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#3269142 - 02/03/14 12:44 PM Washing the salt off
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 5081
Loc: NH
Ok, I decided to do that for the first time yesterday. In my defense, when I got up it was 50F, and when I washed it was more like 37-39, so perhaps it wasn't the brightest idea ever. [I woke up in CT and then drove home to NH.] I took the garden hose and tried to angle it up underneath the car; but afterwards I'm not convinced I accomplished much. Is that actually accomplishing anything? I had sprayed (what I could) with FF this fall, but it had seemingly been a warm (and wet) day, so it seemed like a good idea to try hosing down the car. In hindsight I should have popped the hood and hosed down the engine too.

I did find some irony in that, since I needed to vacuum the car afterwards, I found myself tossing salt on the driveway, as it had gotten quite slippery!
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2004 VW Jetta Wagon, TDI, 5spd manual, 303kmile, his
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2010 Toyota Tundra double cab, 4.6L, auto, 90k

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#3269147 - 02/03/14 12:49 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 34022
Loc: New Jersey
Did it do anything? Well it probably helped remove 90% of the salt. Problem is, the crystals may not be doing anything, its the fine dust of salt all over that is an issus.

Ive used salt away in a garden fertilizer sprayer for years now. It works pretty well, helping to release more salt (IMO). Its a mixture of TSP, corrosion inhibitors, surfactants, etc. It just helps to dissolve and carry away dirt and salt crystals and fines.

With those sprayers, I just hold it under and spray up as much as I can.

In the past Ive sprayed it on with a pressurizable garden sprayer with a long wand to get better in the wheelwells and underneath. Thing is, you dnt get enough flow, so its slower and more tedious. The garden fertilizer sprayer works well.

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#3269148 - 02/03/14 12:50 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24421
Loc: ME
It's a no-win.

I felt good going at it once with the hot water tap from my apartment washer dryer hookup. Just ran the hose out my window. If my landlady saw me she'd have flipped.

Warm water dissolves salt much better. A gentle cloth, too, but there are lots of abrasives.

I don't usually try.

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#3269155 - 02/03/14 12:53 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 13613
Loc: Michigan
Washed one....covered with salt less than 8 hours later. You would think a some days above freezing with no snow might be possible some time this winter....
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#3269156 - 02/03/14 12:53 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13667
Loc: Upstate NY
You will never get it all off until April. I just shot for getting the bulk of it off.
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#3269157 - 02/03/14 12:55 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 5081
Loc: NH
I wasn't sure, since that was the point of spraying down the underside with FF in the first place. Just seemed like a good time yesterday, it was warm out, then I figured it'd get good and cold again. I figure, as long as it's cold out then it won't rust, as nothing is wet. Once it warms up and roads get wet is when issues probably start--if anything, a layer of salt probably wicks up any moisture and holds it away from metal... maybe.

Wait a minute: salt is a preservative, isn't it? grin

I didn't bother washing the top of the car off, just kinda hosed off the fenders; was worried about underneath.


Edited by supton (02/03/14 12:56 PM)
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2004 VW Jetta Wagon, TDI, 5spd manual, 303kmile, his
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2010 Toyota Tundra double cab, 4.6L, auto, 90k

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#3269171 - 02/03/14 01:09 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4794
Loc: MI
I contend that maybe it is doing more harm than good. Dissolve that salt and blast it into the nooks and crannies that normal driving might not achieve.

Just think of that salt solution sitting in the inside bottom of your door seam waiting to eat away the metal crzy.

It varies for everyone. We had about 5 days in January with no precipitation (wet, salty roads). So to wash the salt off was simply a feel good process that would disappear the very next day.

I had buyers remorse when I had my new car Krowned this past summer. Not any more. I was initially upset at how thin it was and how it seemed to be washed off the underside. But in October when I rubbed my finger on a frame rail, there was a very thin oily residue that wiped off. So, it seems to be there, just not in a thick, visible coating.

There does seem to be a much heightened level of whining this winter about salt, cold, ice, and winter in general. Each morning, after my morning exercise and check of the trap line, I sit under my sun lamp for a half hour looking at pictures of Caribbean beaches and laugh at old man winter. grin Bring it on!

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#3269174 - 02/03/14 01:14 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 12570
Loc: Chicago, IL
Every little bit helps, but don't for an instant think that periodically spraying it off will prevent any and all rust. You're just slowing it down.
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#3269179 - 02/03/14 01:19 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 5081
Loc: NH
Oh for sure; I'm just hoping to stave off the rust until mechanical issues / age indicates that "it's time". Our Honda made it 10 years with zero washing and I thought it was "time"; I'm not sure we'll keep these past 10 years (although it might be nice, we're talking 250-300k).
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2004 VW Jetta Wagon, TDI, 5spd manual, 303kmile, his
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 6spd manual, 83k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra double cab, 4.6L, auto, 90k

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#3269191 - 02/03/14 01:26 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
MNgopher Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3003
Loc: Lakeville, MN
From fleet experience: the vehicles that get washed tend not to develop rust problems. The ones that seldom get washed develop awful rust problems. As an example, I drive a 2004 Explorer for work that has rust in all sorts of places that you wouldn't expect. It rarely is washed. In the meantime, a 2003 Explorer with more miles and frequent washing is in excellent condition. Many more similar examples...

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#3269199 - 02/03/14 01:28 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
Taildragger Online   content


Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 146
Loc: SW Florida
I use this on my boat, might work for you northern peeps.

http://www.saltawayproducts.com/

Linky> SALT AWAY

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#3269228 - 02/03/14 01:58 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: Taildragger]
satinsilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 2915
Loc: Ohio
Ummm, where do you buy it? Since there are no prices listed and when you click on purchase info it says available in many stores. RRRRRRRRR.

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#3269266 - 02/03/14 02:44 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 2086
Loc: Indiana
Would a good under body wash once a month at a car wash be good enough?

Thats what i do. And weather permitting a quick rinse at a quarter wash once a week.


Edited by dlundblad (02/03/14 02:45 PM)
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#3269274 - 02/03/14 02:50 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: supton]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 6318
Loc: Northern Kentucky
You would need a rust proofing treatment to keep it away. Washing only slows things down. Unless it's clean and treated your going to be fighting hard.
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#3269275 - 02/03/14 02:50 PM Re: Washing the salt off [Re: dlundblad]
satinsilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 2915
Loc: Ohio
Yes, that would be a good idea. In the Toyota owners manual it states to do that. But just wetting it down is worse than not doing anything at all. High pressure spray to remove the gunk.

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