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  #1  
Old 06-18-2005, 11:43 AM
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Where to wash&polish car when no garage/driveway?

Hi everybody
I would be ready to wash and polish my car: bought shampoo, polishing paste, wax, a rotary buffer etc. Since I rent an appartment there is no driveway. And my appartment is to far from the street to run a cable and carry the water. The car washes I have seen do not offer outlets or hot water to handwash the car. There may be a trivial solution I overlooked - but where do you wash and polish your car in case you cannot at home?
Thnaks, Bruno
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Old 06-18-2005, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno_300TE
Hi everybody
I would be ready to wash and polish my car: bought shampoo, polishing paste, wax, a rotary buffer etc. Since I rent an appartment there is no driveway. And my appartment is to far from the street to run a cable and carry the water. The car washes I have seen do not offer outlets or hot water to handwash the car. There may be a trivial solution I overlooked - but where do you wash and polish your car in case you cannot at home?
Thnaks, Bruno
Try Pamela Anderson's driveway. Bring a sixpack of beer and she'll help. She's a lot of fun to get all soapy with in a driveway.

If you can't get over to her place, have you any other friends you could share a beer with and help wash each others cars?
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2005, 01:43 PM
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You'll need shade from direct sunlight when washing or waxing. So other than cloudy/overcast days, you're looking for early morning or late afternoon when you might be able to be in the shadows. The more elegant fix would be to get one of those open side tarpaulin canopy/tents that people use at picnics/camping.
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2005, 02:47 PM
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For washing, there's a product called Quick Easy Wash (or QEW) that is basically hose-less washing. I've never used it, but a lot of the people on Autopia.com do - basically have a wash water bucket and a rinse bucket, and you just gently wipe down the car with the wash mitt. Rinse the wash mitt in the rinse bucket, go back to the wash bucket, and repeat until you're done with all the panels.

The other alternative is to find a coin-op DIY car wash outfit and just use the rinse water setting. Hose it down, use your regular car wash shampoo, then hose it down again.

As for the rest of the stuff, you can probably wax your car anywhere that's shady and not too windy. I'm assuming you know how to use a rotary, if not, be REAL careful with it - rotaries can burn through paint if mishandled.
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Old 06-18-2005, 05:37 PM
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Thanks!
Botnst, I'll call Pam (all my friends are poor students) - hope I still have her number somewhere?
Yeah, I guess washing should work somehow. But I have not found any electrical outlets for my (sorry- it is actually an orbital, not rotary) buffer at public washing stations. I know it is kind of a silly question - I thought that maybe someone was in a similar situation and could tell me: "Yeah go to Mc.WashX, they are the only ones that provide elctrical outlets for customers." Maybe the market for people like me is too small (no access to driveway, but want to wash and polish car on their own.)
Bruno
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2005, 06:59 PM
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How bad is it, could you do it by hand perhaps?

Peter
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  #7  
Old 06-20-2005, 03:30 AM
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In similar circumstances, I did mine by hand in the street. Instead of a hose, use a watering can; you have to trot back and forth a few times, but it'll get you fit. The only other downside is that everybody who walks past will suggest you wash theirs when you're finished.
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Old 06-20-2005, 11:24 AM
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In Somerville, there is a self wash bay that is not so crowded. I did it there. The water quality is not so good there compared to water in other self wash bay such as ScrubaDub. So I washed my car at other self wash bay, drove to Somerville, QDed, and then waxed.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2005, 10:45 AM
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Using cans of water going back and forth is not gonna give me a proper wash aswell minimal water may scratch paint as your washing it.

A automatic car wash in this case would do a better job.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2005, 11:18 PM
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OHHH heres a good one....

Drive-by older neighborhoods with nice cars and go around talking to people and find someone who will let you use their water and electricity and sell them a full detail.

Or just start detailing on the side and after a few times, ask a customer to let you use their place to detail your car since you dont have anywhere else. A mobile detailing at low cost since youre using their water and electricity may be some pocket money in the long run too.

Peter
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2005, 06:09 PM
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Bruno:

Seriously, I'm having a bit of a problem envisioning the lay-out of your apartment building, the parking for the apartment, and the location of the street. Does the apartment building have any outdoor water spigots anywhere near the parking lot or the street? If so, you might make some sort of deal with the landlord to let you wash your car if you bought the hose, or something. To me, running water (not high pressure) is absolutely necessary for a proper car wash without scratching. And I've found 99% of commercial car washes to be "scratch city" with no way to tell the other 1% unless I try them --- and then the damage may be done. If your apartment has no hose spigot so located, consider moving! Yes, I'm serious. Ungaraged cars of aparment dwellers need washing and waxing more frequently than garaged cars. You have a Mercedes Benz, and you want to take care of it. To me, inability to properly care for it would be reason enough to move!

But don't worry about that buffer or the electric cord to power it. I have a huge garage with all the "goodies" but will NEVER use a buffer on any of my cars. Too much "swiril scratch" potential. If your car has any contaminants on the finish, claybar them, don't try to buff them out. Unles you are a buffer expert, you'll do damage. Modern polishes and waxes don't require the power (or over-power) of an electric buffer anyway. Just apply them with a foam applicator and buff with a microfiber towel.

But you do need a hose hook up. I suspect there are some. How else does the landlord care for the landscaping? If not, just move to where you can get access to a hose hook up. Radical, but I think necessary.

Thanks,
Richard
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  #12  
Old 06-30-2005, 03:43 PM
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Smile No car wash?

You mean you don't have any of the do-it-yourself spray wash places in your town? You know the sort of thing -- long wand with trigger, you put in $1.75 - 2.00, choose rinse, spray the car down, etc. Don't use the brush; God only knows what's in those bristles.

Like you, I have no driveway or garage. So, unless it's raining, I hit the $1.75 car wash place two miles away, early every Saturday morning. I rinse the entire car with low-speed spray (but high-speed on the tires), wipe it down with the clean sheepskin mitt, rinse again with high-speed spray, and a final rinse with spot-free. Then, since they frown on people detailing their cars there, I drive a few blocks to an open parking lot with a deep patch of shade on the east side, and start drying with clean terry towels before the paint water spots. This way the Benz and I are out of the sun as much as possible. If it's time to wax, I can do that there too. Hand wax; like you, I don't have a way to run a cable for a buffer.

Usually I drive back home and park outside the back gate of my compound, er, apartment complex. I can spray the door handles and sponge protectant onto the tires there. The wheels get cleaned and dried with shop towels, or terry towels dedicated to just that job. If the interior needs some attention, out comes the Vinylex.

At last I go inside out of the heat and detail *me* (no wax, but I do rinse off the crud). Good workout . . . and the car is clean.

jjrodger wrote:

. . . The only other downside [to washing out by the curb] is that everybody who walks past will suggest you wash theirs when you're finished. . . .

I tell 'em, "Sure. Twenty-five bucks per wash, cash only please." Shuts 'em right up.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2005, 03:53 PM
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Many thanks!
Indeed I do not need an orbital polisher (thanks dolebludger), so I ended up doing it the same way like you, Benzadmiral. Only that the car washes here take about 10$ for the little water I use.
Bruno
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2005, 08:48 AM
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How much --?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno_300TE
Many thanks!
Only that the car washes here take about 10$ for the little water I use.
How much???? Ten bucks for a car wash? A self-serve?!?!

If I lived there (Boston, right?), I'd be thinking of moving. Denver was an expensive town, but the most I ever paid for a self-serve car wash (the amount you have to put in to get the minimum wash) was $2.00.

For ten, you ought to have an attractive female employee come over and . . . well, keep you company . . . while you wash.
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2005, 05:52 PM
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I had a similar situation a few years ago when we had a drought.
State law allowed no car washing, and at the time I lived along a main road, sure to be busted if I broke out a garden hose and wash bucket.
The loophole in the law was that commercial car washes could stay open, and in Allentown we have a place that does a hand wash and dry for $6.
What I did was had them wash it, then drove a few blocks to a shady side street, and sprayed the car with Meguiar's Quick Detailer.
Not ideal, but better than nothing.
If you really want to run your orbital, have you considered a power inverter or small generator?
I can imagine you are always on the lookout for a source of "free" power ... and water, and shade....
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