According to Big Motoring World specialists, the most important thing to remember about the wash process is that, more often than not, you are working on dirty surfaces. Your choice of methods and products is, therefore, more important. You want to gently lift off grime and dirt without damaging the paintwork or stripping away sealant or wax protection.
For this reason, the Big Motoring World Canterbury specialists recommend using high-quality lambswool wash mitt—instead of a traditional yellow sponge—and mild shampoo along with the two-bucket wash method.
If you look at traditional sponges used for washing, it should be obvious that they are not well suited for the task. They provide no way of safely lifting away dirt particles from your BMW’s exterior surfaces. Instead, dirt particles trapped on the surface of the sponge move around over the underlying surface, creating fine scratches referred to as swirl marks. It worse in the winter months when coarse particles of grit and road salt accumulate on the exterior surfaces of your BMW between washes.
Unlike sponges, lambswool wash mitts have a deep pile that safely draws away dirt particles from the surfaces being washed. Furthermore, the fairly loose pile makes it possible to rinse out the particles easily, says the Big Motoring World team.
These benefits are reinforced by the two-bucket wash method, in which the first bucket is filled with suds and the second bucket is filled with rinse water. The idea is to load the mitt with suds, wash one panel of your BMW and the rinse it thoroughly in the second bucket to release any trapped dirt particles. Thereafter, reload the mitt with suds and move on to the next panel. It is a simple but highly effective idea recommended by the Big Motoring World Snodland team.
The only disadvantage of using lambswool wash mitts is that they are rather delicate and prone to damage by harsh use and snagging. Big Motoring World specialists recommend switching to a microfibre wash mitt when washing the wheels and the insides of wheel arches. These areas tend to suffer considerable accumulation of gritty particles and also have more potential snags.
However, microfibre mitts have a shorter pile than lambswool mitts, so make sure you rinse them off regularly and thoroughly in order to minimize marking your BMW’s delicate alloy rims. The risk of marking the rims can be further mitigated by prewashing the wheels and the insides of wheel arches with a soft-brittle wheel cleaning brush.
Choosing the right shampoo is also important because it needs to be tough enough to dissolve the grime and dirt, and gentle enough not to strip or degrade your BMW’s sealant or wax protection. Most of the shampoos sold on high street stores are strong and Big Motoring World Prestige specialists advise against them. If you wash and protect your car regularly, mild shampoo will be enough, because any grime or dirt will be loosely bonded and, therefore, easy to remove.