Rinseless wash redux.

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May 15, 2008
Norwalk, CA not CT
Since I've been making my rinseless wash for a while, actually longer than they've been popular with the detailing world, and a couple people are interested, I'll post it here. I did tweak the ratios some and after some experimenting, I wanted to see if I can substitute the Photo Flo with a more off the shelf substance. If you want my exact recipe. Get a 64 ounce jug of Armor All from the auto store, a bottle of Meguiars NXT liquid wax, and a bottle of Kodak Photo Flo. The Photo Flo might be the hard part to get, you'll have to mail order that. But also an inexpensive substitute that works about as well would be Jet Dry dish washing rinse aid (the original liquid only). It's just I used to have film photography as a hobby and have a giant jug of Kodak Photo Flo that pretty much has no use except now for making my rinseless wash. The Armor All provides the wash lubricant and a majority of the nice looks after the rinsless wash. The NXT Wax provides just enough wax protection to boost the wax that's currently on there. You'll still need to wax your car with a real waxing every now and then but it helps to extend the interval upwards of a few months. The Kodak Photo Flo or Jet Dry is a pure surfactant which helps to dissolve any dirt, bugs, poop, etc. on your paint. The proportions are as follows. Pour out 3 ounces of the Armor All. You can save this and actually Armor All is pretty concentrated stuff. So if you like a natural shine protectant, simply water down those three ounces about 5 to one and you'll have a pretty decent natural shine protectant very similar to the much vaunted Aerospace 303, same "disappearing action" and same matte finish when buffed after drying. Well back to making the rinseless wash. You now have 3 ounces of airspace in your jug, pour in 2 ounces of Kodak Photo Flo or Jet Dry. Then pour in 1 ounce of the NXT liquid wax. I will say this mixture will separate some so you need to shake it before use to distribute the wax. I used to mix in 2 ounces of Photo Flo and 2 ounces of wax but as I've been using it more lately I've found adjusting the mixture to slightly less wax makes for a little bit easier final buffing for a better shine with less oily residue especially since I do recommend using slightly more rinseless wash concentrate than most rinseless washes instruct. And this concentrate is actually about twice as concentrated as the off the shelf stuff anyways. As far as a wash mitt. I find the best one to reduce your chances of marring on even pretty dusty cars is a soft microfiber mitt. Meguiars makes one but Walmart carries a very inexpensive one at only $3. Don't get the ubiquitous chenille one that looks like a bunch of noodles. Get the deep pile microfiber one. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Chenille-Wash-Mitt-White/16817497 It may shed a little on first use but after washing it, it tends to stop shedding. These deep pile mitts really absorb the surface dust. While you're at Walmart get a couple large microfiber drying towels for your car, these ones work fantastic and aren't too expensive either. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Microtex-Platinum-XL-2-in-1-Drying-Towel/23591433 Walmart tends to carry two. They have a Platinum XL 2 in 1 which is what I recommend as it is much thicker. It's essentially two ultra plush towels stitched back to back. They also have the Platinum XL which although larger in surface area doesn't have two plush sides. One side is a normal microfiber weave the other is a plush weave, although it is less plush than the Platinum XL 2 in 1. So as far as using it. After mixing the concentrate. Pour out one ounce in a bucket of water and fill it with about 2 gallons of water. It's nice to have a grit guard too at the bottom. You can do the two bucket method and rinse out the mitt between panels but that's a bit obsessive and I find doesn't really yield any noticeable improvement in swirl prevention and simply agitating the mitt in the bucket with the rinseless wash will tend to release the captured dirt and it'll settle to the bottom. The main technique I use when rinseless washing is simple. Use lots of it, slopping it on the panel dripping wet is fine. It'll spread the water around and drip to the ground carrying off a lot of excess dirt along. But this tends to leave a lot of water which can saturate your drying towel. This is where the deep pile wash mitt excels. Simply dunk the wash mitt in the bucket, agitate it around to loosen dirt, and then this time squeeze out the water. You don't have to really wring the thing out a ton, just enough so that it doesn't leave a ton of water trailing on the area you're cleaning. Wring it out too much and it can actually leave the surface almost dry, but enough to leave a hazing. You sorta get the feel for how much to wring out, on hotter days or when working in the sun, wring out less water so it doesn't dry out immediately. Then simply use the drying towel to buff it dry. If you want that final spit shined look, you sorta need to on a black car like my CTS Coupe, as any residue left behind is visible, but most colors or for less picky people this isn't entirely necessary. I simply get a regular microfiber cloth, spray some detailer on it. And give the whole car a final wipedown. You can make spray detailer with the rinseless wash by mixing 1 ounce rinseless wash to 32 ounces water. http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3367724/Rinseless_washes. And if you're really skeptical, I think the results speak for themselves.
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