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 Post subject: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:05 am 
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Vehicle: My17 2.5i L

Posts: 18
Location: Australia
Hi all,
I recently bought Forester and I'd like some advice on cleaning it inside and out.
It's never been a thing I've enjoyed but I'm determined to keep it in good condition.
I've found dust to be a nightmare in my previous car and I could never get cloths to clean it properly, especially in all the nooks and crannys.
Would the usual common products like armour all be ok?
What about for the exterior? I've read that sponges are no good but they're so easy!
What products are ok to use?
I notice there's lots of the ones in the packs that you find in Kmart or super cheap auto etc.
I'm happy to spend a bit more but not outrageous amounts.
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:50 am 
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Vehicle: MY11 S-Edition - SWP

Posts: 1129
Location: Sydney
The below covers wash, clay and wax.

For interior, do you have cloth or leather?

Exterior Details:

Let’s start with the basics of maintenance first. This will be the key thing to ensure that your paint stays the same. This is most especially important for any car these days as the most amount of damage happens to the paintwork during the wash process if done incorrectly (sounds complicated, but really isn’t).

Washing – Most important subject to maintain your paintwork as well as any wax, paint protection or products that are on your car is the correct way to wash & dry the car.

2 Bucket Method
- 1 Bucket with pH neutral wash shampoo
- Second bucket with clean water
Using a microfibre wash mitt, wash a panel of the car following off rinsing in the bucket with clean water. Following back to the bucket with shampoo onto your next panel and so on. Overall shouldn’t take you any longer to do this!

Microfibre Wash Mitts – used for the simple reason that any dirt from the vehicle is captured into the fibre’s itself and not on the surface of the mitt, so not to drag over the paintwork and mar/damage your car. A sponge is not safe to use and will harm the paint very quickly causing those common “spider webs” and “hologram” marks you see on many cars driving around these days.

Microfibre Waffle Weave Drying Towel or Microfibre Chamois – whilst a waffle weave towel does not absorb as much as a chamois, it is definitely one of the safest way to dry the vehicle, again the same principle applies with any dirt that may have been missed or dust particles that capture into the waffle weave itself and not over the paint surface. This would be the safest practice to avoid any chances of leaving fine marring over your paint during the drying process. I use microfibre chamois on the windows.

For protection for your Paintwork:

A Synthetic Wax (polymer for example) such as Duragloss can last from 6, 8 or 10-12 months and sometimes even longer. A synthetic will offer typically a ‘wet look finish’ (more reflective as such) and leaves the paint very slick.

Before you apply any sealants, or waxes you have to remember that they will only look good and give you the durability that it can provided you have done the correct preparation. By this we mean it is highly recommended to wash the car down with a good all purpose cleaner (APC), such as from Mint, to remove any existing products that are currently on the vehicle. An APC wash is not acidic and non-caustic and will not harm your paint, this will simply leave the paint bare for the next step which is clay barring. To clay bar the paintwork is important to remove any contaminants off the surface before you apply your paint protection, sealant or carnauba wax.

Providing you follow the preparation steps your protection will offer the full benefits such as looks and durability that it possibly can. Failing to prepare your paint or applying a product over another old product can mean it may not protect correctly, look any better or more so actually last!

So in short;
- Wash car with APC (removing all previous waxes or product from dealership or you have applied yourself)

- Clay bar car (using a quality lubricant, this will remove all contaminants from the surface and leave the car with a glass-like smooth finish).

- Apply your sealant

- And maintain!

Below is stuff you could get to clean your car. I get my stuff from Car Care Products (www.carcareproducts.com.au).

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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:35 am 
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Vehicle: My17 2.5i L

Posts: 18
Location: Australia
Thanks so much for the extensive advice!

I'm just wondering whether the normal car wash products that are sold in mainstream shops are ok or are they best avoided? Not sure what they're called but they often come in a pack and they're cheap.

For the interior, do you use armour all and a cloth? Or is this not good?

I never knew there were so many options!

Btw, I'm not wanting to spend heaps but happy to spend more on something that makes a difference.
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:11 am 
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Vehicle: MY11 S-Edition - SWP

Posts: 1129
Location: Sydney
Mainstream shop stuff is fine - gets the job done.

You may like to consider polishing your car assuming it has a few scratches and swirls.

For interior I suggest you avoid armour as it leaves a residue. Something like 303 protector is better. A cloth to wipe surfaces and cotton buds for air vents :)

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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:41 am 
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Vehicle: My17 2.5i L

Posts: 18
Location: Australia
Polishing my car?

As in me doing it or professionally?

This is not my area of expertise!


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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:00 pm 
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Vehicle: MY11 S-Edition - SWP

Posts: 1129
Location: Sydney
With car cleaning you can go from never washing your car to spending $100,000 on some wax to make your car look shiny! The effort and dollars can be minimal or can take a lot of time and a lot of money. I enjoy cleaning/detailing my car - most don’t. If you are happy with how your car looks then just give it a quick wash and enjoy. If you want it to look better an annual polish is great. You can polish by hand, buy a polisher and do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you. Or not do it all.

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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:59 pm 
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I Say: Please install indicators on ALL cars!!
Vehicle: MY07 XT - Silver

Posts: 662
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
great info jonp :thumbs:

One question though...is the car wet after the APC is applied? do you have to dry it before doing the clay bar?

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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:18 pm 
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Vehicle: My17 2.5i L

Posts: 18
Location: Australia
Can I ask what APC is?
And clay bar?


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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:24 pm 
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Vehicle: MY11 S-Edition - SWP

Posts: 1129
Location: Sydney
Hey dimsim. Just add some APC to your bucket of water rather than using car wash. Wash the car as normal. A quick dry. This will result in removing dirt and also the APC will remove any old wax therefore leaving the car ready for claying.

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 Post subject: Re: Car cleaning advice please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:25 pm 
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I Say: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.
Vehicle: 03XS Auto-Red;Mercedes Valente

Posts: 22514
Location: Central Coast, NSW
Serena wrote:
Can I ask what APC is?
And clay bar?

jonp wrote:
... wash the car down with a good all purpose cleaner (APC), such as from Mint, to remove any existing products that are currently on the vehicle. An APC wash is not acidic and non-caustic and will not harm your paint, this will simply leave the paint bare for the next step which is clay barring. To clay bar the paintwork is important to remove any contaminants off the surface before you apply your paint protection, sealant or carnauba wax...

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