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Porsche Detailing

Pelican Technical Article:

Porsche Detailing

Bob Tindel


3-4 hours






Water from a hose, shade, carwash liquid, cotton towels

Applicable Models:

Porsche 356A (1956-59)
Porsche 356A Super (1956-59)
Porsche 356B (1960-63)
Porsche 356B Super (1960-62)
Porsche 356B Super 90 (1960-62)
Porsche 356C (1964-65)
Porsche 356SC (1964-65)
Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 914 (1970-76)
Porsche 918 Spyder (2015)
Porsche 924 (1977-82)
Porsche 924 Turbo (1980-82)
Porsche 924S (1987-88)
Porsche 928 (1978-91)
Porsche 928 GT (1990-91)
Porsche 928 GTS (1993-95)
Porsche 928 S4 (1987-89)
Porsche 928S (1983-86)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)
Porsche 944 (1983-89)
Porsche 944 S2 (1989-91)
Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)
Porsche 944S (1987-88)
Porsche 955 Cayenne (2004-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne GTS (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne S (2003-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo (2003-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo S (2006-10)
Porsche 958 Cayenne (2011-16)
Porsche 958 Cayenne Diesel (2013-16)
Porsche 958 Cayenne Diesel Platinum (2014)
Porsche 958 Cayenne GTS (2013-16)
Porsche 958 Cayenne Platinum Edition (2014)
Porsche 958 Cayenne S (2011-16)
Porsche 958 Cayenne S E-Hybrid (2015-16)
Porsche 958 Cayenne S Hybrid (2011-14)
Porsche 958 Cayenne Turbo (2011-16)
Porsche 958 Cayenne Turbo S (2013-16)
Porsche 95B Macan S (2015-16)
Porsche 95B Macan Turbo (2015-16)
Porsche 964 Carrera 2 (1990-94)
Porsche 964 Carrera 4 (1989-94)
Porsche 964 RS America (1993-94)
Porsche 964 Turbo (1991-94)
Porsche 968 (1992-95)
Porsche 970 Panamera (2011-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera 4 (2011-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera 4 Edition (2016)
Porsche 970 Panamera 4S (2010-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera 4S Executive (2014-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera Edition (2016)
Porsche 970 Panamera Exclusive (2016)
Porsche 970 Panamera GTS (2013-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera S (2010-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera S E-Hybrid (2014-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera S Hybrid (2012-13)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo (2010-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo Executive (2014-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo S (2012-16)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo S Executive (2014-16)
Porsche 981 Boxster (2013-16)
Porsche 981 Boxster Black Edition (2016)
Porsche 981 Boxster GTS (2015-16)
Porsche 981 Boxster S (2013-16)
Porsche 981 Cayman (2014-16)
Porsche 981 Cayman Black Edition (2016)
Porsche 981 Cayman GT4 (2016)
Porsche 981 Cayman GTS (2015-16)
Porsche 981 Cayman S (2014-16)
Porsche 986 Boxster (1997-04)
Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)
Porsche 987 Boxster (2005-12)
Porsche 987 Boxster S (2005-12)
Porsche 987 Cayman (2007-12)
Porsche 987 Cayman S (2006-12)
Porsche 991 (2014)
Porsche 991 Carrera (2012-16)
Porsche 991 Carrera 4 (2013-16)
Porsche 991 Carrera 4 Black (2016)
Porsche 991 Carrera 4 GTS (2015-16)
Porsche 991 Carrera 4S (2013-16)
Porsche 991 Carrera Black (2016)
Porsche 991 Carrera GTS (2015-16)
Porsche 991 Carrera S (2012-16)
Porsche 991 GT3 (2014-16)
Porsche 991 Targa 4 (2014-16)
Porsche 991 Targa 4 GTS (2016)
Porsche 991 Targa 4S (2014-16)
Porsche 991 Turbo (2014-16)
Porsche 991 Turbo S (2014-16)
Porsche 993 Carrera (1995-98)
Porsche 993 Carrera 4 (1995-98)
Porsche 993 Carrera 4S (1996-98)
Porsche 993 Carrera S (1998)
Porsche 993 Targa (1996-98)
Porsche 993 Turbo (1996-97)
Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2001-05)
Porsche 997 Carrera models (2005-12)
Porsche 997 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Wash mitt, California Water Blade, dimpled synthetic chamois from Griot's Garage, microfiber towels, Porsche Interior Glass Cleaner, 3M Imperial Hand Glaze, One Grand Blitz Wax

Performance Gain:

A clean Porsche that will be protected from the elements

Complementary Modification:

Clay bar your Porsche and then wax it
     Along with the beautiful curves of the newer (as well as older) Porsches, comes some vulnerability to damage from the elements, and the need for some extra attention to maintenance to ensure that your car stays beautiful. You have probably read other items on how to keep your Porsche in top shape, so this article will just be a brief review, and will cover some new developments in car care.

     Washing the car is the first basic step. It is best to work in the shade, or at least not in the middle of a sunny day in direct sunlight. The paint should not be uncomfortably hot to the touch. To wash the car, use lots of water in a large, clean bucket, along with just a capful of so of good quality carwash liquid (unless the car is really dirty-then you will need to use a bit more carwash). 

     I start with the wheels, using a "Wheel Wooley". This is a nice-sized little wheel cleaner, that will fit through the opening of most Porsche wheels, allowing you to clean most of the inside of each wheel without taking them off or getting under the car. Also, the Wheel Wooley doesn't have the twisted wire center of most wheel brushes, so it won't scratch your wheels. Scrub each wheel gently with carwash solution, and rinse. If the wheels are very dirty, or it has been too long since you cleaned them, you may need to use some wheel cleaner. Just be careful to choose one that is gentle, and is compatible with the finish on your wheels. Some popular wheel cleaners contain acids to help "clean" your wheels!

     Next, wash the car with the carwash suds, using a good quality wash mitt or small all-cotton terry towel. After washing it, rinse off the car with cool water. If the car is a convertible, you may not want to wash the top every time you wash the car. Washing is hard on a convertible top, and may not be necessary unless the top is dirty.

     To dry the car, I use a couple of new products that work very well. First, I squeegee most of the water off the car using a "California Water Blade", (Costco has them) and then blot/wipe off the remainder with a "dimpled synthetic chamois" (Griot's Garage). I have never been a fan of chamois, but this is a different product. It really soaks up the water and doesn't leave little droplets of water on the paint the way a cotton towel does, and there is no lint. Also, it doesn't seem to pull the wax off the paint like a traditional chamois. These two items do an excellent job of drying the car, and they do it very quickly. If you do use cotton towels, and you have a convertible, you know by now not to use towels on the top-it leaves a tremendous amount of lint.

     While we are on the topic of lint, the best thing I've found to remove lint is the "lint brush" available at Wal-Mart. It is a double-sided, unidirectional brush, a bit like the "hook" component of Velcro. You just brush any visible lint spot on the top, and the lint sticks to the brush. To clean the brush, simply wipe it on a cloth or your hand in the opposite direction.

     Dry the wheels with cotton towels. This is not a good place to use your expensive synthetic chamois, because it will quickly become stained.

     The next step is to protect the paint with a good coat of wax. If the paint has minor scratches, or it has dulled a bit, you may want to apply a glaze first. My favorite is 3M Imperial Hand Glaze. It goes on without a lot of rubbing, prepares the paint for waxing, and fills in minor scratches. I put it on with a small cotton towel, and then wipe it off with the same, changing the towels frequently. I don't use an electric buffer on my Porsche. IMHO, it is too easy to damage the paint with a buffer, and they tend to spatter product residue all over the car.

     When it comes to wax, I like One Grand Blitz wax best. It goes on very easily with a cotton-covered sponge wax applicator. Follow by buffing it of f with cotton towels. For the glazing and waxing, use a back-and-forth motion, following the way air flows over the car. That way, if you induce any tiny scratches with a piece of grit caught in your towel, it will be less obvious.

     Give the wheels a good coat of wax also, and wipe the tires with a thin application of your favorite tire protectant (mine is Vinylex) to restore that like-new look. Follow the tire protectant with a wipe-down to remove any excess.

     For detailing the interior, and cleaning the glass, my new favorite product is microfiber towels (Costco again). They are incredibly soft, leave no lint, and pick up dust like a magnet. To clean the interior glass, Porsche Interior Glass Cleaner (very imaginative name) is excellent.

     For exterior glass, the best cleaner I have ever used is homemade, using the recipe from Consumer's Reports: to an empty gallon jug, add 1 pint of rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup of sudsy household ammonia, and 1 teaspoon dish soap. Fill the remainder of the jug with water, and you have a lifetime supply of excellent glass cleaner for pennies.

     When using glass cleaner, vinyl/rubber protectant, or any other spray product, I don't recommend spraying them on the car. Spray them on your cleaning cloth or applicator, and then use them on the car. The manufacturer's directions usually instruct you to spray the product directly on the car-it's easy and it uses more product, but it gets in places where you don't want it.

Happy detailing, and enjoy your Porsche!

Comments and Suggestions:
McT Comments: I appreciate the great tips!
October 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Celeste Comments: Bob- What products do you recommend for inside the Porsche... The steering wheel, seats, side panels, etc. Thanks!
December 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Zymol makes some nice products. See this link: - Nick at Pelican Parts
Fred Comments: Bob - have you ever heard of ONR No-Rinse Car Wash? Lot's of people swear by it, but I hesitate to use on my new Panamera. Thanks.
March 14, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have any experience with it. I would ask a local Porsche club what they use. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
CP Car Detailing Comments: I strongly recommend that you clay bar a car that has never been detailed before you wax it. After clay barring at least a 1-step polishing process will also help improve the appearance of the paint, especially on Porsche black, which is prone to swirling. Waxing a car that has not been clayed will mean your applicator will pick-up dirt in the clearcoat, and this dirt will scratch the paint
January 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
BigAl Comments: Another quick fix is to build a cardboard cutout of your wheel, then cut a 1/4 thick piece of board. Drill a hole in the middle put a small nut/bolt thru it, so you hold it.
Put it over the wheel and spray on the tire detailer without getting any on the wheel.
January 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
HBH Comments: Simple Green at 50% dilution is safe and extremely effective for cleaning wheels and rocker panels. Spray on, work in with nylon brush, hose off, and dry with cotton towel. Detailer Secret!
December 29, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Chief Comments: I use a cheap electric blower that a got at Home Depot, to dry all of my cars. The blower works well in drying my 914, it gets all of the water off the body, molding, wheels and glass. It cut my drying time in half.
December 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Ken Comments: How do you recommend cleaning the inside of the wheel rims? I have tried high pressure but I can't get all the road-grime that gets on the inside of the rims. Any suggestions? Any brushes that I can connect to a cordless drill and shove through the spokes to clean the inside? Thanks! Ken
November 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I really like the flow-thru brushes from Carrand. They allow you to hook up your hose to them, and then use the water to clean out the inside spokes of the wheels. Works great! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 2/16/2018 02:42:03 AM