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Discussion Starter #1
We have a lot of new or soon to be new Q3 owners posting recently as well as some "veterans". I looked around for a thread on exterior and interior cleaning and found only one short discussion from back in April. I'd be interested to hear what products people have found work best for interior and exterior cleaning and shine as well as any techniques that are used to get great results. I do a lot of hand washing and have kept my Mini looking pretty close to new for 10 years...but I recently learned that my "one bucket" method of washing was BAD for the finish...so now I've got to get the "two bucket" system going. Would love to hear from all you car care experts.
 

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We have a lot of new or soon to be new Q3 owners posting recently as well as some "veterans". I looked around for a thread on exterior and interior cleaning and found only one short discussion from back in April. I'd be interested to hear what products people have found work best for interior and exterior cleaning and shine as well as any techniques that are used to get great results. I do a lot of hand washing and have kept my Mini looking pretty close to new for 10 years...but I recently learned that my "one bucket" method of washing was BAD for the finish...so now I've got to get the "two bucket" system going. Would love to hear from all you car care experts.
How exactly does the "two bucket" system work?
 

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I use products from Griots Garage. My main products are the Wash, Speed Shine, and Tire Dressing. I use Windex for the windows. I use a hose for wetting and rinsing when it is warm enough and two bucket it when it is cold.

My routine: Rinse off car, wash area using wash mitt, rinse area, repeat until all car is washed - rims come last. Dry car using Absorber. Open doors and hatch and fuel door - dry all the inside parts where water gets in. Close doors & hatch. Speed Shine car with microfiber cloth. Windex windows inside and out. Tire dressing on all 4 tires - wipe excess from rims. Vacuum inside if needed. Wipe down inside - dust, finger prints, etc. Leather cleaning on seats if needed.

I have the system down so all of this takes about an hour and it keeps the car looking as new for a long time. Since the Q3s arrived I have been using Speed Shine and wiping the cars down each night - if any bugs or dirt on it. This take approximately 10 mins and keeps the car looking "just washed" each morning!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I have not used the Speed Shine and that product appears to be very highly rated....at least per the Amazon reviews. I was informed that one needs to use one bucket with the wash soap and one bucket to rinse the mitt which makes sense...particularly in the more grimy times of year. I'm also going to have to go to the do it yourself wash in the winter months as I can't use a hose when it's freezing or near freezing outside on a driveway that is mostly in the shade during the winter.
 

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Thanks for the info. I have not used the Speed Shine and that product appears to be very highly rated....at least per the Amazon reviews. I was informed that one needs to use one bucket with the wash soap and one bucket to rinse the mitt which makes sense...particularly in the more grimy times of year. I'm also going to have to go to the do it yourself wash in the winter months as I can't use a hose when it's freezing or near freezing outside on a driveway that is mostly in the shade during the winter.
In the winter I do use the two buckets - one with soapy water and one with clean water. The wash mitt stays in the soapy bucket and there is a fresh rinse towel in the other one. It is certainly not as nice as having a hose but it does work in the winter to get most of the grime/crud off.

My dream of having a heated garage and washing stall is still unrealized. :crying:
 

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Speed Shine is the best! You will be amazed when you use. Wash/Dry the car then feel the paint with your hand. Then use the Speed Shine on the same area and feel again. It makes a huge difference and I believe helps keep it cleaner overall as dirt and bugs adhere less to it.
 

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After the last couple of hot, dry, and wildfire filled summers we've had, I'm afraid I'd get a lot of frowns (or worse) from others if I were to use our precious water supply to wash a car...

Solution: we have a very good automatic car wash system near-by that does not use brushes and all the water is filtered and recycled.

On the west coast, at least, when it comes to water savings we use lots of "gray water" for the vegetable garden, and when it comes to the lawn...brown is the new green. :crying:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have to admit that I have not used an automated car wash in my entire 27 years of living in Bend. Prior to living here...well I don't recall... Probably about 95% of my washing occurs in the driveway and 5% at the do it yourself bay. Oh and there may have been 1 or 2 times where I let some kids wash the car at a fundraiser...generally I don't assign this task to anyone else and definitely not with my current Mini and not with the Q3. In the winter there are times when washing becomes a waste of time for some period of weeks as your effort will be immediately undone the minute you hit the road again. But if recent winter (more like summer) weather continues there may be more shiny car time between November and April than before. We live in an area with no lawns allowed and natural high desert landscaping so watering the yard is limited - so can use some of that saved water for car washing. :) Appreciate the good advice and have purchased a few more Griots products. Plan is for the Q3 to be delivered here Thursday. Woo Hoo!
 

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Great news! Enjoy. Nothing like lovingly hand washing your new Q3..learning every curve and angle....
 

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Griot's

Speed Shine is the best! You will be amazed when you use. Wash/Dry the car then feel the paint with your hand. Then use the Speed Shine on the same area and feel again. It makes a huge difference and I believe helps keep it cleaner overall as dirt and bugs adhere less to it.


I used Griot products on my 2006 Corvette and 2008 535xi. The SpeedShine was great for touching up between washes, I loved their Water Blade, and their cleaning and drying products were great. I'll be using Griot on the Q3 as well.
 

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:nerd:>:DMy newest obsession is cleaning the INSIDE of the rims. The openings in the rims are large enough for me and my wash mitt. Now I cannot help myself!
 

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:nerd:>:DMy newest obsession is cleaning the INSIDE of the rims. The openings in the rims are large enough for me and my wash mitt. Now I cannot help myself!
With just about all my new cars that's the case since the wheels are free of any damage, discoloring, etc... you just want to make everything clean :D

I think opti-coating that area could help you out big time in the long run.
 

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I've kinda picked car care up as a hobby now, quite annoying sorry. New car prep - Wash, clay and polish the car with random orbital. I usually apply Menzerna Power Lock after polish but I'm trying out Opti-Seal which was very easy to apply and remove with a handheld microfiber applicator pad. Planning to reapply every 6 months with regular washes between. Looks like a great product so far.

For the interior, I've used Lexol Leather Cleaner and Leather Conditioner for a while now. Make sure the applicator you use with the cleaner is pretty damp. Should feel like you are washing your leather rather than rubbing it with cleaner.

Always finish with windows. Stoners Invisible Glass or Sprayway Glass Cleaner, the latter has a nice scent. I always do windows inside and out in two steps. Clean all exterior windows with microfiber towels then go back with a clean dry microfiber towel.

Cheers!
 
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