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Car Care & Detailing
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
golf_234
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Machine Wash or Hand Wash? BMW

First let me preface this by saying. I am INCREDIBLY ocd when it comes to taking care of my car's paint. I can with 100% confidence say I have found a machine wash that doesn't harm the car *at all*, and for the most part am giving up hand washing besides full details in the summer. This is coming from a person who has read probably thousands of the detailed image threads, have friends who detail exotics, know most tricks in the book and all of my cars have had amazing paint and condition past 200k miles. This franchise just opened behind my house. I knew it was good because there is another one several miles away that I know a bunch of people go to, naturally I was a skeptic though. Until I ran into my friend who has a black e55 Mercedes, and has taken it nowhere but this place for 5 years, not a single swirl or scratch on his paint, under a detail lamp, in all light conditions. Kid you not. And his car is ALWAYS clean, as he has the advantage that it takes a fraction of the time it takes me to take care of my car. So at that point i started looking into it. The one by my house has internals that are even better than the first one - super clean, very advanced. The technology has just come a long way.
I walked though the tunnel and the positioning of all brushes, detail on the wash bay really is good. Felt the material of all brushes and it is all microfiber, with ample soap, high quality soaps, ample spray evenly about the car, wax every time, I have now been going for a few weeks and zero regret. The time saved is huge and the main point is that it keeps the car just as nice, in complete honesty. Granted i think a machine wash like this is rare, just saying, it definitely isn't black and white When i once thought it was.
This isnt an actual picture but is kind of close to what it is like.


Since i started going there, my car is clean literally all the time, can just drive there on my way home a couple times a week, a few minutes, dry with microfiber which i keep in my trunk, and on my way. Paint is still flawless, i am definitely sold here. trust me a year ago i would have thought this was absolute blasphemy and would probably have told somebody to fck off. Car is always waxed and with protectant now.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
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Takes the dirt right off.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:42 AM   #3
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Do they recycle their water or is it all fresh?
How do they keep the MF clean?


I'm just curious. I used to care a lot more about these things and was OCD about my paint, but I stopped caring as much. It will get scratched and swirled, so I just take care of it with my buffer / polishing.

Heck, I don't think I've even washed my car in 4-6 months Maybe once winter is over I will.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:42 AM   #4
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I use the cloth wash at the dealership...every car is pressure washed before going through, and detail mostly uses it...besides I have silver paint so...and if they put new bmws through it daily with no issue I guess it's fine.

I also wax the car regularly so it's alright. Any other machine wash I'll avoid.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:44 AM   #5
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Hand wash. For quick washes I use optimum no rinse. Takes very little time and it won't mar the **** out of your paint like those drive through washes can.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:46 AM   #6
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Do they recycle their water or is it all fresh?
How do they keep the MF clean?


I'm just curious. I used to care a lot more about these things and was OCD about my paint, but I stopped caring as much. It will get scratched and swirled, so I just take care of it with my buffer / polishing.

Heck, I don't think I've even washed my car in 4-6 months Maybe once winter is over I will.
All fresh, which i guess is kind of wasteful, but in complete honesty the whole system is pretty efficient, super even spray, not a drop of soap gets left on your car. I would argue probably less water than an inexperienced driveway detail. I really was pretty shocked, reason i posted this thread. I really don't know the finer details on the cloth materials but i felt them and, they definitely don't get dirty, and are very very very soft. I was pretty amazed honestly. walked through the wash bay myself.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:49 AM   #7
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Hand wash. For quick washes I use optimum no rinse. Takes very little time and it won't mar the **** out of your paint like those drive through washes can.
Trust me. I am PSYCHO about detailing. to the point it probably makes me kind of unhappy. Have hand washed for a good 5 years and am on the detailed image forum all the time/ have friends that professionally detail. have the details down to claying, polishing, sealants,waxes, the works. i can't speak for every machine wash as what you say is true for many of them, just saying i definitely found one that isn't .
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:49 AM   #8
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I used to trust drive through washes like that... until my buddy's brand new mini cooper s had the white paint on it's wheels completely stripped off by the "bumpers" that guide your car/wheels through.

While I won't take the BMW through, the truck goes through them every month or so... the tires are large enough to provide a solid cushion and it's a 14 year old SUV...
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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I know there will be people that will be super skeptical on it, i actually would have thought this was ridiculous, i mean hell i am driving around in $40,000 car not just going to ruin the thing. but honestly would challenge anyone if driving through park city to come through and drive their car through, then get the car under a detail lamp after. it is actually pretty interesting how good it is. friend has literally vermillion black e55, only place he ever takes it. paint quality like new. i couldn't believe it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:54 AM   #10
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Hand wash!!! Car washes are ****

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:58 AM   #11
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Machine in the winter, hand in the summer. It's too fvcking cold here to do anything else.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:02 AM   #12
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Hand wash!!! Car washes are ****

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Well said. I hand wash and I use the two bucket system. Bucket 1 is McGuiars Ultimate Wash & Wax. Bucket 2 is purely for rinse of lambs wool wash mit. Tires/wheels washed with separate scrubber as are wheel wells. Headlights and rocker body panels cleaned with yet another dedicated sponge. ANY sponge that is dropped is removed from rotation for fear or introducing rock, etc. Dropped sponges are put in washing machine with next load of clothes. Car is then California water bladed, followed by compressed air blown in and around mirrors, handles, seals, emblems, etc to get rid of pesky drips. Finally hand dried with micro fiber towels. Yeah - you could say its like a religion to me
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:02 AM   #13
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MF grabs the dirt. If it isn't being removed by changing out the MF for clean cloth, it is going to get dirty enough that the dirt in the MF will cause swirls.

I'm not doubting that your buddy has experienced great results, but the dirt is trapped and something has to be done to clean the MF.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
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MF grabs the dirt. If it isn't being removed by changing out the MF for clean cloth, it is going to get dirty enough that the dirt in the MF will cause swirls.

I'm not doubting that your buddy has experienced great results, but the dirt is trapped and something has to be done to clean the MF.
Exactly - machine washed MF and have 10-15 on hand. More about dabbing the water than it is a wiping motion. The waterblade gets most of the water anyway.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:09 AM   #15
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MF grabs the dirt. If it isn't being removed by changing out the MF for clean cloth, it is going to get dirty enough that the dirt in the MF will cause swirls.

I'm not doubting that your buddy has experienced great results, but the dirt is trapped and something has to be done to clean the MF.
good point. there must be something to it. i will ask the guys there the next time i stop by.. snowing here today so maybe will go after work.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:12 AM   #16
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For cars that have a value of about 7k, what does it matter?
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:22 AM   #17
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For cars that have a value of about 7k, what does it matter?
It doesn't. I think OPs car is a little more than 7k
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:27 AM   #18
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Hand wash!!! Car washes are ****

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Originally Posted by klangford View Post
Well said. I hand wash and I use the two bucket system. Bucket 1 is McGuiars Ultimate Wash & Wax. Bucket 2 is purely for rinse of lambs wool wash mit. Tires/wheels washed with separate scrubber as are wheel wells. Headlights and rocker body panels cleaned with yet another dedicated sponge. ANY sponge that is dropped is removed from rotation for fear or introducing rock, etc. Dropped sponges are put in washing machine with next load of clothes. Car is then California water bladed, followed by compressed air blown in and around mirrors, handles, seals, emblems, etc to get rid of pesky drips. Finally hand dried with micro fiber towels. Yeah - you could say its like a religion to me

promise you guys. if you want to know my actual handwash regimen

-full mcguiar's shampoo, microfiber scrubber mitt, every square mm of the car. door sills, crevaces, everything. there should not be one spec of dirt anywhere on the car after this step.
-p21s polish from detailed image, slightly damp microfiber
-clay, with water bucket constantly cleaning and kneading clay (tip from my friend who details exotics)
-second finer polish, still slightly damp.
-sealant
-wax

that is why this place interests me so much - it really gets it well., obviously won't be to the level described above, but it is so close it trips me out.
the whole process honestly takes me like 7 hours.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:33 AM   #19
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promise you guys. if you want to know my actual handwash regimen

-full mcguiar's shampoo, microfiber scrubber mitt, every square mm of the car. door sills, crevaces, everything. there should not be one spec of dirt anywhere on the car after this step.
-p21s polish from detailed image, slightly damp microfiber
-clay, with water bucket constantly cleaning and kneading clay (tip from my friend who details exotics)
-second finer polish, still slightly damp.
-sealant
-wax

that is why this place interests me so much - it really gets it well., obviously won't be to the level described above, but it is so close it trips me out.
the whole process honestly takes me like 7 hours.
The chemicals used in car washes tend to be really harsh... I'd stick with the hand washing. If you get a foam lance it would cut down on the wash time

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:33 AM   #20
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-clay, with water bucket constantly cleaning and kneading clay (tip from my friend who details exotics)
I claybar maybe every 6 months - it includes a straight household detergent wash to strip all prior wax, etc for the full clay, polish, wax routine you described. It is a labor of love and takes an entire Saturday as you described. Do you claybar each wash though? Was the regime above what you do EVERY time you wash?
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