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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > How long does it take you to wash your car?



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      06-03-2013, 10:26 AM   #45
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Which parts go faster or are you not as careful with if you polish after?
If I am to polish after, I generally don't have to be as careful. When I do a maintenance wash, I use 2 sets of mitts (one for the top 2/3 of the car, another for the bottom 3rd). An extended pre-soak period and much slower arm speed are also utilize in a maintenance wash. I generally wash and rinse a panel at a time but if there is polishing after.... I would wash and rinse a much larger area. I generally will clay before polishing so the car don't have to be dry. For a maintenance wash, I would use a blower to get most of the water off then pat dry the remaining moister with a MF.
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      06-03-2013, 10:34 AM   #46
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Never tried sealant before. But thanks to you guys i might try the cquartz cause its sounds like its easy, glossy and not too permanent so hopefully i won't make a hash out of it. And I don't mind if it just lasts a bit longer than normal wax. Sounds interesting. I will find some and try

Especially long road trips. Can't really wax when I'm on holiday
A coating tends to do a better job at releasing dirt as well as staying clean longer. It makes washing so much easier and less often but please remember...you still have to take care of it with regular maintenance. A coating will buy you more time with contaminates but it is not a force field.
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      06-04-2013, 08:17 PM   #47
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I don't cover anything when I'm washing.
Haven't had any issues... yet? And heard other people that don't cover either.

is that bad?
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      06-07-2013, 02:51 AM   #48
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I can wash and wax the car in 45 minutes using Optimum no rinse and wax.
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      06-07-2013, 04:45 AM   #49
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I don't cover anything when I'm washing.
Haven't had any issues... yet? And heard other people that don't cover either.

is that bad?
Forgot to add - I meant I don't cover any of the engine parts when I'm washing.
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      06-07-2013, 07:29 AM   #50
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I use a boars hair lug-nut brush and a daytona speedmaster brush. I cover my alternator with 2 shopping bags then rinse it off first. Don't use direct or a strong stream of water. Next I spray Meguiars D103 All Purpose Cleaner + liberally all over the engine bay and let that sit for a minute or 2. After that I go to town with the brushes and rinse.
I got a EZ and Daytona brush. I recently also picked up some wheel woolies and the 1" wheel boars hair brush. I'm just unsure of using these brushes because I do have some grease on the panels and I don't want to ruin the brushes with them.

Anyways I found these two videos and it seems like after you cover the alternator they just spray the whole engine. I'm still weary of doing that. I never really sprayed an engine like that before.



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      06-07-2013, 09:06 AM   #51
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I got a EZ and Daytona brush. I recently also picked up some wheel woolies and the 1" wheel boars hair brush. I'm just unsure of using these brushes because I do have some grease on the panels and I don't want to ruin the brushes with them.

Anyways I found these two videos and it seems like after you cover the alternator they just spray the whole engine. I'm still weary of doing that. I never really sprayed an engine like that before.



Its fine. I know my car resets after I spray the engine down which really annoys me. Just get a grit guard some goo gone and an APC or degreaser to get the grease off the brush. Spray the goo gone on the brush then agitate it with the grit guard. Then spray APC or degreaser to remove the goo gone and loosened dirt. If you have grease in your engine I would get Meguiars D108 Super Degreaser.
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      06-07-2013, 08:15 PM   #52
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For general washes it takes me about 45 minutes to wash & dry the car and apply instant detailer; plus 10 minutes for setup/cleanup (putting away the garden hose &c). Wheels add another 15 minutes, though I don't wash those every time I do a maintenance wash. Interior is about a 20 minute job to wipe down all surfaces and vacuum.

I'd say about 1 1/2 hours per week on average
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      06-07-2013, 10:53 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Otruba_843 View Post
Its fine. I know my car resets after I spray the engine down which really annoys me. Just get a grit guard some goo gone and an APC or degreaser to get the grease off the brush. Spray the goo gone on the brush then agitate it with the grit guard. Then spray APC or degreaser to remove the goo gone and loosened dirt. If you have grease in your engine I would get Meguiars D108 Super Degreaser.
For those nasty engines, I use pressure steam. No chemicals or rinse needed. Here is one I did today.
















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      06-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #54
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I bought my car for just for 2 months, I need some time to learn how to clean, therefore I used to spend 4 hours to clean the wheel dust once, and 3.5 hours to clean the body, it is no really acceptable to spend so much time.

After cleaning the car for 3 times, this week I speed up the process and I finish it within 1.5 hrs, including cleaning the wheel, the body and the glasses, exclude interior.

1). Using the brush and wheel cleaner to clean the break dust inside the wheel and the surface. (25 mins)
2). Clean the whole body with turtle zip wax (50 mins)
3). Clean the glasses with Sonax glass cleaner (10 mins)

Shared some photo from you, I am from Hong Kong and most of the people here will spend HKD$100 each time let the shop clean for them. However I enjoy cleaning the car myself so that I can keep observing my car is that any new damage, and learn some new knowledge during the car cleaning process.

Next week I will try to spray the turtle black wax after cleaning the car, exciting for next cleaning!
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      06-09-2013, 05:31 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Otruba_843 View Post
Its fine. I know my car resets after I spray the engine down which really annoys me. Just get a grit guard some goo gone and an APC or degreaser to get the grease off the brush. Spray the goo gone on the brush then agitate it with the grit guard. Then spray APC or degreaser to remove the goo gone and loosened dirt. If you have grease in your engine I would get Meguiars D108 Super Degreaser.
For those nasty engines, I use pressure steam. No chemicals or rinse needed. Here is one I did today.




Very nice job on the engine bay

Last edited by Zero_09; 07-21-2013 at 10:16 PM.
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      06-19-2013, 11:15 AM   #56
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I have had my car for a little over a month. CPO, was delivered without a flaw in paint or wheels. I have only used pressure wash and rinse and then drying with a shammy. It looks great. Only takes me 15 minutes. But I do this at least 2 times a week. I only put an average of 100 km on it a week though. It's never garaged. The reason I do it so often is that there are birds around my work that shit on it daily.

I could use some pointers.
Am I not a good BMW owner?
Is a shammy a good idea? I don't like the idea of the grim that gets pulled up into it. I work from top to bottom and then wash it between cleans.

I have only cleaned and conditioned the front seats once and vacuum regularly. I haven't ever wiped down the inside. It's supper clean.
What do I use as regular maintenance clean on the interior? Cloth and cleaner?

I hope I dont get bashed for asking these questions knowing that there are answers to my questions out there already.
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      06-19-2013, 12:41 PM   #57
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I have had my car for a little over a month. CPO, was delivered without a flaw in paint or wheels. I have only used pressure wash and rinse and then drying with a shammy. It looks great. Only takes me 15 minutes. But I do this at least 2 times a week. I only put an average of 100 km on it a week though. It's never garaged. The reason I do it so often is that there are birds around my work that shit on it daily.

I could use some pointers.
Am I not a good BMW owner?
Is a shammy a good idea? I don't like the idea of the grim that gets pulled up into it. I work from top to bottom and then wash it between cleans.

I have only cleaned and conditioned the front seats once and vacuum regularly. I haven't ever wiped down the inside. It's supper clean.
What do I use as regular maintenance clean on the interior? Cloth and cleaner?

I hope I dont get bashed for asking these questions knowing that there are answers to my questions out there already.
You are scratching the HELL out of your paint. The reason why the paint looked flawless when you got it is because the BMW detailing center applies a glaze to hide swirls and minor defects. You are using no agitation so the dirt is still on your car and when you take chamois to the paint, because there is no nap on a chamois, the dirt is trapped under the chamois and being rubbed all over the paint. There is just too much to answer here. Do some research.
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      06-20-2013, 12:37 AM   #58
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You are scratching the HELL out of your paint. The reason why the paint looked flawless when you got it is because the BMW detailing center applies a glaze to hide swirls and minor defects. You are using no agitation so the dirt is still on your car and when you take chamois to the paint, because there is no nap on a chamois, the dirt is trapped under the chamois and being rubbed all over the paint. There is just too much to answer here. Do some research.
+1 When the glaze wears off, swirls will most likely to pop up on your car. Since your car is not garaged, you are another perfect candidate for a coating. That is after you have the paint corrected prior.
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      07-12-2013, 04:41 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Otruba_843 View Post
I use a boars hair lug-nut brush and a daytona speedmaster brush. I cover my alternator with 2 shopping bags then rinse it off first. Don't use direct or a strong stream of water. Next I spray Meguiars D103 All Purpose Cleaner + liberally all over the engine bay and let that sit for a minute or 2. After that I go to town with the brushes and rinse.
I'm thinking of finally cleaning the engine bay. So just cover the alternator and nothing else?
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      07-12-2013, 05:07 PM   #60
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I'm thinking of finally cleaning the engine bay. So just cover the alternator and nothing else?
Yep! Put one plastic bag over it then another one. Reason being is when you go to take the first one off, there is going to be water sitting on top of it and when you pull it off, it will go on the alternator if you don't have the second bag there.
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      07-18-2013, 02:46 PM   #61
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About 3 hours...

It includes
Washing wheels
Hand wash and dry entire car.
Cleaning all jambs. Trunk jamb door jumb engine bay where the leaves fall down to..
Vacuum interior
Wipe down with lexol

It takes way too long
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      07-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #62
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If I'm doing a once a week bath - 25 minutes tops.

If I'm doing a full on detail - something like 6 hours. 10 hours if I do interior too.

the somewhere in-between "detailed" wash - 2 hours
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      07-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #63
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If I'm doing a once a week bath - 25 minutes tops.

If I'm doing a full on detail - something like 6 hours. 10 hours if I do interior too.

the somewhere in-between "detailed" wash - 2 hours
agreed, thats about the same as me
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      07-18-2013, 04:54 PM   #64
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full detail include paint correction? An extra 4 hours for interior is a long time. Must be only for really dirty cars.
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      07-18-2013, 09:19 PM   #65
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full detail include paint correction? An extra 4 hours for interior is a long time. Must be only for really dirty cars.
I shampoo the carpet, clean and condition the leather, wipe down all trim, and clean all the glass.

It's nearly 4 hours largely because I take my time doing the leather and carpet. Kind of a "if I'm going through the hassle of doing it, might as well do it right" type thing.

Trust me, I get the same reaction from the neighbors. "You're still cleaning?"

Most of the time I don't even realize how long I've been at it till someone stops me when I do a full detail.

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      07-20-2013, 09:10 AM   #66
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Just curious how long you guys are taking to wash your cars. For me, it can be anywhere from 2-3 hours at least to do the exterior. I rinse then wash my wheels (including lug holes, barrels, the face, and the tires 3 times) then rinse again, then rinse and 2 bucket method for washing the exterior and rinse again, then sheet the car, blow dry it, then go over the whole exterior with CG's V7 with a waffle weave, and last but not least apply tire gel. This is on an E90 for reference. I feel like I take too long, but I like a thorough wash rather than a quick get-it-over-with wash.
Otruba 843 and others,

Greetings...I could not resist the opportunity to post a response. Having owned a number of cars over the years, I have developed a system that allows ME to wash my car in under 30 minutes.

My first car was a Chevy Vega (please don't laugh...okay, perhaps a few giggles) was waxed nearly every week. I have enjoyed washing and waxing my cars ever since.

I use many products from Griot's Garage (I have no personal interest in the company).

I also have my hose, products, towels, sprays, etc. handy for easy access. And yes, my car sleeps in a garage at night. I also have quick release for nozzles, sprayers, etc. The hose is on a reel for easy access.

Black cars as most people know are impossible to "keep" clean. My last three cars were black...not anymore. I decided on red this time around...no regrets.

Here are my steps.

1. Wheels first...rinse and use Dawn dishwashing soap on wheels. Please do not use Dawn on the car's paint. Dawn cuts through brake dust. This is my first BMW and I am literally amazed that their wheels remain clean after hundreds of miles. Did BMW spray or coat their wheels with something? I have a couple of brushes for the calipers and lug nuts. I use a long brush and microfiber towel for the inside of the wheels. I wished there was a little more room between the brake discs and wheels (and yes, I have 19" wheels). It's a tight fit, but the long brush and towel work fine.
2. Rinse car.
3. Use Griot's Garage Auto Soap on car with microfiber mitt.
4. Rinse car.
5. GENTLY towel dry with microfiber towel and Griot's Garage Speed Shine. I am very careful to gently drag the micro towel over the car to remove most the water. While the car is still slightly damp, I spray SS over the water and gently remove the rest of the water.
6. Towel dry wheels.
7. Clean outside windows.
8. Every 4 - 6 days, I use a California Duster to remove dust...I also use Griot's Speed Shine or Spray Wax to keep it shinny.
9. Apply wheel dressing by hand...no sprays.

Every 2 - 4 months, I clay the paint and apply carnauba wax. If I detect towel marks and mild scratches, I use Griot's Orbital and Polish to remove scratches before applying wax.

The entire process usually takes me approximately 30 minutes. I typically wash my car every week. I do NOT take it to a car wash...ever.

Do I use the two bucket method - NO. Do I sheet the car - NO. Do I use a paint brush and "dust" the interior every week - NO, not necessary. Do I clean the inside of the windows every week - NO. Do I vacuum the interior every week - NO. I do however, have a small Dirt Devil vacuum in the garage, plugged in and ready to go. I typically take out my floor mats and brush them clean with a stiff brush.

I'm impressed with how easy it is to clean this BMW. In my opinion, it does not have a lot of crevices that require a "blow" dryer. Nor does water seep in the door sills. My last car (Porsche) was a pain to clean. Water would pool everywhere, i.e., door sills, mirrors, hood and rear hatch, etc. The brake rotors would hold water and then spill out the brake dust on the newly cleaned wheels - another pain.

I hope this helps...get your systems in order...learn to be efficient...practice often. Three plus hours to wash a car is...well...let's just say...a little much.

Semper Fi

PS - Modifications include: Extra padding underneath the front floor mats. Tinted back windows. Disconnect muffler valve. Plastidipped the three 335is emblems. Clear bra on bumper and first 12" of hood.
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