If you’re like me, you’ve tried a lot of different auto shampoos in search of a product that works at all levels. We end up with 4 or 5 different products in our arsenal to meet different needs, and inevitably some of it goes to waste. About a year ago a highly respected detailer recommended that I try Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Clear (CG CWC), so I gave it a shot.
Per Chemical Guys, CGCWC is a pH balanced, hyper concentrated, biodegradable shampoo that can be used in a low ratio for daily washes, or a high ratio for paint preparation (stripping of waxes and sealants).
Since most of my work involves machine polishing, I was really interested in its ability to safely strip waxes and sealants that can interfere with the polishing process. Some heavy gloss enhancers (found in many auto shampoos) along with waxes and sealants will form a barrier between the polisher and the painted surface. Many times this barrier will cause the polish to react in a less than desirable manner, or it may cause the polishing pad to skip or hop.
As with most Chemical Guys products, CG CWC is very concentrated. Directions call for just .5 oz to a gallon of water for your regular wash (this ratio will NOT strip wax!). If you buy in a gallon, that is a lot of washes! For paint preparation, mix 2 oz per gallon of water.
Not only did I find CG CWC to be high-sudsing at either ratio, but it also has a high level of lubricity to ensure your wash media glides gently across the surface of the vehicle to prevent damage to the finish. A high quality wash like this will gently lift and hold the soil in suspension for a scratch-free rinse.
As a daily wash, CG CWC does a tremendous job of safely cleaning the vehicle, and it leaves a nice glossy finish as well. And at only .5 oz per gallon, it will last a long time!
If you have a Gilmour Foamaster II Foam Gun, you will find that it is a joy to use it with Citrus Wash and Clear. It produces rich, thick foam that clings to the surface of the vehicle to breakdown the heavy dirt prior to washing. I will typically foam the car, let it dwell for a few minutes, and then perform a regular wash using the 2-bucket method and a sheepskin mitt.
Another great use for CWC is to strip any polishing oils or compound dust off of the car before prepping it for wax or sealant application. There are some polishes that will leave oils behind on the surface that can interfere with the application of waxes and sealants, and this is a quick and effective way to remove them. All I need to do is apply a thick layer of foam all over the vehicle, then hose it off, and it’s ready to go!
If you like to try different waxes and sealants, then you definitely have the need a product like this to strip the previous coat and start with a fresh clean surface for applying something new.
In summary, I find CG CWC to be extremely versatile, and quite effective weather you’re performing a daily wash or prepping the paint for polishing. It’s great to have one product that will cover so many needs, and because it’s so highly concentrated, you get a lot of value as well.
I highly recommend Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Clear, and couldn’t imagine not having it in the Esoteric garage!
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