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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Washing my Car tomorrow, need advice!



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      08-20-2005, 03:43 PM   #1
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Washing my Car tomorrow, need advice!

I got my car last Wednesday (8/10) and it's time to wash it now. I plan to buy some microfiber cloth tomorrow for the exterior.

1) What kind of soap should I use to wash the car? I have Dove soap that I use around my house, would that be ok?

2) Whats the best way to clean the leather, wood trim, and the dashboard?

3) How should I was the mats? (i got the both sets!)

4) Should I use any stuff like Windex for windows (to clean interior) or ArmorAll products for the leather?

5) Whats the best way to make the tires shiny? I read that Zaino works well but I don't have it yet. Are there any other solutions for it

6) Are there any stores that sells the Zaino package or is it best to buy it online?

I plan to get Zaino in the upcoming weeks and wax the car sometime in September. I would appreciate if you guys can help me out..Thanks!
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      08-20-2005, 03:50 PM   #2
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Oz. Here is a link that has very good and detailed instructions. I have had my car for about 1 week now and am also getting stuff together for my first wash. Have fun.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=158378
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      08-20-2005, 03:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosby
Oz. Here is a link that has very good and detailed instructions. I have had my car for about 1 week now and am also getting stuff together for my first wash. Have fun.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=158378

I just read the washing sections, Thanks! But many of my questions are still unanswered. What kind of soap should I buy to wash my 330?
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      08-20-2005, 04:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oz
I got my car last Wednesday (8/10) and it's time to wash it now. I plan to buy some microfiber cloth tomorrow for the exterior.

1) What kind of soap should I use to wash the car? I have Dove soap that I use around my house, would that be ok?

2) Whats the best way to clean the leather, wood trim, and the dashboard?

3) How should I was the mats? (i got the both sets!)

4) Should I use any stuff like Windex for windows (to clean interior) or ArmorAll products for the leather?

5) Whats the best way to make the tires shiny? I read that Zaino works well but I don't have it yet. Are there any other solutions for it

6) Are there any stores that sells the Zaino package or is it best to buy it online?

I plan to get Zaino in the upcoming weeks and wax the car sometime in September. I would appreciate if you guys can help me out..Thanks!

1. Meguiar's Gold Class soap--From my experience, it has the best sheeting and sud power, and i personally think it's the best bang for the buck.

2. For the leather, there's a solution for cleansing: 1 part woolite, and 5 parts distilled water. Put the solution in a spray bottle, spray the dirty area, scrub lightly using a horsehair brush (wont scratch the leather), and wipe off with a microfiber towel.

As for the wood trim, I'd use a plastic polish/cleaner called plexus.

A great all around interior detailer would be Meguiar's Quik Interior Detailer; It has a great subtle lemon scent and leaves the surface with a streak-free matte finish.

3. For the mats, I usually just pull them out and vacuum them. If they're really dirty and need some serious cleaning, I'd suggest Blug Magic carpet cleaner, it can be found at almost any autoparts store (ie Kragens, Autozone, etc).

4. DO NOT use armorall for your leather, it's a self destructive process--trust me. You're better off buying some Z-10 from zainobros.com--it keeps the leather smell, and the finish makes the leather look like new.

As for the windows, windex is hardly strong enough to clean automotive glass. A simple solution would be Stoner's Aerosol Invisible Glass spray, and just like the carpet cleaner, it can be found at any automotive store.

5. Wheels--not too sure yet, still experimenting around.

edit: Ahh, I just remembered that yesterday I bought a bottle of automotive Simple Green at autozone. It's a degreaser meant for engine detailing/brake dust. I tried it a little bit the other day, and it seemed to work well. Next week I'm planning a biiiiig detail for my car, so if you'd like I can give you an update as to how it works.

Although, another good (yet expensive) solution would be the purchase of a pressure washer. I myself own a husky pressure washer, and it's worked well on braking down tough brake dust--although it's never really left a truly squeaky clean feeling, which I hope the simple green bottle will help achieve.

6. Zaino is good, but personally I find it way too expensive for my taste. Klasse All-In-One polish tethered with Klasse SG lasts just as long, and also leaves a great shine, but more importantly, it's less expensive and requires less prep. In addition, if you get Klasse or Zaino (either is great), you should top it off with some pure carnauba wax--make sure it's not a cleaner wax, as it'll strip off the bottom layer of klasse.

(A cleaner wax would be something like the blue bottle of zymol, or any bottle that says "Cleaner wax".)

A good pure wax I'd suggest for your purposes would be Meguiar's #26 yellow wax. If you'd like to splurge for the best there is, a little can of Pinnacle Souveran would be the best wax you can get for the money (about 31 dollars a tin).


I hope you find this helpful, and if you need anymore information, visit www.autopia.org . It's a car detailing community, and I've found it to be a great resource.

Good luck!

Last edited by nick0; 08-20-2005 at 05:04 PM.
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      08-22-2005, 05:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice nick0! I didn't had time to was it yesterday but plan to do it sometime this week. I'll let you know if I have any questions

Where can I buy all these soap and solutions from? Would Autozone or Strauss have what I need?
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      08-22-2005, 09:30 PM   #6
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Here's what I use...

1) What kind of soap should I use to wash the car? I have Dove soap that I use around my house, would that be ok?

If you're gonna Zaino, the first wash can be with dish soap. Thereafter its a no no unless you want to strip off any wax that is on the car in preparation to re-waxing or polishing.

I've used Mother's gold wash to good effect. If you get Zaino, get the wash - it lubricates well, and cleans effectively without stripping.

For application I really like my Griots Garage boars hair brush. Soft as cotton, cannot trap dirt to scratch, covers a wide area, lasts for years (my one brush is on its third Bimmer). Pricey but worth it.

Use a separate bucket of soap for cleaning the wheels. If you Zaino your wheels, they'll clean v. easily with soap and a sponge. I use P21S wheel cleaner when they're real dirty. Griots wheel cleaner also works well.

For drying the waffle-weave micro-fiber Big Blue Towel from www.properautocare.com is the best I've tried. Better than chamois or cotton.

2) Whats the best way to clean the leather, wood trim, and the dashboard?

Lexol for the leather, Lexol Vinylex for the dash.

3) How should I was the mats? (i got the both sets!)

For the carpet mats, I did a couple treatments of Scotchgard for carpets out of a spray can. Retreat every 6 months. Otherwise just vacuum well. For the rubber mats, hose 'em down good; if super dirty, a nylon bristle scrub brush and some simple green works well.

4) Should I use any stuff like Windex for windows (to clean interior) or ArmorAll products for the leather?

Forget the ArmorAll. For windows I like 3M glass cleaner with a microfibre towel - works great.

5) Whats the best way to make the tires shiny? I read that Zaino works well but I don't have it yet. Are there any other solutions for it

Griots weatherproof tire gel. Gives a satin black finish, lasts for 3 weeks or so.


6) Are there any stores that sells the Zaino package or is it best to buy it online?

Don't know about stores - I bought on-line, from order to delivery is 3-4 days. I've been waxing for years, tried Zaino for the first time with new car - it is great!!
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      08-22-2005, 10:23 PM   #7
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You could simply buy the BMW Shampoo from your car dealer and buy yourself a Microfiber Wash Mitt from TARGET to start. THen you can decide which set of products you want to use... That is what I did and my E90 is shining.
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      08-23-2005, 01:14 AM   #8
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Just don't use a sheepskin wash mit. What a crock. Not only did it have a ton of grass and other shit buried inside of it when I took it out of the sealed BMW bag, it picked up anything else that was on the car while washing and held on real tight.

Sheepskin is analogous to using sandpaper on your car as far as I'm concerned.
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      08-24-2005, 10:22 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. I am probably washing my car in the next few days and will get the products you guys recommended.
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