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home wash VS car wash

This is a discussion on home wash VS car wash within the CLA General Discussion forums, part of the Mercedes-Benz CLA Forum category; Hello, I am very curious to see what you guys are doing out there in terms of washing your CLA ... I took my CLA ...

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  1. #1
    Newbie pamarante0313's Avatar
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    home wash VS car wash

    Hello,

    I am very curious to see what you guys are doing out there in terms of washing your CLA ...

    I took my CLA about 4 times to the car wash and after that I decided to start hand washing myself at home due to some peculiarities..

    Few questions ..

    1) How often do you wash your CLA interior and exterior ?
    2) Have you waxed your CLA yet since you purchased ?
    3) Any particular products you use that you really like ?
    4) Other comments ..

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    Veteran Picard's Avatar
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    1. I hand wash every weekend (exterior). I clean the interior when I feel like it needs cleaning already .
    2. I wax twice a month (sometimes 3x a month). Rule of the thumb is, when water stops beading, the car needs good waxing.
    3. Meg's Gold Class. Liquid wax, spray wax, detailer. Porter Cable 7424XP.
    4. I would do a cycle of Wax -> spray wax -> detailer, on consecutive weekends. I bit overkill maybe but I live in the desert with the summer sun and dry heat..and a black car.

    I plan to clay and polish when my baby turns 1.. then once a year thereafter.

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    Regular vaelin's Avatar
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    I don't have time to do it myself more than 1-2 times a year. When that time does come, it's a full wash, claybar, double wax job.

    Other times I just take it to the local reputable hand wash.
    2015 C63S - Rebellion Tuned
    2012 ML350 BlueTec
    2009 911 Turbo
    Previously:
    '14 CLA45, '08 Dinan BMW 135i, '06 Lexus IS350, '03 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra, and a bunch of 'family' cars

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    Pro Rapidfirerob's Avatar
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    Opticoat= no waxing and fewer washes, I'm told. I just got it back yesterday, so I'll see.
    2014 CLA 250: Night Black, Beige Interior, Pano Roof, Spoiler, Bi Xenons, Sport Package, Burl Walnut Wood Trim, Opticoat, Xpel, Alembic Spoiler bass, Eve IONA bass, Michael Kelly acoustic bass guitar, Genz Benz Shuttle 6.2 and 6.0 amps, Two Gallien-Krueger Neo II 1X12 cabs, BOSS TU-3 tuner, Guardian of The Mighty Door Gap.

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    Super Moderator Sue Esponte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pamarante0313 View Post
    Few questions ..

    1) How often do you wash your CLA interior and exterior ?
    2) Have you waxed your CLA yet since you purchased ?
    3) Any particular products you use that you really like ?
    4) Other comments ..
    1) Everyone's answer to this question will be very different and they all might be right. You should wash your car as often as you need to based on the frequency you drive it, the number of miles you're driving, the driving conditions, etc. The same goes for the interior. It all depends on the amount of use it gets and the kind of use. I'm generally the only person in my car. People don't eat in my car and the only people to ever sit in my backseat are my kids.

    2) Yes, a few times.

    3/4) Here are my "go to" products and comments:

    I don't have much experience with synthetic coatings but I'm pretty pleased with the Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Coating I've put on my CLA. That said, I don't think it's as durable as Opticoat or the GTechniq coatings I've also been eyeing. I'll probably give one of the others a try next year. The diamond coating does require some maintenance so I wouldn't call it a 'do it once and walk away' kind of ceramic application. It does, however, produce an amazing shine with a deepness that actually kept me from waxing my car for a while. Its shine isn't unlike the Chemical Guys sealant I use (see below) but I think a good wax really sets it off -- just my opinion. I've only applied it a couple of times this season; more out of OCD than necessity.

    As for the more routine car washing tasks...

    - For a car wash, I really like Chemical Guys' Glossworkz Gloss Booster and Paintwork Cleanser. It's a fantastic product and comes HIGHLY concentrated. You don't need much of it. The water sheets off so easily without leaving any water spots (and we have well water!) and it also leaves a nice glossy appearance and slick feel to the paint.

    - For a wheel cleaner, I'm kind of all over the place on this one but I really like Sonax' Wheel Cleaner. Griot's Heavy Duty Wheel Cleaner is also pretty good. They both turn purple when they come into contact with brake dust which is kind of cool (although a painful reminder of the buildup I've allowed on the wheels).

    - For removing contaminants (when needed), I typically use fine Griot's yellow clay and Griot's speed shine -- although I just picked up some fine blue clay from Chemical Guys along with their Luber Synthetic Lubricant (and detailer) to try out. I don't clay my car every time I wash it though. It's only done on an as-needed basis. After you wash your car, run your hand along the surface to check for contaminants. If you can't tell, stick your hand in a plastic baggie (like one you'd put a sandwich in) and run it lightly over the surface. If you can feel bumps on the surface then clay should remove it.

    - For pre-wax and polishes, I use a variety of products depending on the condition of the paint. Most of the time, I'll just use a paint cleanser (like Pinnacle's Paint Lotion) which is a non-aggressive cleaner that will remove some very, very light swirls and oxidation. It doesn't really cut. For light/medium swirls or very minor scratches, I love Wolfgang Total Swirl Remover 3.0. It's gentle enough to use on light swirls but coupled with a more aggressive pad can also remove moderate scratches. I like it for its versatility and friendliness to newbies. Much like clay, I only use these products when needed. I've got a Porter Cable 7420 for polishing, too, with a variety of Lake Country pads (the key is to get more than one of the ones you'll use most often so you can switch them out while polishing). I do whatever I can to avoid using it.

    - For a glaze, I really like Poor Boys Black Hole. It's amazing at filling imperfections and preparing the paint for sealant -- especially on darker cars. This, too, falls into the category of something I only use when the paint needs it.

    - For a sealant (as well as a routine detailer), I've developed an unhealthy dependency on Chemical Guys Hybrid v07. This stuff will leave your paint looking like glass and it is so slick it's addictive. This one I use far too often just because I love what it does to the paint.

    - For a wax, my preference has long been (and continues to be), Pinnacle Souveran Paste (not the liquid). It goes on lightly and easily and comes off with the least amount of effort of any wax I've ever worked with. It also doesn't stain black plastic! Souveran also leaves a depth to dark paint that is almost unparalleled in my opinion. It's a fantastic product. I don't wax my car every time I wash it but the Pinnacle is so easy to use you could if you wanted to. It also depends on the season and how much rain the car has seen (e.g., lots of rain and I'll wax more often).

    In the winter? I hate the winter. I avoid car washes at all reasonable costs but it's sometimes very hard, especially when the car is covered in salt and grime and I know that my schedule won't allow me to do a handwash any time soon. I've tried some of the waterless washes...but I still don't trust them.

    I hope that's helpful!!!

    -Eric
    You can follow me (and my obsession with cars) on

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    Super Moderator Yoshi's Avatar
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    From my experience I have found WPG (Wet Paint Glaze) to be by far the best product to use to keep your car clean and protected inbetween detailed wax jobs. They don't do a very good job of marketing it since the only way to order it is by phone but they make one heck of a product. Wet Paint Automotive Polishing Glaze: cleans, polishes and protects vehicle surfaces.

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    Super Moderator Sue Esponte's Avatar
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    Glazes are really paint fillers though. Among sealants, waxes and coatings, glazes offer the least amount of paint protection. Because they're good at filling they will bring back luster but they will easily wash away in rain and, even in dry conditions, won't last as long as sealants, waxes or coatings. It's only real protective quality is that you've added a thin layer of non-durable product on top of your paint. If you like what WPG does to your paint and want to minimize maintenance effort but add some protection, I would just recommend following up the WPG with either a spray sealant or wax.

    My $.02,
    -Eric
    Last edited by Sue Esponte; 08-12-2014 at 11:36 PM.
    You can follow me (and my obsession with cars) on

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    Newbie pringo's Avatar
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    Depends on your definition of car wash.

    Automatic car washes? No way.

    Petrol kiosk car washes? No way

    Professional detailer car wash? YEP!!

    Personally I've had my car coated with a glass coating to keep it slick, shiny, water repellent and bird drop doodoo repellent. It's similar to waxing, just a different LSP (LAST STEP PRODUCT).

    I go for quarterly maintenance at the detailer, where they apply a new glass coat on top of the existing one after washing. This way it builds up a larger barrier between the car paint and the pollution.

    I will also do a weekly wash, 2 bucket method if it's really dirty. If not, just a rinseless wash followed by a quick detailer. Sometimes just a quick detailer is suffice since they only thing we have here in my city in asia is rain and bird droppings.

    1) How often do you wash your CLA interior and exterior - Weekly washed, quaterly protected
    2) Have you waxed your CLA yet since you purchased ? Nil, glass coating acts as a wax type barrier
    3) Any particular products you use that you really like ? CHEMICAL GUYS!! Really quality stuff! Their shampoo/quick detailer/Rim cleaner!
    4) Other comments .. - Make sure you use quality microfibers to clean your car. Anything that you put onto the paint of your car, make sure it is of a certain quality, otherwise you'll blame yourself for not spending a bit more on your cleaning equipment when you see you've marred your paint
    Sue Esponte likes this.

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    Pro CyberGuyPR's Avatar
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    The biggest issue with detailing is how much time you can dedicate to it. Some of us are anal and light 20 candles and pray to the car gods every time we detail. Others don't care and put it through the auto wash. Most meet somewhere in the middle.

    A few posts for you to check out.

    CLA Car care questions - Manual or Auto car wash better?

    What's your favourite detailing products

    My Self-Care Secrets and Tips (Some Popular Car Care Products)
    2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Cirrus White | Ash MB-Tex

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    Newbie bseskaf's Avatar
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    Hey guys, I got a question... If choosing the hand wash yourself method, I know we're to use wash mitts and dry towels made of microfiber (to not scratch the car etc), and after use OK to use the washing machine but NOT to dry in dryer with fabric softener (better to leave out in sun to dry I guess). What if accidentally the wash mitt and drying towel (both microfiber) got mixed with the laundry and went into the dryer as well with fabric softener? Would you recommend not to use it anymore and buy new ones, or it's OK as in a one time thru the washing cycle and dryer w/ fabric softener won't really affect that much and won't hurt/potentially scratch the car?

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