How To Detail Your Car In Five Easy Steps
Despite the quick and convenient car washes you probably give your car it is still not getting the TLC it deserves. Those five-minute exterior washes do their part in removing surface grime and dirt but other deeper issues like paint swirls, caked on brake dust and seat stains require a bit more than a brief cleaning.
One of the factors influencing car owners to embrace the quick exterior car wash route is a misguided perception of what it takes to professionally clean a car. Professional detailing requires a lot of skill but in most cases, detailing a car will not require copious amounts of attention to detail and time unless the vehicle’s condition dirt wise is very extreme.
Having access to the tools needed to clean both the exterior and interior of your car will let you see the process for itself and you will be able to work out a cleaning strategy that works for your individual vehicle condition; not all filthy car interiors and exteriors are made equal after all. Detailing can be a fun activity and you will be fulfilled knowing you were responsible for getting your car back to pristine form cleanliness wise.
#1. PAINT CARE
Starting from the outside of the vehicle and working your way into the interior is a good strategy to have as you start the process. So, about that initial wash? One thing you must avoid is being tempted to use normal soap for exterior cleaning. Your vehicle paint is made up of many chemicals which can sometimes be negatively affected by the ingredients in those type of soaps. Instead, use a dedicated soap for car exteriors and when washing, do not do it in direct sunlight.
Having the right cleaning cloth is essential to rinse every surface and deep dirt away effectively. Have at least two or three microfiber cloths on hand and never mix a cleaning cloth for washing with the one used for drying (this is a common mistake).
Waxing is not a definite must but is advisable for protecting the paint through adding an extra invisible layer. A one-step polish is all that is usually needed to seal your paint because most of them have wax built in already.
#2. SEAT CARE
Depending on the surface material of your seats, cleaning should occur at least twice a month because your seats are usually in contact with the most bacteria and wear the fastest due to their constant use – especially the driver’s seat.
Using an all-purpose scrubbing pad and seat cleaner, gently make tiny circular motions to slowly loosen dirt and debris. If you need to vacuum before that, do so and thoroughly suck up loose dirt and debris. It will avoid you having to drag too much debris around as you clean the seats.
Once you are satisfied all the dirt has been loosened, use a damp microfiber cloth soaked in slightly hot water to start wiping away all the dirt. Repeat the action with the cloth till all the dirt has been satisfactorily wiped.
#3. DASHBOARD AND CONSOLE CARE
Before starting the process of working on the dashboard and console, set up a plan of action in terms of how to navigate the areas of concern on your dash and console. Also, take note of the surface materials used in these areas.
Dashboards with a mostly plastic composition will require the use of a lot of warm water to loosen dirt and make it easy to wipe off after. Dashboards and consoles with a combination of fabric/leather and injection molded plastic will require you to be more careful and strategic with water usage. In addition, be cautious when using an all-purpose cleaner on parts of the dash that are not fully made from plastic.
As you complete the process, one area that should not be ignored is the steering rack. This is an area where debris and dust can accumulate extensively and may not be easily noticeable unless you really pay attention to that area. The steering wheel also absorbs a lot of oils from your hands and over time, these can degrade the material covering the structure of the steering wheel.
Cleaning those oils at least once a month will go a long way in maintaining the natural look of your steering wheel from when it left the factory.
#4. WHEEL CARE
Your wheels can be tricky to clean but not impossible. There are many wheel designs, but some have more tendencies to have crevices that hide dirt well and make it hard to dig deep. But, just like with any problem in life, taking the right approach will set you on the right path.
There are exhaustive amounts of wheel cleaners on the market, but the best ones are acid-free and those with water-based solutions. Avoid wheel cleaners with overly aggressive formulas which can end up damaging your wheel’s coating, they are also damaging to the environment.
Most wheel cleaners call for you to apply the first coating generously and wait for it to sit for a while before rinsing. For wheels designs that are not conventional, a compact cleaning brush should be used to manually loosen dirt that has accumulated in corners that are hard to reach.
Performance cars with larger brake components (rotors and pads) can accumulate more than typical amounts of brake dust on the wheels. For this type of scenario, used paint clay can effectively remove the brake dust.
#5. WINDOW CARE
Windows are typically the area of car detailing which end up getting the short shift. Either way, don’t neglect it. Using a water spritzer, spray copious amounts of window cleaning fluid to loosen the surface film that has accumulated on all window surfaces. Then, using a microfiber cloth specifically meant for window cleaning, carefully use straight-line strokes to wipe segments of the window surface until you have covered the entire area.
Be careful not to press too hard when cleaning and never clean in circles. Another thing to note as you complete this process: the grimy film that forms on windows over time has a bonding quality that can make it hard to remove if excessive force is used.
Getting a vehicle to always have that “professionally cleaned look” typically found at dealerships does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. The best thing about all this is, looking at your car shining and looking all brand-new and knowing you had a lot to do with that.
Tellz Auto is a full car buying service and easy to use resource that helps people find the right vehicle. We believe the car you ride in is just as important as the home you live in. We offer guidance from start to finish and will help you negotiate a great deal on the perfect vehicle. For more information, give us a call at +1 512-400-4243 / +234 (803) 650-2556 or Get Started here today.