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Your preferred method of washing your model 3?

I haven't received my 3 yet, but typically in my current car I go to your everyday car wash couple times a month since I funny have a house to wash it at, and don't think anything of it. With my model 3, I don't plan on that as I hear car washes are bad for your paint. What is the best way to wash it without having a home to do the "2 bucket" method?
 

woodisgood

Optimustic Pessimist
Jul 26, 2018
2,982
17,849
San Francisco
I'm sure you will get far more knowledgeable posters than me commenting, but in your situation I'd look at first applying a ceramic coat (either DIY if you are comfortable or have it done professionally). Then to keep the car looking great, "waterless" wipe-down washes (e.g. Optimum No-Rinse, aka ONR) that you can do yourself with a spray bottle and some microfiber towels.

This is what I plan on doing for the wife's new 3 - she likes a clean, sparkling car but gets impatient waiting for me to wash/wax so she goes through those gas station washes...:eek:
 

Az_Rael

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,681
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Palmdale, CA
I assume you don’t have access to a hose. Probably your best option is ONR (Optimum no rinse) or one of the other rinsless or waterless wash setups. I can do a two bucket ONR wash inside my garage, which is nice. Since you live in a winter state, you may need to periodically hit a touch free car wash to rinse the undercarriage and general winter grime though.
 
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I live and park in a condo building. I do this:
4 high quality microfiber rags from the rag company
2 high quality waffle weave drying towels
0.75 gallons of water with ONR in a bucket. Throw the 4 microfiber in there, thy soak up most of the water
Spray bottle of 0.25 gallon water with ONR

go to garage, spray car all over and wipe down with saturated rags
Fold the rags in half twice, resulting in 8 sides to wipe with
That’s 32 fresh sides of the rag. Just wipe down a section then flip the rag.

Works great. I’ve done it many times. ONR is amazing
 
There's nothing different about the paint than any other car. They use "commercial" paints just like every other car company.

With all new cars it's typically advised not to do any washing for the first 30 days as new paint may be curing still. I probably won't be able to do this, but I'm going to compromise with a Kozak rag for light dusting. I was tempted to dust with a swiffer duster as those are very soft, but the Kozak offers a little more "wiping" action.

Popular Mechanics did a good article about a year ago on car washing practice:
How to Wash Your Car Like a Pro - Best Car Cleaning Tips
 
I live and park in a condo building. I do this:
4 high quality microfiber rags from the rag company
2 high quality waffle weave drying towels
0.75 gallons of water with ONR in a bucket. Throw the 4 microfiber in there, thy soak up most of the water
Spray bottle of 0.25 gallon water with ONR

go to garage, spray car all over and wipe down with saturated rags
Fold the rags in half twice, resulting in 8 sides to wipe with
That’s 32 fresh sides of the rag. Just wipe down a section then flip the rag.

Works great. I’ve done it many times. ONR is amazing

Is ONR a brand/product or method of washing? If a product where do you buy it?
 
I go way overboard...

1) Connect hose to (softened) water source
2) Connect hose to pressure washer
3) Pressure rinse entire car
4) Foam cannon entire car, let sit for 5 minutes
5) Wipe down with a microfiber mitt
6) Pressure rinse entire car
7) Use a squeegee to get water quickly off of the glass
8) Use a leaf blower with a special attachment to dry the rest of the car as much as possible
9) Touch up with microfiber towels
10) Clean wheels with car soap and microfiber cloths

Takes about 1.5-2 hours.
 

dragonxt

Active Member
Oct 26, 2016
629
386
Bay Area
I haven't received my 3 yet, but typically in my current car I go to your everyday car wash couple times a month since I funny have a house to wash it at, and don't think anything of it. With my model 3, I don't plan on that as I hear car washes are bad for your paint. What is the best way to wash it without having a home to do the "2 bucket" method?
As soon as I get my Model 3, I'm going to:
(Btw, not sure what you're referring to about "home" in your post, but here are my two cents)

1. Pressure Wash it
2. Hit it with a foam cannon pressure washer (electric of course) and let stand 5 mins (Pressure washer somewhat optional, it's just really fast and easy)
3. Pressure Wash it again
4. Pull it into the garage
5. Use Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine (ONR) as a lubricant, and clay bar the entire car. Immediately wipe dry with a cloth sprayed with some Optimum Instant Detailer and Gloss Enhancer (Also somewhat optional, but it's good to really gloss the car before ceramic coating)
6. Apply Cquartz UK 3.0 edition
7. Apply Cquartz Reload (included with kit linked above)

(By the way, steps 6 and 7 only need to be done once every 2 years)

Wish I did the same process on my White X, though I'm going to be really strict when caring for the paint on my Midnight Silver 3

Hope that helps!
 
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P85_DA

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 25, 2015
4,272
3,416
CA
Why is this? Wax won't hurt PPF or ceramic at all? It may not bond as well but its not going to hurt it?

One of these other car wash threads a PPF installer mentioned that ..I have always used blue ONR as that green stuff is fairly new ..so not sure why other than this detailers comment ..also there are some threads on this on the opti detail forums that discuss in way more detail than I care ..plus blue is cheaper :p
 
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P85_DA

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Apr 25, 2015
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CA
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timk225

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
2,087
2,399
Pittsburgh
I hose down the entire car first to get the heavy dirt off, with a spray nozzle and water pressure at 50 psi line pressure. Then a bucket with yellow Meguiars soap and a microfiber sponge with fluffy yellow yarn things on it, wash down the whole car, trying to use a lot of water to flood the dirt off. Then rinse it all good and dry with an old shower towel.

It'll suck in the winter when it's too cold outside to wash the road salt off, I don't want to take it to automatic car washes. Hope for a warm winter!
 
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Hmmm. My Tesla parks itself, un-parks itself, mostly drives itself and has trained me to leave all ICE cars unlocked with the motor running.... Now I learn I have to wash it! That's it, deal breaker. ;)

Like some others here, rinse all over, soap with microfibe, gently get bugs off bumper, rinse, waffle towel then a trip over the surface with microfiber + Griot's waterless spray-wash to leave the skin silky shiny smooth so bugs and bird poop slide right off. Takes 20 mins. The 3 is so much easier to clean than the X.
 
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