Washing Essentials

Washing Essentials


I know the main detailing page is a little overwhelming, especially if you are just trying to get started. These are the essentials that I think you need to wash a car without introducing swirls. Obviously we would all love to have a $1,500 pressure washer with a foam cannon or an arsenal of hundreds of microfiber towels, but I get that it takes time to acquire all of that stuff. It has taken me years and tons of trial and error. Hopefully, I can save you from making some of the mistakes I’ve made in my ever evolving quest.

The Washing Procedure: Videos

The Washing Procedure: Product List

I’d consider doing the Adam’s version today, but these also do the trick. I think it’s obvious that one bucket is for rinsing and the other is for the soap, two bucket method.

I have tried and thrown away so many wash pads that I’m ashamed to admit how many have come and gone. I discovered these about three years ago. I have tried from expensive Microfiber to the high-end lamb’s wool mitt, and I like these synthetic, relatively inexpensive ones from Adam’s the best. Many have come and gone, but these just keep getting used.

They used to make a 9″ version that was too small and an 11″ version that was too big. They redesigned it recently in a 10″ pad. I think that is the perfect size. I also prefer a pad to a mitt.

I just throw these in with my normal laundry in hot or cold and then drop them in the dryer. Don’t wash them with your microfiber. Let’s just pretend that I haven’t either, but trust me on this one.

They have a new formula that I actually like even more. It’s a little slicker than the stuff in this photo. I’ll update my photo when I run out the gallon and a half that I still have left.

The smell is amazing and since it’s pH balanced, it won’t harm your paint or strip your wax. You are actually better off letting it dry with soap rather than rinsing it off periodically if you’re in the sun.

There are better versions of this on the market now, but I only have one of these laying around just in case I don’t want to get the pressure washer and foam cannon out. It certainly doesn’t work as well, but it’s better than nothing. I used this for years before I got my pressure washer.

I will typically fill with Adam’s Car Shampoo.

You will want to get a male Gilmour Quick Connect for this.

I don’t have a need to use this stuff much any longer since both of my current cars have carbon ceramic brakes (I know…snob…but they are amazing). But if you have lowly steel brakes this is the one.

I used to use Sonax Full Effect. It certainly works, but I like this stuff much better. Just spray it on, and let it sit for a few minutes. It turns purple, then agitate.

These are the most used brushes that I have. The large one comes in handy for reaching the back of the wheel barrels in the rear. They are good for cleaning the wheel wells. I also use both of them to clean the exhaust tips.

Unfortunately Griot’s Garage stopped making their Lamb Skin Wheel Washing Mitts. These aren’t bad, but they do turn your hands black. I use these to clean the face and spokes of my wheels

I use this to clean the lugs and calipers.

One of my favorite things on a car is clean, well maintained, and natural black looking rubber. I’ve used a bunch of other all-purpose cleaners for the rubber on my trim and tires. I’ve come back to Griot’s as I’ve gotten the best results from it.

This little thing looks like a piece of junk, but it works really well on lowered cars. My cars don’t have a lot of room or a lot of tire, so this works really well.

Friends don’t let friends have shiny tires! I love, love, love Perl. It gives me that perfect flat/satin finish on my tires. I apply it about every other time I wash the car with an Adam’s Foam Block. Adam’s Super VRT is good, but this is better.

I’m sure you could get some foam and cut it into blocks, but I’m too lazy to do that. I usually grab a dozen or so when I order stuff from Adam’s. I use these to apply CarPro Perl on the tires.

I’ve tried dozens of microfiber drying towels. I prefer waffle weave and specifically these towels. I’m pretty sure that Adam’s gets these from www.theragcompany.com with some black stitching.

I use this as a drying agent. I spray it on the car after blowing it off with the leaf blower and drying with the Adam’s Great White Drying Towel. I guess it adds a layer of protection, but I probably just like how good it smells.

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