1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Best Touchless Car Wash Setup?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Wise Wolf, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. Jan 8, 2021 at 8:25 PM
    #1
    Wise Wolf

    Wise Wolf [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2020
    Member:
    #324452
    Messages:
    263
    Gender:
    Male
    Miami, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2020 DCLB 4x4 OR V6 AT Barcelona Red
    RCI 5 degree Rock Sliders, Clazzio Leather Seat Covers, Tacoma Door Sills, Tacoma Rubber Bed Mat, WeatherTech Floor Liners, WeatherTech Mud Flaps, WeatherTech SunShade.
    Hey everyone,
    I was wondering what you would recommend for the best touchless car wash setup to clean my 3rd gen Tacoma?

    Right now ive been using this setup:

    Soap = Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009OTW646/

    Foam Cannon = Twinkle Star Foam Cannon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CGG67PY/

    Pressure Washer Short Gun = M Mingle 5k PSI Cold/Hot Water: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081J96Z57/

    Pressure Washer = Greenworks 2,300 PSI 2.3 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

    With this setup ive noticed that it doesnt get all of the dirt/dust off of the truck unless I also use a wash mitt to scrub off the dirt on the doors and the hood myself thus defeating the purpose of doing a touchless car wash (to reduce the chances of getting swirl marks) so I was looking at other possible soaps to use on Amazon like these:

    Zep Professional Touchless Vehicle Detergent (it actually says touchless in the title): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007J6FOFE/

    Chemical Guys Tough Mudder Truck Wash: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077TPG55M/


    Anyone try the Zep stuff or the Tough Mudder stuff before? or have some other product that they recommend to get dirt + dust off of the truck without having to touch it?
     
  2. Jan 8, 2021 at 9:14 PM
    #2
    gorram

    gorram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Member:
    #211352
    Messages:
    739
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2016 Limited
    Unfortunately there is no touchless method that fully cleans without contact. If a product is aggressive enough to break down all forms of dirt and then rinse away cleanly isn't likely safe for all vehicle surfaces or a wax/sealant/coating. If you want to try out something like the Zep you posted try a touchless car wash, while it may be quicker than you running around with the PW it won't fully clean either.

    Chemical Guys Honeydew is a decent soap though the main component it and other car soaps have is lubrication for the wash media you touch the truck with. The other CG product is likely marketing. CG has endless products, particularly soaps to fill every niche they can. You might as well buy the one that smells the best to you.

    In Europe and elsewhere with harsh climates they use a pre wash product called traffic film remover and even harsh stuff is followed car soap and washing by contact.

    Another issue is leaving water spots behind because you can't really safely dry dirty paint or you leave water spots from hard water.
     
  3. Jan 9, 2021 at 11:36 AM
    #3
    ace96

    ace96 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Member:
    #42591
    Messages:
    3,778
    Gender:
    Male
    Western KY
    Vehicle:
    '11 SWB DC TRD SPORT
    AVS bug deflector, Weathertech digital fit floor mats, TRD skid plate w/ Sockmonkey decal, SOS Cocept sliders w/ Line-x, Pioneer 3500, Hybrid Audio Technology Mirus 6X9s & 6.5s, back up cam mod, Wet Okoles-front & rear, TRD exhaust, 17X9 XD Spy w/ Falken Wildpeaks, Avid light bar
    Best setup is the one you are happy with. Everyone has different opinions about products they like and use. The most important thing is you are doing something to maintain your paint.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2021 at 3:34 PM
    #4
    KissmyTaco

    KissmyTaco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Member:
    #211309
    Messages:
    356
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Eric
    Phoenix, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tacoma MGM DCSB TRD Sport
    I have a Gashole
    If it is swirl marks you are worried about while using a mitt or microfiber cloth, remember the rule of never washing in circular fashion. Always back and forth following the body lines. Always go in the direction that wind would go across the body.
    I have a 2001 BMW Z3, not a single swirl mark from washing/polishing/waxing in 19 yrs.
     
    tunabrad and Wise Wolf[OP] like this.
  5. Jan 12, 2021 at 3:21 PM
    #5
    Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Member:
    #208501
    Messages:
    3,693
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    South shore of Lake Ontario
    Vehicle:
    2021 4Runner SR5 Premium
    Washing in a circular fashion can induce circular marring. However, all things being equal, washing in a back and forth motion will just induce back and forth marring.
     
    Wise Wolf[OP], ace96 and nine2nine like this.
  6. Jan 29, 2021 at 8:00 AM
    #6
    Gen2 Man

    Gen2 Man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Member:
    #308599
    Messages:
    779
    Gender:
    Male
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    07 Sport DCLB
    3rd Gen Sport wheels
    So much wrong information and it gets passed on and on. Heres some light reading on the subject of washing. Please read the section on hand washing. I still get these trade publications and some but not of the info is useful. You also gotta weed out the bias from companies selling their brands. Talk to the guys in the trenches, the professional detailers. Some will talk, some you gotta bribe with beer and some are just assholes

    D8106EE5-5E1F-4DC3-A18F-7D4FEB409CD3.jpg
    357549A1-9126-4FA3-90F4-A002C9F3F0AB.jpg
     
    stbear and Wise Wolf[OP] like this.
  7. Jan 29, 2021 at 8:14 AM
    #7
    Gen2 Man

    Gen2 Man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Member:
    #308599
    Messages:
    779
    Gender:
    Male
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    07 Sport DCLB
    3rd Gen Sport wheels
  8. Jan 29, 2021 at 8:47 AM
    #8
    ace96

    ace96 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Member:
    #42591
    Messages:
    3,778
    Gender:
    Male
    Western KY
    Vehicle:
    '11 SWB DC TRD SPORT
    AVS bug deflector, Weathertech digital fit floor mats, TRD skid plate w/ Sockmonkey decal, SOS Cocept sliders w/ Line-x, Pioneer 3500, Hybrid Audio Technology Mirus 6X9s & 6.5s, back up cam mod, Wet Okoles-front & rear, TRD exhaust, 17X9 XD Spy w/ Falken Wildpeaks, Avid light bar
    So much misinformation in that magazine as far as auto car washes. Need to weed out what they are selling.
     
    POW HOUND likes this.
  9. Jan 29, 2021 at 8:48 AM
    #9
    Gen2 Man

    Gen2 Man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Member:
    #308599
    Messages:
    779
    Gender:
    Male
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    07 Sport DCLB
    3rd Gen Sport wheels
    Can you be more specific
     
  10. Jan 29, 2021 at 9:41 AM
    #10
    Wise Wolf

    Wise Wolf [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2020
    Member:
    #324452
    Messages:
    263
    Gender:
    Male
    Miami, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2020 DCLB 4x4 OR V6 AT Barcelona Red
    RCI 5 degree Rock Sliders, Clazzio Leather Seat Covers, Tacoma Door Sills, Tacoma Rubber Bed Mat, WeatherTech Floor Liners, WeatherTech Mud Flaps, WeatherTech SunShade.
    Since I started this thread I switched my foam cannon to this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WPKHFA6/ I got it for $12.78 w/tax during an Amazon Lightning deal, it works better than the Twinkle Star foam cannon that I was using before because the Twinkle Star cannon was starting to have issues locking into my pressure washers gun. My only complaint is that the Dusichin foam cannon runs out of fluid really quickly when washing my truck so I have to refill it several times to cover the whole truck with suds.

    I also changed the way that I wash my truck to minimize the chance of creating scratches and swirl marks on the truck. In the area where I live it gets really dusty, I would wash my truck and 1-2 days later I could see dust all over the truck just front sitting in my front driveway and that dirt could cause micro scratches and swirl marks if I tried to wash my truck by hand so the cleaning method that im using now is:

    1) Wash the truck with water only using the pressure washer to clean off as much dirt and dust as possible before using the foam cannon
    2) Use the foam cannon to do a touchless truck wash and let the foam grab on to those particles of dust + dirt when you wash off the foam
    3) Spray some water on the truck to wash off the foam + dirt/dust from the first wash
    4) Spray the truck agian with the foam cannon but this time do section by section and use one of those soft cleaning mitts + a home depot bucket with water to clean the washing mitt after you clean each section that you foamed up with the foam cannon. After you pass by each section that you foamed up wash the cleaning mitt in the bucket of water and make sure to clean off any particles that you might find stuck on the cleaning mitt.
    5) After you do this then just rinse off the truck with water
    6) Use one of the drying towels to dry the truck so that it doesnt get any water spots on the paint

    Sometimes I also like to use a bottle of spot detailer to clean inside the door jams and clean off any dirt stuck in there using a microfiber towel.


    I found that by doing a touchless car wash without using a cleaning mitt that I would still have stubborn dirt marks on the doors that wouldnt wash away doing a completely touchless car wash so I had to do the wash mitt method too but I always do the touchless in the first round to minimize the amount of dirt/dust that the washing mitt gets in contact with.

    My 2020 truck sadly does already have some scratches in the paint but it didnt happen while I was car washing it, this is how it happened:

    1) Some idiot roommates that live with me were carrying garbage bags to the garbage bin and they touched the tailgate with the garbage bags which left some sticky residue on my tailgate, I tried to wash off the residue with soapy water when I saw it but it wasnt coming off (it had become hard at the time that I saw it and I didnt know what it was at the time) anyhow I tried to wash it off with soapy water in a spray bottle + a microfiber cloth and it came off (I had to scrub it off with the microfiber cloth) but it looks like I scrubbed it off too hard trying to get it off and it left micro scratches on the tailgate that I can see when the sun is out and reflects on the tailgate. I tried to wash it off using only the soapy water and then rubbing it off with my fingers only before resorting to using the microfiber towel but it wasnt coming off with soapy water only since it had become hard + sticky when I saw it and thats when I decided to try to scrub it off using the microfiber towel (sadly it left micro scratches) :( but I also got some rock chips on my tailgate from vehicles backing up into my driveway and then peeling out and throwing rocks at my tailgate when they peel out so I might just get my tailgate repainted when the body shop fixes the rock chips.

    2) My aunt hit the paint on the side of the truck bed with her big ass purse passing next to my truck and left some silver scratches on my paint (I assume from the metal bits on her purse) I cleaned the area with water before trying to scrub off the silver scratches that she left with her purse and then scrubbed it with a microfiber cloth which was successful in cleaning off like 80% of the silver scratch (the rest came off when I was washing the truck with my foam cannon) but it still left micro scratches in the area where she hit the truck with her purse and caused silver scratches on the paint with her purse.

    3) My dad touched the paint with his hands dirty and then tried to clean off the stain he left on the paint using a used terry towel instead of a microfiber cloth... I told him he should have just left it the way it was and called me to clean it off instead of using a used terry towel which could scratch the paint... now the area that he used the terry towel on has micro scratches that show up every time the sun reflects on it.

    So yeah a 2020 truck and it already has micro scratches in several parts of the truck and it hasnt even been a year yet (I purchased the truck on 04/2020) lol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  11. Jan 29, 2021 at 10:45 AM
    #11
    Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Member:
    #208501
    Messages:
    3,693
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    South shore of Lake Ontario
    Vehicle:
    2021 4Runner SR5 Premium
    First of all, thank you for sharing your opinion and the interesting article. As one who's washed literally thousands of cars in his lifetime and detailed for over 25 years, I can agree with many of the points made in the article. I do however take issue with one statement: "No matter how many times a car is washed, swirls will not get worse." Sorry, I don't buy it at all - not even in a perfect world.

    The first point I would like to make is that any time you make contact with / touch your paint - no matter how gently you do it - you're marring the surface at a minimum at a microscopic level. The softer the paint or the harder the contact, the greater the marring. That's just physics, inconvenient as it may seem. SO the more you wash, the more you mar. the question is more of how much you mar.

    The second point I would like to make is that in a perfect world with perfect process control, in theory, the amount of damage caused by an automatic car wash is minimal - by design. (There's a lot of qualifiers in there.) In the real world, other things happen. Soap or rinse nozzles slowly clog and don't flow as well. Your clarifier doesn't remove suspended solids as efficiently as designed. Some clown who just went mud bogging goes through the wash right in front of you. And the list goes on and on. All of the real world stuff conspires to deliver a greater degree of marring (and thus swirls) than the design called for.

    I have to give modern car wash technology a tip of the hat though. The current "touchless" technology allows somebody like me to take his vehicle through a wash like that literally every day in the dark and cold of winter up here in the salt capital of the rust belt and not fear too much wash induced damage. That said, there will be correction and reapplication of the ceramic coating in the spring.
     
    ace96 likes this.
  12. Jan 29, 2021 at 11:14 AM
    #12
    Gen2 Man

    Gen2 Man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Member:
    #308599
    Messages:
    779
    Gender:
    Male
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    07 Sport DCLB
    3rd Gen Sport wheels
    All those things you mentioned would buff out using a leveling compound. People would be surprised and delighted to see the possibilities of a proper paint correction followed by ceramic. While we are talking about buffers this is a nice one. It’s made to run for years and not work the hell out of the operator

    All kidding aside if you got a buffer and know your chemicals and procedures you can charge people a bunch of money to do detailing work, and they will be happy too. What could be better than that.

    1225701F-14D9-4388-B6AD-B2447DF10F49.jpg
    30B05753-F6BB-4C8F-B285-15677A77DF09.jpg
     
  13. Mar 19, 2021 at 7:24 PM
    #13
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Member:
    #254966
    Messages:
    6,193
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Steve
    San Antonio, TX United States
    Vehicle:
    2015 Silver Tacoma PreRunner
    3" ToyTec coilovers, JBA UCA's, Bilstein 5100's
    If you plan on hand washing your truck. No matter how hard you try eventually you will induce some fine scratches. The key is to practice good washing techniques. Use good quality products that help minimize dirt and contaminants to stick to your paint. Invest in a good quality DA and learn how to polishing and buffing.
     
  14. Apr 9, 2021 at 10:04 PM
    #14
    Wise Wolf

    Wise Wolf [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2020
    Member:
    #324452
    Messages:
    263
    Gender:
    Male
    Miami, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2020 DCLB 4x4 OR V6 AT Barcelona Red
    RCI 5 degree Rock Sliders, Clazzio Leather Seat Covers, Tacoma Door Sills, Tacoma Rubber Bed Mat, WeatherTech Floor Liners, WeatherTech Mud Flaps, WeatherTech SunShade.
    I have been doing some more research on how to reduce the amount of water spots when washing my truck and I came across some new products that im going to try next time I wash my truck. For those curious these are the new products that I discovered that im going to try out:

    1. Rain-X Spot Free Car Wash (doesnt require wiping down with a towel according to the description): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T9LR2E8/
    2. Camco EVO Premium RV & Marine Water Filter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00523AMBC/
    3. Camco Universal Water Filter Stand: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016V2EANI/

    I was reading the reviews on the water filter and found this review from a guy who does professional detailing, he says that he connects the filter to his pressure washer to reduce hard water and thus reduce water spotting when detailing vehicles in his work. The water where I live is really hard (all the houses and plumbing here are from the 1980's) so im hoping that it will help me out with water spots as well.
     
  15. Apr 10, 2021 at 4:14 AM
    #15
    gorram

    gorram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Member:
    #211352
    Messages:
    739
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2016 Limited
    Not sure if you've bought any of this yet but if you want to get rid of hard water the only real filter that works is DI resin. Look up CR Spotless, not saying this is the only deionized water filter system it's just one of the more popular one. The actual filter is a bunch of resin beads and the harder your water the quicker these beads will foul up with hard water. So depending on how hard and how much you actually use during the wash it can be several dollars per wash to use deionized water. For that reason most people only use it to rinse and eventually abandon the idea because resin beads are so expensive.

    Look into rinseless washing, these all have water softeners in the chemical makeup and some can even dry onto the paint but still wipe away clean. Car wash soap has it too but has to eventually be rinsed away with water which is why many detailers will then use the rinseless product mixed in a detailing spray dilution in between rinsing and drying. Or just switch to rinseless washing entirely with Optimum ONR, Wolfgang Uber, McKees n914, CarPro ech2o etc...

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=CR+Spotless+Deionizer
     
    ace96 likes this.
  16. Apr 11, 2021 at 5:55 PM
    #16
    BRBNNEAT

    BRBNNEAT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2021
    Member:
    #359636
    Messages:
    180
    Gender:
    Male
    Madison, WI
    Vehicle:
    2021 TRD Offroad-6 speed
    I rarely do contactless washes, but I do use a pump sprayer to spray waterless car wash to lubricate the paint before contact. No swirls.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top