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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 03-30-2013, 08:52 PM
ditrasetman ditrasetman is offline
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First wash on a Black 535i! What to wash and dry with to avoid paint swirls?

Good evening,

I have had my 2013 535i for months now, and I have been afraid to wash it. Yup, because it is a non-metallic black and the second I wash and dry this baby, I will have paint swirls.

What soap should I buy? What should I buy to put the soap on the car (sponge)? What should I use to dry the car (I have heard that the "Absorber" chamois is the best)?

I am quite afraid of trapped dirt found in whatever applicator/drying mechanism I use - causing swirls. I would like to be able to buy the goods at a PepBoys, and not have to order it.

What type of wax should I use? What type of applicator?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:25 PM
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DieselNY DieselNY is online now
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http://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-P...and-dry-a-car/
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2013, 10:28 PM
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Teemo Panda Teemo Panda is offline
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Hey,

I would recommend applying opti-coat on your 5 series,
it acts like a 2nd clear coat but this is much more scratch and swirl resistant compared to the stock clear coat which is soft and creates swirls ez.
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  #4  
Old 04-30-2013, 12:33 PM
dane6619 dane6619 is offline
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Mein Auto: 09 535i xDrive Sedan 4D
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditrasetman View Post
What soap should I buy? What should I buy to put the soap on the car (sponge)? What should I use to dry the car (I have heard that the "Absorber" chamois is the best)?
Sweet ride! Once you go black, you regret it...just kidding - a lot of careful detailing

I'm sure you know this but always use car wash soap, NOT dish soap, they can be degreasers and will remove wax (wax is essentially a grease)

I use a natural sea sponge, a sea wool sponge specifically. I have used many different sponges and mits and the natural sea wool sponge is by far the best. It's insanely soft, holds a ton of soap and water and most importantly, it releases dirt picked up off the car better than any other product - this significantly reduces swirls and scratches when washing your car. Not sure if Pep Boy's has them in stock though, may have to order.

I also use a Leather Chamois to dry. I found synthetic chamois like the absorber lack nap, or fibers, to pull dirt into the material and away from the paint when drying which can leave scratches in the clear coat. I've never have this problem with the natural chamois which has nap to absorb dirt particles into the leather. Furthermore, you can frequently rinse the chamois during the drying process. I believe I have seen the Tanner's Select Brand of natural chamois in Pep Boy's before, they are the best value for your money, IMO, when it comes to genuine chamois.

Hope this helps
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2013, 12:42 PM
ae86pwr ae86pwr is offline
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Originally Posted by DieselNY View Post

Great link!

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  #6  
Old 04-30-2013, 02:02 PM
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chuck92116 chuck92116 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dane6619 View Post
Sweet ride! Once you go black, you regret it...just kidding - a lot of careful detailing

I'm sure you know this but always use car wash soap, NOT dish soap, they can be degreasers and will remove wax (wax is essentially a grease)

I use a natural sea sponge, a sea wool sponge specifically. I have used many different sponges and mits and the natural sea wool sponge is by far the best. It's insanely soft, holds a ton of soap and water and most importantly, it releases dirt picked up off the car better than any other product - this significantly reduces swirls and scratches when washing your car. Not sure if Pep Boy's has them in stock though, may have to order.

I also use a Leather Chamois to dry. I found synthetic chamois like the absorber lack nap, or fibers, to pull dirt into the material and away from the paint when drying which can leave scratches in the clear coat. I've never have this problem with the natural chamois which has nap to absorb dirt particles into the leather. Furthermore, you can frequently rinse the chamois during the drying process. I believe I have seen the Tanner's Select Brand of natural chamois in Pep Boy's before, they are the best value for your money, IMO, when it comes to genuine chamois.

Hope this helps
I have read in several places that leather chamois damages the paint and cause more swirls.

I would stick with soft microfiber towels for drying.

http://www.slick-detailing.co.uk/ind...-refuse-to-use

http://www.carcleaningguru.com/why-y...-dry-your-car/
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Last edited by chuck92116; 04-30-2013 at 02:53 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2013, 02:19 PM
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ChrisF01 ChrisF01 is offline
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Get a CR Spotless System. I have one, refills are cheaper than going to a touch-less carwash.

http://www.costco.com/CR-SPOTLESS-De....11751987.html

I have a dozen microfiber mitts I bought at Autozone. Use one for wheels/windows (as grease/tar/harder dirt might scratch paint), and another for the bulk of the paint. I replace them every six months, about same time I replace the filter in the CR system.

I wash in one direction, like if you've painted. NEVER go back and forth, or in any circular motion. This is how you get swirls. I keep the hose flowing while I'm "painting" the car, so there is a constant stream of water flowing.

I only use the spotless system after I cleaned the entire outside of the car with the microfiber mitts. Basically you "brush" the dirty water off, make a couple trips around the car, washing the regular water off. Then you can let the car air dry in your garage without any water spots, even on black cars. Also I don't believe in using soap, it strips the wax off.

I'm VERY anal about my cars, the last black car I had, I had kept 3 years, never waxed, and using the above methods I had unnoticeable swirling after 3 years. You would have to have your nose to the paint to make out the faintest of swirling, it was that close to perfect.

My method might not be what everyone does, but I don't have swirl marks, and my cars and trucks are immaculate.

Good luck
Chris
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Last edited by ChrisF01; 04-30-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2013, 07:59 PM
casper casper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditrasetman View Post
Good evening,

I have had my 2013 535i for months now, and I have been afraid to wash it. Yup, because it is a non-metallic black and the second I wash and dry this baby, I will have paint swirls.

What soap should I buy? What should I buy to put the soap on the car (sponge)? What should I use to dry the car (I have heard that the "Absorber" chamois is the best)?

I am quite afraid of trapped dirt found in whatever applicator/drying mechanism I use - causing swirls. I would like to be able to buy the goods at a PepBoys, and not have to order it.

What type of wax should I use? What type of applicator?

Thanks!
Swirls are unavoidable, best you can do is minimize them.
I learned to live with them as long as they are not too bad.
I enjoy the car more now , swirls included.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2013, 08:29 PM
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SamS SamS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casper View Post
Swirls are unavoidable, best you can do is minimize them.
I learned to live with them as long as they are not too bad.
I enjoy the car more now , swirls included.
Not true. I picked up my Black Sapphire Metallic AH3 via Performance Center (i.e. no swirls upon delivery) and have very carefully washed and dried about 10 times and I'm still swirl free.

Technically there were swirls/scratches on the gloss black B-pillars when I got the car, but I took care of those with my Porter Cable + Menzerna compounding polish.
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