Become a DIY Detailer This Spring
Now that the warm weather is on its way, you may have noticed all the grime winter left behind. Detailing your vehicle is one way to remove the gunk and restore your ride to glory. Detailing your vehicle also helps protect your investment from the harshness of the elements by protecting your finish, glass, and rubber trimming from degradation. Read on for more information on why you should detail, and how to do it professionally on your own.
Detailing your vehicle often can help make your daily drives safer. When properly maintained, your rubber seals function better, water runs off of windows and the car’s exteriors with ease, and your headlights remain bright. This helps windshield wipers function better and improves nighttime and poor weather visibility. Detailing also keeps your interior cleaner, as going a long time between cleanings allows more time for bacteria and dirt to build up. Regular interior maintenance makes your car and its high-traffic surfaces more suitable for allergy-prone passengers, and helps keep you healthier in the long run.
Your car lasts longer when it’s cared for inside and out, so it’s important to have the right materials. Soft, microfiber rags are usually the best for cleaning surfaces and the exterior as they do not scratch paint, plastic or glass. There are also specific brushes for certain cleaning applications that help achieve a deeper clean in hard-to-reach areas. Finally, an excellent set of targeted cleansers will help you succeed in a professional detailing in the comfort of your own garage or driveway. Using different cleansers, waxes and polishes will provide the most comprehensive clean and leave your vehicle looking showroom floor ready.
Start With the Interior
Start your deep clean by emptying your interior. This way, you avoid tracking in exterior messes and dirt. Dust all surfaces with a soft cloth, and then wipe down with a hard surface cleanser to remove dirt and grime. Next, use an upholstery shampoo and brush to clean stains and dirt out of your seats and carpets. For vinyl or leather seats, use a vinyl or leather cleanser to wipe away dirt and smudges.
Move to the Exterior
To start, clean the wheels and wheel wells to avoid splashing mud and dirt onto the rest of the exterior. Rinse the tires and wheel wells, and use a degreaser to loosen any build-up from the tire surface. Allow this to soak in, scrub with a tire brush, then wash the tires with tire cleaner. Follow up with tire protectant and a good polish for any metal trim.
Next, wash the exterior of your vehicle. Rinse off any loose dirt, then wash with car soap and a soft cloth or wash mitt. Section your wash and rinse so the soap doesn’t streak, and keep the car wet to avoid water spots. When finished, dry thoroughly with a microfiber cloth.
Next, clean the metal trim and the window exterior with a soft cloth. To complete the detailing, polish your paint and then wax the surface of your vehicle. This gives your finish a beautiful shine and helps protect the paint from damage.