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Car Washing

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Sharkbait, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    Sorry if this question has been brought up earlier. I searched the forum. My question is about car washing. I will be 70 years young next year but can't stoop and bend so well these days. I would prefer to wash my new Model S by hand but this is becoming more difficult with each passing year.

    Do people take their Model S to car washes or do they wash the car themselves? If you use a car wash, what do you look for? Almost all the advertised 'hand washes' are still 'pushed' through a tunnel on a track for washing and rinsing. An the attendants? What to do?
     
  2. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    We have a local guy who does dynamite work come to our house to detail our cars. No, not the cheapest solution, but he has never disappointed us. In fact, he left a couple hours ago.

    Automatic car washes often have the guys take dirty rags and rub your paint with them at the end. Meh. Not on a nice paint job. For a runabout or truck, sure. And they always miss stuff or splash that dumb tire black compound on, which invariably ends up down the side of your car.
     
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  3. Ormond

    Ormond Member

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    There are mobile detailers that come to your house or workplace and wash your car. My car wash offers a hand wash at extra cost.
     
  4. David29

    David29 Member

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    First off, I share your pain! Literally. I am even older than you and have a number of, shall we say, orthopedic "issues." But on good days I can still dry a car. And I prefer to do that myself while I can (like you, too).

    For the washing part, I use a "touchless" car wash, called a laser I think, that uses only water/soap sprays, and never touches the car. It is not perfect but it is reassuring to know for sure that the car gets no scratches from the washing. Of course, then there is the drying, and although I try to be careful and keep my microfiber cloths clean, nothing is perfect so I imagine that a skilled eye would find something. (And I do find that the final rinse does not get all the soap or other products off the car, which is a bit disappointing but seems to be inherent in the process.)

    The toughest part to clean or dry is the wheels. They get grimy enough that the spray wash does not really get all the dirt off, so they need to be wiped. And that is a back-breaking (and/or knee-breaking) task., I am not always up to it (most recently yesterday in fact).

    An alternative to the use of cloths is to dry the car with a leaf blower. You can find posts about it, and at least one video on YouTube on how to do it (see Tesla Evangelist on Youtube). I imagine you need to be cautious not to blow dirt or other debris into the paint!
     
  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    I use a rolling stool except when I'm washing the roof and hood, so I'm sitting almost the whole time I'm washing it with ONR.
     
  6. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    Does anyone make a wand/stick you could attach a microfiber cloth to?

    How about someone to help? If you have grandkids or there is a neighborhood kid of a certain age I'm sure they would be thrilled to help out for $10.
     
  7. HebrHmr

    HebrHmr Member

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    Have you considered a hydrophobic coating like Opticoat, CQuartz or Modesta to make it easier to clean?
     
  8. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Touchless spray car wash. I often go through twice.
     
  9. Drewflux

    Drewflux Member

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    @Sharkbait @David29 I think you guys may find a foam gun useful for touchless washing at home. you can get ones that attach to the garden hose and also a pressure washer. I would look into the pressure washer versions, as it would eliminate the need to bend/stretch over the panels.
     
  10. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    Lots of good ideas and tips here! Ya, bending down and getting on your knees to clean/polish the wheels is killer, especially with arthritic knee joints. I'm quite tall, so doing the roof is not an issue. Perhaps I'll research portable low pressure washers with a wand. I know some of those pressure washers have really high PSI outputs and not sure I would enjoy taking the paint right off the car. Maybe something like this?

    Shop AR Blue Clean 2,000-PSI 1.4-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer at Lowes.com
     
  11. David29

    David29 Member

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    Thanks for that suggestion.
    Unfortunately in my case, I cannot wash my car at home. I live in a condo where it is not allowed.
     
  12. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    Ya, I just finished watching the Junkman's video over on Youtube for his 2-bucket method of washing cars. He uses a foam gun after first rinsing the big dirt off the car. He then uses the foam gun to 'lubricate' the smaller dirt particles for removal with a mitt and 2-bucket wash. Long videos that detail out his procedure. Some good tips there.
     
  13. Branzo90D

    Branzo90D Salt and Pepper

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    I am 65 yo myself and understand most of the orthopedic anecdotes here. ;)

    I strongly suggest the use of an hydrophobic coating on your car. I use this wash method very successfully. It uses about four gallons of deionized water total. You want to make sure the washing step has a high level of lubricity so you don't scratch any small bits of grit across the paint during washing.

    Vendor - Blog: Rinseless Wash Method - Big Red Sponge with ONR & 1-Minute Video Tutorial!

    Good luck!
     
  14. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    I'm 76 myself. Have you tried a long handled polyester paint brush or a bottle brush on the wheels? If your paint store doesn't have the paint brush, check on line. I used to have brushes wirh 4-6 ft handles. A 12 to 18 in handle mtght work for you.
     
  15. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    The microfiber mitts I've seen seem to be made of a softer material than the bristles on even the softest bristle brushes. Extending my arms while standing up isn't a problem yet, while bending and kneeling is. I think sitting or kneeling on a small, stoop chair (like 4-6" of the ground) might be what I end up with to wash the bottom half of the car, tires, and wheels.

    In the end, I think I will be first rinsing the car to hit the bigger particles of dirt, followed by foaming the car to attack the smaller particles and then using the 2-bucket wash with one or two mitts (one mitt for top half and one mitt for bottom half). I don't want to go through the expense and bother of buying a DI water tank for spotless washes, so I'm currently looking for detergents or solutions that have for chemicals for spotless drying. Any residual water droplets would be dispensed with my powerful leaf blower. How does all this sound? Anyone have experience with Rain-X Foaming Car Wash Concentrate? Allegedly, it 'reduces' spots. As much as possible, I am trying not to use any type of towel on the finish for drying.
     
  16. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    How long do hydrophobic applications last and what does it cost to coat a car? I saw the Nissan video for the 'self-cleaning' car and it looks like incredible stuff if it works, doesn't damage the finish and lasts.
     
  17. HebrHmr

    HebrHmr Member

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    Cost will depend quite a bit on the amount of prep work you want done to your paint (if any). Flaws in the paint will be "locked in" and potentially more visible. The coating itself you could probably find between several hundred well up over 1000 depending on what you go with. There are varying degrees of protection, longevity, and gloss. Here are some brands you might look into: Opticoat Pro, CQuartz Finest, Modesta, and Gtechniq. I'd expect coatings to last anywhere from 1-3+ years depending on conditions/abuse and which brand you opt for.

    I was quoted $890 for single stage paint correction and Opticoat Pro on paint and wheels. I opted for a package from somewhere else around $2k that includes 2-stage paint correction and coating with Modesta, glass coatings, and coatings on the entire interior as well. This will be going over a paint protection film on a new car so I'm going above and beyond what would be necessary for just ease of cleaning.
     
  18. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    I've heard of Opticoat and thought it was a film. Are the applications you described films (wraps) or sprayed on? At this point, there are no flaws in my factory paint. I've only had the car for five weeks.
     
  19. HebrHmr

    HebrHmr Member

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    Suntek, Xpel, and ClearGuard are all paint protection films that provide physical protection. ClearGuard has some hydrophobic properties. All the ones I mentioned are chemical coatings. Modesta is a glass coating that provides some scratch protection. I'm not entirely sure if they are sprayed on or applied by hand. My Modesta coating will require IR curing.

    The factory paint isn't flawless, it depends on how picky you are.
     
  20. Tim@adonisdetail

    [email protected] Local Vendor - SoCal

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    There are two forms of protection discussed here, the first being a physical "film or wrap". The goal of this technology is to shield your paint surface in a soft "invisible" layer helping to prevent deep scratches and stone chips from gathering over time. The next being a "nano coating" which offers a hard sacrificial layer between the clear coat and your elements. These don't offer protection against rock chips like a clear bra would but offer protection against environmental elements. Another plus side to coatings like Modesta, is their ability to enhance and reward your maintenance regimen by making washing and cleaning much much easier.

    We are certified installers of Xpel, ClearGuard nano and Modesta so please let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you!
     

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