Car maintenance tips: 6 steps to do a proper DIY car detailing

Updated Oct 15, 2020 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

This is how to perform a DIY car detailing and equip yourself with the things you should and should not do when cleaning your car.

Wanting your car to look all new again? Car detailing can be a fantastic way to do that. There is quite a range of car detailing benefits, one of them is having your car thoroughly cleaned. Sure, a car wash can do wonders, but car detailing can offer so much more. It guarantees you that every inch of your car is looking all sparkly as it can be.

This method could require having your car polished and waxed as well. If you have been thinking lately of selling your vehicle, this process will make sure that you will get the price that you deserve.

What else beats the sense of fulfillment of having a car thoroughly cleaned from end to end knowing that you have done it yourself? Here are six tips on how to do car detailing brought to you by Philkotse.com.

1. Have the interior cleaned first

If you have been planning to spend the whole day cleaning all the parts of your vehicle, you will have to consider starting with the interior. Cleaning the inside of your car first gives it a time to dry while you are cleaning its exterior. Your carpet or floor mats probably needs some cleaning, too.

Take it out and bring it outside before you start cleaning them. Removing the floor mats and having them washed outside avoids dirt issues and water smudging on your vehicle’s clean exterior. You seriously would not have the job done twice, wouldn’t you?

car carpet cleaning

Cleaning the inside of your car first gives it a time to dry while you are cleaning its exterior

Use some shampoo on it after you have it wet with water. If you got a rubber one, scrub all the areas thoroughly, scrubbing it will help eliminate deep-seated grime and dirt. Rinse it after you are done with this simple step.

>>> Read more: 4 simple steps to do a proper car interior detailing.

2. Clean by microfiber towels

Instead of a regular cotton towel or letting the paint dry with air, you might want to consider using a microfiber towel (sometimes called Chamois) to eliminate the water drops from your car paint. Microfiber towels work simply by absorbing water more efficiently, making sure that there are not any swirls and streaks remaining after you are done wiping.

It does wonder not only for getting your paint dry, but it also works fine drying your window’s glasses. Just be careful when you are drying your interior windows that have tints.

Scrubbing it too hard will yield some serious issues - you may clutch the film’s end with your towel and end up needing to take off the window tint later that is starting to shed.

Woman wiping the car

Microfiber towels work simply by absorbing water more efficiently

>>> Also check: 10 Must-have car care products.

3. Do away with automatic car wash

While this idea looks very appealing and easy to get rid of dirt and eliminate the debris from your vehicle, well who does not want the easy way, right? This can also give you just the opposite. The floppy rubber or the strips made of vinyl that butt against your car’s finish is likely to have some dirt build upon them.

When the surface of your car is being rubbed against by the flap, it results in petty scratches right on the surface. Especially in car washes at gas stations that are low quality.

Far worse of doing it is opting for the DIY car washing method that utilizes long wand with high pressure of water. Almost all of them have a good brush that most people use for cleaning the exteriors of their cars.

The thing is, people also opt for these brushes when they are getting their engines cleaned or sometimes when scrubbing mud off the exterior of their trucks after a long day of driving. 

Automatic car wash

Most car washes at gas stations are low quality

4. Getting the engine bay cleaned

Not all people realize that the engine bay of the car can probably be as dirty as other areas of your car that you usually focus on when you clean it. Car shows enthusiasts will never overlook this, for sure. But it is really sad to realize that most car owners who rarely service their cars may have never seen what is under their car’s hood.

You can make use of some sanitary rags and of course some spray cleaners to clean it, but I suggest that you should have yourself some container of ready to use wet wipes for the vehicle and start working on it.

Wet wipes usually are dual-textured, they come in 12” x 16 “ size, durable, and perhaps the quickest and the easiest way to get your engine bay and your tools clean. Even your dirty hands, you can always use some wet wipes on them.

Man cleaning the engine bay

Not all people realize that the engine bay of the car can probably be as dirty as other areas of your car

>>> Check out: 8 steps to DIY clean car engine bay.

5. Cleaning the wheel well

We all know that cleaning the wheels and the sidewalls of the tire are important, but maintaining the cleanliness of the wheel well is just as important. You just need to have a hose so you can spray the well’s interior and then have this area scrubbed using a brush.

See to it that you are using a brush that has never been used in cleaning the other dirty areas on your vehicle. The wheel well area is usually overlooked thus grimes eventually build up with time and it makes it harder for you to remove them the longer they stay.

man cleaning the wheels

The wheel well area is usually overlooked thus grimes eventually build up with time

6. Remember to do car waxing

When you are finally done about removing all the dirt from your vehicle’s finish, the last thing you might want to do is to put a thin film of wax to enhance its protection. One option is to use one of the bottle sprays of the quick wax that you have just sprayed on and get it wiped off, another is you can opt for the Carnuba, which is, by the way, the traditional wax, and have it wiped on your car.

>>> Related article: Car Waxing, Detailing & Polishing: What’s the Difference?

car waxing

When you are finally done about removing all the dirt from your vehicle’s finish, the last thing will be car waxing

Let it sit for a while and start rubbing off. Both types of waxes will get your car sparkly, but I suggest that you use the latter as it offers better protection for your car’s paint.

Before waxing, you might also want to get your vehicle polished, or better use some clay bar to have all the tough residues removed or any paint imperfection. It takes more effort, yes, but it is all worth it.

>>> Click to get more helpful tips and advice for your car maintenance

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez

Author

Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

View more
Cash Value