Washing Your Own Car

Well into spring, we have overcome a wet month of April and proceeded into lively month of May. Besides the month gardens are planted and plant begin to bloom, May brings a particular sense of jubilation with hallmark sporting events such as the Kentucky Derby as well as the all-important 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. A less glorious activity started during the month of May is the regular exterior cleaning of an automobile. Deciding on the right way to wash your vehicle may barter on several factors including cost, labour and even local laws.

Car Washing with Water

Either a labour of love or a chore, the traditional soap and water of cars has been a part of North American weekends during the warmer months. Water is accepted as a universal cleansing agent that leaves it only natural for a vehicle’s upkeep. Requiring only a pail of water along with some proper car wash solution (absolutely not dishwashing soap), the hand scrubbing of the vehicle’s shapely surfaces is a very intimate affair between car owner and product. Using a sponge and/or chamois, the operation of thoroughly washing a car’s exterior should be no more than about 60-90 minutes depending on the attention devoted to the project.

Waterless Car Washing

During the summer time, there are routinely many areas that receive long drought period without precipitation. As supplies of water must be maintained, the activity of car washing is viewed as a wasteful exercise during occasions where constant water flow is needed. In the interests of minimizing water usage as well as the potential of contamination, several city and regional jurisdictions have passed bylaws prohibiting vehicle washing using water-based procedures.

A wide assortment of products has been engineered for this emerging market for car care products. These products often include chemistry deviating away from the use man-made ingredients. Coconut oil and soybeans are some ingredients found in waterless car wash solutions improving the environmental consciousness to the next level. Not entirely waterless, some products suggest detailing could involve small quantities of water or a damp towel.

Power Washing

Available in electric and gas-powered models, power washers are tools capable of spraying water at high pressure. Power washer units range in price from about $100 to as much as $1,000 for heavy-duty models. Used on houses and other landscaping jobs, these high-pressure washers can also be used on automobiles under proper conditions.

Users of power washer equipment must be very careful in the operation of this cleaning apparatus. Firstly, pressure thresholds could be maintained when washing a vehicle. No more than 2,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) of water pressure should be spewing from the nozzle. The force and the flow of pressure washer units can be adjusted to best suit a cleaning job. Electric-powered pressure washers are often rated up to 1,700 to 2,000 PSI making them suitable for car care work. Gas-powered models features higher pressure ranges but could be more machine than is necessary for cleaning automobiles alone.

Reading the pressure washer manual for usage on vehicles, most would suggest a safe distance for where to be positioned away from the vehicle. Starting at a sizable distance, it is recommended that the nozzle should remain about 3 foot away from the bodywork of a car or truck depending on the pressure setting. It is also recommended that the water be blown when the nozzle is at a 15-25 degree angle. Pressure washer machines do differ so best judgement should be made based on the equipment manufacturer’s instructions.

Beyond the handling of the pressure washer, there should also be special considerations paid to the vehicle‘s condition. If there are areas of peeling, chipped or rushed paint surfaces, power washer use is certainly not advised.

Information source: Eco Touch Inc., Simoniz, Ultimate Washer Inc.
Photo Source: Chris Nagy

About The Author

Admiring automobiles ever since childhood viewership of the TV show Knight Rider, Chris Nagy grew as an enthusiast enroute to become an automotive and motorsport writer. Drawn to the rich world of motoring, Chris discovers charm everywhere in the industry from supercars like the Bugatti Veyron to a Kia Soul. Car design, engineering, performance and the passion itself fuels his daily existence.

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