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How to detail your car at home

You should aim to detail your car regularly to prevent it from becoming too dirty to clean at all. Regular detailing should prevent staining and keep your car from wear and tear.

What we will cover

  • Windows
  • Alloys
  • Tyres
  • Upholstery

Detailing your car can make it look and smell brand new, giving a complete lease of life.

Whilst some people might see car detailing as a chore, others may enjoy it, but the whole reason is to see the end result.

Once you have washed the exterior of your car, using a power washer or your local hand car wash, you can get to work detailing.

Cleaning the windows

The windows should already be clean from dirt since you have washed the exterior, but they will likely be covered in smears and water marks. The inside of the windows will not have been cleaned, so will need plenty of attention.

Condensation builds up on the inside of the windscreen and if we happen to wipe it off, it leaves water marks which can affect the visibility.

The passenger windows may get marked by fingerprints, especially if you travel with children in the car on a regular basis.

What you will need

Process

Using a glass cleaner spray, liberally cover the screen (this can be used on the interior and exterior of the windscreen).

When it comes to the exterior, you’ll need to lift up the windscreen wipers which should be done carefully.

Use one of your microfibre cloths to wipe down the windscreen using the solution. Try to go in either horizontal or vertical movements to reach all areas of the screen.

Do the same with the other side of the glass, but use your other microfibre cloth (keep one for the exterior, and the other for the interior).

Cleaning alloy wheels

If you have alloys on your car, you’ll know that when they are clean, they make the whole car look brand new. Alloys can get dirty quite quickly as brake dust settles on the alloys, leaving a grey film over the top and in the hard to reach places.

Once this dust and grime is removed, the true colour shines through.

What you will need

Process

It might be a good idea to clean your alloy wheels just before you wash your car, so you can give them a once over with the shampoo after you’ve removed the brake dust.

Using your wheel cleaner, liberally spray over the alloys and into the nooks and crannies. Leave to sit for a minute or so.

Take your wheel brush and work the cleaner into the hard to reach areas inside the wheel and between the alloy structure. Then use your detailing brush to get into the grooves where you can work the cleaner in further.

You’ll then wash the solution off using a hand mitt or your regular washing process.

Cleaning the Tyres

Once you have washed your car, especially if you use a power washer, you will have cleaned the majority of the dirty from your tyres and from under the arches. We recommend moving your car mid wash, ensuring you can get to all the wheel and tyres.

When it comes to detailing, you will want to bring your tyres back to life, giving them their deep black colour back.

What you will need

Process

Take your tyre gel and place a thin strip onto the applicator. Use the applicator to apply the gel to the tyre in one movement. Start at the top and swipe the applicator round the tyre to the bottom. This allows it to apply liberally and not too thickly.

If you want a glossier look, you can add more gel.

Cleaning the Upholstery

If you have fabric upholstery in your car, you’ll know how easily it gets stained or marked just from everyday use. Leather seats are much easier to keep clean as they wipe down, but they can often become discoloured in areas, so need a refresh from time to time.

What you will need

  • Interior shampoo – find online
  • Portable vacuum cleaner

Optional

  • Steam cleaner
  • Extractor

Process

If you have stains on fabric that need to be removed, you should first vacuum the seats to remove any debris.

Then, take your interior shampoo and spray the fabric accordingly. Using a damp sponge or a brush, agitate the solution into the fabric and clean down with a fresh cloth to bring the moisture out.

For deeper stains, you can use a steam cleaner or an extractor which will bring out more of the dirt that has made its way into the fabric.

Once the stains are removed, you can give the seats another vacuum to give them a fresh finish.

You can add a brand new air freshener during each detail to give it a complete finish.

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