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Old 6th December 2023, 14:26   #1
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Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

Apologies for a long, detailed post.

Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3135.jpg

Background: My car is 7-years-younger and has seen enough of hands and materials rolling over its paint surface over the years and has its own left-over scars. Most of the yesteryears the apartment car cleaner guys have swirled, scratched, and marred the paint surface of my car, rather than cleaning it mostly. However, in 2023 I decided to take control to ensure that I try my best to avoid further damages on the car paint surface. The motivations came from reading through discussion threads on Team-BHP, A superb Car cleaning, polishing & detailing guide - Team-BHP (A superb Car cleaning, polishing & detailing guide) and The Ceramic Coating Thread - Team-BHP (The Ceramic Coating Thread). I have to admit, the information and experience that is shared is such valuable here, thanks to many of you have inspired and shared your knowledge. With enough motivation and some learning, decided to start washing my car myself to the max extent possible. I started this journey in May-June 2023, and sustaining it for 7+ months so far.

As first step, I decided to dump the apartment car cleaner guy and purchase few real essential items gradually, as and when I made more progress with this DIY car wash journey. This included some good quality TRC 600 GSM Microfiber towels from The Rag Company, 8L + 1L Kissan kraft water sprayers and a Turtle Wax Hybrid solutions Flex Wax, Turtle Wax All Wheel and Tyre cleaner, Tyre brushes etc. Everything was purchased from Amazon. From my self-washing experience over months, I have also created few templates with instructions for a quick wash, an intermediate wash, and a thorough wash during this learning phase. I apply these DIY methods depending on the condition of the car and also the energy and enthusiasm I have before starting a car washing.

Practicality and reality: I understand from many expert BHPians who shared the best ways to keep the car paint pristine for years. Like using pressure washer doing a touchless wash, using RO water for car washing, using premium and PH-neutral shampoo and ONR like products, leaf blowers for dusting and stop using Jopasu duster etc. However I strike a lower ground with a more practical approach. My car is parked in a basement car parking of an apartment complex, with limited space and no access to water or power. Buying an expensive cordless pressure washer or cordless leaf blower of good quality, was really an overkill since my car was already old, has enough swirl marks already and I was mainly trying to avoid further damages. Also I am not at all a full time professional detailer, merely an enthusiastic car user having my other life priorities of personal and professional commitments. And lastly I didnít want to buy more items and add to the clutter inside home. So I still continue to use Jopasu duster for dry dusting once a week, and a regular good quality PH-balanced shampoo for car wash during the process.

Continued...
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Old 6th December 2023, 14:34   #2
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Re: Satisfying DIY premium car wash @ my basement car parking

Few benefits from DIY car washing which I realized:
  1. Washing is satisfying: It really motivates me to see a neat, tidy and detailed vehicle, with all our effort put in. During drives I started observing and appreciating other well-maintained cars
  2. Washing frequency is reduced. Car cleaners do daily wash and scratch. I do car wash once in 15 days sometimes once a month, and even with that the car looks better than before.
    • Saved 5K INR in monthly car cleaning so far already in 2023 (my car wash guys charge 700 Rs monthly)
    • Reduced impact to paint surface, due to reduced number of wash and reduced paint surface interaction
    • Saving water and environment. We know the car cleaners use the same bucket of dirty water for many cars. In our case we use clean water, so it is subjective.
    • Some additional weekend workouts done with DIY car washing, burning some weekend calories.
  3. Moving to a need-based washing: I realized sometimes we only need to dust the car, sometimes we only need to do a simple and easy wash, and sometimes we need a detailed wash.
  4. Knowing the nook and corner of the car: I really liked this part of knowing each and every inch of the car exterior and interior. The car cleaners never clean the alloys, Tyres, door beadings, or footsteps nicely.
  5. Water quality: Realized that the hard water used for washing is enough to leave water spots and dull finish to a clean car. With DIY I started to wash the car with RO water with promising results
  6. Washing up to our satisfaction (OCD): We have our expectations and benchmarks and with DIY car wash, I feel satisfied. Whatever we do, others fail to meet our expectations in washing our cars.

Few challenges/cons from DIY car washing which I realized:
  • Additional spending. I realize that I spent on few items purchased for this DIY, but this was my choice to ease the washing process and also to further up the cleaning game levels a bit.
  • Dirty car syndrome: Worry about taking the car out when its cloudy and roads are dirty. The thought that we have to clean ourselves if it gets dirty is sometimes worrying during those drives.
  • Water wastage: Being aware of the quantum of water wastage to produce RO water. Only justification is that the RO water quantity used is 10-15L for a wash (monthly once wash at max)
  • Taking to car wash centers for pressure washing: This year I had to take my car only once to nearby car wash center since it was dirtier after out station drive in rains. This is anyways needed irrespective we are washing ourselves or apartment car cleaners are cleaning.

To be continued...

Last edited by narayanang76 : 6th December 2023 at 16:28.
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Old 6th December 2023, 15:47   #3
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Re: Satisfying DIY premium car wash @ my basement car parking

During last weekend, I did a detailed and thorough car cleaning process as DIY. The car was dirty after few recent long drives, but I was confident I am able to clean it. One good thing was that the Wheels and tyres didn’t need much cleaning, so it was a time and effort saver.

Did the following process as DIY car washing (total time taken approx. less than 2 hours):
  1. Prepping (10 minutes): Filling the sprayers with water, mixing shampoo for wash, carrying MF towels, sprayers and muckets to the car: I used 10L of RO water, in both 8L and both 1L sprayers. Also, one bucket mixed with shampoo had 3-4L RO water. Other bucket was half filled with regular tap Cauvery water, used for soaking & rinsing the MF towels.
  2. Interior cleaning (5 minutes): Inspected the interiors and removed and dusted the floor mats, and dry wiped with MF towel, plastic panels, dashboard and console areas quickly.
  3. Pre-Rinsing and Soaking (5 minutes): Used both 1L sprayers to spray plain RO water on the exterior paint surface first
  4. Shampoo wash (15 minutes): The 3 TRC MF towels soaked in shampoo was used interchangeably to wipe panel by panel, flipping the towel surface regularly and leaving it for soaking later. Used the next towel for the next panel and so on
  5. Post wash Rinsing (10 minutes): Used plain RO water in the 8L sprayer from KissanKraft to rinse the complete car in 10+ minutes. I was surprised to see that 8L water was enough to rinse a car like Fortuner and I was even able to rinse the wheel arches, tyres also with it towards the end.
  6. Wiping Dry (15 minutes): Had to wipe the car twice since the MF towels were getting soaked quite fast. Had to squeeze water many times before moving to next panel. This made me realize the need to hunt for a bigger and better dry wiping towel.
  7. Wiping Door edges, door pads and glass panels (less than 10 minutes): Except the car wash centers, apartment car cleaners never clean these edges and inside panels and glass area of all doors. Always there will be water residues which really needs a proper wiping, for a proper cleaning.
  8. Wiping Wheels, Tyres and footsteps (less than 10 minutes): Finally wiped clean the wheels, tyres, wheel arches and footstep a dry wipe
  9. Polishing (30 minutes): Used Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions spray wax to give additional coating and a glossy look. This is a dust magnet but still I thought of coating it after a detailed touch-based wash. And I had observed few benefits from spray wax, like the next time cleaning is easier, and it provides a good amount of water beading effect and paint surface protection after applying.

Products and Equipment used during the DIY wash process:

Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_20211224_104448_bokeh.jpg
Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-71fed17y58l._ac_sl1500_.jpg
Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-712l0jykol._sx679_.jpg
Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3134.jpg

Why I call it a premium wash? Based on my experience with apartment car cleaners and car wash centers, they never take care of your car instead create further damages some way or the other to your beloved car. By doing washing ourselves, far-far better than how they do it, with better quality materials, equipment and tools, taking time to clean every surface area, finally applying spray wax polish, and feeling satisfied about the whole experience, I feel it's worth calling it a premium wash.

My next advancement plans:
It's a learning and beginning for me in doing this firstly. I want to sustain this and ensure that I have the motivation to continue doing this as much as possible. However, I am quite happy with my journey, my outcome and the sheer joy of admiring a nice and detailed car.
As next advancement, I have been reading about Optimum No Rinse solution, which is used in the Rinse less wash technique advocated by many leading detailers across the globe. I plan to try it out in future. I also want to invest in some quality Microfiber towels with good water absorption capability, for easier drying.

Sharing some pics of my effort from last weekend.



Outcome
Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3136.jpg
Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3137.jpg
Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3138.jpg
Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3139.jpg
Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3140.jpg

Hope you enjoyed reading through my experience.

Cheers,
narayanang76

Last edited by narayanang76 : 6th December 2023 at 17:01.
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Old 7th December 2023, 07:48   #4
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re: Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th December 2023, 10:43   #5
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Re: Satisfying DIY premium car wash in my basement car parking

The Satisfactory feel we receive after washing the car is that the amount of time which we spent on watching the outcome and it will definitely motivate to continue with our good work

Iíll recommend to add a good quality rubber wiper in your cleaning arsenal. You can use it to wipe water beads before wiping with towel and this will reduce the number of towel squeeze.

Thanks!
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Old 7th December 2023, 11:30   #6
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Re: Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

@narayanang76,

Great efforts there! I can understand the self satisfaction after washing the car ourselves.

Car looks stunning post wash. I must say that you have maintained your car very nicely. It looks neat. Which model is this? 2016? How many KM's done so far?

Here is my 2012 Fortuner AT just for viewing pleasure. Pics taken during the Diwali Pooja last month. If maintained properly, Fortuners can outlast their owners

Cheers,
RAHS
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Old 7th December 2023, 12:05   #7
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Re: Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

Thanks for sharing. Your car looks immaculate!

I enjoy washing and cleaning my car too. Nice easy job, gets you outside and some exercise too. It also allows you to spot any problems in the paint or tri quicker and you can take action before it becomes worse.

Very satisfying to see the end result. Currently it is winter here in the Netherlands. Which also means I need to turn off our outside taps. So for the next few months I need to rely on car washes only.

Jeroen
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Old 7th December 2023, 12:49   #8
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Re: Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

Good job mate! That looks squeaky clean given the age of the car! I hope you find the motivation to keep going at it, and it's good to see someone into the whole cleaning thing as much as I do.

For me Saturday mornings are the designated time to care for my car. I have a Meguiars Waterless Wash and Wax which works incredibly well in case the car is reasonably dirty. It's just that you have to first use a microfiber cloth to wipe it off after you spray on one panel, and then use another microfiber cloth to apply the finishing touch. So, a two step process. I have a long sedan so it takes me a good 90 minutes or so, but the end result is completely worth it. It looks like it's just been detailed!

For windows and lights I use a 3M glass cleaner, and it works pretty well.

As for interiors, I never drive with the windows down so it's always very clean. I use a microfiber cloth to wipe the interiors every week. Food is strictly prohibited in my car so there is never any odd smell emanating from the inside.

It's funny, because whenever I take it to 3M for my monthly wash, they are the first ones to remark how squeaky clean my interiors are and want to know what I do and what products I use.

I think it's a very satisfying feeling to drive a well maintained, clean car. Personally, I feel it reflects broadly on how well you look after things in your life. Knowing the value of something, not just the price. I really hope to continue to do this for as long as I can!
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Old 7th December 2023, 18:18   #9
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Re: Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kashief View Post
I’ll recommend to add a good quality rubber wiper in your cleaning arsenal. You can use it to wipe water beads before wiping with towel and this will reduce the number of towel squeeze.

Thanks!
Thank you, Kashief! pls share any link or product details you are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAHS View Post
@narayanang76,

Car looks stunning post wash. I must say that you have maintained your car very nicely. It looks neat. Which model is this? 2016? How many KM's done so far?

Cheers,
RAHS
Thank you! Yes 2016 model currently close to reaching 60K Kms.

Your Fortuner is looking amazing! Congratulations on its upkeep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Thanks for sharing. Your car looks immaculate!

I enjoy washing and cleaning my car too. Nice easy job, gets you outside and some exercise too. It also allows you to spot any problems in the paint or tri quicker and you can take action before it becomes worse.

Jeroen
Thank You Jeroen! It's fine in Bangalore weatherwise, but we have other issues like dust and water quality. My DIY car washes before were only when we go to my hometown, having enough space, water and holidays! At that time, I realized the effect of water quality on the finish, when I use the well water there for washing, the difference was clearly visible. That is when I thought of trying with RO water during the DIY process in Bangalore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrakeDancer View Post
Good job mate! That looks squeaky clean given the age of the car! I hope you find the motivation to keep going at it, and it's good to see someone into the whole cleaning thing as much as I do.

For me Saturday mornings are the designated time to care for my car. I have a Meguiars Waterless Wash and Wax which works incredibly well in case the car is reasonably dirty. It's just that you have to first use a microfiber cloth to wipe it off after you spray on one panel, and then use another microfiber cloth to apply the finishing touch.

I think it's a very satisfying feeling to drive a well maintained, clean car. Personally, I feel it reflects broadly on how well you look after things in your life. Knowing the value of something, not just the price. I really hope to continue to do this for as long as I can!
Thank you BrakeDancer! Good to know that you also into doing this DIY washing. And I feel it's also an issue when we look at mere perfection for such things, it's not easy to come by. And like having an OCD

I use the same Turtle wax on the external side of glass. It gives a good water beading effect and gets easy to clean it.

For waxing, I tried MF clothes first for application and it wasn't that easy, but when I tried the Wavex Microfiber Applicator pads, I like it now. With those pads, coating is uniform mostly and there is no need to buff it as well. If I observe steaking, I just flip the pad and wipe it once on that area and its good. Link to Wavex Applicator Pad

Cheers,
narayanang76

Last edited by narayanang76 : 7th December 2023 at 18:28.
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Old 8th December 2023, 20:44   #10
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Re: Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

Vow what a great and detailed article. The biggest outcome of such an effort is self satisfaction. Hats off to you for taking such an effort and also penning it down for others. Rarely one finds someone who values their possessions. All the best and keep on munching miles.
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Old 18th December 2023, 15:27   #11
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Re: Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

That's a fantastic wash I must say. Your car sparkles! I have a few questions for you regarding the washing process.

1. Where do you wash your car in your apartment? Is it your designated parking slot in the basement itself? If that is the case, is the association ok with it, because the ones in my apartment create a scene

2. Can you provide the link to the 8L pressure washer sprayer that you have used? I have been in search of such a thing for a very long time, but could not find one

Regards
Sanjay
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Old 8th January 2024, 14:52   #12
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Re: Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking

After almost 1 month, and 1200 kms of outstation highway drives, washed the car again during last weekend. The car didn't look that dirty, but on closer looks I could see dirt on different panels and sides. Repeated the same washing process (Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking) and achieved the similar results like last time.

This time highlights:
  1. Didn't wash the car for last entire month, so water resources, washing efforts and time, products etc. are saved.
  2. Paint surface would have got saved many times from swirling.
  3. Car seems cleaner mostly during the entire month without wash, even with usage and long drives.
  4. Every next cleaning is getting easier, smooth and quicker.
  5. I am also getting the hang of doing this better as it goes by and I am liking it so far.

Some recent pics for reference.

Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3483.jpg

Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3484.jpg

Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3486.jpg

Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3488.jpg

Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3489.jpg

Satisfying DIY Premium Car Wash in my basement car parking-img_3491.jpg

Cheers,
narayanang76
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