If you are like any ordinary car owner, car detailing and car washing are nothing more than synonyms. As long as you wash your priced possession daily or a few times a week, you are good to go. However, car detailing is much more than washing. It is a thorough work of art that cleans, protects and brings the shine in your car. The good news is that car detailing is a DIY job for anyone willing to get their hands wet and dirty. Here, we have a beginner’s guide to help you get started.
What Is Car Detailing?
Simply put, car/auto detailing is a deep cleaning and restoration of a vehicle using specialized products and tools. It is done to make it glossy and protect the body and parts from harmful UV rays. Typically, detailing involves a few cosmetic touch-ups excluding paintwork. When you deep clean your car from top to bottom, you recondition both its interior and exterior. The goal is to restore paintwork by getting rid of unsightly swirl marks and scratches and hence make the vehicle look new again.
Basics of Car Detailing
While a normal car wash takes about 10 minutes to complete, detailing can take hours. Basically, detailing involves the following components:
- Careful vacuuming of the interiors
- Thorough wiping of all plastic parts using a conditioner to protect it against UV rays.
- Cleaning of all windows and interiors using a quality glass cleaner
- Engine inspection, degreasing, cleaning, and drying (using compressed air)
- Waxing of painted parts and application of conditioner
- Inspection, cleaning, and washing of the car’s exterior with soap and water
- Buffing of the car
- Application of polish to the panels
- Dressing the tires
How to Detail a Car like a Pro
Before you get the hose, cleaning supplies, and the vacuum and head out, you might want to know the steps of doing detailing like a pro.
- Inspect Your Vehicle
First off, you want to do a proper evaluation of your car. Go over everything and identify the parts that need to be refurbished, repaired, or replaced. Check the paintwork, keeping your focus on any imperfections. Do the same for the tires and wheels and the interior.
- Grab All The Tools
The correct tools will help make the job easy and efficient. Make sure you have the right cleaners, protectants, polishes, and other important tools.
- Wash And Detail Your Car Thoroughly
Begin by normal cleaning and wiping your car. Ensure the wheels and tires, car parts, and panels are cleaned and dried. Once the basic cleaning is done, use a quality clay bar to get rid of pollutants, dirt, and grime.
- Wax Your Car
Once the clay bar cleaning is done, proceed to wax your vehicle using a quality wax.
- Clean Your Windows And Exteriors
The interior of the car is better cleaned with a microfiber towel to guarantee a lint-free and dust-free finish. This is especially true for vinyl, leather, and plastic surfaces. Finish things off by cleaning, drying, and polishing your car windows. Use a microfiber cloth and a quality glass cleaner for efficiency.
With the right tools and knowledge car detailing can be achieved by anyone. However, you want to make sure that all the steps are carefully followed to the letter. Otherwise, you are better off taking your car to the garage after all.