What to Do for Perfect Car Shine
December 12, 2016
Having the perfect car shine does not equal to perfect paint shine, although many car owners are not aware of this misconstrued perception. Paint shine is only one aspect. For a full car shine, you are required to pay attention to all surfaces that could be shined, i.e. tires, wheels, windows and glass, headlights, etc. Here is a guide to achieve that “bling” you’ve always wanted for your car!
Why car shine?
The appearance of your car is a reflection of the care you put into things you own, and a dented, scratched and beat-down car does not say very much about your sense of responsibility. A car that is well taken care of, on the other hand, is like a recommendation of you. Also, think about the resale value of your car. It is not possible to achieve perfect car shine within a day just in time for your potential buyers to see. It is a process that needs to repeated with precision and care for as long as you have your car. A shiny, well-taken cared car means you can add it to your sale price and buyers can’t dispute it.
Steps to take for ultimate car shine
- Wash – Perfect paint shine begins with the perfect wash. It is important to get rid of all contaminants on the paint before applying “sealing” layers such as polish, wax and paint sealant. Otherwise, these contaminants will affect the appearance of yor car and worse, start eating away at the paint from underneath without your knowledge. Use a pH balanced car shampoo for the wash, followed by claying. The clay bar is the most important auto detailing product for getting rid of microscopic contaminants.
- Polish – Once the paint has been properly wash and dried, it is time to polish it to get rid of paint defects and level out the surface. Don’t skip polishing and directly go to waxing, because you will not see the paint shine that you expected. You can either hand polish using polishing pads, or use a machine such as a dual action polisher or a rotary polisher. There are different levels of aggressiveness to polish products, ranging from mild to very aggressive. Depending on how well and often you’ve taken care of the paint, you can choose any product you like.
- Paint glaze – A lot of car owners forego this step, but for added shine and gloss, you can apply glaze on to your paint after polishing, just before waxing.
- Wax or paint sealant – If you want a deep, rich and reflective shine (especially for dark- colored paint), then choose natural carnauba wax. Be aware, though, that it doesn’t last that long. Synthetic paint sealant will last up to 6 months, but it will not provide a slick, glossy finish.
2. Wheels and tires
- Use proper tools – Don’t use hard brushes or scouring pads and steel wool to clean wheels because it will ruin the metal by scratching it.
- Wheel and tire cleaner – Don’t use a generic, all-purpose cleaner, but a product dedicated to wheels and tires. Make sure that the cleaner is safe to be used on chrome, alloy and mag wheels.
- Wheel protectant – A wheel protectant product will take the brunt of brakedust, road tar and other dirt and grime the wheels accumulate on the go. To return the wheels to their shiny appearance, you only have to give them a quick wash.
- Tire shine – As the name says it, tire shine is product made to give tires that much needed shine. It will also prevent premature cracking and fading of rubber.
3. Glass (windows, windshield, mirrors, headlights)
- Streak-free cleaning – The secret to window and glass shine is streak-free cleaning, and this can be perfectly achieved through steam cleaning rather than using normal water. Also, make sure to choose a window and glass cleaning product that guarantees streak-free cleaning. A clean windshield is especially important for your safety because a streaked, cloudy and grimy one will obstruct your vision and lead to accidents.
- Waxing – Waxing is a great way to add a final finish to all glass surfaces. Make sure to thoroughly clean and dry them all before applying a paste or spray wax product and working it using a microfiber towel.
4. Interior shine
- Spot free upholstery – Car shine also applies to the interior, especially to the upholstery. Dirty car seats with stains and spots is a turn off for anyone and will mar the overall appearance of your car. Make sure to use a material-specific upholstery cleaner (leather cleaner, vinyl seat cleaners, etc.). For leather, you can also use a conditioner in addition to the cleaner in order to maintain its shine and prevent cracking and fading. Finally, to protect your seats, you can add covers.
- Vinyl surfaces – Don’t forget to clean the steering wheel, dashboard, console, cupholders, door pockets, etc. using an interior detailer. These surface accumulate a lot of dirt, dust and grime and should be cleaned on a regular basis.
- Carpets and mats – Carpets and mats bear the brunt of all the dirt we drag inside the car with our shoes, so they should be cleaned very often. To protect newly cleaned carpets, you can cover then with paper. Also, don’t forget to rub your shoes together before getting into the car to reduce the amount of dirt trapped in them.
- You might wonder, why the engine when it’s hidden anyway. But a dirty, grimy engine can pose many dangers to you and your car. For example, you can’t identify oil leaks on a greasy engine which can lead to engine fires. Using a cleaning method like steam, you can restore the appearance of the engine and add value to your car when it is time for selling.
There is an easy method to achieve perfect car shine and that is by scheduling an appointment with DetailXPerts! Our Presidential Detailing Package works its wonders on both the interior and exterior of your car.