Washing your car with a pressure washer? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Question Washing your car with a pressure washer?

Hey everyone,
Does anyone have any suggestions on what to and not to do when washing your car with a pressure washer? And also anyone have a clue on what is a good PSI to wash your car with?
Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 04:58 AM
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Washing your car with a pressure washer?

Hi, just make sure you use a car washing nozzle, otherwise you'll be stripping the poor thing bare! And spray from a distance, not fewer than 18 inches. Don’t just use a hose. Enough pressure will spray your paint off AND also don’t use the brushes as they will scratch your paint.

You may use 2400-3000 psi pressure washer and I’m sure it will work fine. I found excellent reviews about the best pressure washers selected on their characteristics at www.best-pressure-washer-reviews.com/pressure-washer-characteristics.html , hope this will help you.

Last edited by harshi01; 05-24-2011 at 12:20 AM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 02:17 PM
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Pressure washer is useless on car washing. It might help in removing heavy coat of mud, or accumulation of gunk on differentials, but that is about it.
I do have industrial grade PW with 3000 psi and that thing will not remove the fine dust that sticks to the paint on long run. That stuff needs to be broken loose with brush (don't recommend sponge) and than can be washed off with regular garden hose.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 02:17 PM
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If you're "talking" about the painted surfaces of your car to which you've carefully applied carnauba wax, well ... if you're using anything but a brush to wash it you're using the wrong thing.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 08:12 PM
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I only use pressure washers for "in-between" quick washes because as Kajtek1 said they do not truly remove all the dirt. A thorough spring hand wash and wax is the best defense and makes washing the car easier since the wax not only protects the paint, but helps you remove dirt that doesn't stick as well as it would to an unwaxed surface. While you're at it, wax the wheels, it makes it 10x easier to get the brake dust off.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 01:15 AM
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Pressure washers are great for inside wheel gaurds.
In some countries you are only allowed to use a PS or bucket, you cannot use a hose due to water restrictions.
Just remember, use a LOW setting.
I NEVER use a brush on any of my cars, I care too much for the paint to use one of those things.

Use a proper mit, visit detailedimage.com/Ask-A-Pro/ for advice, has some great articles.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martymonster View Post
I NEVER use a brush on any of my cars, I care too much for the paint to use one of those things.

Use a proper mit, visit detailedimage.com/Ask-A-Pro/ for advice, has some great articles.
Anything that rubs a car's surface turns the combination of what you're using to rub plus the dirt on the car into the equivalent of sandpaper.

Use of a brush simply flicks dirt away, avoiding the sandpaper effect.

This from Road & Track's "how to wash a car" article many years ago.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 01:24 AM
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There is a very high chance that the fibres on the brush WILL scratch your paint.
I would NOT trust an article from Road & Track (years old) on how to wash and detail your car.
As I said, visit the web site I mentioned to see how the REAL professionals look after cars.

The other week there was a show on TV (Australia), they showed how a Lamborghini dealer washes your car.
This guy said that he had 8 years experience in the car wash industry.
This is how they look after the clients cars.

Use a VERY HIGH pressure water blaster instead of a low pressure.
Potential damage doing this - any paint chips can just peel off, wax can be completel removed.

Wash the car with a SPONGE
Potential problems -Dirt gets trapped in sponge and rubs into car

Rinse the sponge in the same water that is used for washing
Potential problems - dirt from sponge builds up in your wash water. More dirt goes onto/into sponge to scratch the paint even more

The person washing the car was wearing a bracelet which once again will scratch the paint.

This from a so-called experienced car wash person in a Lamborghini dealership.

So excuse me if I do not trust Road & Track on how to look after MY car.

When I sold my Honda Accord V6 last year (after 6 years), there were no swirl marks or scratches anywhere.
The person took it to work and everyone thought he had a brand new car.

Our 2008 CLK does not have any swirl marks.

So if you want to trust Road & Track and damage your paint, go ahead.
Marty
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 08:04 AM
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It depends on many factors.
Two different types of owners out there.
Some that are meticulous and others that are care free.
If you're care-free, then a High PSI Pressure Washer will work fine for you.
However you will start to notice spider web scratches throughout your paint, windshield, glass, mirrors.

In ten years, I have never once used a Pressure Washer on my MB, Motorcycle or similar.

I use my Pressure Washer for the Sidewalk, Exterior Home and similar.

I ONLY hand Wash, either with a Microfiber Mit, Sponge or Car Brush.
I use a Car Shampoo WITH Paint Conditioners, like the Meguiars, Mothers etc.
I Pre-Spray FIRST to remove the Dirt, Pollen Powder etc.
I Pre-Spray with a Hose, not the Pressure Washer.

After it's all done and said with, I use my Ridgid Shop Vacuum, set it to Blow/Exhaust and blow off the excess water. Afterwards I use a "retired" Bath Towel and Dry her off.

Good Luck!

Charles
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Richmond County

United States of America
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris View Post

Use of a brush simply flicks dirt away, avoiding the sandpaper effect.

This from Road & Track's "how to wash a car" article many years ago.
Heard the same story when I started my driving carrier. That was .... 40 years ago
I am lazy to detail the cars. But being blessed with good quality water and 150 psi pressure of it, I am using plain water for engine washing, what at this pressure does excellent job and I am using plain water with truck washing brush mounted on extended pole.
So my quick wash takes 3 minutes, the one with wheel spokes washing about 8. Doing that before driving I let the air dry the car.
Again with good water I have no water marks. In the past I had water softener what was really good for car washing.
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