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How does every clean their model 3? Is Automatic car wash a bad idea?

BlueKam_M3LR

Member
Mar 27, 2020
12
3
NJ
So BlueKam, Wennfred, and Cultgti, you just spray, let it sit, rinse and dry? No sponge use at all? It seems like there may be some residual road grime, no?

So first I rinse the entire car with water only top to bottom (using a power washer may help get rid of the residual road grime but be careful not to let the nozzle get too close to your paint), then use a foam blaster to cover the entire car top to bottom and focus on the dirtier spots more, let it sit for few minutes, then rinse entire car top to bottom. If you see residual road grime left on the car then you can spot clean those areas with a wet microfiber cloth and don't apply any added pressure (more pressure = more swirls). The key is to try and rinse out all the dirt in your cloth between each wipe to reduce the amount of dirt rubbing on your clear coat. Then use a leaf blower or high power air to blow away all the water that you can. Use a waffle microfiber cloth to pat dry if needed and avoid rubbing while drying.

All previous cars I have owned I did the 2 bucket method with grit guard at bottom of the buckets and microfiber washing mit, all ended up with swirl marks over time. Rubbing ANYTHING on the paint will cause swirl marks to some degree especially since Tesla's clear coat is pretty thin and prone to scratch from anything and everything.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,073
2,488
Houston
Pretty ridiculous that Tesla makes cars that can't be washed like other cars. It's like everything in your kitchen not being dishwasher safe. You just wouldn't buy those items if you knew that in the first place.

As a result, I never ever see a Model 3 around here (and there's tons of them) that are clean. People never wash them here. I am the only one I have seen that is clean and not covered in so much dirty you can't tell what color they are.

One of these days, I am going to start a true buyer's guy for people new to Tesla. I will cover all the boobie traps waiting for you in the purchase process, delivery, servicing, warranty, ownership, the truth about the features like AP. It's crazy how everyone has to learn about the gotcha's to Tesla ownership after the fact because no one would ever think that there would be so many different boobie traps compared to other brands just waiting for you to buy your first Tesla.
 
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Wennfred

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 4, 2019
3,052
2,141
San Diego
So BlueKam, Wennfred, and Cultgti, you just spray, let it sit, rinse and dry? No sponge use at all? It seems like there may be some residual road grime, no?
If you keep the car up every week then that’s all that’s needed, I hit it with the pressure wash to knock off the paint, then I lay a thick foam with the TriNova Shampoo & Conditioner and let it sit for 5 minutes and then rinse and towel dry. If the car has lots of dirty then after the 5 minute foam, I hit it with a micro fiber glove quickly and rinse. Get that waffle towel, it makes a world of difference in drying.

Fred
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,949
3,645
Maine
You must live in a warm climate!
I wish I could do that year round but not possible in winter , North of the 49th!
Really? Ottawa is about 45th, no? I'm around the 44th, and if you have a garage, you can ONR inside. I don't, so I wait for a day above 35F, or at least I did my first Winter. This Winter I was lazy, so I only rinsed on days above 35F. No ONR.

Now that Winter is over, I washed my car thoroughly, and it's good as new. Survived Winter just fine with minimal washing.
 

Biscuitman

Member
Oct 22, 2019
355
166
Ottawa
Really? Ottawa is about 45th, no? I'm around the 44th, and if you have a garage, you can ONR inside. I don't, so I wait for a day above 35F, or at least I did my first Winter. This Winter I was lazy, so I only rinsed on days above 35F. No ONR.

Now that Winter is over, I washed my car thoroughly, and it's good as new. Survived Winter just fine with minimal washing.
Correct! My error, not enough coffee. 45 it is. This week is the first week that outside washing is possible.
 

Thp3

Member
Aug 21, 2017
541
540
Michigan
So first I rinse the entire car with water only top to bottom (using a power washer may help get rid of the residual road grime but be careful not to let the nozzle get too close to your paint), then use a foam blaster to cover the entire car top to bottom and focus on the dirtier spots more, let it sit for few minutes, then rinse entire car top to bottom. If you see residual road grime left on the car then you can spot clean those areas with a wet microfiber cloth and don't apply any added pressure (more pressure = more swirls). The key is to try and rinse out all the dirt in your cloth between each wipe to reduce the amount of dirt rubbing on your clear coat. Then use a leaf blower or high power air to blow away all the water that you can. Use a waffle microfiber cloth to pat dry if needed and avoid rubbing while drying.

All previous cars I have owned I did the 2 bucket method with grit guard at bottom of the buckets and microfiber washing mit, all ended up with swirl marks over time. Rubbing ANYTHING on the paint will cause swirl marks to some degree especially since Tesla's clear coat is pretty thin and prone to scratch from anything and everything.

Optimum No Rinse (ONR), and Costco microfiber towels. Has to be seen to be believed.
I live at the 45 Parallel, it gets cold in the winter but a rinse at a handheld truck wash ( keeps the power sprayer from getting to close) and then home in the garage with a warm bucket of ONR, nitrile gloves and microfiber towels - 30 minutes...
 

Bill Foster

I'm going home!
Mar 6, 2019
933
889
Nashville
Optimum No Rinse (ONR), and Costco microfiber towels. Has to be seen to be believed.
I live at the 45 Parallel, it gets cold in the winter but a rinse at a handheld truck wash ( keeps the power sprayer from getting to close) and then home in the garage with a warm bucket of ONR, nitrile gloves and microfiber towels - 30 minutes...
The ones from The Rag Company are a lot better then the costco ones I have, and are also really well priced. They hold a lot more water
 
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FFR6288

Member
Nov 5, 2019
100
117
Mesa, AZ
By far the best drying towel on the planet, this picks all of the water up and makes your job quick.

(snip)

Chemical Guys MIC_781_01 Waffle Weave Gray Matter 70/30 Blend Microfiber Drying Towel with Silk Edging (25 in. x 36 in.) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BQYCIVI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_oUfHEbT4TVAJE

Fred

I had my doubts about "special" microfiber drying towels, as I hadn't had much luck with regular microfiber towels (like from Costco). I was wrong! I bought this same item, and was amazed at how well it works. Highly recommended!
 
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Xambler

Member
Dec 17, 2019
182
185
Cape Coral, Fl
Pretty ridiculous that Tesla makes cars that can't be washed like other cars. It's like everything in your kitchen not being dishwasher safe. You just wouldn't buy those items if you knew that in the first place.

As a result, I never ever see a Model 3 around here (and there's tons of them) that are clean. People never wash them here. I am the only one I have seen that is clean and not covered in so much dirty you can't tell what color they are.

One of these days, I am going to start a true buyer's guy for people new to Tesla. I will cover all the boobie traps waiting for you in the purchase process, delivery, servicing, warranty, ownership, the truth about the features like AP. It's crazy how everyone has to learn about the gotcha's to Tesla ownership after the fact because no one would ever think that there would be so many different boobie traps compared to other brands just waiting for you to buy your first Tesla.[/

36CFE21A-A418-402F-B5EC-EE44F664827F.jpeg


Not the best picture but I’ve just been treating my 2020 model 3 the same as our 1998 M3 and the 1991 Miata (latter 2 spent most of life in Minnesota with lots of winter driving). Basically just good nano wax twice a year and wash with water and wipe down with a micro fiber cloth and then dry with a different microfiber..shammy if I can find one. Then wipe glass with a fine weave microfiber glass cleaning cloth. 5 minute job on the Miata, bit longer on the other two :). If I notice buildup an occasional clay. Of course, then there is love bug season...
 

Thp3

Member
Aug 21, 2017
541
540
Michigan
The ones from The Rag Company are a lot better then the costco ones I have, and are also really well priced. They hold a lot more water

ok, I’ll ask. Which GSM from the Rag Company? 300, 420 or 500? And how many towels to wash and dry the car?

Currently around 20 of the 36 pack of Costco towels ( nominally 365 GSM) are used by me to wash and dry the car. One is quartered, dipped in the ONR bucket, about 1/10 of the car wiped wet, flipped eight times so dirt is never reapplied to the car. Then dirty towel pitched into empty bucket. Then another dry towel, quarter folded, is used to dry off that section of the car. Then that now slightly wet and abit dirty towel is also pitched into the dirty bucket.

Then I move to another dirty part of the car and repeat the process. So I use 20-24 towels to wash the car.

I never reuse a microfiber towel to dry the car. There could be some residual dirt removed by the towel as the car is dried. It seems somewhat dangerous ( swirl mark danger) to use the same microfiber towel to dry the whole car.

When I’m done washing and drying the car, the dirty bucket of microfiber towels goes into the washing machine with a tablespoon of soap and they are washed clean for their next use.

Is there a simpler equally safe way?

yeah, glass done with Invisible Glass and a couple more microfiber towels...
 

Mr. Big

Member
Oct 23, 2019
329
342
SoCal
I took mine to a car wash and they did a crappy job, so I just do it myself with a Kranzle pressure washer. Then I use a microfiber mitt to apply soap from a bucket, rinse with deionized water and let it air dry -- takes about a half an hour and I save $25.
 

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