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Thread: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

          
  1. #1
    Registered Member Mary S's Avatar
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    Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    I filled out a contact form on a touchless car website to ask them if their car wash stripped existing wax from the car. Here is the question and answer. Maybe she's telling the truth.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi,

    I have heard in various car care forums that automatic touchless car washes use detergents that strip the existing wax off of your vehicle. They say in order to clean the car without friction it is necessary to use harsh detergents that will strip the wax.

    If I used you automatic car wash, would it strip the existing wax from my vehicle?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    No, it will not strip the existing wax from your vehicle. I highly recommend that you purchase the EXPRESS wash, however. The Express level does not add any other polishes or protectants since you already have wax on the vehicle.



    Barb Magee
    EVP & Chief Customer Care Officer

    Laser Wash Group LLC
    4 Elatia Circle
    Pittsford, NY 14534

    585.218.0597

    800.953.0598

    Fax: 585.218.0599

    bmagee@touchfreecarwashing.com

    website: www.touchfreecarwashing.com

  2. #2
    Registered Member Mary S's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    Here is my experience with a car wash like this not too long ago, maybe earlier this year. I didn't usually wash my car that often. I washed my car and got the most expensive wash, which includes the wax protection and so forth.

    The next week it rained and my car looked pretty filthy, so I took it back to the car wash. Since I had just washed it the previous week, I just got the cheapest wash, the one that doesn't have any wax protection.

    As I was coming out of the car wash (which doesn't have a dry cycle), I noticed the water was beading on the hood of the car. I figured it must have been from the wax of the previous week, since I had never hand waxed my car.

    Maybe some car washes use different chemicals that are harsh.

    Is there any way we can get a definitive answer on this from Meguiars? Have your chemists call their chemists and come up with an official answer?

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    Registered Member Mary S's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    This was on their FAQ page:

    Should I use dish detergent on my car at home?

    No! Dishwashing detergents are designed to strip grease and grime and will actually strip off any wax protection your car has. The solutions used in our automatic and self-serve wash bays are specifically designed for cars.


    After seeing this on their site, that is what prompted me to email them. If they are aware of what Dawn can do to your car, well maybe they know their washes won't do the same thing.

  4. #4
    Formerly majeiks Matt Majeika's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    Very interesting interaction with the Customer Care Officer. I'd be interested to see what others have to say on the issue. I use touchless washes in the harsh depths of winter in New England because it's just too cold and gross to wash it by hand.
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    Registered Member roushstage2's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    Quoting this from someone on another forum. It's well said, so why mess with it:
    The final rinse in the touchless wash (and really any professional car wash), will contain a "drying agent" (aka rinse aid, clearcoat sealant, or "hot wax") which is a dilute silicone/mineral oil emulsion to make the car bead water and thus dry off quickly. Some of these are formulated to be reasonably persistent and can last for up to 30 days or so.

    Water beading on a freshly washed car doesn't mean much.
    That being said, someone who owns a car wash isn't likely to say, "Yeah, it takes everything right off," if they hope to keep volume up.


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    Registered Member Mary S's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    I wrote her back to ask her what brand of car wash products they used.

    I also found a company that sells a full line of car wash chemicals for both frictionless and touchless car washes and emailed them to ask about stripping of wax.

    Maybe my water beading experience doesn't mean anything, although I had never noticed it before. Usually it sheets right after I wash and wax it the way they give it a final spray to make it sheet.

    My guess is there are some carwash chemicals that are bad, maybe some that aren't. Some washes may be bad, maybe some aren't.

    The way the products are applied, first an alkaline product, then an acidic product, and so forth probably make a difference. It wouldn't be as easy as just capturing some of the foam and taking it home and testing it on a junk hood.

    But I do know, my car doesn't seem to have suffered too much from having been washed in touchless wash systems most of its life.

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    Registered Member roushstage2's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    Clean, say your hood, use the plastic baggie trick to ensure there is no wax. Wax it, and redo the baggie trick to ensure there is a coating of wax on there and to tell the difference in feel. Go through the car wash and test it again after?


  8. #8
    Registered Member Mary S's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    Quote Originally Posted by roushstage2 View Post
    Clean, say your hood, use the plastic baggie trick to ensure there is no wax. Wax it, and redo the baggie trick to ensure there is a coating of wax on there and to tell the difference in feel. Go through the car wash and test it again after?
    That sounds like a good idea. Either on the hood or the roof.

    1. Strip the wax.
    2. Divide the area into sections.
    3. Apply:

    No Wax.
    1 coat of Gold Class
    1 coat of NXT 2.0
    2 coats of NXT 2.0
    2 coats of Gold Class
    1 coat of NXT 2.0 plus 1 coat of Gold Class
    2 coats of NXT 2.0 plus 2 coats of Gold Class


    4.Compare the wax protection on all the areas (beading, sheeting, whatever)

    5.Go thru the basic no-wax car wash.

    6. Compare the wax protection on all areas to the results on step 4 and see if there is a change.

    Possibly repeat step 5 and 6.

  9. #9
    aka: 23jam J. A. Michaels's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    Can not speak for the car wash you contacted.
    However they do seem somewhat knowledgeable. Maybe they are on the up and up.
    quality creates its own demand

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    Registered Member Mary S's Avatar
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    Re: Touchless car washes and stripping of wax

    She responded to me, and this is the line of products that they use:

    http://www.lustrabear.com/

    The thing is, they have like dozens of presoaks, dozens of polishes, dozens of drying agents. They are almost as bad as Meguiar's (or as good, depending how you look it) as far as choice goes.

    I think they use different mixes for different times of year too.

    The car wash in our area has a very similar wash cycle to the one in New York that I contacted. They very well may use the same line of products, but I would have to ask them exactly which ones they use.

    I can't imagine any recommended choice of products would strip your wax, unless it is deliberate because it is putting another one on.

    Well, when I get the time I may run a quick test. I guess you would expect each wash to impact the wax finish some, but not to strip it altogether like body solvent or Dawn would.

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