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Hey everyone,

So... I'm a wee bit frustrated. A month and a half ago I purchased a 2015 VW GTI in... black. It's beautiful. It's also an absolute nightmare to keep clean, and more annoyingly is the fact that ever time I wash it and attempt to dry it, I'm still left with water spots all over the place. My chamois is probably a piece of crap, or I'm using it wrong... But anyway, just wanted to get some tips from you guys on the products and techniques you all use to keep your cars clean and shiny. I knew there was going to be a bit of a learning curve in cleaning a black car, but this thing is kicking my tail, haha. Thanks everyone!

-Ben
 

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I have the Carbon Steel Gray and it's a pain in the ass also. I come from 2 consecutive silver cars... this one is a pain to keep clean :) but worth it when you do. !

One thing I would suggest..try to stay out of the sun/wind. Those 2 help water dry faster and leave spots before you can clean it with the chamois.
Actually another thing you can do..don't wash the whole car at once. do it side by side maybe.

Cheers
 

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Edited to point out wash before clay/decontamination

First, I would spend some time over at the autogeek forum learning some techniques.

A good starter is to utilize the 2 bucket method with a grit guard with some HIGH quality (read: no autozone) microfiber wash mits and a good quality soap (chemical guys, adams, griots, 1Z, etc.). Make sure the car isn't hot to the touch any time you're going to wash.

After that, you'll likely want to decontaminate the surface. Do this by using some IronX, then clay bar, then re-wash.

For drying, I utilize the avalanche huge microfiber drying towel from the rag company.

For sealing, I personally utilize Klasse All in One polish/sealant, then coat it with collinite 845 insulator wax. This combo gives me darn near a year of water beading with dirt coming right off, plus the collinite really makes dark colors pop. With a properly cleaned surface (outlined above by ironx and clay baring) followed up with some good protectant(s), you'll find that you'll get far fewer water marks/stains if you wash in proper conditions and washing in general will be MUCH easier for you.

Like all things car related, you're going to get a thousand and one opinions and the right/wrong methods and products. But in general, I would buy some decent products from any of the companies I've mentioned, or go to detailer's domain or autogeek and do some research.

Come back in a year to tell us about your foam lance and pressure washer combo and the $2,000 you've spent in detailing supplies :beer:
 

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op had my black gti a little over a year now and I'm swirl free ... It all comes down to your washing methods and how little you touch the surface.
You can YouTube plenty of washing videos for best practices I have been foaming over a year now combined with a two bucket grit guard method and it totally cuts down on swirling.


Most if not all swirls are caused by improper washing methods. Get a good wash method down and you should be good to go.

All other maintenance will fall into place.

Also I dry with a leaf blower and usually wash in the morning or in the evenings. Helps with the water spots. My paint is flawless
 

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First, I would spend some time over at the autogeek forum learning some techniques.

A good starter is to utilize the 2 bucket method with a grit guard with some HIGH quality (read: no autozone) microfiber wash mits and a good quality soap (chemical guys, adams, griots, 1Z, etc.). Make sure the car isn't hot to the touch any time you're going to wash.

Before you even do that, you'll likely want to decontaminate the surface. Do this by first using some IronX, then clay bar, then wash.

For drying, I utilize the avalanche huge microfiber drying towel from the rag company.

For sealing, I personally utilize Klasse All in One polish/sealant, then coat it with collinite 845 insulator wax. This combo gives me darn near a year of water beading with dirt coming right off, plus the collinite really makes dark colors pop. With a properly cleaned surface (outlined above by ironx and clay baring) followed up with some good protectant(s), you'll find that you'll get far fewer water marks/stains if you wash in proper conditions and washing in general will be MUCH easier for you.

Like all things car related, you're going to get a thousand and one opinions and the right/wrong methods and products. But in general, I would buy some decent products from any of the companies I've mentioned, or go to detailer's domain or autogeek and do some research.

Come back in a year to tell us about your foam lance and pressure washer combo and the $2,000 you've spent in detailing supplies :beer:
All very good advice... except for the part in bold.
Don't ever clay bar without washing first. Wash, then decon (iron-x and/or clay), then wash again. Proceed with polish (only if necessary) then protect (sealant/wax)
:thumbup:
 

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All very good advice... except for the part in bold.
Don't ever clay bar without washing first. Wash, then decon (iron-x and/or clay), then wash again. Proceed with polish (only if necessary) then protect (sealant/wax)
:thumbup:
Great reminder, thanks for pointing out :beer:
 

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That's really detailing 101..
It really is, and something I obviously do lest I desire to rub who knows what into my clear coat, but glazed over in trying to cover the general process. :facepalm:

To add back to the discussion, another key point in minimizing spots and swirls is drying method. Some people use blowers of sorts, it's recommend that you use electric powered as gasoline powered ones have a tendency to spew carbon and potentially gas/oil mixture onto the surface you just worked so hard to properly clean.

I haven't invested in anything like this, however I've found that doing an open garden hose rinse followed by blotting the rest of the remaining water with a clean, good microfiber has worked great.
 

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The water you use will be a big factor in having water spots.
Hard water is terrible on your paint surface. And will leave spots . A water softener will help tremendously but is expensive. Some of the self serve car washes have water conditioners.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Drying aids are an often overlooked option in preventing water spots after a wash. If it is just a maintenance wash a drying aid can save you time, and hassle. A lot of QD's work great as a drying aid. Some better than others. Even though I use a pressure washer and foam cannon I still use a regular hose without a nozzle to rinse. After I will spitz the car down with Ultima wash and wax solution, and then dry with a Dry Me Crazy drying towel. the car is so easy to dry it feels like cheating. I will then fire up the air compressor and blow the water out of the jams, creases, grill, etc. I have an electric leaf blower, but I can dry much faster by hand if using a drying aid of some sort. One hint I have is to rinse your car and then immediately drive it into the garage, and out of the sun. This buys you a little time in drying without the sun baking on any water spots.
 

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Drying aids are an often overlooked option in preventing water spots after a wash. If it is just a maintenance wash a drying aid can save you time, and hassle. A lot of QD's work great as a drying aid. Some better than others. Even though I use a pressure washer and foam cannon I still use a regular hose without a nozzle to rinse. After I will spitz the car down with Ultima wash and wax solution, and then dry with a Dry Me Crazy drying towel. the car is so easy to dry it feels like cheating. I will then fire up the air compressor and blow the water out of the jams, creases, grill, etc. I have an electric leaf blower, but I can dry much faster by hand if using a drying aid of some sort. One hint I have is to rinse your car and then immediately drive it into the garage, and out of the sun. This buys you a little time in drying without the sun baking on any water spots.
I always use a leaf blower to dry off the car. It's quick its touchless and it gets all the water in and around the honeycomb pieces wheels and door handles .
 

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I got the Forum Favorite kit over at AutoGeek. http://www.autogeek.net/forfavkit.html

I also got Blackfire's clay and clay lubricant spray.

It is what I used on my GTI.

You can't have too many microfiber towels.


Next for me are some good glass cleaning/waxing products.
My buddy gets the same kit gives great results! A while ago I use to use Klasse products and seals until I switched over to chemical guys and their stuff. Once you use CG jet seal you won't ever use Klasse products again.
 

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My absolute favorite paint care stack for a non-coated vehicle is the blackfire line. I use the crap out of Chemical guys chemicals, but for sealants/waxes/spray sealants I love Blackfire. My car is coated now so they dont get used as much. I lay down 2 coats of Blackfire Wet Diamond, then 2 coats of blackfire midnight sun paste wax, then I would use blackfire polymer spray to top the midnight sun wax. After every other wash I would wipe the car down with polymer spray again. I have been repeating this process for a year now on my wifes car, and it still feels like the first time I detailed it.

My CSG GTI is coated with Pinnacle Black Label all surface coating (wheels, glass, plastic trim, rubber trim). I lack the vocabulary to fully articulate how great the car looks, and how much easier the paint is to care for now. it truly is amazing stuff. My wheels are coated as well, and I can remove all brake dust with just a hose. I was very hesitant to make the switch to coating because paint care is a hobby of mine, but now that I have converted I doubt I will ever go back. The best part about the Black Label coating is that it is the only coating that was formulated to allow you to top with your favorite wax. Nothing shines like a coating, but nothing has the depth and color enhancement of a fine wax.
 

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if you're willing to spend a little extra, I love Adam's Polishes products. They have excellent guides on their forums as well (great for learning, even if you don't buy their stuff!) http://www.adamsforums.com/forum/61-the-adams-detailing-library/

Here are some great videos on how to properly wash, to prevent swirls, and seal/protect, to keep it shinier for longer! Entire series on washing wheels, exterior, interior and keeping it looking good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNSh9beaiXw&list=PL4ju56j0wCCU7515_St0IPu7Au2yIqttH

I was a bit hesitant to invest in their products at first, but they were extremely active via email and phone in answering all of my questions and walking me through how to properly use them so I'm all in now. Great stuff. If you're interested in just 1 or 2 of their products, try e-mailing Ben at [email protected] and he can probably hook you up with a sample.
 
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