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Discussion Starter #1
I know there's other forums for this, but I've avoided membership there so far so I thought I'd try here.

I always hand wash my cars, woolly mitt and all. However we just bought a pressure washer for cleaning purposes (patio, decking and such) and I'd love to wash the car with it too.

It can't with a vehicle brush attachment and many other bits and bobs to adjust rates, including a liquid holder/dispenser you can pop on to the nozzle.

So... How do I do this folks? Any difference in the type of cleaner required to get that nice foamy finish? Any extra steps, tips, products... Help me, it's scary! :D

Oh yes, it's a decent but not outstanding Nilfisk model which seemed well regarded on various forums and sites.
 

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I have the same Nilfisk branded washer and I purchased a rotating car brush with dispenser when it was on offer a couple of months ago with £5 off. I still use their branded wash fluid that was supplied and the detergent ingredient is probably more important than a 'false' foam effect.
The only problem I have with this car brush is that its arm needs to be angled as the lance handle can get close to the car panels.
 

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Yes I got that as standard and at the time along with a patio brush cleaner. The only issue I found using that bottle was it's an applicator only, then I needed a brush to actually get the dirt off the car, so I was reverting to a hand sponge method, then rinsing the car. As I needed a brush, the brush I bought solved my small dilemma by saving additional work and time. I'm all for an easier life ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got a patio brush too, but this one is apparently for cars and windows and things, but still doesn't have a foam/detergent dispenser... So yes, using the supplied tools it would be rinse, foam, brush, hand mitt, rinse... I guess?
 

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Personally I wouldn't use a pressure washer on a car, modern car paints are just too soft, you will end up causing damage.

If you want to though, a foam lance is the way to go, chucking poofy foam at paint is going to do lots less damage than super powerful water(+impurities!)
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I always took that view, but it seems as long as you put the power down to the right setting and use the right tools it's fine, many specialists use them to great effect from what I've seen. But always good to get personal/first hand advice!
 

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Soak the car with the gentle spray, then Snow Foam it, leave to work for a short time, cuppa, then use mitt and plenty of water to wash off the dirt and a final rinse with the pressure washer, you can always just stand a bit further away if you think it is too strong.
 

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I'm with some of the others here... Snow Foam is ace :)

Buy a proper snow foam lance and solution (I got mine at www.cleanyourcar.com). Spray the car all over, and leave it to drip off, but don't let it dry.

They are building a tram near work so the roads are filthy with mud, which inevitably covers my car :(. You literally see brown foam on the floor after the snow foam has dropped off.

Rinse with pressure washer, but not too close as to damage the paint. Unfortunately you car probably still needs a wash if it was dirty before, so now you have step 2:

Then use 2 buckets, one with warm soapy water, one with plain warm water. Get a microfibre wash mitt, then dip the mitt in the soapy bucket. Wipe a small area of the car, then rinse the mitt in the plain water. Dip back in soapy bucket and wipe another small area of the car. Repeat till you've covered the car.

The foam, the mitt and two buckets are all tactics to avoid getting tiny grit scratches in the paint.

Rinse the car thoroughly, then dry with a soft microfibre drying cloth, otherwise you'll get water spots.

Then you are onto the waxing and polishing stage, but that gets even more complicated :)

No go over to detailingworld forum, and really learn how to spend days of your life each week cleaning your car :p
 

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Personally I would never use a rotating brush...especially on black or dark paint. Swirl marks are diificult to avoid totally, but can be minimised.

One routine you could consider is

Snow foam with pressure washer and leave for 3 mins (less in hot weather)
Pressure wash rinse
Bucket wash with a wash mitt and safe shampoo eg AG bodywork shampoo & conditioner
Pressure wash rinse
Spray with Autoglym Aqua wax
Dry with microfibre drying towel
Buff any wax residue gently with microfibre cloth
Wax 2x per year (after prepping)

Detailing world will give you enough info without you having to register.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I know how to clean a car, just not with the jet wash part. :D

Too lazy for detailing world levels of investment at the moment, but do want to make the most of my new pressure washer at least. :D
 

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I know how to clean a car, just not with the jet wash part. :D

Too lazy for detailing world levels of investment at the moment, but do want to make the most of my new pressure washer at least. :D
Just blast away, unless you've got some industrial jobby (and then just stand back a bit)
 

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Too lazy for detailing world levels of investment at the moment, but do want to make the most of my new pressure washer at least. :D
Then buy a snow foam gun.. it's a great laugh ;)

Apparently if it's freezing cold outside the foam sets, so you could even decorate your garden in the winter :)
 

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I wouldn't use a pressure washer on a car's paint – underbody only for me. It may be worth checking the owner's manual – mine has a recommendation not to use pressure washers around the front opening panel, presumably to stop water getting into the electrics.
 

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If paint came off with a pressure washer, I doubt they'd give 7 yr warranty. I've been using them for years without issue. Some people aim to have as little physical contact as possible, the theory being grit is scraped along the paintwork...so use pressure washers.
 

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Just use your pressure washer for the initial rinse, your normal wooly mitt and shampoo for the wash and pressure washer again to rinse. That's my routine anyway :)
 

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Just use your pressure washer for the initial rinse, your normal wooly mitt and shampoo for the wash and pressure washer again to rinse. That's my routine anyway :)
Isn't it ALWAYS raining in the UK? :p

That's what I do, pressure washer to start, a bucket with the shampoo and bubbles, wooly mitt. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Then I add a heated blow dryer AFTER initial towel dry with micro-fiber towel. (then again, my whole car is wrapped in Xpel Ultimate.)
 
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