A man detailing his car himself

Do-It-Yourself Auto Detailing

Every single day, we rely on our cars to get us where we need to be. Since they are such a huge part of our lives, it is important that we employ auto detailing. While many look to others to perform this project, you can actually do it yourself.

Start With the Interior

The first step to detailing your car is grabbing a compressed air and stiff scrub brush and working at cleaning the carpets found inside. That's because this type of machinery will blow the dirt that's stuck in your car's floor around. In particular, the dirt gets out of the nooks and crannies and onto the middle of the carpet. This way you can easily vacuum it up. These stiff brushes will also get the dirt out of your car's seats. However, if you have leather seats, you should employ a conditioner with aloe.

Keep the Car Smelling Fresh

When you want to blow out any dirt or dust that might be trapped in the heating and air conditioning ducts, use a small compressor. All you have to do is aim the pressure air at the walls of the duck, which are located behind the vent grilles. It's the dust and dirt behind there that tends to make cars smell musty.

Use Non-Acid Tire Cleaners

To clean up your dirty tires and get rid of the residue on new tires, you should use a solution that comes from a mixed acid. That's because simply acid-based cleaners will cause the wheels to oxidize and then pit. Besides this, that kind of cleaner could cause any wheels painted with a color or coating to become damaged. Instead, you should use a degreaser on your tires. It's also best to stay away from detergents because they can ruin the paint on your car. It's crucial, though, that the wheels and tires are cleaned first and then the car's paint.

Always Hand Wash

If possible, you should definitely hand wash your car, over bringing it to a car wash. That's because it gives you a chance to really inspect your car. However, when you do this, you can't use dishwashing detergent. That will strip your car of any protective wax coatings, leaving your car more vulnerable to scratches or stains. Instead, a carwash solution should be used to keep your car's finish intact. When you're done with the wash, make sure to dry the car with a rubber-blade squeegee, as dirt usually sticks on the surface after the water evaporates.

Clean the Glass Last

Cleaning the glass on your car should be the last step of auto detailing because the glass will often attract the dirt caused by the other steps. You'll want to use a glass cleaner that doesn't contain any ammonia, as that's bad for vinyl upholstery and the panel. Unfortunately, though, most household glass cleaners come with it. You should buff the glass with a microfiber cloth instead. This will get rid of any residue leftover from the cleaner or oils from the skin.

Last Updated: October 11, 2017