Monday, October 27, 2008

Cleaning my car

As mentioned last week I pointed the hose at the car for a quick sluice, this got rid of a lot of surface dirt but without getting out soap and a bucket didn't shift everything.

Now my neighbour has a power washer that he's offered to lend me anytime, but he's getting backflow into the soap dispenser and it's overflowing. At this point my brain ticked over - "I have a hosepipe with a standard hose-lock system, I have a trigger gun that varies the spray by the degree of pressure on the trigger and that delivers a nice powerful jet. So why not get exactly the same thing, but with a soap dispenser attached?"

Hello internet and disappointment. I found a couple of models listed in the US of A and in the UK an attachment designed to be used with brushes which was just a feed bottle with a water/soap toggle. So I headed out to the garden centres and had a hunt - nothing. I explained what I wanted to the store assistants who gave me blank looks and asked why I didn't want to use a pressure washer to which I answered a) That's not what they're for b) they use too much water and electricity, c) they're £50 and upwards and while I might use it for other things once possessed I deem it unlikely.

Finally one person told me something interesting which was that it's the pressure, you don't get enough out to make it worthwhile (tell the Americans that then) , I replied that I had plenty of pressure. Still hunting around and finally found exactly what I was looking for - a hand held hose attachment with a rotatable multi-spray and a bottle on the back; it was for dispensing lawn feed Liquafeed to be exact. Nevertheless it seemed ideal except that the controls were a top-mounted toggle - Water, Water/Feed, Off and I don't like having to turn things off using a toggle; I want a trigger.

Looking at things in a different light I now discovered what appeared to be the previous model to the Liquafeed dispenser. Under-slung bottle with a toggle for water or water/feed with a trigger and a lock; it was also half the price at about £6

On Sunday I tried it out, took out the sachet of feed and poured in some soap, added some water to bring it to the fill line and gave it a whirl. Well I can understand what the guy meant about pressure as it jetted out an arced spray for a distance of about 3-4 feet, but I think that had more to do with the internal design then anything else after all this was designed for feeding flowerbeds and you don't want a jet trammelling your flowers.

The main thing is it worked. Rather then sloshing about in a bucket I sprayed suds onto my car and got a sponge to give it a wipe, then switched connectors to the more powerful trigger attachment and sprayed it off before going over it with a chamois. I can see where I've missed some bits, but that's my fault and not my tools.

Compared to previous cleans I think I used more water, but less soap. I stayed drier and got it done in half the time. So Flip's tip o'the week - feed dispenser as car-washer ;-)