No matter how or why you drive, most people try to keep their vehicle looking good–inside and out. Following are a few car detailing tips to help you do the same.
Start with the Interior
When detailing your car, it would be best to start with the interior. The main reason for doing it that way is so you won’t end up with dust and dirt on the exterior after you’ve cleaned all the cracks and crevices. Read more tips here!
Use the Right Tools
If you needed to pound nails into a board, you wouldn’t use an electric drill to do it. Instead, you would use a hammer. Using the right tools for detailing your car is no different. In order to do it right, you need more than a couple of rags and a bucket of water; you need a vacuum cleaner with an assortment of attachments, some of which will need to fit into tiny cracks.
You will also need those rags that were mentioned previously, but some of them should be courser than others–some will need to be thin enough to fit into tiny cracks. You should also have a variety of small brushes on hand–a toothbrush will work well for small places. Q-tips also make handy detailing tools, as do small, flat screwdrivers. To finish the job, you will need various cleaners and a can of compressed air.
Remove Trash from the Inside
The first step in detailing a car is to remove any trash from the interior. Empty the ashtrays and get rid of any discarded food wrappers or empty pop bottles. Remove the floor mats and move the seats as far forward as they’ll go. Check under the seats to make sure you haven’t missed any scraps of paper or loose change.
Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the accumulated dirt and dust. Be sure and vacuum the seats as well. Don’t forget to use a brush attachment to vacuum hard surfaces, such as the dashboard and door panels. After you’ve finished getting the larger areas, it’s time to concentrate on the cracks and crevices. Attach smaller, thinner hoses and brushes to the vacuum cleaner as needed and work your way throughout the interior cleaning the smaller areas.
Use a Little Elbow Grease
After you’re finished with the vacuum cleaner, it’s time to use a little elbow grease. Use your Q-tips and small rags to clean out the smallest cracks and crevices inside the car. In order to make sure you reach the bottom of small cracks, you can use a flat screwdriver or knife blade covered by a thin, wet rag. When you’ve loosened the dirt in the crevices, you can use the can of compressed air to finish the job. To be sure you’ve gotten all the dust and dirt, it wouldn’t hurt to run the vacuum cleaner over everything one more time.
With the dirty work out of the way, it’s time to make the interior shine. If you have stains in the carpet or upholstery, it may take some effort to clean them. Ask your friends and neighbors to recommend a stain remover, or visit an auto parts store to find the right cleaner. Use small, thin, clean rags to polish the cracks and crevices, and larger rags for the dashboard and other hard surfaces. Cleaning the windows should be done with window cleaner and clean rags.
Now Do the Exterior
After you’ve finished cleaning and polishing the interior, it’s time to move outside the vehicle. Make sure you roll up the windows tight so your outside cleaning efforts won’t dirty up the inside all over again.
Start At the Bottom
The best way to detail the exterior of your car is to start with the tires and rims. They have the most tiny cracks and crevices, so they’ll be the hardest part of the job. Because most rims have intricate designs you can use the same tools you used for detailing the interior of the car. After that, you can wash the tires and rims with warm soapy water. Check with an auto parts store or a car dealer to find out what solution works best, not only for the tires and rims, but for the rest of the car as well.
Time to Get Wet
Now comes the fun part–providing you don’t mind getting wet. Use a hose to douse the car. This will loosen any dirt and dust that is clinging to the car. After the car is wet, use a clean cloth that have been dipped in the cleaning solution that was recommended to you and wash the vehicle completely. The next step is to rinse it thoroughly and then dry it with clean, dry cloth.
Waxing Is Next
The next step is to wax the car using your favorite car wax. Make sure you get into all the cracks and crevices so the exterior will be thoroughly protected against the elements.
Buff It Good
In order to make it shine, take a few extra minutes to buff the wax into the car’s finish. The more time you spend buffing the better the car will look. Make sure you wipe excess wax from the cracks and crevices.
After you’ve finished, take a good, close look at the interior of the car to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Then, do the same outside. The car should sparkle.
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