In what is becoming an all too familiar situation, a mere 5 months on from the last write up comes the car's platinum jubilee wash. This wash has nothing to do with the queen, it's just been 70 years since I last washed the car... roughly.
That's roughly 70 years, not roughly washed the car, by the way.
Also, that may or may not be a slight exaggeration.
Still, not the most ridiculous claim by me, nor on this thread, nor on this forum and we all know it's okay to be ridiculous so long as you're not the most ridiculous person around.
Today's post comes with limited photos because my photographer for today half-arsed it, quite frankly. Ergo, today's post will contin many, many words... for a change. Some things to know before we start:
I'm pretty sure the car hasn't seen so much as a raindrop, nor more than 20-odd miles, in the 6 months since it's last wash, so we started today with a fairly thick layer of dust covering every inch of the car barring the area of the windscreen that the wipers reach. Also, today's lazy and/or incompetent photographer was me.
Whilst I do have before photos, they don't really show the blanket of dust all that well, but gives you a fair idea of what we're dealing with.
There was also limited traffic film, particuarly on the lower panels and around the wheel arches, but given the limited mileage it really wasn't that much at all.
I did a few things today. First thing I did today was test out the pre-wash cleaning ability of an APC compared to a snow foam compared to just a rinse.
The APC was Dirt Magic. This was sprayed onto a panel (front wing, for reference), left to dwell for a couple of minutes and rinsed throughly. The front half of the adjascent door was rinsed equally as thoroughly but not treated to a prewash.
The rest of the door was snow foamed. Now, I finally remembered that my lance needed attention, so I serviced it (f'nar) this morning before I left the house... well, actually, I replaced the gause with a clean one, but that's the important bit really.
Today I decided to use Car Chem Ultra Snow Foam, which is a much thicker liquid than the usual CC Snow Foam or the VP Snow Foam I've been using more recently, it's more of shampoo type consistency. This was from my Car Chem Mystery Box 2019 (I've used it before here). In a similar method to before, I chucked some in the foam bottle until I got bored, then topped up with a little bit of water - roughly 2:1. That's 2 parts Ultra to 1 part water. Then threw that mixture at the car at roughly 8% PIR. Which is maths I can't be bothered to do on a sunny bank holiday.
I don't have any pictures of this particular test because, as I said earlier, my photographer today was s**t. Instead, you can have words. Lots and lots of words. The short version is; just rinsing removed very little, Dirt Magic removed a bit more but by some considerable distance Ultra Snow Foam removed the most. It wasn't quite enough for a touchless wash (but probably would have been if not for th traffic film under the layer of dust). As I say, s**t photographer, so you'll just have to take my word for it....
I then snow foamed the rest of the car, which demonstrated something I've been saying for years; foam a dry car. Pre-rinsing panels encourages quicker run off meaning the foam doesn't get as much time to work on the panel. This was evident on the panels that had seen Dirt Magic, Snow Foam and just water first, subsequently the Dirt Magic & rinsed sections were still noticably dirtier than the sections that had been foamed dry, after being foamed and rinsed. Again, no photos of this so either trust me on it or try it for yourselves. Or both.
Having replaced the gauze in the foam lance, Ultra Snow Foam gave a good thick layer of foam which clung well for a ~4-5 minutes before rinsing off well. I decided then to do a back to back comparison with VP Snow Foam with a fresh gauze, so the car got foamed again (having used it before, here). VP Snow Foam is a much thinner, more watery liquid in concentrate form. I used VP SNow Foam neat due to this, so the maths is a lot easier; it was applied at ~8% PIR (give or take any water pressure variances during use).
Having foamed and rinsed the entire car with Ultra, I can't say which, if either, is the better cleaner. Yet. I do have enough of both left over to potentially test this. If I; a) remember, 2) can be arsed, and iii) ever get round to it.
Ultra Snow Foam from 2019 Mystery Box has a citrus scent to it which I very much noticed when using it today. Ultra takes an age to pour due to the consistency. Even pre-diluted in the bottle and being applied at less that ~8% PIR, it cleans really well for a pre-wash. It's a thicker snow foam (not shaving foam thick - thick enough to cling for a while without being a **** to rinse) which should appease some people who like thicker foams.
VP Snow Foam looks like the old CC Snow Foam, it smells like the old CC Snow Foam and it applies a thinner foam, just like the old CC Snow Foam. Now I'm not saying it's the old CC Snow Foam, but it's the exact same stuff, without a doubt, 100% matter of fact. Okay, it might not be, but I still think it's pretty darn similar.
I'd quite happily use and recommend either product for pre-wash.
Also, and perhaps this could have been mentioned earlier, but you can't actually buy either of these products anymore.
Following on from double foaming the entire and throwing some Dirt Magic at some of it, I noticed something. Again. Actually two things. Both of which I've noticed before. You're all following this, right?
Back in August 2021, I threw some Hydropel and some Lockdown at the car in various ways. Since then, I've cleaned the car once - in January - when I also threw some fallout remover, glue & tar remover, snow foam and washed using Ceramic Suds (streaks and all). Pre-streaking the car, I specifically avoided making any observations about the durability of the aforementioned LSP's but provided pictures to allow you to make your own judgements. Aside from Ceramic Suds, no (other?) LSP was used either at the time or since.
I do have photos of this observation, so here they are:
For those who didn't click the link(s) above, as you look at it the left hand side of the bonnet had Lockdown applied 9 months ago. The middle had Hydropel over Lockdown applied 9 months ago. The right side had straight Hydropel.
These were taken after rinsing the second snow foam application (i.e. touchless wash). Also as a quick reminder, Lockdown is designed to last "up to 12 months", Hydropel is designed to last "up to 6 months". Both were applied to paint that had NOT been fully or thoroughly prepared, but had been washed prior to application. I'm pretty sure neither had been applied in the prescribed way either. That said, one is clearly struggling whilst the other is still showing good signs of continuing on.
In January, I also noted wierdness on the roof... and by wierdness I'm 100% sure I messed up when applying. I'm fairly certain the roof was wearing Lockdown... at least half of it was, the other half may have been overlooked. Either that, or I split the roof (which is unlikley) and I forgot to mention it in the write up (which is more likely whether ti happened or not). Either way, something was showing signs of protecting half of the roof. Today, the roof looked like this:
After 9 months, whatever is on the passenger side is struggling more but still there. Whatever was (or wasn't) on the driver side is completely gone.
After pictures were taken, I decdied to have another go with Ceramic Suds. This time taking heed of my previous struggles, I ignored the instructions again. The instructions say to use 50ml of product in 10 litres of water, so I used ~30ml. In 12 litres of water. I also remembered that I found Ceramic Suds not to feel particularly lubricated, so I threw in ~30ml of Ultra Snow Foam as well, because nothing says "good product" more than feeling it necessary to add another product to it to do the thing it is designed for.... Yeah, I'm not a fan of Ceramic Suds (sorry Car Chem), but I'm perservering because I have a litre to get through, so I'm determined to see if I can get it to work for me at all. Today, I was working on the streaking issue more than anything. Also Ultra Snow Foam says ont he bottle it can be used a shampoo at 200:1 dilution; so one bird, two stones and all that.
Using a clean microfibre wash pad I started on the roof.
Which is also where I stopped. Streaking occured, ruling out overapplication of product. Also, I wasn't happy with how rough the paintwork felt, despite adding in some Ultra. As such, I resorted to chucking in ~150ml of Ceramic Suds in with ~150ml ofVP Snow Foam into the foam lance and foaming the remaining panels before the contact wash, one by one, followed by rinsing each panel after the contact wash, one by one. If I was polishing, I wouldn't be as bothered by the streaking, but then if I was polishing it would defeat the purpose of using a shampoo that adds some protection! This foam, wash, rinse, panel-by-panel was the only way I could limit (not eliminate) the streaking. I'm probably not giving up with Ceramic Suds, partially because I so much left, partially becasue I've still not got another option to hand right now, but I am certain that Ceramic Suds and I will never be freinds.
Now, I'm pretty sure I've not polished the car since 2018. Possibly December(ish) 2018, possibly May (ish) 2018. Either way, the paintwork is dull and lacks any depth to it. Unfortunately with no time, space, continuum, tools, products or arsed to do it today, I went straight from Cermic Suds to Hydropel. Following the instructions to the letter, as I am inclined to do... ahem. I sprayed some Hydropel on the panel, wiped in with 500gsm cloth in no particular pattern until it was thoroughly spread and then walked away.
VPP's instructions are this:
1. The surface of the vehicle was not cool. It was in direct sunlight in 22 degree ambient temperature. The panels were hot to the touch before, during and after applying.
2. I did that.
3. I did not do that, but in my defence I did 2 until there was no residue.
4. I have done this for one out of the last one washes. Check.
Also, the bottle suggests that step 3 is to allow to haze and then buff with a clean cloth. I did not do this either as no hazing occured. In fact, no matter what I do or how I apply it, I have never been able to get Hydropel to haze. It's as simple to apply as; spray, wipe, wipe some more, keep wiping it's still going, get bored of wiping, walk away.
Anyway, finished product in need of a polish (did I mention that yet?):
I may or may not wash it again this year. Stay tuned!