Discussing the three bucket method and safe washing techniques.
We have successfully snow foamed our car… what now?
We have three buckets 1 contains our soap and water, one contains water and another contains a higher mix of soap/water – this is for the wheels. The idea here is to fill your mitt up with soap from bucket 1, wash a single panel and rinse any dirt and debris in the second bucket – designated the rinse bucket. This allows us to always have a clean bucket (and mitt) when returning back to wash the next panel of the vehicle which as you might guess, reduces the chance of us inflicting scratches.
When washing, we can add more foam to the car for extra lubrication but theres no need to over think this step, on a filthy car though it may be worth doing so. Start from the roof of the car and work your way down. Leave the dirtiest areas such as the tailgate, front bumper and lower sills till last.
Once we have worked our way round the car we can safely rinse it off and move on to the wheels. Many will tell you that its better to wash the wheels first but its just personal preference. Plus you can spray your wheel cleaner on the wheels and allow it to dwell while you wash the car which can be a time saver.
The third bucket as I said earlier is saved for the wheels and depending on how dirty the wheels are there are many ways to approach them. A simple two weekly maintenance wash? a standard car soap or wheel soap will do the trick. Longer than 2 weeks? A designated wheel cleaner such as Auto Finesse Imperial will work better here, tackling more grime while still being gentle to painted wheels. If your wheels are in really bad shape then you can bust out an acidic wheel cleaner or iron remover.
With the cleaner on the wheel, agitate it using your designated wheel brushes and mitts – ANYTHING THAT TOUCHES THE WHEELS SHOULD NEVER TOUCH THE PAINT. Be sure to get the arches, barrels and in behind spokes, once completed rinse each wheel off one at a time.
Time to dry the car off! This isn’t as much as an issue in Scotland as it is in other places in the world as its rarely warm enough for the water to ‘bake’ into the paint nor are water spots difficult to remove due to our water having less mineral deposits within it. However we still need to dry the car if we intend on applying any waxes or polishes to the paint.
Any good microfiber towel will do the job however the thicker dedicated drying towels often do a better job of absorbing water. Now is a good time to usea quick detailer, this adds lubrication between your drying towel and the paint which can prevent marring or scratching. As well as this it will add a little bit of protection and gloss to either untreated or waxed vehicles. Remember to use a separate towel for the wheels!
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