While professional detailing is always the best option, there are times when you need to do a quick DIY between visits to your detailer. Auto detailing doesn’t have to take forever and cost a fortune. With some elbow grease and these ten auto detailing tips, you can keep your car clean and well-maintained, inside and out.
Top 10 DIY Auto Detailing Tips
#1 Car polish isn’t car wax
Many people think car polish and car wax are the same, but they are different products. If the surface of your car is dull or has minor imperfections, polishing it might help.
#2 Clean your windows thoroughly
Look at the tops of your windows while they are partially rolled down, and you might be surprised at how much grime there is. Use a microfiber cloth and some automotive window cleaner to remove this; it will only take a few minutes. Do not use window cleaner with ammonia.
#3 Clean under your seats
You may think you keep your car pretty clean, but have you checked under the seats? Make sure you regularly clean well under the seats. Use a vacuum attachment to get into tight areas.
#4 Use a clay bar or nano-skin towel
Clay bars and nano-skin towels are a quick and inexpensive way to remove embedded contaminants. Simply lubricate the surface with a clay lubricant and gently rub the clay bar or nano-skin towel over the paint until the embedded material is gone. For more information, read our article, Removing Tough Contaminants With a Clay Bar.
#5 Use a “no rinse” car wash
No-rinse cleaning products can save you much time and effort washing your car. No-rinse products leave no residue, so that you can skip the final rinse step after washing. Learn about No Rinse Wash and Shine here.
#6 Work from top to bottom
Save time by cleaning the top of the car first! While cleaning the top of your car, dirt runs off to the bottom. Cleaning the lower half first requires twice the work.
#7 Don’t use products like ArmorAll
Many products leave an oily residue that attracts dust and dirt. It is best to use a gentle interior cleaner to leave your dash, doors, and console clean and oil-free.
#8 Interior Foggers can help fight odors
If you’re dealing with a particularly nasty odor in your car, try using an odor-eliminating fogger. There are several options available from manufacturers like Meguiar’s.
#9 Use compressed air in hard-to-reach spaces
Compressed air can help you remove dust from hard-to-reach spaces like air vents.
#10 Test products before you use them
Always test first! When trying a new product, ensure it doesn’t damage your interior. When you don’t know how a product will react, test it on a small area first.
One of the best ways to keep your car looking great while reducing the need for detailing is by applying a ceramic coating to the exterior and interior finishes. These products help reduce the build-up of dirt and make cleaning your car much more effortless.
We hope these DIY auto detailing tips help you. Please contact us today at Details Matter to learn more about auto detailing and paint protection for your car. Our popular auto detailing service packages provide prestige detailing by certified detailers who care for your car as if it’s theirs.
FAQs About Car Detailing
What are the best car detailing supplies and tools for exterior car detailing?
Car cleaning products such as automotive razor blades can help remove sap. Use microfiber towels or specialty brushes made explicitly for exterior surfaces. Microfiber applicators help reduce the risk of scratching the paint surface when buffing. Additionally, wheel-cleaning brushes with tough yet gentle bristles give your tires and wheels an even deeper clean without damaging them.
What are the best car detailing supplies and tools for interior car detailing?
Interior automotive detailing includes determining the specific cleaning supplies and protectants necessary for the various types of material used in your vehicle. No single product can clean and protect all surfaces effectively. For example, you will clean leather seats differently from cloth seats.
The optimal approach includes using a separate product for each type of surface. For example, cloth should be treated with a specially formulated spray or wipe, while wood or metal components will require supplies for those particular surfaces.
It is also important to remember that any cleaning products used must be designed specifically for the vehicle’s interior since these materials are more delicate than exterior ones. Additionally, make sure that all products are compatible with each other to avoid potential damage or discoloration from incompatible combinations. By carefully researching and creating an appropriate combination of supplies tailored to your car’s interior materials needs, you can complete a comprehensive auto interior detailing project.
Should I use a professional detailer?
When you aren’t able to remove stubborn stains, the tools and products used by pros are your best option. Contact us to learn more now!
This article was originally published on November 2, 2017 but has been updated for accuracy and freshness.