Having your car detailed can be expensive, depending on the amount of cleaning needed and where you decide to take it. If you’re goal is to save money, then you should consider learning how to detail your own car. With the right knowledge and tools, you’ll be able to wash the inside and outside of your car like an actual pro detailer. This is a good idea if you’re trying to sell your car or if you just want to make it look good. The following tips can be used to help you become an overnight pro in detailing.
What’s the Condition of Your Car?
Before you get started with detailing your car, it’s important to evaluate its condition. If it’s a like-new car with a good coat of wax, then all you may need to do is have it washed and waxed. However, if the paint is chipping and needs polishing, then there will be more work on your behalf.
Purchase the Right Products
Once you know what type of work your car needs, you can begin purchasing the products online or from a reputable local seller. Make sure to read the labels of the products you buy to ensure your don’t apply them incorrectly and cause more harm than good. For instance, if you place a chrome wheel cleaner on wheels made with aluminum, then you will ruin them. The acid in this product is too invasive. You’re also going to need premium microfiber cloths, which should be kept separately. These will be used for the windows, wheels and paint. Keep your mitts and towels cleaned efficiently.
Wash the Car
The purpose of the car wash is to remove all dust, dirt and mud from the surface of the vehicle. Make sure to use car washing soap versus liquid detergent. Dish cleaners should definitely be avoided as well. Using the wrong type of soap can cause the paint to become damaged and the wax to be stripped away. After washing the car, use the hose or pressure washer to rinse it off. Drying cloths should be used after rinsing, ensuring there are no large pieces of dirt left on there that can scratch the vehicle.
Prepping the Surface
After washing the car, you will be able to see the scratches, oxidation and swirls, which is unsightly. You can also feel the contaminants on the surface when you run your hand across it. In order to remove these contaminants, you can use what’s called a clay bar. It will smooth out the surface, making it ready for waxing and polishing.
Polishing and Waxing the Car
You will need a dual-action polisher to give your car back its vibrant color. Once this is done, your car will have a nice glossy look. Next, you will need to wax the vehicle, which will help to protect it from UV rays, fading and anything else that may come into contact with the paint. You can choose between a polymer wax or carnauba wax. For ease, go with the polymer, but be prepared to pay more.
The final touches will be wiping the car down with a spray detailer to keep it shining and protected. The windows and wheels are done last, which should use the proper products.
When washing your car, make sure you’re wearing something comfortable, such as a pair of jeans and some Uggs.