are doing most of the work because the brake dust does not stick to the wheels.

I use the standard 2 bucket method and wash the car. I use a separate mitt for the rocker panels and lower bumpers. The other mitt never touches those lower surfaces. I then rinse it with the pressure washer and dry it. It take about an hour or so to do the M3. Both cars have their high impact areas wrapped and then coated with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra Black. Both make cleaning the cars easier.

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      08-19-2019, 01:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rellascout View Post
When I wash my M3 or M550iX I rinse it first with a pressure washer. This removes a lot of the heavy debris. From there I foam it with a foam cannon. I let it sit for about 5 minutes and make sure not to let it dry. If it is hot out I do it in sections not the entire car. I then rinse the foam off. The foam in theory frees up and coats the particulates on the car. I then rinse them off safely with a pressure washer.

From there I do a 3 bucket wash. I start with the wheels. I spray them down with the cleaner of my choice and let it dwell. I then go back to the first one I sprayed and use wheel woolies and a rinse bucket, bucket #1, with a grit guard to clean the wheels. I get in the barrel, spokes etc... I then spray off with the pressure washer and move to the next wheel. Once the wheels and the wheel wells are done I then move on to the car body. My wheels have been ceramic coated so the scrubbing is minimal. The cleaner and the pressure washer are doing most of the work because the brake dust does not stick to the wheels.

I use the standard 2 bucket method and wash the car. I use a separate mitt for the rocker panels and lower bumpers. The other mitt never touches those lower surfaces. I then rinse it with the pressure washer and dry it. It take about an hour or so to do the M3. Both cars have their high impact areas wrapped and then coated with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra Black. Both make cleaning the cars easier.
This sounds almost exactly like my routine, except no pressure washer so it's just garden hose spray and that cheapo "foamer" I have. Sometimes for the wheels I just spray it with the soap mix and then brush everything off vs. using a dedicated wheel cleaner - mine is not a DD and gets washed every 200 miles or so; so getting brake dust off is still pretty easy even without any coatings.

Also takes about an hour to do my M550 including a quick vacuum and dust-off of the interior. I don't mind the time really, but it's hot as balls outside right now so I have been looking for ways to make it go a little faster. Also every other time I'm also washing the wife's car and my 4Runner, so it turns into an entire morning and shade from the house/trees is gone by the time I'm on the last car.
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      08-19-2019, 06:46 PM   #26
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I have been able to maintain this result with pressure rinse, foam cannon and then pressure rinse again. Hand wash the wheels every 2 weeks in addition.
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      08-19-2019, 06:58 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Dobie Dog View Post
I have been able to maintain this result with pressure rinse, foam cannon and then pressure rinse again. Hand wash the wheels every 2 weeks in addition.
Nice so you never hand wash the car? Is is ceramic coated? I think that overtime you will find that the foam cannon alone is going to leave particulates and residue on the car. YMMV Mine are daily drivers and they are washed at least every 2 weeks give or take and I found that if I did not do a hand wash it really wasn't clean.

Last edited by rellascout; 08-20-2019 at 06:28 PM..
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      08-20-2019, 04:01 PM   #28
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I think hand washing the car all depends on how much dirt/grime has accumulated on the car when you go to wash it and how well/often it's maintained.

If you don't daily drive the car and you maintain it well between washes then you don't necessarily need to hand wash the car every wash, right? Technically even just a quick wax or detailer spray in certain spots would work in that circumstance.

However, if you daily drive the car then you'll most likely have to use some sort of elbow grease/hand wash to get off those hard grime spots that accumulate in certain areas (i.e. rocker panels, directly behind rear tires, front bumper/grille from bugs, etc). For the other parts of the car- hood, doors, roof, etc I think a pressure washer and foam cannon would suffice without necessarily needing to touch the car/paint assuming there aren't any visible dirty areas.

The less you have to touch the paint, the less chance you have of scratching the paint. Although ideal, it's not necessarily practical for everyone, especially those (like me) that daily drive their car in which conditions are sometimes less than ideal.

To sum it up, I don't think you necessarily have to hand wash the car every wash, but it all depends on how dirty the car is, whether or not it's maintained well between washes, and if it's being daily driven or not. What I do and how I clean my car would probably be overkill for someone who only drives their car 1-2 times per week in sunny South Florida, for example.

The ultimate goal for washing your car should be to get it as clean as possible with the least amount of touching, scrubbing, moving things across your paint as possible.

With that said, I want a foam cannon and pressure washer. Looks awesome!
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Last edited by CLABRO; 08-20-2019 at 04:48 PM..
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      08-20-2019, 05:47 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLABRO View Post
I think hand washing the car all depends on how much dirt/grime has accumulated on the car when you go to wash it and how well/often it's maintained.

If you don't daily drive the car and you maintain it well between washes then you don't necessarily need to hand wash the car every wash, right? Technically even just a quick wax or detailer spray in certain spots would work in that circumstance.

However, if you daily drive the car then you'll most likely have to use some sort of elbow grease/hand wash to get off those hard grime spots that accumulate in certain areas (i.e. rocker panels, directly behind rear tires, front bumper/grille from bugs, etc). For the other parts of the car- hood, doors, roof, etc I think a pressure washer and foam cannon would suffice without necessarily needing to touch the car/paint assuming there aren't any visible dirty areas.

The less you have to touch the paint, the less chance you have of scratching the paint. Although ideal, it's not necessarily practical for everyone, especially those (like me) that daily drive their car in which conditions are sometimes less than ideal.

To sum it up, I don't think you necessarily have to hand wash the car every wash, but it all depends on how dirty the car is, whether or not it's maintained well between washes, and if it's being daily driven or not. What I do and how I clean my car would probably be overkill for someone who only drives their car 1-2 times per week in sunny South Florida, for example.

The ultimate goal for washing your car should be to get it as clean as possible with the least amount of touching, scrubbing, moving things across your paint as possible.

With that said, I want a foam cannon and pressure washer. Looks awesome!
I have talked to a lot of guys who detail high end cars for a living. Car that are worth more than my house and cars combined. All of them will tell you there is no substitute for a properly done hand wash. It is the best way to get the car clean and when done right you have the least chance of scratching the car. Good wax, sealants and better yet ceramic coatings help keep a proper hand wash from harming a car. I know it takes more time which a lot of people don't have but I think you are better off having a slight dirty car then using detail sprays to clean your car between proper washes.

Maintaining a car between washes with detail spray to remove dirt or any real particles is not a good practice IMHO. Detail spray is great to shine up a clean car. It is great to use as a drying agent. It can be used to get bird poop off the car in a pinch but it is not a cleaning product. If you car has dirt on it from driving or sitting in a dusty garage if you spray it with detail spray and then run a mirco fiber cloth over it you are pulling those particles across the paint. You are in protecting the paint to more than if you just used the cloth but you are still rubbing those particles across the paint.

The best product to use between hand washes is a rinseless or waterless wash. These products do a lot better job of adding lubrication that lifts the dirt off the paint and then isolating it preventing it from scratching the paint if you are doing in properly. The trick with these is to do it right. If you do it wrong you are basically doing the same thing that detail sprays do. I see people all the time getting out the detail spray and wiping dirt off their car between washes. You are IMHO hurting the paint more by doing that then leaving the car dirty and properly washing it later.

A pressure washer and foam cannon would be better for the paint then using quick detailer as a cleaner. It might be better than a waterless wash. At least then you are not dragging the dirt across the paint. My hesitation with this method is drying the car. If you have not "really" gotten the car clean whatever is left will get dragged across the paint. The alternative is to let it air dry but then you are going to get hard water spots. Ideally this method would employ a deionized water filter so you would just let the car air dry after you rinse. I have consider getting one so I can remove the drying process from the equation.

Clearly these are just my opinions. I have have done a lot of research on it and consulted a fair number of professional detailers. I have also spoken to high end dealers like Ferrari and Maserati dealers about how they recommend maintaining the cars they sell. In the end do what you are comfortable with that gives you the results you want.

Last edited by rellascout; 08-20-2019 at 06:34 PM..
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      08-22-2019, 08:15 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rellascout View Post
Ideally this method would employ a deionized water filter so you would just let the car air dry after you rinse. I have consider getting one so I can remove the drying process from the equation.
The CR Spotless unit is the best investment I have made in car wash gear. No more mountain of drying towels and less work when finished the preferred washing process. Highly recommended for those who, along with a foam gun and pressure washer, can routinely wash the car with nothing touching the car at any point.
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