I DO use a power washer because that is what we have at work. I just dont get it real close to anything. Definitely dont drown anything electrical for any period of time. As for cleaners, I just take an old mit with carwash soap and wipe it down, mainly the rad. support / fan shroud, overflow bottle, underside of hood, etc. I dont worry about the engine so much. The worst thing about Virginia is the red clay. That stuff will really stain everything if you leave it on very long. After I wash, I spray it down with Armor-All Tire Foam once its dry. I use this stuff on everything. If you have blacked out your bottomside and suspension, especially the rear housing that you can see from behind, the tire foam will keep it looking like brand new.
American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.