Categories: Cars

In The Details: How To Clean Your Car

If you are anything like me then you probably practically live out of your car. Always on the go, cups, fast food, random articles of clothing, and slips of paper are just a few of the things that can pile up in your car more quickly then you realize. That means it is time to clean your car. You might as well go all out and make an afternoon of it. Here are some things to do.

Start from Within
It is a good idea to start with the interior that way any dust and dirt you brush out won’t get on your clean exterior. Remove the floor mats and give the carpet and seats a good vacuuming. Be sure to get the dash and back.  Your mats will probably need some love as well. You can go over any stains on them with a foam carpet cleaner. Saturate it and scrub it in good. Then wait a few minutes and wipe up with a paper towels.  If stains are still present then repeat the process. If your mats are rubber you can spray and wash them with water. Be sure that they are completely air dried before putting them back in.

The interior can be cleaned with a cleaning solution and a cloth. Simply Green or any other number of basic cleaners will suffice. If your seats are leather you will need a leather conditioner and for vinyl a vinyl conditioner. Your local auto parts store will have what you need. Never use vinyl products on leather because it will damage it.

The dash is difficult because all of the crevices and cracks. Get what you can with a damp rag and your cleaner. You can use cans of compressed air or cotton swabs to get the hard to reach places. For the inside of the windshield you can use any standard glass cleaner.

Moving Outside
Now for the exterior. You will need to buy professional carwash soap, not anything household related. Once again, your auto shop will have what you need. Start at the top and work your way down so you don’t get dirt from the top on your already cleaned bottom. Split the car into sections as well and do one at a time so you make sure you get it all. Once you are done washing give it a good overall spray down. Now dry it with a terry cloth towel or sham rag.

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The wheels can be tricky since dirt gets up in the wells. Spray it down really well and use an all-purpose cleaner. When you are done you can add a vinyl finish to the wells to make them shine. For the tires you can get a special brush just for them. Do not use acid based cleaners on wheels. For chrome wells you can use a metal polish or brass cleaner.

Rinse and Shine
Next you can wax and polish your car. Make sure you get the doorjambs and behind the bumpers. Minor paint blemishes can polished out by wrapping a cloth around your finger and applying polish. Polishing will not only give it a nice shine but it will actually help protect the paint from drying out. Plastic chrome surfaces can be polished with wax.

Now let it all dry out for a couple of hours. When that it is done hop in, start her up and cruise around the neighborhood. Your  old used car will look as good as new.

Jeff Jordan writes and lives in Southern California. He writes about cars, pop culture and mechanics. Jazel Autodealer Websites can help you  market your car dealerships.

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