Unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed

I have been contemplating Automobile cleanliness again.  I totally get personal hygiene.  I am all about being clean, and keeping the area around me clean.  I am also fairly keen about keeping the inside of my Cadillac clean.

2005 Cadillac CTS right rear with Meguiar's NXT wax x2

2005 Cadillac CTS right rear with Meguiar's NXT wax x2

BUT when it comes to the outside of the Cadillac, how clean is clean?  Or really, how dirty is TOO dirty?  How often is the right frequency to clean the Cadillac?  My CTS is dirty right now.  And by dirty, I don’t mean “oh look there is a spec of dew on the car”.  I mean the wheels are gray with brake dust and the car looks like it has been driven around town all week, left at the airport, and quick-parked in the garage.  Very authentic dirt from its normal chores kind of dirt.

By the way, now I recognize a difference between the FE3 performance brake pads and the FE1 baseline brake pads — lots more brake dust from the ‘performance’ AC Delco pads.

I also manage to procrastinate on this topic when I consider whether it really is better for the environment to take the car to a car wash to be cleaned or to clean it at home.  Then I don’t do either one.  Still not clear to me which side is true on that one.  Then when I decide to take it to the Auto car wash, I feel conflicted between spending money to have it cleaned and giving the money to the food bank, so I don’t do either one.  I am all about ambivalence and inaction on this topic.  Technically I sent money to the NTFB food bank, but not specifically the $10 I saved by not taking the car through the automatic carwash and avoiding this whole thought stream.

I see enthusiast cars — the ones I think my car should probably model — on the road that look like they have never been dirty,  or if they were once dirty then it was immediately corrected.  Corrected with great prejudice, so that they ended up from the experience gleaming even more sharply than they started kind of cleaning.

Also, it is in the cold here this week, so not a good time to work in the driveway.  And I don’t have the right lighting (or ventilation!) to wash the car well in the heated garage.  And the garage is not all that heated, or roomy.  Lots of excuses, which even I recognize as just excuses, or perhaps as side-projects.  Finally get the more lighting I need in the garage, clean out the boxes stored there to allow for more room, etc.

So, if you are a “Car Enthusiast” how often do you clean your favorite automobile?  Once a week? Every morning? Only when it gets “bad”?  Clean it in the garage with a waterless process, or in the driveway, or at a carwash?

3 thoughts on “Unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed

  1. I never use a car wash. As my cars “sleep under the stars”, I wash them regularly, at least every three days.
    I do not like letting the dirt/road grim, build up on the paint.

    Washing is usually done early in the morning (5:00 AM), before I head out to work. Takes about fifteen minutes or less,
    this also works as a morning wake-up. For soap, Turtle Wax Ice Car Wash, and always a spray nozzle to keep from wasting water.

    I use a medium size terrycloth towel to wash with, covers lots of area fast, and then blow dry the car on my way into work.

    -George

  2. Ran the CTS over to the car wash for a ‘catch-up’ but assuming the weather stays nice I’ll try to do the next quick-detail in the garage and see how that works.

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