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Washing my Model S - First Time

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by middly, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. middly

    middly Member

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    Just got my new baby this past weekend. It's already a bit dusty and will be ready for a wash soon! I have been leaning toward the CG (Chemical Guys) product line. Does anyone have any recommendations for what I would need? I usually take my old car (2003 Honda Civic--quite the upgrade eh?) to the auto wash, which I realize, from reading other threads, is a huge no no.

    My MS is White and I was thinking of a 2 bucket wash system. Wash and wax. They have wax specifically for white cars. What supplies could I possibly need and which wash would you recommend?

    Has anyone had issues with using hose water? Where I live, I have particularly hard water, but I'm not sure how much that matters if I'm using the water as a simple rinse agent.

    Lastly, what about those microfiber towels and applicators? Can you just throw them in the wash or do you guys just rinse it out and air dry?

    Summary of Questions:

    1) What soap, wax, and cleaning supplies would I need to do a good wash job on my model S?
    2) Any issues or ideas to mitigate hard water? Or is this a moot point?
    3) Any tips for using, then cleaning/reusing microfiber towels, drying towels (what to use), and applicators?

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. Kickin

    Kickin Member

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  3. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    At the risk of getting people mad at me I'll say it again...

    It's a car. Get over it. Drive it through a touchless car wash and be happy.

    It's not a priceless piece of art. It will not appreciate in value. Actually, it keeps it's value over time about as well as cream cheese. The resale values of Teslas are terrible, and the state of the paint on your car has nothing to do with it.
     
  4. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    I got an unlimited wash pass at the touchless place. I like it.
     
  5. BrianC

    BrianC Member

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    Hmm, I did drive in a puddle today... might as well get it washed!

    Monthly passes (at touchless places)are amazing.
     
  6. NorCalSJ

    NorCalSJ Member

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    I'm sorry but in my opinion you are dead wrong in so many ways. For those of us who take pride in our cars and want our finishes pristine, we wash our car differently. Good luck with your method.
     
  7. patrick40363

    patrick40363 Member

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    I don't live close to a car wash and will use a waterless system. Tesla has used Eco green and I might try it first. Optimum also gets good reviews.



     
  8. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    You wanted to say that you disagreed with me, I assume? The fact that you disagree doesn't make me wrong. Actually, I am quite certain that I'm correct. "It's a car". Would you like to provide any evidence to the contrary?

    As to "good luck with my method"... I traded in my S60 after 18 months / 25k miles. It was detailed by Tesla about half a dozen times, and I ran it through a touchless car wash I believe four or five times in those 18 months. The trade in report car from Tesla lists my paint with the highest rating that they give in that category.

    But by all means. Put on XPEL extra prima hyper, OptCoat XLProPlus and wash it with the tree bucket method using only new sponges and special drying towels and the most expensive soap, conditioner and wax by hand twice a day. To each their own.

    I will continue to state "It's a car. Get over it". And funnily enough, whenever I say this I get positive reputation from people :)
     
  9. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Spot on! It's a car that I plan to drive for thousands of miles in the real world of rain and snow and ice and dirt. It will get dirty and scratched and weathered. I plan to keep it a long time on the road, not in a museum. I should last forever since it has few moving parts and an all aluminum body. Right now I don't even have a garage to keep it in so it just sits out in the rain and snow and sun. My other car is a 16 year old Land Rover which has lived outdoors and been through 16 winters of snow and ice and grit on the roads. I finally decided to paint it this year even though it only had minimal paint fading (and no chips) and it looks great and ready for another 16 years.
     
  10. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    +1!
     
  11. TTT

    TTT Member

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    Posted previously
    TTT
    2014-12-23, 10:52 PM​

    I had the same dilema and decided on getting a complete Xpel wrap and use a waterless (Washmist) system by Auto Detailing |Elite Finish Detailing (Auto Detailing |Elite Finish Detailing)
     
  12. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    As I obsess over the state of my car's finish, especially during the winter months, I have to keep reminding myself of the truth in your comment. But it rarely does me any good:)
     
  13. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    RIght. Forgot to mention my previous trade in. 11yo BMW that was replaced by my first Tesla in 2013. It got washed in a standard car wash (none of those fancy touchless ones) maybe once a quarter or less. Paint looked fine and the buyer (professional wholesale buyer) actually pointed out the good condition of the paint when he paid me $2k above blue book.

    But let me apologize to people like @artsci and @NorCalSJ - my posts are not meant to criticize you for your choice to take extra care of the paint of your car. All I'm trying to point out is that rationally there doesn't appear to be a lot of reason to do it. And the incremental resale value will get nowhere near compensating for the cost (and the time spent) on these high end washing regimens that people post about here.

    Peace.
     
  14. DrGuest

    DrGuest Member

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    I live 3 blocks from a self service high pressure spray car wash. I just spray on the car wash soap and rinse it off with High pressure spray avoiding direct full pressure over the car parking sensors. It's faster for me than getting all the buckets and hose and pressure washer out. I drive it slowly home from the wash, and I have a bunch of micro clothes to dry it, in my driveway or at the park. 4 times a year I have my local detail shop hand wash, vacume and wax it. The wax holds up great and when I start to see the water bead less it's just about time for the detailer. The spray car wash only costs about $5 to get the job done and that's a 1/3 the cost of the drive thru touchless, so I do it more often. It is the nicest car I have ever owned so I love taking care of it and have found this work out very good for me.
     
  15. Terapin

    Terapin Member

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    Dumb question maybe but is there by risk of damage to the motors or drivetrain (or whatever it's called?) with the car washes that pull the car through in neutral with the Model S? That's all we seem to have around.
     
  16. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    As long as you are in Neutral, no. Just be careful with the ones that want you to get out of the car, because by default the car will switch to Park...
     
  17. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    Its actually a piece of art. A beautifully sculpted piece of art. Your car is a representation of yourself on the road. Im a clean person and care about my appearance so my car is always clean before i go out, i don't want be driving a dirty car.


    When i get my Tesla i will clean it every single day, as i do now with my Smart ED and my dad's Volt. All i use is a spray bottle of water and microfiber towels and the cars are always looking immaculate.
     
  18. Vip

    Vip Member

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    To get back to the OP's original questions!!
    To those who don't care about detailing your car you may ignore this post.
    I do understand it is "just a car" but cleaning my car is not a chore and I enjoy doing it.

    1. I do the 2 bucket system. Make sure you have grit guards in each bucket.
    I have two wash mitts that I use (One is microfiber and the other is a lambs wool; Amazon.com: Mothers Genuine Lambswool Wash Mitt: Automotive). I use the microfiber mitt to clean the lower third of the car where it tends to be the dirtiest. I use the other mitt to clean the rest of the car.
    This year I decided to go with a soap and wax brand I haven't used before:AMMO NYC | DRIVE + PROTECT
    You will need plenty of microfiber towels (6-10) and depending on the wax you are going to use you will need an applicator for the paste version. There are spray on waxes people say work well and all you need is microfiber towels for those.
    Also you can get a wheel wand to clean the inner edges of the wheels.

    2. Hard water can be an issue if you don't dry the car off immediately or well. A lot of minerals can set into your paint/clear coat once the hard water dries and will need to be buffed out. If you dry it immediately and don't wash it directly under the sun then it should be no problem. You can buy water softeners that attach to your spout which will help mitigate the hard water issue.

    3. When cleaning the microfiber towels wash them separately from other clothing and even other towels. Do not use fabric softener. If your dryer has the feature then air dry it or use low heat.
    After I have used the microfiber towel multiple times and it is looking worn out I use them to clean the inner edges of all the doors (including the trunk and frunk).
    Thoroughly rinse the mitts and the wheel wand and let them air dry.

    You won't go wrong getting towels or mitts from Chemical guys or Griots.
    Plenty of videos online that you can view on best way to wash your car.
     
  19. benjiejr

    benjiejr Technogeekextraordinaire

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    I enjoy washing my car because I love how it looks when it's clean and I feel like I get a bit of exercise with it! Just to offer another alternative, I use a product that was recommended by my detailer called Ultima Waterless Wash Plus+ Concentrate. (Not sure why it's Plus+; the names they come up with are ridiculous sometimes! lol) I mix the concentrate in a spray bottle with water as instructed - I use about half a bottle to one bottle for each wash depending on how dirty it is. I spray down a panel at a time and gently wipe off with a good, clean microfiber towel; you may need more than one towel (or portion of the towel) for each panel depending on how much dirt and grit there is. This is probably not the best method if the car is really dirty, but so far it's worked for me because I keep up with it fairly frequently. I'm sure the 2 bucket method is better, but I'm happy with this method so far.

    Best of luck and enjoy the amazing car!


    Ultima Waterless Wash.jpg
     
  20. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I never use anything other than plain water to wash my cars. I figure any chemical has the potential to damage something and I don't want the chemicals to remove wax from the surface. Most road dirt is just dirt and not grease so no chemicals are needed. Occasionally I have to use a "bug and tar" remover on, well, bugs and tar but that's about it.
     

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