How To Detail A Car | Part One
Cleaning your car seems pretty straight forward: you fill up a bucket with sudsy water, grab a sponge and fire up the garden hose. Half an hour later your ride is looking clean and you go on with your day. The problem, however, is that your car doesn’t have that sparkle and shine you’d expect after putting in so much tender, love and care. For a vehicle that truly stands out you need to know hot to detail a car.
Not only does detailing your car make it look great, it helps to improve and maintain its health, safety and reliability. Along with the professionals at Prime Choice Auto Parts, we’ve created an easy guide for you to learn how to make your vehicle look and feel like brand new on the inside and out with these easy tips on how to detail a car. Let’s get started with part one of our Car Care Month series by focusing on the interior.
What You’ll Need
Our team has put together a list of everything you need to detail your car like a pro. With things you already have at home and great products you can discover at your local Prime Choice location, your car will be looking great in no time at all.
- vacuum / shop vac
- a sponge, old rags & paper towel
- a bucket with clean water
- multi-purpose degreaser
- stain remover
- streakless glass cleaner
- car wax or a professional all-in-one wash
What Products We Recommend
With so many different automotive cleaning products available it can be difficult to know which ones work best for your vehicle. Prime Choice Auto Parts carries a variety of products by Krown, a leading Canadian brand in rust protection, that are perfect for getting the job done right.
Each Krown product features specialized cleaning properties and can help with your car detailing needs. We recommend using the powerful Multi-Degreaser to remove grease and stains from virtually any location on your vehicle. For fingerprints and window smudges use Krown Streakless Class Cleaner for best results. For hard to remove stains inside your car use the Spot N’ Stain Remover or the Salt Eliminator for stubborn leftover winter messes. Finally for an all-over total exterior cleaner, the Premium Wash N’ Wax solution gives your vehicle that incredible like-new shine you worked so hard to achieve and washes off effortlessly.
Clean The Inside First | How To Detail A Car Interior
The first thing people are tempted to do is grab the garden hose and start spraying, but an important first step to detailing a vehicle is to start inside. This way all the dust and grime won’t ruin your newly polished exterior.
Start by removing any garbage and unnecessary items from your car. You’d be surprised how many drive-thru cups and packages can pile up over time. Once any clutter is cleared out remove the mats from the front and back seats. Shake them off letting any dirt and dust fall and set them to the side. Take your vacuum or shop vac and use the nozzle to suck up any dirt and dust off the floor, seats, cup holders and side door compartments. Once you’ve finished you can do the same to the floor mats.
If you’re a pet owner a pro tip for removing pet hair is to use static electricity to catch the loose hairs. One method is to rub an inflated balloon on the upholstery or you can opt for a solution of water and fabric softener that you spray on the seats and wipe clean with paper towel.
Next look for tough stains on the floor and upholstery and spray them with stain remover. Let that sit for a few minutes then scrub with warm water and a rag. In addition to stains inside the vehicle, apply the cleaner to the floor mats as well. If you have kids chances are there are an extra few stains in the back seat. For marker or ink stains apply hairspray to the affected area, let it absorb the stain for a few minutes then wipe clean. For hard to break stuck-on food you can use a toothbrush with the stain remover to get an extra cleaning edge.
The next step is to wipe down the rest of the interior. You can use an all-purpose degreaser, but it is recommended to dilute it for interior use. A 5:1 ratio works well, but you can test it for the best result you’re looking for. If not a degreaser, an all-purpose household cleaner works just as well. Apply everywhere on the dash, side doors, handles and anywhere else that excludes the glass and fabric. Wipe clean with a rag or paper towel.
Finally you’re ready to finish the last steps of detailing the interior of your vehicle by cleaning the windows and rear view mirror. Just like wearing eye glasses or shades, smudges and dirt can really affect the way we see the world around us. Having clean windows that are clear and free of distractions is a great way to not only increase the cleanliness of your car, it also ups the safety level allowing you to have a good view of every angle.
Using a streakless glass cleaner designed for vehicles can make all the difference when detailing your car. Not only will it not leave a greasy film afterwards, there will be no streaks or lines in site. Apply to every window in your vehicle from the windshield to the rear, even catching the glass on the dashboard. After wiping clean with a paper towel, you’ll really see a difference.
Now that your interior is spotless, you’re ready to hang an air freshener and move onto the exterior. Catch part two of our How To Detail A Car blog series next week or read our car care maintenance check list as part of our Car Care Month series.
Do you have any car interior cleaning hacks you think our fellow readers need to know? Share them in the comments below!