Pressure Washer / Foam Cannon
The Karcher K1700 is a good unit right out of the box but upgrading it with Obsessed Garage’s solution takes it to a completely different level.
This replaces the Karcher parts with a KobraJet hose, MTM gun and foam cannon, a Mosmatic stainless steel wand, and the quick disconnects and fittings to make it all work properly. You could spend the time to piece all of this together yourself, but Obsessed Garage allows you to order the complete functioning setup at the click of a button.
This setup is very comfortable to use and has plenty of pressure. I’ve even used it to freshen up a cedar deck and clean the siding of an entire house before. Rinsing mud off a 4runner is child’s play compared to that!
Things I’d like to improve or do differently: I should have bought the longer hose option – this 25′ hose does the job but I do find myself having to strategize where I park the vehicle I’m washing. I’d also like to come up with a more permanent mounting solution instead of having to hook this up to a hose every time. That will require running a water line to my garage but it’ll be worth it. Also, the yellow plastic is hideous – perhaps I’ll paint it or wrap it in vinyl?
I’ll be totally honest, Canadian Tire sent me these Simoniz Platinum buckets along with a bunch of other products, and to me, a bucket is a bucket. These come with Grit Guards which makes them a pretty good value.
I like the fact that these all match and the grey color hides the stains that built up on my old white ones. I love the stool and castor wheel conversion they included for one of them and find myself using it all the time.
I’ve tried quite a few car soaps over the years and I used to think they were basically all the same. When Lithium sent this bottle of Double Tap to me to test out, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. Eucalyptus oil? Really?
I expected their “low residue” claims to be a bit of a stretch but I was wrong. I’m a guy that doesn’t follow the rules when it comes to only washing vehicles in the shade. I’ll do it in direct sunlight in the middle of summer. If you hustle and work smart, it can be done without the residue drying on the surface.
I was surprised to see how well Double Tap performed in this situation. I don’t have to hustle as much. The claims are true – it really does work. I love the concept of hydrating the paint rather than drying it out too.
I use this soap on all types of vehicles. Unprotected paint that’s about to be polished, waxed paint, and even ceramic coatings. It works great on all of them.
Lithium hit a home run with Double Tap. That’s why I find myself coming back to it every time I try another soap.
I use a few different wash pads from time to time but this Incredipad is the one I use the most. I prefer to use pads rather than mitts because I found myself never actually wearing a mitt properly. That just means I end up dragging the sleeve of it across the paint so in this case, it’s best to just eliminate it.
The Incredipad is nice and soft and I find the size fits my hand comfortably although some might consider it a little on the small side. For larger vehicles, I switch to a Simoniz Platinum chenille-style pad.
Optimum No Rinse might just be my most used detailing product of all time. It’s sold as a concentrate (I buy it by the gallon) and you can adjust how you mix it up depending on your intended use.
Primarily, ONR is a rinseless wash. It allows you to wash your car without rinsing the residue off with a hose, hence the name. I actually use it this way very rarely. I prefer to rinse the vehicle off with a hose or pressure washer first for added safety.
ONR is a good combination with your favorite detail spray, drying aid, or spray wax. I’ve used it with P&S Beadmaker, Lithium Color Crush, Lithium Ignite After Wash, and Meguiar’s X-Press Spray Wax – all with great results. This is one of those easy-to-use products that works in many situations. It’s not picky about how you use it or what you use it with.
I’ll wash any vehicle with Optimum No Rinse. Waxed or ceramic coated – it doesn’t matter. Keep in mind I use the original version, not the one that has wax in it.
Another big reason for my obsession with ONR is the other products it replaces. I keep a spray bottle of it handy and use it for a window cleaner, detail spray, and even an interior cleaner whenever I’m too lazy to grab a separate product. You can even use it on navigation screens without leaving a residue behind!
I’m not really a fan of waterless washes. A rinseless wash is one thing, but simply spraying a product on a dry panel and wiping it creates a certain amount of anxiety in me. I’ve tried other waterless washes though and I will say that if I’m going to use one, it’s Lithium Glowmaxx.
Some waterless wash products go too far with lubrication (or leaving wax behind, whatever) and it makes them nearly impossible to buff to a streak-free finish. Lithium got the mixture right and I find it much easier to use than others.
I tend to use this on motorcycles most often. They don’t get super dirty and it’s easier to just spray a product like this on and wipe it off rather than deal with blowing water out of every crack and crevice.
If I’ve just finished a traditional wash (rather than a rinseless one), I prefer to dry the car off with a leaf blower to minimize scratches and swirl marks. This strategy works great with Lithium Double Tap since it leaves less residue behind than other soaps.
It seems like the WG520 has been replaced with the 521 which is the same thing, just with more CFM. I’m definitely happy with this blower but if I had to do it all again, I’d probably go with a battery-operated one rather than fighting with a cord while drying off the car.
Drying Aid / Top Up
I had a bit of a hard time choosing my favorite drying aid. I’ve used a few different products and really liked most of them. I’ve chosen to put Beak Maker here because a) I’ve used it the most and b) it works pretty well as a standalone protection product too. You can either apply it on a wet car before you dry it or use it as more of a spray sealant on a dry car.
A close 2nd place would be Lithium Ignite After Wash. It’s primarily a drying aid though so it isn’t quite as well-rounded. You can’t go wrong with either of these in my opinion.
I don’t use detail sprays very often but this is my go-to for the times when I need one. Typically, you use a quick detailer like this for touch-ups like fingerprints you notice after washing your car. It works great for that. You can also use it as a drying aid or clay lube as well.