Could use some suggestions with my car wash plan

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Hey guys! So I am as green as can be when it comes to washing cars, so I could really use your inputs in this area. I will try to be as detailed as I can be, so I apologize in advance for a long post... I bought a brand new Honda (dark grey) last week and have been doing a lot of research on car maintenance ever since. Initially, I wanted to just put the car through touchless car washes, but after reading about the horrible swirl marks that they leave (and witnessing them first hand on my girlfriend's car), I have decided to hand wash it myself.


However, hand-washing presents a number of challenges for me:


1. I live in an apartment, and park my car in the parking garage across the street from my building. Therefore, I do not have access to a hose. This problem is not hard to solve, as ONR can get the job done admirably.


2. I am from upstate NY, where it is currently snowing as I am typing this. Because of the insane amount of salt used on the road, undercarriage corrosion is a major concern for me, especially since I want to keep the car long term. I have researched this area and found a laser car wash that offers underbody spray in its basic plan, which includes washing (with a pre-soak spray and a soap apray) and air-drying, no polish or wax. From what I can see, it is 100% touchless and "rail-less", which should ensure the safety of the rims. I figured this is at least better than traditional "touchless" car washes. I also thought about going to a self-service bay to wash instead but I don't know if just blindly blasting water underneath is enough.



I currently have a bunch of supplies (purchased here) on the way. When they arrive, I intend do the following:


1. Wash with ONR

2. Clay with Claymagic and ONR as lube

3. Opti-seal; 2 layers (an hour apart?) on all exterior surfaces, including glass and rims

4. OCW

5. Tire Shine


Afterwards, I am planning to repeat the whole procedure (minus the claying) every 3 - 4 months, using just ONR and Tire Shine as maintenance in-between. I will also bring the car to the aforementioned laser wash maybe once a month (or after a road trip) during the winter season to take care of the undercarriage.


Do you guys see anything in my plan that can be improved/changed? And also, I am looking for a good one-stop solution for interior surface cleaning. I've read a lot about Opti-Clean and Protectant Plus but I am not sure what is good for me.



Thanks in advance.

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Hi Chris,


Thanks so much for your response. I have the blue ClayMagic that I bought from a local AutoZone. It comes with a lube but I figured I'd just use ONR instead. Is it mild enough or do you recommend something else? I've heard about Honda's paint being very soft as well so I definitely want to be as careful as I can.


Also, you mentioned in #3 that I should first presoak with ONR at QD strength. Should I spray the QD strength at the penal, then wipe it with "regular" strength using a MF cloth?




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Ok. Just did my first car wash this evening. I moved the car to a more secluded section of the parking garage and started off with spraying ONR at QD strength, then washed the car down with ONR (regular strength) and a wash cloth that I bought at AutoZone. The cloth turned out to be a mistake because it lints like crazy, and I had to constantly dust them away while drying with the Optimum MF towel that I bought (which didn't lint). Hence, it took me a good hour or so to wash and dry the car. I'm sure things will be better/faster next time as I get used to the whole process. Can anyone recommend a good washing media to use with ONR?


Since the temperature was around 30 degrees (and my hands were frozen from washing) I decided to postpone claying until next time and went ahead with Opti-Seal. It was so easy to use! I used the applicator pad at first but it was streaking quite a bit (probably from the cold?), so I wiped it in with a MF cloth instead and it did the job much better. I retreated to the warmth of my apartment after applying the first layer, then went back an hour later to do the second layer, which went equally well. I then dress up the tires with Tire Shine and called it a day. Overall, I am very pleased with results so far. Having to do everything without a driveway (and a hose) certainly makes things challenging, but the Optimum products definitely made it much easier!


Another question: I've heard that after putting on Opti-Seal, you are supposed to wait a day before OCW? I am doing that anyway but just thought I'd ask.

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Lesson learned :) I really like how versatile Optimum products are! Well I did the OCW this morning and it went on just fine. There were some streaking on the windows but nothing a little buffing couldn't handle. After I got back from work though, I found a few bird bombs on the hood =/ I'll be heading out to clean them out with a bottle of ONR at QD strength.

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