car wash

How to choose a Wash Mitt for your car

Types of Wash Mitt

Specialising in Car Detailing , Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne will be covering a series of articles focussing on decontamination and in this post, we focus on car wash mitts. 

The reasoning behind this particular post stems from the belief that it is critical that for the vast majority of cases, using a typical sponge is terrible for your paintwork!

Therefore, Project Detail uses and highly recommends using wash mitts and having several spare handy. It is important to note that not all wash mitts are the same, in fact there are several types of wash mitts available on the market today. Ranging from microfibre, microfibre noodles and wool.

A good wash mitt is vital when comes washing a car properly by using a 2-bucket wash method. In combination with the buckets, the mitt greatly reduces fine scratches and swirl marks instilled on your paint. In this article Project Detail, we will guide you through the wash mitt.

Swirl marks and scratches caused by improper washing and maintenance.

Swirl marks and scratches caused by improper washing and maintenance.

Sponges = Swirl City

Sponges comes to majority of people's mind whenever a car wash is mentioned. Whether this is due to bikini washes or the person washing their car on the weekend often shown in the media.

Sponges when examined, are actually incredibly bad for washing your car. Contrary to regular belief, the paintwork on your car is very soft and not that durable towards scratching. A sponge by nature does two things when washing your car, the first is holding a large amount of liquid or shampoo in this instance. And the second is being abrasive, having the scrubbing power to remove harsh caked on residue just like a dinner plate.

These factors aren't relevant when washing your car. It is very important to remember a sponge does not physically pick up or remove the dirt. What it will do however is grind the dirt and dust on the surface as you move your mitt around, physically putting in scratches into the paintwork.

Therefore, this is why Project Detail and many professional detailers prefer using a mitt instead. The fundamental difference is the mitt's ability to encapsulate and pickup dirt and debris rather than pushing it around. This allows the grit and dirt to be dispensed safely into a 2 bucket and grit guard system.

Meguiars example of a Microfibre wash towel

Meguiars example of a Microfibre wash towel

Microfibre Wash Mitt

One of the most common wash mitt available on the market. It works great for cars that are going through a wash and decontamination for wax application or paint correction treatment. It picks up dirt and cleans well but for cars with a softer, delicate paintwork. It might cause micro-marring due to the length of the fibres in the wash mitt. 

For microfibre wash mitts, we recommend rinsing in the 2-bucket method as often as possible due to the dirt capacity in them. 

Example of a woolen wash mitt

Example of a woolen wash mitt

Wool/Sheep Skin Wash Mitt

A wool/sheep skin wash mitt is our favourite wash mitts when comes to maintenance wash and details. It's very soft, plush and very delicate on paint. It traps dirt deep into the fibres while cleaning the surface with it's soft hair. 

We however do not recommend people to use wool/sheep skin wash mitt on extra dirty cars. The down side of a wool/sheep skin is longevity, it does not last as long as a microfibre wash mitt. 

Microfibre noodle mitt in action

Microfibre noodle mitt in action

Noodle Microfibre Wash Mitt 

A noodle microfibre wash mitt combines both microfibre and wool/sheep skin wash mitt, providing the best of both worlds. The fibres has the length on a wool/sheep skin wash mitt and the material of a microfibre wash mitt and it works excellent on both a maintenance detail and preparation wash. 

If you can't decide which wash mitt to get, a noodle microfibre wash mitt is the type of wash mitt you will want to go for. 

Variant of a microfibre wash m

Variant of a microfibre wash m

Your detailer will most likely to have 3 types of wash mitt we mentioned for each different types of detail to suit for their customers. But however if you are still deciding which wash mitt to get, we recommend a noodle microfibre wash mitt for all rounders and a wool/sheep skin wash mitt if your car has been detailed previously. 

Now you have your wash mitt, but unsure which shampoo to get? Be sure to check out our previous article on car wash shampoos here. 

We hope this article helped you about choosing the right wash mitt for your car (and not sponge), feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions in regards to car detailing. You could do so by clicking here.

Types of Car Wash Shampoo

All shampoos are not the same

Specialising in Car Detailing , Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne will be covering a series of articles focussing on decontamination and in this post, we focus on Car Shampoo.

Choosing the right car shampoo for your car is essential for majority of the car owners. There are thousands of variety of car shampoo on the shelf and choosing the right one for your car might be a difficult task.  

There are a few differences between types of car shampoo but they all serve the same purpose: to break down dirt and help clean your car.

Here at Project Detail Studio, we are going to cover the different types of car shampoo that suits the best for your vehicle. 

BMW M4 Snow Foam as Pre-wash, part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination

Snow Foam Agent ph neutral

These types of shampoo are designed to be used with a snow foam lance or hose attachment. It contains high suds content and cleaning agent that is used to break down dirt and grime on the pre-wash stage. Spray snow foam, covering the entire car and let it sit for 3-5 minutes for it to dwell onto the paintwork before rinsing it off, allowing us to have less contact with the dirt when comes to the 2-bucket method wash after.

Want to know more about Snow Foam and what we mean by pre-wash? Click here to see our 21 stage wash method Project Detail uses.

Preparation/Heavy Duty Shampoo
often acidic or alkaline inclined

Typically, these kind of shampoo is used in preparation before a car undergoes a waxing application or paint correction. It provides superior cleaning compared to ordinary washes and not only it cleans all the dirt and grime well, it also breaks down previously applied wax or sealants. Also tends to have stronger cleaner ability however, if left to dry on paint can causing etching or staining to plastics, rubbers or paintwork.

Soft Wash/Maintenance Shampoo ph Neutral

These shampoos are usually pH neutral and they are very delicate on car paints and does not have the intend to strip any applied waxes or sealants. They are perfect for cars that has been detailed or previously applied wax or sealants and they are great at maintaining them. Some of these shampoos even have a small amount of wax mixed into the formula. It is usually named soft wash/wash and wax/premium car shampoo etc. 

Pro tip: If your car has been applied with any type of wax or sealants, use a pH neutral shampoo to preserve its longevity.

Coating Maintenance Shampoo ph Neutral

Coating maintenance shampoos are fairly new to the market. As some of the detailers know, ceramic/quartz coating usually is maintained by applying a top coat every few months and it acts as a sacrificial layer on top of the ceramic/quartz coatings and it provides good hydrophobicity on top of the coatings itself. A coating maintenance shampoo combines a top coat and car wash shampoo in one. An good example would be CarPro's Hydro2 or Concours Nova Jet. It can also be used on cars that hasn't had ceramic/quartz coating to provide rudimentary protection.

Detailing Kingdom's Car Hydra is an example of pH neutral premium shampoo.

We hope this article helped you on choosing the right car wash shampoo for you car. If you have any questions about car wash shampoos, you can do so by contacting us here.

How to Dry Your Car

Drying, as part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination on a brand new XE Jaguar 

The Right Way

We emphasise a lot on our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination, how swirl marks are caused and washing your car the right way to reduce the chances of instilling swirl marks, minor scratches and general wear and tear. Another major cause for imperfections is the way you dry your car. 

Sadly, majority of the car owners use methods that are simply too aggressive for the paintwork of the car. Typical synthetic chamois or even leather chamois are main culprit, dragging with lots of friction making the surface 'squeaky' clean is actually not a good thing.

We are going to cover several methods you can use to dry your car properly without causing any chance of getting swirl marks and minor scratches on your car. Before that, we'll quickly cover some incorrect techniques.  

Swirl marks caused by using improper car washing techniques over the years 

Synthetic/Leather Chamois "Shammy"

Contrary to popular belief, chamois (leather or synthetic) causes more harm than good. Yes, it does try your car extremely well, absorbing water and leaving no streak marks on your car and windows and it can be squeezed out and reuse it again for the entire car without the need of using multiple cloths.  

However, the main issue about chamois, doesn't matter if its leather or synthetic, is they are very grabby. They grab onto your paintwork and glide across with a strong friction. The chamois itself in addition to any possible dust or dirt particles or anything you missed during the washing stages may also be dragged along the surface causing scratches and marring.

If your detailer uses chamois to dry your car, be sure to ask them these 3 Questions we listed to make sure they are doing the right thing by you and your car. Also request them use clean microfibre towels as a drying aid instead.

Letting it dry naturally 

Water spots caused by letting the car dry naturally after a wash

Water spots caused by letting the car dry naturally after a wash

A lot of car owners tend to let their car dry naturally. That is good to a certain extent because they are avoiding any chances of instilling any imperfections on to the paintwork caused by friction.
However, the one major disadvantage to allowing the water to naturally dry is the risk of leaving water spots on your vehicle. Particularly on the flat panels like the roof, boot and especially the bonnet as the engine heat can accelerate that process.

The only situation where allowing the car to dry naturally without any issues is using filtered water. Typically a 0ppm - 2ppm filter will remove all iron, calcium and other minerals commonly found in our tap water. This means that when the water evaporates, it leaves no minerals behind to form watermarks.  

The only other alternative is to have a high quality paint protection product (Wax/Sealant/Coating) that provides good hydrophobicity and drive a loop on a high speed road so the water runs off the surface.

Microfibre Drying Towels and Air Blow Technique

Pressurised air or a blower makes sure no water is left in crevices.

Replace your synthetic or leather chamois with a microfibre one. Either a proper microfibre drying towel or a waffle weave towel will produce fantastic results. They are able to be used dry, soak up immense amounts of water. Furthermore, they has much less friction as they glide over the surface, this means less chances of scratches and swirl marks. 

Tip - Make sure to have 2-3 towels for personal use. Dropping the towel on the ground or excessively wet towels are less effective.

Another component that most forget is all the water hiding in side mirrors, door handles of in the jambs of doors. After a few minutes or after opening the doors, water pours out and leaves water marks on the car. To avoid this, simply firmly open and close the doors and boot a few times to shake out the water. A much more effective solution is to use a blower or an air compressors to blow the excess water away.

Drying Aids & Spray Waxes

Ferrari F430 Rossa Corsa Red after a maintenance wash

Another additional factor when helping drying your vehicle is to introduce a dedicated drying aid or more commonly found a spray wax. While drying a panel, simply spraying a small amount onto your towel of the surface will make the cloth more slick and glide over the surface easier. Furthermore, the spray wax will actually help absorb more water meaning faster drying and better results.

We have found using this method to decreases the likelihood of swirls and also allows the car to be dried in 20-30% quicker.

We hope that we have provided some tips on drying your car, if you would like to know more or have any questions for us be sure to click here to contact us.

*banner photo credit to AMMO NYC & Larry Kosilla