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Zen of Washing

We have mentioned on numerous occasions that washing your car with a bucket and a hose is a "Zen Experience". Everyone that understands the Zen has their "modus operandi" to turn washing their car into the "Zen Experience".

We are not going to tell you how to wash your own car, The Colonel (who is this guy?) tells us of his latest car washing Zen Experience. 

Guys it was last Friday, beautiful day, in the morning I was debating either going for a motorcycle ride or washing a car. I knew that either activity would quickly turns into a "Zen Experience".

For whatever reason washing the car wins!

Before anyone gets in knots about doing these activities during working hours on a Friday, what can I tell you life is good! Don't get in knots about the car either...its old!

The car needs a spring freshening / cleaning, and some TLC...

I started with the interior, not that it was dirty, it required a freshening especially after a winter. The usual touch points, steering wheel, shift lever, arm rest, power window switches require more attention. Yes the floor mats were washed, even the pedals.


The rear is easier, just a freshening up, hardly anyone ever sits back there. Still did the seat, door panels, under the doors, rear window parcel shelf. 



Then I made my way to the trunk, vacuumed, cleaned the sides around the weather strip (that trunk looks positively huge in a photo). If you are starting to get the feeling that I do not tolerate a messy car, you would be right.


Moving on to the engine compartment that was a little messy, and "bothering me" its the engine compartment that weighed for the car instead of the motorcycle ride. Nothing that WD40, a good quantity of blue shop wipes, shop latex gloves, and human power cannot fix. 

Do I need to tell you that once the engine compartment was clean, I felt better...hate it when you open a hood and its messy. 


This car has SBC (Sensotronic Brake Control) brakes, you can see the BC clearly on what looks like an ABS box, except this one has an electric motor and pressure reservoir. Yes...I could take a small brush and deal with the grime between the time...told you its an old car.


On newer cars you have to clean the headlamp, parking light, fog lamp lenses, they usually get a layer of road grime....yes they are Zenon!



I always do the wheels last, use a different sponge and apply tire shine...yes its a minor curb rash (left side) will get a curb rash at one point. You surely know the routine of brake dust, spokes, little bolts on the circumference. It looks good and is a little time consuming to clean properly.

No wheel locks, the lug nuts require an allen key.


Once I wash the car with soapy water in a bucket, and a microfiber sponge, wipe off most of the water with a squeegee, clean the door jambs, inside the gas filler, finish drying the car. Do all the glass inside and out. Its a spectacular day, bright sun, my T-shirt is wet, the car is getting a wash, and I'm getting a wash too, not with soapy water.

I now decide that I might as well "go for gusto" and apply a coat of polish/wax. The 6 inch orbital applicator works well to apply, and human power with microfiber cloths works well to remove the wax. The waxing is done in the garage.

Yes...some folks go to the gym, I'm getting a work out while improving my

Its clean, its shiny, and for some Zen Reason when they are clean and shiny they run better, go figure.


The individual that is preoccupied with other priorities than washing a car, can always buy a car wash at the self serve gas station, and entirely miss the Zen Experience of washing your car.



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Reader Comments (2)


Very nice, sir. One day, I'll have a car worth hand washing again. I miss it.
Monday, June 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Driggs
Any car is worth hand washing :-)
Monday, June 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterStrada

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