Power Washers - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 39 Old 10-23-2005, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Power Washers

Does anyone use a power washer to clean their Ferrari or any other cars. I never have as I have been concerned about the potential damage to the paint work of the high pressure water. Today in an auto shop I had a salesman swear that they were completely safe. He did not get the sale. Opinions ?
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post #2 of 39 Old 10-23-2005, 07:47 AM
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I use a pressure washer to clean my Jeep after I've been out past where the road stops. The unit I've got has a 6 hp gas engine and is rated at 2,500 psi (176 kg/cm2) It's great for blasting off mud and grease. But it is powerful enough that if you are not careful you could damage rubber components and/or force water past seals.

I have idled it down and used it on the engine of the Ferrari. If you are just looking for something a little more powerful than the garden hose to remove oil and grease from the engine and undercarriage of the Ferrari, I'd recommend a small electric unit rated at about 1,500 psi (105 kg/cm2). Spray some engine degreaser on everything, let it soak, then wash it away. You can pick up those small electric units pretty cheap. If you want a washer to also do other household chores, like cleaning the driveway, go with a bigger unit like mine. It does have a knob on it where you can reduce the pressure output.

The units also come with different tips that affect the pressure by fanning out the spray over a larger area. I use the 20° tip for cleaning the Jeep and the driveway, the 40° tip for washing the siding on the house and the 0° tip for edging the driveway (cuts right through the dirt and grass).

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post #3 of 39 Old 10-23-2005, 10:15 AM
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I have a 1500 psi washer and always used one. I love it, you have to use the fan tip not the fine tip. If you have a paint chip be carefull because it will lift it. If your paint is good no worries stay about 12 inches or more away from the body and it does a superb job. 2500 PSI is alot so you have to be carefull It will cut skin if too close.

Rubbers can be affected as well as plastic painted parts if too close. I dont use engine degreasers because they affect rubber and plastic parts. I use Sunlight dish soap. Its the best soap on the market, it removes paint from your hands, oil, grease, ink, etc... So I mix 1 liter of soap into 3-4 liters of warm water. (add soap last) :lol: Then I bought a lawn spray/pump bottle with a hose and spray tip and I spray the engine bay. I let it dry and spray again, I do this 3-4 times then I pressure wash and does it ever clean. Its safe for my dogs, asphalt and cleans just as well as degreaser at 1/10 of the price.

1990 348 TS (87284)

“I build cars for young men that only old men can afford” - Enzo Ferrari
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post #4 of 39 Old 10-23-2005, 11:08 AM
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Another good solution (as far as cleaning chemicals) is Simple Green. It is all organic and safe as well.

I also agree with magnum's comments about the fan. This is safe and creates about a 8 inch thin line of water and not a jet which makes it safe for cars.
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post #5 of 39 Old 10-23-2005, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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I am sold. Sounds like a 1500 psi Washer should provide plenty of power.

One question on the detergent:

I use Sunlight dish soap. Its the best soap on the market, it removes paint from your hands, oil, grease, ink, etc... So I mix 1 liter of soap into 3-4 liters of warm water. (add soap last)[quote]

Years ago I was advised not to use dish liquid as it strips the wax right off. Seemed to make sense given the grease cutting properties of a dish liquid. Is this not an issue ?

Thanks.
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post #6 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 02:28 AM
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You are correct. Dish soaps do attack the wax.

It sounds like Magnum6464 is using Sunlight as a degreaser for the engine bay and undercarriage. For the shiney stuff I'd continue to use a quality car wash.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #7 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 05:57 AM
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Sunlight removes wax, before you wax use sunlight. I use a special soap and wax I got from my GM service guy who introduced me to the detailing guy (He has been detailing cars for 18 years and runs the detailing shop there, they have 5 bays). But you can use soap they sell for pressure washers. Make sure if you buy a pressure washer that comes with a small suction hose for soap dispensing. Here is a tip, the thinner the soap the better it is. Some soaps are pretty thick, if it is, its garbage. It should almost be like windshield washer. I use one cup of soap for every pail of warm water, I drop the suction hose in it and spray. I was also told to use a fake shammy not a real one because they are better for wiping, they actually pick up more than a real one. It can also be washed in the machine, and cost ¼ of the price if you care.

Tide is the best for tire cleaning, I use a plastic brush the size of my hand, spray water on it, I put a table spoon of Tide on it and scrub the tires. I found that when you put a tire shine on it they look good but after 2-3 weeks the tires turn brown so Tide works great.

One last tip, stay away from Armor All cleaners, they create static so you always have to clean again and again and in the sun it dries everything out.

When I wash my truck I spend 4-5 hours with detailing everything including engine bay and an extra hour for wax. I also use a similar product to Armor All but better and even do inside the wheel wells, tube bars and mud flaps.

My friends laugh at me and say I should go to CWA (Car Wash Anonymous) They just dont know my secrets that keep my truck looking clean for 3 weeks. hahaha!!! :wink:

Check my other post for keeping your paint shinny ! Its worth the read !

http://www.ferrariforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4968

Enjoy my shine secrets ! :green: :green: :green:

1990 348 TS (87284)

“I build cars for young men that only old men can afford” - Enzo Ferrari
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post #8 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum6464
Tide is the best for tire cleaning, I use a plastic brush the size of my hand, spray water on it, I put a table spoon of Tide on it and scrub the tires. I found that when you put a tire shine on it they look good but after 2-3 weeks the tires turn brown so Tide works great.
I use Westley's Bleche-Wite for cleaning tires and vinyl floormats. I've yet to find anything better.

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"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #9 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete04222
I use Westley's Bleche-Wite for cleaning tires and vinyl floormats. I've yet to find anything better.
It must be a US product because I have never heard of it, I have tried everything available in Canada. Tide I use just to clean not shine and I always have that at home...and pet safe (my 2 black Labs always want to know everything im doing)

My tire shine stuff I get from my detailing guy in a clear commercial plastic spray bottle. I use it on tires, plastic steps on my tube bars, mud flaps, top of my rear truck bumper and my mirrors (non painted plastic) and they shine/wet look for 2 weeks.

1990 348 TS (87284)

“I build cars for young men that only old men can afford” - Enzo Ferrari
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post #10 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Wow. I am almost embarassed to admit what I use and how often I detail my cars.
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post #11 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer
Wow. I am almost embarassed to admit what I use and how often I detail my cars.
Why ???

1990 348 TS (87284)

“I build cars for young men that only old men can afford” - Enzo Ferrari
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post #12 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum6464
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer
Wow. I am almost embarassed to admit what I use and how often I detail my cars.
Why ???
To start with, I never detail the engine bay, clean the tires (only the wheels), only wash the car by hand when it looks like it needs it......
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post #13 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer
To start with, I never detail the engine bay, clean the tires (only the wheels), only wash the car by hand when it looks like it needs it......
Hey no worries, I smoke in my truck, but its clean, we all have our thing we do. When I get my Ferrari, I will smoke in it, why...simple, to prevent from having a heart attack from the excitement :green:

See, I never touched the paint on my truck unless its waxed with my No.20 to prevent swirls and always go to a touchless car wash. We all have our addictions…mine is to have my car shine. My wife helps sometimes, she does windows, dash, doors, console, everything plastic, mirrors, leather treatment on all the seats, vacuums the entire truck, washes and polished the 14 rubber floor mats. You read right 14, I have some cut in half to go up 5 inches up the carpet side walls as well as under the seats. When all is done, I grab a hand full of Q-tips and clean all the switches, cracks, A/C vents, basically if there is a crack, I swab it. If I cant swab it I use a can of compressed air !

I got that addiction when I used to go to audio competitions. So when I got my truck, I installed all my equipment, routed all the wires under the carpet hidden from view and did my custom install of 70 hours. I raised the rear seats 2’ for the custom box for the Crew Cab and installed a second wall behind the back seats. So the odd time I show my system or ride with my friends, or go on a small trip, they get into my clean and shinny truck, play Xbox on my 7’ dash TV or watch a movie through 2000 Watts RMS of pure joy ! You think cleaning my truck is excessive, try explaining to your wife 20k spent on car audio/video without sleeping on the couch for a month. :green: :green: :green:

But see I dont have a Ferrari of my own (yet) I have to envy yours...and damn she is beautiful, I saw the pics :lol: :lol: :lol: To me your one lucky man !!!

I would be proud to have the opportunity to just park my truck next to your Ferrari....

1990 348 TS (87284)

“I build cars for young men that only old men can afford” - Enzo Ferrari
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post #14 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo250GTO
Another good solution (as far as cleaning chemicals) is Simple Green. It is all organic and safe as well.

I also agree with magnum's comments about the fan. This is safe and creates about a 8 inch thin line of water and not a jet which makes it safe for cars.
Simple Green is what I use on my cars. It comes in a concentrated solution and it says to use 10:1 for regular use (10 parts water: 1 part SG). I'll mix up less than 10:1 for the car and use a soft sponge. It gets everything I would want except for the damn bugs! Gotta get a power washer I guess!

I use Comet for the tires because I have white letters on the tires that I like to be WHITE. It doesnt dry out the rubber (not too much is needed) and it really gets all the crap off. I use a silicone based tire shine called "Tire Wet" and it works just as well as anything else. Ive tried many things in this department and they all will last on average the same as each other, and they all attract dirt.

I use Turtle Wax for chrome polish (works awesome and gets at pitting if there is any and strips out the rust), and MacGuires for paint wax (I need something new I suspect, but it works well). Armor All is alcohol based (or was in the recent past) and thus it has a tendency to dry out anything it comes in contact with so I dont use it on anything I want to keep nice!

cool thread, I like the tips.
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post #15 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 08:58 PM
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Check my post, I use this wax and nothing sticks to my truck, even bugs, its great...when I go to my friends house in the country, it takes about 40 mins on the highway and bugs are all over my truck. I take the hose when I get home and they are all gone, if it rains, they are all gone as well. This stuff does everything chrome, painted plastic, morrors, windsheild, hood deflector you name it it does it. Pretty cool stuff !

http://www.ferrariforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4968

I would pay $500 for this stuff, its 13 oz. and the container will last 2 years I paid 50$ each....I bought 4 :green: :green: :green:

1990 348 TS (87284)

“I build cars for young men that only old men can afford” - Enzo Ferrari
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post #16 of 39 Old 10-24-2005, 09:04 PM
 
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Just be careful with them. My neighbor let me borrow his to spray oil stains off my driveway, and even the oldest came off. It was seriously powerful.
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post #17 of 39 Old 10-25-2005, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkyJunc
Simple Green is what I use on my cars. It comes in a concentrated solution and it says to use 10:1 for regular use (10 parts water: 1 part SG). I'll mix up less than 10:1 for the car and use a soft sponge. It gets everything I would want except for the damn bugs! Gotta get a power washer I guess!

I use Comet for the tires because I have white letters on the tires that I like to be WHITE. It doesnt dry out the rubber (not too much is needed) and it really gets all the crap off. I use a silicone based tire shine called "Tire Wet" and it works just as well as anything else. Ive tried many things in this department and they all will last on average the same as each other, and they all attract dirt.

I use Turtle Wax for chrome polish (works awesome and gets at pitting if there is any and strips out the rust), and MacGuires for paint wax (I need something new I suspect, but it works well). Armor All is alcohol based (or was in the recent past) and thus it has a tendency to dry out anything it comes in contact with so I dont use it on anything I want to keep nice!

cool thread, I like the tips.
Simple Green will strip wax off also. Try switching to a good brand of car wash.

And since you are in Pennsylvania and not Canada, when you are at the parts store pick up a spray bottle of Westley's Bleche-Wite for those tires. I'm telling you, you'll throw that bottle of Comet away. Spray it on, hit it with a stiff bristle brush, hose it off. The black is clean and the white is WHITE.

For bugs, the only thing I've found that really works is:
Ready for this?
Here it comes.

"Bug and Tar remover"

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #18 of 39 Old 10-25-2005, 07:35 PM
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So does WD40 but its really hard on paint, specialy if you have a 15 year plus paint. Better to have it protected and not have to use harsh chemicals than to risk messing with your paint !

Me, it just rains and all bugs are gone...nice !

1990 348 TS (87284)

“I build cars for young men that only old men can afford” - Enzo Ferrari
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post #19 of 39 Old 10-31-2005, 11:51 AM
 
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Power washers are safe as long as you use a proper nozzle and psi, depending of the task at hand (rinse body, undercarriage, etc). It's a great idea to use water from a reverse-osmosis filter if your washer has a tank instead of just a garden hose inlet. You won't have to use a chamois to dry your car, just leave it in the shade to dry and there'll be no water spots.
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post #20 of 39 Old 10-31-2005, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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I picked one up yesterday. Will let you know how it works out this weekend. Thanks for all the advice.
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