Everyone knows a clean vehicle lasts longer, keeps its value better, and will need less expensive maintenance in the long run. Another bonus of a clean car or truck is what it says about you. You’re organized, have an eye for detail, and take your responsibilities seriously.
But how do you keep your car in tip-top shape? Five-minute car washes help, but they won’t take care of caked-on grime, brake dust, stains on your seats, or that lived-in smell. Car detailers charge $150 – $200. Following our simple five-step guide to car detailing keeps your baby pristine – and saves money!
- Start With the Exterior Paint
Any deep cleaning should start on the exterior paint first. The process is easy: hose, wash, rinse, and dry. Now for the pesky details.
- Make sure your hose lets you work all the way around the car
- Invest in some dedicated car wash
- Use microfiber cloths to scrub away the dirt gently
- Avoid going in circles – horizontal strokes leave fewer marks
- Use two buckets – one for the car wash and one for rinsing your cloths
- Use separate microfibers for drying
- Protect your car with a one-step wax and polish
- Clean Those Seats
Your seats collect the most grime and bacteria. Cleaning your seats twice a month is ideal. Vacuum first, of course.
Then, using a soft kitchen scrub pad and an interior cleaner marked all purpose cleaner car, work in small, gentle circles. Once the grime is loosened, wipe it away with a clean microfiber cloth soaked in warm water. That’s it!
- Dashboard and Console Time
Your dash and console might have some combination of plastic, vinyl, wood, and leather. The same cleaner you used on the seats will do an excellent job on the rest of the car interior.
Go at the area you are cleaning with a microfiber dampened in warm water. Don’t make puddles. You want to dampen the dirt, not flood the car!
Now use the cleaner on another damp rag. Last but not least, use a clean and dry cloth to wipe off the surface. Don’t forget to pay attention to your steering wheel – a major grease and grime magnet.
- Do Your Wheelies
Getting all the road dirt and brake dust off your wheels can take some time, but clean wheels make a big difference appearance-wise.
For the wheels, use an acid-free, water-based cleaner. Most cleaners need to be sprayed on, allowed to sit for a few minutes, and then gently scrubbed and rinsed off. A small, compact brush helps here!
- Glass Last
The final step is cleaning those windows and mirrors. Using a spray bottle, spritz on lots of window cleaner. Use a clean, dedicated microfiber cloth, and wipe the dirt off using horizontal strokes. Don’t rub too hard; let the cleaner do the work, re-applying as required.
Now You’ve Got a Clean Vehicle!
Devoting a little time and following these steps gets you a clean vehicle. Your car will be happy, and a clean car speaks volumes about you!
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