Car Detailing Hacks from Our Used Car Experts
Whether you are looking to trade or you just want your car to look its best, here are car detailing hacks from the used car experts at Earnhardt Auto Centers. It’s their job to restore a preowned vehicle and make it look new again.
Why You Should Know How to Detail a Car
Learning how to detail your car to a professional standard is not just about showing off your car to your friends and colleagues. It’s also about maintaining it for eventual resale. Check out these hacks to make your car look its best today and far into the future.
1 Hand Wash Every Two Weeks
While a carwash is fun to drive through, maintaining your car takes some elbow grease. Consider hand washing it every two weeks. This has the added benefit of showing you any minor damage that you may not have noticed.
2. When washing your car, keep things cool.
Don’t wash a car with a hot engine. Try to do the job in the shade. Eliminating heat will eliminate a big source of natural drying, which leads to water marks.
3. Don’t use dish soap.
It’s tempting to use whatever you have lying around, but don’t use dish soap. Use a product that is formulated for washing a car.
4. Keep Your Sponge Clean
As you work, keep rinsing your sponge. The cleaner your sponge is, the cleaner the results. Equally importantly, this simple trick is protecting your paint job. Dirt particles in a sponge will gently scratch, forming swirl marks over time.
5. Use Microfiber Towels
To avoid scratching, microfiber towels are best. If you use them for washing, make sure to put enough aside for the drying process. Before using, trim tags or labels. These can scratch the paint.
6. How to Hand Dry Properly
Once you finish washing, go back over the car with soft microfiber towels. Try using a figure 8 motion that is long and drawn out. Start at the top and work your way down panel by panel. This should prevent water marks.
7. Prevent Dirty Water from Dribbling Out
Open every door and the trunk. Wash the inside rim and make sure that these areas are not going to leak dirty water onto your clean car.
8. Use a plastic bag to check the surface.
You’ve just washed your car, and it’s time to wax. Yet you need to make sure that the dirt and abrasions are really gone. You can use a paper bag over your hand and keep from putting fingerprints all over your clean car. If you find spots, clean and dry before waxing.
9. Trim treatments should be applied before waxing.
While your paint needs waxing, your black plastic trim does not. Instead use a restoring product to make it look good. Take care to protect the trim from wax or polish.
10. Use Polish to Remove Swirl Marks
If you see super fine scratches on your paint surface, these may have been caused by cleaning with a dirty sponge or a scratchy cloth in the past. Instead of wax, the proper thing to do is use car polish to gently remove the marks. A dual action polisher makes it much easier to achieve professional results.
11. Wax carefully.
If you wax by hand, it will take a long time. However, it is better to do it by hand than to use a power buffer incorrectly. For instance, using a buffer to remove the old wax can lead to an uneven finish. Make sure the buffer pad is well coated to prevent the power buffer from touching the paint layer.
12. Clean the Window Tops
When cleaning the windows, lower them an inch or two. This way you can lean the tops of the window thoroughly. Watch out for excess product. You don’t want it to streak or drip. You also don’t want it to build in the window jamb.
13. Dry Windows In Two Directions
Have you ever finished washing your car and discovered that the windows look streaked? To avoid that, uses a horizontal motion for the interior and a vertical one for the exterior (or vice versa). You’ll be surprised how it helps you find the streak.
14. Treat your tires last.
While washing your car, be sure to clean the tires and the tire wells. Don’t use a treatment on the tires until after you have waxed the paint.
15. Static Electricity Cleans Carpets
Before vacuuming, create static electricity by rubbing the carpet while wearing a latex glove. This will help your vacuum get much more of the dirt. You can also gently brush the carpet to loosen dirt.
16. Compressed Air May Freshen Your HVAC
To eliminate stale odors coming from your vents, try using compressed air. It just takes a quick blast to eliminate grime, and it should improve the smell without creating an unwanted scent.