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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For all the polishing, all the waxing, all the buffing, dressing, scrubbing, and wiping... theres one key element to a good looking finish on your G8... thats THE WASH. What most people don't realize about washing their vehicle is that often times its their process thats causing the most damage to their painted surfaces. In this HOW TO the correct process will be discussed as I attempt to help you all better understand what to do when you cleaning your vehicle. I will only be touching on the basic principles of the between detail washes. Future write ups will include swirl/scratch removal, buffing, waxing, etc.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Process is more important than product, but one area you cannot skimp on is your 'durable' supplies. These are the things that will be used on every wash, over and over again. If they're properly taken care of you may never need to replace them. There are a lot of areas you can cut corners to save a buck, but this is not one of them.

BUCKETS - At least 2 buckets. In order to execute the "2 bucket method" you'll need 2 buckets... thats pretty much a given. These should be good sized buckets that are either brand new or completely clean. Don't go grab your plaster mixing bucket and start using it as a car wash bucket. Need a bucket?? Click Here

GRIT GUARDS - Minimum of 1, but ideally 1 per bucket if you can. These handy little items are cheap ($10 at most detail supply stores/websites) and you'll never need to replace them. These guys keep the grit off of your mit. Need a grit gaurd or two? Click Here

WASH MITS - Very important to go with a material that WILL NOT introduce new scratches to your surface. I am a firm believer that either microfiber, sheepskin, or a synthetic equivalent are the only safe materials to use, but that is my opinion. Stay away from cotton terry mits, sponges, and any kind of brushes. Need a wash pad? Click Here

ASSORTED BRUSHES - This area can get pricey if you go all out, but you can get selective and get just the ones you need to get the job done. Also select brushes that have ergonomically comfortable handles and give you multiple options for cleaning. If a brush can be safely used for multiple surfaces go for it.

Suggested brushes to have:
  • Stiff bristle brush - Its always good to have a low profile, long handle, stiff brush to scrub out the stuff that gets caked into the fenders. Guys who do burnouts will need one of these b/c a regular tire brush usually won't get the job done. Choke up on the handle slightly and this brush also is perfect for scrubbing your tires Need a fender brush? Click Here
  • Boars hair brush - a MUST HAVE if you are serious about detailing. BH is completely safe to use on every delicate surface of your vehicle. Its a natural fiber and when wet it WILL NOT SCRATCH. This is the best/easiest way to clean your wheels and even the painted areas of the inner fender. Need a Boars Hair Brush? Click Here
  • Specialty Brushes - find one with a semi-flexible shaft. These are great for cleaning the inside hoop of wheels as you can bend them to fit into small crevices, between spokes, behind calipers, between coils of springs, etc. Wheel Woolies come in a package that includes multiple sizes and gives you a variety of uses to clean all around your car.
WAFFLE WEAVE MF DRYING TOWELS - Preferably you want undyed white WWMF towels but if undyed ones are not available just sure that you select a WAFFLE WEAVE drying towel, regular MF polishing towels are not effective for drying a car... you can easily tell them apart by looking at the surface... the WW towel will have a waffle pattern to it, a polishing cloth will not. Need Drying Towels? Click Here

ADJUSTABLE NOZZLE - To do the job right being able to control the flow of water is important. Ideally you want a nozzle that will do a hard stream, a shower, a mist, and a soaker. There are tons of quality nozzles out there. I suggest a fire hose style nozzle as it will give you all those options with an easy twist on twist off design Need a Nozzle? Click Here

SPRAY BOTTLES - Some products you'll learn to use will require you to "cut them" or dilute their strength with water. Having a couple of generic all purpose bottles w/ sprayers is a good idea. Either buy new ones or use empty bottles from other products, but if you decide to use these at least run them thru the dishwasher prior to using for other products.


PRODUCTS:

CAR WASH SOAP - This is all about personal preference. You want a car wash specific soap, dish soap is not intended for cars!! It strips any protection you may have previously applied and it dries out the paint over time causing additional damage. There are many many MANY good car soaps on the market... choose one that offers a lot of sudsing/foaming, high lubricity, and is a neutral pH. Its also usually a good idea to use a concentrate as you can adjust the strength by using more or less. On occasions where your vehicle is REALLY dirty or you've gone a long time between washes you can use slightly more to get more cleaning power out of it. Concentrates also can stretch your dollar a bit farther getting you more washes out of a single bottle than non concentrated formulas.
Looking for the right soap? Click Here

ALL PURPOSE CLEANER - Again, personal preference, but keep in mind you will be going thru A LOT of your APC so ideally you want something you can get in bulk. Concentrated APC's also give you more for your money... you can dilute for mild cleaning or add more for heavier cleaning. A Cleaner for All Purposes?? Click Here

QUICK DETAIL SPRAY - QD sprays aren't just for between wash cleaning... they can help prevent water spots while drying, be used as a clay lube, be used to prime applicators and buffing pads, etc. Having a good QD spray is essential. Need a Detail Spray?? Click Here


PREP:
Always have your stuff laid out and ready to go. Theres nothing worse than getting to a step in the process and realizing you don't have the right tools or product ready. Before you begin make sure you have these items ready:

Rinse bucket - Filled with clean water. If you only have one grit guard this is the bucket you'll be placing it in

Soap bucket - With the grit guard at the bottom place your mit in the bucket. Do not add soap or water at this point b/c you won't be using it right away, if the foam sits it begins to go flat, losing its effectiveness. Have your soap nearby and possible measure out how much you'll be using in advance.

Drying towels - These should be freshly washed (liquid detergent only) and dried (no fabric softners)

APC Solutions - In your assorted bottles w/ sprayers you should premix your APC to the strengths you'll need it. I typically cut my APC into 2 bottles - 50/50 mix and 30/70 mix... the amount of cleaning you'll be doing and the severity of the grime are things to consider, as well as the type of surface you'll be cleaning. Untreated/raw billet for example is very sensitive to cleaners like this, a very mild mixture is suggested for this type of wheel.

START WITH THE WHEELS:
Most people just start a wash by hosing down the whole vehicle, but think about this... why introduce water, and potentially water spots to your paint before you need to?? Before water touches your paint START WITH THE WHEELS!! This is especially important for anyone who doesn't have a shady area to work in or if you work in direct sunlight.

Starting with one wheel at a time use a heavy stream of water to hose as much of the loose brake dust and road grime from the wheels as possible. Also take a moment to spray inside the fenders completely to get any loose dirt and debris out.

Once you are satisfied that you've gotten as much off with the hose as you can spray the tires and the inside of your fenders with your APC solution. Be generous, but try to let as little as possible run onto the rims. Also avoid getting any on your painted surfaces while spraying the inner fenders. Allow the solution to dwell on the surface for a moment. If you watch closely you'll see the cleaner actually start to break the dirt down.

At this time you can also spray down the inside of the wheel hoop, any exposed suspension parts you want to clean (as long as they're not delicate) brake calipers, etc. Use the bottle brush to get into hard to reach places.

Continued Below....
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Using your wheel brush scrub the tires and inside the fenders. Be careful not to drag the brush on your rims or any painted panels as you do this. If you have stubborn road grime or bits of burnout rubber in the fenders use the stiff bristle brush and more APC to get it all off. Once you are satisfied that you've gotten them clean rinse completely.

Now taking your APC lightly mist it onto the rim and immediately agitate with your boars hair brush (OPTION - if you don't have a bhb a SEPERATE MF mit is a good substitute) rinse completely with a heavy stream of water. Be especially careful not to let any of the product settle and remain on the rims surface.

Repeat this process for each wheel.

THE WASH:
Before you start on the paint get your soap bucket ready. Dump your soap directly onto the mit as it sits at the bottom of the bucket. Use a heavy stream of water to create a thick lather, the mit will help with this. Reach into the bucket and squeeze the mit to make sure all the soap is getting mixed. Keep in mind you want a thick, rich, lather... not a lot of big bubbles.

PRE RINSE - Let the water do as much of the work as possible. Start from the top and work you way down to the lower rocker panels. Use a heavy stream of water to get any caked on dirt loose, also try spraying from multiple angles to make sure you've completely soaked the contaminants that are on the paint.

SOAPING - Start at the top of the vehicle and work your way 1/3rd of the way down, 1 panel at a time. Be sure to rinse your mit in the rinse bucket between each panel and re-soap in the soap bucket. Use the grit guard in each bucket as a washboard. Drag the mit against it to loosen any particles that may have been picked up from the previous panel. DO NOT RINSE YOUR RIDE BETWEEN PANELS!! Only rinse once the entire vehicle has been soaped.

*NOTE: If working in direct sunlight modify your routine accordingly. Start on the side of the vehicle with the least exposure to the sun, rinse, then move to the next panel. Ideally you should always be working in shade, but in those cases where shade is not available use common sense and modify your routine accordingly. Also consider the time of day you wash... washing early in the morning exposes you to less harsh light so thats ideal. Sunset washing is good as well, but can be hard to see things as the sun begins to go down so plan your wash times as they suit your needs.


After the upper 3rd of the vehicle has been soaped move to the lower panels following the same one panel at a time process.

RINSE - The first pass your goal is to get the vehicle completely wet, get as much of the soap off as possible and work top to bottom. Take your time and make sure to get soap out of any body lines, the mirrors, the cowl, or any other place soap may have collected.

FINAL RINSE - Either turn your nozzle to the soaker setting or remove the nozzle from the hose. Using the stream of water pass the hose close to all surfaces to sheet the water off of the vehicle, this sheeting action takes most of the water off of the panels for you. Be careful the hose doesn't touch your paint, but use the water to PUSH as much of the beads off of the paint as possible. This will save you time in drying and also is a final step to make sure you've completely rinsed any soap or contaminants from the surface. Immediately pull the vehicle into shade or a garage if available.

DRYING:

Start by misting the entire vehicle with your quick detail spray. Be generous on horizontal surfaces. This step helps to eliminate spotting as well as helps lubricate the surface as you pull the towel over it, thus reducing the chance of swirls or scratches.

Fold your WWMF towel into 4ths and dry your glass first... its easier to get spots off of paint than it is off of glass. Once the glass is done just work your way around one panel at a time and be thorough. If at any point the towel becomes contaminated or if you notice its picked up debris discontinue use and switch to a new towel.

Try to work the towel in straight lines, circular motions can introduce minor swirls. So work in a straight line as much as possible. Also, be sure to use a separate towel for wheels and tires. WWMF drying towels are expensive and wasted on wheels and tires. Cotton terry towels are fine for your wheels and will help ensure your expensive WW towels stay usable for longer.

TIP - If you have a compressor or a leaf blower they cut down drying time... use them to blow loose water off and out of crevices before drying.

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WASHING KITS FROM WWW.ADAMSPOLISHES.COM
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ADAMS CAR WASH TRIO

ADAMS PLATINUM WASH KIT

ADAMS ESSENTIALS KIT

DON'T FORGET TO USE PROMO CODE: G8 for an additional 10% off!!

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UPDATE: ENGINE BAY CLEANING
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Since so many people have asked recently I figured now was a good time to update the washing 101 sticky to include under hood cleaning.

It should go without saying, but this step should proceed any exterior washing. No sense in cleaning up the outside of the vehicle first and then making a mess working under the hood. If you're doing a complete wash this should be your first step. Also, this does not need to be performed that regularly. Once every couple of months or as needed should suffice.

Start w/ a cool engine... if its been running let it cool down a bit before beginning. There is a lot of potential for damage and other problems if you spray cold water into a hot engine bay, so plan accordingly and allow enough time for the engine to cool off if necessary.

Pop the hood, then using a spray bottle of your preferred APC mixed w/ water (50/50 mixture) spray any heavily soiled areas liberally. Try to avoid getting as little of the APC onto the belts, pulleys, open filter elements, exposed electrical, and alternator as possible.

Using a non abrasive wash mit or brush (boars hair brush or microfiber wash mit being preferred) Agitate the areas you've sprayed w/ APC.

>>>>>>>>DO NOT HOSE IT OFF YET!!!<<<<<<<<<<<

Start the engine and let it idle, while its running take your house and with a GENTLE spray of water rinse everything. Hard streams of water or use of a pressure washer are a bad idea. These have a potential for knocking things loose, getting water into areas it should not be. A fine mist or shower effect from the hose is the best way to go, void heavy streams of water directly onto the engine, belts, pulleys, wiring, battery or any exposed filter elements. Its important to listen to the engine idle, if anything changes, if the RPMs dip, if any noises start then STOP HOSING!! It is very unlikely that you will cause any issues, but if you were to inadvertantly get water into the intake you'd know immediately by paying attention to the engine idle/sounds.

Once you are satisfied that all of the soiled areas are clean close the hood and leave the engine running.

Work on cleaning your wheels or maybe vacuuming the interior for the next 5-10 minutes. The engine heat will serve to turn the residual water to steam and help steam clean the engine a little.

Pop the hood, shut off the engine and towel dry any remaining water.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES APPLY A SPRAY DRESSING TO ANY PLASTICS!!


If you are going to dress any parts, use WATER BASED dressings and apply them w/ an applicator pad or sponge. Sprays have the potential of misting onto belts and pulleys leading to slippages or squeals.
 

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Guys, the instructional videos are up over at Adam's website and that is where I learned a ton about properly caring for my cars interior and exterior. There are a few things I do differnt, but these videos are worth watching a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Guys, the instructional videos are up over at Adam's website and that is where I learned a ton about properly caring for my cars interior and exterior. There are a few things I do differnt, but these videos are worth watching a few times.
This is true... I believe I even have a sticky in our vendor forum for the videos as well. I just posted this b/c I know there are some people that prefer it in a writeup they can print down and have with them in the garage. :cheers:
 

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Guys, the instructional videos are up over at Adam's website and that is where I learned a ton about properly caring for my cars interior and exterior. There are a few things I do differnt, but these videos are worth watching a few times.
While thats all well and good, and I LOVE my Adam's products....

I have to say that Adam himself is sooooo sloppy and lacks attention to detail in those videos! hahahaha

Probably because he was more focused on the camera than he was the car, but still, the whole time I was watching it I just wanted to reach through the screen and snatch it from him and push him out of the way LOL

:wall:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well keep in mind that the videos are intended as a very B R O A D overview of the process. If we were to put together a detailing how to DVD that got down to every nitty gritty detail it'd have to be sold by the Time Life corporation in a 12 volume anthology!! :D
 

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yeah I totally understand, but from the perspective of people like us who are all completely car crazy it can be maddening to watch!

Again, I LOVE these products, thanks for the G8 discount too!

These products were on my car within 48 hours of taking it off the dealership lot and coming from a former Zaino user...I LIKE!
 

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Submarine Simeon
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fantastic write up Dylan...i'm definitely going to change how i wash my car after i get it detailed...right now i'm far beyond the "swirl prevention" point, as my paint is just a network of spiderweb swirls. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As my friend often says... black cars are like abusive spouses... they'll beat the ever living life out of you, but for those few minutes where the paint is swirl and dust free you love them again and come back for more.
 

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Bellcraft
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What is a good leather cleaner, conditioner, protectant for the G8 GT? Something that wont grease or shine up the leather but keep it soft and new?
 

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The Adam's is pretty good, but I haven't used it much in a while. For a good 1 stepper, I generally use Einszett 1z Leather Cleaner + Conditioner. Leaves your leather a little shinier, little slicker, and has a very nice scent to it. Now, if you're looking to spend a few extra bucks, I've heard real good things about Leather Masters. Also, I've used Meguiar's Gold Glass Leather before and it seemed to to a good job as well. Not sure how it comes packaged anymore, but hated the spray bottle as it gets all over everything else. Would rather have a liquid to pour on a MF towel and work that way.
 

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Just responded to your PM... heres a little sample of how well the Leather & Interior Cleaner works, and an after shot once the seat is complete and has been fully conditioned.



Aren't these two different seats (left/right)?
 
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