You’d better call the doctor, because if you’re anything like us here at GYEON… you’ve got SPRING fever! One full trip around the sun later and we’re ready for weekly car washing with daily car meets and events – so ladies and gentlemen, start your engines, gather your products, and pull into your driveway or local self-service car wash… we’ve got some decontaminating to do!
Down & Dirty
As with any detail, be sure to put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands from the wide range of chemicals you will be handling – safety is always the most important. Like all washes, we’ll be starting on the wheels first. The process for wheel decontaminating is generally pretty identical to cleaning them at any other point in the year; the exception to this would be if you plan on doing a wheels-off coating, or if you have a spring/summer set of wheels that are going on the car. In this blog, we’ll just be doing a maintenance cleaning and quick protection application – keep an eye out for a future in-depth blog about all things pertaining to wheel coating and care. Depending on the level of contamination your wheels have accumulated, I personally like to get any large sections of dirt buildup or debris off by performing a quick pre-rinse. This is of course going to vary from vehicle to vehicle and how they are driven; the wheels of a weekly off-roaded jeep wrangler are going to look vastly different than a vehicle that is mainly driven in the city. In this case, the wheels on this Model 3 aren’t too bad, so we’ll just get straight into the application of Iron Wheel Cleaner. With your wheel bucket close by, spray some Iron Wheel Cleaner evenly around the wheel while being sure to get inside the barrels and target high-buildup areas such as in-between spokes or behind the caliper. While we leave the chemical to dwell and work on breaking down contaminants, we can move on to the tire and wheel arches. Spray a good amount of Tire Cleaner around the tire; for wheels of this size, 5-7 sprays evenly spaced out should be a good place to start, but if you’ve got larger tires you’ll likely need to scale that up a little bit. Once sprayed on the surface, I like to grab a diluted bottle of APC (1:5 for engine bay/wheel arch cleaning) and spray a generous amount onto the felt-liners or hard plastic liner located in the wheel arches. Next, load up some elbow grease, add one or two sprays to the bristles of your Tire Brush, and begin agitating the cleaner while making sure to get into any ridges or grooves that might be in the design of the tire.
Once you’ve made your way around the tire, the wheel cleaner should have turned a dark purple and be ready to either rinse or agitate. If your wheels were on the more dirty side of the spectrum, it’s much safer to rinse first as opposed to agitating all of that dirt and grime into the finish of the wheel. Once rinsed, you can spray a little bit more Iron Wheel Cleaner and begin to agitate; depending on the finish of your wheel, there are a few different options you can use to agitate the cleaner. If you’ve got a more expensive set of wheels such as HRE’s or BBS’ or wheels with a delicate/custom finish, you’ll want to use something gentle and safe such as our Wheel Mitt (A couple of SoftWipe EVO towels can work in a pinch as well). In this case, with the wheels being a factory winter set, we elected to use a soft boars-hair brush; agitate and rinse thoroughly.
You’ll want to repeat tire cleanings until the suds begin to show white with no browning remaining, and be sure to thoroughly rinse the wheel arches and the wheels themselves – we don’t want any chemical drying on the surfaces.
Powerful. PH Neutral. Purple!
You guessed it… Q²M Iron is up next! You can’t have a decon without a proper iron removal stage, and our iron removal spray is quick, effective, and quite fragrant so definitely be sure to crack that garage door open or work in a well-ventilated environment. There are a few different ways that you can use Q²M Iron depending on personal preference or the level of contamination present on the surface. The first way would be to use it right before the initial wash. Once you’ve sprayed it around the vehicle, you’ll notice the reaction start happening within seconds and it should start turning purple on the surface; you’ll then take your dedicated pre-wash and foam the vehicle as normal. This method allows both the Iron and pre-wash foam to work in unison while being able to dwell for a longer time without drying on the surface. You would then rinse and then wash as normal.
The second method to using Q²M Iron would be to use it as a clay lube alongside a chemical-resistant clay bar if you plan on doing a paint correction afterward. Simply wash the car as you normally would and then once complete, work section by section using Iron and the clay. Rinse before moving onto a new section and never allow it to dry.
The Contact Wash
Aside from looking cool in photos and videos, foaming a vehicle actually serves a crucial part of any effective contact wash. The goal of this stage is going to be to remove as much dirt as possible before we use our dedicated wash mitt. I discussed Foam very briefly in the Iron paragraphs but will take a deeper dive into it here. Grab your foam cannon or garden foam-gun attachment and mix up a dilution with our Foam depending on the cleaning power needed (1:5 up to 1:15). Begin foaming the vehicle from bottom to top – we want the pre-wash solution to dwell on the dirtiest parts of the vehicle the longest which is why we start with the bumpers, rockers, etc. Gravity is going to do most of the work here as the foam drips off the surface. After letting the foam dwell for a minute, you’ll want to thoroughly rinse the vehicle and target any areas where larger sections of dirt might’ve been loosened.
Once rinsed, if you live in a more humid climate where there are all sorts of different insects, you might require a bit more of a focused cleaner for a certain task – enter Q²M Bug & Grime. Simply spray the product onto the affected areas (front bumpers, windshields, etc.), allow it to dwell for 1-2 minutes without letting it dry, and rinse off. Finally, we’re ready for our contact wash! Grab your water-filled buckets and a bottle of Bathe… we’re ready to do some cleaning! Bathe is a super concentrated wash solution, so it’s important to stick to the 1:500 dilution ratio for best results. Bathe provides incredible slickness along with its cleaning power. This is especially important because it allows your wash mitt to safely glide across the surface, which eliminates the possibility of wash-induced marring almost entirely. Work in straight-line motions from top to bottom while being sure to rinse the wash mitt frequently in between panels. Once complete, rinse the vehicle thoroughly, making sure to hit any emblems, spoilers, or window trims that are notorious for hiding soap and water.
“Tar”-iffic Decontamination Power
Next up is Q²M Tar – a powerful and effective tar and organic sediment remover that is crucial to any full decontamination wash. Perfect for removing rubber and asphalt from rocker panels if you track your vehicle or also for removing tree sap if you are susceptible to it. After the initial wash and Iron decon, you’ll want to grab your bottle of Q²M Tar and work panel by panel; you should never use it on a hot panel or let the product dry. Keep your wash bucket nearby, as with each panel completion, you’ll want to give the panel a quick wipe down with your wash mitt. Simply spray tar onto the affected areas and allow it to dwell for about a minute or so – for more stubborn contaminants such as tree sap or a larger section of tar, it can be helpful to spray a section of a BaldWipe microfiber towel and hold it against the contamination so it can work in a more focused area. Wipe away the contamination with a microfiber towel and thoroughly wash and rinse any remaining residue off.
Beads In A Bottle
Once your decon is complete, you’re now ready to either move on to paint correction, wax/sealant, or ceramic coating application. For this vehicle here, we’ll be applying Q²M WetCoat as a light protectant to get through the final weeks of winter here in Colorado. It truly doesn’t get much simpler than WetCoat – while the vehicle is wet, take your bottle of WetCoat and apply 3-4 sprays depending on the size of the panel and rinse off immediately. You’ll see the magic happen almost immediately, and that’s really all there is to it. Spray, rinse, protect, and smile. If you haven’t tried WetCoat yet, it will quickly become one of your favorites.
Dry & Dress
You’re finally in the home stretch of a decontamination wash, and all that’s left to do is dry the vehicle and dress the tires. Our drying towel, the Q²M Silk Dryer, is a hyper-absorbent, soft, and easy-to-use twisted-loop drying towel that will leave your vehicle dry as a bone and streak-free when used properly. Simply take two corners of the towel and lay them out across a panel and drag across. If you’re interested in learning about our Silk Dryer a little more, I actually have a blog topic about How To Safely Dry Your Car - The GYEON Way. Please feel free to give that blog a read to learn about the do’s and don’ts of car drying.
Lastly, we’ll be applying our SiO2 infused tire protectant, Q² Tire. With the help of our contoured Tire Applicators, we’ll be applying 2-3 pumps to an applicator and working the product in an even and constant motion. Once applied, you’ll want Tire to dry for a few minutes to help avoid any sling. When it’s dry, Q² Tire leaves behind a matte finish that will repel dirt and water for up to 5 washes depending on the environment. If you desire a more satin or glossy finish, simply apply an additional layer after 5 minutes and allow it to dry completely.
Winter Washed Away
Once complete, you’ll have yourself a vehicle that is decontaminated and primed for whatever your next step might be. Whether you plan on reviving your paintwork with a 2 or 3-stage correction or applying a quick layer of wax, your paintwork should be a blank slate and free of any seasonal grime. Winter can really take a toll on our vehicles, so it’s crucial that we strip all of the harmful contaminants that may have congregated on your vehicle over the course of 3-4 months. Now obviously contamination is going to greatly differ between someone who lives in New Jersey and someone who lives in Arizona, so it’s important to properly diagnose your vehicle to see what type of contamination is living on the surface beforehand. What now? Well, that’s up to you! We’ll be polishing and ceramic coating to get ready for the abundance of car shows and cruises to be had this summer, and we’ll have the largest smile on our faces while doing so. Got a specific topic you’d like to see me talk about in the future? Let us know on our social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok). Looking for product demos or GYEON news? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and indulge in walkthroughs and product guides. Warm weather has arrived, and we couldn’t be more excited about it – we hope you are as well. Now, there’s nothing left to do, but get out there and prepare for the events to come – happy decontaminating!