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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...now I have a nice clean van.

Ok so you thought this may be a horror story but gladly all went well. Yes I admit it was down to pure lazyiness, I do love my van and it's nice bright metallic paint so in hindsight I should have stayed well clear. The car wash in question was ARC in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol - and yes I did ask them specifically before I went though if it would be okay (of course it clearly states on the board they would accept no responsibility to any damage caused). My standard SWB T32 Kombi fitted though (only just!) and I have electric folding mirrors so these were tucked back. I did keep a close eye on the jeep a couple of cars in front though as this was similarly sized..

So.. before you all start with the abuse - Will I take it through again? mostly likely not. And YES I will man-up and manually wash in the future, even in the bitter cold.. but it did get me to thinking what is the best way to clean our pride and joy?

I've read car wash machines may have higher concentration of chemicals(?), they stow brushes on the gritty tarmac when not in use and generally give a bit more of a powerful scrubbing but how does this compare to a lance and brush at your local petrol station (surely the same chemicals & the thought of rubbing that knackered old brush up and down my van fills me with more dread! So should I revert back to using my pressure washer at home with a bucket of zipwax and my cleanest sponge - starting from the (cleaner) top sections & leaving the alloys until last to avoid turning the bucket of water to that ultimate grey/brown colour too quickly ..yes yes I know I could change the water half way through, lazyiness again.

Less abuse and more general (helpful) thoughts are welcomed!
 

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Ditch the sponge. Use a lamb's wool mitt and 2 buckets (a soapy one and a fresh water one to rinse the mitt in. Give it a coat of collinite 476s wax every 4 months and washes every couple of weeks in between will be a doodle. Oh, and some bilberry pro for your wheels.
 

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Olly

Best hand wash method I would have thought would be 2 bucket method.

I usually pressure wash first to get the worst off, then a citrus cleaner spray, then pressure wash again, the wash with 2 bucket method which is 1 bucket wash, 1 bucket rinse, and with grit guards in the bottom, rinse microfibre mitt each time in the rinse bucket so clean every time into wash bucket to get suds. I usually have a third bucket and seperate tools for the wheels so not contamination in the paintwork buckets. Rinse with hose, then Microfibre drying towels, and a quick detailing spray to finish.

Sounds a lot of work. It is. Takes me about 2 hrs to wash my van on a weekend. If I had my other pressure working I would also add a foam coating after the citrus cleaner to get the worst off.

Top tip for the cold, get a pair of wetsuit gloves to wear and it keeps your hands warmer.

My missus thinks I am nuts, but it is a job I enjoy doing!
 

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Ditch the sponge. Use a lamb's wool mitt and 2 buckets (a soapy one and a fresh water one to rinse the mitt in. Give it a coat of collinite 476s wax every 4 months and washes every couple of weeks in between will be a doodle. Oh, and some bilberry pro for your wheels.
Almost exactly same as me bar the bilberry, but I don't think my steel wheels justify that :)

Tried various waxes but keep coming back to collinite 476, great combo of price/durability/finish/ease of use.
 

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Olly

Best hand wash method I would have thought would be 2 bucket method.

I usually pressure wash first to get the worst off, then a citrus cleaner spray, then pressure wash again, the wash with 2 bucket method which is 1 bucket wash, 1 bucket rinse, and with grit guards in the bottom, rinse microfibre mitt each time in the rinse bucket so clean every time into wash bucket to get suds. I usually have a third bucket and seperate tools for the wheels so not contamination in the paintwork buckets. Rinse with hose, then Microfibre drying towels, and a quick detailing spray to finish.

Sounds a lot of work. It is. Takes me about 2 hrs to wash my van on a weekend. If I had my other pressure working I would also add a foam coating after the citrus cleaner to get the worst off.

Top tip for the cold, get a pair of wetsuit gloves to wear and it keeps your hands warmer.

My missus thinks I am nuts, but it is a job I enjoy doing!
Same here, just soaked the foam lance gauze overnight in Cillit Bang and boy, what a difference. Used Meguiars Hyperwash instead of the usual Magifoam `cos I only have the green Magifoam and have now changed to a blue van. I know it will be alright but I will just try a bit of the green Magifoam on a part of the van that isn`t easily seen just to be safe. Can`t wait for the weather to warm up so I can get some wax on.
 

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"Same here, just soaked the foam lance gauze overnight in Cillit Bang and boy, what a difference."


Please tell more.

My foam lance has lost its oomf/ ability to get up a decent foam, where is the lanze gauze normally fitted?

My lance is from Autobrite.

Kev
 

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I put my car through one a few years ago and it ripped the door mirror off so I have never used an automatic car wash since, there are plenty of road side hand car wash places around.
 

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"Same here, just soaked the foam lance gauze overnight in Cillit Bang and boy, what a difference."


Please tell more.

My foam lance has lost its oomf/ ability to get up a decent foam, where is the lanze gauze normally fitted?

My lance is from Autobrite.

Kev
Hi Kev, my lance is an Autobrite as well. Inside the body of the lance is a metal gauze, the contents of the bottle pass through it on the way to the nozzle and out to your van. In time the gauze gets clogged up and the performance of the lance drops off. On the Autobrite site ( i think) are details from Steve of Wath who made a video showing how to strip down a lance. Well worth watching, also spare gauzes are available. Have a look over on Detailing World website to verify what I have written, I can`t check my facts `cos my computer is just about functioning, like a fool I put Ubuntu on and now I can`t access my stuff on Windows7
 
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