Best Car Wash Techniques and Tips – Detailing a Used Car – Chemical Guys

Best Car Wash Techniques and Tips – Detailing a Used Car – Chemical Guys

Hey guys welcome back to Chemical Guys! I’m so excited today because I get to show you guys that I got a new car and We’re gonna detail this whole car from start to finish, so let’s get started. Hey everyone welcome back to Chemical Guys. So today, I am super excited because I finally got a new car and This car I’ve been looking for for some months now and the whole reason why I wanted this new car is because Fun fact I don’t know how to drive manual and I think that it’s kind of crazy that nowadays you meet so many people That don’t know how to drive manual and I’m like this is not gonna be me I have to learn it. So, I’ve been looking for this Honda S2000, so you can see it back here And it’s been a really rough road to find the right one. I wanted one that was stock something that still looked good and Was not crazy miles and still clean title which if any of you guys are always looking for a car on Craigslist like I was that’s where I found it, so I’m super excited because now it’s here The only downfall is I can’t drive it so It’s sitting here so before I can learn to drive it I was like hey might as well detail it. It’s really cool because the S2000 that I got was one owner It’s a clean title. It’s a 2005 so it’s the AP2 which that’s what I wanted because it has a really cool front End the lights are a little bit different. It’s a little bit more modern and I Made sure to find this one it only has 47,000 miles Which is really cool, and so of course after looking at like the Honda S2000s I found some fun facts about it like you cannot put down The top while driving it will stop right in between So it’s kind of cool. Most of you guys have probably seen it. I think after the Fast and the Furious 1 everybody kind of knew because it kind of smoked that VW So I’m really excited because this is like a true sports car But it’s still an old classic, right. It’s 2005 so it’s not that old, but if you think about it’s over ten years old… it’s crazy! So, we want to do a full detail. I’m gonna start off by washing it It’s been sitting in a garage, which is really good so the paint is still in good condition But there is a lot of scratches and swirls And as you know like after learning how to detail like that’s just gonna stand out So I’m hoping to bring back even more red, so we’re gonna wash it. We’re gonna clay it. We’re gonna do a full paint correction We’re gonna seal it. We’re gonna protect it. We’re gonna do the top. It has a convertible top, so we’re gonna clean and condition that and We’re gonna do the wheels- we’re gonna do everything so I’m gonna go over all the steps To how to clean and protect your new to you car. This is new to me. I’m excited, and I want to show you guys, but unfortunately I can’t drive it so if you guys have any tips on how to learn manual… I’ve already tried one night and it was really bad, so please comment below some tips. Everybody here is trying to help me out and Hopefully it goes better than it did the first night, so we’re gonna get started. I’m gonna do a full detail Let’s get started, but first, I’m gonna grab Nick because I can’t move it so Nick will pull it out for me All right, so we brought the car outside (or at least Nick did) so now I want to show you guys how to set up your Buckets and all of your materials before you get into detailing. So, we’re gonna start off with the wheels But I also have my two buckets here This is the beginning of a full detail that I want to do on a new to me car So whether it’s a new car or it’s a new to you car (it’s used) I’m gonna start off by doing a complete wash to make sure that all of the dirt and grime is off of there at least That’s on the surface, and then we’re gonna do all of the other steps. So I’m gonna walk you through steps 1, 2… all the way to the final step of detailing and we’re gonna do it all on this car. I have the two buckets and two Dirt Traps, a wash mitt, a foam cannon, So we got the full thing we’re gonna first start off with the wheels and then I’ll come back and I’ll explain how we’re gonna Set this all up and what I’m using. Hey guys So now we’re gonna get started with the wheels and I wanted to show you guys how I set up my wheel bucket. Before, when I used to detail back when I was young, I never thought about Separating my tools for wheels. I would always do the whole car and I assume most people probably do that because they don’t realize That what’s on the wheels, like brake dust, is getting back on the paint, so you never want to use the same tools So I have a third bucket here for the wheels only. With that third bucket I also have a Dirt Trap. So it’s great to have the Dirt Trap because again all of that debris (the brake dust) This is capturing everything from the road So you want to make sure that you don’t get that back on the paint and also back on your tools that you’re using on the wheels. So, I’m gonna put my Dirt Trap in the bucket And I already have it filled with water, and then I have some tools that I’m using today I’m gonna use the Easy Reach Wheel Brush and I’m gonna use the Wheel Gerbils Extended Reach So I want to be able to get into the different delicate areas. I want to get into the barrel on the inside and leave this for the outside and this one comes in three different sizes. It’s real wool, so I want to make sure that I’m protecting these delicate finishes. And then I’m using for my wheel cleaners I chose sticky gel because I like the way that Sticky Gel clings to the surface and it pulls it off But I also love Diablo Gel so what I usually do is I put a few squirts of Diablo Gel in the bucket and then I use Sticky Gel right onto the wheel. So you want to take off the protective seal that’s there so that it doesn’t spill before you start using it So I’m going to do it a little bit in my bucket Feel free to add as much as you like. Diablo Gel can also be used To spray directly on the wheel if you use like a secondary container. It’s concentrated So you can do it to your needs based on how dirty your wheels are but I’m gonna go with Sticky Gel So I’m gonna wet the wheel first and I’ve already have my pressure washer set up Alright. So I wet down the surface And now just spraying it on. So I’m just gonna use the Easy Reach. The Easy Reach Brush is a softer bristle brush So if you have sensitive wheels or if you’re not sure which one to use You could start off with the Easy Reach. We also have the Show Car Wheel Brush which has a little bit more stiff bristles, and that one’s good for Really heavy brake dust and wheels that really need some extra cleaning power. As you can see it’s really easy to clean in between and you can feel how soft it is. I wanted to start with this bigger brush first to get most of the Dirt and brake dust away. It also has a rubber tip so what you’re hearing isn’t actually metal on metal. It’s the rubber hitting it, so it’s protected to not scratch your wheels during cleaning. So now I’m gonna use the bigger Wheel Gerbil to really get inside and clean the inside of the barrel. You always want to start with your wheels first because they are the most Dirty and then you don’t want when you’re washing the vehicle to get like again that back onto your paint. So I keep stick dipping it in the water, and then that Dirt Trap is helping to filter out all of the brake dust and Keep it at the bottom of the bucket and not back on my brushes. So now I get my smaller one because there’s some areas that I can’t reach with the bigger one. I could get into where the lug nuts are Okay, I’m gonna rinse it off. So you can see. Pretty clean. I always rinse it and then come back to see if there’s any areas I might have missed just because the brake dust moves around. In all honesty I used to hate doing wheels, now not so much! Never knew how to do it right. Because once you learn how to do it right, it makes it a lot easier. So I finished doing that. Like I said I had the Diablo Wheel Gel but you can use Diablo and dilute it to your needs. The brake dust was sitting here for Quite some time this car had been sitting in a garage And it had been driven But they hadn’t really detailed the car because they felt like since it was in the garage They didn’t have to but it was a lot of brake dust and it was actually easy to remove with the Sticky Gel Always remember that you want the surface to be cool. Just like in any detailing you want to make sure it’s cooled down, and then you can use it. Now I’m gonna get ready to do the rest of the wheels. Okay, so like I said, I’m gonna go over what I chose to use today. I’m using uh I want to use Clean Slate. Clean Slate is a great soap to use to strip away old waxes, sealants and Basically give you that clean slate and fresh start. I don’t know about this car. I don’t believe it’s been detailed I know they try to wash it. So I’m not sure what’s on the surface so to make sure that I am getting the best Start on this before I start doing a clay bar or paint correction I’m gonna use Clean Slate. So you can use it if you decide you want to start off with the new wax. Maybe you just waxed it a couple weeks ago, but you’re like hey I want to try something new… you want to get a different finish you can use Clean Slate You can use it in your regular two bucket method or you can use it inside of a foam cannon. So I’m gonna use it in the TORQ Snow Foamer. I’m using a electric pressure washer today. We get a lot of questions about what’s the difference between using electric and a gas? If you use the TORQ Snow Foamer it has a lower psi, So what that means is that if you do have an electric pressure washer the minimum is 500 psi. So you’re gonna still get the great amount of suds that you see in a lot of our pictures or customer submissions of Awesome suds, but not have to worry about having a gas pressure washer But should you upgrade into a gas pressure washer you can still use this because it has a high maximum psi as well. So I have two buckets again We have talked about the two bucket method But for those of you that don’t know the two bucket method: one is for my rinse water and one is for the wash water. I’m using two Dirt Traps. And now I have them in two different colors because again we want to make sure that we differentiate between the rinse and the wash bucket. And then we have our wash mitt so this is gonna be my rinse and this will be my wash. Alright, so I’m going to put Clean Slate And now you can put One to two squirts in there you can put as much as you want Depending on how dirty your vehicle is Clean Slate is good at foaming up And it’s also like I said good in just the bucket so I’m putting some in there as well Now you just want to shake it up. If you’re not getting the suds that you want, you can also try using warm water in your foam cannon. That’ll help activate the suds as well. So now, I’m gonna hook up my pressure washer And then we can get started doing the whole car. So before I get started on rinsing down the car I wanted to mention that this is a convertible so it does have a soft top. Many times you may not know if that is sealed properly, or if you’re gonna leak inside so if you aren’t sure and you don’t want to do that you can always use a foam cannon and just hit the areas and Not the soft top. Or you can use a foam gun or a regular two bucket method. I figure that I know it’s pretty sealed well And if it’s not then this would be a good time to find out But I’m pretty sure it’s fine. It’s been garaged. I’ve checked it before, but I just wanted to mention that just in case you’re not too sure of what to do when you do Have a convertible soft top. So, let’s get started on the rinsing. Alright, so I finished washing the car I brought it in and now I’m going to dry it, but I wanted to show I’m gonna use After Wash. After Wash is a drying aid to help add shine and also To help ease the drying process to make sure that I don’t Scratch or add swirls during the drying process. That is when scratches or swirls are most made is during the drying because you’re using the wrong towel. Typically, it’s the wrong towel. So I’m gonna use After Wash and then I’m using the Waffle Weave. This is the large drying towel. It has silk edges and the Waffle Weave is great because it has a waffle design, so kind of like when you pour your syrup into a waffle, and it captures all that syrupy goodness, this is capturing all the water within the Waffle Weave and keeping it away from the surface. Always make sure that when you are Going to use a new towel that you take off the tag. I’m just folding it in half because I have little arms so using the big towel is Is good for me, but I can’t reach. And we have a few different large drying towels. One of my favorites is actually the Woolly Mammoth. But I also like the Waffle Weave because they really capture all the water. Using a large drying towel is great because I can do this whole car with one towel and not have to worry about switching it out. Even if it’s a small car depending on how big your car is You can probably get away with it. Alright, so we finished washing the car. I dried it, We did the wheels and then we’re gonna get on to our next step But I wanted to go over a question that we always get About the foam cannon and foaming a car. So, the main question or one of the main questions we get is why would I foam? It do I have to just rinse it right off? Do I need to use a wash mitt, what is the benefits of the foam? So using the foam cannon is gonna add a layer of lubrication. Again, like I was talking about when we were drying it, is you want to reduce the chance of scratches and swirls if you have A red car, a black car, any color car, it really stands out, but most of the time most people that have black cars They notice that even more just because of that beautiful color. So you want to make sure if you’re using a foam cannon that you’re adding a layer of lubrication so that soap is helping to lift away any dirt, debris from the surface and Capturing it into the soap and when you go with your wash mitt It makes it easier because it’s already gliding off the paint. If your car is a little bit dusty You can use a foam cannon and use it as basically a touchless wash and rinse it off but most of the time, When you’re getting to the carwash stage, you’re probably a little bit more dirty, so you do want to use a wash mitt but I just wanted to cover that because I want to make sure that people understand that it’s not just that it looks cool and It’s fun, which many people find that. I think it’s great, But it also has some great benefits to your car because let’s protect it. Let’s protected it as long as we can. So we’re here to teach you guys those tips to make sure that you don’t have scratches, you don’t have swirls, and if you do, we’ll teach you how to fix that. So be sure to give this a thumbs up if you enjoyed this and subscribe because We put out great videos like this, and we would love for you guys to get them straight to your inbox. So we’ll see you next time.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Congratulations Jenn ! my first car was a Red Honda Prelude 1985 and it was a straight drive and my dad taught me a long time ago how to drive was a straight drive that all we had back in the day at my house. The key is finding the friction point between the clutch and accelerator and with it being a newer car it will be a little more forgiving and remember neutral is your friend in a crunch especially when it come to braking before coming to a stop. Good luck !

  2. Don’t ever be afraid to stall. It’s perfectly normal. Once you get out of first gear it’s pretty easy. Always make sure you press the clutch down all the way. The great thing is about manual cars besides being able to control your rpms which can get you more power out of your car and help increase your gas mileage is also being able to downshift instead of braking. Less wear and tear on your rotors and pads which means more money in your pocket. But before learning to downshift I would just throw the shift nob into neutral and using the break since you’re a beginner and just trying to get the hang of it. Give it about a month or two and it’ll be second nature. Good luck 🙂

  3. From the music to the lighting, and the instructions, spot on CG. Let's have more videos that add character to it like this one!

  4. Sort of hard to learn on a four-cylinder specially forSomething that makes power above 4000 RPM but on the upside Honda cars have always had a good feeling transmission, usually too bad I didn’t know you were looking for one I have a buddy I know selling a CR but it’s black ,super dialed in!

  5. Cute girl in a cute car and will know how to drive a manual really soon……….what more would a guy want. ?

  6. Jenn, for your first couple of days learning, I would rent a manual transmission car. Let that take the brunt of the learning curve (grinding gears/stalling)…this way, no scars on the S2000. Don't worry, once it becomes second nature, you'll never want to drive an automatic again!

    That red fits you…I can just picture red heels to go with it!

    Best of luck with it,
    "Mad" Wax Rockatansky

  7. the wheel cleaning process was hard to watch. although those look like hard wheels to clean, those tools didn't help with the face of the wheels and between the lug nuts. it would have been faster using a black colored wash mitt dedicated for wheels only, it adds a lot more lubricant, and hits more surface area. i used to use their "Body & Wheel Flagged Tip Short Handle Brush" but found the wash mitt / lug nut brush was a lot faster.

  8. Jen Jen Jen I'm so glad you didn't get a Tesla or else I  would throw away all my CG products. LOL  My 1st manual car was a 2004 S2000 bright yellow.  I loved that car.  Had so much fun but had to eventually sell it.  You will love this car.  There is a hack that you can make to drive the car and have the convertible come down.  Another S2000 did mind at the time.  Please make a series on the detail of this car cause it does have a lot swirls and scratches.  The only advice I can say is learn where the bite mark is and focus on that.  There are plenty of videos that can help you but have Nick teach you.

  9. Best way I think to learn to drive hardest part is taking off. When you have the clutch pushed in in first gear just really slowly let the clutch out not all the way out and find the spot where it starts grabbing or moving and keep the clutch there and than slowly go with the gas and let the clutch out all the way it’s hard to explain. Mainly find that spot where it starts to grab and go and slowly go you’ll learn everyone started at the same spot so don’t feel bad I give you a lot of props for asking people and telling them you didn’t know how to drive manual don’t feel embarrassed at all. Another thing is it might sound stupid but when your at home sitting watching tv just practice with your hands and feet. There’s probably some videos here on YouTube to teach you to . Good luck and congrats on the new car very nice ?

  10. Also to add to my comment most newer cars you can let the clutch out very slowly and don’t have to give it gas and it will keep moving

  11. I taught my gf how to drive manual! Most important when learning is the teacher being patient. Also, she learned quickly by riding the clutch a bit until it gains enough speed to let go of the clutch. Keep practicing!

  12. Every time i see that red car behind is never even detailed.. it's always hanging on that machine and i am sure its manual drive ????

  13. Yeah manual is easy, start by engaging the clutch then put it into first gear, now that it's in first hold your foot ALL the way down on the throttle and dump the clutch really quick, now on the speedo's you'll see a redline, that's your shift point, so once you hit the redline press the clutch down again WITHOUT lettering go of the throttle and engage 2nd. EASY!

  14. Congratulations on your S2ooo Jen I Have a 2004 S2K love it I have a silver one and her name is Silver rocket ? just keep practicing on the manual you’ll get it so you can drive that beautiful car ?

  15. Yall linked everything but the actual pressure washer lmao. Can I get the brand and specs of the washer? Thickest foam I've seen come from an electric pressure washer

  16. I just want to say, the amount of guys only watching this video for the girl is frightening. Some compliments aren't even for the video just how good the girl looks ?. However, I think you definitely know what you're talking about. I would like to see more brushes used in the video though. Maybe a tough bristle brush and degreaser to strip away old tire shine and a soft bristle brush for the outside of the rims, I noticed they didn't get as much TLC as the inside. But all in all, you know your content. Great video!

  17. I have two questions: 1. Why do you guys always put water first and add soap last and blast it? 2. Isn’t dish soap do the same thing as clean slate since you always say “do not use dish soap because it will strip the protection coating”?.

  18. 1st of all…..
    Happy new car to you jen ???
    2nd of all, once you get the hang of a stick shift your be drifting the S2000 in no time. Have fun with your car ????????

  19. If you are learning to drive a manual transmission. Try to learn in an empty flat and level parking lot, that way you don't have to fight gravity and a rolling vehicle while learning a clutch. Have someone with experience with you while you do it. Also the best kind of vehicle to learn to use a clutch in are jeeps or trucks with four wheel drive and have a high/ low speed transfer case. Putting the transfer case in low will help you get started easier as well as keep your speed lower while practicing shifting. The other advantage to the trucks/jeeps is the engines tend to produce torque at lower RPMs and make getting it going easier. Unfortunately if your little Honda has the DOHC VTEC engine in it, it may be a little tougher to learn in because it doesn't have tons of low end torque. It won't take long to learn though.

  20. Right on choosing a manual, I always make time to teach my cousins or friends to drive a manual especially out here in the desert and the mountains. Plus its a must to wash my trucks and car all the time due to weather and wind. Honeydew soap and two bucket method does them all.

  21. Id really like to know how "dirty" a car needs to get before it goes from "just wipe it down with a microfiber and detail spray" to it needs to be washed. My car is garage kept and not a daily, after a couple drives ill have that layer of dust and dirt, but its not horrible. To me not even close to breaking out the foam canon and pressure washer. but im not sure if its too much for the synthetic detail spray and the Premium micro fiber towels. I also have the happy ending towels.

  22. Tip number 1 have enough money for new tires. #2 when in doubt gas it & peep out. #3 never doubt your self, just peel out every time ha.

  23. Tip: know where your hazard light button is located, you will probably have to use it if you keep stalling on the road.

  24. My current car was my first manual, 600 rwhp supercharged Mustang. Test drive was pretty bad, but determination and practice and you’ll be fine. Take it very slow, learn your clutch and your car as a whole and you’ll be driving smoothly in a couple weeks! Don’t be scared just drive it!

  25. I’m learning how to drive manual rn
    Tip 1: big empty parking lot
    Tip 2: get used to ppl honking when you stall but stay calm and don’t rush too much

  26. The way I learned was in a parking lot and just keep trying the start and stop. Once you get that down you can get the gears. Also do you feet to pedal pressure

  27. Hey chemguys and hi Jenn wow it’s been a little bit since we have seen you and I love you new ride. Wish I could learn how to drive manual I will soon I tried last summer and it went badly and it kind of detoured me a little bit but I’ll try again. Anyways great video I can’t wait to see ya do some more detailing videos to your car. You and my buddy nick are the best ones to listen to. I enjoy you guys a lot and I am learning a lot keep it up guys and see ya on the next one.

    P.S Jenn your detail game is on point you might be able to take a nick on for number one in the shop lol.

    Sincerely your number on fan,


  28. Always take E brake off .
    When starting your car put it in neutral to engage clutch.
    When shifting push down on clutch and find next gear 2. Some start out on 2 but not recommend. 1&N is usually the same. Good luck Jenn

  29. What I did was I sat in the cry while it wasn't on and practice the clutch and gas then as I got comfortable I shifted the gears (while the car is still off) then I went to a big parking lot… Before you know it you'll be shifting like a race car driver… I miss driving a manual

  30. The hardest thing to learn on a Manuel car is getting it out of first gear practice by releasing the clutch slowly and seeing where the clutch engages when it starts to move slowly forward but give it a lil bit of gas. Your left foot will get in the habit of where that sweet spot is where the clutch engages and you will be off and driving hope that helps you.

  31. Feather the gas while slowly letting out the clutch, feel the car about to stall push the clutch in start again. But it’s all about playing with the gas as the clutch lets out. E-Brake come rescue me if needed lolol

  32. Watch someone drive a stick for a while (pay close attention) then just try yourself. That's how I learned

  33. Tip is keep trying. It’ll hurt your heart to stall but that’s motivation to get better. Hit a little bit of gas and let a little clutch out until you feel it grab

  34. And just drive it always remember coming to a complete stop always in first. I learned on a hill or i would get cracks from my pops.

  35. have someone take you to a flat empty parking lot. The hardest part is knowing how to engage the clutch in first gear. So hold the clutch in and put it in first gear… Then slowly ease up on the clutch until you feel it catch and just let the car move forward on its own power. Once you can smoothly catch the clutch under idle, stop and press the clutch in again and repeat. Its ok if you kill the car just press in the clutch and start the car again. Do this several times until you can smoothly get the car moving. Then you can try with the gas peddle. From there its smooth release of the clutch into second gear and so forth. I figure after about an hour you should get the feel where the clutch catches and the power of the engine to get it moving. You got this!

  36. The best way to learn to drive manual involves learning the shift pattern first, with the engine off. Sit in a chair and practice keeping your left hand on an imaginary wheel and with your right-hand shifting through your forward gears. Make sure you practice shifting into neutral then into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. When you get into your highest, reverse the order and shift down through the gears. It crucial you VIVIDLY IMAGINE driving your manual successfully.

    Next, incorporate heel/toe movements with your gear shifting. to practice engaging the clutch with each shift. You want to build muscle memory coordination in your gear shifting WITHOUT the trauma of missing shifts in your car. Move your practice to your car with the engine OFF. Again it is very important to vividly imagine you are driving and successfully operating the transmission clutch and gears.

  37. i learned to drive stick by my dad parking it in the middle of a long long steep hill. he tried to explain what to do and after several fails and rolling back to the bottom and killing it several times i finally got it! everytime i failed my dad would put it back in the middle for me and allowed it to idle and run for a few min to let the battery charge back up. took probably a solid hour to get proficient at pulling up the hill. but after that i legit drove it into town and got gas. after learning the hill i instinctively knew how to shift after gaining speed. the shifting part is easy anyone can do it. taking off is the hard part. so putting yourself in the absolute worst possible scenario taking off on a steep hill everything else comes easy. after that i daily drove the car for years and still to this day. hope this helps

  38. Congratulations on finding such a clean and original S2000! Once you've got the clutch and gears down, you're definitely going to have a blast! Looking forward to updates on bringing the car back to show room condition.

  39. I get the whole teaching you how to wash your car but what's the purpose of trying to not get dirty while doing It? the wheels for example she's like what's seems 2-3 feet away REALLY reaching out there. Get in there and clean it right. ?‍♂️?‍♂️?‍♂️?‍♂️

    Aaahhh I see what happened she hates doing wheels.

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