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Whether a car, motorbike or motorhome, pre-washing your vehicle is the most vital part of any wash routine. Overlook this step at your peril! The pre-wash stage has a significant effect on the rest of your wash process and the results that you will achieve.
The pre-wash stage essentially is the point at where we, with the use of chemical products only, look to remove as much dirt and grime as possible without making any physical contact with any of the vehicles exterior surfaces. If we skipped or looked past this pre-wash process and immediately began our two bucket wash method, all of the grime present on the vehicle would be picked up by our wash mitt and swirled and scratched across the vehicle causing unsightly damage.
It's essential to understand the importance of this pre-wash process and why we go to the trouble of completing it before we begin our contact wash.
The products we use for this process are specifically formulated and constructed solely for the pre-wash process. They lift dirt and grime away from the surface, allowing them to be easily pressure rinsed away. We can use a handful of products and variants of these products, so again, it's essential to understand when, why, and how to use them to gain the best results.
Nitty Gritty - Pre-Wash Degreaser
Nitty Gritty is our 'go to' pre-wash degreaser product and what we use for the initial product hit, especially if the vehicle is filthy or has a thicker layer of traffic film on the surface. This also has other uses, such as it's a fantastic engine bay cleaner thanks to its excellent degreasing properties and easy removal of bug splats. Generally applied to the lower portions of the vehicle,
including wheel arch linings at a required dilution, we recommend anywhere from 1:10 right up to 1:200. Your necessary dilution is determined by varying factors, the level of grime you're faced with or the task at hand if you use it for other purposes, such as engine bay cleaning. We suggest the use of our Duel Dilution Bottles for accurate dilution. Nitty Gritty can also be used with your Duel Snow Foam Lance, a great time saver and top tip, especially when faced with warmer weather. Applying via your snow foam lance will allow for a longer dwell time.
Why pH Neutral and Alkaline Snowfoam? Snow foams are generally pH neutral or slightly alkaline in their chemical make-up. It is designed to be applied via your snow foam lance only, and when used, they generate a thick foam that gently loosens and lifts grime whilst it dwells on the vehicle's surface. The foam will fall down the car, slowly pulling the dirt with it.
Our two snow foams are Engage pH Neutral Snow Foam and Assault Pre Wash Snow Foam, Engage being the pH-neutral product and Assault the alkaline formula. Always read the instructions on the product labels to guide you on the application and the amounts of product used. We are looking for an evenly applied foam that isn't too thick. A thick foam will only see a reduced cling time on the vehicle as it's heavier and will soon drop off, reducing your dwell time, effectiveness and economy of the product.
pH neutral snow foams are the desired choice if you have a wax or synthetic coating on the vehicle. Being neutral, you can use without fear of stripping back or removing any of your protection.
Alkaline snow foams are more suited when a deep clean is needed and generally pack more of a punch when it comes to cleaning power.
In short, we could say that pH neutral snow foam is the perfect choice for maintenance washes or between heavy-duty cleaning and alkaline for dirtier vehicles or vehicles with more stubborn road film, which is usually the case through the winter months.
Once we have safely completed our pre-wash and snow foam process, we then move on to the two bucket wash method. You can read a how-to guide on this here.