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How do you feel about the soft bristle brush at a manual car wash?

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
7,988
16,102
La Conner, WA
So it's the time of the year where day high is below 0C so I went to an enclosed manual car wash this morning. Wanted to use my mit and bucket I brought to wash the car after using their pressure washer but although the place was almost deserted, except for the employee and another customer (place has 8 bays), I was told I was not allowed to use them and had to use their brush. The brush did feel soft and the employee mentioned that people with $100,000+ cars use them without issues to the paint. So, how do you feel about the soft bristle brush at a manual car wash?
I’ll only use it on the glass and wheels. Never on the paint.
 
You sound like my wife, except for the part about having it detailed. For her a car is simply a way to get from one place to another. The paint gloss doesn’t matter as long as it doesn’t rust, door dings happen, and following trucks and replacing cracked windshields isn’t a worry.

I’ll take the time and effort to keep it as new as possible for as long as possible. I park further out, I don't mind walking a few hundred feet to avoid tight parking places. When I park I look at the door edges of the adjacent cars and if they’re badly chipped, I move to a different spot.

You got the car to use. I understand that.

But scratches and chips do bother me and the time and trouble to avoid them is worth a bit of extra of my time and a bit extra of my effort. And when I park, I look back at my car and I appreciate that after five years it looks as good as the day it was new. It isn’t really a lot of time and trouble but it is some. For me it’s worth it. For you not so much. For her not at all.

And. In the end it matters not a whit.
I’ve been super super meticulous with all of my cars. I have a wrap on the front of Tesla. But I just decided you know what I’m ok with a few paint swirls. I’ll live. It can be removed with detailing every other year. Lol I’m better for it not having to spent 2 hours washing it.
 
When I used to go to these, I would just drip the foam from the brush all over the car, then use my own mitt. And frankly, if stone employee told me I couldn't do this, I'd find another car wash. Sure how boys would love that.

Am I the only one that pictured someone running Huggies all over the car? 😄
Hmm, next time, I'll see what they say if I put the mitt wrapped over their brush lol. Hey, I am using your brush!
 
I’ve been super super meticulous with all of my cars. I have a wrap on the front of Tesla. But I just decided you know what I’m ok with a few paint swirls. I’ll live. It can be removed with detailing every other year. Lol I’m better for it not having to spent 2 hours washing it.
If it's taking you 2 hours to wash your car you are doing it wrong.
 
2
Washing and drying probably. Cleaning/drying all the door/hood/trunk edges/creases as well as inside the car do take quite some times.
yah proper washing for me takes about that long and really doing a really damn good job including setting up the pressure washer, foam cannon, and total cleaning of all surfaces. I can cut it down to 45 mins by half assing it. Now it’s down to less than 10 mins or less at the automatic car wash, less being no vaccuuming.
 
I'm dreading how to keep my new M3 clean... I barely touch mine to get some of the dust removed and you can see swirl marks on the clear coat regardless of what type of cloth gets used. Does a good wax help or does it need a ceramic coating to stop that?
The paint is ultra-soft. Best is to not touch it at all if you can. Layering up ceramic can help a bit as a sacrificial layer but it's not a cure for the soft paint.
 
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Foam your car with something like bilt hamber let it dwell and rinse off to get a large majority of the debris off.

Then foam it again with carpro reset and use the best microfiber you can buy i.e microfiber madness incredimitt. 2 bucket method. Rinse off and dry with electric blower i.e ego 580/765.

I only use water out of my cr spotless for washing. Its not economical but ensures I’ll never have a water spot. And you dont need to hand dry the car with a towel which could potentially scratch the paint.

Even taking all these steps you’ll still cause some scratches and marring but will be kept to the minimum.
 
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joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,321
1,284
Encino, CA
I'm dreading how to keep my new M3 clean... I barely touch mine to get some of the dust removed and you can see swirl marks on the clear coat regardless of what type of cloth gets used. Does a good wax help or does it need a ceramic coating to stop that?
Here are some tips:
1) When removing dust, always use a detail spray or waterless wash. Never touch the paint with just a dry microfiber towel. Even a really soft one will scratch the paint if used without a liquid to provide lubrication.

2) When drying the car after a wash, either use an air blower or, if you use a drying towel, use a drying aid. The drying aid will provide more lubrication.

3) When you wash your microfiber towels, dry them only on a low temperature and never use fabric softener. Discard your towels if they no longer feel soft.
 

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