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Mary S
Apr 16th, 2010, 09:40 AM
I filled out a contact form on a touchless car website to ask them if their car wash stripped existing wax from the car. Here is the question and answer. Maybe she's telling the truth.

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Hi,

I have heard in various car care forums that automatic touchless car washes use detergents that strip the existing wax off of your vehicle. They say in order to clean the car without friction it is necessary to use harsh detergents that will strip the wax.

If I used you automatic car wash, would it strip the existing wax from my vehicle?

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No, it will not strip the existing wax from your vehicle. I highly recommend that you purchase the EXPRESS wash, however. The Express level does not add any other polishes or protectants since you already have wax on the vehicle.



Barb Magee
EVP & Chief Customer Care Officer

Laser Wash Group LLC
4 Elatia Circle
Pittsford, NY 14534

585.218.0597

800.953.0598

Fax: 585.218.0599

bmagee@touchfreecarwashing.com

website: www.touchfreecarwashing.com

Mary S
Apr 16th, 2010, 10:09 AM
Here is my experience with a car wash like this not too long ago, maybe earlier this year. I didn't usually wash my car that often. I washed my car and got the most expensive wash, which includes the wax protection and so forth.

The next week it rained and my car looked pretty filthy, so I took it back to the car wash. Since I had just washed it the previous week, I just got the cheapest wash, the one that doesn't have any wax protection.

As I was coming out of the car wash (which doesn't have a dry cycle), I noticed the water was beading on the hood of the car. I figured it must have been from the wax of the previous week, since I had never hand waxed my car.

Maybe some car washes use different chemicals that are harsh.

Is there any way we can get a definitive answer on this from Meguiars? Have your chemists call their chemists and come up with an official answer?

Mary S
Apr 16th, 2010, 10:29 AM
This was on their FAQ page:

Should I use dish detergent on my car at home?

No! Dishwashing detergents are designed to strip grease and grime and will actually strip off any wax protection your car has. The solutions used in our automatic and self-serve wash bays are specifically designed for cars.

After seeing this on their site, that is what prompted me to email them. If they are aware of what Dawn can do to your car, well maybe they know their washes won't do the same thing.

Matt Majeika
Apr 16th, 2010, 11:23 AM
Very interesting interaction with the Customer Care Officer. I'd be interested to see what others have to say on the issue. I use touchless washes in the harsh depths of winter in New England because it's just too cold and gross to wash it by hand.

roushstage2
Apr 16th, 2010, 11:41 AM
Quoting this from someone on another forum. It's well said, so why mess with it:

The final rinse in the touchless wash (and really any professional car wash), will contain a "drying agent" (aka rinse aid, clearcoat sealant, or "hot wax") which is a dilute silicone/mineral oil emulsion to make the car bead water and thus dry off quickly. Some of these are formulated to be reasonably persistent and can last for up to 30 days or so.

Water beading on a freshly washed car doesn't mean much.

That being said, someone who owns a car wash isn't likely to say, "Yeah, it takes everything right off," if they hope to keep volume up.

Mary S
Apr 16th, 2010, 11:53 AM
I wrote her back to ask her what brand of car wash products they used.

I also found a company that sells a full line of car wash chemicals for both frictionless and touchless car washes and emailed them to ask about stripping of wax.

Maybe my water beading experience doesn't mean anything, although I had never noticed it before. Usually it sheets right after I wash and wax it the way they give it a final spray to make it sheet.

My guess is there are some carwash chemicals that are bad, maybe some that aren't. Some washes may be bad, maybe some aren't.

The way the products are applied, first an alkaline product, then an acidic product, and so forth probably make a difference. It wouldn't be as easy as just capturing some of the foam and taking it home and testing it on a junk hood.

But I do know, my car doesn't seem to have suffered too much from having been washed in touchless wash systems most of its life.

roushstage2
Apr 16th, 2010, 12:53 PM
Clean, say your hood, use the plastic baggie trick to ensure there is no wax. Wax it, and redo the baggie trick to ensure there is a coating of wax on there and to tell the difference in feel. Go through the car wash and test it again after?

Mary S
Apr 16th, 2010, 01:25 PM
Clean, say your hood, use the plastic baggie trick to ensure there is no wax. Wax it, and redo the baggie trick to ensure there is a coating of wax on there and to tell the difference in feel. Go through the car wash and test it again after?

That sounds like a good idea. Either on the hood or the roof.

1. Strip the wax.
2. Divide the area into sections.
3. Apply:

No Wax.
1 coat of Gold Class
1 coat of NXT 2.0
2 coats of NXT 2.0
2 coats of Gold Class
1 coat of NXT 2.0 plus 1 coat of Gold Class
2 coats of NXT 2.0 plus 2 coats of Gold Class


4.Compare the wax protection on all the areas (beading, sheeting, whatever)

5.Go thru the basic no-wax car wash.

6. Compare the wax protection on all areas to the results on step 4 and see if there is a change.

Possibly repeat step 5 and 6.

J. A. Michaels
Apr 16th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Can not speak for the car wash you contacted.
However they do seem somewhat knowledgeable. Maybe they are on the up and up.

Mary S
Apr 16th, 2010, 03:25 PM
She responded to me, and this is the line of products that they use:

http://www.lustrabear.com/

The thing is, they have like dozens of presoaks, dozens of polishes, dozens of drying agents. They are almost as bad as Meguiar's (or as good, depending how you look it) as far as choice goes.

I think they use different mixes for different times of year too.

The car wash in our area has a very similar wash cycle to the one in New York that I contacted. They very well may use the same line of products, but I would have to ask them exactly which ones they use.

I can't imagine any recommended choice of products would strip your wax, unless it is deliberate because it is putting another one on.

Well, when I get the time I may run a quick test. I guess you would expect each wash to impact the wax finish some, but not to strip it altogether like body solvent or Dawn would.

roushstage2
Apr 16th, 2010, 06:10 PM
It could possibly take a few runs through too.

J. A. Michaels
Apr 17th, 2010, 02:34 AM
Not to hijack this thread, or divert it away from its intention.
Whenever I read about the automatic car washes and people wondering if the soap removes the wax on your vehicle. I am always reminded of this.

Back in the day. I worked at a car wash. Old school. Put your car in neutral, hook a chain to the front end as it goes down the track.

Well our boss was a very frugal (cheap) person. Whenever he received a new batch of product. They came in 55 gallon drums. He would have one of us use a siphon pump and pump out half the product into the existing drum. Then fill with water. 2 drums for the price of one. See I told you he was frugal.

The point is, I do not believe after diluting the product he was stripping any ones wax from there paint. Now 35 years later that is a genuine concern. How times have changed. lol

Bunky
Apr 17th, 2010, 04:15 AM
After the touchless car wash, is your car really clean? I assume it is clean enough but how much does it really clean. Junkman (does the demos for Adam's Polishes) was trying to see if a pressure wash with soap would really clean. His conclusion it is not really that clean and if they wipe it down after the no touch they may just be grinding the dirt across the paint.

I guess one way to look at is if a pressure washer with foam cannon cannot remove the dirt without you physically touching the paint (assuming no lsp removed) how can a touchless car wash do it?

Mary S
Apr 17th, 2010, 05:09 AM
After the touchless car wash, is your car really clean? I assume it is clean enough but how much does it really clean. Junkman (does the demos for Adam's Polishes) was trying to see if a pressure wash with soap would really clean. His conclusion it is not really that clean and if they wipe it down after the no touch they may just be grinding the dirt across the paint.

I guess one way to look at is if a pressure washer with foam cannon cannot remove the dirt without you physically touching the paint (assuming no lsp removed) how can a touchless car wash do it?

This is from this page http://www.lustrabear.com/car_care_industry_information/Technical_Library_story.asp?id=1 on the Lustra web site:

"Cleaning detergents are formulated to perform specific functions and attack certain types of soils on the target surfaces. For example, products formulated as general body soaps for friction washes will perform quite well to help loosen and suspend soil when assisted by the action of cloth or brushes, but will be unsuitable for most other cleaning applications."

The products they recommend for friction and touchless washes are different.

Personally, how clean my Explorer and my husband's Volvo are from the touchless wash, very nice, clean and shiny looking, except my tailgait is still dirty. I don't know if that is because the pretreating doesn't reach there, the power wash doesn't reach there, or the grime there is just too tough. Also, the touchless doesn't do much for tar and contaminants down near the rocker panels.

I should be quick to add, however, that there is no comparison between the clean I get from the touchless wash and a hand washing with Gold Class. The Gold Class wins hands down in gloss and beautiful appearance.

roushstage2
Apr 17th, 2010, 10:50 AM
Not to hijack this thread, or divert it away from its intention.
Whenever I read about the automatic car washes and people wondering if the soap removes the wax on your vehicle. I am always reminded of this.

Back in the day. I worked at a car wash. Old school. Put your car in neutral, hook a chain to the front end as it goes down the track.

Well our boss was a very frugal (cheap) person. Whenever he received a new batch of product. They came in 55 gallon drums. He would have one of us use a siphon pump and pump out half the product into the existing drum. Then fill with water. 2 drums for the price of one. See I told you he was frugal.

The point is, I do not believe after diluting the product he was stripping any ones wax from there paint. Now 35 years later that is a genuine concern. How times have changed. lol
I'm still kinda thinking that it'll take more than one wash, but maybe after a few washes which probably wouldn't take too long back East with all that salt, plus the salt, it could deteriorate the wax quicker than normal to where it would disappear before there was time to apply more.

J. A. Michaels
Apr 17th, 2010, 03:10 PM
I'm still kinda thinking that it'll take more than one wash, but maybe after a few washes which probably wouldn't take too long back East with all that salt, plus the salt, it could deteriorate the wax quicker than normal to where it would disappear before there was time to apply more.

Very good points. Tyler. I was thinking more along the lines of a summer wash. I agree with you. Factoring all things. It would disappear quickly.

Mary S
Apr 18th, 2010, 06:44 AM
The point is, I do not believe after diluting the product he was stripping any ones wax from there paint. Now 35 years later that is a genuine concern. How times have changed. lol

J. A., I am assuming the wash was a friction wash of some sort? If that were the case, the soap probably wasn't formulated in a way that was possibly deleterious to the wax.


I'm still kinda thinking that it'll take more than one wash, but maybe after a few washes which probably wouldn't take too long back East with all that salt, plus the salt, it could deteriorate the wax quicker than normal to where it would disappear before there was time to apply more.

This is what I suspect too. And, that it is going to be dependent on what wax/sealer you have on your car and how many layers you have.

Friction washes got a bad reputation for being harmful to the car's paint, which is why you almost never see them in the self-serve automatic car washes anymore. I think if one run through a touchless car wash would strip somebody's $50 hand wax job, you could find that information everywhere on the web, and the soap vendor chemists would have been doing something to fix the problem.

I tried Googling something like "touchless wash and strip wax," and other than car care forums, I found the one touchless car wash chain in New York, the one I referred to above, and the only reason I got that match is because in their FAQ they mentioned not to wash your car with dishwashing soap as it would strip the wax.

So I am sure the touchless wash will be harder on your wax than hand washing or automatic friction wash. How hard, you would have to do some tests to find out. Maybe it would be something that you could compensate for by drying your car immediately after leaving the bay and using Ultimate Quick Detailer on it. It may be worse than that. Even doing that, you may have to wax your car more often if you use these washes regularly.

One thing that might be worth the $5 for a touchless express wash is to drive the car through just to get the underbody blast, then drive out and do your own wash and wax, because most people aren't equipped to clean their own undercarriage.

roushstage2
Apr 18th, 2010, 11:06 AM
Very good points. Tyler. I was thinking more along the lines of a summer wash. I agree with you. Factoring all things. It would disappear quickly.
In the summer without the extremes, I imagine it would probably take even longer.

J. A. Michaels
Apr 18th, 2010, 12:49 PM
J. A., I am assuming the wash was a friction wash of some sort? If that were the case, the soap probably wasn't formulated in a way that was possibly deleterious to the wax.



This is what I suspect too. And, that it is going to be dependent on what wax/sealer you have on your car and how many layers you have.

Friction washes got a bad reputation for being harmful to the car's paint, which is why you almost never see them in the self-serve automatic car washes anymore. I think if one run through a touchless car wash would strip somebody's $50 hand wax job, you could find that information everywhere on the web, and the soap vendor chemists would have been doing something to fix the problem.

I tried Googling something like "touchless wash and strip wax," and other than car care forums, I found the one touchless car wash chain in New York, the one I referred to above, and the only reason I got that match is because in their FAQ they mentioned not to wash your car with dishwashing soap as it would strip the wax.

So I am sure the touchless wash will be harder on your wax than hand washing or automatic friction wash. How hard, you would have to do some tests to find out. Maybe it would be something that you could compensate for by drying your car immediately after leaving the bay and using Ultimate Quick Detailer on it. It may be worse than that. Even doing that, you may have to wax your car more often if you use these washes regularly.

One thing that might be worth the $5 for a touchless express wash is to drive the car through just to get the underbody blast, then drive out and do your own wash and wax, because most people aren't equipped to clean their own undercarriage.

Even if the soap was more user friendly, not as harsh. Being a friction wash, would that not be as bad on the finish? What I am trying to say is every time you touch the surface aren't you abrading the surface? Who knows what gunk and junk is attached to the brushes? More friction= more abrading.

I always thought the friction washes went the way of the dodo bird because of labor costs. No one needed to vacuum the vehicle. No one to hook up the vehicle. No one to unhook the vehicle. No one to dry off the vehicle, and to move it to a staging area for the customer to pick it up and leave. With the drive thru washes there are no labor costs associated solely on the wash. The clerk does other things and just rings up the price of the wash.

Not trying to be obstinate about this. i just think that the majority of automatic car washes are not the paint care enthusiasts cup of tea. For the average person they are great. But for people who take paint care to a different level, they have the potential to more harm then good.

Mary S
Apr 19th, 2010, 04:22 AM
Even if the soap was more user friendly, not as harsh. Being a friction wash, would that not be as bad on the finish? What I am trying to say is every time you touch the surface aren't you abrading the surface? Who knows what gunk and junk is attached to the brushes? More friction= more abrading.

I always thought the friction washes went the way of the dodo bird because of labor costs. No one needed to vacuum the vehicle. No one to hook up the vehicle. No one to unhook the vehicle. No one to dry off the vehicle, and to move it to a staging area for the customer to pick it up and leave. With the drive thru washes there are no labor costs associated solely on the wash. The clerk does other things and just rings up the price of the wash.

Not trying to be obstinate about this. i just think that the majority of automatic car washes are not the paint care enthusiasts cup of tea. For the average person they are great. But for people who take paint care to a different level, they have the potential to more harm then good.

J. A.,

Friction washes are still around. I refer you to my last post at the bottom of page 2 on this thread http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41879

I think no matter what kind of automatic wash you use, attended or not, friction or touchless, it is going to be worse on either the paint or the wax than washing it by hand, and neither one will get your car as clean or as nice looking as hand washing.

I just want to fully understand what the consequences are and make an informed decision at any point in time. It still takes me close to an hour to hand wash either my car or my husband's, if you count from beginning to having everything put away.

So I just want to know what the options are and the consequences of using those options.

Michael Stoops
Apr 19th, 2010, 07:40 AM
Wow. A lot of things (potentially) to touch on here.

Will a touchless car wash strip wax - that's basically the crux of this discussion. Well, if the wash is a two part acid wash/alkaline rincse then it will, at least to some degree. How quickly it will do so is another question. If you're going to remove dirt with any level of effectiveness you need either some pretty strong detergents (which will strip wax) or some pretty high tech soaps (that may or may not - and such soaps may or may not even exist).

Meguiar's does not supply soap to these types of car washes, although we do supply a wide variety of soap (check our Detailer Line for the full run down) to a heck of a lot of car washes around the country. Our soaps are all pH balanced to ensure they do not strip wax. And that's the key - the pH of the soap or, in the case of a touchless car wash, the final rinse.

By far the most common method of cleaning in these touchless washes is to presoak/pretreat/preclean (or whatever word you like here) with an acid wash that will remove the dirt. And that acid level is generally in the pH range of 3.5 to 4.5. But that acid was needs to be neutralized, not merely "rinsed" off, and the only way to do this is with an alkaline rinse that is generally in the pH range of 11 to 13. It's this high pH that strips your wax, not the acid wash.

Now, we certainly can't speak for any other company's soaps or claims, and if someone has developed a soap or prewash/neutralizing rinse that is able to step outside of this scenario, it isn't something that we are involved in at all. But there's usually an easy way to check - ask for a copy of the MSDS and check the pH levels of the product. If the pH is high, as noted above, then it is at the very least highly suspect when it comes to concerns about stripping wax.

Having said all that, there's something else that needs to be stated (again - we've said this a bunch of times recently): if you live in an area where the roads are salted in the winter and your car is covered in the stuff, then whether or not a touchless car wash will strip your wax is the least of your concerns. You want that salt off, even if it means taking the wax off with it. Truth is, if your car has been covered in salt there probably isn't much, if any, wax left anyway. GET THE SALT OFF Using a wash like this from time to time is likely not to be a problem. Marki, from your own experience your paint hasn't fallen off, your trim hasn't turned to dust. As with anything, however, there are good, not so good, and downright terrible examples. Finding a good one is the tricky part.

One last thing - beading is not a sign of wax protection. It can be, but it isn't always. You can take a freshly painted panel, wet sand it, buff it out with M105, finish with M205 and leave it like that and it will bead water like crazy if you just spray the panel down. Not a hint of wax protection on it.

Mary S
Apr 19th, 2010, 08:26 AM
Michael, the wash company that I contacted in New York apparently first puts down an alkaline presoak to attack oils, then follows it with an acid presoak to attack dirt other than oils. They follow that with power wash then trifoam and rinse.

I found this one reference (http://www.aifpa.com/mcp/shop.php/P-687/Organic_Wash_and_Wax_Shiny_Boat_Soap_5_Gallon_Pail.html)to high alkaline soap and wax: Green Bean Boat Soap Wash & Shine is a micro-sheet of wax to begin with so using a high alkalinity soap will remove it in just a few washes.

Michael, may I ask, since beading is not a determinant of wax protection, what can you do to test for it? I would like to do a trial but I need to know how to tell if my wax has been stripped or partially stripped.

CieraSL
Apr 19th, 2010, 09:55 AM
Michael, may I ask, since beading is not a determinant of wax protection, what can you do to test for it? I would like to do a trial but I need to know how to tell if my wax has been stripped or partially stripped.

The Squeak Test - How to test for the presence of wax (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6825)


Also, if you are using a spray detailer and you notice it is getting harder to wipe off, it is probably time to re-wax.

Michael Stoops
Apr 19th, 2010, 10:42 AM
Michael, the wash company that I contacted in New York apparently first puts down an alkaline presoak to attack oils, then follows it with an acid presoak to attack dirt other than oils. They follow that with power wash then trifoam and rinse.It's the alkaline presoak that might well do in your wax, depending on the pH. The alkaline presoak is also neutralizing the acid wash, whether they specifically state so or not.


I found this one reference (http://www.aifpa.com/mcp/shop.php/P-687/Organic_Wash_and_Wax_Shiny_Boat_Soap_5_Gallon_Pail.html)to high alkaline soap and wax: Green Bean Boat Soap Wash & Shine is a micro-sheet of wax to begin with so using a high alkalinity soap will remove it in just a few washes. From their website they also state "Green Bean Boat Soap is a non-alkaline, non-wax stripping boat soap specifically designed for the marine industry." This sounds completely valid and the same thing can be said for our Marine Wash & Wax, Ultimate Wash & Wax and, with the exception of references to the marine industry, it can also be said for all of our soaps.


Michael, may I ask, since beading is not a determinant of wax protection, what can you do to test for it? I would like to do a trial but I need to know how to tell if my wax has been stripped or partially stripped.
Shane's post above nails it.

Mary S
Apr 19th, 2010, 11:22 AM
It's the alkaline presoak that might well do in your wax, depending on the pH. The alkaline presoak is also neutralizing the acid wash, whether they specifically state so or not.

Since the acid wash comes second, it will neutralize the alkaline wash, or better put they will neutralize eachother, but it is a moot point. By the time the power spray hits you will have something presumably neutral.


From their website they also state "Green Bean Boat Soap is a non-alkaline, non-wax stripping boat soap specifically designed for the marine industry." This sounds completely valid and the same thing can be said for our Marine Wash & Wax, Ultimate Wash & Wax and, with the exception of references to the marine industry, it can also be said for all of our soaps.

It definitely implies the alkaline wash will strip the wax and a neutral one won't. The main thing that caught my attention was that they said it would take the alkaline wash several washes to do it.


Shane's post above nails it.

I guess I don't know all the names, so:

1. baggie on hand rub paint feels rough, no wax/sealant protection;
2. baggie on hand rub paint feels smooth, wax or sealant protection is still there.

Is that the one you meant?

Here's a prediction I have, that if the paint is dirty, especially grimy with road film, the wax may bind to the contaminants, and when you wash with an alkaline soap it releases the wax-dirt and washes it away along with some of the top layer of wax.

CieraSL
Apr 19th, 2010, 12:03 PM
I guess I don't know all the names, so:

1. baggie on hand rub paint feels rough, no wax/sealant protection;
2. baggie on hand rub paint feels smooth, wax or sealant protection is still there.

Is that the one you meant?

You use the baggie test to see if your paint needs to be clayed. You use the squeak test (The Squeak Test - How to test for the presence of wax (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6825)) to see if it needs to be waxed. Obviously, if you're going to clay, you should wax afterward.

Michael Stoops
Apr 19th, 2010, 12:12 PM
Since the acid wash comes second, it will neutralize the alkaline wash, or better put they will neutralize eachother, but it is a moot point. By the time the power spray hits you will have something presumably neutral.My bad.... they are commonly used the other way around. Nonetheless, however you slice it you're putting some pretty harsh stuff on your paint and wax is not going to last a long time when exposed to it.




I guess I don't know all the names, so:

1. baggie on hand rub paint feels rough, no wax/sealant protection;
2. baggie on hand rub paint feels smooth, wax or sealant protection is still there.

Is that the one you meant?
No, I meant this:


The Squeak Test - How to test for the presence of wax (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6825)


Also, if you are using a spray detailer and you notice it is getting harder to wipe off, it is probably time to re-wax.


Here's a prediction I have, that if the paint is dirty, especially grimy with road film, the wax may bind to the contaminants, and when you wash with an alkaline soap it releases the wax-dirt and washes it away along with some of the top layer of wax.Actually, an alkaline wash will break down the wax and remove it, at least to some degree, whether there is any dirt on the surface or not. Body shops use a "wax & grease remover" to strip the existing paint free of these things as part of their prep. Detergents are designed to quickly cut grease on dishes, and anything that effectively cuts grease will also break down and remove wax as the two are actually fairly closely related. For years the folks at Zaino have advocated washing your car with Dawn (an effective grease cutting dish detergent) to remove all wax prior to using their product. Plenty of people have taken this to heart and use a dish detergent once a year or so to strip the paint bare.

Unless everyone has been totally wrong about Dawn all these years. Which they aren't - Dawn even states on their own website "Dawn is so effective in cutting grease on dishes that over the years, consumers have used Dawn on other greasy messes around their homes, from cleaning kitchen messes like grease build up on the stove range hood to oily spots in the garage. Dawn is not recommended for window cleaning, car washing, body wash or washing hair." (the bold is theirs, by the way).

Mary S
Apr 19th, 2010, 12:26 PM
My bad.... they are commonly used the other way around. Nonetheless, however you slice it you're putting some pretty harsh stuff on your paint and wax is not going to last a long time when exposed to it.


No, I meant this:



Actually, an alkaline wash will break down the wax and remove it, at least to some degree, whether there is any dirt on the surface or not. Body shops use a "wax & grease remover" to strip the existing paint free of these things as part of their prep. Detergents are designed to quickly cut grease on dishes, and anything that effectively cuts grease will also break down and remove wax as the two are actually fairly closely related. For years the folks at Zaino have advocated washing your car with Dawn (an effective grease cutting dish detergent) to remove all wax prior to using their product. Plenty of people have taken this to heart and use a dish detergent once a year or so to strip the paint bare.

Unless everyone has been totally wrong about Dawn all these years. Which they aren't - Dawn even states on their own website "Dawn is so effective in cutting grease on dishes that over the years, consumers have used Dawn on other greasy messes around their homes, from cleaning kitchen messes like grease build up on the stove range hood to oily spots in the garage. Dawn is not recommended for window cleaning, car washing, body wash or washing hair." (the bold is theirs, by the way).

Okay, thanks, Michael. I am still a little confused, but I think the best way to handle it is just to forget understanding the theory and test it out.

Ironically, my subversive motive for wanting to be able to use a touchless is to wash my husband's car, which is a daily driver that isn't garaged at all. It takes me about an hour to hand wash it. I would rather not have to do that all the time. But, it sounds like the attended friction wash may be a solution anyway.

Thanks for your help. I will let you know the results of any tests I do.

Mary S
Apr 19th, 2010, 01:31 PM
You use the baggie test to see if your paint needs to be clayed. You use the squeak test (The Squeak Test - How to test for the presence of wax (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6825)) to see if it needs to be waxed. Obviously, if you're going to clay, you should wax afterward.

Sorry, Shane, thanks for your post! That is exactly the information I need for doing this test.

By the way, I grew up in Tennessee. My dad lives not far away from you in Heiskell.

DogParkGuy
Apr 20th, 2010, 01:18 PM
What's the point anyway? Waxes eventually disappear from the finish of cars due to the sun, wind, rain and pollution. My last wash of late Fall includes waxing and I hope it lasts until the first wash of the Spring.

Michael Stoops
Apr 20th, 2010, 01:33 PM
What's the point anyway? Waxes eventually disappear from the finish of cars due to the sun, wind, rain and pollution. My last wash of late Fall includes waxing and I hope it lasts until the first wash of the Spring.

While it's very true that wax is a sacrificial barrier and it does slowly wear down, you don't want to wax on Sunday and then get the car washed on Thursday after a rain only to have that wax removed by a heavy detergent.

In your part of the country you'll be darn lucky to get 4 months out of any wax that time of year - New England winters are harsh on wax, no two ways about it.

Shizane2002
Jun 6th, 2010, 03:53 PM
I have used the automatic car washed before and they have always stripped my car of the detailing agents I have used. This has been with various car washes in several states.

I refuse to ever use automatic car washes and I highly discourage anyone from ever using the "wax" and "wash" features at manual car wash bays. I have been using only water for years on a regular basis and iv e never had a problem since. A good and safe drying technique also helps ensure your paint is not damaged.

spence82
Jun 6th, 2010, 04:45 PM
I used to work at a touchless wash,and the owner was the biggest clean freak I have ever met,his cars where always spotless outside,inside,trunk,under the hood.All he would buy is black,nothing else,he got a new 04 Mach 1 and spent 2wks detailing before he even drove it.Anyway when the wash first comes on its the soap,usually 2 rounds.It is what is on the do it urself bays the pre-soak,which is by far the strongest soap,compared to the high presure soap.It is a very very strong detergent,and he always told me that it would strip the wax clean off.I would get free car washes there so I used them quit a bit,and they where just the basic ones with the dryer.No polishes or clear-coat protectants.And the water always would bead,so I don't really know what to believe,I'm sure they somewhat stip it off,probably depends on how often you wax it in between those automatic washes.

Matt Majeika
Jun 7th, 2010, 05:23 AM
The bottom line is this: in the wintertime, you NEED to get the salt off of your paint. If it means stripping the wax off, then fine - you can just reapply. But the salt sitting on that paint will do more harm than good.

Obviously in the summer (or during fair weather) hand washing is the best medicine ;)

Michael Stoops
Jun 7th, 2010, 06:32 AM
The bottom line is this: in the wintertime, you NEED to get the salt off of your paint. If it means stripping the wax off, then fine - you can just reapply. But the salt sitting on that paint will do more harm than good.

Obviously in the summer (or during fair weather) hand washing is the best medicine ;)

Very to the point, and very true.

Mary S
Jun 7th, 2010, 09:42 AM
Honestly, if it didn't cost $5 a pop I would test how many times it takes going through a touchless basic wash before the wax is gone. The car wash association is just going to have to fund their own tests in their defense LOL! But I would predict, it would take more than 1, maybe 2 or 3, of course depending on what you had on there. The really durable waxes like Collinite 845 wax might last a bit longer. But 1 wash was enough to make a change in the texture of the wax.

Mary S
Jun 8th, 2010, 05:00 AM
One other thing I forgot to mention, I had Gold Class liquid wax on my husband's car and took it through the automatic once, and the wax protection is still holding up great after a couple of months. I may wax it again soon because it has been that long but it doesn't need it as far as protection or water beading is concerned. I have taken care of the finish in the meantime with appropriate washing.