April 26, 2018

Car Detailing: A Beginner’s Guide

About 8 million cars are washed every day in the US. But, this doesn’t imply that every car owner washes their car. Some just don’t have time, while others keep on rescheduling their vehicle cleanings.

Car detailing and washing is important if you want that sparkling, new-like shine on your car. As such, in this post, we’re going to take you through the straightforward steps of keeping your car clean. Read on to learn more.

Someone having their car detailed

Get the Right Tools and Materials

If you want to give your car the shine you want, then arming yourself with the right tools matters. A decent vacuum cleaner with hand-held attachments and extension hose is necessary. If you have a steam cleaning machine, add it to the arsenal, too.

You’ll also need cleaning products for your carpets, plastic, upholstery, and vinyl. Be sure to read your car’s manual to determine the ideal chemical products for cleaning. A set of microfiber cloth, rags, and towels are necessary for wiping and polishing.

Also, ensure you have applicators and brushes for cleaning vents and those areas that are hard to reach.

Vents and Dashboard

Our tips:

  • Before the car detailing process, remove all the floor mats and carpets, as they’re usually the dirtiest. You can clean those later.
  • Clean the vents using a sponge brush or a cotton swab dipped in a multipurpose cleaner. Something slightly rough will be ideal to scrub away dirt and remove allergens.
  • Use a rag to clean your dashboard using water and a cleaning solution.
  • Allow it to dry, then use a clean rag to apply a small amount of a jelly-based product, such Vaseline. Don’t apply too much jelly as it will attract dust. This will give your dashboard the right shine.

Seats and Door Panels

Cleaning your seats depends on the type of material they have. The typical options include leather, cloth upholstery, and vinyl.

  • For leather seats, use a leather cleaning product with a towel. After washing, allow the seats to dry, and then apply a leather conditioner.
  • Cloth upholstery is usually hard to clean because it’s prone to nasty odors and tough stains. You will need a stain remover and upholstery cleaner to make it clean.

Windows and Mirrors

A microfiber cloth and glass cleaner are ideal for glass surfaces during vehicle detailing. If you have tinted windows, be cautious since some tinting is an added layer of the real glass. During cleaning, don’t spray the cleaner to the glass. Instead, spray on to the rag that you’re using to clean.

The Exterior

When washing the exterior of the car, use a soft, round brush with bristles and a super soft, slick car wash shampoo. Make sure to use grit guards with your buckets to get particles out of your mitt or sponge.

Clean those hard to reach areas, such as the fuel filler compartment and bumper gaps, using a soft brush. Remember to clean the rims and the grill of your car. When you’re sure they’re clean, rinse with fresh water.

Polishing Your Car

Before you polish, remember to cover the glass with newspaper, seal your exhaust tips, and tap off the critical areas. During this step, ensure that your car is free of any contaminant or grit that will affect the polish. You can avoid marring and scratching by using a semi-permanent paint sealant.

The sealant will take about one to two days to dry, and it lasts up to two years. Our tips:

  • Use a battery or air-powered polishing disc that is soft to clear the coat and ensure even distribution.
  • Polishing is done best before your car dries completely after washing.
  • Water helps to protect the car paint during polishing.
  • When using an orbital disc to apply the compound, using even pressure and low movements will ensure consistent results. Start with one panel before moving to the next.

Car Detailing – The Takeaway

Keeping your car looking good shouldn’t be a hard task. However, it needs adequate time to ensure the ideal results. Getting your car detailed is different than taking your vehicle to a drive-through car wash service.

If you don’t have time and the right tools, there are car detailing experts who can do the job for you, like us! Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment!