If you have heard a lot of car enthusiasts talk about “elbow grease” in admiration, you might get the idea that this is a one-of-a-kind miraculous cleaning product that can take care of all your car care troubles with just a few swipes. You might even ask yourself: How much does it cost and where can I buy it? How do I apply it, for how long, and how often? Why should I get it in the first place?
The good news is that elbow grease is not a product—it’s an idiom. Elbow grease is used to refer to when you work at something manually, with your own hands, producing results by the dint of your own sweat and tears. If you are into DIY automobile detailing, this is how you get the job done.
Cleaning your car, really cleaning it from top to bottom, inside and out is hard work. It’s not as if you just hose down your vehicle or throw a bucket of water over it and it will emerge sparkling clean, just like it was on the day it left the manufacturer’s factory. You need to invest effort, time, money, and careful thinking in order to keep your car’s great looks and fine functionality throughout its lifespan. Your car will require regular maintenance just like any other machine you own.
But the maintenance costs can run up to the hundreds of dollars at any given time, so to reduce the bill, you will have to step in for your professional detailer every now and then. Now is the time when you need to put in a little elbow grease into your car.
Whether you are dealing with car wash damage that has been inflicted on your vehicle during the last time it went through an automatic car wash, or if you simply want to get rid of the dirt, grease, grime, dust, and crud that have accumulated on every square inch of the car, you will certainly be spending a few sweaty hours working on your car. The term elbow grease is derived from the fact that you might even get grease and dirt up to your elbows as you tinker around your car’s various parts.
From the underbody to the wheels to the doors to the windshield, you will encounter different kinds of dirt caked on every surface in varying degrees. You will need to exercise caution and discretion as you get rid of them one by one. It is extremely easy to leave telltale microscopic streaks, swirls, and scratches on your car if you are not using the right tools and equipment for cleaning it.
A professional detailer worth his time knows which products to avoid, what tools to use, where to use both, and when to schedule your next detailing appointment. In the meantime, you can just pick up where he left off and make your own contribution for keeping your car in tiptop shape with your elbow grease.