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      10-14-2010, 11:15 AM   #1
ManoSpeed
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Need product advice on cleaning the Z4M

So after a couple months of taking the car to automatic car washes and such I have made some arrangements with a friend to allow me to use their driveway and water hose to properly hand wash the car myself.

What is the best soap or cleaner I can use? What about sponges? Should I get a separate sponge to clean the rims? If yes, which one?
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      10-14-2010, 01:13 PM   #2
esqu1re
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You're going to get a lot of different recommendations. Just remember to use the two bucket method and, yes, use a different sponge for the rims. I just use an old cloth for the rims, but I'm sure there are better things.
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      10-14-2010, 01:48 PM   #3
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I use the No Bucket method.

I have one of those Mr. Clean devices that attaches to your garden hose and mixes soap and water to spray on the car and also allows you to rinse off the car. Its neat because you are constantly using clean and filtered water on your car.

I also go to the local dollar store and buy a ton of cheap wash mitts that I discard after each wash. That way, there is zero risk that dirt accumulation in the mitt from previous washes will scratch your paint.
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      10-14-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
dekaliber
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I've been using Optimum No Rinse with plush microfiber towels for a couple of years now with very good results. 2 gallons will wash the entire car, and I use a regular bucket of water for wheel washing. I fold the towel into quarters and use one side until it's dirty, after which I flip or fold to reveal the clean side. It ends up being usually two sides per panel. One for the small rear quarter panels and side skirts, three for the hood, working from highest point of the car down. The nice thing about ONR is that you no longer need access to a hose, although if it's REALLY dirty it's still a good idea to hose things down first as a pre-rinse.

I use smaller soft, mildew resistant sponges and a different bucket for cleaning the wheels, and it works well. If your wheels are very dirty, Sonax makes an excellent cleaner. I usually find that I still have to wipe it down after rinsing. Klasse AIO is also a great sealant to use on your wheels. Makes wiping off the brake dust much easier, and it leaves a pretty durable coat of protection against the elements.
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      10-14-2010, 03:52 PM   #5
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Two bucket method. Buy a grit guard from any detailing company. Go to Home Depot or similar and get two large buckets. Grit guards go in buckets. Clear water in one; soapy water in the other. Scrub you sponge on the grit guard in the clear water, wring in out, repeat in soapy water bucket. Do one small section of the car at a time (half hood, top, side panel) then use the rinse and soap after each section to get rid of grit. Rinse each section as you complete it (do not leave soap on the car). You'll be surprised how much grit you get after even one section. If the car is really dirty, or you have a dirty panel, bucket rinse/soap mutiple times to avoid carrying grit. Change rinse water during wash process if car is dirty--several times if really dirty. I also blast my sponge with the hose and run throught the rinse process many times after each wash and before to ensure the sponge is grit-free. The reason to use this method is that rubbing any kind of material on the car picks up grit. If you don't get that off the spong/mitt whatever it scratches the paint. Be carefull about what you use to wash with--some polyester and man-made materials scratch even if grit-free.

If you're going to wash wheels have a separate sponge/wash kit for that. It's grit city, and you never want that near the paint!

Steps:

Rinse car with clear water, let it sit, rinse again
Two bucket section by section
Blast rinse
Clear stream rinse which will pull water off car (direct from hose end--careful of the metal hardware on the hose!)
Clean Microfiber towel dry (do not rub), blot (use quality microfiber towels, cheap Costco ones/etc. will scratch).

Use these methods, and a good cleaner, sealer, wax and your paint will look good for a long time. I saw Rick Hunter's car a few weeks back. He'd had it detailed two years ago. Looked just about as good as Skelekitty's car that was detailed the day prior to the meet up! Rick used the two bucket method....it really seems to work long term.

Interesting: Zpost doesn't have detailing section. M3post does. Maybe Bimmerpost ought have a general detailing section as wash/wax/etc. is pretty much the same deal car to car rather than a mismash.

Last edited by Finnegan; 10-14-2010 at 04:00 PM.
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      10-14-2010, 05:24 PM   #6
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Definately take some time and read some threads at autopia.org. It is where the best detailers give advice and show their work. You will find it is more about the technique as so much as the product (not saying products don't make a difference, they do. But if you have bad techniques then you can use the best products in the world and your car will still not look its best).

I use the 1 bucket rinse method, which when washing the car with the mitt after I dunk it in the bucket, wash the car some and then I rinse the mitt before dunking it back in the bucket. This way the soapy water stays clean and free from dirt.

Also I use the color coordination system for my microfibers ie

Green - Windows/Gauges/Wood Trim/Radio (Anything glass or sensitive to scratches these stay extemely clean. I use Stoner's Invisible Glass for the windows.(
Orange- Wheels/Tires When washing I use Meguiars Wheel Brite or Simple Green 50/50 mix (Use Simple green only on painted or clear coated wheels, als the microfilbers are the dirtiest of the microfibers, don't uses these on anything else even after washing)
Blue- Interior (I used these with Meguairs Quick Interior Detailer etc. on the dash, console door panels etc. they usually stay very clean).
Blue Large - Engine Bay Drying and I also use Meguiars regular Quick Detailer. (I keep my engine bay clean by wiping it down with a large drying microfiber after each time I was my car.
Blue Plush - Drying (Don't forget to thoroughly do all the jams when drying).
Blue Plush - Touch up body with Meguiar Ultimate Quick Detailer in between washes.

This way the microfibers keep clean and when I do my windows I know they won't have anything on them to cause smears etc. Usually the ones I use for the wheels are dirtier. Also, wash your microfibers each time you wash your car and don't reuse them unless you have. Don't use too much detergent otherwise they make the microfibers less absorbant. Also pour in some regular vinegar (2 cups or so, not white whine vinegar or Balsanic Vinegar) Dirty microfibers cause swirls in your paint.

Also if you car is garaged, use a California Duster daily. I use it before I leave and when I return touching it up with Quick Detailer, spraying the headlights, front bumper, hood etc, where there are bugs, droppings etc. This way nothing sets into the paint. Also keeps the car very clean for a long time. (I usually don't do around the bottom or near side skirts or lower quarter panels as it is usually too dirty and not really recommended for use with the California Duster. Use the duster only on light dust not on heavy soiled areas. I also spray the moldings around the windows liberally with Quick Detailer to keep them fresh and new looking. I also touch up the windows as well.

Hope this helps. Also stay away from automatic washes. Please.
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      10-14-2010, 05:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekaliber View Post
I've been using Optimum No Rinse with plush microfiber towels for a couple of years now with very good results. 2 gallons will wash the entire car, and I use a regular bucket of water for wheel washing. I fold the towel into quarters and use one side until it's dirty, after which I flip or fold to reveal the clean side. It ends up being usually two sides per panel. One for the small rear quarter panels and side skirts, three for the hood, working from highest point of the car down. The nice thing about ONR is that you no longer need access to a hose, although if it's REALLY dirty it's still a good idea to hose things down first as a pre-rinse.
x2 on ONR. Awesome stuff especially in the winter months when you cant hose your car down
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      10-14-2010, 05:42 PM   #8
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I use this and have a single rinse bucket...

http://www.detailersdomain.com/uberfoamgunkit.aspx

These sponges.
http://www.detailersdomain.com/ubery...ashsponge.aspx

This wheel brush
http://www.detailersdomain.com/uberb...heelbrush.aspx

Car Soap.
http://www.detailersdomain.com/adams...sh1gallon.aspx

Best drying towels no joke.
http://www.detailersdomain.com/uber-...towelblue.aspx

Window Towels.
http://www.detailersdomain.com/uber-...asstowels.aspx

The wax.
http://www.detailersdomain.com/adams...utterywax.aspx
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Last edited by Thisisdudewhoru; 10-14-2010 at 05:47 PM.
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