Here in the northeast, we have pretty significant winter weather. That means lots of salt and salt brine are spread all over the roads here, especially in PA. The road salt, when combined with the hard groundwater, it wreaks havoc on vehicles.
So there are 2 problems when you want to wash your vehicle during the winter months. 1 is that the salt that gets onto your vehicle can be very abrasive and cause damage during washing. The other is that it’s too cold to handle tons of water.
We recommend one of 2 methods for winter washing where you can’t complete a full contact wash. Those methods are Waterless Washing & Rinseless Washing.
We recommend the rinseless method for people at home that have a garage. It is a great balance of speed and lubrication to ensure you give yourself a scratch & swirl-free wash.
List of items you will need:
These are the items you’re going to need:
- AMERICAN DETAIL GARAGE – WIPEOUT is a highly lubricated polymer enhanced detailer concentrate. It can be diluted into several different products, such as a clay lube, glass cleaner, waterless wash, rinseless wash & drying aid. It contains SOME very light protection in the form of a polymer additive but it is NOT significant enough to seal a car, so we consider it a no-protection product because of that.
- 12 Pack of our 550GSM Ghost Towels – these will be the best option to gently lift away dirt.
- 16oz Bottle of CRUSH SiO2 Detailer Concentrate – This will be to “towel-on” additional gloss, slickness and protection for your vehicle.
- A Standard Grit Guard
- 2x 5 Gallon Bucket
- A Pump Sprayer (or 32oz spray bottle)
- Optimum No Rinse (Similar to WIPEOUT, slightly less lubrication but is still a good alternative, some people like one over the other)
The majority of these items are available on our Rinseless Washing Kit.
First, take your Pump Sprayer and dilute 1oz of WIPEOUT to 32oz water. (Double that for every 32 ounces you are mixing). Take your sprayer and go around the vehicle and presoak the vehicle with the WIPEOUT. The idea is to spray downward to help encapsulate the dirt and move it off the vehicle.
Fill one Five Gallon Bucket with 6 towels, add 3.5 gallons of water. Add 5oz of Wipeout. Mix thoroughly so the color is evenly distributed. Lift out one towel. Fold to quarters. DO NOT WRING. Start at the top of the panel. Move top to bottom, left to right, in straight lines.
If you are feeling a lot of contamination and dirt, before you get to the last 25% of the bottom of the panel, flip to a new side. You can use this towel for as many panels as you can until all the sides are used. I usually say use it for 2 doors and something like a fender. Take that towel and toss it into the separate 5-gallon bucket – DO NOT PLACE IT BACK INTO THE ORIGINAL BUCKET WITH THE WATER! Move to the next panel with a new towel.
DRYING & FINISHING
Most of the water will be gone at this point. If there are some spots or streaks, take a clean microfiber towel and mist the CRUSH SiO2 Detailer Concentrate onto the towel (2 mists), folded into quarters. Take the towel and wipe the panel until the water and product flash away behind the towel, leaving you with a slick and crystal clear shine.
Remember, this is NOT the recommended method for washing a very dirty car. If your car is covered in salt, you should try and remove as much of the salt as possible.
WATERLESS WASHING (second method)
This is a method that doesn’t require any bucket but only microfiber towels and a spray bottle with WIPEOUT. Dilute 1oz of Wipeout to 32oz water. Presoak the panels, encapsulating and driving down the dirt to the bottom of the panel, then using our GHOST Microfiber Towels, gently wipe back and forth, top to bottom, left to right. Remember to switch sides of the towel.
After “washing” the car, towel on some CRUSH SiO2 Detailer Concentrate for additional Protection.
NOTE: If you don’t like how the ADG Wipeout works, you can substitute ONR (Optimum No Rinse) – using .5oz per 32oz water for sprayers and 2.5 oz for 3.5-4 gallons of water in the bucket.
I hope this article has helped to explain to you how to care for your ceramic coated & PPF protected vehicle during the winter and when you cannot give your vehicle a full wash.
You CAN do this inside of your garage. Yes, you will get some water that will drip onto the floor but most of it will evaporate since it is such a little amount.
Remember, NOTHING REPLACES A SUPER LUBRICATED SOAP AND FOAM WASH! This should really only be for people that can’t wash at their homes and for winter care ONLY.
You can find all of these products on our sister website at AutoSurfaceProtection.com.
ALTERNATIVES TO RINSELESS WASHING
There is a video shown below that will give you an in-depth explanation of how to wash your ceramic-coated & PPF’d vehicle.
In general, you should also follow these principles:
- STAY OUT OF THE BRUSH CAR WASH! – The style of car wash with moving brushes, moving cloth, etc automatically voids your coating/ppf warranty AND will cause damage to the paint.
- ONLY USE A TOUCHLESS CAR WASH! – Often referred to as a no-touch or Laser Wash style wash. You pull into a bay and then your vehicle is sprayed on all sides with water, soaps, and cleaners.
- SELF SERVE! – You can use a Self Serve Car wash but only use the pressure washer attachment. Soap and rinse only! NO FOAMING BRUSH!!!!
- HAND WASH! – Traditional Hand Washing with a 2 Bucket Method and a good wash mitt with highly lubricated soap is highly recommended. See the video below.
- NO CHAMOIS! – Only use a good, soft, plush microfiber drying towel. Be sure to also use a drying aide! (You can use ONR or WIPEOUT!)