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  1. #1
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    My Alpine White 335i Winter Wash (with pics)

    Yes, despite the fact it is alleged to now be Spring, for us in Calgary it is still Winter, and thus, still snowing. I have been religiously washing my vehicle throughout the winter, every 1 - 2 weeks, in order to keep it clean, and to keep the salt and road grime from becoming part of my car.

    Today, I have decided to bring any willing readers with me on my quest to keep my car looking nice; but please note, this is a routine basic, but thorough wash - not a full detail.

    My garage is currently unheated - it was purpose built last Fall for my new car, but I didn't have a chance to run power before the snow started. In the mean-time, I've been cleaning my car on days when the temperature is above zero Celsius.

    Sadly, today was not one of them .. I took a chance, and did it at -4.5oC!

    Click here to enlarge

    Here are the "before" pictures of my car. This is probably the dirtiest it's ever been .. and I only cleaned it last weekend. The roads in Calgary have been wet and slushy all week:

    Sorry for the photo quality - my main camera was out of battery, so I used my Camcorder in photo-mode.

    (If your wondering why my rears look so 'skinny', it's because they are .. 225s! Skinny tires work better on ice)

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    First up, when my car is this dirty, I ALWAYS use a wand wash first. There is so much grit attached to the paint, I don't want to be swirling it around with a wash mitt. I take a short drive to my local 8-bay wand wash .. not a soul there, since it's snowing.

    Click here to enlarge

    I put $4 in this time - I wanted to spend a long time on the undercarriage -- so much salt from a week of driving. Also a quick spray on the body work to remove the outside layer of crud.

    Perfect results are not achieved, but that is not the goal.

    Here are the photos after I returned to my garage:

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    Still plenty of beading from the water, so I won't be waxing this week.

    Now for the main wash. I use Optimum No-Rinse - it is perfect for Canadian winter conditions -- I can use it in my garage, and dry each panel as I go to prevent freez

    ---To be continued below---
    Last edited by bigup; 03-26-2011 at 06:45 PM.
    ~

  2. #2
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    And here is the ONR: I don't have much left .. time to order some more!

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    Once in a bucket: (notice how it's not very sudsy like a regular wash)

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    I use the two bucket method:

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    I actually prefer using cool water, but since today is so cold, I have it nice and warm.

    My portable winter detail kit .. I have lots more, but keep it all in the house so it doesn't freeze.

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    --- to be continued below ---
    ~

  3. #3
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    Click here to enlarge
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    And I dry each panel with a waffle weave towel:

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    As a rule, I wash the entire car from top to bottom, drying as I go -- but I always leave the side-skirts and lower bumpers until the end.

    One side complete:

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    Don't worry -- those power cables are not yet plugged in Click here to enlarge

    The other side complete:

    Click here to enlarge

    -- continued below --
    ~

  4. #4
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    My buckets after finished -- note how clean the ONR bucket still is. This is how it should always be when using the two-bucket method.

    Where are my grit-guards, you may be asking. I don't use them! As you can see -- no grit in ONR bucket, after a full wash.

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    Now to dry the door jambs -- don't forget the filler cap! I never detail my engine bay in the winter, but it's held up quite well .. I just dry any water that's in there.

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    --continued--
    ~

  5. #5
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    I emptied my dirty water onto the snow. LOOK! there is GRASS under there??

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    Time for some half-time refreshments.

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    Since the weather is so crappy, I will be spending the rest of the day at home .. and what better way to do it than with a Stella or three in my garage Click here to enlarge

    Now on to the wheels! I don't do anything special in the Winter with my wheels -- I just use the remaining ONR, and some tire shine

    Before:

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    After: (I love how easy it is to clean 189s)

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    Oh no! Wheel rash.. the only one I have, and I must have picked it up during the week. No idea when though Click here to enlarge My summer wheels will be going on soon though, so I don't care too much.

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    NOW the ONR is dirty Click here to enlarge

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    --continued--
    ~

  6. #6
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    Since I am now getting cold, and the temperature has dropped even more, I opted to finish up with some Meg's quick detailer. I really don't want to be putting on a full wax right now!

    I love the Tornado buffing towels!

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    Like glass!

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    Time for a quick paint inspection:

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    No major swirls to speak of. Although I will be doing a full polish once it warms up. Lots of orange peel though.. but I quite like it Click here to enlarge

    And to wrap up, here are some final pics. Ready to be dirtied again on Monday. I'll be using my wife's SUV if I need to go anywhere tomorrow.

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    Thanks for reading! This entire job took about 2.5 hours, including the drive to the jet wash, taking photos, and stopping for a beer half way!
    Last edited by bigup; 03-26-2011 at 06:53 PM.
    ~

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    AWESOME WRITE-UP! Too bad it only lasts until you drive it again Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    AWESOME WRITE-UP! Too bad it only lasts until you drive it again Click here to enlarge
    Thanks! And yes .. it's quite sad that I have to keep my car in the garage as long as possible so that it stays clean .. LOL
    ~

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    Great thread !
    you know it's a shame , it's 17oC here but my car is as dirty as trash.

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    Looking good!

  11. #11
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    Damn your car was filthy!

    Really well done thread with the pictures and details.

  12. #12
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    ... and it's filthy again. One 30 minute drive this morning was enough Click here to enlarge

    Did I ever say I hate Calgary?!

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
    ~

  13. #13
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigup Click here to enlarge
    ... and it's filthy again. One 30 minute drive this morning was enough Click here to enlarge

    Did I ever say I hate Calgary?!

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
    dude take my word , NEVER WASH YOUR CAR !
    it doesn't matter where you live, it will rain/snow after you are done. if you want to experience snow in summer , just wash your car and after 2 minutes it will snow.

  14. #14
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
    dude take my word , NEVER WASH YOUR CAR !
    it doesn't matter where you live, it will rain/snow after you are done. if you want to experience snow in summer , just wash your car and after 2 minutes it will snow.
    We already experience snow in the summer in Calgary -- believe me, the snow-lord does not need my help!

    I hate the way the rain/snow will dirty my car, and then five minutes later, the sun will come out and bake all the crud onto my paint. Grr.
    ~

  15. #15
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigup Click here to enlarge
    We already experience snow in the summer in Calgary -- believe me, the snow-lord does not need my help!

    I hate the way the rain/snow will dirty my car, and then five minutes later, the sun will come out and bake all the crud onto my paint. Grr.
    That's bad , Man Calgary sounds like Hell with cold weather !

  16. #16
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
    That's bad , Man Calgary sounds like Hell with cold weather !
    I don't like it one bit .. I've lived here 10 years now, and it seems to get colder & damper with each year. Summers can be nice, but last year and the year before, we didn't even get a real summer.

    I really want to move somewhere hot.. but need agreement from both bosses (wife+daughter) LOL.
    ~

  17. #17
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    Nice! I've done the wash/clay, the polish/finish is coming up, was too lazy to do the before pics, but the after pics should come! Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DarkPhantom Click here to enlarge
    Nice! I've done the wash/clay, the polish/finish is coming up, was too lazy to do the before pics, but the after pics should come! Click here to enlarge
    Looking forward to it Click here to enlarge I'm also thinking of doing a full detail this weekend .. wash/clay/polish/etc .. depends on my state of mind Saturday morning!
    ~

  19. #19
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    lol, my car's been sitting in the garage, finally started taping it up for the polish...hopefully it will turn out alright Click here to enlarge

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    Wow, so that's how it's done in the great frozen north. Good on you.

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    Thanks for the process, if Winter ever comes, I will know how to wash my car.

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    so, how do you use the ONR? still wash it with a mitt? but you dont rinse it?

    then how do you dry with the waffle weave towels? blot, wipe, swirl/rub..?

    i thought your not supposed to use microfiber towels to buff off since it picks the wax up with it?

  23. #23
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    so, how do you use the ONR? still wash it with a mitt? but you dont rinse it?

    then how do you dry with the waffle weave towels? blot, wipe, swirl/rub..?

    i thought your not supposed to use microfiber towels to buff off since it picks the wax up with it?
    Found this, thought it might be helpful:

    "Hey Matrix let me give you a lesson on how I use it. I don't have De-Ionized water and I live where the water is fairly hard so I use about 1.5oz to a gallon of water. But if you have good water, then 1:1 is a fine ratio.

    Take your bucket and put a grit guard in the bottom (if you have one). I use a microfiber wash mitt and get it soaked, I then wring it out to that I am right at that point where I am not dripping water when I move it to the car. I then start at the highest point on the surface and wash an area genearlly no bigger than 3'x3'.

    I wipe in on directection and when done, toss mitt in bucket. I then take one MF WW towel and blot dry off area I just washed, and then follow immediately with a second MF WW towel.
    I can do a mid sized car in about 20-25 using this method.

    I use a competently separate bucket and old rag or old used mitt for wheels.

    The whole trick is small area, dry right after

    Hope this helps. (There are other methods as well so find one you like)"

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    ^ One additional thing I might add, is to use 2 buckets. The second bucket (just water) to rinse the dirt off of the dirty mitt.

  25. #25
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    I'm a little confused about the two bucket method, my detailer said to use it but currently I find it easier to just spray the MIT for 10-20 seconds thoroughly on each side, after each time it goes on the car and before you dip it back in the soapy bucket. That seems to accomplish the same goal of washing out the dirt and not contaminating the soap bucket. Is there something I'm missing about this "two bucket method"? I get my car detailed once a year and it usually lasts the whole year before I see any kinds of swirls start to reappear.
    Click here to enlarge
    ESS 6XX kit

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