10 tips to Car Detailing and Cleaning

10 tips to Car Detailing and Cleaning

10 tips to Car Detailing and Cleaning

When it comes to auto detailing, you can spend a couple hundred dollars to have someone do your car detailing for you, or you can take a few hours and DIY. Auto detailing can be a time consuming and laborious process, but it can also bring you a great deal of satisfaction as well. Professional auto detailers have years of experience and have built up an arsenal of car detailing tips and tricks to get into even the tiniest nooks, crannies and crevices. Thanks to the internet, however, many of the best car detailing tips are available to even the least experienced. Here are 10 great car detailing tricks and tips to help you deal with even the trickiest nooks, crannies, crevices and surfaces in your car.

1. Use a nylon over the end of a hand vac to vacuum first, then vacuum again

Sometimes valuable items end up slipping down into cracks and crevices in your car that you may not even realize they are there. Before vacuuming, slip a piece of nylon over the end of the suction tube. Then you will be able to examine large items before they become unrecognizable in the pile of dust inside the vacuum. Once you have ascertained that you have not lost anything of value in your car, you can take the piece of nylon off the end of the hose and continue giving your car a thorough vacuuming.

Car Detailing and Cleaning

2. Use a rug shampooer to clean carpets and cloth upholstery

The same shampooer that can get deep stains out of your interior carpets and rugs also works great on your car. If you have cloth seats, you can also use it to deep clean upholstery to give it a clean factory-fresh finish.

3. Mark your microfiber towels in advance for what you will use them for

Microfiber towels are one of the very best materials for cleaning because they absorb dirt and dust rather than just sending it flying off into the air to land elsewhere. On the other hand, what it picks up, it doesn’t always want to let go of so easily. A number of auto cleaners can leave a waxy residue that will reside in your microfiber towels indefinitely. If you use those towels for cleaning windows, it can leave streaks behind that can be difficult to get rid of. Mark your towels in advance for what you will use them for and you can avoid having this problem.

4. Assemble a variety of tools in advance

There are a number of different small tools you will need to for interior car detailing. You can save yourself a lot of time by assembling a car detailing kit in advance and having it all laid out and ready to go. Here are some great implements for detailing small nooks, crannies and crevices.
Foam paintbrush
Watercolor brush or small bristle brush
Flathead screwdriver wrapped in microfiber cloth
Can of compressed air

5. Remove scuff marks and stains on dash or plastic paneling with magic eraser

If you have stubborn stains or scuff marks on dashboards or plastic paneling, a commercially available magic eraser should do the trick. If that still doesn’t cut it, you can use a bit of isopropyl alcohol or a heavy-duty cleaner. Any time you use a heavy duty cleaner, however, you want to also follow up with a product that will provide UV protection.

6. Buff plastic and vinyl to a high gloss shine with olive oil

Pour a bit of olive oil on a microfiber towel and run over all plastic and vinyl interiors. The microfibers will keep the oil from pooling anywhere or making your interiors greasy, but will give it a natural, high-gloss shine without any harsh chemicals. Best of all, it will give your interiors a delicious, natural scent as well.

7. Use the two-bucket method to clean exterior

Fill one 10-gallon bucket with soapy water and another with clear water. As you are washing, before dipping your sponge or chamois in the soapy water, rinse if off in the clear water. This way, you will not simply deposit all the dirt you are cleaning off your car right back onto your car with the soapy water. You may need to clean out your clear water bucket a few times, but you will end up with a much cleaner car.

Car Detailing and Cleaning

8. Windows

When cleaning windows, wipe horizontally on the outside and vertically on the inside. Then if you have any streaks left behind, you will know whether they are on the inside or outside. You can use a commercial cleaner or plain vinegar works just as well. You can also use newspapers instead of a cloth for cleaning windows. When you are done cleaning windows, finish off with a coat of Rain-X to keep your windows clean and increase visibility in inclement weather.

9. Start with least aggressive cleaners and work your way up

The more aggressive a cleaner is, the harsher the chemicals it usually contains. While you may need a strong cleaner for really tough, stubborn stains, you don’t want to use the strongest cleaners available for basic dirt, dust and grime or it will quickly eat through surfaces and finishes. Start cleaning with just basic soap and water or mild cleansers. Then, if you have really tough stains or problems, use your stronger cleaners just on those tough, stubborn stains.

10. Don’t forget the engine

Auto detailing doesn’t just mean cleaning the exterior and interior of your car. Your engine could use a thorough deep cleaning as well. Give your battery terminals a thorough cleaning, as well as the hooks and latches that hold your hood shut. For a really thorough auto detailing, you can give your entire engine a thorough cleaning. Be careful when cleaning your engine, however, to thoroughly water proof it. While your engine compartment should be relatively water safe, there are certain exposed hoses that should be covered just to be safe rather than sorry.