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Discussion Starter #1
MY 82 year old father, who owns my Focus (long story told here before, summation he junked the 2000 SE that I paid for, replaced it with an '07 ZX3 S in his name) forbade me from using the power washer with foaming car attachment (with pressure control) from washing any of his cars. Thought it would damage the paint.

This is the same man who told me to use Soft Scrub with bleach to get mulberry stains out of the white paint. He said if it wasn't enough "try some Scotchbrite or steel wool". Also, told me he didn't want me using a clay bar on any of his cars either.

I don't think the 2500 psi straight from the power washer is any more than what the self wash places have, or what the car wash subjects your car to. And I wouldn't get the nozzle too close or attack rust (none on the Focus, yet) or get under trim pieces.

I think it's easier and better to wash the car with the foaming attachment (bought separately) more then using a sponge (rubbing on the paint no matter how softly has to degrade the paint slightly, even the softest brushes over time could strip the clear coat and into the paint given enough time), and apply liquid wax (non-buffing) with the attachment (rinsed thoroughly of course).
 

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No worries... the car would rust away before any brush made for car washing could ever eat its way through the paint layers. Its the micro-scratches that show up when the sun hits it just right, that's what you want to avoid. Clay bar will remove those. IMO, there's nothing wrong with clay bar, done once after many years it's better than a repaint.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was clay barring twice a year, fall and spring followed by a thorough waxing. Even apply a second coat after I buffed the first one out.

And my question was specifically about the pressure of the spray between a commercial no touch car wash, self wash wand and home power washer. My dad told me he didn't want me using the pressure washer or clay bar since he thought it would strip the clear coat off prematurely. This from the man who suggested using soft scrub with bleach and steel wool to remove mulberry stains in white paint.
 

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Yeah, his advice is one definition of "incongruous".

Using a home pressure washer depends on the nozzle width, whether you should/could use it or not. I have one with 5 different nozzle widths, and one is too tight for cars (I used it for cleaning/stripping our concrete patio and driveway... made them like new). With that nozzle you would have to stand back far enough to diffuse it, but if you stood back far enough not to blow trim off, then you'd waste a lot of water to mist. The next wider nozzle is useful for cars, the widest is like nothing (probably just for wetting stuff down). There is also a soaper nozzle, and a point stream nozzle. I've used the second width for my car before, and the first width on wheels, after soaping with a soft sponge and/or micro-fiber rag. Worked just fine, no damage to the paint or trim.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Before I bought the foaming attachment I'd use a 40 degree nozzle, the widest of the set.

There's also a pin point one that I use to clean off stains (lichen, moss, oxidation) from the native limestone landscaping wall built around the many green areas in our front yard. Gotta be careful with that on the rocks, as limestone is sedimentary and if I get too close I can lift off large chunks or split the rock along a crack I can't even see. Limestone breaks in an almost straight line horizontally as its made up from the bodies of prehistoric microscopic marine life, laid down over millennia,
 

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Yeah, you live on one of those islands between the Michigan halves, right? Part of the Niagara Escarpment or Onondaga Formation... huge limestone layers turned up to ground level. Must be cool looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Actually I'm quite a bit south of that. I'm in Lake Erie, part of Ohio, but limestone's pretty much the same everywhere. 8 miles to the west are the Bass Islands, a different period of limestone, more porous and they have caves. Most famous would be either the Crystal Cave which is actually a geode they drilled into while drilling a water well or Perry's Case where Oliver Hazard Perry stored powder and other supplies before the famous 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, when he vanquished the British fleet during the War of 1812

On the Bass Islands you can tell the difference in stone, since everything they built with it had eroded significantly over the years. Actually imported Kelleys Island limestone for their major building projects (municipal building, library, churches), and Kelleys Island limestone was used extensively in Cleveland as foundation stone and the break wall.
 

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Oh yeah, duh, if I had looked on your "location"...

Cool info about the limestone. I enjoy history. People do amazing stuff if given enough time. It sounds like they should outlaw pressure washers on Bass Island... keep things intact, ;-)>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, but then they'd have to stop wind and rain.

I looked up the geology map of Ohio, and Kelleys Island is in the Devonian (385 to 407 million years ago) period of dolomite limestone. The Bass Islands are part of the Silurian (416 to 423 million years ago, dolomite, anhydrite, gypsum, salt, shale), and there's town called Gypsum that was built for the workers of a gypsum mine. Right on the mainland within line of sight (if there was one) of the Bass Islands.

Kelleys Island has the largest example of glacial striations in the world (aside from the Soviet era claim that Siberia had bigger and better, but nobody ever showed a photograph).

And there are tons of glacial erratic, rounded granite stones in varying size around the island. Mostly found in piles where farmers clearing the fields left them. Several island houses have porches or are constructed with them, or have other structures made of those stones. I even have a piece of red granite sawn in half and polished from when I was a young teen, given to me by a fellow who worked for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Mounted on a piece of island cedar (northern red cedar) with a brass sticker that has the scientific name of the stone, the common name, my name and the learned man's name and date of presentation.

I've even unearthed minor striations that still have the piece of erratic left in the groove caused from the glacier's movement.

I was into geology at one point, have a small fossil collection with some very rare specimens (for this area at least).
 
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