• February 16, 2016

How to Detail a Car!

How to Detail a Car!

There’s cleaning a car and then there’s detailing it. Detailing is like a cleaning job on steroids.  It means cleaning the interior and exterior of the car so it looks almost new again, a process that usually takes a fair amount of time.

There are two ways to get your car detailed: You can get it done by a professional or you can do it yourself.  Professionals generally do a good job but it’s going to set you back $100-$200. The other option is to do the job yourself.  If you are considering the later, here’s a guide to doing it.  Enjoy!

Step One – Vacuum the all the floor mats, upholstery and the upholstery.  Be sure and use a narrow vacuum nozzle to get into all the seat cushion cracks and between the seats.Step Two – If there are stains or ground in dirt on the seats or carpets, apply a foam cleanser and rub it into the affected areas.  After soaking for a few minutes, blot the moisture up with a dry cloth and let dry.

Step Three – If you have leather seats, apply a good conditioner to them.  Take your time and work the conditioner into all the seat stitching and cracks, if they exist.

Step Four – Wipe hard interior surfaces with a mild all-purpose cleaner and then use an interior dressing like Armor All to give the surfaces a nice shine.  This step makes a dash and instrument panel look great.

Step Five – Clean the windows and mirrors with a good spray on cleaner.  A professional detailer’s trick is to use single-edge razor blades and 4-ought steel wool to clean off any stubborn gunk on the glass.

 Step Six – Clean the wheel rims with a wheel brush and wheel cleaner or degreaser.  Allow the wheel cleaner product to penetrate wheel rims for 30 seconds to 1 minute before brushing. After cleaning, you can apply a metal polish or special wheel surface enhancer to give the wheels a polished-look.

Step Seven – Wash the tires with whitewall tire cleaner, then apply tire dressing for a nice glossy look.

 Step Eight – Spray degreaser on the engine and related components and let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Then wash off with a garden hose, or even better:  a pressure washer.

Step Nine – Wash your car’s exterior with a car washing soap – not a dishwashing soap.  Dishwashing soaps can be too harsh for today’s car paint jobs so they should be avoided.  Also, use a deep-pile terrycloth towel which will trap contaminants so they won’t grind into the car’s paint surface.

 Step Ten – Apply a polish or wax by hand or orbital buffer.  Follow the instructions on the polish or wax container.

Last thoughts

If you are performing a detailing outside, avoid doing so in the direct sun.  When the surfaces on a car, such as the exterior paint or interior dash, are too hot, the fluids you use for cleaning will dry out quickly which makes the detailing process harder.  Either do it in the shade or wait for a cooler day.

Article Courtesy:  Newark Chrysler

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