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    Default What do You use to wash and wax truck

    Before we go there, I have done a search and either did not ask the right question or no one else has.

    What do you use to wash and wax your trucks and why.

    We have just been using what ever someone brougth in.

    We have a new truck now and want to take the best care we can.
    What is least harmful on decals and stripes?

    I know about the mothers and flitz balls, good stuff.

    What about hte body wash and wax?

    Thanks

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    We use the full Mother's line, from soap to wax. I guess there is about 5 or 6 steps to a full truck detail, but that is only done once a year right now. We also use the powerball with the wax and polish for the wheels and aluminum diamond plate.

    For day to day washing, just the mothers car wash, or even the armor all or mr clean self-rinsing car wash is good enough. I also have some tins of never dull cotton and an industrial aerosol stainless cleaner for mid-season detailing of the chrome and stainless.

    I keep a container of armor all or similar citrus wipes for the interior (cuts through minor grease and oil buildup), and I love simoniz window cleaner. It comes with a cloth in the cap, and provides an excellent streak free finish.
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    Calling Captain Gonzo......Captain Gonzo, report to this thread......
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjlffire View Post
    What do you use to wash and wax your trucks and why.
    I'm disapponited that no one has offered the most obvious answer. . .


    PROBIES!


    Seriously, for washing we use a commercial new car wash (comes in 55 gal drums, but we use the 5 gal buckets). The local auto dealers use the same stuff and it's reasonably cheap considering it works well.
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    Whatever vehicle soap comes from the job when the bosses order it and when we run out of that(which is often)...dish soap or whatever we can find.

    We wax the rigs once a year and it is usually turtle wax or whatever is in the local hardware store.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Calling Captain Gonzo......Captain Gonzo, report to this thread......
    Reporting as requested...

    I'm a clean car fanatic and have my own detailing venture on the side. I had an article about apparatus detailing published in the November 1992 issue of Firehouse. I could write the detailing equivalent of War and Peace, so here it is in a nutshell...

    Remember that the City/Town/ Distict will buy the cheapest stuff they can find. When it comes to automotive detailing products, good and cheap is rare, if not nonexistant!

    The key to maintainng a truck in like new condition is preparation of the paintwork.

    The car wash soap you use should be liquid and ph neutral. Powdered car wash soap, if not dissolved completely can cause scratches in the paint.

    Don't use dishwashing detergent, it can dull the finish and remove wax/sealant protection.

    I am not a fan of using brushes, but if you do, make sure they are nice and soft. Sheepskin, chenille and microfiber wash mitts are better.

    Use the two bucket method.. one for the wash solution, one to rinse the brush/mitt after each panel/area is washed.

    Have a separate brush/mitt to clean the tires and wheels. Don't mix them up!
    Wash the tires and wheels first, using a good rubber cleaner to remove brake dust and browining from the tires. If you use wheel cleaners, be sure that the one you pick is compatible for the type of wheels on the rig. Some are highly acidic and can ruin an anoodized aluminum wheel's finish.

    Try to wash the vehicle following the natural airflow, using a straight line motion. If you catch any grit in the brush/mitt and use circular motions, you can induce marring and scrathces. A straight line scratch is easier to correct.

    Dry the rig using either microfiber drying towels or a chamois (natural or synthetic).

    Dry the rig as you washed it, following the natural airflow.

    Feel the paint. If it feels like 400 grit sandpaper, you have surface contamination. Paint cleaning clay removes this contamination. USe the clay with a lubricant (either a quick detailer spray or fresh, clean soapy water can be used). If the surface is clean, it will be smoother than a baby's behind!

    Tar can be removed by using a soft terry towel and an automotive solvent, like DuPont Prep Sol or mineral spirits. The over the counter bug and tar remover isn't strong enough. put the solvent in a chemical resistant spray bottle, apply to the surface, let it dwell for a minute, then wipe it down. repeat as necessary until the tar is removed.

    Polishing: this is what brings up the shine. Polishing can be done by hand or by machine. The machines are the random orbit polisher and the rotary polisher, using foam cutting an polishing pads. Cutting pads are used to remove minor scractces and marring by leveling out the paint. Rotary polishers shoold only be used by people with experience... if you are not careful and use the wrong compounds/polish, you can burn the paint right through the primer to bare meatl

    Waxes: you can go cheap, like the $3.99 bottle of Turtle Wax or expensive, like the $10K and up custom blended Zymol Concourse line. There are also synthetic sealants, like Meguiars NXT, #20 and #21 from their pro line, Zaino, Liquid Glass, Mother's Reflections and other "boutique" products.

    Most people make the mistake of slathering a heavy coat of wax on the entire rig, waiting until it drys as hard as a rock then they curse for hours removing the wax.

    The secret is doing two thin layers. Apply the wax to one panel/section at a time, allow it to haze ( depending on temperature an humidity, it can take a minute or two to ten minutes), rthen wipe it down with a microfiber towel. Apply another coat, then move onto the next panel. Byt he time you have the next panel done, the 2nd layer of protection should be hazed enough to remove easily. Follow this procedure until the rig is done.

    Gold leaf and decals: avoid using harsh compounds, do gently by hand and protect with a aquailty wax/sealant.

    Aluminum/chrome polishing. The Mother's Powerball and Flitz ball is ideal for this with the appropriate polish. Do a small section at a time, apply the polish to the ball sparingly to avoid splattering. Wipe the surface with soft terry or microfiber toweling to remove residue.

    Maintenance: once the rig is done, you can easily maintain it by using a good quality car wash shampoo, rinising the rig down after being in bad weather ( most of the surface dirt accumulated will roll right off) and wax a panel or two after each wash. You can use a quick detailer spray to remove pollen and light dust ( not dirt!)

    Product lines:
    Zaino
    Meguiar's (the pro and detailer lines are available in large quantities)
    Mothers
    3M professional detailer line
    CAR products
    Presta
    Auto Magic
    CarBrite
    Chemical Guys
    Poorboys
    Sonus

    Most auto body supply stores will carry the pro lines.Like Meguair's Presta and 3M.

    Sounus, Zaino, Chemical Guys et al are avaialble on line by ordering through their web sites . Pro quality costs more, but considering that pumpers can cost up to $400K, and aerials pushing the $1M mark, it's a good way to protect the investment. After all, you will be keeping it for 15 to 20 years!

    PS: after I posted.. Irealized I did write War and Peace!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 05-15-2007 at 02:27 PM.
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    Thanks Gonz! Have you ever tried the Zaino's?
    I read about it and wondered if it is worth the money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart46 View Post
    Thanks Gonz! Have you ever tried the Zaino's?
    I read about it and wondered if it is worth the money.

    I haven't used it, but I have had friends who have.

    It does give a nice shine, but like anything else, its the proper prep work that gives the paintwork its pop!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Recommend you use whatever chemicals and procedures apparatus builder states is best -- remember warranties may require this. Finish materials and methods vary widely so this is important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ponebutton View Post
    Recommend you use whatever chemicals and procedures apparatus builder states is best -- remember warranties may require this. Finish materials and methods vary widely so this is important.
    Pierce recommends using just cold water to wash.

    Plain water has no lubricity to help float dirt off the surface and can actually induce marring and scratching!

    Most apparatus is painted with polyurethane paints from Sikkens, ICI, PPG or DuPont.

    They (the people who actually formulate the paints that get painted on the rigs) recommend waxing and polishing to maintain their paints.

    I had a friend whose apparatus dealer told his FD to use laundry detergent to wash their trucks... if you use laundry detergent with bleach on a red truck, will it turn pink?
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 05-15-2007 at 08:54 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    We use a commercial wash/wax we get from a car wash and detailer supply company. I think it is called Super Suds, comes in five gallon buckets.

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    Have you any suggestions for waterless cleaning, we are under severe water restrictions here in australia, to the point where we are only allowed to wash our trucks in a commercial car wash, and considering we don't have any in our response area its pain to get to them. no hoses are allowed to be used under any circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pumper8032 View Post
    Have you any suggestions for waterless cleaning, we are under severe water restrictions here in australia, to the point where we are only allowed to wash our trucks in a commercial car wash, and considering we don't have any in our response area its pain to get to them. no hoses are allowed to be used under any circumstances.
    There are two options for you...

    Optimum no rinse and ProtectAll Quick and Easy wash. Both allow you to wash a rig with a as little as a 3 gallons (11 liters) of water.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Reporting as requested...

    I'm a clean car fanatic and have my own detailing venture on the side. I had an article about apparatus detailing published in the November 1992 issue of Firehouse. I could write the detailing equivalent of War and Peace, so here it is in a nutshell...

    Remember that the City/Town/ Distict will buy the cheapest stuff they can find. When it comes to automotive detailing products, good and cheap is rare, if not nonexistant!

    The key to maintainng a truck in like new condition is preparation of the paintwork.

    The car wash soap you use should be liquid and ph neutral. Powdered car wash soap, if not dissolved completely can cause scratches in the paint.

    Don't use dishwashing detergent, it can dull the finish and remove wax/sealant protection.

    I am not a fan of using brushes, but if you do, make sure they are nice and soft. Sheepskin, chenille and microfiber wash mitts are better.

    Use the two bucket method.. one for the wash solution, one to rinse the brush/mitt after each panel/area is washed.

    Have a separate brush/mitt to clean the tires and wheels. Don't mix them up!
    Wash the tires and wheels first, using a good rubber cleaner to remove brake dust and browining from the tires. If you use wheel cleaners, be sure that the one you pick is compatible for the type of wheels on the rig. Some are highly acidic and can ruin an anoodized aluminum wheel's finish.

    Try to wash the vehicle following the natural airflow, using a straight line motion. If you catch any grit in the brush/mitt and use circular motions, you can induce marring and scrathces. A straight line scratch is easier to correct.

    Dry the rig using either microfiber drying towels or a chamois (natural or synthetic).

    Dry the rig as you washed it, following the natural airflow.

    Feel the paint. If it feels like 400 grit sandpaper, you have surface contamination. Paint cleaning clay removes this contamination. USe the clay with a lubricant (either a quick detailer spray or fresh, clean soapy water can be used). If the surface is clean, it will be smoother than a baby's behind!

    Tar can be removed by using a soft terry towel and an automotive solvent, like DuPont Prep Sol or mineral spirits. The over the counter bug and tar remover isn't strong enough. put the solvent in a chemical resistant spray bottle, apply to the surface, let it dwell for a minute, then wipe it down. repeat as necessary until the tar is removed.

    Polishing: this is what brings up the shine. Polishing can be done by hand or by machine. The machines are the random orbit polisher and the rotary polisher, using foam cutting an polishing pads. Cutting pads are used to remove minor scractces and marring by leveling out the paint. Rotary polishers shoold only be used by people with experience... if you are not careful and use the wrong compounds/polish, you can burn the paint right through the primer to bare meatl

    Waxes: you can go cheap, like the $3.99 bottle of Turtle Wax or expensive, like the $10K and up custom blended Zymol Concourse line. There are also synthetic sealants, like Meguiars NXT, #20 and #21 from their pro line, Zaino, Liquid Glass, Mother's Reflections and other "boutique" products.

    Most people make the mistake of slathering a heavy coat of wax on the entire rig, waiting until it drys as hard as a rock then they curse for hours removing the wax.

    The secret is doing two thin layers. Apply the wax to one panel/section at a time, allow it to haze ( depending on temperature an humidity, it can take a minute or two to ten minutes), rthen wipe it down with a microfiber towel. Apply another coat, then move onto the next panel. Byt he time you have the next panel done, the 2nd layer of protection should be hazed enough to remove easily. Follow this procedure until the rig is done.

    Gold leaf and decals: avoid using harsh compounds, do gently by hand and protect with a aquailty wax/sealant.

    Aluminum/chrome polishing. The Mother's Powerball and Flitz ball is ideal for this with the appropriate polish. Do a small section at a time, apply the polish to the ball sparingly to avoid splattering. Wipe the surface with soft terry or microfiber toweling to remove residue.

    Maintenance: once the rig is done, you can easily maintain it by using a good quality car wash shampoo, rinising the rig down after being in bad weather ( most of the surface dirt accumulated will roll right off) and wax a panel or two after each wash. You can use a quick detailer spray to remove pollen and light dust ( not dirt!)

    Product lines:
    Zaino
    Meguiar's (the pro and detailer lines are available in large quantities)
    Mothers
    3M professional detailer line
    CAR products
    Presta
    Auto Magic
    CarBrite
    Chemical Guys
    Poorboys
    Sonus

    Most auto body supply stores will carry the pro lines.Like Meguair's Presta and 3M.

    Sounus, Zaino, Chemical Guys et al are avaialble on line by ordering through their web sites . Pro quality costs more, but considering that pumpers can cost up to $400K, and aerials pushing the $1M mark, it's a good way to protect the investment. After all, you will be keeping it for 15 to 20 years!

    PS: after I posted.. Irealized I did write War and Peace!
    Holy cow!!!

    By the time I got done reading that, I lost all motivation to wash the truch I was too tired and it was nap time
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Ok, quick question..... guys were debating this the other day.


    You rinse the rig, then wash it, but then do you start rising it off from the top or the bottom?

    It was about 50-50 either way.
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    Let gravity work for you, grasshopper.. when washing and rinsing, start at the top, work down!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    We use Turtle Wax "green" wash

    water blades and chamois to dry

    I use flitz for the lights bar, chrome and diamond plate


    I use this acid wash stuff once a year on all the diamond plate. The older diamond plate we have doesn't have a durabright coating otherwise we wouldn't need the flitz for it, but use regular paint wax.
    "I don't wanna hear about it... I wanna see results!!!":-P

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    Who has time to wax a fire truck? Sits inside anyhow.

    Wash before the annual parade or when rural road dust reaches the "looks like c___ point" and someone has time.

    Though last week I had the local "community service" lad wash all the trucks. Beats the heck out of me doing it.

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    I do so love the local Judge.
    Community service is a great asset for the volunteer fire service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjlffire View Post
    Before we go there, I have done a search and either did not ask the right question or no one else has.

    What do you use to wash and wax your trucks and why.

    We have just been using what ever someone brougth in.

    We have a new truck now and want to take the best care we can.
    What is least harmful on decals and stripes?

    I know about the mothers and flitz balls, good stuff.

    What about hte body wash and wax?

    Thanks
    all i can say is eagle 1 wash and wax all in one. i have a 1964 mack and it sat in front of a window for 32 year the front was faded bad real bad and eagle 1 wax got it back to original color i use eagle 1 on my trucks all 15 of there and mothers and the flitz ball

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