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Volcanic Ash Cleaning


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#1 Russ77

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:10 AM

Seeing as there are reports of Volcanic ash making it to ground level in Scotland, I thought I'd post something up with my thoughts on the best way to clean your car if it's covered in the stuff without damaging your paint work too much.

This is by no means a definitive guide, hopefully just a common sense procedure to minimise the risk of swirls/scratches due the tiny particals of glass in the ash.

I would advise to wash your car as little as possible if these conditions remain as they are, the more times you wash it when it's covered in this stuff, the more chance you have of causing damage :wink:

The two bucket method is a must, so fill one bucket with shampoo/water (up the concentration to ensure you have lots of foam) and one with just clean water.

Leave your wash mitt in the clean water to soften up (DO NOT use a sponge!!!!)

Using an open hose, thoroughly soak the paintwork.

If you have a device that can spray shampoo/snowfoam then use this, let the shampoo/snowfoam dwell for a few minutes and gently rinse off with an open hose again.

Wash from top to bottom using wash mitt, rinsing in the clean water after cleaning a panel (probably a good idea rub the mitt with your hands while dunking it in the clean water and don’t let it touch the bottom of the bucket.  If you want to be ultra cautious rinse again using the hose).

Once you’ve cleaned the whole car, rinse with moderate pressure, then with an open hose and dry by blotting the water left behind as opposed to wiping across the paintwork.

IMO, it would be a little too risky doing too much in the way of polishing under these conditions.  If you want to top up your wax protection, Turtle Wax, Wax it Wet is a good product and is used during the drying stage.

HTH and if anyone can think of any other pointers or anything I missed feel free to add  8)

#2 Gandalf

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:15 AM

If you car is still clean, wash and wz it now to give it a proper layer of wax to protect the paint.

Volcanic ash is not ordinary grit obviously...It's angualr, sharp and is capableof scratching and abrading glass quite easily. It's also possible for it to chemically react, especially with chrome if it gets wet.

I'd not touch it with anything until I'd first flooded the car off and washed as much off with a hose first. A large dollop of shampoo on the roof, and a lot of low pressure water from a hose to swill off as much as you can. Then I'd do the 2 bucket routine as you say Russ