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I'm curious as to what has been the best car wash members have used? This summer we were in Baltimore for a cruise. When we returned my 2014 Traverse (black) had a lovely layer of dust on it from being parked at the cruise port for fourteen days. I did a online search and found Glen Burnie Car Wash II. I headed over there while my wife and son did some back to school shopping. Very impressed with the features of the car wash facility. What amazing ones have members found in your area? Around here the selection is good but none with the Glen Burnie selection of cleaning options.
 

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Never EVER use a car wash with bristles brushes etc that scrape away and scratch your paint. Power washing only. So important especially with black cars
 

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I'm in Seattle. Have been using Brown Bear car wash since the first day. It takes about 1 minute to complete the automated washing cycle. I only saw cloth.
 

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Only use my bucket or touch-less. Coming from up north with all the salt and having a red car turn white Using car wash with brush would be trouble.
 

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Sorry, this is an old thread. But you gotta know..........

I have owned a carwash (touchless) self serve, and have worked for a
company that operates many full serve car washes. I can tell you that
none of them are good for your car's finish.

The friction of brushes or spinning cloth rollers is obvious as to the potential
damage and swirl marks, as it rubs the dirt into the paint before it removes it.

What most people don't understand is how the touchless washes remove the
dirt. The high pressure nozzles cannot do the job alone. What those washes
use is a combination of presoak chemicals that are very caustic. First the
car is covered in a very acidic chemical. These very low PH soaps use
hydrofluoric acid. They will burn the #[email protected]%^ out of your hand, and they
don't just wash off with water, you have to neutralize it with a very high PH (base)
solution. When the second presoak is applied to the vehicle, the reaction
from the change from low to high PH loosens the grip of the dirt somewhat, so
the high pressure water can complete the process of removing it from the car.

Furthermore, the process is marginal unless the vehicle has a really good wax job.
If you go to a full service wash like this, the attendants will dry the car with towels
and they rub off any remaining dirt which also causes swirl marks.

Even brush car washes use the caustic chemicals because they produce nicer looking results.

I never use car washes and prefer to hand wash in my driverway, however even using mild
soaps, clean cloths, and lots of water, you are still rubbing dirt into the finish. You MUST
keep the vehicle waxed, and if it's a dark color, you may still need to polish it occasionally
to remove swirl marks.

When the winter comes and the car is covered in salt, I guess it's a judgement call as
to whether the carwash or the salt is worse for the vehicle when you can't do it by hand.
 

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Above is exactly why I've only hand washed my cars for the past 40 years. Always have an active water spigot in the garage to flush the salt in Winter, especially getting the areas behind the rear bumper, brake lines and top of gas tank (never touched by car washes) where it will eat at the fittings. And no swirl marks here!





Forgot two points:



They also use recycled water and good luck if they ever change the filters, just remove or bypass and spray the grit from the previous mud covered Jeep onto the next sucker



The high pressure air blows that soap and caustic cleaner behind all the stick-on emblems, windshield, sunroof, door, trunk and other weather seals slowly degrading the sealant over time.




Bonus - Also on 18+ and others without a gas cap - wonder how much of that crap air pressure forces underneath and past the spring loaded flapper?????
 

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Summer. By hand with a mitt and a wax solution.i wipe the car with a chamee and never wash in the plain sun . Winter I go to the car wash the one that you insert money and rinse the salt and inside the fenders and under. I never use the pressure on full force setting. Local car wash I never used them and will never.
 

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90 percent of the time I wash at home--bucket and microfiber cloth, using Blue Coral car wash liquid; it's mild and doesn't strip away wax and sealants, purports to add protectant as well. I very, very infrequently take it to a touchless car wash; will do so less frequently now after reading skregal1 comments regarding the chemical used. When I have used the car wash, I have always opted for the highest level that sprays a clear coat protector after the wash; maybe that has had a neutralizing effect on the harsh chemicals from the wash (grasping at straws!) .

I have used Meguiars Detailing Spray in the past with great success. Last year I tried using TopCoat F1 as a sealant; Iiked the "slick" finish that it provided after clay bar treatments on our Camaro. It seemed to wear of relatively quickly and washes off completely if anything other than water is used in cleaning. I have just picked up some Mothers CMX Ceramic Coating and applied it to the Camaro and the Traverse; application is very easy--much like using a detailing spray. i will have to update later with results as to its durability and lasting effects. I am pleased with the depth of shine that it provides.
 

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I really like this stuff. It's pretty cheap at Costco. It also smells really good!

I take a microfiber towel and dump some right in the middle and fold the towel so the soap is trapped deep inside. Then I hose down the car and hose down the towel and go to work. The soap inside is on a some kind of "time released" deal so you never have to apply more soap. Just occasionally give it a quick squirt with the hose to keep it really wet. I can wash the whole Traverse in 5 minutes using this method.

Then squeegee it dry with a silicone blade. That takes about 3 minutes and gets 98% of the water off before it spots. Then do the final wipe down with another microfiber towel. Done!. Wash and dry in 10 minutes.

9064

9065
 

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I used to use one of the silicon blades to remove excess water until a biker buddy showed me how they do it: a leaf blower! Gets all the water out of the nooks and crannies, from the back of the mirrors, out of the tail light recesses, from the doors, grill areas, and the tires/wheels. I know--you're going to say it will blow dirt and crap into the paint as well; I haven't had an issue in the almost 10 years I've been doing it. Works for me!
 

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I used to use one of the silicon blades to remove excess water until a biker buddy showed me how they do it: a leaf blower! Gets all the water out of the nooks and crannies, from the back of the mirrors, out of the tail light recesses, from the doors, grill areas, and the tires/wheels. I know--you're going to say it will blow dirt and crap into the paint as well; I haven't had an issue in the almost 10 years I've been doing it. Works for me!
Especially if you're wax/sealant is in good shape. The water starts to stick when the coating wears off.
 
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