While a professional detailing is ideal, not everyone has the time (or money) to make a detailing appointment. Instead, you can easily detail your own car with near-professional results. Just follow these tips from our fleet fuel card company:
Give your carpets the heavy-duty treatment
You use your car in all seasons, which means you drag in leaves, dirt, gravel, sand, and many other forms of debris every time you get in your car. Vacuuming can clean your carpet to an extent, but to really get all the dirt and grime out, start with an air compressor. Blow out the loose debris from your carpet’s nooks and crannies, then take a stiff scrub brush to it to loosen any ground-in debris.
Skip the automatic car wash
While automatic car washes are convenient, they’re not the best for getting your car really clean. For the best wash, opt for a hand wash using a soap designed for cars (not dishwashing detergent, which can strip your car of its protective wax coating) and a soft sponge.
Use a wheel cleaner with a non-acid base
Acid-based cleaners can oxidize bare alloy wheels and eat away at ones that are painted. Instead, choose a wheel cleaner without an acid base – many work just as well without the potential harmful effects. Just be sure to use a wheel brush with the cleaner to really get into the nooks and crannies and leave your wheels looking great.
Don’t forget the crevices
While you may have wiped down the interior of your car, you probably stuck to the large areas like your dashboard, console, and steering wheel. What you may have forgotten is the small crevices that can also trap dust and dirt such as the air vents, change cups, door handles, and areas of your dashboard controls and center controls.
Wax in the shade
Just like washing, waxing is best done by hand, but what many don’t think about is where they should wax their vehicle. If you apply your wax in direct sunlight, the heat of the sun can dry it too quickly and reduce its ability to sink into your car and form a quality protective layer. Instead, wax your car in a garage or in the shade so that it dries evenly.
Clean glass last
As you detail your car, you’re likely going to get residue on your windows and windshield (both inside and out), so wait to clean your glass last – this way you’ll know it’s clean and you won’t get anything else on it.
Use a soft brush to clean leather
To clean and restore the leather in your car, choose a cleaner made for car leather and a soft brush. Spray a generous amount of cleaner onto the surface, then use the brush to make small circular motions in order to loosen the dirt. After that, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the leather clean. If needed, repeat this process until your leather looks as good as new.