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      10-24-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
Night Hawk
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Self Service Car Washes? Thoughts/Tips?

I am currently intrigued as to how many of you wash your car at these? I live in an apartment complex with no source of water outlets for my hose and I think it would be frowned upon by the main office so I need to find a remedy. For those of you that do go, what are some things you take aside from the things you normally wash your car with to make this work??? I would not be using the brush as I will be bringing my bucket and own car wash mit/sponge. Thanks!
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      10-24-2010, 08:21 PM   #2
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I used to all the time. Just bring everything with me, avoid the brushes like you mentioned, and then dry in a shaded area.

I mostly use ONR now so don't have to worry about it. Plus I have a garage now if I need to do a regular wash.
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      10-24-2010, 09:12 PM   #3
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Thanks! How would one get the water in the bucket? I tried this once before and the pressure sprayer blew all of the soap out of my bucket. I would assume just to bring two milk cartons of water with me???
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      10-24-2010, 09:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Thanks! How would one get the water in the bucket? I tried this once before and the pressure sprayer blew all of the soap out of my bucket. I would assume just to bring two milk cartons of water with me???
Yeah this part sucks. I went to a place that the pressure washer, once activated, had two settings; regular pressure when used and light pressure when the trigger wasn't in use. Still sprayed all over the place but was enough to fill the bucket.

Is there any chance you can screw off the pressure washer?
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      10-24-2010, 09:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Yeah this part sucks. I went to a place that the pressure washer, once activated, had two settings; regular pressure when used and light pressure when the trigger wasn't in use. Still sprayed all over the place but was enough to fill the bucket.

Is there any chance you can screw off the pressure washer?
Hmm, I don't know about that one, I would assume no? It wouldnt be a bad idea though...
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      10-24-2010, 09:32 PM   #6
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I wouldnt go attempting to unscrew and disassemble the PW...its not yours and you may get fined for it.

take the supplies you want to use and just use the PW for the pre-rinse, the pressure wash, and the post wash rinse and wheels.
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      10-24-2010, 09:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Thanks! How would one get the water in the bucket? I tried this once before and the pressure sprayer blew all of the soap out of my bucket. I would assume just to bring two milk cartons of water with me???
Just spray the power washer in the sponge or mitt in the bucket
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      10-24-2010, 10:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Envious Eric View Post
I wouldnt go attempting to unscrew and disassemble the PW...its not yours and you may get fined for it.

take the supplies you want to use and just use the PW for the pre-rinse, the pressure wash, and the post wash rinse and wheels.
Yeah, I don't have any intentions on messing with their PW...


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Just spray the power washer in the sponge or mitt in the bucket
Nice! I will have to try that! Thanks!
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      10-25-2010, 12:34 AM   #9
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Different equipment here I guess. It's easy to detach the sprayer...since very few people have garages I guess people don't steal the equipment.

But yeah, I suppose if I were in the US I wouldn't. Good idea with the sponge...strange how I never thought of that.
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      10-25-2010, 08:25 AM   #10
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I don't use a wash mitt. I take the car to a pressure washer and spend about 12-15 minutes getting it as clean as possible. Still, it almost always leaves a very light film on the car. I then very quickly (5 to 10 minutes) give the car a complete wipe down with a detail spray and a couple of microfiber towels. It ends up looking outstanding and I rarely put more than 30 minutes into the job.
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      10-25-2010, 10:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Thanks! How would one get the water in the bucket? I tried this once before and the pressure sprayer blew all of the soap out of my bucket. I would assume just to bring two milk cartons of water with me???
Just fill it with the wand (how the tip close to the edge of the bucket) and it will fill. Takes a little while but it works. I used to do this for years when I lived in apartments and you get used to it. It would go like this:

1. Use the first ~$2-3 for thoroughly rinsing off the car and then filling the bucket. Time will expire.

2. While the meter is not running, wash the car with the mitt, top down. If you are anal, you can use two different mitts. Helps to have a grit guard in the bottom of the bucket but don't worry if you don't have one.

3. Another $2-3 and give it a thorough rinse.

4. Pull out of the bay and wipe down with MF towels.

The whole process is about 10-15 minutes before drying. You can also do what Joe suggests, I have done that as well except for winter days. The pressure spray does not get enough of the mag chloride we have here off without using a mitt. If you do the no bucket way, try using Optimum No Rinse (ONR), available at most online detail stores. You can use various levels of dilution and it winds up having more lubricity IMO than a typical detail spray.
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