Here’s the quick and easy way to keep your performance car clean and protected during the mucky months. Watch our winter car wash video with Gtechniq for tips and tricks!
We’ve heard all sorts of theories over the years about the dos and don’ts of a winter car wash, so to separate fact from fiction we headed to Gtechniq for expert advice on how to keep your car clean and protected in the cold season. All you’ll need is clean water, five products, a couple of buckets, a wash mitt, drying towel and less than 60 minutes of your time…
Step 1 – Wheels, tyres and snow foam
Snow foam is one of the most important stages of washing your car whatever the weather, but it’s extra important during the mucky months. W4 Citrus Foam
is designed to pull the dirt and debris off the paintwork prior to a contact wash. This lessens the likelihood of inflicting swirl marks and scratches to your paintwork.
You’ll need 100ml of W4 to 900ml of water; you don’t want the snow foam to be too thick as it’ll stick rather than run down the bodywork, and this is the action that safely lifts the dirt from the surfaces.
Apply it using a lance, start at the bottom and work your way up, making sure you get a nice, even coverage. Leave it to do its thing for around three minutes – about the amount of time it’ll take to get your wash buckets ready – before jet- washing it off.
Now, it’s time to tackle the stuck-on grime with a more aggressive dirt remover in the form of W5 Citrus All Purpose Cleaner. Spray the arches, lower bodywork(you can do the whole car if desired) and tyres. While that’s working away, grab a bottle of W6 Iron & Fallout Remover and coat the wheels. All of Gtechniq’s pre-wash products are wax-, sealant-, and coating-safe – meaning they won’t strip any existing protection – but depending on how dirty the car is, you may want to agitate the W5 Citrus All Purpose Cleaner or W6 Iron & Fallout Remover with a detailing brush for extra cleaning power.
Once that’s done, pop the kettle on, warm up your hands with a cuppa, and then reach for the jet-washer and rinse off. It’s time for the contact wash…
Step 2 – Contact Gwash
Grab your grit guard-equipped buckets, wash mitt and shampoo. In your first bucket add the Gwash washing solution; you don’t need much – four caps is enough for a 20-litre bucket in winter (only two caps in the summer). GWash is pH-neutral, meaning it won’t strip any layers of protection you’ve previously applied to your paint. What it will strip, though, is dirt, as this is its sole purpose.
Fill the second bucket with water; this is to rinse your wash mitt and to help separate grit and dirt from the main wash solution. You can use hot water in both, but there’s no real benefit to doing this other than keeping your hands warm.
If you don’t have two grit guards, place the one you do have in the wash bucket. A grit guard will separate the dirt from the water, leaving the debris at the bottom of the bucket so it can’t be transferred back onto the mitt. Always use a good quality wash mitt, like Gtechniq’s WM2, which is made of super-soft microfibre material. It also has an inner foam core that retains a high volume of wash solution, which lubricates the mitt so it slides across the paintwork.
Dip the mitt into your wash solution and then start washing from top to bottom. After each pass, rinse the mitt in the clean water and then dip it back into the wash solution for another pass. Repeat this until you’ve covered the whole car. It’s now time to grab the pressure washer and rinse off. Make sure to do this thoroughly.
Step 3 – Adding protection while you dry
Right, it’s time for the final and most satisfying step – the drying. All you need here is a bottle of C2 Liquid Crystal and a Gtechniq MF4 Diamond Sandwich Drying Towel – its special diamond weave increases surface area and therefore absorbency.
C2 Liquid Crystal as a standalone product will make your car shine and keep clean for longer as well as adding instant protection and dirt repellency, but in this instance another benefit is that it can be used as a drying aid. Simply spray onto the wet surface, one panel at a time, and wipe away with the drying towel.
Not only does it help leave a streak-free finish, but C2’s extreme repellency against dirt will last for at least three months, meaning your car won’t need another application until spring. Of course, there’s no harm in using C2 each time you clean your car, but it’s comforting to know you don’t have to.
The next stage? Well, that’s simple: pack everything away, get yourself back indoors in the warmth, and admire your gleaming and protected car through the window.
All the products mentioned in this feature are available from Gtechniq’s online shop.
We’ve all heard of the two-bucket method but it’s actually advisable to have a third bucket. This should be used solely for cleaning your wheels, as these tend to be one of the most contaminated parts of the car and you don’t want to transfer any of this debris to your car’s bodywork.
Buckets of fun…
Gtechniq has just introduced new buckets to its online shop, so if you’ve got a bad memory and need a quality grit-guard bucket, you know what to do.
01604 962 553 www.gtechniq.co.uk