We all love the look of a shiny new car, but over time that polish will lose its luster. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
The thought of cleaning your car at a professional level may sound daunting. But the truth is, the process isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds. To get you started, here are 10 tips that will help detail your car to make it look as good as new.
1: Wash your car on a cloudy day
As tempting as it sounds to break out the hose on a sunny day, you’ll want to hold off for overcast weather before cleaning. Too much direct sunlight can damage your car’s paint job during a wash, which kind of defeats the purpose of detailing it to begin with.
Of course, if you have a way to shelter your car from the sun while cleaning it, then knock yourself out.
2: Get the right cleaners for the job
In order to clean properly, you’re going to need the right materials. And if you want to do the job right, you might need more of them than you think.
For instance, you’ll want to use a different cleaner for your tires than the one you’ll use on your windows. Be thorough in your shopping to make sure you cover all your bases.
3: Wash from the top to the bottom
You’ll want to clean every inch of your car, but the bottom is going to be the dirtiest. By cleaning from top to bottom, you’ll reduce the chance of spreading grime all over your car.
4: Dry with a microfiber cloth or towel
If you want to get every last spec of dirt off your car, you’ll want to use a microfiber cloth. Microfiber cloths absorb more moisture and dirt than regular towels. This is one of the simpler tricks that you can use to get a professional-looking clean.
5: While you’re at it, dry your glass in different directions between the interior and exterior
Streaks are a tough obstacle to overcome in any cleaning job, and glass can be a nightmare. Since it’s a transparent surface, how are you supposed to know which side has the streak?
By drying in different directions between the interior and exterior of your glass, you’ll be able to easily tell which side is the culprit.
6: Make sure to clean the top of your windows
Even the most thorough cleaners can forget about cleaning the tops of each window. It’s unfortunate because you wouldn’t believe how much gunk gets trapped there. Don’t make the same mistake.
7: Clear your vents with compressed air
You can’t exactly dive into your vents and clean them out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep those clean too. A fresh can of compressed air can dislodge any dirt that’s been stuck in your air vents. If you’ve noticed the air smelling funny when you turn on your air, you definitely don’t want to skip this step.
8: Brush your carpets before vacuuming
Vacuuming your carpets is one of the most satisfying parts of cleaning your car, and this trick makes the process even smoother. By brushing your carpets before vacuuming, you can dislodge any caked on junk and make the carpet fibers more prone to cleaning. Just be sure to do this part gently to avoid causing any unintended damage to your carpets.
9: Clean your cup holders
Another simple step that’s easy to skip. Cup holders can become one of the dirtiest parts of a car, and as such require a little extra love.
10: Detail your car throughout the year
It’s tempting to only clean your car after a messy road trip or a long winter, but for true professional quality, you’ll want to go above and beyond. We’re talking a full cleaning every 3 months, depending on how much you use your vehicle.
This might seem like a lot, but remember, your vehicle is an investment. A properly cleaned car can easily increase its value by hundreds of dollars, and it’ll look especially enticing next to vehicles that didn’t receive the same treatment. But even if you don’t intend to sell, proper cleaning and detailing can increase your vehicle’s longevity by warding off the rust. Plus, let’s face it, everyone likes looking at a shiny car.