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Registered
09 Forester 2.5X
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704 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any of you crazies get out there and clean your Foz when it's 30 or below? I've done it a few times now, and I'm not sure I want to do it again. My fingers are numb by the end of it. Just wondering if you guys wash during the winter, or do you just suck it up and take it to a machine washing place? I just thought, maybe I could try using warm water?
 

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BLUE WASABI, (#2 Info Provider)
2008 SG Model D
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9,050 Posts
Best is if there is a touchless wash that is enclosed (so ice doesn't form). Then get it as dry as possible as fast as possible. I try to hit one twice a week to keep the nasty ice killing chemicals off my car.

It would be ideal to have a nice heated garage with lift and drain below lift that you could spray down your ride...maybe one day:biggrin:
 

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Registered
09 Forester 2.5X
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704 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Best is if there is a touchless wash that is enclosed (so ice doesn't form). Then get it as dry as possible as fast as possible. I try to hit one twice a week to keep the nasty ice killing chemicals off my car.

It would be ideal to have a nice heated garage with lift and drain below lift that you could spray down your ride...maybe one day:biggrin:
Gee, that would be nice. Ill give you my Paypal so you can donate to my garage fund:icon_wink:

Thanks for the tip. I don't usually like going to those washes, I love washing my Subie with my own sweat, blood and love. Going straight to the car wash with towel in hand after work.
 

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Registered
2014 2.0XT CVT
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3,069 Posts
if you plan to keep washing all winter I'd suggest getting a pair of wet suit gloves. I happen to have some since I surf so I threw them on when I washed my car the other day. Keeps your fingers nice and warm and keeps a good grip on the washcloths plus they're rubber so you don't have to worry about them scratching your car. You should be able to pick some up for a reasonably cheap price.
 

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Registered
2008 Forester X Auto
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187 Posts
Disclaimer: I'm a bit of a car nut and love having a clean car...

I've washed my car during the last two winters using a product called Optimum No Rinse made by Optimum Polymer Technologies. This car wash product allows you to wash your car with only a buck or two of water and no hose. It was originally designed for use in areas of the country with water restrictions, but I've found it great for washing in winter without getting wet.

The No Rinse wash technique involves washing and drying a single section of the car at a time. Instead of rinsing the dirt away using traditional soap and a hose, the No Rinse product emulsifies the dirt and it sticks to your wash medium. Since you dry each panel right away, you can stop at any point during your wash without having to worry about water drying (or freezing) on the car like would happen during a regular wash.

Since I don't use a hose, there's no water spray kicked back in my face by the wind and I can wash the entire car and not get wet at all with the exception of one hand (I just wear a glove).

What you need:
One bucket of No Rinse and warm water (about two gallons)
One bucket of plain water
One spray bottle with No Rinse and water (to pre-spray each section)
Four 16"x16" quality microfiber towels (for paint and windows)
Two el-cheapo microfiber towels (for wheels and tires)
Two microfiber drying towels

My process:
Mist panel with the spray bottle
Take one 16x16 towel folded in fourths
Soak in No Rinse
Wipe gently from top to bottom of panel
Dry panel with drying towel
Mist second panel
Fold towel over to expose clean section of towel
Wipe down next panel
Dry
When the towel is too dirty to continue, toss into plain water bucket. I wash the towels in the washing machine when I have enough for a full load.

This technique works for all but the most filthy of cars. If my car is covered in sand/cinders/grit, I might pre-rinse with a hose or the wand at the self serve car wash to prevent the possibility of scratching. I sometimes spray the undercarriage of the car with the hose when I'm done. That way if the water freezes on the driveway I don't have to wash the car on sheets of ice.

There are quite a few videos of this process on You Tube (just type in Optimum No Rinse) or you can do a search on Autopia - Autopia Home for a ton of info. There's some info about No Rinse right here on this website under exterior washing - product guides: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f138/detailing-library-63113/

I even use this wash technique in summer since it's so effective and convenient. I will admit I was skeptical of this product at first, but I can't imagine not having it.
 

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2000 Forester
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263 Posts
^^Sounds sweet! Personally, I hit up the local M&H car wash. It's a long soft cloth, moving car wash, you put it in neutral and a block moves the car via wheels. Very thorough, A guy is at the beginning to pre-wash your car...ie. spray the wheels and other particularly dirty spots. The soft cloth is super nice really gets a good clean. plus at the end it comes out virtually spot free with all the dryers they have. Only problem I have is I need to crack all the doors open right away and spray some lock de-icer in every time. -12 last week was pretty cold for a car wash!
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,124 Posts
Disclaimer: I'm a bit of a car nut and love having a clean car...

I've washed my car during the last two winters using a product called Optimum No Rinse made by Optimum Polymer Technologies. .
But unfortunately during winter the most important thing to do with respect to washing is lots of water everywhere to get rid of the salt residue. I do a lot of trips to the do-it-yourself car wash and really hit it underneath the car.
 

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Registered
04 FXT, 61 Stude
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1,735 Posts
I just take my foz to a local chevron that has a touchless wash and pay the extra buck to have the undercarriage sprayed. I usually do it every other week to prevent a heavy salt build up.
 

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Registered
2008 Forester X Auto
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187 Posts
But unfortunately during winter the most important thing to do with respect to washing is lots of water everywhere to get rid of the salt residue.
I agree that flushing the underside/radiator/wheel wells of the car is more important in winter than spotless paint. I drive on the highway almost exclusively and salt gets everywhere. No Rinse won't help clean the underside of the car, but you can hose under the car after using No Rinse. That way, if you get wet you are at the end of your wash anyway.

Over the last five winters I've used a do-it-yourself car wash, a regular hose wash and the No Rinse with hose for underneath. Of the three I prefer the No Rinse method, but doing anything in winter (especially underneath the car) is better than nothing.
 

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TANSTAAFL
2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
Joined
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472 Posts
For what it's worth, a guy that painted cars for a living told me to never wash a car when the temperature is below freezing. I guess his theory was, water freezing and expanding in the pores of the paint after washing will degrade the finish.

I do wash off the road salt in the wintertime anyway, but I always make sure to have a layer or two of Collinite 845 Insulator Wax on my vehicle before winter weather hits. :shrug:
 

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Registered
2006 Forester XT
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657 Posts
Once a week I take it to the spray-wash place and blast it with clean hot water to get the salt off, even at minus 30*. Under, over, rad, wheelwells and driveline, then straight home to the (slightly) heated garage to dry.

My only tip is to spray the whole rubber door seals well with silicone lube in the fall. The ice still forms, but the doors don't stick shut.
 

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Registered
Joined
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39 Posts
Disclaimer: I'm a bit of a car nut and love having a clean car...

I've washed my car during the last two winters using a product called Optimum No Rinse made by Optimum Polymer Technologies. This car wash product allows you to wash your car with only a buck or two of water and no hose. It was originally designed for use in areas of the country with water restrictions, but I've found it great for washing in winter without getting wet.

The No Rinse wash technique involves washing and drying a single section of the car at a time. Instead of rinsing the dirt away using traditional soap and a hose, the No Rinse product emulsifies the dirt and it sticks to your wash medium. Since you dry each panel right away, you can stop at any point during your wash without having to worry about water drying (or freezing) on the car like would happen during a regular wash.

Since I don't use a hose, there's no water spray kicked back in my face by the wind and I can wash the entire car and not get wet at all with the exception of one hand (I just wear a glove).

What you need:
One bucket of No Rinse and warm water (about two gallons)
One bucket of plain water
One spray bottle with No Rinse and water (to pre-spray each section)
Four 16"x16" quality microfiber towels (for paint and windows)
Two el-cheapo microfiber towels (for wheels and tires)
Two microfiber drying towels

My process:
Mist panel with the spray bottle
Take one 16x16 towel folded in fourths
Soak in No Rinse
Wipe gently from top to bottom of panel
Dry panel with drying towel
Mist second panel
Fold towel over to expose clean section of towel
Wipe down next panel
Dry
When the towel is too dirty to continue, toss into plain water bucket. I wash the towels in the washing machine when I have enough for a full load.

This technique works for all but the most filthy of cars. If my car is covered in sand/cinders/grit, I might pre-rinse with a hose or the wand at the self serve car wash to prevent the possibility of scratching. I sometimes spray the undercarriage of the car with the hose when I'm done. That way if the water freezes on the driveway I don't have to wash the car on sheets of ice.

There are quite a few videos of this process on You Tube (just type in Optimum No Rinse) or you can do a search on

I even use this wash technique in summer since it's so effective and convenient. I will admit I was skeptical of this product at first, but I can't imagine not having it.
This. Except I would use a quality sheepskin wash mitt instead of towels so that any of the dirt would be trapped inside the wash mitt instead of on the surface of the towel, where it could scratch the paint. Warm water and Optimum No Rinse goes a long way!
 

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2004 XT
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825 Posts
i dont have sub 30 degree temps here in socal but i actually picked up a nice car washing device from KRAGEN! it is a microfiber "mop" device. it has the stringy micro fiber heads (look like dread locks) and then it has an extendable pole which works great for reaching higher places, for us shorter ppl, and it also detaches for a hand spount as well. so you really dont HAVE TO get ur hands wet in the coldness
 
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