"What was I thinking?" That's the question I kept asking myself after I took on the job of detailing a bright blue Acura RSX. This particular Acura belongs to a co-worker's friend and it had not been properly detailed since the Bush administration was in office, or so that's how it appeared. The car was absolutely filthy and was in desperate need of full detail.
The featured Acura RSX is a daily driver and the condition of the paint made it obvious: bugs, tar, industrial fallout, road film, and worst of all - tree sap. This sticky substance can be a royal pain to remove if not properly equipped. The afternoon I originally inspected the car it had been sitting out in the sun and the paint was actually tacky. Again; "What was I thinking?!" That question was immediately followed by a verbal; "Sure, I'll do it."
The Acura doesn't look too dirty, right?
Let's take a closer look: Like I mentioned earlier, there was a fine mist of what appeared to be tree sap all over the vehicle. It was sticky to the touch and didn't look like it would be easy to remove.
Ewwwww, that's nasty! If that's what you're thinking after seeing those pictures, we're on the same page. I'm an advocate of working smart, and not hard, so out came the big guns - which in this case turned out to be Chemical Guys Citrus Wash N Gloss, a Half Gallon Foam Wash Gun, Grit Guard Dual Bucket Washing System and a bottle of P21S Total Auto Wash - to make cleaning the vile paint on this daily driver a walk in the park.
If you're not familiar with a Foam Wash Gun, you should be, as this is a must-have tool for those who want to cut their wash time in half. The Foam Wash Gun (available in quart and half gallon sizes) enables you to cover the vehicle in a thick blanket of frothy foam when used with the appropriate car wash shampoo. This thick layer of foam clings to your vehicle's horizontal and vertical surfaces, loosening dirt and road grime so when your mitt touches the surface, less effort is required to remove the dirt and grime. Pair a Foam Wash Gun with a Grit Guard Dual Bucket Washing System and you'll be maximizing your wash time. Work smart, not hard.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of the Foam Wash Gun, you need to use a shampoo that was designed for high-output foam. When I think foam, two shampoos in particular immediately come to mind: Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss and Detailer's Xtreme Foam Formula Shampoo. The latter is the more luxurious wash of the two and produces more foam than any shampoo available. It is also packed full of gloss enhancers and conditioning agents that pamper your vehicle's paint. The former, Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss, is known for its tremendous cleaning ability and has been a favorite among professional detailers since its inception. In the case of the filthy Acura, Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss and its impressive cleaning power was the obvious choice.
I added four ounces of Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss to the half-gallon Foam Wash Gun and four ounces (1 oz. per gallon) into my wash bucket. This combination yields unsurpassed cleaning power, but it wasn't quite enough for the Acura...
P21S Total Auto Wash is one of those products I couldn't live without. This citrus-based degreaser can clean anything that's dirty or grimy. It has no harsh chemical smell, it rinses freely and no film of any type will be present on your vehicle's paint or glass after using it.
I'm a fan of clear dispenser bottles so I emptied a bottle of P21S Total Auto Wash into a Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Professional Spray Bottle. These bottles are constructed of a rugged plastic and they include a high-output chemical resistant sprayer.
I gave the Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss a couple minutes to sit on the paint before spraying each panel with P21S Total Auto Wash. Spray a panel and wash it using a Supreme Micro Chenille Wash Mitt; that was my technique. I was also sure to rinse the mitt in the dedicated rinse bucket with a Grit Guard insert after each panel to prevent cross-contamination. When the car was clean I gave it a thorough rinse and towel dried it using a Cobra Guzzler. If you can't believe it's that simple, start believing!
Thanks to two superb chemicals and a handy car washing tool, minimal agitation was required from the Supreme Micro Chenille Wash Mitt to remove the bugs, tar, road grime and the sticky mist of tree sap that completely covered the vehicle. I was left with squeaky clean paint that was in dire need of being polished. Fortunately enough for the Acura, that was the next step.
Let's fast forward and article or two and see how the Acura turned out after being polished. Featured Products