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Solution for BE washing in cold weather

2386 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dojob
I am looking for some help. I have read a number of the posts around cleaning. I still have a question that is unanswered.

I am one month or 1100 plus miles into my first ever Ridgeline. I purchased a 2017 BE on 12/31/2016. I love this truck but have realized how "type A" I really am.

I live in the upper midwest. We use a lot of salt from late November to sometimes mid-April. So for about 6.5 months. I will rarely enjoy a clean vehicle for any length of time.

I took it through its first touchless care wash where the ignorant high school student dries the vehicle and learned a very valuable lesson. Wow Black is tough to get clean, (especially when the not so bright drying attendent does not notice the film left on the vehicle and more than likely used dirty towels.).

I have seen the u-tube on the foam gun or foam cannon and the Chemical Guys will be watched and followed in full detail.

Is there anyone out there with a black something or other that lives in a similar environment that can instruct me on how they clean their black beauty when dealing with below freezing weather and the blessing of heavily salted roads?

I would like to clean it at least once to twice a month minimum. I do not have hot water in my garage nor do I have a drain in my garage. I am not beneath going to a do-it myself carwash. It is obvious to me that I will never be able to take it through an automated wash because after one wash it has signs of a white residue on the black exterior trim over the wheels.

One more thing, I did pay to have Honda apply the interior and exterior protectant.

Thank in advance to all those who contribute. I have taken many notes on the recommendations for maintaining the finish of my BE. I will be purchasing cleaning supplies from the companies you have recommended. I am currently leasing it for 3 years but if it holds up and maintains it's craftsmanship then i will be keeping it for a very long time.

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When it's too cold for me to clean it myself I usually take it to the Laserwash (especially for salt underneath), that or I take it to a DIY car wash and just use the Spot-Free Rinse. I haven't had issues with the white residue on the exterior trim except when waxing. I plan on waxing mine every 3 months as weather permits, if I don't have much time I use the spray wax or Quik Detailer my Meguier's (sp?). I try to wash mine once a week. I do have a Lunar Silver RT though but I HATE a dirty ride so wash it often. I took it to a brush car wash once, it was very stressful worrying about scratches as I was in there. That was a mistake, I don't think I got any/much damage from it though. I do live in NC so our winters don't get too too cold for an extended period of time.

Bottom line: a laser wash with spot free rinse option is what I use, that or a DIY and just rinse with spot free water until I can clean it myself.

There's talk about getting an Opti-Coat or something similar put on the vehicle, it can be pricey but after that you basically just rinse the dirt/grime/salt off from then on. I probably should've went that route from the get-go.
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Touch less washes use harsher chemicals to make them effective. This can strip your wax.

I have used ONR no rinse wash with good results. It doesnt foam up much, but is very slick. It can also be mixed down to use as clay bar lubricant.

You use a lukewarm bucket of water and mix in ONR. Then use your wash mit and wash one section at a time. Dry each section as you go. No rinsing. This stuff really pulls the dirt into the mit, so it will get dirty. Use multiple mits to prevent swirls. I still use two bucket method to rinse my mit only.

It really does work well, and seems very good at not causing swirls. So, ideal is to use soap foamer and two bucket wash in summer and then no rinse wash in winter. I find this to be the least "evil" of the available options in the winter... (Auto Wash, Touchless wash, etc). Do not use warm or hot water if it is really cold out. It can crack paint I have heard... but I have not had any issues in the last couple of years with lukewarm water on a cold vehicle.

Edit: My truck is white... so I took it through an auto wash. I'm trying to loose my OCD about detailing vehicles. However, I used the no rinse method on it once, but started using ONR on my Dark Blue Camaro SS Convertible in '13. That was when my OCD was in full force!
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What is the favorite wash detergent to use on your rides? The brushless places are not all that great as we all know, but here again what it the best detergent to use in cold and hot weather ?
What is the favorite wash detergent to use on your rides? The brushless places are not all that great as we all know, but here again what it the best detergent to use in cold and hot weather ?
I use meguiars gold. Not a fan boy it is just the best stuff they have nearby. I am actually a Zaino fanboy! lol.
What is the favorite wash detergent to use on your rides? The brushless places are not all that great as we all know, but here again what it the best detergent to use in cold and hot weather ?
I use this in my foam gun and standard two bucket wash.

For winter, I would use ONR no rinse wash. But I bought a white truck and do not care as much. Now I just use the autowash and plan to spend a couple of weekends polishing in the summer if I feel like it.
Keep it simple.

Do to your environment, resources available to you, and desire to keep it clean.

You need to start from a clean slate. Needs cleaned well, by hand. So whatever you feel like committing the time money to, as others have stated....microfiber mit, dual buckets, foam cannon, good car wash etc. Do that. You really do not need tire cleaners and wheel cleaners. They're more trouble than they're worth. They can ruin finishes quickly if not used or rinsed properly, especially on hot wheel/tires/brakes.

Black shows everything. It's most relate-able to a mirror. Even professionally done by a detailer (that truly knows what they're doing) a black car will look dirty in ~15 min from dust alone (I will never own one).

That being said. Drying the car needs attention to detail. Using just a hose to rinse from the top-down sheets the water off with minimal beading. Depending on water you have... Dries itself almost. Need a proper microfiber towel. Needs to be clean. You drop a towel. Get a new, clean towel.

Once the vehicle is truly clean. Go through an automatic touchless wash that air dries it, once a week in the winter months ($8-12). Dirt/oil attracts dirt/oil. Getting that removed each week will keep it looking clean with ease. Not to mention: fight corrosion. Keep the rubber seals supple (dirt dries them out. Keeps plastic from drying out (dirt again dries plastic). ***Go to a wash that sprays the undercarriage as you drive go slowly and let is spray the undercarriage as much as possible. ***Go to one that air dries it (no need for unknown towel being rubbed all over the paint... creating swirls scratched etc... making your car look worse each time). If the air dryer is good it will get rid of the water the creates the marks you were speaking of (drying ability makes or breaks a good touchless wash, again water attrack dirt). The wash I use is great ($48 for 5 washes).

If it's minor splashes on the vehicle and/or really filthy I use the $2.50 hand-wand to keep it clean or prewash it.

That's just basics.

More or less a hand wash/dry is ~1 hr....that's pre-rinse. Wash. Rinse. Wheel well and tire/wheel wash. Dry car. Clean door jams. DONE
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