Do It Yourself Detailing

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Car Wash

Taking your car to a car wash is an easy way to get your car's exterior clean, but do it yourself detailing is a much more thorough process. Image from Flickr.

Going to a professional detailer can be a good way to help your vehicle look its best. If you get your car detailed on a regular basis, though, it can get expensive. While the initial cost of do it yourself detailing may be a bit higher than going to a professional, it can save you money and stress in the long run.

Do it yourself detailing : Step 1

The first step of detailing your car is usually the toughest — cleaning it out. All the soda cans, fast-food wrappers, old maps and broken CD cases need to go. Clean out the cabin of the car, the trunk, the truck bed — everything. Set anything that you want to eventually go back into the car aside – having everything cleaned out will give you better access.

Do it yourself detailing : Step 2

Once you’ve gotten your car cleaned out, start going through your car inch-by-inch. Start with the smallest items – the face of the radio, the dashboard, the steering wheel, the glovebox. Use products designed for each area of the car, using Q-tips or cloths as necessary. Clean off all the hard surfaces first – this way any gunk that falls on the carpet or gets on the windshield can be cleaned up later.

Do it yourself detailing: Step 3

Once you’ve got all the hard surfaces in your car cleaned off, pull out a vacuum. Completely vacuum all carpeted or upholstered surfaces – including under the seats and the roof lining. Treat any and all carpet stains with a spray-on automotive carpet cleaner. Treat your seats with carpet cleaner, vinyl cleaner or leather conditioner.

Do it yourself detailing : Step 4

Once you have gone over the interior with a fine-toothed comb, wash and wax the outside of your vehicle. Use a soft cloth and wax designed for your paint. Wash the windshield with glass cleaner, inside and out. Treat the glass with a rain repellent, if you’d like. Use a tire cleaner to clean up the rubber and rims on your tires.

Do it yourself detailing: Step 5

Now that your car has been detailed inside and out, check over your engine. Check the belts, the fluid levels and the oil. Address any issues, or take your car to the mechanic.

It may take a few hours, but cleaning your car inside and out can help it maintain value and make driving it more pleasant.

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