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Lowejackson

Detailing Efficiency Experiments

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Is there any advantage in washing and drying each panel using a rinseless wash (ONR) rather the more traditional washing the entire car and then dry it using the same products?

 

Experiment Number 1

 

To test this, a medium sized saloon car was used.  Only the painted surfaces and windows were cleaned.  The tyres, wheels, exhausts etc were not cleaned.

 

The car at the start of the experiment was clean. There are two reasons for this, firstly it had been washed only a day or two before I thought about this test and secondly a clean car provides a useful and repeatable benchmark.  To a degree, the level of dirt can determine how long it takes to clean a vehicle and it is hard to replicate the same level of dirt each time.

 

To give a benchmark time, the car was washed in the traditional way, a drying aid (OCW) was also used.  Each session was timed from the wash mitt leaving the bucket to the final wipedown on the last panel.  Setup times were not calculated although with a rinseless wash, this tends to be only a few minutes.

The aim was to clean the car in a slow and steady manner.  This meant it was easy to compare the times.

The second clean focused on cleaning and drying each panel before moving onto the next section.

 

The benchmark time was 30 minutes (all times rounded up or down)

 

The second clean (one panel at a time) was 22 minutes.

 

This is roughly a 30% improvement in efficiency.  Perhaps the biggest reason for the improvement was a reduction in the time walking around the car, ie less walking and more time spent actually working on the paint.

 

Another benefit was not related to the efficiency but washing and drying each panel forced the brain to remain engaged or at least reduced the tendency to drift off.  Moving around the vehicle washing and drying every few minutes meant the need to remain focused during the entire process.

 

Experiment Number 2.

This is very similar to the first test except for this time the interior door cards were cleaned (wiped and scrubbed with ONR and then dried).  Again, the door cards were clean before this test started

The benchmark time for the exterior and interior door cards was 41 minutes.

Washing and drying each panel including the interior door cards took 30 minutes.  This is roughly a 27% improvement.

As with the first experiment, it was the mental engagement which was most notable.  Cleaning the interior door cards meant even higher levels of engagement were needed and the process subjectively felt much quicker.  In a way, it felt more satisfying to complete one panel before moving onto the next and saving some time is a nice added bonus.

Obviously these small experiments have their limitations, the car was clean at the start, not every part of the car was cleaned.  Washing and drying each panel is easy with a rinseless or even a waterless wash but not so easy with more traditional products.

I did start a third experiment of incorporating polishing but after only a few seconds the polisher died.  At some point I would like to test cleaning the door jams and rubber trim.

The purpose of these tests was not to say “this is the best way” but rather to show there are efficiency savings to be had.  For some, the time taken to wash their cars is irrelevant but for others it is slightly more important.

As with all experiments, some may disagree with my approach or findings but the nice thing is this is an easy process for others to reproduce or improve

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Ive been cleaning panel by panel for a while now...infact I dont think Ive ever cleaned the whole car and then dryed it.  ONR ussually dries too fast for that if you are washing outside.

Good test Lowe :spoton[1]:

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There are ways to gain slightly more efficiency, even with the full body wash.

One is by having your bucket on wheels, eliminating the walking back and forth to the bucket.

Next is using the Big Red/Big Gold Sponges, having 2 sides you return to the bucket less often. 

By allowing the surface to air-dry to 70% you reduce drying time and effort. 

 

Which ever way you use, it’s all good, doing such exercises allows us to challenge ourselves and grow.

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In hindsight I should have mapped out how many steps I saved, in an ideal world it would have been nice to compare the set up time against a traditional approach but one of the reasons why I use a rinseless wash is my car is quite some distance from the house so it would not be a representative or realistic time.  I have spent a lot of time watching other videos just trying to find one which shows unedited set up times but have failed.  Of course it would be very boring to most people watching someone set up equipment

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I love this sort of thing, and ONR was made for efficiency. Ive gotten to the point where I am shaving a few minutes off at a time. When I switched to ONR for every wash compared to the 'traditional' method of countless buckets and pressure washers, foam canons etc. the saving was HUGE. Like virtually halved, or maybe even more.

I am yet to try the panel by panel method though as I generally wash at night in my garage, so temperature is not an issue. It feels like it would take longer but I should give it a go sometime.

I get a strange satisfaction in knowing my car has been washed to the same standard as I used to do but in a fraction of the time. It's not like I am under any pressure at home to get it done so quickly but it's a nice goal to have. Also, if I start doing it for money in the future I will be ready to go. If you come up with any more of these efficiency tests please keep us in the loop, as I love reading them.

 

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As a counterpoint, I was hung up on by a new ONR user last week who insisted it was impossible to wash a car mar free without a hose/suds, and this in spite of having JUST DONE SO.  He called BS on my insistence of the magic of polymer encapsulation and guaranteed his paint was swirled, even though he couldn't see it.  Because I disagreed with him (the customer is always right?) and couldn't see his reasoning, he hung up.  His loss...

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Sad...  I just washed our second car using pre-spray and rinseless with two week since last wash. I was surprised how relatively easy even the bugs came off the front but I think it could be thanks to Optimum Car Wax? Always use it as drying aid. Great stuff Wax and ONR and Opti-Seal (on our lighter coloured car)! Both cars are corrected by me and Optimum products.

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3 hours ago, Ron@Optimum said:

As a counterpoint, I was hung up on by a new ONR user last week who insisted it was impossible to wash a car mar free without a hose/suds, and this in spite of having JUST DONE SO.  He called BS on my insistence of the magic of polymer encapsulation and guaranteed his paint was swirled, even though he couldn't see it.  Because I disagreed with him (the customer is always right?) and couldn't see his reasoning, he hung up.  His loss...

In their defence - ONR can seem to be too good to be true. I remember looking at my car after the first (apprehensive) use and I thought 'you have got to be kidding me'. 

I have spent way too much time arguing with strangers who don't believe it in various Facebook groups. Then you get another guy come in and almost give you that knowing nod, like he gets it. 

There are so many good detailing products these days that it's not easy to be blown away anymore. ONR sits on the top of the mountain as the greatest product in my mind. 

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43 minutes ago, No Soap said:

Forensic - Can you wash your car in 5 minutes?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3HsuZWl7UI

I'm a big fan of the Forensic Detailing Channel. So much so that I'm actually a tier 2 ($5 a month) supporter of his on Patreon. 

I suppose everybody has a standard they like to wash to. Mine was that it had to be to the same standard as I was previously washing in the 'traditional' method. Like I've said, this is currently taking me around 50 minutes (which includes set up and pack up). I'm always open to hearing people's methods and tips though! 

P. S Jon's red BMW is really cool now. 

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I have spent a lot of time trying to get a feel for set up time but very few people give this information away.  There are a couple of places where 30-40 minutes have been spoken about on mobile detailing.  I am hesitant to say this sounds excessive as I am not a mobile detailer so maybe I am missing something but from an outside perspective it does look as if this is a process which is eating away a lot of profit or time

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A 20-30 minute set up time would probably only be acceptable if you were going over the car prior to starting in my opinion. 

This is probably an area that's perfect for improving efficiency. My set up time is around 10 minutes and pack up is about 5. This is in my garage though so that's to be expected. 

One interesting note is how much time the IK Foam sprayer saved me for wheel cleaning. I just pump it up, spray, let it dwell and then agitate with a brush and I'm done. Wheel cleaning was the final area I was struggling with for some time and it was a relief to find this product. 

I'm not sure how much more I can shave off what I do. Having said that I'm generally happy with how much I've improved. 

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Put an auto valve stem in your IK-9 Foam sprayer.  I have two of the larger ones and pump them up in a few seconds with my air compressor.  Saves a lot of arduous pumping and a couple more minutes.

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1 hour ago, gspam1 said:

Put an auto valve stem in your IK-9 Foam sprayer.  I have two of the larger ones and pump them up in a few seconds with my air compressor.  Saves a lot of arduous pumping and a couple more minutes.

That's a good idea. As much as I love the IK, I was a bit disappointed that it only really sprays properly for a few seconds. Wheels are not too bad but I would never use it on the paint (like The Rag Company does on YouTube). It would drive me crazy. 

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