Do you want to clean your car like a pro? In today’s guide, we will be talking about the secrets to a perfect finish and the best car cleaning tips so that your vehicle is as shiny as new.
If you are a proud car owner, you probably know that there is nothing as satisfying as a meticulously cleaned car. However, because of time and responsibilities, few people can achieve this effect. Believe it or not, there is a much deeper, more thorough and precise way to clean your car for a look that is way better than the one you get when you take it out of the automatic car wash.
Now is the time to roll your sleeves and start preparing for the best finish your car has ever seen. Below are the eighteen car cleaning tips every owner should put to practice.
1. Evaluate the condition of our car
This is the obvious no-brainer to begin with, but also a crucial step. Before you begin, make sure to determine how dirty your car is and take some trash out of it before hauling all the hoses, buckets, cleaning supplies, and towels. If there is any ice, snow or dirt, try to remove it before it gets too messy.
2. Stock up with some cleaning products
For a deep clean, you ideally need a degreaser, a wax, and a cleaning agent for your windows, windshield and lights. While there are many all-in-one products, choosing separate ones for each part of the car (and ones with great reviews, too) is always a good idea.
3. Use (at least) two buckets
When deep cleaning your car, your goal should be to remove all contaminants from the surface of the vehicle. To do that, you need clean water in at least two buckets. There is the popular “two bucket cleaning system” where you have one bucket filled with clean soapy water, and another one with just water. If you want, you can get another (third) bucket where you can put a mix of the cleaning product and water and only use it for your wheels. Most of us know that these are often the dirtiest parts of the vehicle.
4. Wash your car’s wheels
As we said in the previous step, washing the car’s wheels is how the cleaning process of the exterior often begins. Most of the best car cleaning tips for this specific region advise on using a sponge for your rims, and making sure that you are keeping the cleaning agent away from the tyres. Once you finish, spray your wheels with some polishing agent, but make sure that it is rim-friendly. Also, always use a separate hose/bottle and sponge when cleaning your wheels.
5. Continue with your car’s headlights
Next up are the headlights. Since they are made of plastic, they can turn cloudy and yellow with age. If your headlights are cloudy, you can take them to a polishing shop to clean them from inside and out. But if they are okay, you should take care of them with a restoration kit, which is easy to find nowadays. Many of these products include UV blocking components, too, which is why they are popular among car owners. When you are done with the windows, clean them off with a moist cloth and apply a protective finish (if you have one).
6. Wash the car’s body
The body of your car is probably the part where you will spend most of the time cleaning it. As we previously said, the goal is to remove loose contaminants and give it a shiny look. First, we recommend rinsing the car down with water to remove larger pieces of dirt. Once you do that, add soapy water from your bucket to the exterior. Be aware that there are liquid detergents and dish cleaners that can strip away the wax and even damage your paint. So, be sure to use an agent that is recommended and in line with your needs. Once you finish, dry off the car with a microfiber towel or a lightly moistened chamois before moving to the next step.
7. Wash the windows
Windows are very essential to your car’s overall look. They are an area where you should also spend some time. Expert car cleaners recommend buying glass cleaning agents (free of ammonia) that won’t damage your exterior windows. Remember to roll down your windows before you start wiping them with a glass cleaner.Once you start cleaning the windows, make sure that there are no cloudy areas. The goal is to have mirror-like windows.
8. Wipe down your windshield wipers with rubbing alcohol
We all know what our wipers go through during heavy rain, and this is a great way to prevent a smeared windshield. Put some alcohol on a small cloth and straighten out your wipers. Carefully go from one end to another to ensure that no part is missed.
9. Prepare the surface
If you finished washing your car’s exterior, headlights, taillights and windows, it’s time to prepare the surface and spot any deep-seated blemishes such as swirls, scratches and oxidation in the paint. To do that, run your hand over the paint surface and use a special cleaning agent for detailing.
10. Repair the scratches (if any)
If there are any scratches on your car, you should cover them with a smooth coat of wax or a scratch-specific repair compound which may take a couple of times until it successfully hides your scratch(es). Deeper scratches usually need a paint touch-up, for which you need to visit your UAE car dealership or a body repair expert.
11. Polish it for extra gloss
If you want to be as detailed as possible and spend an extra hour with your car, you can polish it for extra gloss. We recommend this kind of light polishing for your car at least once a year. A high-gloss sheen can give your car’s paint a mirror-like look, and you can apply it by hand or with a dual-action polisher. However, be careful and gentle when doing this.
12. Give it the wax it deserves
Waxing your car is the last step in the exterior car cleaning tips. While many believe that wax shines up your paint, it also blocks UV rays to prevent fading. With wax, you also protect your car’s paint from anything corrosive that may land on your vehicle. Buying carnauba or polymer wax ensures great results, and polymer is usually easier to apply.
13. Start vacuuming your car’s interior
Once you finish the exterior, move on to the interior. You can obviously start with the interior as well, but we prefer cleaning the car from outside in. Everything should begin with vacuuming – remove your floor mats and be as detailed as possible. When going upwards, use a brush to clean as much dust as possible.
14. Detail scrubbing with a toothbrush
A toothbrush can be your friend if you want to scrub your vinyl surfaces and remove any weird stains on them. Toothbrushes work well – all you need is some dish soap diluted with water or a specific cleaning agent for vinyl surfaces.
15. Use a fine bristled brush to get dirt and crumbs out from the seams of your cushions
A fine-bristled brush can help you remove all of the dirt and crumbs out of the seams of your seat cushions. It is always a good idea to have the vacuum near you – you never know how many crumbs or dirt will get out of your seats before you dig the brush deeper.
16. Use leather cream to condition and polish your leather
A leather paste or cream is a great way to polish your leather once you finish up wiping your seats. You can apply it on a small towel and spread it out evenly. Make sure to apply a small amount, though – your leather seats can only absorb a thin layer of it. If your leather seats are quite damaged, look out for a renovation paste and read the instructions before applying it.
17. Shampoo your seats with diluted all-purpose cleaner
If your fabric seats are stained, you can shampoo them with diluted all-purpose cleaner. Get a sponge or a scrub brush and a few washcloths when starting this process. Use white or undyed washcloths, so that the color dyes in the cloth don’t rub off onto your car’s fabric. There are plenty of step-by-step guides and car cleaning tips for this specific part, so make sure you watch a few videos before doing it on your own.
18. Get an air freshener to maintain the freshness
When you are done with everything, take some time to appreciate the brand new look of your car and double-check if you did not miss any area. From the exterior to the trunk and the interior, every region of your car needs proper cleaning so that it stays clean and functional. Once you clean your dirty floor mats and put them inside, you should know that you are officially one. As a last touch, we recommend getting an air freshener and putting it inside your car so that the freshness is maintained. Plus, the new smell will remind you of how thorough you were when cleaning your car!
In the end, cleaning a car is one of the tasks that you should not avoid. It is also a task that is difficult. Once you get to know the ins and outs, you will be able to clean your car thoroughly. Trust us – your car will appreciate the level of care you put to it and will look as it was brand new!
For more helpful guides and tips about taking care of your car, visit our blog!