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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if any of you have tips or tricks for cleaning the Pilot quickly and easily? There are a lot of intense options out there that frankly take too long, so here are some ways I keep it clean.

Exterior:
I've always been told, hand wash or touch free for the exterior. The brushes at the "touch" wash carry all the dirt they removed from other cars and often scratch clear coats, leaving that swirl you often see in the sunlight of 2-5 year old cars. I might be bothered to hand wash once a year, then try to use the touch free near me as often as I can.

Anybody have some good ideas on how to quickly remove bugs, tar, etc, without a whole claybar, polish, wax routine?

Interior:
I've been using Murphy's Oil Soap for most interior surfaces for a long time. Best part is how the car smells after. I use just enough in a gallon of warm water to get a lather in a microfiber cloth ( I honestly forget how much...maybe a quarter cup?). It's good for cleaning leather, vinyl, plastic, metal, even for getting stains out of seatbelts. Just don't use it on any screens or your gauge cluster. Anything else out there you folks like?

For leather conditioning, I've only every tried Lexol. Any other products out there with a better smell?

Hands down the best advice I've ever gotten is to use a wet, soft, synthetic paintbrush to clean all the cracks or hard to reach places. If it has a metal strap to hold the bristles, cover that in a layer or two of scotch or electrical tape to make sure you don't scratch anything accidentally. When you're done wiping down and cleaning your surfaces, you can dip the brush in some warm water and then run lengthwise down long gaps. Your goal is to move whatever is in there out and onto the surface for you to wipe away with a cloth. Makes it so easy and fast.

What are your tips and tricks?
 

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For interior cleaning I just discovered CarGuys Super Cleaner and I love it. Works great and has a nice, light scent.

For the leather seats cleaning I've used the CarGuys product I mentioned and it's been great too. I'm actually due to condition the seats soon so I'm interested in any recommendations. I'll lookup the Lexol conditioner you mentioned.

Also interested in any suggestions on the bug cleaning

Sent from my AT&T Samsung Note8 using Tapatalk
 

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Unfortunately, life damages paint. Washing once a year means waxing once a year, which means more damage. That's a realistic approach - most modern paints still look mostly OK after years of neglect unless you live in a very challenging environment. I've never seen a spray-on wax job last long enough to be useful.

For me, the best solution is regular maintenance that is easy to do. If you get some basic equipment and have a place to work, you can wash and wax a Pilot in 40 minutes once you get some practice. Wax is the best defense, short of a high-tech coating. An excellent explanation of one option for ceramic coatings was described on the forum about 2 weeks ago, by the way.

Put wax on with a random-orbital buffer and foam pad. Porter-Cable makes a good one. Harbor Freight sells them. You don't need anything fancy. Buff the wax on as light as you can, then wipe it off. If it takes more than 2 wipes or makes you sweat to get it off, you're putting it on too heavy.

Removing baked on debris is, in my experience, mostly a matter of dissolving it. Sap needs a solvent, so one of the citrus cleaners will help there, but bugs and bird droppings just take patience, soap, water, and a soft sponge. If you've got a good coat of wax and you get it off promptly, the paint won't be etched. There may be some wonderful magic in a bottle that makes it easier, but I've not used it.

Once you have the buffer, you can wait until the swirl bothers you, then buy another pad and some good swirl remover. Wash, do the swirl remover, then wax. You'll be amazed.

If you prefer to do the once-a-year thing, you can always get a thorough detailing every few years. They can't work miracles with etching or other severe damage, but it you're only planning on keeping it for 100k or so, don't mind the cost and you're not too picky, that's probably the best balance between looking pretty good and doing no work.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Removing baked on debris is, in my experience, mostly a matter of dissolving it. Sap needs a solvent, so one of the citrus cleaners will help there, but bugs and bird droppings just take patience, soap, water, and a soft sponge. If you've got a good coat of wax and you get it off promptly, the paint won't be etched. There may be some wonderful magic in a bottle that makes it easier, but I've not used it.
I wish I could use a random orbital sponge or something to get the bug gunk off. I've always thought the worst part is how unreasonably manual that process is. Like I'm most successful when i get my fingernails in on the action, and I'm gagging as I type this just thinking about it. :sick:
 

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I wish I could use a random orbital sponge or something to get the bug gunk off. I've always thought the worst part is how unreasonably manual that process is. Like I'm most successful when i get my fingernails in on the action, and I'm gagging as I type this just thinking about it. :sick:
Well, a scotch brite pad and water will get it right off, but you'll shred the clear coat doing it. Paint is shiny when its mirror smooth, and its relatively soft compared to baked-on bugs. Getting blemishes off quickly makes it more likely you'll scratch the paint, even if just slightly.

Getting it off before it bakes on is the most help. If you don't, you can wet a sponge with soapy water and put it over the problem. Remove sponge, wipe, rinse sponge, repeat until gone. Some of the "quick detailer" products in spray bottles are easy to keep in the car with a sponge, and can help a lot with fresh blemishes. You'll feel like a car nerd cleaning up after a day on the road, but its a "pay me now or pay me later" deal, and later is never easier.
 

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I've used WD-40 for removing Bugs & Tar after a trip. Let it sit for a little to soften up the tuff guys. I found it works better than soap & water. (I've also applied it before going on a long trip, to prevent the bugs from sticking!)

I also use Lexol for my leather seats, cleaner, then conditioner. I attended a detailing class 2 years ago and they suggested lightly using a Magic Eraser for leather issues like some stains & blue jeans discoloring. Can really bring the clean back and brighten them up. Helpd in the seams too. Caution: use lightly, do not scrub!
 

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I wash by hand, just a single bucket. I use Meguirers or Mothers car wash. I use a claybar, and I wax with Collinite 845. For the interior, I use Aerospace 303. If any wax gets on plastic, I use a little pink school eraser and it takes it right off.

I can wash, clay and wax my car in less than 2 hours.
 
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I've used WD-40 for removing Bugs & Tar after a trip. Let it sit for a little to soften up the tuff guys. I found it works better than soap & water. (I've also applied it before going on a long trip, to prevent the bugs from sticking!)

I also use Lexol for my leather seats, cleaner, then conditioner. I attended a detailing class 2 years ago and they suggested lightly using a Magic Eraser for leather issues like some stains & blue jeans discoloring. Can really bring the clean back and brighten them up. Helpd in the seams too. Caution: use lightly, do not scrub!
Interesting tip on applying WD-40 before going on a long trip for prevention. I usually do a long trip from CA to AZ every 4 months or so and by the time I arrive in AZ my whole front bumper area is full of bugs. So what do you actually do... do you just spray on the WD-40 before driving and leave it like that until you get back home to wash/clean? Or if I do use WD-40 from CA to AZ, once in AZ should I wash/clean it and re-apply again from AZ to CA?
 

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So what do you actually do... do you just spray on the WD-40 before driving and leave it like that until you get back home to wash/clean? Or if I do use WD-40 from CA to AZ, once in AZ should I wash/clean it and re-apply again from AZ to CA?
Never thought about it too much. What I've done is spray it on the morning I leave. The fresher the coat, the less likely the bugs will stick. I guess the best thing to do would be to clean them off when you get there and apply another coat before your return trip. (I've never had an issue with the car wax, but I don't spray it on the hood and especially not the windshield, just the bumper and front area that catches bugs)
(I also clean my Stainless Steel Gas BBQ Grill with WD-40, my brother-in-law showed me this trick a couple years ago. Just spray it and wipe it with a few paper towels. Wipe with the grain and don't scrub it)
 

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I have a coworker who has never hand waxed a vehicle in his life and his vehicles look amazing. Granted he washes them at least once a week and sometimes will use a high-pressure hose with just water in between washes. He uses spray wax weekly after washing and his 2001 Silverado looks brand new (as do his other newer vehicles).

I say that but I still hand wax my vehicles at least once per year.
 

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Never thought about it too much. What I've done is spray it on the morning I leave. The fresher the coat, the less likely the bugs will stick. I guess the best thing to do would be to clean them off when you get there and apply another coat before your return trip. (I've never had an issue with the car wax, but I don't spray it on the hood and especially not the windshield, just the bumper and front area that catches bugs)
(I also clean my Stainless Steel Gas BBQ Grill with WD-40, my brother-in-law showed me this trick a couple years ago. Just spray it and wipe it with a few paper towels. Wipe with the grain and don't scrub it)
Sounds like a bad idea. Grills don't need much. Heat it up and hit it with stainless brush. If you wanna clean them use soapy water and soak a bit. I don't think WD 40 is the way to go with food, but that's your business LoL
 

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The best thing I've found for bugs is a product called Bugs N All. You can get it on Amazon. Just spray it on wait a few minutes and rinse. Stubborn or baked on bugs may need a 2nd treatment and a light rub with a bug sponge.
The Autogeek forums are a great source for auto detailing & car ideas.
 

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Sounds like a bad idea. Grills don't need much. Heat it up and hit it with stainless brush. If you wanna clean them use soapy water and soak a bit. I don't think WD 40 is the way to go with food, but that's your business LoL
I don't use it on the Grills, I use it on the outside stainless steel. Don't use it on the actual grills!
 
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