Keeping your car clean means more than a quick scrub down each weekend. Give your car the respect it deserves with a thorough cleaning.
You Will Need:
- Car soap
- Wheel cleaner
- Window cleaner
- Interior cleaners as desired (leather cleaners, dashboard protectant, etc.)
- Soft cloths
- Lambskin mitt for washing
- Terrycloth or microfiber cloths
- Wax kit
- Scrubbing pads
- Vacuum with attachments
Steps to Clean Your Car:
- Wheels: Start with the wheels as they often hold a lot of gunk that you won’t want sprayed or splattered over your newly cleaned car. First, wet the wheels with water, then spray them with a wheel cleaner. Scrub them well with a cloth or scrub brush. Rinse completely with water.
- Wash the Exterior: Spray the entire car down with water. Use a bucket with water and a good quality car soap (not dish soap – it will strip the wax!) to wash the surfaces. If you want to detail, use a small brush to get in the cracks and crevices.
- Dry the Exterior: Use a terrycloth or microfiber cloth to remove the water and dry the exterior. If possible, open all of the doors for 5-10 minutes to allow the water drips in the door frame to dry. Wipe these areas to speed the process along.
- Wax: Once the exterior is dry, you are ready to wax it and make it shine. Choose a quality wax (black wax for black cars) and follow the instructions on the package to apply and remove it.
- Clean Out the Inside: Now that the outside is clean, it’s time to move to the inside. First, remove any cups, trash, papers, etc. that may have been left. Don’t forget to clean out the console and remove that lose change and dropped pens from between the seats. If you have small children, you’ll want to lift of the back seat and remove all the dropped cereal and trinkets.
- Vacuum: Now that all of the debris is cleaned out, it’s time to vacuum. Use the attachments to get into the tight areas and vacuum out the rest of the loose debris.
- Wash the Seats: If you have an upholstery or steam cleaner, this is a great time to clean the fabric seats. Remove the dirt build up with a quality shampoo. Keep the windows open until the seats dry completely. For leather seats, use a leather cleaner and conditioner to keep the seats in top condition.
- Windows and Mirrors: The final step is to clean the windows and mirrors. This will remove any oversprays that may have occurred while cleaning and give the car a finished look.
Additional Tips and Advice
- It’s best to clean your car on a warm day in the shade, especially if you are cleaning the interior, as it will need to dry quickly.
- Choose quality car care products over household cleaning products for the best results. Car care products are designed to clean the surfaces without damaging or removing the protective coatings that need to stay.