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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, as many know I'm still quite new to the community and seeking wonderful tips. Anywho, I'm most certain that there are posts and threads concerning this topic, but this thread is for those (who like myself) would rather be involved in a thread from the beginning than read 10 pages to just get caught up.

Anyways, share some of your favorite car washing techniques for the Solstice (or any car for that matter), what you find works best, what equipment used, and what to avoid or be careful of!

Some of my techniques: Wash from the top and the back of the car to the front, the reasons are from a few articles online I read on better car washing habits. Long story short, try and wash the car in a cool and shady area, dry it part by part while you're washing (wash the back, then dry, then wash the left side, then dry, etc) and to polish and wax ~2 times a year.

Some concerns I had regarding the Solstice, what material is the canvas for our tops made of and how durable is it? Will soaking it and/or scrubbing it cause damage, or will soap fade the naturally dark black and make it more gray, and other information concerning this canvas. Also, how would you go about washing the wheels for the best possible effect? I have a little rim cleaner I have bought, but do you guys prefer a specific brand?

Thanks!
 

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mehran,

You really need to take the time and go thru the older threads. there was some very good techniques as well as several products listed and we all already took the time then to write our response.
 

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Good tips. I always use two buckets, one for wash and one for rinse. I do the order just as you do and the wheels last. Interior is done first though. Twice a year I clean and condition the seats. Once maybe twice I take the wheels off and clean the inside, also clean up the calipers. Claybar before winter, polish 1-2 times a year and wax once a year, maybe twice. Car soap will not fade the top as long as you thoroughly rinse off and condition the canvas. 303 or Ragtop is highly recommended for the canvas. Lightly scrub with a brush but a mitt works for me. Top hardly ever gets dirty. Soap and water for the rims, window cleaner if it needs it but my car gets washed at least once a week so that is hardly and issue unless it rains an awful lot. NEVER use chrome polish on your chrome rims, it will go through the coating protecting the chrome.
 

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I will tell you one thing that was not mentioned. If you have tinted windows, do NOT use windex on them. they will turn purple over time. use water with a drop or 2 of soap in a spray bottle. You can rub it lightly with a soft cloth or old t-shirt if you have a dirty spot but to finish. spray the window and use a squeegee to wipe it dry.
 

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  1. Get a membership at the Wash Tub
  2. Relax in the A/C while they wash your car
  3. ?????
  4. Profit
NO!!!!!! NEVER use a commercial carwash if you want to keep it looking nice!!!!! Only do it by hand! ALL of your automatic car washes (unless touchless) create scratches in the paint! They are really noticeable on black cars!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
NO!!!!!! NEVER use a commercial carwash if you want to keep it looking nice!!!!! Only do it by hand! ALL of your automatic car washes (unless touchless) create scratches in the paint! They are really noticeable on black cars!!!!
Exactly what Ghost said! Also in addition, don't use a shirt or anything that is not a car washing mitt with microfibers for your car. Even the smoothest shirt or material WILL leave your car with minor scratches and that circle water remains. I bought a $2-$3 microfiber mitt at Walmart and the results even shocked my parents. It dries SUPER WELL and is durable. Just remember to throw in the dryer to get the longest possible usage out of it. Also, I like to just park in the shade, take a regular cloth to wash my car with (no idea if this scratches, but as the car is wet I'm guessing there is a slight buffer effect to the micro-uneveness in the cloth) and just to lightly go over my car for minor bird poop or pollen or anything else before washing. Also rinse our entire car before doing the mini wash and then do a deep wash. Remember to keep wetting your car unless you are immediately about to dry.

Question: what is the canvas made of and is it durable enough with soaking it?

(Sorry TX, I know I should read, but I'm more of a learner by answering my questions sort of guy) :/
 

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Also, I like to just park in the shade, take a regular cloth to wash my car with (no idea if this scratches, but as the car is wet I'm guessing there is a slight buffer effect to the micro-uneveness in the cloth) and just to lightly go over my car for minor bird poop or pollen or anything else before washing.
I would never try and wipe off my car before washing it. especially with pollen. it will scratch it for sure.
 

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I knew what you were talking about seltzer.

Rob,

That is nice of you to take the time and post all of those links. EVERYTHING one needs to know about washing cars is in those links. However, I'm not sure how helpful all that will be to him cause...
(Sorry TX, I know I should read, but I'm more of a learner by answering my questions sort of guy) :/
 

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Car wash procedure:

1. A clean, debris free, dedicated wash bucket
2. Microfiber cloths to wash the vehicle
3. A good car wash soap, DO NOT EVER use household soaps. Dishsoap takes the wax off the car as does shampoo and other household cleaners
4. Shade, NEVER wash your car in direct sunlight….you will get a ton of waterspots that are impossible to remove!
5. A cool car, one that hasn’t been in the sun
6. Luke warm water, cold is best, never hot as this “melts” the wax off the car
7. Start at the top and work your way down the car.
8. Dry the car entire with clean microfiber (or terry cloth) towels
9. Dry out all body lines, hood, trunk and door jambs
10. When you start to see streaking from an overwet cloth, change it

Waxing procedure:

1. Start with a clean, cool car, a good carnuba wax (preferably a paste wax as in my experience they last the longest. Meguier’s Gold Class or NXT paste is the best in my opinion), a variable speed “wheel” with a foam cutting pad, a clay bar kit and an orbital buffer with several microfiber pads and clean microfiber cloths and a good cutting compound
2. Start by clay baring the entire car, windows included (about 2-3 hrs on our cars)
3. You should be able to run your hand over the car and not feel any grit (or rough spots) on the surface of your car
4. ** Don’t try to this step unless you know what your doing! ** You can burn through your paint!! Now use the wheel with a good compound, Meaguir’s SwirlX works well for light scratches and it’s almost impossible to burn your paint unless you’re extremely careless. If you take your car through more then 4 or 5 automatic carwashes per year, you’re gonna need a more aggressive compound like 3M or Wizard’s
5. Start with a least aggressive compound first and move to more aggressive if the scratches aren’t coming out. Then reverse that once you’ve gotten all the scratches out, moving back to a least aggressive compound. A darker vehicle that is taken 2-3 times a week through a carwash may need to be wet sanded by a professional to get the shine back
6. Now, once you’re satisfied with your finish, it’s time to wax and preserve it.
7. Apply wax with an applicator pad working on one section at a time (I usually will do the entire hood, let it dry, then take wipe it off) allowing it to dry thoroughly. Wipe it off with a microfiber cloth.
8. Allow wax to harden for at least 6 hours in the sunlight (or overnight, but be sure it’s in a garage or you will have to rewash before the next step)
9. Once the entire car is done, it’s time to make it ‘pop’. Take your orbital and put some paint protector on it (Simoniz is my favorite) and on the car, then very lightly (no pressure on the orbital) glide the orbital buffer across the surface of your car. Wipe off excess and voila….
10. Your car should have a beautiful gloss to it and should be extremely shiny and smooth to the touch.

Interior

I can’t say enough about Mother’s Leather Tech cleaner and conditioner. I never used to believe that leather cleaner did anything, but with this stuff, you can see it works!!! It is awesome!

Top cleaner, the verdict for me is still out on this one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Haha TX, you make me smile so much mate! But really thanks for your times guys, thanks for the posts Rob and Ghost thank you for that post.

Also TX: I don't believe lightly washing it before with pollen would scratch it, espcially since you rinse off your car well as to remove any dirt or other debris first. Ima send you an email next week updating you about my A/C and then the bumper. Will make a special How-To thread this month dedicated to your help! So thanks
 

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Car wash procedure:



Waxing procedure:

1. Start with a clean, cool car, a good carnuba wax (preferably a paste wax as in my experience they last the longest. Meguier’s Gold Class or NXT paste is the best in my opinion), a variable speed “wheel” with a foam cutting pad, a clay bar kit and an orbital buffer with several microfiber pads and clean microfiber cloths and a good cutting compound


Top cleaner, the verdict for me is still out on this one!
You should never need a cutting compound unless your car is completely trashed. I think polishing compound is better suited and start with the finest polish you can get away with. Pinnacle makes a great line called XMT and unless your paint is scratched and oxidized to hell, their number 2 is all you will need with the correct pads.
 

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You should never need a cutting compound unless your car is completely trashed. I think polishing compound is better suited and start with the finest polish you can get away with. Pinnacle makes a great line called XMT and unless your paint is scratched and oxidized to hell, their number 2 is all you will need with the correct pads.
My car usually only needs Meguir's SwirlX and a light cutting (foam) pad, but it doesn't see automatic carwashes, it's washed by hand. If a car goes through a car wash weekly, it WILL need a cutting compound to get the scratches out. Been there, done that with my Camaro, and I used a high-end carwash, $20/time....and my Camaro was white!
 

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My car usually only needs Meguir's SwirlX and a light cutting (foam) pad, but it doesn't see automatic carwashes, it's washed by hand. If a car goes through a car wash weekly, it WILL need a cutting compound to get the scratches out. Been there, done that with my Camaro, and I used a high-end carwash, $20/time....and my Camaro was white!
I must have missed the post where he said it was going through a car wash weekly. If you have someone relying on an automatic car wash weekly then they don't know or don't care about their cars finish. I would let them use the cutting compound then, it will only add to the character of the cars terrible finish by enhancing the scratches and swirls.
 
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