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H2O in hydrant - K9P out
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know there is a Winter Prep thread, but my questions are specifically about paint protection during the winter. I live in a snow belt, so regularly wake up to heavy mounds of snow on the car.

1) What is the best brush (or way) to get all this snow off a car?
2) Obviously too cold to hand wash, so what is the best way to wash our car? Gas stations? Pressure wash and brush? Now that I think about it, I guess I could bring my own bucket and soap to a heated (?) pressure wash/brush place.

Any expertise out there?
 

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I Drive Too Much
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I prep my car with a good coat of Nu Finish 2000 just prior to the snow season for a little added protection. Any known stone chips in the paint should be touched up before the winter sets in.

I never use a brush on the paint surface itself, but will use it to remove snow to about 1/4 inch. My car is black so the suns rays will usually heat the paint enough to remove the rest of the snow pretty quick. To clean the salty crap off the car I will visit a self service car wash to rinse it off at least weekly. My car won't see soap again until the weather is above freezing temps.

I won't say this is the best strategy, but it works for me.
 

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Car Care Ambassador
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Lots of experience.... been doing it for 50 years.

First off there is no safe way to clean snow off .. soon as the snow slide then it takes the dirt on the surface of the car with it potentially scratching it.

So the cleaner the car is kept the less sctatching from snow removal. I usually try to remove all the snow but the last inch or so and let nature do it.

All I do with mine, unless I get a warm enough day to properly hand wash it in front of the house, is use the pressure wand to remove as much crud as possible and thats it .

I used to do the hand wash in the heated wash bay with my own pail/soap etc. but I was also drying the car and I found because you can't properly rinse the car with a pressure wand I was leaving grains of sand on the car and my drying towel was scratching.

In the last 5 years or so all I have been doing is the wand rinse as posted above and occasionally a pail wash in thier bay BUT I never dry it. A good wash bay will have filtered water that won't water spot.

Another thing I do , and am in the process of doing right now, is I use electrical tape to cover the front of the car in the same area a bra would cover. This will help eliminate all but the larger rock chips and all the hazing from then road sand. I do all the front including the grill chrome. I also do the mirrors, the "A" pillers, the leading edge of the roof.. first 2", the rocker panels, the lip of all 4 wheel wells and the area on the 1/4 panel behind the rear wheel where the tire throws up all the rocks.

In the spring the heat of the sun will warm the tape and it peels right off. The key is not to stretch the tape when applying it or it will pull back leaving residue. Speaking of ... there is very little residue at all when removing and what there is can be easily removed with Goo-Gone.

Might look a littl odd all winter but even after a few road trips last winter I had 1 small rock chip in the tape covered areas and no hazing .. front looks like new .


The tape is about $1 roll at Walmart and it takes 5 or 6 rolls and a couple hours to do. So if your anal .....
 

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Interesting technique Jesstzn.

During winter I use optimum no rinse in my garage. It's a rinseless wash meaning you just need a bucket of water with the solution mixed in. I use warm water to keep my hands warm. Before i was though I head over to the coin OP and spray the heavier dirt and salt off the vehicle than head home and wash the car as described above.
 

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Car Care Ambassador
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Interesting technique Jesstzn.

During winter I use optimum no rinse in my garage. It's a rinseless wash meaning you just need a bucket of water with the solution mixed in. I use warm water to keep my hands warm. Before i was though I head over to the coin OP and spray the heavier dirt and salt off the vehicle than head home and wash the car as described above.
ONR is great stuff and I use it a lot ... here is some interesting info about it

ONR: The Definitive Thread
ONR Dilutions (Per Label):
Wash solution: 1oz per 2 gallons
Clay lube: 2oz per gallon
Quick detailer: 8oz per gallon (updated from 6oz on earlier version)
ONR Directions (Per Label):
1. Add 1oz to 2 gallons of water in a wash bucket
2. Soak wash media in solution and wash vehicle in sections
3. Dry each section two clean towels consecutively
Alternate Method w/Presoak (Thanks SUPERBEE364 and EXCELDETAIL)
1. Spray down each panel with QD strength ONR. (pump type garden sprayer)
2. Wipe each panel down gently with a dripping wet MF from the ONR bucket.
3. Rinse and squeeze out the MF, get it dripping wet again, and redo the same panel.
4. Dry the panel with a clean MF followed by a second MF
(Sup prefers to use distilled water exclusively, too.)
No Rinse Guide With Pics by:Excel Detail
FAQs (Thanks Dr. G, BENCE & ANTHONY O.):
1. Why does it feel slimy and not foam?: ONR should feel somewhat slimy, as this provides lubrication/encapsulation which carries away the unwanted dirt particles from the surface. This is a good slime.
2. Why is my wash media so much dirtier than when I do a traditional wash?: ONR binds the dirt to the wash media intentionally. You should change mitts as needed. They can then be soaked in regular detergent to release the dirt before rinsing or washed in the machine.
3. What are the environmental advantages?: Much less water is used by eliminating the rinsing step, not to mention on average only 2 gallons are used to wash vs. 6-10 gallons with the two bucket method (not including rinsing). Also, with a regular wash the mitt will release the dirt into the (usually 5 gallon X 2) rinse bucket, it would likely end in the storm drains when you dumped the buckets. With the ONR wash you can wash your mitts in your machine and dump the remainder of the 2 gallons of solution into the sink or toilet where the dirt goes to the right place where water can be treated/purified. Optimum Products also come packaged in HDPE bottles (which are one of the few widely recyclable plastics)
4. Should I still use the two-bucket method to prevent marring?: ONR softens water, so the bigger particles just sink to the bottom of the bucket. It’s like having a built-in grit guard in the wash solution. Smaller particles end up in the wash media.
5. Is there any advantage to using DI/distilled water to make the solution?: Softer water cooperates well with ONR. ONR's actives bond to the minerals of hard waters, therefore you may add more ONR to harder waters. DI/distilled water have no such minerals and the cleaning/protecting power of ONR can be exploited without weakening. These kind of waters will feel slimier than tap water.
6. My ONR Clay lube lost its color, will it still do the job or is it ruined?: ONR may lose its color when the sun hits it directly, but this won't affect its performance.
7. My car is really dirty, should I use more of the concentrate?: Using significantly more than the recommended dosage won't multiply ONR's performance; it will work effectively with the recommended amounts. You can still fine-tune the dosage to your exact needs (soiling of the vehicle, water hardness, wash media type, etc.).
(1 oz per gallon vs 1 oz per 2 gallons)
Thank you for bringing up this question. The polymers in No Rinse have reactive groups that bond and trap dirt particles making the dirt particles virtually non-abrasive. They also bond to oily particles and emulsify them into water. The latter is equivalent to the cleaning action from soaps which also work by emulsifying oil particles into water. However, with soap there is no interaction with dirt. This is why adding No Rinse to a regular wash also helps protect the paint from dirt particles.
The No Rinse polymers also bond to all automotive surfaces and create a slick surface and act as a barrier to protect paint from marring. That is something that soap will not provide since surfactants in soaps have no affinity for painted or other automotive surfaces.
When you use 1 oz. of No Rinse in 1 or 2 gallons of water for your wash at the molecular level this provides hundreds of billions of polymer molecules to do what was said above. Additional product will not be necessary except if you are using tap water that contains high levels of minerals such as calcium hydroxide or silicates. In these cases some of the polymers will bond to these minerals and take them out of solution therefore more product might be necessary to compensate for this effect. This is another reason why adding No Rinse to a regular car wash soap improves the results when using tap water.
For claying, the recommended level is 2 oz. per gallon, however, the actual product usage is far less. For instance if you are using 16 oz. of clay lube to clay a car, at this dilution you are actually putting 1/4 oz. of No Rinse on the surface. Same thing goes for using No Rinse as a quick detailer.
These levels were of course tested for several months and hundreds of washes of heavily soiled cars before we started offering No Rinse three years ago. I hope this helps answer your question. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Thanks again.
Dr. G (copied from Optimum Forums Ask Dr. G section)
8. Can ONR be used to clean windows and interiors? Yes, ONR can be used for an interior and exterior glass cleaner. It can be used at the regular QD mix.....a bit stronger if you're doing nasty windows and a bit less if doing more regular upkeep type cars.
If you notice streaks and smears then you need to cut it back with water.
ONR Technique (Thanks SCOTTWAX):
Body: YouTube -


Engine: http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...ne-detail.html
Claying:
Touch-ups: YouTube -

ONR Wash Media Threads:
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...o-you-use.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...-onr-mitt.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...onr-media.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...onr-media.html
ONR Capabilities Threads:
http://www.autopia.org/forum/click-b...ed-limits.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/click-b...nr-thread.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...silverado.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...-onr-pics.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/click-b...-onr-time.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...-stunning.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...imony-onr.html
http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-det...cs-inside.html
 

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Hey jesstzn would you be able to take a picture of the car your covering with electrical tape? Just curious to see how it looks.

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Just plasti dip yur car guys haha lol
 

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That's a really interesting approach Jess. One thing though: should one cover the bumper too? They're made of plastic so it's not like it will rust.

I just don't know what to do this winter. I don't have a garage (no space) and I really dread paying $11 every week to wash the car at the gas station.

Touch-less car washes don't even eliminate road film. And I also worry about the chemicals they use potentially stripping the wax right off the paint.

The closest self wash place is a 20 km drive.


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Car Care Ambassador
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That's a really interesting approach Jess. One thing though: should one cover the bumper too? They're made of plastic so it's not like it will rust.



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The bumper is covered .... on the front end everything that abra would cover is taped over. BTW I will run a bra on occasional road trips and you never have to worry about the bra scuffing the paint.
 

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H2O in hydrant - K9P out
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Discussion Starter #11
Lots of experience.... been doing it for 50 years.

...

Oh yes, I remember you Jesstzn. I was hoping you would chime in. Thanks for the info. As usual, based in facts, well explained, and thorough.

The Yoda of washing cars you are. :eusa_clap:
 

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Wow. That looks very slick! I like it. Now I can see why you said it takes about 5-6 hours. You either have alot of patience or you really love to keep a clean car. Or both. You're awesome jesstzn! I always read any post I see of yours because I know it had good info.

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Wow. That looks very slick! I like it. Now I can see why you said it takes about 5-6 hours. You either have alot of patience or you really love to keep a clean car. Or both. You're awesome jesstzn! I always read any post I see of yours because I know it had good info.

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Actually all in all its no more than 3 hours over a few days.
 

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Funny story about this whole "snow" stuff. I moved to Michigan from Texas a couple of years back. Had heard of this mysterious white devil called snow, but never had actually seen it. Well, it snowed...and snowed for days. Um, no one told me this stuff just stays on the ground until spring. Anyway, fearing to drive in the snow, I just left my Mazda 3 outside for three days while I took the bus. While it didn't get buried, it was covered in snow completely.

Protip: if you don't wipe that stuff off it hardens and turns to ice. :/

anyway, was late for class and had to drive rather than the bus. Um, digging car out of parking space sucks. The supposedly soft looking snow on my car that I thought I could jut easily brush off, was rock solid. After scraping off my windows so I could see out of em, I thought it would be a good idea to get as much of the stuff off the body as possible, so I started scraping the ice off the roof. Only after about 10 mins did I think that plastic scraper on paint was prolly not a good idea so I stopped. Lucky my dumb*** didn't get down to the metal.

lesson: don't let snow turn to ice on your car, don't use a plastic scraper on anything but windows, leave an hour early for everything cause all that prep can take a lot of time, and invest in a snow shovel because a long handled plastic scraper is not sufficient for digging your car out of anything. Oh yea, and just leave any layer of snow/ice on your car because removing it everyday is way too much effort, only remove the fluffy stuff so you don't blind the dude behind you.
 

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How cold is too cold to wash a car with only a high pressure washer?No drying
 

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In the winter here a hose and bucket wash are impossible.I can run a hose from inside and use my own power washer with a car soap dispenser then rinse.My car is covered with salt and dirt from a sleet/frozen rain storm last thursday.The high temp now is 15 tomorrow 29.
 

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In the winter here a hose and bucket wash are impossible.I can run a hose from inside and use my own power washer with a car soap dispenser then rinse.My car is covered with salt and dirt from a sleet/frozen rain storm last thursday.The high temp now is 15 tomorrow 29.
Warm water in a couple buckets.or maybe your garage if you have one.
A pressure washer granted your talking about a motorized pressure washer,will basically be like sand blasting the car.


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