Popular Mechanics, a publication that knows a little something about mechines and their maintenance, has looked into how we, Joe and Jill Q Public, can clean and detail our cars like the pros do.
The magazine’s research turned up seven key steps we can all follow to keep our vehicles pretty. Talking about the importance of keeping cars shiny and clean, Mike Schultz, head of new products at Turtle Wax, said, “Think of the surface of your car as you would your face. It needs to be properly taken care of in order to have a healthy glow.”
The top seven ways to clean and detail your car are (beware, these steps do require a bit of elbow grease):
1. Use compressed air and stiff scrub brushes to clean your car’s carpets and upholstery. The air will expel the dirt and grime from your car’s nooks and crannies, while the brushes will loosen stubborn dirt.
2. Clean the ducts behind your car’s vents with compressed air to keep your car from stinking.
3. Clean your tires and wheels with non-acid-based tire cleaners before you wash and protect your car’s body. This will ensure that you remove any tire cleaner that accidently gets onto your car’s paint.
4. Wash your car by hand using a car washing solution instead of a dishwashing soap. Doing this will give you the opportunity to examine your car’s surface. After the car’s final rinse, dry it with a rubber-blade squeegee.
5. Smooth out your car’s paint by polishing either by hand or with an oscillating buffer.
6. Protect your car’s paint with a coating of wax. You need to wax your car at least once a season to protect it from stains and small scratches. You can use either liquid wax or paste wax.
7. Clean your car’s glass surfaces last of all. They will have picked up dirt and grime while you were cleaning the rest of the car. Once they are clean, buff them with a microfiber cloth.
Remember, many buy here pay here dealers require down payments. So if you plan to sell your old vehicle in order to get cash for a down payment, then these tips could be especially helpful for making that sale.