Correct Washing and Drying
can be the most overlooked step. However, in reality is
one of the most important steps. Many of the
imperfections in your paint (scratches, swirl marks, water spots, etc.)
are caused due to improper washing and drying techniques. Our goal is to
teach you how to effectively remove contamination while minimizing the
possibility of creating more imperfections in your paint.
Recommended Washing & Drying Products:
1 x Quality Wash Mitt
1 x Wash sponge
1 x Quality Waffle Weave Drying Towel
1 x Synthetic Chamois
2x 5ltr Wash Buckets
Water Supply and Hose pipe.
Bug and Tar Degreaser
Why do I need these products you may ask? We strongly encourage using a
wash mitt PLUS wash sponge for many reasons. The main reason is your lower
panels, front and rear bumpers, wheels and wheel wells get significantly
dirtier than the rest of your vehicle and you do not want to be using the
same mitt that just removed large particles of tar to touch your
roof/bonnet. Allocating the sponge just for those heavily contaminated
areas is a smart move because you will not be using a contaminated wash
mitt on your delicate paint. Using one mitt throughout is one major factor
why people create swirls during the wash phase. Another reason we suggest
using the sponge for heavy soiled areas is that if you use one wash mitt
for the entire vehicle, the life span of the mitt will be that much
shorter due to heavy build up in one mitt. A heavily contaminated mitt
requires you to purchase mitts more frequently and creates more risk to
A quality lubricating shampoo is crucial when trying to safely remove
contamination. Without proper lubrication you would be pushing dirt,
pollen, tar, etc. across your paint and causing many imperfections in your
clear coat. Properly lubricated shampoos will help lift contamination from
the surface, creating a slick surface for easy contamination removal. A
quality shampoo should also have the proper conditioners for your paint
unlike dish soap. Dish washing liquid, such as Sunlight, will remove
previous layers of wax and can dry out your paint, dry out and discolor
plastic, vinyl and rubber trim, and is harmful to your clear coat.
Sunlight is great for dishes and doesn’t belong anywhere near your
car . Shampoos with conditioners work well because they can clean your
freshly sealed or waxed vehicle without removing this protection.
Investing in high quality drying towels will not only save you time during
the drying process while minimizing the possibility of adding swirls. Our
towel of choice is a Microfiber Waffle Weave Drying Towel. This design has
a small nap to pull contamination away from the surface as well as hold
large amounts of water in its pockets. In some cases, you will only need
one of these towels to dry your entire vehicle assuming you follow our
helpful tips and techniques (which will be explained in just a moment)
during the drying process. It is the safest product to minimize the
possibility of adding swirls to your clear coat. Its also essential that
your drying towel stay as clean as possible because dragging a dirty towel
across the paint can add swirls and very fine scratches. Make sure you
don’t use the same Waffle Weave to dry areas that were not cleaned
during the washing process like door jambs. For this, you will use your
Two 5 litre wash buckets is a must for any wash day. The reasoning will be
described in further detail as we get into the how-to part of the
tutorial, but one will be filled with water and suds and the second one
with just water.
Water supply and hose is pretty obvious but should not be over looked.
Flooding the surface of your vehicle is the best thing for minimizing the
chance of adding imperfections to your paint so plenty of water will be
necessary for pre-wash, rinse and final sheet drying. We strongly advise
against using a High pressure hose on your paint work. Firstly its NOT
necessary as proper washing techniques out weigh the benefit of
“blasting” the dirt away. With anything regarding car care,
always go with the LEAST aggressive method to limit damage. If you really
have too, you can use it to blast dirt from your wheel wells and under
Let us start by addressing some proper procedures to follow prior to
actually washing the vehicle. First, find an area to work in with plenty
of shade. With the sun beating on hot soapy water, it will dry before you
can completely wash the entire car. this can cause water etching and spots
on your vehicles paint. This will add more time in your routine removing
them especially if you are just washing and drying for maintenance and not
planning on doing a full routine. The paint and wheels should be cool to
the touch prior to washing. Next step, take a look at your attire, no
jeans, no belts, no buttons, no rivets, no zippers, and no jewelry or
other potentially hazardous objects. You may ask why, but the reasoning is
pretty simple, they all will easily scratch your paints surface even with
very minimal pressure. Also at this time ensure that all windows are
completely up and doors, bonnet and boot are completely closed.
Make sure the buckets you going to use are completely clean, so rinse them
off properly before each use. Fill one wash bucket about 3/4 full of water and the
remaining 1/4 full of suds.Fill up the second wash bucket about 1/2 full of water.
Rinse down an area of the vehicle that you plan on washing. Start from the
top of the vehicle and work your way down. Also, work in sections such as
front fenders and bonnet, or passenger side and half of the roof.
Walk around your vehicle and pre-treat any areas that have a lot of
contamination, such as bug splatter, tar, and other road grime that may be
difficult to remove, with a paint safe degreaser/bug tar remover.
Allow degreaser to sit on the contaminated surface for a few minutes (see
Dip your wash mitt into the clean water first and give it a good rinse.
Now dip it in your soapy mix and start from the top, wash the roof,
remember not to put the dirty mitt back in the soapy mix but to always
rinse in the clean water first, that way you can be sure you not spreading
the same dirt and grit to the other panels which naturally reduces swirl
marks. Wash the top half of the car first, and only the top half of the
panels all around. Once the entire top half is washed, use the separate
wash sponge to do all the lower half of the car, remember this is where
most of the heavy dirt and grit can be found.
Once the entire vehicle has been washed, rinse it thoroughly from top to
bottom. Now remove the spray nozzle from the hose. Starting from the top of the
vehicle sheet free flowing water from the hose off of the vehicle. You
should begin to notice less water accumulation on the surface compared to
just rinsing off the vehicle. When working down the sides of the vehicle,
move the hose from left to right while getting lower and lower, this will
ensure the water floods off of the vehicle and will cut your drying time
down considerably. This method takes a bit of practice but if you keep at
it, it gets easier.
After the vehicle has been sheeted off using the technique described
above, take out your waffle weave. Open all doors and boot lid, to allow
water to drip while you drying. This way you don’t end up getting
the water on your paint AFTER drying it.Blot-dry any large pools of water
with your drying towel. This will help get the towel damp which can
increase its ability to absorb. Continue around the vehicle lightly wiping
off any remaining water on your vehicle. Give the vehicle a final wipe
down to ensure there is no water left on the vehicle. The beauty of the
micro-fiber waffle weave is it leaves no water spots or streaking like a
normal chamois. So if you use on your windows, you don’t have to
come back to polish the outer glass again. Once you done with the entire
car, use the chamois to dry the door jams and wheels.
After Washing & Drying Your Vehicle...
Remember to keep your washing equipment clean always. So once you done
with the wash and dry. Rinse out the wash sponge, wash mitt, and chamois
so that the next wash it will be clean and ready for use. Depending on the
condition of the waffle weave it may require cleaning after a few washes.
See our section on Waffle weave information for more information.