By learning to detail your own car, you can not only help maintain its value, but you also get to enjoy that new car feeling without the expense of hiring a professional detailing service. Here are the top four secrets of car detailing to get pro results with just a little elbow grease and a few inexpensive products.
How to Properly Wash and Wax
Washing the car not only makes it look good, it also helps keep the paint in top shape since dirt, sap, bird droppings, and other contaminants can cause surface blemishes over time.
The first rule of car washing is never to wash a hot car. The best way to wash your car is by using the two-bucket system with a microfiber wash mitt and car wash soap. The two-bucket system keeps contaminants from getting back on to the car. The first bucket is for the wash water and the second bucket is for rinsing: place your mitt in the sudsy water, wash a section of the car, rinse your wash mitt in the second bucket, then go back to the first bucket to reload with wash water. The mitt picks up dirt so by rinsing in a separate bucket, you avoid re-circulating dirty water back on to the car. Rinse thoroughly and dry with lint-free cloths.
Use an auto glass cleaner for getting showroom new-looking windows.
Wax the car with a liquid waxing product, making sure the car’s surface is cool to the touch before you start. Use a clean soft towel and apply the wax in sections. Once it turns hazy you can buff it with a microfiber cloth.
A designated wheel cleaner spray will help make quick work of the gunk that accumulates. Just spray it on the wheels, let it soak for a few minutes, spray with the hose, then use a scrub brush for stubborn areas, if necessary, and rinse
How to Vacuum
Vacuum the car with a handheld vacuum. Special auto detailing attachments that can give you better results than your vacuum are available. Remove the floor mats first and vacuum them separately. For pet hair that won’t vacuum up, put on a regular latex glove and rub your hand over the surface of the carpet. The static electricity helps get the pet hair unstuck so it’s easier to vacuum. Make sure to move seats forward and backward so you can vacuum more floor area.
How to Clean the Upholstery/Leather
Use a cleaning product specifically made for your interior. Whether it is cloth or leather, a specialized product will give you the best results.
It’s best to avoid cleaning the headliner, since the moisture and agitation can cause the glue to fail, resulting in a detached, sagging headliner. If it needs to be done, spot clean the headliner carefully, using as little moisture as possible.
How to Clean the Dashboard and Hard Surfaces
For the dashboard and other solid surfaces inside the car, use an interior spray cleaner such as Meguiar’s Interiorr Cleaner. This is what detailing pros use – it will get rid of dust and dirt and it’ Detailes safe for dashboard displays and touchscreens.
By using these pro detailing tips, you can enjoy driving a sparkling clean car anytime.