Tips to Detail Your Own Car
Detail your car to keep it in top shape and looking like new. Here are some tips to do it yourself. The benefit of car detailing is that it cleans your car more thoroughly and should involve restoring and waxing the car too. Inside and out, your car should be sparkling. You will enjoy driving around in your clean car, and by keeping it clean and in top shape, you will get top dollar for it when you are ready to sell it.
Below are 5 tips that you could follow to do your own car detailing job without getting it professionally done somewhere else and paying lots of money to do so.
Clean the Interior First
Clean the inside of the car first so that it has time to dry as your cleaning the outside of your car. First, take two bags to the car, one for trash and one for items that have been left in your car but need put away in your home. Start by using a microfiber cloth to dust and wipe down the hard surfaces, you can use a product that will help protect it from UV and give it a nice sheen too. Then use tools like toothbrushes, makeup brushes, barbecue skewers and q-tips to get the dust and dirt out of the crevices, don’t forget the cup holders, they can be the dirtiest. Remove the floor mats and shake them out, clean off any spots, and then vacuum the interior. Use leather cleaner or fabric cleaner on the seats. Last, clean the inside of the car’s windows.
Washing the exterior
Keeping the exterior clean protects your investment as dirt, bird droppings, dead bugs, road gunk, tree sap, and other contaminants can harm the paint if left on for too long, leaving permanent blemishes in the finish. Using mild soap and a microfiber or lambswool mitt, work from the top down. The best way to dry your car is to use microfiber towels rather than standard cotton towels. Use two buckets, one with water and soap, and a second of clean water to help rinse the car. Dry the exterior with microfiber towels to ensure that no swirls or streaks are left behind as you wipe, and these are also great for drying the glass of your windows as well. Now is good time to check your windshield wipers to make sure they are not fraying and are ready for action.
Wheels & Well Cleaning
Clean your wheels, and you should clean the wheel wells as well. All you need to do is use a hose to spray the interior of the wells and then use a brush to scrub this area. Just make sure to use a clean brush that was not used to clean any other location on your car. The wheels are among the dirtiest part of your car, collecting road grime, brake dust, road salt, all which can cause corrosion and damage to your wheels. The easiest way to clean the wheels is with a cleaner designed for the type of wheel you have—such as chrome, mag, or aluminum—to prevent damaging the wheel. Many are currently sprays that you simply spray on, wait a few minutes and wipe off or brush off, rinse and dry well.
When you have removed every particle of residue from the finish of your vehicle, you can make this cleanliness shine more with just a little bit of wax. You can use the quicker conventional car wax that just sprays on or you can use a special polymer sealant that fills every micro flaw in the finish to make it look perfect. Just remember to do this on an overcast day or in the shade, waxing in the sun makes the job more difficult or you could even have to start over as the products don’t perform well in the heat and direct sun.
Avoid Auto Car Washes
It may seem quick and easy but be careful of which car wash you choose, the ones that have brushes or vinyl/rubber strips can build up dirt and leave more on your car than they remove, or leave marks in your paint. There are no touch car washes that can be helpful when you are short on time.
Now that you have your car clean and sparkling, remember to stop into Oxford Automotive for your regular oil changes and to have our technicians do a review to check for any maintenance needs. Staying on top of your regular maintenance, along with keeping your car clean, will keep you safe on the road and will best protect your investment for when you are ready to sell it.