Sign in to follow this  
Jonny88

Antique car washing question

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody, I am curious to get ideas on how you all wash your classic and antique cars, this might sound like a silly question. I am the new owner of a 1951 Oldsmobile Super 88 and wanted to know if there is a certain way or product that is better than the other. The car has all the chrome on it and has a older paint job with WWW tires. Any help would be great. Also I am new at cleaning chrome, is there certain products to get or a proper way to clean it? Thanks guys

Jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably not up to snuff for detailing for a car show, but last summer I was introduced to the concept of simply using a damp microfiber cloth immediately followed by a dry microfiber cloth to clean the car. Works remarkably well for my "driver" quality old car. Flexible: You can dampen the one cloth and put it into a sealed ziploc bag and have everything you need to clean up your car when you reach the destination. Cheap: Buy the microfiber cloths once and then simply launder as necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My old cars I don't wash unless they are barn fresh and need to get 20 years of dirt and bird doo off.

I clean dust off with a California duster. You can't beat it. Clean all the dust off your car in less time than you could get a hose out. Bugs and what not I clean off with spray and wipe products like Mcguires has Ibiz has a spray wax I use more like a cleaner.

I use Mothers mag and Aluminum Polish on scuzzy chrome. Nice chrome can just be cleaned with the same spray detailer and waxed as needed.

I never wash my old cars. I try to keep from getting them wet. No sense in dumping all that water in places it takes forever to dry out of. It's just asking for rust. Old car seals don't seal well aginst 50 and up PSI water pressure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much like AuburnSeeker I go for the minimal approach unless it is really dirty. I use Spray and Wipe from Poor Boys (cheaper than Mcguires and I'm cheap) or a California duster depending on degrees of dirt. If really dirty, out comes the wash bucket with a dash of Simply Green and warm water. Micro fiber towels to dry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have never used a California duster you need to know that you don't wash them. They have a treatment on them that attracts and traps the dust from the surface of the vehicle and it seems the "dirtier"they get, the better they work. :D But you only use them to take dust off not actual dirt. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have found the California Car Duster to be great (do not settle for imitations!)

For a newly acquired driver like the Olds I would:

Wash with a car wash solution, not dishwashing detergent. If the car is very dirty I might use dish detergent the initial time, but never again after this treatment. If the surface is rough or has tar, bugs, tree sap, etc I would clean the upper surfaces with a clay bar kit, using as directed.

Then use the Meguiars numbered 3 step system with liquid:

1. Paint Cleaner (may not be needed on areas treated with clay bar)

2. Polish

3. Carnuba Wax

If the chrome does not have rust or rough pitting I would treat it and the stainless with these three products too. If your plastic lenses are dull use the polish on them. This is a lot of work (since you go over the car three times) but results are great and after a good initial cleaning to get it in shape future treatments are only needed once a year or less.

A very fussy gent with a perfect black MG told me of this treatment years ago and I have used it ever since. Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're anything like me, nearly every time I showed my old cars, it would rain. I never trailered them....always drove them. So upon returning home, I HAD to wash the car. Always wash in the SHADE and start at the top (roof) and work down. Wet car good first, then using a bucket-full of warm water with a good car-wash product (Meguire's Car Wash, Turtle Wax Car wash, etc) and most importantly, a GENUINE lamb's wool wash mitt. (Do NOT buy a faux/fake wool mitt) They actually sell genuine ones at Wal-Mart. (HINT: LOOK INSIDE of mitt to see if it is real lamb's wool...it will look like suede-leather on the inside.) Completely submerge mitt into the wash water until mitt is fully saturated, and begin on your roof. Rinse roof, and work downward. Swish your mitt frequently. Do not let surface dry on it's own. Water will spot on dark colors. Wash wheels & tires last! Use SimpleGreen on whitewalls with a natural-bristle brush rather than a plastic-bristle one. I used to use Wesley's Bleche-White, but you must be VERY CAREFUL not to overspray onto painted wheels or any chrome. It DOES get whitewalls white, but try to use it infrequently as possible, because it breaks down the rubber over time. SimpleGreen does a good job, and is safer. The best drying towels are the micro-fiber ones. Use several, rather than one. Remember to wash inside your doorjambs too. Dress the black part of the tires with a good rubber protectant from Stoner, Armor-All, Mother's or Meguire's. IF you need a CLEANER-wax, use Mother's, or Meguire's, then finally use my favorite wax, Meguire's NXT Generation2 WAX to make the shine DEEP. I've had 2 black cars, and these worked the best for me. I also used Mother's Carnuba waxes too, and they are excellent.

Use #0000 steel-wool lightly on weathered chrome to take off any MINOR rusting, then a good chrome polish and finish with NXT Generation Wax.

If you drive to a show and your car needs a dusting off/detailing, use a product like Meguire's FINAL INSPECTION with a soft cloth. Spray on surface, then wipe off immediately. Use 100% COTTON baby diapers (if you can find them - - I get mine from a fellow at Hershey behind the stadium), or MICRO-FIBER cloths to do this. I actually prefer the microfiber cloths for this, and they are easily available.

FINALLY: NEVER use dishwashing detergent. Never put your vehicle away dirty. Wash it, dry it, invest in a GOOD custom-made cover for it. I also ran a dehumidifier nearby to take care of the places you cannot dry.:)

Edited by Dick380185
fix (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some good answers there. I use Mcquires car wash. Read instructions so as not to make fine scratches. They make a fine Natural Shine for vinyl. Use a leather specific product for leather. Avoid Armour All original on interior areas, it attracts dust. They make a dust free blend for interiors. For stainless chrome etc, I found the best is Wenol. The red type in a "toothpaste Tube" is fantastic to finish up the standard polish. Wenols standard polish is equal Simi Chrome or Maas . On a windshield, try Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami. Tires I agree with Simple Green, 600wt wet/dry paper and a brush. Bleach-White does a better job, but dries out rubber. This was told to me by Coker Tire. Have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For dust I use the California Duster upon returning from a show, but remember to shake it out after every pass and run your fingers through it to dislodge any particles it may have picked up. I use an instant detailer on my daily driver but dont believe in it for my show vehicle. My wax of choice is Zymol and the same spritz of water used to set the wax , removes any road film that remains after the dusting! If I'm caught in a downpour that I have to drive through however, I hose down the car and wash it using a car wash concentrate like Turtle Wax and then rinse!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every spring I wash, clean, detail and wax my car, in this case a driver Mustang. For the rest of the season the California duster does the trick. We have holy streets here so occasionally there is tire splash behind the wheel openings. That is dealt with a damp rag. then I use one of the quick detailing products and it stays quite presentable.

post-59904-14313851043_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Water is the enemy of old steel, as most of us know. The day before I know I'm going to use water, I shoot WD-40 on it so it's visibly dry (so to speak) before I wash. In the door's of movable window's, along the chrome (beltline, windshields f/r) and fender seams. Water will seep into those places and takes forever to evaporate. This method provides a moisture barrier/repellent in those hidden spots. Hand washing removes any visual remnants of the oil.

WWW tires like Westleys bleach wite and a good brush. I found NAPA has a good tire shine that doesn't yellow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I leave ALL of the dirt on all of my cars. Ever since I started watching the "Antiques Road Show", I have stuck to the "leave the patina alone" theory. I don't want to devalue my vehicles by washing off the antique dust, fingerprints and scars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill's very favorite cloth to wash our cars, the car/camper trailer and our RV with is a large piece of one of his old, thin wool shirts. It does not leave scratches on anything but the texture of the cloth gets even the wost grime off. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once talked to a funeral director what they used to wash their cars and hearses. He told me they always add a cup of kerosene to the soap bucket. That kerosene would coat all the insides of the body. Made a lot of sense to me, although I never did it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once talked to a funeral director what they used to wash their cars and hearses. He told me they always add a cup of kerosene to the soap bucket. That kerosene would coat all the insides of the body. Made a lot of sense to me, although I never did it.

I'm sure there's a cremation joke in there somewhere, but I'm too tired to go looking for it.

I'm also thinking that coating your car with flammable liquid is an exceptionally bad idea. Probably good for the funeral business, though, as long as you don't mind the closed-casket memorial service.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sort of off subject,but had a freind coat his chassis with all the used oil.He was a mechanic,What a chassis,nothing ever rusted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't wash them, period. My Nova hasn't seen water in 15 years, and my 40 Olds doesn't see water either. I keep them covered, waxed, and use a CA duster. In fact I have 2. If I get some bug juice on them, I use a cleaner such as Meguires.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow I have gotten some good advice, and some funny advice. I appreciate all your guy's help. I do have a cali duster that I use, but it does not get off the finger prints. The car is acually very clean and has been garaged all its life. There is surface rust on the frame and underside of some of the door, that was the only concern that I had at the time I made this post. I will continue to use the California Dusters I have, and will use some of the chemicals you all described above, Simply Green was recomended several times, I will go with that. Oh and Amphicar and msmazcol funny I liked that. Thanks once again guys, appreciate it greatly.

Jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this