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I'm new to this forum but not to new to the subject.
First off, water spots are caused by "hard water", to eliminate the possibility of water spotting bad you must install some sort of in-line filter to keep this from happening.
Other wise like many others stated keep water standing on the truck at all times, this will help eliminate the visual effect so much, but not the problem all together.
As far as washing I would use a two bucket method. The first bucket you will fill with clean water, and the second you will fill with water and your car wash solution. Use the clean bucket to rinse your wash mitt clean, and thus keeping your soap bucket clean and not filled with dirt water. I would also recommend getting grit guards. This is not a must, but can be put to keep larger particles from getting on your rags. Grit Guard Link
As for the washing process, I start at the top and work down. This way your not running dirty water over cleaned area. I start with the roof along with front and rear window. I then work my way around the truck in a circular pattern working from the top down on each body panel you wash too. While doing this remember to keep rinsing your vehicle fully to reduce the effects of water spots.
As far as drying this can be a touchy subject. I use a combination on chamois and waffle weave microfiber towel. Some choose to use leaf blower to do so and can work great in some cases. BEWARE though do not use a gas powered blower, only electric. With a gas powered you will just be blowing an oily film all over your truck.
As far as keeping clean between washes, granted its mostly clean you can use a quick detailer. I'm partials to Meguiars 34 for this. Also, to keep your trucks clean and shine lasting longer i would recommend waxing the truck, this will also protect paint and clear code from bugs, bird poo, and any road contaminate you pick up on a regular basis.
2005 Ford F150 XLT SCAB Appearance:Custom Fabricated Light Bar, (2) Hella 700FF, (2) Hella 500FF Performance: Edge Evo, Flowmaster 40 Si/Do Suspension: 2.5 AS Leveling Kit, 295/70R17 Cooper STT, 17" DC1
Car washing at home is technically illegal in my town. Older parts of town have combined sanitary and storm sewers, so the wastewater utility has a rule that the only thing going down the storm sewers can be storm run-off because they don't want to deal with what might get washed off of cars. In my part of town, we have separate sanitary and storm sewers with the storm sewers piped to retention ponds. If wash my car at home, the run-off goes into the ponds and could theoretically upset the ecology in the ponds.
As someone who always used to wash my car at home, I'm not crazy about this situation. But, it is what it is, so I patronize the local car washes. Within five miles of my house are at least four car washes with spray-it-off-yourself bays. They also have touch-less automatic bays that I use when I'm in a hurry. The run-off from these car washes is allegedly filtered and treated before it goes down the drain.
2009 Taurus Limited FWD Dark Ink Blue
2011 F-150 XLT SCrew 4WD 5.0 Oxford White/Ingot Silver Metallic
Where to start, roof, bed, windows one half of the truck first, etc...? start from the Top of the roof and work your way down works best. plus you wont be leanin over the side of a wet truck trying to wash the roof.
2. Too many water spots accumulated on chrome grill, bumper, etc. while finishing the truck. How do i avoid that or how do i get rid of them? Shammy, I use a polishing rag with some windex if its plastic or If its actual chrome, use some good ol no. 7 chrome polish
3. Too many water spots on wheels (xd series, black with polish). How do i avoid, is there something i can spray on the wheels so they don't end up with water spots? It was very hard to remove them after dry. Well, wheel and tire cleanerm, let it sit, spray it, then polish em up is the best way. theyll stay clean longer too!
4. How to keep clean in between washes? best way to TRY and keep her clean is to not beat it on the road, especailly if its dusty or muddy, The interior if you get some small spots clena them out real quick, it wont take as long trying to clean the whole truck.
5. Detailers, washers, sprays and other suggestions? Not real sure, I do everything myself. I use Meguires soap, or turtle wax soap. I find the original meguires the best.
Waxing: Beware, too much ittll leave streaks... figured i'd let ya know lol. good luck man!
If your truck is really dirty, like lots of mud in the wheel wells or engine compartment, hit those areas first with a hose or pressure washer. The idea is to get the gritty dirt of the truck before you use a wash brush on it, this will help keep new scratches off the truck from washing. You can also get a small grate like piece that sits in the bottom of the wash bucket and keeps the brush off the bottom of the bucket where all the dirt is, think it is called bucket buddy or something like that. As the other posters said, start from the top and work down, stay in the shade and the cooler parts of the day.
1. 12 pack of miller product, normally high life light ( to maintain my middle aged figure) and iPod in the dock...
2. I start after 2 pm as the sun starts to shadow from my house.
3. Start at the top and work down, obviously roof first, dry....windows...dry...hood...etc
4. I do rims last, but I do soak them with soap first...should have said this before, I use an old, well rinsed lawn fertilizer bottle, with a quick connect hose attachment, put 2 capfuls of soap in it an foam your whole truck....works great. Anywho...
5. I wipe dry as I go, THEN...much to the delight of my neighbors, I use my toro leaf blower, to get all the water out of the seams, you'd be surprised how much sits under the f150 logo alone.
I use 2 buckets, with grit guards ( made by buying 4, 5 gallon buckets and cutting 2 of them 3 inches from the bottom, drilling a bunch of wholes on the bottoms and flip em upside down, and insert in complete buckets....what can I say....I have a truck payment now and those things cost 20 bucks...
I use Meguires across the board, and microfiber towel...a lot of micros...a lot
First I'd like to say the suggestions that Watson91 stated are excellent!
Yes, I'm a BIG fan of Grit Guards keep dirt and dirty water off you paint.
Wash and dry in the shade. To dry I use a couple of HUGE microfiber towels.
To minimize water spots...wash, dry and towel smaller sections at a time.
Once you have applied a good LSP layer on your paint spotting will be less.
Maintenance...it depends on how you treat your truck...Do you go muddin'?
I'm not a big fan of driving through "The Tunnel O' Swirls" to remove dirt.
There a a few QD sprays that make short work of removing dried water spots.
Most good Quick Detailers and/or a Daytona Brush can be used for the wheels.
You may try applying a few coats of paint sealant to your chrome and wheels.
What do you use for a wax or sealant to protect your paint when you are done?
I use Meguires Ultimate wax, once a month. I wash on Saturday ( rain delays may have me skip a week ) I wipe down with quick detailer after a wash. In the winter can't hand wash, so I do the local touchless and then I hand dry right out of the tunnel and spray with QD'r. I don't like a car wash, however there's nothing I can do that matches the underbody flush and in Wisconsin they use salt...nasty..evil salt..we hates it.
Those guys on the detail forums really know their stuff (in the aggregate at least). I found them to be very helpful. I tried autogeek.com.
I got some high powered citrus car shampoo and a Gilmour brand sprayer, (If you happen to have a pressure washer, get a foam lance for about $20 instead) along with a mitt, and grit guards for the buckets and purpose made brushes for the tires and rims. I got some microfiber towels and a "waffle weave" towel for drying the truck. As per their instructions. I hit the wheels and undercarriage first with the sprayer, then the rest of the truck top down. Let it sit for about 7 minutes scrub the wheels and rims while you are waiting, and then wipe off. I used a separate mitt for the really gunky part close to the ground. Then did a two bucket car washm which didn't take long at that point.
The waffle weave towel worked like a charm in stopping water spots. Also, I did this in weather at about 50 degrees. Its actually easier to wash a car in cooler weather, even if you aren't as comfortable. You can dry off the car with the towel before the water spots form. Slap on some of the high powered mail order sealant the detailers recommended, put on the stuff that cleans and buffs the plastic while I waited for the sealant to dry, and I was all done.
I used to think a little silly to have all those doo-dads just for washing a car, but no more: Its like anything else. There is no substitute for having the right tool for the job.