Top 10 Places You’re Most Likely to Miss When You Clean Your Car Exterior
January 13, 2020
Of course, you clean your car inside and out. You want it to look great because like most Americans, you spend an average of 17,600 minutes in it each year. You use it to go to work, drive the kids to school, run errands, and so on.
But due to your busy schedule, you clean your car speedily. That’s why you miss cleaning some areas of your car. Which areas are these? Read on to find out.
Don’t Miss These Places When You Clean Your Car
1. Top of Windows
When you clean your car, one of the places you might miss are the tops of your car windows. If you don’t clean them properly, the dirt that has accumulated on top will form a hazy film that when moistened, can lead to unsightly streaking. Worst, it can cause hard water spots that can prove to be difficult to remove later on.
How to clean car windows properly? First, roll the window down halfway. Get a clean, lint-free towel and spray some glass cleaner on it. Then wipe the window top with the towel, making sure you reach the other side. Ensure the glass cleaner is completely dried by wiping off with a separate towel. Proceed with cleaning the rest of the window.
2. Under Rain Visors
Rain visors, also known as wind deflectors, keeps rain away and reduces noise while you drive your car with an open window. They also prevent thieves from accessing your vehicle in case you need to leave your window partially open for ventilation purposes.
However, dirt, rain and other contaminants can also accumulate under your rain visors. Couple this with your car’s constant exposure to nature’s elements and your rain visors’ material (usually plastic or vinyl) will get brittle and break in time.
Rain visors are relatively easy to clean. Open your car window partially. Get a lint-free cloth. Spray it with some plastic or vinyl cleaner. Wipe the cloth on the inside of the rain visor. Done.
3. Wiper Blades
Thinking of replacing your car’s wiper blades because your windshield is getting streaks each time you use your wipers?
Maybe your wiper blades just need some cleaning. Yes, they are also one of the most missed places when you clean your car.
Cleaning them is easy. All you need is to wipe each blade with a clean, white cloth dipped in some wiper cleaner (soapy water will also work). Wipe until you don’t see any discoloration on the cloth. Then rinse each wiper with another clean cloth dipped in clean water. Finish it off with an alcohol wipe. This is to ensure that no soap or product is left behind.
Your car’s undercarriage takes a lot of beating from road contaminants – salt, snow, rain, rocks, sand, stone chips, and mud, among others. These can stick to the undercarriage and when not removed periodically, can lead to rusting. Once this happens, you will need to have your car’s undercarriage repaired, for a considerable amount of money.
But how to clean the undercarriage of a car? First, you have to park your car on a ramp so you can see its condition and enable you to clean it effectively. Then, spray it with a pressure washer to dislodge the contaminants. You might need to use a stiff brush and an all purpose cleaner to remove stubborn contaminants. Then, spray it again with water. Once dry, you can apply it with sealant to protect it from road contaminants longer.
5. Car Door Handles
Your car door handles are one of the most used parts of your vehicle, yet one of the most missed places during car cleaning. Sadly, dirty door handles can affect you and your passenger’s health and wellness. Just imagine if your passenger has the flu? The bacteria and germs on his hands can be transferred to the door handles as he or she opens the door.
For this task, you’ll need a small amount of all purpose cleaner, a little water and an old toothbrush. In a small bowl, dilute the APC with water (follow instructions on the label). Stir to mix well. Then dip the toothbrush into your solution. Use the toothbrush to brush the car handles, making sure that no solution comes into contact with your car paint. Wipe with a clean, wet towel. Repeat the process if necessary.
Now, if you want to speed up the process, steam clean the door handles. Steam lifts dirt easily so you can remove all that crud in half the time.
Yes, your car’s exhaust needs some cleaning too. Not only does a shiny exhaust look good; more importantly, a clean exhaust can help increase your car’s usability and performance.
To clean your exhaust, you’ll need a degreaser (you can use a homemade degreaser), a bucket with grit guard, water, soap, spoke brush, some old cloths, a scrub pad, and metal polish.
First, put some soap and water into the bucket. Agitate. Then, dip a cloth into the solution. Use this to wash off dirt and contaminants from the exhaust. Get the spoke brush and dip it into the bucket with soap and water. Use this to brush the exhaust’s interior. You might need to do this several times to remove all the gunk.
Then put some degreaser, inside and out, to dissolve stubborn carbon deposits and oxidation. Leave for a few minutes. Then use the scrub pad to thoroughly remove all contaminants. Wipe off all traces of the degreaser with a cloth. Apply some polish. Allow the polish to work for a few minutes (according to product’s instructions). Buff off with a clean cloth.
7. Wheel Wells
The wheel wells come into contact with dirt, mud and other contaminants each time you take your car out for a ride. Unattended, dirty wheel wells can lead to premature rusting.
The best way to clean your car’s wheel wells is to spray it first with some degreaser diluted in water. Allow the product to work. Then, rinse it off with a pressure washer.
Spray the wheel well again with the degreaser solution. Then scrub the area with a wheel brush. Rinse when done. Let dry. Apply some tire dressing.
8. Bumper Grilles
For this task, you will need to remove the bumper grills from your car, so you’ll be able to clean it inside and out. Lay the grille on a flat surface. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose contaminants. Apply some trim cleaner. Buff off with a clean cloth. Apply some sealant to keep it in its best condition longer.
9. Back of Side Mirrors
The back of your side mirrors, due to their constant exposure to nature’s elements, accumulate plenty of dust and other contaminants. In time, all that dirt and dust, coupled with moisture from the air, will be difficult to remove.
Cleaning the back of your car’s side mirrors isn’t too difficult. You just have to pay attention to them when you clean your car. You can use the same products and techniques for cleaning the exterior of your car. Apply some wax and buff them to keep them looking great longer.
10. Engine Bay
One of the most overlooked areas when you clean your car is the engine bay. But did you know that engine bay cleaning helps prevent accidents and increases the resale value of your car?
If so, then why do some car owners miss cleaning their engine bay? The two reasons we see – lack of time and knowledge on how to clean it. If the latter is your issue, here are 7 steps on how you can clean your engine bay.
If you want to speed up the process, you can also steam clean the engine bay. It removes gunk and grease buildup like no other.
These are the top ten areas you might miss most likely when you clean your car. Make sure you clean them to ensure your car stays beautiful, durable and functional for a long time.
Now, if you lack the time and effort to clean these areas, why not schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts? You will have your car professionally detailed – inside and out.
Interested in more car care topics? Subscribe to DetailXPerts’ YouTube channel! We have a lot of interesting videos, and we’ll keep on adding new ones.