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I have a 2200 PSI pressure washer, a made for washing attachment that reduces pressure (less than thumb over hose) and mixes liquid chemical product (soap, I typically use Meguire's car shampoo and conditioner, stupid name but I'm sure their marketing department could show me research saying consumers would trust it over other terms), a real sponge, wash mitt (Armor All, cotton fingers on one side and a mesh on the other for more stubborn dirt)- using a bucket with product on the last 2.

I contend that anything rubbing the clear coat is making micro scratches and be more damaging than water pressure.

My dad and brother say the power washer pressure is too high, and brother says "It could even strip the paint, especially on the bumpers."

Now, I'm not an idiot, and would use the widest nozzle available (40 degrees and not the spot spray) and wouldn't get the tip close enough to penetrate and lift the paint.

I washed my Focus today (which my dad holds the title to, long story there), waxed it extra heavy- 2 applications of Meguire's liquid gold (its white and there's a large mulberry tree where we park so the month of purple bird crap is going to start soon). Then sprayed off their '97 Grand Caravan with 200+K miles.

Used the wash mitt on the windows only, and of course no wax. The joke is the dirt is holding the paint together over the rust bubbles.

2 1/2 hours of work, my folks returned from senior lunch (county health department program which makes sure senior citizens get a balanced meal a day, like Meals on Wheels but at a restaurant) just as I had put the last piece of cleaning kit away.

I told my mom "I just got done.", and she said "Well, you can get it all back out and do mine now." Like I didn't have a choice.

Washed and waxed her Town & Country and was putting things away again. She asked me (actually said "Would you" or "How about" and please) if I had cleaned the interior windows. I said I hadn't, so she gave me Windex and some rags.

Did her car, then mine. Was putting things away, and she said "Don't forget the old van."

Now, we use that in place of my dad's Fruck (1990 Ranger XLT long bed 4.0 towing package with almost 190K when he junked it. 3 tone, grey, black and rust). Since there's no house pick up of garbage we put bags of trash in there until someone goes to the dump.

They also aren't very careful about keeping the windows closed and there are spiders living in there, plenty of food supply, dead bugs, spider webs and crap (literally) on the glass, door panels, handles, dash, everywhere.

I went ahead with the rag I'd used on the first vehicles, maybe adding some product if I got stubborn dirt. Even wiped of the (DUSTY) dash, since when I sprayed the windshield I could see the spots where the Windex settled.

Got a thank you from her for that. My dad barely noticed, or if he had didn't say anything.

What he doesn't know is when they were out at lunch I used the pressure washer and attachment. Had to work fast to get it done and put away before they came home, as last year he forbid me to use it "on anything he owns."

I don't think its harmful to paint or clear coat. In fact, brushless car washes I'm sure are better than brushes, and they have to have higher PSI than what I used.
 

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Pressure washers are fine. I used to use a 4000 psi with a 40 degree tip everyday on customers cars when I mobile detailed. You just have to know the safe distance from the car to the tip per the pressure of your setup. 25° and 40° Put your hand out in the water stream about 3 feet away and move it tawards the nozzle. When it starts to feel a little like pins and needles but does not cause pain in your hand thats about a safe distance. Do not use the karcher rotating 0° nozzle thats ment for driveways or side walks and such on your car it's too harsh even though its spinning like crazy. I have a 1600 psi karcher electric unit I have had for 13 years. With a 25° tip I go pretty close to the paint to get stuff off but thats my cars. I will not however use any kind of brush on my paint or that mesh side on that sponge. My 03 241k mile focus's paint still looks just fine and its only had about 6 months of garage time in its life. Use a high quality clay bar and a 2 or 3 step waxing with a variable speed orbital (harbor fraight sells a decent one now) if you dont know how to use a high speed buffer and as long as there is a clear coat left on whatever car your working on it can look like new.

04 suburban with 160k


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