Car washing method, directly quoted from vague_one, a senior pakwheeler,
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Wheels, arches, door Jambs
Start with these. When washing your wheels using a wheel brush, the shampoo solution (or wheel cleaner solution) can spray up onto paintwork, and if you`ve just cleaned the paintwork, you'll end up needing to clean it again to remove the dirty spray from wheels! Don't forget to open all doors and boot and clean the doorjambs and the insides of the door (without getting wash solution into the locking mechanisms, I cover these up) - these areas can pick up a lot of dirt as well and it adds something a little extra to open the door and see the jambs as clean as the rest of the car as these areas are often forgotten about.
This loosens up dirt and wets the paintwork ready for washing. Using a hose pipe, direct a gentle spray of water at the paintwork at a shallow angle. If you blast the paintwork with high pressure at ninety degrees to the paintwork, you'll force grit into the paint and cause scatches. Just a gentle spray of water to wet the paintwork is all that is required. If you don't have access to a hose, use a watering can with the rose fitted to produce a gentle spary of water.
This is the major stage of the washing process, and the time when most scratches can be inflicted if care is not taken. This removes fresh surface contimaniation from paintwork such as dust, grit, mud, road film etc... Add the correct amount of car wash solution (according to the dilution ratio on the bottle) to your bucket and fill with water to produce suds and lubricated wash solution.The water can be cold, or warm - I prefer warm water as it keeps my hands warm, especially in winter, use the two bucket method. Use two washmitts - one for the top areas of the car (roof, bonnet, upper sides above the wheel arch line) and one for the lower areas (below the wheel arch line, front and rear bumpers). Use a light parallel motion when washing, with out applying forceful pressure that will inflict scratches. If a mark is stubborn and wont come off with gentle movement of the wash mitt, it will require a stronger cleaner such as tar remover or clay. Start from the roof and work down, therefore the large quantities of dirt that form on the lower parts of car are not transferred to the traditionally cleaner upper areas of the car. Try to avoid letting the shampoo dry on the paintwork as this will cause streaks and soap spots, for this reason try to avoid washing in direct sunlight. If you are in direct sunlight, it may be neccessary to wash and rinse a panel art a time. Continue until the car is completed.
Once washed, the next step is to rinse away the soap bubbles and film. If using a hose I first of all use a light spary of water to wet the paintwork (using the rose on the watering can), just like the pre-rinsing step. Then follow this up with a flow of water from the hose (rose off the water can this time). Most shampoos are free rinsing and require this flow of water to make the rinsing water "sheet" off of the paintwork. (This sheeting effect will work best on well sealed and waxed paintwork). On a sealed/waxed car, keep rinsing until the water sheets cleanly off the paintwork and leaves behind only water beads and not flat regions of water. This makes the car essentially self drying! Rinse from the top of the car down.
Another risk stage as far as scrathes are concerned. Rather than sweeping the Mf across the paintwork to remove the water, I prefer to pat dry the car. The sweeping of the mf has more risk of inflicting scratches as stray grit particles may be picked up and inadvertantly swept across the paint inflicting swirl marks. Instead, pat dry the car by laying the mf down over the wet paintwork. Gently pat the mf, then lift off the paintwork. The mf will absorb the water to dry the paint. A thin flim of water may be left behind but this will quickly evaporate to leave a sparkling, streak free finish.
And there we have it - safe washing technique to avoid inflicting dreaded swirls into paintwork.
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