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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Two bucket and the Elegent

This post were keep on hold as long as i can remembered. The reason for delaying this post is because there were so much going on in my daily lifes nowadays. there were so much problem need to be solves, meeting need to be attended, work pending findings that requires strict and fast solutions, customers need and requirements fullfillness, people and loves ones feeling need to be fill, natural responsibilities and ETC.

All of these jobs, chores, tasks, missions need to be cleared asap. In those period if mission accomplishment there were so much going on making there were so much idea, stuff, and articles to be published in this blog. Pheww, March is a month of tenses and struggle for me in this year.

My first wife
So, today is the perfect day for me to publish this articles : the bathing goldy. Somewhere before this day, I am google-ing for the method and technique of washing cars that I can apply to my almost daily activities with my FLX's. This activities were triggered after i bring my cars to my work places as in the month of March the wheather tend to be upsetting for bikers. Rainy day , bikers worst day welcoming ever. Almost every 7.00am of days in March were celebrated with watery splash event. Avoiding the yellow raining coat and nature made shoes aquarium i decided to travel to work by cars.

Examples of exhaust fan dust.
There were no problems in bringing the cars to workplaces but the problems lies at the workplaces itself, the parking spaces. My parking spaces were situated at the unroofed and at 45 degree of hilly slopes parking lots. Imagine that! for the extra spices the parking spaces is situated just beside the neighborhood factory exhaust fans. And there is the problems originated. As an industrial areas the exhaust fans can exhaled so many chemical waste, fumes and dust that can harm human and the surrounding. to minimize the hazard many method, techniques, and laws were made to control the emissions. Despite all that, they just minimize the hazard to safe level as complete hazard is costly.

The yellow dots were suspected to be the flux of doom!
The relationship of the exhaust fan to my daily activities is critically related. The problems lie at the smallest particles coming out of the exhaust fans. The particles are in plurals and their hobbies are to populate my cars bodies. The removing of the particles requires good washing techniques, long focuses and good equipments to scrub the particles completely. The particles were suspected to be flux originating from the baking or soldering process of a PCB. Removing the particles can be frustrating without proper chemicals and equipments as the particles harden and sometimes producing oily sensations on the car bodies.

Google leads me to the method that to me is the best in removing and preserve the lifetime of my car paintings; the 2 bucket method. You can found out more about the 2 bucket method by following this links Credit goes to Dave KG for informational thread.

After complete reading and understand the principle of the method I decided to give it a try. The most important different of the method to conventional washing method is the anti-sponge principle. The 2 bucket method strictly prohibited the used of sponge onto the car body as they can easily and likely to accumulate dust, rocks, and dirt onto their surface and bring them along as you glide the sponge on the body in ballade like moves. The dirt and dust accumulated will grind and scratching the surface of your car paintings resulting a swirl scratch than can only be seen with direct sun reflections. Knowing the facts, I quickly change my perspective about sponge and only used them at the tire and rims sections. The best friend of car paintings is the wash mitt.

What is wash mitt?

The wash mitt microfibre I used.
Extracted from Wikipedia; A washing mitt is a piece of terry cloth, shaped like a pouch that the hand fits in. It is being used as an aid in washing the body, for example, to apply soap to the body, and to remove the soap with a rinsed out washing mitt. It can also be used to freshen up the face. Usually, a towel is used to dry off the body afterwards. 

In this 2 bucket method the mention mitt is made of lambwool,sheepwool,cotton chenille and maybe microfibre. The washing mitt I used is made of microfibre bought at Tesco and the price of MYR 9.50. Please keep in your mind that when choosing a mitt, choose one with a soft deep pile that will be kind to paintwork, examples of excellent mitt are Meguirs Lambswool wash mitt and Eurow sheepskin wash mitt. the closest wash mitt that I can find is the Meguiars washing tools at cost ones exactly MYR100 with package including 1 x Meguiars Wash Mitt, 1 x Meguiars water Magnet, and 1 x Meguiars supreme shine that is the items coming from Sabah. Meguiars is a well known washing tools and equipment for car care used by millions of consumers and professional detailers and their mission is to produce the finest surface and car care products in the world. Readers can check out their website at for Asia and the Pacific regions.

The tools I used to wash my FLX are 1 unbranded car shampoo, 1 unbranded multipurposes wax, 2 chamois towels, 2 bucket of waters one were mix with the car shampoo, 1 microfibre wash mitt and rubber hose. The first step is to lightly pre-rinse your car to smooth en the surfaces of the car paintings making the soaping job more easier. Pre-rinsing can loosen up dirt and wets paintwork ready for washing. Do not blast the paintwork with high pressure water jet as it can force the dirt and grit into the paint and causes scratches.    
2 bucket method.
Pre-rinsing the cars.

Left is the multipurposes wax and the other ones is the car shampoo.
After pte-rinsing is over, shampooing is the next process that is the major stage of washing process. Most scratches and grit line were born during this process, extreme precaution should be taken before engaging to this stages. Make sure that the ratio of solution is correct when mixing the water. As for me, my ratio is my guts. Hehe..

Stroke the body with up down movements.

Shampooing the car with 2 bucket method is done by dunk the mitt in the shampoo bucket and then applied the shampoo onto the car body. After you done shampooing the car dunk the used mitt into the second bucket to get rid of all the accumulated inside the mitt. The second bucket objectives is to remove all the dirt and clean the mitt for next washed. Doing so, will reduce the swirl scratched and preserve the car paintwork. When shampooing the car please keep in mind to start form up to down techniques by applying the shampoo on top of the cars first will bring all the dirt and grit to the lower parts of the bodies. This will reducing the spreading of scratches and also keeping the washing mixture clean all the times.  

The end result of up down stroke movements.
When applying the mitt do not used excessive forces as it can result to scratches onto the paintwork. The flux particles mention before is too stubborn to get rid off. What I do to get rid off the spot is gently wash onto the spot several times mores. When shampooing try not to let the shampoo dry on the paintwork as this will cause steaks and soaps spot. Then all the soap were applied onto all of the cars surfaces.

Keep in mind that the uppers side of the cars should be wash first and the lower side of the cars were wash lastly. Rinsing is done once all the corners and curve of the cars were washed. Rinsing the cars is just like the pre-rinsing method, keep in mind to rinse from top to bottom method and let the gravity do their works.

Long washed and extra attention when washing the tough spot.
When washing you must pay so much attention to the job you're doing as sometime you can missed a couple of defected areas. Wipe with your feeling and attention at your palms to feel the surface of the car body. The Flux that populated my car body paintwork requires additional attention as they can sometimes harden and tough to remove. Curves and car body difficult parts need double wipes and long stroke to make sure the areas are completely washed and removes all the tough stain.

Please pay attention at the spot and areas that you can missed.
Almost all the highly potential missed spots situated at the lower arched wheel of the car body. To avoid missing washed areas, washed your cars at one level of a times. For me, I prefer washed my cars one level at counter clockwise. This will make sure that I washed all the areas completely without missing a spot. Car body has 2 level, upper level and lower level. Upper level are all the areas above the wheel arches. The lower level are all the areas below the wheel arches. Different level need to use different washing mitt and washing mixture according to the 2 bucket method.

As for me, I washed the washing mitt completely before used it onto the second level of the car body. After I am done washing the upper level of the car body, I rinse it completely to avoid soap marking. Only then I focused onto the second level of the car body. Cleaning the second level of the cars can cause back pain a lot. The lower part of your car tend to catch all the dirt, sands and grit from the road surfaces. It is necessary to rinse the areas with plenty of running water to get rid of all the dirt without need of washing it to avoid further scratches onto the paintwork. Washing can be done after the rinse with plenty of shampoo to smooth-en and lubricated the mitt also to avoid heavy scratches and grit to the paintwork. Remembered to washed from top to bottom movements.

Attention at the lower rear skirt inner curves and rear light reflector
The difficult parts of the second level of my FLX's is at the rear skirt curves and side reflector. Dirt and black spot likely to live there and stay with long drip marking compose of small dirt and dust. Major attention required to completely washed this areas. Heavy soap and washed of shampoo is a must The side skirt also can bring you harm especially onto your elbow. Many dirt and dust lives and the end of the wheel arches with splash and water marking. This can be avoided with the mudflap installation at the areas. Mudflap is not in my list of accessories to buy and install at my FLX maybe later with rally themes mod I would consider of buying ones. :p

Notice the dirt and dust gather inside the wheel arch?
Before I forgot, front skirt areas just below the plate number sections also need rigorous washing. That areas can easily be miss looked as the curves were inwards. More specific is the areas under the radiator grill. It can only be seen when you squat down on your knees. Rinse all the areas after you has satisfied with your works. I then focused washing at the rims sections. This sections need to be washed with sponges. Mitt can only worsen the outcome onto your rims. You really don't need a paint art style grease and dirt laying around of your rims beautiful faces.    
The overpopulated dirt metropolis.

Using the standard span here can be really effective as all the dirt gather here is really stubborn and had oily characteristic. You need to wipe in one way motion that is one inwards sweep or one outward sweep, choose which ever suit yourself. You will get better result if you used specific rims shampoo and polish. There are so many product out in the market that you can choose but all the product delivered the same result, shiny and lasting shine. As for me I am using the same car shampoo applied onto the body earlier.

Here come Spongebob without the pants.

When applying the sponge onto the rims, bared in mind that the gap and shape of the rim is not flat.You must applied little force onto the sponge to maximize the contact surface of the sponge onto the rims. By doing so, you will swiped out all the dust and dirt accumulated on the rims with just one successful sweep. Applied some water when sweeping as the soap can illuminate you from seeing the actual dirt and dust that sometime overlooked.

What the used of washing the rims without waxing your rubber right? Knowing the facts I wait for the water to dry off from the tyre. Then with the unbranded wax I wax the tyre until the blackness of the rubber is shown off. The wax I used is only applied onto the tyre and never onto the dashboard of my cars. I really do not have the guts to apply the wax onto my dashboard as the wax is said to bring harm to your dashboard and make your dashboard less shiny when the wax is wear off. Tyre waxing can be dangerous when overwaxing the thread making the tyre is slippery. Do not overwaxed your car and only waxed at the front face of the tyre.
Finished washing my FLX

The last step of washing the cars is to sweep away all the water remains on the cars. This step must be done correctly to completely remove all the water from the car body. Sweep in one motion for maximum water absorption. I used the chamois cloth for better water absorption and smooth surface for the car body. 
First signal.
Because I was to occupied washing my FLX I didn't noticed the wheather outside has turn to dark. Suddenly a drip of water drop onto my faces and there is was the worst nightmare for car owner after washing their cars. RAIN!
The second signal.
The rained on the same day I finished washed the car.

Moral of the story, please check the weather before you start washing your car. :( 


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