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Discussion Starter #21
Mr. Clean Autodry System

Today I bought and used the Mr. Clean AutoDry system and must say, it really works as advertised. Using the multifunction nozzle, you simply wet the car and then spray on the water-sheeting soap. Next you wash the surface and rinse again. One last rinse is required and for this, the water is routed through a deionizer which removes all minerals and impurities. After that, you're done. The car will dry spot free.

I used this on my black Limited and couldn't be happier with the results. The car was spot free and all glass surfaces were crystal-clear.
 
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Discussion Starter #22
yes I have the mr. clean wash as well and I'm very happy with the results. I get a nice quick clean without having to dry anything.

Just a question, do you guys wax the roofs of your car? and how do you get up there if you do?
 
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Washing Cars

It seems everybody has talked about the shining and polishing process but haven't really seen much about the washing process.

I'll share a little bit of what I try to do.

I wet the entire car. Then I wash almost the entire car, except the lower portion of the car. After the I wash the entire upper portion of the car, I'll then go around and wash the lower portion of the car. The tires absolutely last - they're probably the filthiest. The entire time you're washing the car, you want to flip your cloth or sponge often. You also want to rinse your sponge in your bucket often as well. This prevents the dirt coming from the car onto your sponge and then get smooshed around on your car with your hand motions trying to wash the car. Potentially, this could add scratches to your car. That's the reason for washing the top of the car first before addressing any of the lower portion. The lower portion of the car is the dirtiest. If you flip flop from washing the upper portion to the lower portion of the car and go back to the upper portion, you're picking up dirt (as well as dirtying your bucket of soap water) prematurely. So wash the lower portion of the car as a whole after you have wash the upper portion.

When I say lower portion, I don't mean underbody - I mean the bottom 10 inches all along the side of the car.

I also spray the underbody of the car as well as the wheel wells to remove any dirt that is clinging around. That last step is especially good in the states where streets are treated with salt in the wintertime.
 

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I have 2 methods of washing, all depending on how dirty the vehicle is. In both methods, I prerinse the entire car to get off as much dirt as I can with just water. I always use a high end 100% cotton towel to wash the car. I find that these towels hold more suds and rinse out easier.

If it's really dirty, I use a similar method like slken. I also change the suds as needed since you don't want to be rinsing your cloth or sponge in dirty water. If it's not too dirty, I don't do top then bottom but I still change out the suds as needed. I usually use a new bucket of suds for the wheels.

Once that's done, rinse the car off and I do a quick check all around to see if I missed anything.

After drying (to prevent water spots), I clean the door jams. Then finish with Zaino!
 

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puttputt wrote:
I have 2 methods of washing, all depending on how dirty the vehicle is. In both methods, I prerinse the entire car to get off as much dirt as I can with just water. I always use a high end 100% cotton towel to wash the car. I find that these towels hold more suds and rinse out easier.

If it's really dirty, I use a similar method like slken. I also change the suds as needed since you don't want to be rinsing your cloth or sponge in dirty water. If it's not too dirty, I don't do top then bottom but I still change out the suds as needed. I usually use a new bucket of suds for the wheels.

Once that's done, rinse the car off and I do a quick check all around to see if I missed anything.

After drying (to prevent water spots), I clean the door jams. Then finish with Zaino!

:thumbs_up: Ditto here! I wish I could get my wife trained like you, puttputt. Besides not helping me clean our fleet, she doesn't even put gas in 'em :shrug:

OC
 
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Discussion Starter #28
Thanks for all the great info in this thread!

Can you all share your schedules for everything? Like, how often do you wash your car or do you just wait for it to look dirty? How often do you wax, polish, seal, whatever else....
 

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recap

Thank you all for the great info.

After reading through the entire thread i realize that I've never really washed a car "by the book".
I got the process but still have a few details to work out.

So let me get this straigt:
1. Soak the car. Use the hose on it, try to get as much dirt off of it using just water.
2. Soap up the car and wash it. Use 100% cotton towels or Sponges to wash the car. Do the upper part, then the lower part. Rinse the sponge/towel as needed.
QUESTION: What soap should i use?
3. Rinse the car. Get the hose again and use water to get all the soap off the car. Rinse well.
4. Dry the car.
QUESTION: What should I use here? Synthetic chamois? Just cotton towels?
5. Apply wax.
QUESTIONs: What do you recommend? Liquid car wax or Paste car wax? How do you apply it exactly? Get some wax on the towel and apply it on the car? The entire car, or sections at a time?
6. Remove wax.
QUESTIONs: Wait for the wax to try to a glaze? Using a clean towel (?) remove the wax? Do i wax the windows too? What don't i wax?
7. Do the wheels.
8. Do the inside. What do you use to clean the windows, regular window cleaners should to, right? What about the dashboard and the side of the doors, what do you use on that? (I don't have leather on my RAV4.)
9. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
 

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Re: recap

RAVERIN said:
Can you all share your schedules for everything? Like, how often do you wash your car or do you just wait for it to look dirty? How often do you wax, polish, seal, whatever else....
I have to admit that I get lazy and sometimes don't wash the car when I should. But I try to wash it at least once a month (that's being lazy). There's a lot of construction going on at work so my RAV gets pretty dirty fast.

As for polishing, I plan on Zaino'ing (Z2, Z5, etc) about twice a year. In between, I'll use Z6 spray after washing to get a high gloss. Will clay as needed but probably only really need to do that about once a year. That will vary from car to car and environment, I think. But it's not something I would recommend doing all the time.


the_end said:
...still have a few details to work out.
QUESTION: What soap should i use?

Mothers, Meguiars, Zaino all have good car wash liquids. I think any of these will do fine.

QUESTION: drying: What should I use here? Synthetic chamois? Just cotton towels?

There's quite a bit of debate about this and I think it's really subjective. I only use high quality 100% USA made cotton towels because some imported ones say they are 100% but may not be. One problem with cotton towels is the initial lint. But after several washings, the lint will eventually go away. I've used chamois before and they worked fine. I think this may be preference. Some synthetic material may cause swirls but I don't claim to be an expert on that.

QUESTIONs: What do you recommend? Liquid car wax or Paste car wax? How do you apply it exactly? Get some wax on the towel and apply it on the car? The entire car, or sections at a time?

I use Zaino and follow the Zaino instructions. That's it. What ever you choose to use, I recommend following the instructions on the package. There are some wax you cannot use in the sun while others you can. Some have longer drying times than others. Read and follow the instructions for the best results.

QUESTIONs: Wait for the wax to try to a glaze? Using a clean towel (?) remove the wax? Do i wax the windows too? What don't i wax?

:shrug: I'll have to let someone else answer this. Don't know about glazing and I don't wax my windows. I have waxed my rims the last couple of times based on a suggestion by a member and it does seem to work somewhat...Not sure if I"ll continue to do this or I might try a different brand of wax.

QUESTIONs: What do you use to clean the windows, regular window cleaners should to, right? What about the dashboard and the side of the doors, what do you use on that? (I don't have leather on my RAV4.)

I use regular window cleaners and newspaper. Then I'll run a clean, dry paper towel over it (I don't know why but I just do :D ). Maybe it's a subconscious thing about seeing a clean towel?

I haven't used anything on the dashboard except just a clean towel to wipe everything down. I'd like to know what others use.
 
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Discussion Starter #32
Alright, you Zaino people have sold me on the stuff. So where's the best place to get it? I have to get it online right? Also, I understand the first time takes a long time..... About how long should I plan?
 

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RAVERIN asked:
Alright, you Zaino people have sold me on the stuff. So where's the best place to get it? I have to get it online right? Also, I understand the first time takes a long time..... About how long should I plan?
Only place you can get it is here - http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc - unless you know one of the few private distributors. First time is not too bad if you don't have to use the claybar, just use a dishwash soap like Dawn to strip whatever prep wax the dealer may have put on and follow the directions. Order will be sent to you within 5 business days.
I'd advise also getting the Z-6 detail spray. It's real handy for renewing your topcoat between polishes, or as a quick dry wash to get rid of dust or waterspots - if the surface is not too dirty. And if you have any questions or concerns, don't be afraid to email Sal (Zaino), he'll get back to you within 2-3 biz days. :wink:

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Puttputt has just about everyone's questions about washing covered - great job "Detail Queen" :thumbs_up:!!

Just one other thing I would like to mention. After you towel or chamois dry your car, take it for a quick spin around the block before you park it in the garage. This will dry out the brakes and rotors so they don't rust or become pitted. Also any water residue from cracks and crevasses will run out, wipe dry with your wet towel or chamois to prevent water spots.

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You guys are too much! Thanks!

I posted somewhere else a while back but the first time I used it on the RAV took about a hour and a half or so. The good thing is, if you decide to stop after a coat or two, or three, you can always go back the next time to put on more if you like.

I highly recommend the Z6 spray. Once you've done your first application, Z6 is a breeze and works great to restore the shine and depth. Takes me a quick 10 min overhaul when it's not that dirty.

Oh, and Sal is great. He's really quick to respond to emails sent to him directly. (disclaimer: I don't work for Sal either)
 
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Re: recap

Haven't been on the forum in a while..cool to see this thread still around.

For those who care, I've had good luck using the Zaino products. One I really like is the tire gloss as it doesn't leave your tires looking shiny and greasy but just makes your tires look brand new. On the other hand, I can't say much for the window polish. I'll probably just stick w/ soap/water and windex.

puttputt said:
I haven't used anything on the dashboard except just a clean towel to wipe everything down. I'd like to know what others use.
Wondering about this too...i've got a product I've used at home (forgot the name - possibly a Meguiars product) that works well but leaves a wet look for days/weeks that I'm not crazy about.
 
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