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What Can I Use To Wash My Car If I Don’t Have Car Wash?
If you find yourself in the position of wanting to wash your car and you have no specific car wash shampoo then the simple answer is, don’t wash your car until you do have the correct shampoo! Like any job around the home products are designed to do a specific job and one product that we have long abused for the wrong job is domestic washing up liquid for washing a car. It offers nothing to this job and whilst your car may be cleaner if you do take the plunge and use a splash in your wash bucket, your paintwork will not benefit from the experience. In fact, some washing up liquids contain aggressive chemicals for removing grease from pots and pans which could remove any wax or damage coatings that have been applied to your paintwork to protect against environmental impacts such as road salt and the sun's UV Rays.
The only reason to need to wash your car quickly is if you have become a victim of bird droppings on your precious paintwork. The etching effects of a bird dropping can mark your paintwork permanently. So, if your car has been the victim of a recent dive bombing, the safest and quickest way to respond without any car shampoo is to take a soft microfibre cloth and soak it with clean water. Place the cloth over the offending mark and leave it to sit for 5-10 minutes to take effect.
Lift off the cloth and, using a pressure washer or just a garden hose, spray the dropping off your paintwork. You may not remove the dropping in one go so just replace the wet cloth over the mark and repeat the process until the dropping has been removed completely.
Once you have dealt with this problem, you then need to get online and find yourself a decent car wash shampoo. There are lots to choose from on at Slim’s Detailing. None of the car shampoo products sold at Slim’s will affect the wax or coatings on your paintwork and, with our fast packing and delivery service, products can be with you next working day from the day you place your order so not too long to wait. Some of the shampoos will in fact top up the coatings if used as part of a process. They are all PH neutral meaning they are low on the acidic/alkaline content that can damage your paintwork or the coating applied to it. Further explained at the end of this article.
CARPRO Reset is specifically designed to use with the CARPRO range of CQUARTZ coatings if applied to your car. Even if you do not have these coatings on your car it is a really luxurious shampoo to use with great cleaning and gloss levels after use. It is also great value as only 40ml of the product is required in a 20lt bucket so a bottle goes a long way.
Koch Chemie Nano Magic is another popular shampoo that, after use, leaves behind a long-lasting protective and water-repellent nano-layer which actively aids beading of water off the paintwork. Only 50ml of the product is required in 10lt of water to benefit from this nanotechnology. It can be likened to a wash and wax.
If it is a wash and wax that you are after, then our American friends at Malco do this really well in their Ultra Violet premium wash and wax which has a great grape scent as well. Used as part of your wash process, this will leave your vehicle with a higher level of shine and an element of protection between uses.
There are many other shampoos available and only you can select the best one for you by trialing a few. One thing's for sure, washing up liquid is not the best product for you to use and will certainly not improve the gloss levels of your paintwork.
If you are new to car detailing and want to find out more about the best products to use to get the best finishes and what to look for when buying a shampoo, find our Introduction to Detailing here.
To explain pH levels if looking to understand the products you are using then it is best to visualize these on a table ranging from 0 to 14. 0 would be something very acidic, such as battery acid, and 14 would be something very alkaline, like caustic soda or drain cleaner - clearly not items you would use on you wash routine! Ideally we want our products we use to score a 7 which is pH neutral, with the same properties as water. An 8 would be equivalent of baking soda or saltwater whereas a 6 would be equivalent of milk. Anything in this range is fine to use. Washing liquid would be 8-9 this is clearly not highly damaging but if you wash dishes regularly you know you end up with dry hands and cracked skin so clearly not harmless - rubber gloves were invented for a reason!