Subject: Washing Your Porsche
   by Larry Reynolds, Northern New Jersey Region
   What is the best product to use as a car wash?
   The correct answer is use what you like best. There are some drawbacks
   to certain products and advantages to others. Dish detergent (Ivory
   Liquid, etc.) may be used, but realize that this product is designed
   to remove animal or vegetable fat/grease from fired ceramic dishes. It
   looks at your Porsche's nice coat of wax with the same hungry eyes. If
   you enjoy washing and rewaxing weekly, then this is for you. Wax
   retailers love people who use dish detergent (they send the Ivory
   Company Christmas cards every year) If you prefer to have your wax
   last a little longer, you may consider using a product that is
   specifically designed for automotive use. The quality products are
   based upon detergents instead of soaps. Soaps are manufactured from
   rendered animal byproducts (the stuff the dog food people reject).
   They contain trace elements that can actually damage your paint. These
   trace elements are the same goodies that leave a ring in your bath
   tub. (Ring around the Porsche)
   Quality car wash/shampoos (same thing -- most cars don't have hair)
   are usually pH controlled, contain gloss enhancers and some even have
   a small amount of water soluble wax for good measure. Use only enough
   car wash to break the electrostatic/ionic bond between dirt and your
   Porsche. Start with a clean large bucket (preferably plastic -- if you
   kick the metal bucket, Mr. Paint Chip rears his ugly head), add a
   small amount of the car wash and fill the bucket with cool water.
   Avoid hot water as it will soften the wax. Read the directions on the
   car wash bottle and try reducing the recommended amount by half. I use
   less than a half a cap full in 5 gallons. The more car wash, the more
   wax you remove. Try to avoid powder car washes, as the undissolved
   granules can get on your sponge or towel and scratch the paint
   Make sure that your Porsche is in the shade and the paint surface is
   relatively cool. Rule of thumb # 1: If you can comfortably hold you
   hand on the hood, you can wash/wax the car.
   Spray the car with a gentle spray to thoroughly wet the surface. Don't
   use a 200 P.S.I. fire hydrant spray, it isn't needed and may grind the
   surface grime into the paint and cause scratches. Some of the concour
   purists will not use a nozzle on the hose at all. Start at the top of
   the car and work down. Re-wet the top, gently wash the top and then
   rinse. Move onto another section, such as trunk or hood. Re-wet this
   area, wash and rinse. Continue on down the car, completing a section
   at a time. This way, the car wash does not dry on the paint.
   You may use a wash mitt, towel, or sponge to wash the car. I prefer a
   wash mitt as the grit tends to work up into the long fibers and not
   scratch the paint, When I re-dip the mitt into the wash bucket, I give
   it a swirl to release the grit. The flat surface of a sponge can
   sometimes catch dirt and act like a sandpaper. The purist will use two
   wash mitts. One for the top half of the car (the cleanest) and one for
   below the trim line and wheels/wheel wells.
   Your Porsche should be dried as soon as possible. There are several
   methods to accomplish this. Lots of towels are a great drying medium.
   They should be 100% cotton (some of the blends contain polymer fibers
   that scratch). Start at the top, lay the towel on the top and then
   GENTLY drag the towel across the surface of the paint to pull the
   water from the surface. Change to a dry towel and blot any remaining
   water. Move to the hood or trunk and repeat. Dry the sides last as the
   water will usually take care of itself on these surfaces. Another
   method is to use a chamois. There are two types, natural and
   synthetic. The natural leather chamois contain acids, primarily
   tannic, that strips wax. Most synthetic chamois don't seem to do a
   satisfactory job. One exception is the P21S Super Absorbing Drying
   Towel. I have stopped using towels after trying this goodie. I used to
   be a "dyed in the wool" towel man. Driving the car to dry it may be
   fun, but you are re-depositing dirt on the wet surface and allowing
   the resulting "mud" to dry on the paint. I hope that the above brief
   synopsis rinses away some popular myths
   If there are any questions, please give me a shout:
   Larry Reynolds, Car Care Specialties Inc. (Distributors of Quality
   Porsche Care Products), Post Office Box 535, Saddle Brook, NJ
   07663-0535. Phone (201) 796-8300, Fax (201) 791-9743, E-mail P.S. I'm one of the people that sends the Ivory
   Company a thank you card every year. -