You might have thought that car detailing just means hosing down your car and putting a new air freshener in, when in reality, it encompasses a myriad of small spruce-ups that make a big difference. Now, of course, you could ask the mobile car valet to take your car to the local auto body shop and let them take care of everything. However, you as a dad have a golden opportunity here to teach your teen some essential car skills and spend some quality time together.
DIY car detailing can be fun and rewarding in many ways, and if nothing else, it will make a car last longer if not forever, so it’s good to do it every once in a while. That’s why today we’ll be going over some quick and easy tips you can use to give your car some thorough detailing no matter how busy you may be. Here’s how to do it right.
Start by cleaning the interior
Many people make the mistake of cleaning the exterior first, which is a great way to get it dirty again when you start cleaning the inside of your car. So, act like a more experienced dad and show your kid how it’s really done. Start by vacuuming the interior thoroughly. Get the floor mats out to hose them down and scrub with soap later. Use a small duster to get into those nooks and crannies and get everything out.
Use a damp cloth to wipe dust and debris off the interior elements and the upholstery. Get the greasy stains out with a proprietary interior cleaner, and use a dedicated cleaner for all types of materials, including wood, vinyl, and leather. If there are any chips in the wood or vinyl, or any small breaks in the leather, you can use proprietary sealants and restorers to bring these elements back to their former glory.
However, if there is substantial damage, you will need to get it professionally mended. As a final touch, you can buy a car perfume to make the interior smell like new.
Soap and hose down the exterior
Now that the interior is all squeaky clean, you can start hosing down the exterior. Now, car detailing is not just about improving the look of your car, it’s also about elevating the ride quality of your vehicle altogether, so keep that in mind. You want to clean the exterior as thoroughly as possible to ensure safety on the road and prevent hazards.
You can start by hosing down the car thoroughly. Next, mix any type of mild detergent in a big bucket of warm water and start scrubbing the exterior in concentric circles. Use a mild sponge, but only for the soaping. Once you have really soaped up the car, leave it be for 15 minutes to let the weight of the water pull all the nasty stuff off the car. Hose it all off once more. Finally, use a gentle microfiber cloth (not a sponge) to guide the rest of the water off the car and prevent any streaks, scratches, or scuffs from appearing.
Add ceramic coating to protect the paint job
The whole point of DIY car detailing is not to make your car look better for a couple of days, it’s to preserve its aesthetic appeal over the long term. To achieve this, you need to add a layer of protection to the paintjob that will safeguard the finish from the elements.
You can protect the exterior of the car easily by applying DIY ceramic coating that will harden on the surface of your car and create a long-lasting protective layer. This is something that car mechanics use regularly to give the car that distinct showroom look and feel, but aside from making it look pretty, ceramic coating is the best way to protect the paintwork. The right nano ceramic coating will safeguard the paintjob from dust and debris, minor scratches and bruises, and even acid rain.
Pop the hood and clean the engine bay
Of course, you’re not done yet, because you still need to clean the engine compartment. The problem with high mileage vehicles is that over time the engine bay gets cluttered with all kinds of nasty build-up that can make the car overheat, cause structural problems, and put you or your kids in danger while on the road. That’s why cleaning the engine compartment is important.
Now, you don’t really want to hose it down, because you don’t want to mess with any electrical circuits, even though the engine compartment should be waterproof. Instead, you want to use an engine degreaser to safely remove all dirt and build-up in the compartment. Wipe it off with a cloth and discard it.
Don’t forget about the wheel wells
Last but not least, it’s time to bring those rims back to their former luster. By now you have probably cleaned the rims and tires with water and soap, but you also want to clean the wheel wells thoroughly to remove dust and debris. You want to really get in there with a degreaser and a fender well brush to remote those hard stains. For a final touch, you want to protect the inner lining of the well by applying an undercarriage spray that will protect the material from corrosion and damage in general.
And voila, you’re done! It might seem like a lot of work at first, but it shouldn’t take you more than a lazy Sunday afternoon to give your car some much-needed detailing. This is a great way to restore your vehicle and get some quality time in with your loved ones.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer. He’s a regular contributor to numerous online publications, where he writes about lifestyle, travel, home improvement, family life, and green living.