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GaryB1969

Cleaning a black car

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Posted (edited)

I know black cars are difficult to keep clean but wondered if anyone could recommend a polish (or anything else) that I can use on my Volvo to help prevent the water marks I get after washing it? I wash it every week and it's been polished with a Simoniz polush but when I wash it it looks awful! I wash it using a car shampoo and rinse thoroughly.  I suspect using a chamois would help but wondered if anyone had any other tips. 

20190717_090441.jpg

Edited by GaryB1969

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I rinse with Fenwicks Bobby Dazzler, it causes all the water to bead and run off, I finish with a clean dry micro-fibre cloth.

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Dishwasher rinse-aid is supposed to help.

My brother always goes for a spin to blow dry the car.

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That’s just water mark spots. Water left to dry will leave a slight residue, and that’s what you can see. If the shampoo isn’t rinsed off thoroughly, that’ll make it worse. 

 

After rinsing, dry it  thoroughly, micro fibre cloths are easier than a chamois. 

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Posted (edited)

Loads of tips and hints for black cars over on Detailingworld.com

 

Having had both black and dark blue 4x4s in the past, I vowed never to have another dark one and now it's silver every time.

 

I found that dark cars could only be cleaned effectively on cloudy days. Paintwork needs to be clayed every so often, I prefer a clay mit/cloth to a clay bar. Then a good polish like Menzerna, Mequirs, Farecla etc followed by a wax. This should see you good for 2-3 months before reapplication.  Dark cars are also very prone to showing swirl marks and these need to be removed, depending on how pedantic you want to be, for a mirror glaze finish using a DA (dual action) polisher and various mop heads & cutting compounds.

 

I tended, and still do to firstly wash the wheels and arches. Then, using something as simple as Turtle Wax wash/shampoo,  the roof and dry this area first with a good microfibre cloth. Then do the back and dry. Then one side at a time, drying each one as you go. Finally the front of the car. Don't try and wash the car in one go and then try and dry it after as, depending on the temperature of the paint, the residual water will have already started to leave scale deposits as the droplets evaporate.

 

As they say, it's all in the preparation. Biggest and most noticeable difference to keeping water marks at bay was the use of the clay cloth IMO as this prep gives you a very smooth finish from which to build up the polish and wax.

Edited by Pebble

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Reverse Osmosis gear is getting cheap nowadays.  It's what mobile window washer franchises use.  quick and no streaks.  I like hand car wash places - they all news newsprint to dry off the car.

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I feel your pain.

 

Earlier this year I bit the bullet and clay barred the Passat - I’d never done this before and was quite nervous but the results were astounding and the process simple enough. I then polished the car with Autoglym super resin and the results are astounding to say the least.  

 

However, this only makes it simple to clean which is where I think your issue arises.

 

I always clean the car out of the sun - the front of our home is East facing so I either do it on an overcast day or in the evening, never if the sun is on it.

 

I use Autoglym shampoo with a microfibres mitt and a bucket with a grit-guard in it, applied after rinsing the car.  The nice applied this is washed off.

 

Of the whole wash drying is the most important bit and this is why I avoid sunlight - I use two microfibres rather than chamois, one microfibres gets ‘wet’ (and ringed out continuously) the second removes the last traces of moisture and is, at most, a little damp by the time it’s done - this leaves the finish completely and utterly drip and streak-free.

 

I polish the car every 3 months and intend to clay bar it annually.

 

The end result - washed and dried when overcast, clay barred and polished when sunny;

D904EB20-2814-4DC4-A65A-9E426EA275FE.jpeg

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Thanks everyone.  I have had several black cars over the years, usually down to the fact that black was one of the very few "free" paint options, with them being company cars I didn't get too obsessed about streaks and marks after washing.  When I was made redundant and looking for a car to buy I vowed NOT to have a black car.  Unfortunately for me the V90 was such a good deal that I had to (try) and ignore the colour.  After a few washes I suddenly remember why I wanted to avoid a black car but I try and keep reminding myself about the price!

 

I'll try a micro-fibre mitt and all of the other suggestions, after I washed it yesterday it really did look worse than before I did it!

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18 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

I vowed NOT to have a black car.  Unfortunately for me the V90 was such a good deal that I had to (try) and ignore the colour.  After a few washes I suddenly remember why I wanted to avoid a black car but I try and keep reminding myself about the price!

I'm in a similar position Gary. My last black car was a 1968 Wolsley, and like you I vowed never to buy another black one. Our present V70 was an offer I couldn't resist, but every time I clean it I wish I had - because it is black, and an absolute pain to keep looking clean.

There is no option but to clean the darned thing frequently if it's ever to look cared for. It is kept well polished but I have found that by washing each panel one at a time, and using a chamois to remove the water immediately as I go, is the only way to prevent water marks forming.

Maybe its replacement will have to be finished in "road dirt brown" paint with "brake dust black" wheels :blush:

Gordon.

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I had the caravan "Painsealed" and had the car done at the same time, the car cost £150 well worth the money, with a five tear guarantee 

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24 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

 

I'll try a micro-fibre mitt and all of the other suggestions, after I washed it yesterday it really did look worse than before I did it!

 

Undoubtedly the water you are rinsing the car with is drying before you take it off - this is the main issue you have. Wash the car when the sun isn’t on it and you’ll be fine.

 

I also vowed never to have another black car but couldn’t miss out on a great deal!

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4 minutes ago, FrankBullet said:

 

Undoubtedly the water you are rinsing the car with is drying before you take it off - this is the main issue you have. Wash the car when the sun isn’t on it and you’ll be fine.

 

I also vowed never to have another black car but couldn’t miss out on a great deal!

 

Talk to professional valeters, see what they use - my valeter has cleaned the car this morning in bright sunshine, looks fantastic as usual.

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No need to speak to valeters or buy any potions, if you are not drying it then that is your problem.

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I am a lover of black cars but to be honest it is without doubt the hardest colour to keep clean.  I have a bit of a ritual when cleaning, assuming I don't have to take off tar etc. I rinse down, then wash with a mitt using Autoglym products and then rinse off the shampoo.  With the car still wet, I use Autoglymm Aqua wet wax and dry off with a microfiber cloth and finally a once over with a clean dry microfiber cloth.

 

 

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Nothing shows the dirt more than a black car and then as you know, they are a pig to clean and finish.

 

There are a couple of options:  Get a gold coloured car - Gold is the colour of dirt.  I had a Harvest Gold Marina which only ever had the glass and lights cleaned.  I had that car for 18 years.

 

I moved on to  Landovers, where dirt and mud enhances their street cred.

 

When we had red cars, I got nagged by OH to clean them, but usually God did it for me with the wonderful Welsh rain.

 

The current car is dark grey and I didn't have to wash it for 3 years, as it was in the dealer's so often and they washed it every time, however, there seems to be a lot of gold coloured dust in the air at the moment and I've already washed it twice this year.  I don't do any of that polishing though!

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Wunny said:

 

There are a couple of options:  Get a gold coloured car - Gold is the colour of dirt.  I had a Harvest Gold Marina which only ever had the glass and lights cleaned.  I had that car for 18 years.

 

 

 

Bronze is also good, particularly the lighter shades.

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Our tap water is very hard (Lincoln) and cars other than black also suffer from water marks. I have tried a chamois but it did not remove the water enough. On the windows I use a squeegee to clear the water straight away (same with our house windows). A soft squeegee could be used on the paint work but I would be worried it might scratch the car if not kept clean.

 

It helps if it rains soon after washing the car to remove the stains. Our cars have a paint sealant which also helps keep the cars clean but the stains still occur as tap water dries on the car.

 

When I visit the Lake District I fill a few bottles with tap water which there is very soft and use this in the car washer bottle.

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Has anyone heard of Greased Lightning water-less polish? Of course you have. Why has no-one mentioned it I wonder?

 

Next door uses it on his black car and wouldn't use anything else. ;)

 

I use it on the van too.

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6 minutes ago, BOAC said:

Has anyone heard of Greased Lightning water-less polish? Of course you have. Why has no-one mentioned it I wonder?

 

Next door uses it on his black car and wouldn't use anything else. ;)

 

I use it on the van too.

 

Sounds interesting,  how is it applied?

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51 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

 

Sounds interesting,  how is it applied?

 

 

You have to use microfibre cloths to apply and then to polish off. Its best to apply sparingly, the effect you want to achieve is a slight haze. 

 

Squirt the Greased Lightning onto a cloth and wipe on to a panel. It does not matter if the panel is dirty. Trust me, it works. I use it on dirty caravan windows and does NOT scratch.

 

Then take the clean cloth and simply buff the polish off. Job done.

 

More on GL HERE

 

VIDEO

 

1. BUY

 

2. BUY

 

Enough said I think. I REALLY do not understand the hose and water brigade - the time - the hosing - the rinsing - the drying and wet trousers when all that you need the GL way are two clothes and a bottle.

 

It will leave you a lot of spare time to do the bidding of her indoors.

 

H'mmm.

 

Pete

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Posted (edited)

Greased lightning will and does cause scratches. No matter how often you refold and change your microfibres cloth, you’re still smearing grit across the panels. It’s the same for the bucket and sponge brigade, unless you have a careful routine. Black cars are undoubtably the worst for showing swirl marks and I will never have one. 

 

My current routine is to start with snowfoam to loosen dirt, pressure washed off after about 10 minutes. Then a 2 bucket wash with a Meguiars mitt and shampoo (one bucket with the shampoo, the other to rinse the mitt), followed by drying with multiple micro fibre cloths. 

 

Tar spots removed when needed, I tend to clay, polish with an orbital machine and apply a paint sealant once a year. I’m very careful, but still end up with faint swirl marks after a few years, which need a buffer to cut and correct. 

Edited by Fireman Iain

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Posted (edited)

Best time to wash the car is after overnight rain when that lovely soft water has loosened all the mud and bird droppings.  A soft dustpan brush will trap less grit than any sponge or cloth.  Wash from the bottom up.  If you wash from the top down the water running down makes it harder to see the dirt.  I like those brushes that connect to a hose and inject a little detergent - the pole is handy for big/tall vehicles and hard-to-reach areas like the roof.  Or pay the neighbours' teenage daughter to wash your car :D

Edited by kelper
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24 minutes ago, Fireman Iain said:

Greased lightning will and does cause scratches.

 

Odd!! I and others as illustrated above have not experienced this. Would the manufacturers still be making it if that is the case? I can truly say that you are the first person in the seven years I have been using GL to condemn it.

 

To test GL initially way back I tried it on caravan windows and it did not scratch them what so ever. Now - THAT - is the most indicative toughest test anywhere.

 

Each to their own opinions though.

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I don't see how any polish can eliminate the risk unless the grit is removed first?  I suppose it depends where you drive and what is in your local road dirt?  I tried a high pressure washer once and it blew off all the decals (Toyota MR2).  And it did no better than a hand job.

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Thats what I thought at first but time and experience has taught me otherwise but if dirty clothes are used then it might scratch.

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