How to Detail Your Car

You don’t need to go to a shop to have your car looking like new again. The good news is that you can detail your car by yourself. This article will teach you how to detail your car and give it the deluxe treatment it deserves.


What is Auto Detailing?

Auto detailing is the meticulous cleaning and reconditioning of a car’s interior and exterior. It’s a thorough process that involves more than washing the exterior of your car with soapy water, or wiping the dashboard with a car care product.

While it can be time-consuming and physically exhausting, auto detailing can be a very fulfilling chore for any driver. This is particularly true for car owners who love their cars so much that they’re willing to spend a lot of time in cleaning them.

Of course, one reason you would want to detail your car by yourself is the savings you’ll be able to generate. Although you will have to spend for the tools like vacuum cleaner, rags, carpet stain cleaner, among others, you’ll be using these products for a long time. Eventually, you’ll be able to recoup the money you shelled out.

Finally, auto detailing can repair the minor imperfections of your car. It can extend its life and maintain its value.


Tools You’ll Need

Before starting the auto detailing process, you’ll have to stock up on various car care products and accessories. Aside from the car-washing tools like bucket, soap, sponges, chamois, and car wax, you would need more tools such as:


Detailing Car interior

You can start by detailing the interior of your car. Some of the areas that you should focus on are:

  1. Carpets— make sure that you vacuum the carpets first before removing any stain using a stain remover and brush. Allow the carpets to dry completely before you put them back in. You can remove mild stains by spraying diluted stain remover.
  2. Upholstery—vacuum the seats first before removing the stains. The seats should be completely dried by allowing the car doors open.

If you own a dog or cat, you very well know how pet hair can accumulate in the seats. Even the use of a vacuum cleaner may not be enough to get rid of pet hair. One way to remove these is to run a masking tape around your hand with the sticky side out. Then run your hand over the surface until the seats are free from pet hair.

  1. Door interiors—speaking of doors, you can clean the non-cloth portions with a soapy solution. Focus on the cracks and crevices where dirt and grime gather. You can then dry the entire area by wiping it with a thick cloth.
  2. Windows—you can make the inside of your windows shine by using a glass cleaner. You can also put soapy water in a plastic bottle and spraying it on the glass. Dry thoroughly and erase any streaks.
  3. Steering wheel column— again, soapy solution should be enough to remove dust and grime that have collected in this part of the car.
  4. Dashboard— spraying soapy solution isn’t recommended in cleaning the dashboard. Instead, get a small brush and apply the cleaning solution. Then use the small brush to clean around knobs and buttons.


Detailing Exterior

Start by washing the car wheels. While there are solutions specifically made for rubber, you can save a few dollars by just using soapy solution that you would tap in cleaning the rest of the vehicle.  You can knock off stubborn mid and dirt by using pressure hose. A stiff brush can also get rid of the debris.

Apply tire dressing afterwards. Allow the dressing to soak in, or wipe it with a cotton cloth for a glossy finish.

Then wash the rest of the car’s body by changing the water and getting a few clean rags. Give it a thorough wash starting with the roof. Wash small areas at a time. You should also not let surfaces dry out. You can do this by spraying the cleaned parts with the hose.

You should have several rags with you as you clean the body of the car. Replace a rag once it accumulates too much dirt or dust. The last thing you would want is to scratch your car with grime that has accumulated on a dirty rag.

For smaller areas like rims around the headlights and tail lights, use a small brush. You can also utilize this tool in cleaning the side mirrors as well as indentations in the door handles. Rinse everything with clean water.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the entire body of the car, dry it off using a clean chamois.

After the entire body of the car has been dried, you can start waxing your car.   You can apply car polish if you desire a glossy look for your car. Applying car wax, meanwhile, protects the pain and clear coat of the vehicle.

It’s normal to find areas of wax deposit or dust after waxing the car. You can clean these using a small brush.

Finally, you must focus your attention on the windshield. You’d like to have streak-free windows. You can do this lightly dipping newsprint on a soapy solution, and then using it to clean the windows.


Other Tips

  • You don’t need to detail your car every week. Experts suggest detailing cars every 2-3 months. This should keep the surfaces and finishes of the car healthy and protected.
  • You might want to avoid using silicone-based protectants because it can leave a greasy film on surfaces.
  • Wait until everything is dry before you drive your car. Exterior cleaners like those for wheels and tires can stay wet for some time and could gather dirt quickly when you drive.


Now that you know how to detail your car, start shopping for the tools and car care products that you need. You’ll be a step closer to making your car look sparkling new again.


Leave a Reply