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Car wash/paint protection advice

After 6 months of only hand washing my car, I have a few mild scratches in the clear coat. Nothing anyone would notice except me, but they drive me nuts.

Any advice on how to remove them?

Any specific products recommended?

Hard to get rid of fine scratches. But you can minimize future scratches by using the minimum contact wash technique that 'Junkman' advocates on You Tube.

Did you follow good washing practices such as two bucket method etc.? Mechanical polish can remove them but you probably should pay to have a good detailer to do it. For washing the car I recommend Chemical Guys' super sud shampoo and foam gun or when you want to do it inside the garage the Optimum No Rinse wash product. You can check reviews of these products on Amazon. People are swear by them including many professional detailers.

Thanks for the advice.

b=Been using two bucket approach and foam gun.

Trying to touch the car during the wash as little as possible.

Does a coat of wax help?

How often do people recommend waxing?

A couple of things:

1) I find a lot of folks do fine of the washing part, then end up scratching the finish during drying, so make sure you are using good quality waffle microfiber cloths, rage the tags off, and make sure you are not wearing any jewelry, watches, etc--better still get something like the MasterBlaster so you don't have to touch your car at all

2) If the starches are mild, a good coat of was should fill them in and make them less noticable.


where do you live. We've got even deep scratches removed from a BMW 540 that we are turning the lease in at the end of November 2013.

We'll get our Model S 85KwHr on 11.22.13.
Yyaii !

Please search these forums with and also go to TMC and read up there. The TM factory paint is very soft (CA VOC compliant) and scratches easily. You need to consider paint protection (OptiCoat, CQuartz) or film.

Only had my MS for 11 days, but yesterday used QuickDetail to remove accumulated dust and bird droppings. Works for me and takes only about 20 minutes - if you're slow.

"The Absorber" available at Auto Zone/Amazon. Best water remover ever!

Kind of a rubbery feel to the absorber but..... No lint. No streaks. NO WATER! ..... smooth glass finish in one wipe! Lasts for years and washable.

Sooo soapy pressure wash... rinse.... wipe! DONE!

I use Menzerna polishes and a 7424XP buffer with 4" pads. It gets kinda hot with the smaller pads but I've found it's the only way to get decent correction on hard CeramiClear finishes like my Mercedes without a rotary.....The Model S with its softer paint will definitely mean a change in technique.

The rule goes you can only minimize swirls and scratches, not prevent them completely. You'll likely polish a couple times a year, though not as intense once you've done a moderate correction...Use 2-bucket method with grit guards, foam cannon if you got a pressure washer, and always keep your microfibers clean. I use waffleweaves to dry. Blackfire Wet Diamond paint sealant and the occasional Midnight Sun wax is all I use now. Some of us more off the deep end use products like CR Spotless which completely softens the water and you don't even have to dry as the water won't leave any spots.

If you go off the deep end in soft water, do you sink faster? ;p

I am using surface protection tape to protect my car's paint. It prevents scratches, ageing and stains. You should try this product once.

Here is what people need to understand about scratches, no matter how fine they are, the only way to get rid of them is really not getting rid of them. You have to bring the surface down to the level of the scratch. "Swirl removers" are either temporary fillers to hide the scratch or they are polishes which removes a layer, albeit a microscopic one, of paint. The more you polish, the thinner your paint is getting. That is why there is a concern of "burning" through the pain when using a high speed polisher. Since most cars have clear coat, you don't see the paint coming off. Clear coat is paint without pigment. Apply the mildest cleaner to a solid color, single stage paint and you will see the color on the rag/applicator. That is you removing paint. At the most, I would recommend a polish once a year.

jordanrichard@h.. is right. I don't recommend polishing every year you will wear the clear coat down over time. I recommend having the paint corrected and coated with a hard coating like Gtechniq C1 or Opti Coat pro. Then using a foamer to wash it and blow it dry. This will keep the washing scratches to a minimum. If you have more questions I am or one of my network friends will be happy to help.

What is meant by "foamer?"

@Seattle Sid I believe they're referring to a device that attaches to the end of your hose. It contains soap and can be set to spray different concentrations of soap mixed with water (suds) or clear water for rinsing.


Soap with tons of bubbles to remove the outer layer of dirt. A foam gun to spread the shampoo is ideal.

I had applied OptiCoat to my car previously and used the foam gun + maxs sud soap to wash my car yesterday. I just rinsed the car after the foams dropped to the ground and dried it with a new leaf blower.

There were no washing mitts, towels, water buckets, soap buckets, or any other products involved in washing the body. Although the rims and tires had to be washed and cleaned separately to get all the grimes off the wheels.

Look at these two for example.

Note: This combo won't wash off rock salt from a snow storm. For truly dirty cars, you'd still need washing mitts and traditional 2 buckets washing method to get the deep clean.

@JT - "I believe they're referring to a device that attaches to the end of your hose."

I don't know about you buddy, but I'm not gonna attach any foreign objects to my hose!!!

Mathew98 +1. Too often I have seen people with their cars in the self serve carwash pays, with the power washer at full blast, 3 inches from their paint. It makes me cringe everytime. They think is is going to get rid of the salt, it won't. You want a nice thick lather of soap and the softest brush/mit you can find. The local carwash I go to has genuine boar's hair brushes with thick lather constantly coming out of it. This way any dirt that gets on the bristles, comes off the bristles.

@Mathew98 Have as many kids as you like, Matt. :-)

@JT - Hence the need for a seven seats for the MS! And I just traded in the hybrid for an 8 passengers minivan as a backup. ;(

Thanks for the info. Need to lay in the supplies. I've been taking my old car to those self-serve wash places, with a boars hair brush, too. I've always sprayed the brush with high-power soap to clean off whatever was on it. Who knows how effective? I hand wash my wife's car with lots of soap and a high quality mitt, and two buckets. Getting Xpel/Gteching for the Tesla and plan to baby it like crazy.

I have been drying my MS with Ammo Hydrate and a super absorbent towel from Chemical Guys. Results are amazing and cured my waterspot issue as well. Great videos on his

Highly recommend the 2 bucket wash and a foamer with Chemical Guys Honeydew foam.

If you are interested in the absolutely highest quality microfiber cloths (not China) check out

This stuff is super high quality, but also cheaper than any place else I have seen. Used by most pros.

They have very thick wax removal and cleaning towels with no tags or scratchy edging.

Got this tip from The Junkman.

SeattleSid The Foam Lance attachment or "Foamer" Its a great tool to lift the dust, dirt and grim from the surface of the paint. Basically the less you touch the paint the less chance you are going to marring or swirl the paint. I would Foam wash, Rinse and blow dry. blow dry with a leaf blower of Master Blaster. If you use the Micro fiber towels than you increase the chance of marring. I would blow dry as much as possible.

epac. Ammo NYC is great. Larry is a great guy with expert advice.

My buddy Rob at the Towel Pros has some awesome Micro Fiber towels if that is the way you want to go.

If you guys have more questions let me know I love teaching and I love TESLAS

When would it be ok to add a protective coat on the new paint? I.e. When has the paint hardened enough? "Regular" cars don´t advise coating in the first 12 months or so?

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