Originally Posted by IrishCoffee
There is soap as well. You can change what you're spraying your car with. I use a high powered rinse first, then high powered soap wash, then repeat high powered rinse. I imagine the soap being used isn't the highest quality, but it certainly isn't going to be any worse than any other local car wash. I just make sure to wax every few months.
Obviously I dry the car afterwards. I just figured that was a given. I use a few of the waffle towels. Then I clean my wheels, windows, etc. I think using a wash mitt can create all sorts of swirl marks. It isn't just caused by drying.
There is generally space to perform any drying/detailing on the premises of any decent self serve wash. In my area the self serve car wash seems to be the choice of most enthusiasts. Most of the cars being washed there are by guys with their toys. I don't know about you but I don't trust the local car wash and the dudes getting paid $7/hour. They've scuffed my wheels enough times and generally are dragging a huge brush all over the paint.
So yes... my car is "washed" and looks great. Thanks for the tips.
Most of the time drying is what causes swirls and scratches. Wash mitts are lubricated by car wash so they are safer for paint. Drying towels are not and they also drag dirt across the paint if you miss a spot and wipe it with the towel.
As for washing, I use a hose, buckets, wash it outside and pull indoors to dry and detail out of the sun. No way is someone else touching my car besides me.