May 14, 2018 update to the BMW 318is project car

Project BMW 318is: Cleaning the Car

Before cleaning our 318is was in sad shape.
Who leaves a trunk looking like this?
We definitely saw evidence of rodents.
We also scrubbed the interior with carpet cleaner and Simple Greeen.
We used Foam Power to clean the exterior of the car.
All clean at the end of the day.

Before we could really get started we needed to give our BMW a really good scrubbing. In addition to having sat out in the damp North Carolina mountain climate for at least a few years, it had obviously not been well cared for before an engine problem led to its long-term storage.

We are also a bit paranoid about the idea of adding any insects or rodents to our garage and thus the rest of our fleet. So, we started by vacuuming and carefully removing anything we found in the car. We made two piles: one of trash and one for anything like clips and nuts and bolts that we might still need for the project.

With that step done, we pushed the car back outside and used a new cleaning system to clean the mold, mildew and dirt off the exterior of the car and also out of the engine compartment.

A company called Foam Power had asked us to try out their cleaning system. This system uses a special compressed air foamer, their cleaning agent and optional degreaser to supposedly foam away dirt and grime.

While we were quite skeptical why anyone would need a couple of hundred dollars worth of equipment, instead of a bucket, sponge and some soap, we agreed to give it a try.

We were shocked both at how easy this stuff was to apply and at how well it worked.

You just mix some soap (and the degreaser for engine compartments and under chassis cleaning), regulate your air pressure to 40 pounds and use the wand to make tons of magical cleaning foam.

You can literally foam clean an entire car and engine compartment in less than five minutes.

You then wait about 3-10 minutes and the then just rinse the stuff off.

While we have a Karcher heated pressure washer, we really didn’t need it for this job. This foam cleaner is that good.

And one of the benefits is that it will not damage small parts, loose paint, stickers and the like, as a pressure washer will.

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