Detailing Your Own Car: The Right Way to Do It (Infographic)
March 23, 2015
Winter, spring, summer or fall, your vehicle needs good full detailing to roll. If you love detailing your own car, well, congratulations! Not everybody has that combined set of skills, patience and experience to do that.
Detailing your own car can save you a lot of money- that is, if you know how to do it right. Otherwise, you might end up spending more than what you bargained for. How to do it right? Read on.
Detailing Your Own Car: The Right and the Wrong Way to Do It
When detailing your own car, the most important thing to remember is to wash it on a grassy area with a shade. The grass will help prevent harsh chemicals from contaminating the soil and groundwater, while the shade will protect your vehicle from the powerful rays of the sun.
That is just one tip. Here are the right ways to detail your own car – and how you might have been doing it wrong all along.
RIGHT: Wash your car using two buckets, instead of one, and use biodegradable products to keep dirt off your vehicle and avoid scratching your paint.
WRONG: Leaving the hose on while washing will not only cost you precious dollars; it is also a huge waste of a soon-to-be scarce material called water. Use dishwashing detergent for washing your vehicle and you will be damaging its paint. Not to mention that doing so makes you an active participant in killing marine life.
RIGHT: Use two towels to dry your car. This will ensure a smooth, non-scratched finish without swirling.
WRONG: Use the same towel for your entire car. This will create scratches and swirls in your paint job.
RIGHT: Using a clean buffing pad
WRONG: Using old pads to buff your car can do some serious damage to your vehicle’s paint job. They can leave small scratches and swirls on the surface of your prized possession.
RIGHT: Make sure you are using thin coats of wax. You can follow-up by using a thin coat of carnauba wax over that. Thin coats will ensure that a correct build-up of wax occurs.
WRONG: Using too much wax at a time will cause an unsightly build-up causing your finish to look uneven and even dimpled in certain areas.
RIGHT: Wipe down all of the hard interior surfaces of your vehicle. Be sure to use a smaller brush to get into those hard to reach areas such as cup holders and other compartments. These are just two of the seven steps for car interior cleaning. An awful lot, maybe, but doing these things will ensure your family’s health and safety.
WRONG: Wiping interior hard surfaces without paying attention to the details will harbor germs and bacteria in those nooks and crannies.
RIGHT: Take your tires off and clean them. Give them a wash and a scrub using a stiff bristled brush. Dry with a terry cloth towel and wax them as you would your vehicle. Then they are ready to be put back onto your vehicle.
WRONG: Not removing tires to clean them properly will damage your paint job in the long run.
RIGHT: After cleaning your windows, lights and mirrors, be sure to protect them with a non-abrasive sealant to fight off UV rays.
WRONG: Using harsh detergents to clean your windows may result in scratches over time and harm the environment.
RIGHT: Be sure to inspect your vehicle, inside and out to ensure that you did everything right. Check the door jambs, and the areas around the hood and trunk. Wax and apply sealant to these areas too to ensure a cleaner vehicle longer.
WRONG: Unchecked nooks and crannies can accumulate dirt and grime which can accelerate rusting. Worse, these areas may become thriving places for germs and bacteria that can make you and your loved ones sick.
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