English English Nederlands Nederlands Deutsch Deutsch Italiano Italiano Español Español Français Français 简体中文 简体中文 Português Português Русский Русский
    DetailingWiki Newsletter
    Get free and automatic updates on new articles
    We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!

    Advertisement

What is a pre-wash

Written by:

A pre-wash can be done to loosen up dirt and grime before you start washing the car. This means that your washmitt (or similar) will have much less dirt to remove. This results in cleaner rinse water, less often the need to rinse your mitt and less mechanical cleaning needed.

Why pre-washing

A vehicle can be covered in dirt and grime, meaning the surface needs to be cleaned. When you wash your vehicle, you move the dirt and grime from the surface of the vehicle via the washmitt. This is done via mechanical cleaning. Although you reduce the risk of surface imperfection via the correct way of washing, you are still not risk-free. Any form of mechanical cleaning will always have a small risk. If the surface is more dirty, the risk becomes bigger. Pre-washing removes much of the dirt and grime without the need for mechanical cleaning. Unfortunately, pre-washing isn’t strong enough to completely clean the surface, so some mechanical washing is still needed.

What forms of pre-washing

There are a few different ways of pre-washing a vehicle. Some might be easier or cheaper, but will clean less. Others might clean more, but can potentially strip or damage the protective layer. Only the protection-safe products are suitable for regular use. The strong cleaners are more suitable for periodic use.

Snowfoam

Snowfoam is a very common form of pre-wash. It is reasonably simple to apply and only requires a pressure washer and a foam lance. It is applied on the vehicle, left for several minutes to soak and then rinsed off. After the snowfoam is rinsed off, you can wash the vehicle like normal with a mitt or similar.

Hand foamer

In case the equipment is missing to apply snowfoam, or there are reasons why a pressure washer can’t be used, a hand foamer can be used. This pump has a reservoir for water and snowfoam, a pump handle and a larger spraynozzle. The reservoir is pumped full of air, when there is enough pressure, the snowfoam/water mixture can be pushed through the nozzle, making it foam. This way of foaming is generally slightly less effective but might be a good option when a pressure washer can’t be used.

Truck wash

Truck wash is a chemical way of cleaning a vehicle. This alkaline or acidic product contains strong chemicals that are designed to fully strip anything on the surface of the paint. This often means that sealants and wax are removed. Coating can also be damaged by this product. The advantage is that it is easy to work with, fairly cheap and economical and works on many different forms of grime and dirt.

TFR

A traffic film remover is a strong cleaner, similar to truck wash, but in smaller form. It can also be designed to work on a specific type of dirt and/or grime, meaning it can be safe for certain materials. Most TFR’s are quite strong and will either strip your form of protection or negatively affect it. However, it is very effective in cleaning.

After pre-wash

Whatever form of pre-wash you are using, it will not be enough to completely remove all forms of dirt or grime on the surface. Mechanical cleaning is almost always needed to get the surface perfectly clean. You can either follow up with a normal wash, or a full detail (wash, clay, decontaminate, polish and protect). Pre-washing has made washing safer, but its not a complete process.

Different related articles

  • How to wash your car in the summer
    Guides
    Washing a car in the summer gives the risk of the sun evaporating the water quicker then it can be dried off. You either have to be quick or smart to prevent waterspots or dried up products. These tips might help you in reducing the risk....
  • What is mechanical decontamination
    Decontaminating
    Mechanical decontamination is the opposite of chemical decontamination. Whereas chemical decontamination removes contamination from a surface without any physical interaction, mechanical decontamination doesn't require any chemicals and relies solely on physical interaction. ...
  • Shurhold
    Manufacturers
    Shurhold is an American manufacturer of detailing products and car care related products. The brand doesn't focus on just cars, but also boats, RV's and caravans. It is one of a few brands that offers products, machines and tools under 1 name....
  • The best microfibre towel
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    It is often asked on detailing fora and social media: "what is the best microfibre towel". Off course there is a difference between certain products and brands, but it is important to know what you are asking. In this guide I will try to explain what the problem is with this question unless it is asked more in-depth....
  • What is a tar remover
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    In the world of detailing, their are several special cleaning products. Among them is the tar remover. This is a special cleaning product to remove tar and often also glue residue. Tar can come from roads and sometimes at industrial places, it is used in asphalt roads and can be used at construction sites for roofing and some plumbing jobs. It doesn't cause damage, but shows up as ugly black spots which are notoriously difficult to remove....
  • How to apply sealant
    Guides
    In the field of protective products, the sealant has become a rising star. The demand for an easy to use sealant has grown over the last decade. There is also a rise in quality of the ingredients used with the advancements made in the field of polymer-technology, resulting in better performing products. ...

Links to this article

This article currently has 2 links

Sidebar



Stay up to date with our free newsletter
Always be the first to know about new updates, articles and other informative content.
Don't miss out, opt in!
We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!