Do I need one? What do they do? We get asked a lot of questions regarding pre-wash soaps and what benefit they provide. Lets answer these questions...
What does a pre-wash do?
Using a pre-wash soap is a great method to help prevent unsightly wash marks (paint swirls). Pre-Wash soaps are a contactless first-step method of removing as much dirt as possible before touching your paint. The less you have to touch your paint the better. And because a pre-wash removes a lot of the dirt before your wash mitt touches the car you will more than likely not have to use as much force during the mitt wash which again reduces the likelihood of inducing scratches.
Do I still need to wash my car?
Yes you do. A pre-wash will remove a lot of the dirt, but not all. You will still need to wash the car with a conventional car wash soap after the pre-wash step is completed
How do they work?
After a pre-wash soap is applied to the surface it is allowed to dwell for several minutes (always check the product label for dwell time and/or dilution) During this dwell period much of the dirt is loosened by the detergents in the pre-wash and is removed when rinsing
Apply pre-wash & allow to dwell
Wash vehicle with mitt & conventional car wash soap
How are they applied?
Usually a prewash soap is applied using a foam cannon & pressure washer. This turns the soap into a clingy foam that sticks to the car allowing the required dwell time. However if you do not have a pressure washer & foam cannon you are not out of luck. A hand foamer like shown below is also very effective in applying a pre-wash.
Ceramic Coated Cars
Although not technically a pre-wash, if you have a ceramic coated vehicle there is a great product designed specifically to decontaminate ceramic coated vehicles. Restart wash from Gyeon is a concentrated and slick shampoo designed to cleanse coated surfaces from contamination effortlessly.