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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gents,

Many times I get asked what people should buy to start washing their car in the safest and most effective way.

Below you will find mix of products that you can buy to make your own Washing Kit. This is a suggestion of the products that you should consider in purchasing, so you can start taking care of your M car in the way it deserves :)

2x Buckets
2x Wash Mitts
1x Shampoo
Many Microfibres
1x Window Cleaner
1x Wheel Cleaner
1x Tire Gloss
1x Brush
1x Wheel Brush (insides)


Two Buckets, what for?
Bucket Wash is used for warm water with the shampoo mix.
Bucket Rinse is used to rinse your mitt from the dirt it catches.

I think that Dodo came up with a nice Bucket set, with Grit Guards and stickers on them so you can easily identify which is which, this would be what I would buy if I would be in the market for new buckets: The Wash Bucket and The Rinse Bucket.

I bought my two buckets quite some time ago, from a webstore that doesnt even exist anymore. It is a nice set with lids that are able to retain the water inside the bucket, plus I bought some grit guards for them and they are perfect. However, I did some search and found them being sold by some other company in the USA, in case someone is interested: Gamma Seal Lid + Buckets

If you want to go full Pro and money is no question, then you have this option: Sonüs Bucket


What Wash mitts should I get?
I genuinely believe that you should always wash your car with two mitts, one for the top of the car (lambswool) and one for the bottom part which is always the most dirty, which I use for under the trim line on my E39 M5.

Currently, since I am a bit insane, I own a pet Wookie, which I love dearly for its ability to hold water and to get the dirt in the fibres, away from the paint. However, this mitt requires regular maintenance and may not be to the regular owner :)

Most good quality Lambswool Mitts, like the Sonüs or a Merino Wool Mitt, will be perfect for your washing.

For the bottom part of the car, you can use a normal Lambswool mitt as the above or a normal Microfibre wash mitt.


Shampoo: Lubricity, suds andcleaning power while being gentle to the Wax layer.

There are many choices here... I have tried many shampoos, too many to list.

My favorite choice is the Dodo Juice Born to Be Mild. Does ticks all the boxes for me and performs better (In my honest opinion!) then their more expensive Supernatural Shampoo.

You will also find good quality in the Zaino Z7, Meguiars Shampoo Plus or Duragloss

Just be sure to always have the correct ratio of luke warm water and shampoo!


Microfibres, soft and plushy!
These will be important tools, to help you dry, clean, polish and buff.

For Drying: Dodo Supernatural, Miracle Dryer, Sonüs Waffle Weave, PB Luxury Drying Towel and many others.

For Polish:
Good for the exhaust tips and other areas, a short nap MF towel will be perfect, since they provide more bite to really work with the polish: Sonüs Der Wunder or Marvel Polishing Towel

For Buffing: Dodo Fantastic Fur, Eurow Shag, Sonüs Der Wunder


Wheels
Preferably, your wheels are sealed and you don't need to use aggressive products regularly to clean them. If they are sealed, then normal shampoo will do fine :)

However, if you need a Specific cleaning product, you will find: Dodo Juice Mellow Yellow, Bilberry, Autosmart Smartwheels, etc. Please consider in sealing your wheel and in using the wheel cleaners only occasionally.

For wheel brushes, Vikan offers a great range of products that you can probably pick up from your local store. Nonetheless, when I go attack some wheels, I always have with me: Swissvax Wheel Brush, some soft Vikan Brushes and a EZ Detail Brush for the inside of the wheels.

Tires
A clean tire is a must. Always scrub your tires well with APC before applying the tire gloss, else it will just turn brownish and the products will never attach correctly.

I use the Blackfire Long Lasting Tire Gel for a wetter look and the Zaino Z16for a matte finish.

Windows
Clean windows are a constant requirement on my M5, I go crazy if they are dirty. When I travel to Portugal and do those 2200km in a row non-stop, I want my visibility to be as clear as possible and my girlfriend always helps me clean the windows while I feed the car with gasoline on the pitstops :D On my weekly M5 wash, all windows are cleaned, just a spray or two on the cloth will be enough (since the shampoo did most of the work already)

I use a microfibre with enough bite to get those bugs out, but still be gentle enough: Dodo Mint Merkin or its sister Supernatural.

To clean my windows I use Mark V Window Sheen but am going to order the new Brilliant Glass Cleaner very soon :)

Of course, all my windows are sealed on the outside with Carlack Glass Sealant. However that is going to be replaced soon with another product I'm dying to try :D

But Tiago... what if I want to add that little extra something after the wash or to add some more protection on top of my wax layer?

Spray Sealant is the answer, so you can add some wetness and protection to your car on top of your wax layer. Although, it won't last long (if you don't have a wax layer below you will notice it), it is still enough to hold it until you wash your car 2 weeks later (depending on mileage).

There are not many choices for a good Spray Sealant (not a regular detailing spray). I own Dodo Red Mist Tropical and Zaino Z8. There are other products on the market, but these two are what I believe to be on top of the game (Finish Kare also makes one, but haven't tried it yet).

The one I keep on using is the Dodo Red Mist, I find it easier to use, spreads better, beads better and lasts good for the milleage that I do on my car. The Z8 is a great product, but IMHO, the Red Mist just adds that little extra something for me.



Detailing can be an expensive hobby, but a fun one, with the results being all in your car. There are so many products out there that you will always have something new to try (and this is where it gets expensive). However on the above I tried to include a wide selection of products, so it can fit on the budget that each one of us has.

Coming soon... How to wash my BMW M: Techniques and Pictures :)
 

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Great little list. Thanks to your post I found Sonus and just ordered $225 worth of washing items, including that $80 bucket. I must be an idiot for paying 80 bucks for a bucket, but what got me was the padded seat. That's great for washing your wheels. Every time I get a new car I refresh my detailing stock. I almost ordered a Griot's kit, but their stuff really isn't that great.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sonüs does some good stuff, I love their clay and their Microfibres :)

But don't grow attached to just one brand, there are a lot of companies releasing a lot of quality material!
 

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Well, it's easier to order the bulk of things from just one place rather than one thing here and one there. Also, in my opinion, I can't really believe an.y real gap exists between quality products. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that a concours wax and a quality store brand car wax produce little difference I was interested in Dodo Juice's products, but their USA store is limited. Are you a professional detailer? Also, did you do a similarly detailed list on clay/wax products? I guess I could do a search to answer that. What do you recommend for "sealing" the chrome shadow wheels?

Here's my complete order:
Sonus Der Wunder SON-DWTRIO 1 49.50
Microfiber Towel Trio
Sonus Ultimate Microfiber MF-201 1 13.00
Detailing Towels, Pkg/2
Sonus Der Wunder SON-DWDT-2 1 28.95
Microfiber Drying Towels
Sonus Professional Bucket SON-PROBUCKET 1 73.00
Genuine Wool Car Wash VK-103 1 12.50
Mitt
Sonus Vision Glass & SON-150 1 8.00
Plastic Cleaner
Car and Sheepskin Wheel CR-93017 1 7.25
Cleaner
Two Way Mini Detail Brush MBM-BR-296 1 2.49
Subtotal 194.69
Shipping 19.20
Tax 0.00
Total 213.89
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not a professional detailer, but a hobbyist :)

Dodo Juice has some really nice products and their customer support is very good. Have a look at their Wax line, they are good quality and very well priced!

For sealing the wheels, something like Poorboys Wheel Sealant or Collinite 476s will serve you fine!
 

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Tires
A clean tire is a must. Always scrub your tires well with APC before applying the tire gloss, else it will just turn brownish and the products will never attach correctly.

I use the Blackfire Long Lasting Tire Gel for a wetter look and the Zaino Z16for a matte finish.
Sorry for being dumb!!!

What is ATC? I am guessing automotive Tyre cleaner but would like to be sure.
Cheers Griff

PS I have just aquired my first ever Clay bar set and I am so excited! Sad or what?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry for being dumb!!!

What is ATC? I am guessing automotive Tyre cleaner but would like to be sure.
Cheers Griff

PS I have just aquired my first ever Clay bar set and I am so excited! Sad or what?
Its not ATC, its APC: All Purpose Cleaner.

Like this one, Meguiars All Purpose Cleaner.
 

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Ok so I have the washing part pretty much sorted. Now I am about to venture into the world of a machine polisher. There are so many different pads and products. Where do I begin? I don't want to make it over complicated to start off but I would like to get good results for the expected time outlay!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hmmm, I will try to make a little recommendation, in terms of machine, pads and polishes for you when I get home :)
 

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The master :applause:

I'm trying to allocate time to have a little correction on my carbon black after getting almost....the all clear, from Tiago and his paint thickness gauge last saturday. :thumbsup: Still got headers on the brain, just trying ways to convince myself that life is worthless without them :haha:
 

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I noticed in one of your awesome posts that you are using a Nilifisk pressure washer.... can you provide some details as far as the PSI you are using.... I have a well with lousy pressure, so I was thinking of buying a pressure washer, but I don't want to buy one that might damage my paint. Anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I noticed in one of your awesome posts that you are using a Nilifisk pressure washer.... can you provide some details as far as the PSI you are using.... I have a well with lousy pressure, so I was thinking of buying a pressure washer, but I don't want to buy one that might damage my paint. Anyone have any suggestions?
Only now I have noticed the question above, oppss!

I use the Nilfisk E140: Nilfisk E140 2-9 S X-Tra Pressure Washer with 2100W Induction Motor 9m Hose Reel: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools

Its a good machine and its still serving me great with no leaks whatsoever! :)
 

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Hi Taigo,

You did not mention what sorts of polishing machines you would recommend?
I see you are using Flex. Any other options?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Taigo,

You did not mention what sorts of polishing machines you would recommend?
I see you are using Flex. Any other options?
For a Rotary Machine? Makita 9227CB is another option to the Flex (heavier by 1 kilo, which for my back is a no go, reason why I have the Flex)

For a orbital machine? Don't know anymore, market has a lot of offers now, any of the good names should provide you a good orbital machine.
 

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Thank you very much.
1.Could you please also tell a difference between Orbital and Rotary machines?
2.Also, you say that you lubricate panels before claying. What sort of lubrication do you mean?
3.Do you clay the whole car or only problematic regions? How much clay you need to clay whole car? I never did claying before.
4.Is waxing the car the same as sealing a car? What for do you use rotary machine? In order to apply wax?
 

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Thanks for the compilation, T!

I'm a new m5 beast owner and I want to begin washing the car on my own without having to rely on anyone else to do it. As the saying goes - no one will wash it better than the owner. Since the original post was made in Jan-2010, just wondering if there were any changes to the products, at all. Do you still use the same car wash shampoo, waxing, tire/rim cleaner as you previously mentioned? What about products used for scrubing, drying, etc? The first post is an excellent start and I plan on using some of the items there but I wanted to see if other members have had better experience with other products that may not be mentioned. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the compilation, T!

I'm a new m5 beast owner and I want to begin washing the car on my own without having to rely on anyone else to do it. As the saying goes - no one will wash it better than the owner. Since the original post was made in Jan-2010, just wondering if there were any changes to the products, at all. Do you still use the same car wash shampoo, waxing, tire/rim cleaner as you previously mentioned? What about products used for scrubing, drying, etc? The first post is an excellent start and I plan on using some of the items there but I wanted to see if other members have had better experience with other products that may not be mentioned. Thanks!
Hello,

You can maybe look into these two posts, they should help you in some of those questions that you make there:

Washing, claying and waxing the M5: tips and tricks



The only changes that I can think of are:

1. Using a Nano Sealant instead of a Wax, Wolf Chemicals Body Wrap.
2. Using a Nano Wheel Sealant for my wheels, Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armour.
3. If I need to wash wheels (which I do once a year with a wheel cleaner for my daily driving M5), I use Wolf Chemicals Brake Duster.
 
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