5 Smart Car Wash Tips for a Spotless Ride (DIY Detailing Ideas)
No one appreciates a dirty ride – we’re dead sure…and arguments cannot be raised.
However, the reality of daily living makes dirt an unwanted friend of your car. In and around your beautiful ride, dirt clusters and actively seeks to remain there, annoying you and doing everything possible to make you look like a dirty person.
Well, to a large extent, the dirt will always have its way – and (fearfully), succeed. However, there is a way to stop it, as soon as it invades…engaging in the great American wash ritual called car detailing.
What is Car Detailing?
Car detailing or cash wash detailing is the process of thoroughly cleaning a car’s interior, exterior or both with the intention of making is as spotless and as dirt free as possible.
Detailing is distinguished from normal car washing and cleaning in the sense that it does not only aim at dirt removal from an automobile; the process targets the complete cleaning of a vehicle in a manner that makes it as good as new, often with a ‘sparkling new feel and look’.
Why The Americans Fuss About The Ritual?
Car wash detailing practice has over the years become almost a ritual with car owners, not just car enthusiasts or ‘petrol heads’. The interest in this practice (or ritual) is founded in the fact that most Americans spend a large percentage of their working hours commuting or in their cars…it thus makes perfect sense that they appreciate a very spotless and sparkling ‘surrounding’ (the variant proper car wash detailing ensures).
Again, for most Americans, a car is much more than a mere commuting tool…it is an intricate part of their lives – a status symbol that they have come to rely on and utterly look forward to for most of their adult lives.
It is thus understood that such a status symbol would be the object of detailing – with the singular aim of ensuring that the ‘baby’ after their hearts remain not just in pristine condition, but also sparkles all through the way.
Having known what car detailing (or car wash detailing) is, let’s now turn our attention to the five smart car detailing tips that will ensure not just a spotless ride, but also a pristine one; one that will be as good as new.
Five Car Wash Detailing Tips for the Spotless Ride
If you own a car and would appreciate the 5 (five) greatest car detailing tips of all time, you’re in for the treat of your life. Relax, buckle up and prepare for the thrill!
Clean The Interior
The great and spotless car detailing ‘ritual’ begins with an impeccable interior – one that both looks and smells brand new – without the dirt, dust and pet hair flying about. If you thus desire to detail your car properly and like a professional, this is where you should start.
Remove all carpets and clean them thoroughly. If they are very dirty, consider washing them manually – and sun drying. Right after washing the carpets, consider cleaning the dashboard and other interior parts with a soft cloth or foam that is partially soaked in vinegar.
This will remove the dirt that settles either on the plastic or wooden interior and make the car begin to look like something you’ll love to ride again.
After you’re done with this phase of cleaning, pull out the affordable best car vacuum and suck out the remaining dirt. The last standing dirt and mess will be found in the air/AC vents, crevices, the fixed carpeting system of your car and ultimately, in the tight corners of the car’s upholstery.
An auto car vacuum will suck out all the dirt with a majestic flare and dexterity that will certainly leave you with a desire to spend the entire detailing time vacuuming instead. We recommend to use best fuel system cleaners for ensuring 100% detailing of your car. Due to various reasons, fuel injection system may malfunction. So, take a special care and attention for your fuel injector.
Wash The Wheels
Cleaning the wheels of your ride is the next logical step – right after cleaning the interior and vacuuming the dirt and mess. However, when it comes to the art of cleaning the wheels, more time and energy needs to be exerted here in order to make a positive impression that you’ll be proud of at the end.
First, if your baby has been through the mud and other less than ideal places, the very first thing you ought to do is to ‘soak’ the tires, mud guards/flaps and crevices directly above the tires. When they are thoroughly soaked (and the dirt relieved – to an extent) – you can now proceed to wash and brush away, with military precision and an enthusiasm that clearly belongs to the youth.
When you’re done and the dirt belongs to history, it is time to deploy dedicated tire cleaners and thoroughly scrub using them. It is recommended that nonacid cleaners be used to preserve both tire integrity and ensure the overall safety of your hands. When the tires are done, it’s time to take a close and interested look at the body of the car properly.
Wash The Body
The difference between the average car owner and a dedicated car enthusiast who loves and enjoys the process of car wash detailing lies in the actual washing of the body of a car. While the average car owner is fast in the process and only interested to get foam all-round the body of the vehicle (and rinse it off as soon as possible), the petrol head is naturally interested in something much more than that.
The very first step in washing the body of a car is ensuring that the right type of sponge or washer is got. This, ideally, needs to be soft on the body of the car but firm enough to clean dirt; it needs to be flexible enough to hold foam but also firm enough to be able to withstand the rigors that come with washing and actually scrubbing. If you’re confused on the ideal washer to use, a dedicated auto shop will be of help to you.
The second step is ensuring that a proper car wash solution is used. While normal detergents used in doing laundry or the dishes may serve just fine (for the time being), they speed up the oxidation process and are harsh on the paint and wax, giving your car a dull finish sooner than later.
Specific brand names may differ, depending on your location. However, if you drive to your local mechanic or car dealership, you’ll most certainly be amazed at the number of awesome options that are available for properly washing and detailing your car.
Finally, the right amount of pressure – as required ought to be exerted to ensure that the dirt actually comes off the vehicle. Such dirt as bird dropping and grease may prove particularly difficult to come off and may resist your efforts if you’re not firm and diligent enough.
Usually, the advisable pattern of washing is by deploring long strokes that go as long as they can. The rationale for this is to ensure that you avoid the circular motion that is bound to leave nasty impressions on the body of your vehicle once it is dry.
When you’re done with washing the body, be careful not to touch the wet car until it is completely dry to avoid incidences of dirt or fingerprints on the body. Allowing the car to dry naturally by means of (natural) air blowing on it is the best method of drying an automobile after detailing.
However, if you have a very clean towel and time isn’t on your side, nothing should stop you from toweling your car like the true baby it is – and will remain.
Care of Glasses
Car wash interior cleaning is nothing if special care is not taken of your glasses – especially the windshield. Unfortunately, this is one area most car owners get frustrated over and eventually give up. Sadly, nothing keeps on reminding you (of how dirty your car is) as a badly cleaned vehicle glass.
Right after your car dries, drive it to the shade and apply your glass cleaning solution (this may vary too, depending on your location and local availability of brands. If unsure of the model/brand to buy, contact your dealer, mechanic or local auto shop for advice).
Generally, the best practice is to dab the glass cleaning solution to a super neat towel and apply to your window glasses or windshield, top to bottom. It is advisable to avoid brands that contain ammonia as the fume they produced when used is dangerous to health and for tinted glasses, damages the tint film, completely.
Once you’re done with the cleaning of the glasses in such a fashion, the general (and suggested) practice is to leave the glasses in the shade to cool off and dry on their own, without any further need of adding anything else or cleaning off directly.
This is not a car detailing practice that needs to be done with every wash. However, if you’re desirous of protecting your car’s finish and ensuring that it shines all the time, you’ll need to wax and polish your ride once in a while.
As with the numerous other car wash detailing products recommended here for a thorough car detailing ‘ritual’, there are many car wax variants and sealants that are available in the market according to jurisdiction. While many of such models can be applied by hand or machine, there are some that are specific to either hand or machine application.
As with glass care, the application of wax to polish and protect a car’s paint is done in the cool – preferably, the shade. Here, it is advised that the thinnest film be applied one stroke at a time and reapplication should only be done after about 15 – 24 hours, depending on the particular wax or sealant used.
Once, this process is completed, you’ll definitely be surprised that your old; regular car looks as good as brand new. Accordingly, you will be pardoned if you do not recognize the very car you took outside the garage some hours earlier for a proper car detail!
We have just finished explaining the process of car detailing (for both exterior and interior) to you in 5 smart tips.
While we have done our best to be as easy on the jargon as possible (while being elaborate on the steps and explanation), it is still possible that we either missed something or you’re having challenges grasping the whole picture (this is common especially if you’re a new car owner).
If this explains your reality (or predicament), kindly leave a comment below. Usually, we reply to every comment directly, no matter how busy we are.
If there are no comments or questions, happy auto detailing!