When it comes to detailing a car, people tend to think of two options. First, one might wonder, isn’t that the same as just washing your car? Those who know there’s more to it, and know the value of a good detailing, might opt to pay someone else to do it.
Detailing your car is more than just a luxury for those with some extra money to spend on their car. Detailing helps the interior and the exterior finish last longer in addition to looking great. This not only enhances the driving experience on an emotional level, it is also an important practical consideration as it will help maintain the value of your car.
But for those who might not want to pay to have their car detailed, there is good news. You can do a great DIY car detailing that will keep it looking great.
How often should you detail your car? Follow these steps for a thorough detailing twice a year, and you can keep your car looking great.
Yes, car detailing involves much more than just washing the exterior of your car. The interior is just as important. These steps will show you how to detail a car interior professionally. It is a good idea to start working on the inside. First, clean out your car to get rid of any large debris and garbage.
A thorough vacuuming is next. You will want an upholstery attachment and a long narrow attachment for those crevices between seats, in corners, and inside door handles.
Carpet and Upholstery
Just as if you were deep cleaning your house, you want to clean the carpet in your car. A foaming cleaner really helps to get out stains and smells. Do the same with the seats, if they are made of fabric. If you have leather seats, get a good safe leather cleaner and an appropriate cloth.
You will want to remove the floor mats so you can get to the carpet below and give the mats a good wash and rinse. To save yourself a lot of trouble in the future, and to really preserve the floor of your car, consider fitted floor mats. They catch everything and keep the inside of your car looking great.
Next up are the windows. You will want to clean the inside with a good glass cleaner that won’t leave residue or shine. You will be amazed at how clear your windows can be. Save the outside for after you wash and dry your car.
Dashboard and Console
Use the right polish or cleaner for the dash and console depending on whether they are made of plastic, leather, or something else. Wipe them down and clean them to a nice polish.
You can use cotton swabs or an air canister to get the dust out of your air vents. Seeing how much you get out of there will motivate you to keep them clean.
Once you have done the inside cleaning, you can look for some additional things to finish off the job. Oiling the hinges of the doors and hood, for example, can help make your car seem like new.
Wash and Wax
Finally, the big one. A thorough washing of the exterior makes such a difference. Follow the directions on the soap container when you wash. If you are washing your car on a hot sunny day, wash one area at a time and rinse the soap off before it can dry on your car. Start high on the roof and work your way down to the headlights and bottom of your car. Dry as you go or right after the final rinse to avoid leaving spots.
After washing, it is time to wax. Follow the instructions on the container. Again, start high and work your way down. If you are using a machine polisher, make sure you do not overwork the wax.
You will want to wash the wheels as you wash the rest of the exterior. Once that part is done, you can get a good wheel polish to make them shine. This adds a tremendous finished look to your car. It is also a good opportunity to inspect your tires to make sure they are still in good condition.
Detail your car twice a year, and you will keep it looking great while preserving its value. You will also get really good at it.