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Thread: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car


    In my first and second editions of my how-to book I teach two ways to wash a car,

    The Aggressive Approach - This is how you wash a neglected car before you're going to machine buff it.

    The Gentle Approach - This is how you wash a car you or someone else has already buffed out.

    You need to now the difference between the two approaches and when to use them. If you detail cars for money.... you need to educate your customer AFTER you've detailed their car to use the Gentle Approach so they don't undo your hard work and then blame you because swirls and scratches came back.


    This Camaro is rough!
    I don't think this Camaro has been properly washed and waxed for maybe 10 years or longer as it's pretty rough, not just rough looking but rough feeling to the touch.

    So we're going to use the aggressive approach to wash and and also My Classic Car filmed this for their TV show to share with their audience some of the things you learn when you attend our Detailing Boot Camp Classes.

    I also used this car as a Training Car for my last class because it's

    A: Neglected
    B: White


    Chemical Decontamination - Removing Iron Particles in the Paint
    And I always have a neglected white vehicle to demonstrate the importance of removing iron contamination with a product like Iron X.


    Mechanical Decontamination - Removing Bonded Contaminants like Overspray Paint
    I also show how to speed up production detailing by mechanically decontaminating the paint during the washing process using Nanoskin products.

    One method does not replace the other method you need to do both if you're working on a neglected vehicle.



    Without further ado, here's some pictures from the first day of the September 2014 Detailing Boot Camp Class.



    Wheels & Tires First
    My classes and books always teach to wash wheels and tires first, to find out why see page 15 of either The Art of Detailing or the second edition, The Complete Guide to a Show Car Shine




    This is a lug nut cleaning brush




    Simply place it over the lug nut and clean the lug nuts and the barrels at the same time...




    This is a Wheel Woolie used for cleaning in hard to reach areas...




    After washing the wheels and tires rinse well....






    Start at the top and work your way down
    After washing the wheels and tires first, next start at the top and work your way down. This is also explained in detail in my first two books.


    Bleeding like a Stuck Pig
    The first step for our aggressive approach is to chemically decontaminate the paint using Iron X. Here you can see the white paint on this Camaro bleeding like a stuck pig.










    Use the Foam Gun to Foam the Car
    Next we use the foam gun to slather the car's body panels with car wash foam.









    Wash body panels and glass
    Next we use Microfiber Chenille Wash Mitts to loosen surface dirt so it can be rinsed off.

    Here you can see Richard, the Cameraman from My Classic Car capturing the car washing process.




    Get her clean boys!







    Rinse off all the loose dirt and soap suds
    Next the Camaro was fully and thoroughly rinsed to remove all the loosened dirt off the car and out of all the cracks and crevices. This is IMPORTANT if you're going to machine buff a car.






    Mechanically Decontaminate the Paint with Nanoskin Wash Mitts and Towels
    Nanoskin Wash Mitts and Towels work great for removing bonded contaminants. They come in Fine and Medium Grade. One benefit is if you drop either on the ground you can simply rinse it off and continue using it. If you drop detailing clay you must throw it away.

    It's important that you first wash and RINSE the car to remove all the loose dirt otherwise you risk instilling scratches. The point being you don't want to rub the polymerized rubber surface of the Nanoskin product over paint that still has dirt floating on it from the wash process so RINSE first - then use the Nanosking products to remove the bonded contaminants.

    In this example we use the Foam Gun to foam the car and use the foam as our lubricant for the Nanoskin Wash Mitts and Towels.









    Rinse a Second Time
    Then rinse the car a second time to remove all the contaminants removed by the Nanoskin products.
    (No pictures)


    Dry the car
    After all the washing and decontaminating is finished dry any standing water off the car to avoid water spots. Here the class is using the Guzzler Waffle Weave Drying Towels.







    This car is clean. This car is chemically decontaminated. This car is mechanically decontaminated.

    That's how you use the Aggressive Approach to wash a car.

    This car is now ready to machine buff.


    suf420 likes this.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member refreshauto's Avatar
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    Re: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    i have been following this method for all my washes since i attended the boot camp. my customers really like the end results from this approach.

  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    Quote Originally Posted by refreshauto View Post

    i have been following this method for all my washes since i attended the boot camp. my customers really like the end results from this approach.

    And you my friend are on top of your game!

    Pictures: Detailing Classes at Autogeek - May 2014





    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
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    Click on a book to get your own copy.



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    Re: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    Mike - some of us live in water restricted areas where normal rinse at home is not permitted. Suggestions for us ONR/rinseless folks to use as an alternative?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tato's Avatar
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    Re: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    Marvelous, I'm sure to follow your steps when preparing a car for polishing / full detail.

    Preparation takes time, but if you're after doing things the proper way a solid basis is mandatory to avoid headaches in middle and the end.

    For sure I'm grateful for all effort you (Mike) put into sharing 'Smart' working ideas, noticeable in the latest series of threads you're releasing lately.

    Thank you,

    Kind Regards.
    “Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy”

    ― Isaac Newton

  6. #6
    Senior Member Caleb@ImpeccableImage's Avatar
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    Re: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    Very nice Mike. The prep work is just as important as the correction process.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KMdef9's Avatar
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    Re: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    When I use iron-x, I would rinse after letting the product sit for 5-7 minutes, I don't agitate the product. It seems like you guys went right into the 2BM after letting the iron-x work. Is that way more effective than rinsing right away?

  8. #8
    Senior Member ekennett's Avatar
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    The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    Mike, are you spraying iron x on a dry dirty car, letting it sit, then foaming and going to the 2bm? I usually will wash the car first then spray iron x on the rinsed but still wet paint. Do you get better results doing it your way?


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    Senior Member Rmd's Avatar
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    Re: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    Quote Originally Posted by ekennett View Post
    Mike, are you spraying iron x on a dry dirty car, letting it sit, then foaming and going to the 2bm? I usually will wash the car first then spray iron x on the rinsed but still wet paint. Do you get better results doing it your way?
    Related question - If car is washed first, is is preferable to apply the IronX to the paint when it is still wet (as stated above) or should the car be dried first and IronX applied to clean but dry paint?

  10. #10
    Senior Member KMdef9's Avatar
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    Re: The Aggressive Approach to Washing a Car

    I wash the dirt off first, then iron-x when it's wet, especially if it's heavily soiled. And I don't see a point in risking scratching anymore than what's needed, so I don't dry it in between.

    But I wouldn't mind hearing a precise breakdown to Mike's process.

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