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    Thread: safe PSI to wash car with?

    1. 08-13-2002 12:48 PM #1
      I have a commercial pressure washer...would it be safe to wash my car with this? Does anyone know what a safe PSI would be for washing cars? I don't want to strip my paint off!

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    3. 08-13-2002 02:26 PM #2
      I was my car 99% of the time at my local $1.25 Coin Wash. I think the PSI is 2200 and they also have a 2800, I use that rarely. I have washed all my cars this way, and the paint is perfect. I also hand wax about 3 times a year.
      Here is the way I was mine:
      Rinse....Soap Foam Brush....Rinse.....Wax Spray.....SPOT FREE RINSE!!(this is the key) I alway spot free. Then Expressway dry, and when I get home, finish it off with the Absorber. Works great.

    4. 08-13-2002 02:38 PM #3
      quote:
      ....Soap Foam Brush....
      Hmmm, I've heard a lot of people say NOT to use the brushes at DIY car washes, because of the amount of dirt and crap that gets built up in them...this would obviously leave your car open to lots of scratches, and having a black car, mine would be much more prone to this...I've stuck to touchless car washes so far...doesn't do a GREAT job, but I'm also not running the risk of scratching my baby

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    6. 08-13-2002 04:51 PM #4
      Have to agree on the potential damage by the brushes. They are nylon and made to last. If you have a precious paint job, I wouldn't use them. Use or keep a couple of wash towels in your car instead. ...dean

    7. 08-22-2002 11:12 PM #5
      ok, my pressure washer is 2300 psi...is this safe to wash my car with?

    8. 08-22-2002 11:53 PM #6
      mjpd1, I suspect most of us feel the pressure is an issue with car paint but believe you're really only taking off the wax. Keep a safe distance, don't park the sprayer on a specific area to remove, like road tar. I'd say cleaning swipes of about 4-6 inches at a time is prime. Consider using the sprayer only for getting the majority of the grime off then wash with a towel or mit. Best, of course, is a bucket and a mit but sometimes we've got to deal with what we have. ...dean
      P.S. You might pop this question on autopia-carcare.com ..d



      [Modified by tec243, 5:04 AM 8-23-2002]

    9. Member matt007's Avatar
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      08-23-2002 12:51 AM #7
      I borrowed my grandparents' pressure washer, and it cleaned my car well
      I kept it farther than a few feet away though
      I figure if it doesn't hurt my skin it won't hurt my paint, so I judge how far away I use it on how comfortably I can spray it at my foot

    10. 08-24-2002 03:45 AM #8
      I think as long as you are using clean (not recycled or grey) water, and you move the hose pretty quickly, most pressures you use without much recoil will be fine.
      I only use the high pressure hose under the car and in the wheel wells.
      Andrew

    11. 08-26-2002 12:08 AM #9
      mjpd1,
      Before you use your pressure washer for detailing purposes take care to read the manufacturer's usage instructions or owners manual (it should have special settings/surfaces guidelines) and keep in mind that there are other vulnerable surfaces on your vehicle in addition to the paint.
      I own a SMALL karcher pressure washer. It's psi is static at 1300, and it came with a fan-type wand as well as a rotating-type spray wand that intensifies the washer's excoriating effect considerably. Enough to cause surface damage to tire rubber, as it turns out. I know because I've done it.
      In my case, the karcher owners manual stated specifically that the rotating spray wand was intended for use on stone or cement and cautioned about the potential for damage if used on surfaces other than these. And it will take paint off the side of a house, I know because I've done that too. And it lets me clean stuff like my fiberglass canoe and the ceiling on the front porch without using chemicals yak yak yak whatever. Anyway for vehicles I used it on certain surfaces (wheels, tires, stainless steel, chrome, wheel well liners, lowerbody and underbody cladding, et al) under certain circumstances (such as removing layered bumperstickers from the bumper of a 1995 volvo 850) with great results and over time I think I simply became a bit cavalier (trans: CARELESS and STUPID) about how safe it was or wasn't.
      All this is by way of explaining why 2300 psi sounds like a lot to me. A grain of salt, as it were.
      hb
      (aka proverbial rhetorician)

    12. 08-26-2002 09:14 AM #10
      thanks for the info hb...I'll be sure to be careful and lower the psi on my washer as much as possible...

    13. 08-26-2002 05:27 PM #11
      quote:
      ....Soap Foam Brush....
      Hmmm, I've heard a lot of people say NOT to use the brushes at DIY car washes, because of the amount of dirt and crap that gets built up in them...this would obviously leave your car open to lots of scratches, and having a black car, mine would be much more prone to this...I've stuck to touchless car washes so far...doesn't do a GREAT job, but I'm also not running the risk of scratching my baby
      Like I said " I have washed all my cars this way, and the paint is perfect."
      Remember it's a car not a newborn child!

    14. 08-26-2002 07:19 PM #12
      quote:
      Remember it's a car not a newborn child!
      Hehe, well since this is my first car, and I don't plan on having any children for a very long time, I think I'll just stick with the notion that it is a newborn, and treat it as such ...and you can't possibly have washed a black car repeatedly in this manner, and were satisfied with the results! If a non-cotton towel can leave marks on the paint, think what those hard-bristled brushes are gonna do to it!!

    15. 08-27-2002 10:35 AM #13
      quote:
      and you can't possibly have washed a black car repeatedly in this manner, and were satisfied with the results! If a non-cotton towel can leave marks on the paint, think what those hard-bristled brushes are gonna do to it!!
      I owned a black car, green car, and now my Jetta is white, and have had no problems. Don't use the brush hard, just use it. I always spray off the brush to get rid of loose dirt and stuff, but if millions of people wash their cars this way...and no one has ever brought up a complaint (that I know of) it must be doing something right.
      Just wax/buff your car by hand every 3-4 months and you'll be fine. I like my car clean, it stays clean...but at the end of the day...I remember...it's still a CAR. Scratches come with the territory...chips/dirt..it's meant to be driven and it will get dings in the paint.
      I think VW owners....really baby their cars waaay too much. If you don't use the correct washing method...you're destroying your paint..
      Anyway....good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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