Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

View Poll Results: Washing your car, do you start on the top or wheels and tires first?

Voters
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  • I start washing at the top of the car and work my way down finishing with the wheels and tires

    145 38.26%
  • I wash and rinse the wheels and tires first and then move on to the body

    224 59.10%
  • Other - I'll post my method of madness!

    10 2.64%
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Thread: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

          
  1. #1
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    Poll: Car Washing Style?

    When you wash your car or a customer's car,

    • Do you start at the top of the car and work your way down?
    • Do you start with the wheels and tires and after you're finished with the wheels and tires you switch to the exterior body starting at the top and working your way down.
    • Or do you have some other method to your madness?



    Meguiar's recommends starting at the top and working down, for example starting on the roof of your car and working your way down the car.

    Some people like to wash the wheels and tires first and after washing and rinsing the wheels and tires then they start at the top of the car and work their way down.

    The reason for this is because if you wash the car starting at the top and working down, you have a wet car with water on the paint in the process of drying. While this water is sitting on the paint drying and potentially leaving a water spot, you're washing 4 wheels and tires, this takes time and while you're doing tis some water may dry on it's own before you can finish the wheels and tires.

    If after washing the car you then dry it, and now start washing the wheels and tires, you usually get water spray on the paint and this could include dirt from off the wheels as you were spraying them, so now you'll have to wash and rinse the affected area again.

    So for the above reasons, some people will wash the wheels and tires first, then wash the car. By doing it like this you don't have to dry the paint twice, nor rinse any of the paint a second time around the wheel wells. Then immediately after you give the car a final rinse you can being drying the water off the car. Since you're finished with the water hose and you won't be spraying water any more, then you won't be getting the car wet again and you should have enough time now to dry the water of the car without any risk of water spotting.

    Personal preference.

    Mike Phillips
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  2. #2
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    Typically, I spray down the wheels and tires with a cleaner first and then prep my cleaning supplies. With the product still on the tires/wheels I proceed to wash the car from the top down using whatever soap water is left to brush the wheels.

    I then rinse off everything at one time.

  3. #3
    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    I do wheels first, the roof, then hood/trunk, then sides....
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  4. #4
    Avatar Czar BlueZero's Avatar
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    I work top down. If the wheels are nasty I'll spray them with some cleaner first so they have time to soak. Then I use the left over wash water to do the wheels then tires. If they are chrome or something that will show swirls or the left over water looks pretty dirty, I'll get clean water.
    Scott

  5. #5
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    I usually do the rims first due to washing the wheels last water gets on the car and you have to clean it again.

  6. #6
    Registered Member Derrick's Avatar
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    I clean the rims, tires, and wheel wells first then move onto the body and move from top to bottom. Finally after its all done i dress the tires and wheel wells.
    ""Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing - the result." - Vince Lombardi
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  7. #7
    Clean Freak Kooz's Avatar
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    This is exactly what I do. Couldn't have said it better.

  8. #8
    Got Megs? Jokeman's Avatar
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derrickg32069 View Post
    I clean the rims, tires, and wheel wells first then move onto the body and move from top to bottom. Finally after its all done i dress the tires and wheel wells.
    Yup, that way there is no "overspray" on freshly cleaned paint.

  9. #9
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    mmmm ... well now i'm a little worried, looks like i'm the crazy one here ..

    I usually wash my car once a week (if weather isn't bad). This takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I start by jacking up the car and take the wheels off, wash the wheels and tires both sides, wash wheel wells. Then exterior car wash top-down doing one panel at the time (wash and dry).
    Dress wheel wells and tires ... put them back and lower the car.

  10. #10
    Registered Member roushstage2's Avatar
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    Re: Washing Question? Start at the top or start on the wheels?

    Option 2 for me.


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