My friend has some nerve. Calls me up the other day and says he wants to have a bet with me. Now, already my alarm bells are going off. Because he only makes bets when he knows the outcome.
‘I’m going to show you how to clean a car without touching it and I bet I can wash my car faster and better than you can using your method.’
Now, given I’d lost the last 4 bets against him, I was hardly going to lose one more. But I was intrigued. I had seen many people whip out the foam gun on Facebook and Instagram and blast their cars. I used to watch those videos grudgingly, whilst looking over at my microfiber cloths, winking and whispering to them:
‘Nothing can replace you’
Despite not accepting the wager, I did invite him over for lunch and wanted to genuinely see him demonstrate the technology. I wanted to see first hand not only how to wash a car without touching it, but I guess more importantly wanted to see what the finish would look and feel like. Also my wife recently dropped Chinese food on the back seats and I had to use household products to clean the cloth seats – I wanted to show off my skills too.
Spray But No Touchy – Washing My Car Without Touching It
He has a big smile on his face, like he’s introducing me to fire or something.
He was just so excited. He couldn’t contain himself. After a quick bite and a chat about how he spent his winnings from all the recent bets he’d won, it was time to ‘knock my socks off’ as he put it.
But instead of him doing it. I asked if he wouldn’t mind if I had a go. He was more than happy with that and simply talked me through what I had to do. And of course it was my car I wanted to wash. My car was a little dusty and needed a clean.
Before I start, I want to confess I was biased. Even after having seen a lot of the videos, I just wasn’t convinced. I mean how could my one hour clean on the outside, from top to bottom be replaced or even bettered in a tenth of time.
I mean, how could that be?
But I won’t deny I was fascinated. I love gadgets, tricks, hacks, tips – I love it all. And the most out there, the better; Siri, Alexa, automated driving, levitating monks – BRING IT ON!
I didn’t want it to work. I wanted it to be junk…..I wanted it to be a gimmick. But was it?
Now in order to get started all I needed was:
Washing Your Car Without Touching It
Well the first step was easy enough. It was simply to get the power hose going and really give the car a good wash. And when I mean good, I mean really get those wheels, get the roof, get the mirrors – get it all. Be sure to make sure you’ve washed the entirety of your car.
pH Balanced Shampoo
The next step was making sure I used the right shampoo. Given I was washing my car in the direct Miami heat, I knew that I had to use a balanced pH Shampoo. This means, that even if I left it on the car for a while, it wouldn’t make any difference to the paint. My friend has brought his favorite product from Chemical Brothers – but I have tried many others for far cheaper prices which have worked equally well.
Anyway, I loaded up the Foam Gun. That’s right – you heard me. A Foam Gun.
If you don’t know what this is, it’s effectively a cannister which you manually attach to the end of your hose.
If you’ve never seen one of these in action before, be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the post. These are just so much fun. They literally blanket your car in the shampoo. I went around my entire car spraying the the whole car from top to bottom. When I was finished it looked like it had been snowed on. It was totally foamy and white all over.
Set The Timer
My friend has set his stop watch. He didn’t want me to leave the shampoo on for more than 5 minutes, to avoid the sun’s rays. After the 5 minutes were up, my role was to immediately wash the car again.
Back to the power wash. Quick squirt over at Bret’s house (sorry Bret my bad) – haha yeah right. Then I washed all the shampoo off my car. A lot of it had started to evaporate in the Miami sun, making it harder to know exactly where all the shampoo actually was. But nonetheless I completely sprayed my car down. Not leaving a single bit.
Before I could even go and examine the results, before I could even go and see if the results were any good, I needed to dry it.
One of the worst things you can do is to leave water on your car in the sun. It’s the quickest way to get water spots, which is why I liked spraying Bret’s car when he isn’t looking. Let him have them. Me, I wanted a shiny, swirl free, spot free car.
Now given that I couldn’t use my regular array of towels to start drying the car, I needed to use a dryer.
Now the small ones are pretty useless. When I say useless, I mean go and cut one blade of grass a day useless. HOWEVER, the larger ones were great. Again very noisey – good to disturb Bret – but more importantly it pushed all the water off my car.
What can I say? It did exactly what it said on the tin. I was able to use just a power wash, a foam gun and a dryer to effectively clean my car without touching it.
So what now? Well now that I knew it was possible, I started to question how often I’d use this technique and when.
I prided myself on cleaning my car. I prided myself on really scrubbing away and taking a couple hours making sure every part of it is super clean.
So was I not thrilled because my ego was too big and perhaps I had found a better way?
After all that spraying and soap foaming and drying, am I convinced about washing a car without cleaning?
Would I Wash A Car Again Without Touching It?
Well the results, I can’t deny were good. But there were a few issues I did have with this technique. Firstly, unless you get a really good drying machine, the drying part is going to take a while. And if you aren’t quick enough, and it’s hot and sunny, there are going to be water marks. You may as well do it all over again.
I started to ask myself if I would actually do this more often. And I think it definitely has its advantages. If you have a construction site near you, salt water floating around with other dirt, or you just don’t have the time or inclination to really spend the time washing your car thoroughly with all your cleaning equipment, then yeah!!! This does the trick. In fact, I actually think where I am going to start using this is perhaps between car washes.
Do I feel this replaces my beloved microfibre cloths?….Errrr no!!!!
Nonetheless, I do love it. I think the visuals are more enticing than the results but it is a method I know now and will be using going forward.
And let’s not forget Bret. Anything that involves using the power washer more often (to disturb him) makes me very happy.