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How I keep my car looking it’s best

17 November 2002
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
My car was ceramic coated about a year prior to my purchase. Since getting my car I have applied a ceramic coating to the entire car again. I often use Adam’s detail or their ceramic coating detail spray in between washing the car. So the car really shines. I recently purchased a de-ionizing car wash system from Costco. The wash system is supposed to last for 4 to 6 washes before you change the media. I don’t let the car get really too dirty so I have found that I can just rinse the car and that is enough to remove most dust and dirt. I use a micro fiber cloth to gently remove most of the water before trying to actually dry the car. That essentially gets any dirt that was not removed by just rinsing. Only rinsing the car should ensure the de-ionized system lasts for at least ten or more cleanings. The idea is that you can wash the car with the appropriate soap, then rinse off and walk away not having to actually dry the car. The Beauty of using de-ionized water is you will not have any water spots and the car can air dry. The car really shines. I also use a 50 foot hose that shrinks up when empty, so it is easy to coil up. What methods do the rest of you use?
Wow, you really keep that baby clean. I try not to touch the paint as much as possible when washing. I get most of the dirt off first before going over with sponge mitt. Using snow foam I coat car with soap and let it dwell couple of minutes then go with pressure washer to get off loose dirt from foam. Snow foam whole car again and use mitt per couple of panels and constantly clean in bucket of water with grit guard. Pressure wash again with water then I use open end hose and run it all over car. Because of the ceramic coating 90% of the water just sheets off and only small bits are left. I throw drying microfiber towel on panels and little bit of water are picked up. I do not drag or pull towel and let the fibers soak up the water. Use leaf blower at end to get into nooks and blow off wheels.

Everyone has their own way. Its more therapy for me and I enjoy it. I did look into that de-ionized system, kinda pricey for limited amount of washes.
I have not encountered any issues with scratching the finish thus far. The de-ionizer I purchased at Costco was the consumer unit that normally sells for $175 that they had on special for around $100. When you use de-ionized water as a rinse allows you to let it air dry without spots assuming you got the car clean. For me I am less interested in air dry and more interested in drying the car myself but not having to worry about spotting that can occur if it is sunny. My other car is a Volvo XC 90 SUV that is metallic black. So spotting can be a real problem if I cannot not dry it quickly enough. The de-ionizer allows that.
I tried one of the air drying systems on my SUV. The problem was that the water was drying faster than I could blow it off. It would water spot, requiring me to go back and wet it down again. If in the shade then everything would work, but I was doing the washing a little after 2 pm and it was still sunny. That is why the spot free de-ionizing rinse works so well. If you cannot get to it quickly enough it still does not leave water spots. The other thing I found was the blower is heavy enough that again on a large vehicle a problem of moving around. I do like using a blower on the engine and front where you can blow off the water leaving a clean looking engine bay. I often would use my compressor and a air wand. But then it is a hassle bringing out the compressor.....Wow is me.