|Wash the mitt after ever|
car wash to keep it free
of debris for the next time
I was going to wait until next year to buy a car, since we had purchased a car for my wife as soon as we arrived, but with the beginning of school for the children looming, it became impracticable to wait. So I bought a brand new car, and have been trying to keep it in that "as new" condition for as long as I can. My current plan is to try to wash it every other week (every week seems to border on OCD), and touch up the interior in the interim. To tell the truth, it has been a long time since I've washed the car by myself - in Los Angeles, car washes litter the landscape, there were literally about 10 car washes within a 5 mile x 5 mile area around my house.
Now here in Orlando, I decided to do it myself as part of my exercise routine, and thus far, I've kept at it. My car is a smaller hatchback; I used to drive a large sedan in LA, but really, we can all fit in the new car, my wife has a SUV if we need to haul more stuff, and the improved gas mileage is absolutely a plus. Washing a smaller car is also a lot easier. It rains a lot in Orlando, and there are so many random critters flying around - huge mosquitoes, dragonflies, crickets, grasshoppers, and other unnameable creatures that your hood and front get splattered with "things" all the time.
My car washing routine has been pretty simple: two buckets, a large and soft wash mitt, a garden hose attachment, a couple of microfiber towels, and a synthetic chamois for drying. Get the car nicely soaked with water to get rid of all the loose debris, and start washing from top down. In the first bucket goes some water and the car wash detergent. In the other, I fill it almost to the top with clean water. Wash one section of the car with the mitt, turning it over as I go, and then rinse it in the clean water. Take the hose and rinse the section that was just washed. Proceed to the next section. I try to leave the bottom 6 inches of the car untouched by the mitt. After the car has been washed, I go back with the microfiber towel and wash the remaining lower parts of the car. Once that is done, I use the same microfiber to wash the wheels. Then I dry the car with the chamois. Usually I will go back and clean the front windshield later in the day to get rid of the streaks and spot marks. I admit, I might be getting a bit compulsive about things.
All in all, it takes about an hour, I work up a nice sweat in the humid outdoors, and the car looks clean. The idea is to wax it every 3 months or so, but I will have to see if I have the patience to play Daniel-san with that frequency.