|photo courtesy of flickr|
Getting your vehicle professionally detailed can be expensive, and many drivers do not have the budget for professional detailing. It's important to note that detailing is not the same as washing a vehicle, although it is a common misconception that the terms are interchangeable. In fact, detailing involves a more thorough cleaning of the hard to reach parts of a vehicle, such as the undercarriage and inside the wheel well, while washing simply refers to cleaning the part of the vehicle that is visible.
1) Keep it inside.
When you are detailing your vehicle, you should try to do so in a garage rather than outside. This is to avoid any dust or pollen particles that may stick to your vehicle while it is drying. It's also important to detail your vehicle in a shady area, as keeping it in the sun will cause your car to dry quickly, leaving spots.
2) Block off some time.
Detailing your vehicle takes time and effort, so be sure that you have the time to dedicate to the job before starting. Rather than the half hour that you'd use to soap up your car and rinse it off during a traditional car wash, you'll need a few hours to really get your car sparkling.
3) Work from the inside out.
Start with the interior of your vehicle, and take out everything including the floor mats. Use stain removers if necessary, and vacuum the interior using the appropriate attachments on your vacuum. You can wipe off surfaces with a gentle cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge. If there are hard to remove spots or stains, utilize tools such as cotton swabs and razor blades. Take care not to damage the upholstery when using sharp tools for detailing work.
4) Work from the top down.
When you move on to the exterior of your vehicle, be sure that you begin with the top and work your way down. First, rinse your vehicle to remove grime. You can use a cloth especially made for use on a vehicle and soapy water to thoroughly clean your vehicle. Once it is clean and dry, you can work on touching up scratches with a repair kit for minor scratches.
5) Use wax for lasting results.
When your car is clean, you can apply a coat of wax to it to bring out its shine and prevent a build up of dirt. Take your time when polishing to get the best results.
Now that the interior and exterior of your vehicle are clean and sparkling, take a step back to admire the results!