Washing off old dirt and grime
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  1. #1
    Vanner matchstick's Avatar
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    Washing off old dirt and grime

    Hi All,
    I have a question about dealing with really old dirt and grime. My dad's 70 1/2 camaro has been sitting in the barn for too long. Not sure when it was last washed. I think it's been a sad thing for him to think about for many years so he's just avoided it. Anyway, I recently enrolled in ohio tech's classic car restoration program and will sooner or later be bringing the car back to life. For right now I just want to start by washing this stuff off. Any suggestions on a good product to soak with first to gently remove this stuff? here she sits.


  2. #2
    Registered Member Stangfan's Avatar
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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    I would flood that car with water at least a couple of times, starting at the top and flushing the water downwards. After that, a gentle careful wash with Gold Class and definitely two buckets with grit guards. I think I'd be changing the rinse water frequently as well. Go slowly and wash it carefully. I bet it looks pretty good under all that dirt.

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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    That's dirty!!!! I would def use a pressure washer and a foam gun before touching it with a mitt and 2BM with grit guards. If you don't have access to a pressure washer I would take a hose on high pressure and get as much off as possible and then use a gilmour foam gun ($35 on amazon) and let it soak for a bit.

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    Vanner matchstick's Avatar
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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    I do have access to a pressure washer. I thought that might be a little intense for a start however thats why I came here asking questions, I don't know where to start.

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    I wouldnt worry about a pressure washer. A foam gun might be nice.

    Basically, just get it out in the open, and start hosing it off. Most of it is just dust, not like it is mud or grit.

    Hose it off good, then just wash it like usual, though you may need to change your rinse water bucket a few times. And a little extra soap in the wash bucket, might need refilled once or twice.

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    That will be fun to clay and clean, it will look night and day different even just doing basic steps by hand.
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    www.6speedonline.com the_invisible's Avatar
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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    Before you use a pressure washer, try spraying it with a regular garden spray gun first. The dirt may just slide off with a powerful garden spray gun. Pressure washer may chip and peel the dried, neglected paint that may be lying on top of a layer of rusted metal.

    With a car this dirty, I highly recommend you wash the car with something like APC+ or some sort of Gentle Dish Washer soap, like Palmolive or Dawn. Regular car wash soap is not powerful enough to cut through the dirt. The Mirror Glaze Hi-Tech Wash may be powerful enough, but it is relatively expensive and still not be powerful enough compared to APC+ or Dawn/Palmolive. Change your bucket of soap water frequently to prevent scratching the paint (detergent is cheap anyway). Hose off your wash mitt or sponge after cleaning each panel.

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    There is no need to use strong products to get some dirt and dust off of a car.

    A mild soap, a mild claying, and detailing with mild products will have it looking brand new, with no need to strip more oils from the paint.

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    www.6speedonline.com the_invisible's Avatar
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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    Quote Originally Posted by Murr1525 View Post
    There is no need to use strong products to get some dirt and dust off of a car.

    A mild soap, a mild claying, and detailing with mild products will have it looking brand new, with no need to strip more oils from the paint.

    Blast from the Past! - Bringing the Dead Back to Life
    Hello,

    Unless I am reading this thread incorrectly, which I am not, the car has been sitting for a long time. From what I could gather from the picture, the stuff on the car isn't just "some dirt and dust". It's a layer of really old dirt and grime compacted by moisture and the passage of time.

    The link you presented above demonstrates a relatively clean car with some heavy oxidation, not one that is anywhere as dirty as the one shown in this thread. Look at it! Can you even compare to two?




    Many users on detailing forums such as autopia, autogeek, or even on MOL, wash their cars with Dawn on the special ocassion to rid the car of heavy grime and dirt. It just seems this is the ocassion. Using a relatively more powerful detergent will make the cleaning process much easier, and makes claying much more pleasant. Whether Dawn strips oil or not, that is a long debated topic. Despite the cleansing ability of such soap, it hasn't stopped many people from using it.

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    Recovering PC Addict Bounty's Avatar
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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    Quote Originally Posted by matchstick View Post

    Couple things I notice right off the bat. Firstly there is a lot of dust, dirt, and particulate settled on the car. If the car is washed fairly regularly this will come off with a basic pre-soak and rinse. Since the car has sat for quite some time, more than likely humidity and heat have cause some of this dust and dirt to begin to adhere to the paint surface...particularly if there was no wax or other protectant on the surface prior to storage.

    In addition, there appears to be some fluid drippage along the rear glass and onto the trunk lid. Looks a lot like when a car is parked under another on a lift and tranny fluid, oils, etc drip down. This is more of an issue since those fluids tend not to rinse away with just water and standard car shampoo's...especially if allowed to dry. I'd pull/push it out of the barn and rinse it down first with your garden hose on a light rinse setting first then follow with the high pressure setting. Next up is a pre-soak with a citrus-based cleaner or Dawn dishsoap. The oil-cutting properties and harsher alkaline solvents will help to dissolve the oils and remove embedded grime. The main issue with not using these products on cars is that they tend to dry out exterior rubber, vinyl, and plastics when used repeatedly over time. As you can easily tell from the photo, these older cars have little to no exterior rubber, vinyl, or plastic to damage.

    After your soak/rinse then mix up some heavy soap solution with Meg's NXT car shampoo (water softeners and particulate encapsulators) and wash thoroughly with a foam gun/1-bucket method or the standard 2-bucket method with grit guards. Be sure to dump out your buckets about halfway through or if heavily soiled and continue. Use APC+ on the wheels/tires/wheel wells. Dry properly and you should be good to go.

    Remember afterwards to either use a car cover to protect it or wash weekly to maintain the paint condition in as best a shape as possible.

    Hope this helps...

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    'Pearly Gates' Eddie6th's Avatar
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    Re: Washing off old dirt and grime

    pretty much as above.If you foam it,you might want to let the soap sit for a bit first,but don't let it dry.Work in the shade or in the early morning when it's cool.If it was me,i'd just rinse off the first soap by hose.There is so much on there,you might create scratches while you're passing with mitt or sponge.After that,I'd soap it again and wash as normal.In this case,i'd definitely use the 2 bucket method and grit guards if you've got.

    Once you're satisfied that the car is washed completely,you'll need to clay it.There will be a lot of contaminents stuck to the paint.

    As mentioned earlier,it's not known what the fluid spills are on the back,so you'll need to see after the claying what is left to do.

    It'll be great to see some after shots.

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