Power Washing Soap

#1
Hello :
When power washing cars and trucks, I notice that the dirt does not really get removed. Instead, I have to follow-up with a hand washing. I suspect that the soap may be the problem. I'm using ordinary car wash soap from an auto store. Does anyone know of a good soap that would allow me to clean the vehicles without the need for a hand wash?
Thanks,
Mike
 
#3
Thanks. I had already done the searching and didn't come up with anything for the average joe wanting to keep his cars and truck clean. I was hoping that the pros in this forum would have some advice without having to purchase a DI rig, etc.
Thanks.
 
#4
Auto detail

When i began doing auto detailing i ran into a similar problem. After trial and error i found that the powerwasher was useful for pre rinsing and post rinsing the vehicle but that there really isnt a legit substitute for good old handwashing. Recently, i have begun to use my pump up sprayer with armor all car cleaner and letting it soak and then using the powerwasher to rinse away the dirt/grime. Im starting to believe that the only time my powerwasher really saves me time is on a client with heavy mud or heavy dirty that needs to be blasted to get to the underlying film. Good luck with your business.



TW
 

Larry L.

PWN TEAM - Moderator Emeritus
#5
If these are your personal cars and trucks I wouldn't use anything stronger then what your already useing.By hand washing it will clean your paint without doing any damage to your wax job.If your layering wax on top of wax the auto store soap is what you need,anything stronger will remove a little wax on each wash.When trying a new wax use dawn to strip off all the old wax before you start,never use dawn unless your wanting to strip the wax off.
 
#6
Larry what would be best to use if you detailed cars and trucks as a business. Hand washing would take to much time if u have numerous cars to do in a day. is there a chemical that can be used to wash cars that doesn't require brushing?
 

Larry L.

PWN TEAM - Moderator Emeritus
#7
Most powerwashing wholesalers carry a good soap,it will always cost alittle more.If it was me I think I would use a caustic and a alkaline soap mixed together .If I had to choose one over the other I'd pick the alkaline soaps.

2-stepping does a great job in cleaning and usually no brushing is needed but I would not use this on cars or pickups unless you really know what your doing.Cars and pickups have different paint jobs as to the big rigs I wash which can stand up under weekly 2-stepping.
 
#10
There are many, many, many soaps out there.

The main problem that people out there experience is the electrostatic bond that the dirt/grime makes with the surface of the vehicle.

Here is an example: You can be at the local car wash and spray soap all over the car and start using the power washer but most of the dirt does not come off, even when you put the spray closer and closer until the spray nozzle almost touches the car but still, not all the dirt is coming off. You wipe it with your finger and it comes off so you try again with the pressure washer and still no more comes off so you wipe it with the finger again and more comes off.

What happens is as the vehicle is driving down the road there is a buildup of static electricity on the vehicle and the dust, dirt, soot, contaminants, etc.... get stuck to the vehicle and are hard to get off.

There are ways to remove this, with chemical 2-stepping or brushing with a good soap or using a wash mit with a good soap. You need friction (brush, wash mitt, wash glove, etc....) along with a good soap and it will remove the contaminants.

Just spraying soap onto the vehicle that has a buildup of road grime and rinsing will not do much, if the car is just dusty or is washed weekly then the soap and rinsing might do the job.

That is one of the reasons that at just about all the car washes there are the guns/wands and also brushes that spray soap out of them, you will need to brush when the car is very dirty, the car wash companies know this and so do the soap manufacturers.

There are some stronger soaps out there that will remove more of the contaminants but the regular car and truck paint, clearcoat and wax are not designed to be used with the stronger soaps and can damage the paint where the over the road trucks have a stronger paint that is very durable and can usually handle the stronger soaps.

Hope this helps.
 
#11
There are many, many, many soaps out there.

The main problem that people out there experience is the electrostatic bond that the dirt/grime makes with the surface of the vehicle.

Here is an example: You can be at the local car wash and spray soap all over the car and start using the power washer but most of the dirt does not come off, even when you put the spray closer and closer until the spray nozzle almost touches the car but still, not all the dirt is coming off. You wipe it with your finger and it comes off so you try again with the pressure washer and still no more comes off so you wipe it with the finger again and more comes off.

What happens is as the vehicle is driving down the road there is a buildup of static electricity on the vehicle and the dust, dirt, soot, contaminants, etc.... get stuck to the vehicle and are hard to get off.

There are ways to remove this, with chemical 2-stepping or brushing with a good soap or using a wash mit with a good soap. You need friction (brush, wash mitt, wash glove, etc....) along with a good soap and it will remove the contaminants.

Just spraying soap onto the vehicle that has a buildup of road grime and rinsing will not do much, if the car is just dusty or is washed weekly then the soap and rinsing might do the job.

That is one of the reasons that at just about all the car washes there are the guns/wands and also brushes that spray soap out of them, you will need to brush when the car is very dirty, the car wash companies know this and so do the soap manufacturers.

There are some stronger soaps out there that will remove more of the contaminants but the regular car and truck paint, clearcoat and wax are not designed to be used with the stronger soaps and can damage the paint where the over the road trucks have a stronger paint that is very durable and can usually handle the stronger soaps.

Hope this helps.
Its kinda funny how you explained all that. Cause that was the same way that i was figuring it out. Washing on a tractor and trailer and the trailer no matter how close i was or what soap i used, i could still wipe it off with my finger. And with ease. So i have just went to brusing all the time. Really slows me down tho considering i am a single man rig.
 
#13
I don't wash vehicles commercially, but I've been washing and painstakingly waxing my own vehicles for 20 years, and I've never seen anything that cleans without some kind of mechanical agitation. You've got to do something to get the dirt off, preferably a soft wash mitt and good soap to avoid scratching the finish.

Jake, what are you using that gets everything so clean?
 

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