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I have a lot of salt on the model S, what's the best way to wash it?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by AprilDelivery??, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. AprilDelivery??

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    I'm wondering what's the best way to remove the salt from the Model S ? During the summer I washed it with a hose. I don't want to harm paint finish because I got the multi color red. Right now its sitting in a garage with salt all over the car. Should I bring it to a car wash? My hose I put in for the winter because of the cold. I heard car washes are no good.
     
  2. nrcooled

    nrcooled P#8946 VIN 03225

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    I personally run mine through a car wash but it's touchless and they detail the car for me afterwards. For $50 for the "quick detail" it's worth it. I would find a place local to you that can offer a similar service and just get the car sprayed off.
     
  3. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    If you are a DIY-er, hose it off yourself, and then wash it using the Two-Bucket Method and no-rinse soap (such as Optimum No-Rinse), or with Waterless wash or Quick Detailer (such as Griot's Spray-on Car Wash or Speed Shine). These methods don't require a final rinse, you just wipe the surface down with super-fluffy microfiber towels after the dirt has been removed.
     
  4. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    "Touchless" car washes are considered to be OK. I'm sure they're not as great as hand-washing, but nobody's gonna handwash in the winter. Tesla says that you should only take the car through a car wash if it is touchless. So take it to a touchless car wash, which is what I do, and don't worry about it further. There is probably some paint risk from the touchless car wash, but less than the risk from the salt.
     
  5. Luder94

    Luder94 Member

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    As a former detailer, if it has dried salt on the paint, I don't touch the car until I can get a proper wash done. The caked on salt needs to be rinsed off before anything touches the car....give the car a heavy (minimum two rinses, low pressure rinse is best). The first rinse will rinse off the loose salt and dirt/sand as well as moisten and loosen the 'even more dried on' salt. The subsequent rinses will get more of the gritty salt off.

    I'm torn with going to the touchless washes; I don't want the salt to stay on the car over an extended period of time, but I also don't want it power washed off until the exterior can be sufficiently soaked. If you have the option to find a higher end hand wash, I'd suggest that.
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I have taken mine through touchless and "brush-type" automatic car washes with no ill effects. What I normally do is take it to one of those coin-op "spray it yourself" washes in the winter to get the most of the salt and grime off. In the summer I only hand wash in the driveway, but the garden hose doesn't work well in sub-freezing temperatures.:tongue:
     
  7. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    The good thing about the two-bucket and rinseless methods are that you can do them in your garage. Rinse the salt off with a good hose-down outside, pull into the garage, and finish the wash indoors.
     
  8. Forty Creek

    Forty Creek Member

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    It would take a few hours in the garage today for the ice to melt before I could move on to the 'indoor portion' of the wash.
     
  9. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Consider getting some kind of paint protection (like OptiCoat) given the environment your S is exposed to and the very soft CA VOC compliant paint that TM must use.
     
  10. DavidM

    DavidM P2624, Delivered

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    I would recommend getting a spray wand from Walmart along with Zip Wax Car Wash. DO NOT rub the soapy water onto the car. The sprayer mixes the soap concentrate with water and sprays all the dirt and salt off your car. Change the setting on the wand to rinse with water. Now that there is no salt left, you should be able to use a chamois to dry the car, so you don't get water spots.
     
  11. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    Yikes! I nearly killed myself slipping on the driveway ice during the rinsedown today, but the garage was a balmy 47.
     
  12. William13

    William13 Member

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    I hand washed all winter last year usually twice a week outside. Any day that registered 1C or 34F or higher. I carried a special jacket and gloves in the back of the car. My hands were freezing cold.

    During the summer I had X-Pel Ultimate applied on the entire painted surface. Now I do the double bucket wash in my warm garage with very little water on the floor. I still have a special jacket, pants and shoes to do the wash. 20 minutes total time now.
     
  13. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    Yes I should say I have a full Xpel wrap also, except for my rear deck lid...installer was unable to make that work, despite the fact that we removed all emblems, trim and brake lights for it. William13, did you get your rear deck lid wrapped in Xpel successfully?
     

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