Today, detailing a car requires going beyond vacuuming and washing. In fact, it will require paying attention to the tiny details that add up to make the car look sparkling new. On the other hand, its recommended to begin detailing with the interior so that you don’t have to worry about messing up your exterior while detailing the inside of your vehicle. So, below are some of the best practices that you will need to follow when detailing your car.
STEP-1: How to Detail a Car’s Interior:
-Start by removing the floor mats then and vacuum mats, floor, trunk, upholstery & rear parcel shelf: After, slide the seats all the way forward and then back to thoroughly vacuum the carpet underneath. However, begin from the top and work your way down.
-Cleanup any stains on the carpets or upholstery: Clean carpet or upholstery stains by applying a foam cleanser and rubbing it in with a damp cloth or sponge. After, allow the foam-cleanser to sit for a few minutes before blotting dry with a towel. In case the stain doesn’t come out, repeat the process and finish by washing the area with a damp sponge and do a final blotting. Lastly, try to remove as much dampness from the fabric as possible since any excessive dampness may promote molding and mildew within your vehicle.
-Repair any carpet holes, burns or small permanent stains by cutting the spot out with a razor blade or scissors: After, replace with a piece you’ve cut from a hidden place like underneath the seat. Additionally, use a water-resistant adhesive to keep it down. However, always ask the owner of the car for permission before doing this step.
-Wash any rubber floor mats and dry them: After cleaning the rubber mats, apply a non-slip dressing so that the driver’s feet don’t slip and slide while they’re trying to do important things like braking.
-Consider using compressed air and detailing brushes to remove dust: Try using compressed air and detailing brushes to get out accumulated dust from the buttons and crevices on the dashboard area and interior doors.
-Clean interior surfaces with a mild all-purpose cleaner: Wipe any hard interior surfaces with a mild all-purpose cleaner and after use an interior dressing spray for best results.
-Detail car air vent grilles using detailing brushes: In case you’re not going to use liquids afterwards, detailing brushes should be a super-absorbent material like microfiber cloth which picks up dust and dirt efficiently. Additionally, lightly mist some spray-on vinyl dressing onto the vent grilles to make them look brand new. You may also use a cleaning-gel to thoroughly clean hard-to-reach areas in vents and dashboard.
-Clean the car seats: Cleaning the seats is very essential for a good detail. However, different seats require different methods of cleaning. So, Interiors with nylon or other cloth can be shampooed with a wet-vacuum extraction machine. Cloth should be adequately dried after extraction has taken place. On the other hand, Interiors with leather or vinyl should be cleaned with a leather or vinyl cleaner and then hit softly with a leather brush. Afterwards, the cleaner can be wiped away with a microfiber cloth.
-Condition any leather seats: In case you have cleaned leather seats with product, try conditioning them so that the leather looks visually appealing and doesn’t dry out or begin to crack.
-Clean windows & mirrors using a spray glass cleaner: Use spray glass cleaner on windows and mirrors and wipe clean afterwards. For stronger build-up removal, use 4-ought steel wool on windows. Likewise, use plastic cleaner if the gauge cover is made of plastic. Additionally, stick with microfiber cloths when washing and wiping glass materials.
STEP-2: How to Detail a Car’s Exterior:
-Begin by cleaning the wheel rims: Brush the wheel rims clean with a wheel brush and wheel cleaner or degreaser. In fact, its highly recommended to start cleaning wheel rims first since this is where most of the dirt, grime and grease accumulates and you may need to leave cleaning product on for a while. You should allow product to penetrate wheel rims for 30 seconds to 1 minute before brushing them. On the other hand, acid-based cleaners should only can be used on rough-textured alloy wheels if needed but not on polished alloy wheels or clear-coated wheels. Finish by gleaming up chrome wheels with metal polish or glass cleaner.
-Wash the tires using whitewall tire cleaner: Apply tire dressing and let it soak-in for a glossy finish or wipe it on and off with a cotton cloth for a matte look.
-Wrap any electronic components in plastic under the hood: After wrapping any electronic-components, spray a degreaser on everything and then spray down with a pressure washer.
-Dress up any non-metal areas under the hood with vinyl/rubber protectant: Allow the protectant to soak-in to achieve a glossy look. However, to achieve a more matte finish, wipe it off.
-Take care of tinted windows: Factory tinting is built into the glass itself so that you have to worry less about that. However, after-market tinting is more degradable and could suffer from cleaners that contain ammonia or vinegar. So, check your cleaners before applying them to tinted windows.
-Wash the car’s exterior using a car wash soap: Park the vehicle in a shady spot and wait until the car’s surface is cool to the touch. After, use a deep-pile terrycloth microfiber towel since it will trap contaminants and not grind them into the car’s surface. Use 2 pails whereby one is with sudsy cleaner and the other with water as you clean. After dip your cloth into the sudsy water and clean a portion of the car, dip the dirty, sudsy water into the pail with water so that you don’t contaminate the cleaning pail. Work from the top down while washing and rinsing a section at a time and don’t allow soap to dry over the car. Take the spray nozzle off the water hose before doing a final rinse to minimize spots. Finish by using a chamois or terry cloth towel to dry the car exterior. However, never use dishwashing detergent since it strips the polymers off the paint surface and accelerates the oxidation process.
-Clean windows using a glass cleaner: The glass on newly-detailed cars should shine and reflect. So, clean the windows and mirrors using a glass-cleaner to achieve that reflective polish.
-Clean the wheel wells: Remove any caked-on dirt and mud off the wheel wells using an all-purpose cleaner and high-pressure water spray. Consider adding a vinyl dressing to the wells for a dazzling effect.
-Remove any bonded contaminants on the car using liquid clay bar: You can also use a traditional clay-bar to remove things like sap but a liquid clay bar tends to be much quicker and almost as effective.
-Apply polish or wax to the car body: if using both, apply and remove polish first using a dual-action polisher, orbital buffer or manually by hand. Rotary buffers should be used by professionals only. In fact, polish is for a glossy look while wax acts as a paint protectant. Pay attention to doorjambs, around door hinges and behind bumpers. Let the polish or wax dry to a haze and then finish the auto detailing by buffing with a machine. However, the hard-to-reach areas can be buffed by hand.