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How do you clean your car?

  • DIY: hand wash at home

    Votes: 23 67.6%
  • Commercial self wash: they've got the equipment and deal with the suds, I supply the work

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Detailer: Pay the experts

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Commercial automated: Cheap and easy

    Votes: 10 29.4%
  • Commercial automated with hand detailing: enjoy the music while they do the work

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • Other: explain

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    34
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Need some advice here, I've always had old crappy cars I hated (been waiting for a mass market EV for decades). So I'd just go to a car wash when I couldn't stand the sight of it anymore. But I want to baby my Bolt, are automated car washes hard on the vehicle in any way? How do you clean your car?
 

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If you want to baby it and not spend a fortune, do it at home. Just buy the right gear. I use one of those glove things that is the made to not damage paint while washing the car and a bucket of soapy water. I have a second bucket to rinse the glove after each section of the car. That way I am not putting the dirt and such in the soapy water. I just use the garden hose, no pressure washer or attachment. Once done I just let it air dry.

If you are concerned with water spots after you can buy a inline filter that will prevent that. I haven't done it yet as it doesn't really bother me, I will just do a quick clean of the windows after it is dry right now.

You will also want to get a cleaner for bug and clean those off before you wash the car with that cleaner, don't just use the normal soap and scrub hard to get the bugs off. You won't actually get it all off and if you scrub to hard you could damage the paint, not likely, but possible.

I've never been much of a car wax person so someone else will need to chime in with tips for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you want to baby it and not spend a fortune, do it at home. Just buy the right gear. I use one of those glove things that is the made to not damage paint while washing the car and a bucket of soapy water.
What kind of soap? Our gutters drain to the local waterways and I don't want to pollute, Bronners soap is the only I know which is almost entirely non toxic.
 

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If you want to baby it and not spend a fortune, do it at home. Just buy the right gear. I use one of those glove things that is the made to not damage paint while washing the car and a bucket of soapy water. I have a second bucket to rinse the glove after each section of the car. That way I am not putting the dirt and such in the soapy water. I just use the garden hose, no pressure washer or attachment. Once done I just let it air dry.

If you are concerned with water spots after you can buy a inline filter that will prevent that. I haven't done it yet as it doesn't really bother me, I will just do a quick clean of the windows after it is dry right now.

You will also want to get a cleaner for bug and clean those off before you wash the car with that cleaner, don't just use the normal soap and scrub hard to get the bugs off. You won't actually get it all off and if you scrub to hard you could damage the paint, not likely, but possible.

I've never been much of a car wax person so someone else will need to chime in with tips for that.
We have very hard water, and I wind up taking most of the water off with a large cotton towel, and doing a final dry with microfiber towels, otherwise I get lots of hard water spotting. I've considered changing the towel in for one of those water squeegees, but am slightly concerned that any missed grit would get ground in pretty badly.

For wax, I used an initial cleaning coat of Klasse All-in-one, and then a coat of Klasse sealant glaze. The latter is a pain to apply, the former is easy. I do periodic touch-ups with the all-in-one, and it's good for removing redwood sap/pollen as well (which we have lots of).

Nearly on-topic, how do you go about cleaning the inside of the windshield? It's a pretty long reach to the lower edge.
 

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I run my Bolt EV through the car wash with the shaking shames, etc.
Question: What's the best practices for cleaning the inside of the windshield?
I have tried Windex and paper towels, but still there is a film remaining that is noticeable when driving into sunlight. And I think this film is the residue from out-gassing plastic inside the passenger compartment. Also I need to find a pole or something to reach down to the bottom of the windshield near the dashboard.
Can anybody recommend a window cleaning solution that is effective?
 

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We have very hard water, and I wind up taking most of the water off with a large cotton towel, and doing a final dry with microfiber towels, otherwise I get lots of hard water spotting.
This is the soap I use and it leaves far fewer water spots than if I use other car wash soaps, not perfect, but fewer enough that they don't really bother me.

spot free car wash soap
 

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I run my Bolt EV through the car wash with the shaking shames, etc.
Question: What's the best practices for cleaning the inside of the windshield?
I have tried Windex and paper towels, but still there is a film remaining that is noticeable when driving into sunlight. And I think this film is the residue from out-gassing plastic inside the passenger compartment. Also I need to find a pole or something to reach down to the bottom of the windshield near the dashboard.
Can anybody recommend a window cleaning solution that is effective?
I've had no problems with just using windex myself. Far as the reach issue, I just took a cleaning tool my wife already had and used it. The one I used is just a shorter version of the little flat swifter things. Spray windex on it, clean the window, use a dry towel on it to dry the window.
 

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I run my Bolt EV through the car wash with the shaking shames, etc.
Question: What's the best practices for cleaning the inside of the windshield?
I have tried Windex and paper towels, but still there is a film remaining that is noticeable when driving into sunlight. And I think this film is the residue from out-gassing plastic inside the passenger compartment. Also I need to find a pole or something to reach down to the bottom of the windshield near the dashboard.
Can anybody recommend a window cleaning solution that is effective?
I’m not sure what will work on the interior windshield. I’ve tried a few different things. Initially, the windshield is clean but after a few days the smears are back. I think it’s dust and plastic out gassing that is attracted to whatever remains of the cleaner.
 

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yeah, my interior windshield is always a mess too. i've heard the outgassing theory before, but my previous car was still having the same issue after 8 years. maybe they never stop outgassing?

anyway, i just wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. and then do it again a few days later. i'd love to hear a more permanent solution.
 

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don't use windex. it leaves streaks. go pickup some invisible glass (sold at autozone, oreilys, advanced auto, target, walmart, etc). it works, really well
 

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i've used invisible glass too, the film on the inside always returns.
Unfortunately, I think it's the plasticizers in your interior plastics that produce the outgassing, and about the time that stops is when your dashboard becomes brittle and cracks. I believe you can only slow it down (nt necessarily stop it) by parking your car out of the heat.
 

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I don't know why I'm replying as I only wash cars at most twice per year. Just don't care how it looks on the outside since I spend 99.9% of my time on the inside. All my cars are pre-owned, so blemishes already exist.

That said, I normally hand wash with soap and a towel. Maybe once per year I will apply a carnauba wax by hand after drying with a chamois. Usually I air dry and just allow some mild spots to form, foregoing the wax.

My company car I run through the cheapest automatic car wash I can find. I've never had problems, but there are usually some small missed spots.

Some automatic washes don't clean their scrubbers often enough, and I've heard of people getting light scratches from debris embedded in the fabric. That could happen anywhere though, so it's mostly a luck thing.

If the car is leased, I'd probably never wash it. Where I live, a car stays clean for at most 1 week. It just rains too often and there are too many gravel roads and driveways.
 

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I'm lazy but smart, so what I do is either a touchless car wash I trust or a detailer for regular washes. Then every so often get the car detailed. Been doing that with all of my cars and they always looked better than every other car like it. Rarely have I seen rust on any of my cars!
 

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Touchless when I notice enough dirt on the car. Occasional bird droppings I hit the self-serve bays or if I didn't catch the splat in time, garden hose at home.

Every so often I will wash down the car in the self serve bays when not very busy with a bucket and my own wash gloves then I follow up with Hydro2 spray-n-rinse paint sealant.
 

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:)Hand wash as needed, apply tire shine after every drive, no wax on, or off. Clean wheels and tires = clean car, at least from a short distance. I hate waxing, but hate wax residue worse. So I'm lax on wax.
 

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yeah, my interior windshield is always a mess too. i've heard the outgassing theory before, but my previous car was still having the same issue after 8 years. maybe they never stop outgassing?

anyway, i just wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. and then do it again a few days later. i'd love to hear a more permanent solution.
This goes away after a while. Happened on my last new car as well.
I purchased a microfiber cloth on a stick from amazon that cleans things up in about 45 seconds.
 
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