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other_manufacturer
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I know it's not ideal, but i buy a cheap 20 pack of household washing up/cleaning cloths, (Spontex etc). Then i use one for the upper half of the car, and another for the lower half, bumpers, and sills/wheelarch lips etc. If the cloth gets too dirty or ripped and damaged then i just throw it away and use a new one. You can use 2-3 cloths per wash, and throw them away after, so they only get used once. If you drop one on the drive then just throw it away.

They are also good for getting into gaps and between trim, or where the bumpers meet the wings etc. If you use a plastic scraper or credit card then you can gently force the cloth between areas like the side door rubbing strips or behind the side repeaters, to get rid of all that nasty green slime that builds up over time.

Just always wondered if anyone else has ever used such cloths for car washing really?
 

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I would invest in a Shmitt (about £8) and an Envy style brush to get into the nooks and crannies.

Will cost you £15 and last you a long long time.

I wouldn't trust any household items not to inflict damage any more.
 

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Excellent guide.

Although i wouldnt start doing the alloys before the body though because Wheels are a lot dirtier than the body works. So if you are using thesame mitt/sponge it will pick up all the crap in the alloy then through your car paint.

What i do is i start from the top section working my way down. Also, i actually use three buckets instead of two.

The first bucket is clean water to soak the car and soften all the crap in there for a couple of mins.. The second is the Soapy Solution for scrubbing.. and Finally the Third ( and sometimes the fourth ) clean water for the final wash.
 

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mgf
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I'd forgotten what a pig black cars are to clean. I had bought a pressure washer with brushes, but that took longer than using buckets by the time you'd hooked it up. To get rid of the streak marks, I was virtually having to polish my car every time; I had tried a chamois but found it just tends to spread the water about. I had started using Turtle Wax Ice and that was quite quick and effective.

A client of mine recently recommended Permaclear waterless car wash. I was sceptical because I thought it would scratch the paint, but it doesn't. It's much quicker, there's no streaks and it waxes as well. I get a bit of a kick out of seeing rain droplets in the morning just in beads. I know it sounds a bit sad, but I've never been one to spend Sundays pampering the car.
 

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Excellent guide.

Although i wouldnt start doing the alloys before the body though because Wheels are a lot dirtier than the body works. So if you are using thesame mitt/sponge it will pick up all the crap in the alloy then through your car paint.

What i do is i start from the top section working my way down. Also, i actually use three buckets instead of two.

The first bucket is clean water to soak the car and soften all the crap in there for a couple of mins.. The second is the Soapy Solution for scrubbing.. and Finally the Third ( and sometimes the fourth ) clean water for the final wash.
I wouldnt even consider using the same tools to clean wheels as you do to clean the car, thats suicide!

There's nothing wrong with certain sponges, Zymol do one which is awesome and i believe Dodo have a few samples out there which seem to be doing well, im currently trialling one of the B&Q grout sponges - seems ok as long as its got a layer of foam to help lubricate the paint (i always wash with a layer of foam on anyway)

Problem i find with lambswool mitts is that they rot within a few months.
 

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I wouldnt even consider using the same tools to clean wheels as you do to clean the car, thats suicide!

There's nothing wrong with certain sponges, Zymol do one which is awesome and i believe Dodo have a few samples out there which seem to be doing well, im currently trialling one of the B&Q grout sponges - seems ok as long as its got a layer of foam to help lubricate the paint (i always wash with a layer of foam on anyway)

Problem i find with lambswool mitts is that they rot within a few months.
I have had my Lambswool mit for at least a year now. You HAVE to rinse them through and hang them to dry after each wash, or they will rot. Mine is good as new tbh.

Pics are dead on the guide now
 

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Great post I use to use a sponge and always wonder why my paint look so messed up until a few buddy's of my told me to use a wash mitt. After I polished it up to remove scratches haven't used a sponge since.
 

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2006 MG ZR +120 (HQM) 2004 MG ZR 105 (IAB)
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Don't necessarily blame the sponge ;) It probably has more to do with how you use it (and particularly how you rinse it during use). You can inflict lots of damage to your paint with a washmitt if you don't keep it rinsed in clean water as you progress through your wash.

Lots of people have been using a grout sponge very successfully for several years now - I machine polished my ZR two and half years ago, and have used a B&Q grout sponge and the two bucket method exclusively ever since. All the paintwork has required in that time is a periodic application of a protective layer of wax, and hasn't developed any further scratches or swirls which were not already there.
 
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