Car Wash Basics

8 Posts
6 Replies
Hi All, I thought I'd post a few little helpfull hints for people that want to take special care of there paintwork.

I've been a professional detailer for 12 years now in Brisbane and in that time have picked up on some things that may or may not come in handy for the readers. Here I'll cover washing and drying but not polishing, I'll have another topic for that at a later date.

So what is the best "thing" to wash your car with ? sponge, microfibre mitt, touchless rinse ? The aim here is to prevent micro scratching from washing so I use a soft wash sponge from clark foam, usually there offcuts are perfect but make sure you get the softest one you can. Foam with honeycomb appearance is not reccomended as sand and grit forms in the holes. Microfiber wash mitts are a big no no too as they accumulate sand and grit which cant be seen and cant be rinsed out in most cases. Rule of thumb here is a soft foam sponge rinsed out before each use and never wash the wheels with the same sponge.


Car wash is just a lubrication between the wash sponge and the paintwork so contrary to popular belief that a wash and wax leaves a film of wax on the paintwork is incorrect. "Wash and Wax" car wash simply provides enhanced lubrication to prevent micro scratching which in itself can represent value if your looking for the ultimate but dont be misslead by the fancy packaging. The trick here is to use a good amount of car wash and dont overfill the bucket as that dilutes the wash and reduces the lubrication effect. Always wash in straight lines and ensure the wash sponge is rinsed regularly if the car is heavily soiled.


Anyone heard of these ? These are a professional detailers best friend ! Once the car has been washed with a soft wash sponge and plenty of car wash for lubrication how do we take care of bugs, road grime, and any industrial fallout ? Well the only safe way to remove all this is with a Clay Bar or Clay Pad. These little beauties are non scratch and safe to use on all paintwork. Just google to find multiple stockists, we use 3M.


So the car is washed but how do we dry it without leaving streaking, water marks and of course surface scratching ? Places like Super Cheap, Repco etc are very good at selling the general public leather chamois that simply DONT WORK hence providing more work for us professionals. Do yourself a favour and invest around $25 on a commercial grade perforated "synthetic" Chamois. I guarantee it will be the last chamois buy for at least 10 years if your just doing your own cars. These chamois are used by car detailers, domestic and commercial cleaners just to name a few. Essentially they are perforated so they glide across the surface with ease as well as leaving a streak free, non scratch finish every time.


Not much to report here apart from if you use waterless wash you WILL scratch your car I can guarantee it. It might seem like a good idea at the time but seriously its not worth it in the long run. In most cases a full paint correction is required after only as little as 5-8 waterless wash cleans.

So there you have it :) following these simple guidelines will help maintain that freshly polished finish on your pride and joy or daily drive.

more info can be found at

5 years ago