Every car enthusiast knows that every now and then, their car requires meticulous detailing. It’s good if you regularly visit your local Car Spa to maintain your daily driver, but that’s not really enough. Even if your local car wash offers a veritable menu of car detailing services, sometimes you just have to take of things yourself.
Besides, it’s a lot more fun. But it’s also better to do it right, and to help you do that here are some tips that can surely help:
Where’s the Car?
Set the car where it’s cool, and out of direct sunlight. Literally hot cars can evaporate the water faster, and that can lead to water marks instead.
Be Careful with the Plastic Trim
You don’t treat the black plastic trim the same as the rest of the bodywork. The key word here is that it’s plastic, so you need a restoring product to maintain the black. The color of the plastic may fade over time, so you need a product designed specifically to bring back the color.
That’s why you treat the plastic trim first, before you wax and polish the surrounding metal areas. The treatment for the plastic trim should also protect from abrasion, grime, and even chemicals. Don’t forget that bare plastic can stain from waxes and polishes.
Shampoo the Paintwork Every 2 Weeks
It’s not true, as some car owners might suspect, that shampooing the car may end up removing the protective coating from the paintwork. You just need to use a 2-in-1 shampoo (shampoo with wax). That way, you reduce abrasion and prevent any corrosion issues.
Don’t use washing up liquid, as that will damage the paint. Washing regularly is good, but doing without waxing also exposes the paintwork to damage.
Use Microfiber Cloth
The age of using sponge for washing the car is over, ever since the emergence of soft (and affordable) microfiber cloths. These cloths improve the cleaning efficiency while reducing friction that can lead to paintwork damage.
Just make sure that you have separate cloths for separate tasks. Use one for washing, another for waxing, and then another for drying. Also remove any tags and labels on the cloths that can scratch up the paint.
Clean the Windows Properly
You should use a good cleaner that doesn’t leave streaks in the first place, like Simoniz Anti-Glare Glass Cleaner. But streaks sometimes just happen, and it can be annoying to waste time figuring out whether the streak is on the inside or outside of the glass.
To make it easier for you to figure out, clean and dry your car windows using different directions. Maybe you can go horizontally for the inside, and vertically for the outside. That way, you can quickly figure out the streak’s location.
You can also prevent future smears by winding down the windows first, before you clean the topmost areas of the glass. Just wind them down an inch or two, so you can keep excess buildup from the window jamb result in marks.
Use Separate Buckets for Rinsing
You should rinse your cloth frequently, since any dirt particles on the microfiber cloth can damage the paintwork. That’s why you need 2 buckets, with one bucket with shampoo while the other is with plain water. Use the plain water for rinsing the cloth, so you don’t put the dirty water back on to the car.
Brushing the Carpets
Okay, we’ve mentioned the plastic trim, paintwork, and windows. Now it’s time to get gritty with the carpet. You start with a stiff nylon brush, to agitate the carpet fibers to loosen up the grime for the vacuum cleaner later.
But you shouldn’t rub too hard, or else you can damage the upholstery. You may end up with fraying afterwards.
Bringing Back the New Car Smell
There’s no other smell like it, and perhaps can only the poets themselves can describe that smell perfectly. It’s not easy to bring back, but you’ve got to try, right? For that, you may have to go through quite a few air freshening products before you get it right.
But if none of the dozens you’ve tried worked, then maybe the problem is elsewhere. Maybe you’ve got some buildup of dirt, dust, and bacterial growth with moisture on the inside of the air vents, which then circulates those stale smells through the cabin.
To get rid of the buildup, use compressed air. Just set some quick blasts of the compressed air on the vents, to eliminate the grime.
Detailing the car is hard work, but the anticipation of the final result makes it fun. Do it right, and you get the seemingly brand-new car you deserve!