Did you know your car will operate better and last longer if you clean it regularly? Part of preventative maintenance involves properly cleaning your vehicle. It’s not just about rotating tires, changing the oil, checking steering fluid, flushing the transmission, or replacing components on a schedule (like your serpentine belt) before they fail.
Keeping your vehicle functional longer will involve cleaning it, inside and out, on a regular basis. Do this in the right way and you’re not going to work too hard. Essentially, you want to get “the ball rolling”, and keep it rolling. Once you’ve got momentum, these things just become a feature of your daily egress, and they don’t take up too much time.
With that in mind, following we’ll briefly go over ten ways to detail your vehicle that are DIY, cost-effective, straightforward, and produce the sort of results you tend to see from professional detailing groups.
1. WD-40 Eliminates Squeaky Doors
Is that door squeaking? Greasing the hinges can help. WD-40 has now perfected the “straw” design on the front of the can so that you can actually use it as intended many times; that’s a true bonus. Essentially, when the hinges squeak, get the little projection straw right where you hear the sound and spray around until the leaking quits. Voila, the door opens as it did.
2. Covers on The Seats And Windows To Deflect The Sun
Especially when it comes to leather interiors, you’re going to need some sort of protection against the sun. The sun has a mission which seems to be aimed at destroying leather with maximum prejudice.
You can combat this a number of different ways, one of the best is using simple seat covers and window covers. You can pick these up at Walmart for anywhere between $5 and $100, depending on the quality you purchase, and how these covers or deflectors are applied.
3. Wash the Car At Least Once A Week
Weekly, you need to wash your car. Certainly, you can put this off to once a month, but if you want the car to look new, and stay looking new, weekly is wiser. Birds are going to evacuate their little birdie bowels on your vehicle. Dust gets into the cracks. Rocks get in the wheels and the undercarriage. Bugs splatter on the paint.
The longer you leave a mess on your vehicle, the more difficult it will be to clean, and you may have to take serious measures or simply resign yourself to living with an ugly vehicle. Conversely, if you wash the car on a weekly basis, you can avoid this difficulty—for the most part. Some things will require more professional attention to rectify.
4. Hand-Washing with The Two-Bucket Method
The two-bucket method of car washing by hand is cheaper than going through a traditional wash bay, and fairly straightforward. To avoid putting the dirt and grime you just wiped from the vehicle back on, you use one bucket to clean out the sponge or rag, and another full of soap to moisten it again for further washing.
5. A Ceramic Coating
Using the two-bucket method is key when you’re going to apply certain specific protective coatings. One coating that can help you protect against bugs, rocks, and other things is traditionally known as a ceramic coating (read about it on Carpro.global).
Essentially, this is a chemical coating that locks in the “new” look of your car. You’ve got to apply the coating right, and it doesn’t protect against everything, but it will definitely make your new car look newer longer, and it’s a fairly straightforward operation.
6. Chamois Towels for The Paint
Chamois cloth is actually a type of leather, and rubbing down your whole vehicle with such a cloth represents one of the best possible ways to keep the vehicle clean and shiny. Traditional cloth won’t be as effective, and can even prove damaging. Just make sure you get true chamois. It’s sheep or goat leather, usually, but sometimes pigskin is used as a counterfeit.
7. Shampoo Carpets Every Two Weeks
You should hand-wash your vehicle once a week provided this is manageable. In terms of shampooing the carpets, do it twice a month. There are shampoo kits you can buy, and easy-to-follow instructions which couple vacuums with the process for best results. It’s a chore, but it will keep your carpets looking and smelling fresh much longer.
8. Dakota Non-Smoke (Or A Similar Brands) To Destroy Odor
Dakota Non-Smoke is one of the multiple brands that can be sprayed into vents and onto seats as a means of getting the odor of cigarettes out of a vehicle. For a used car, this substance is key. New cars can also be aromatically “sterilized” after someone has smoked in one against the owner’s wishes using such sprays.
9. Leather Cleaning Kits in The Vehicle – Condition Prior Cleaning
You do need to clean leather at intervals. You probably don’t have to do it as frequently as some of the other items on this list, but doing so once or twice a month wouldn’t hurt. Get the kit, keep it in the vehicle so you don’t lose it (and so it’s readily available when a mishap occurs), and be sure to condition the leather prior cleaning.
10. Use A Paint Brush (Or Makeup Brush) To Clean Out Air Vents
Air vents will always collect dust. If you don’t clean that dust, it will just be continuously redistributed about the vehicle. It’s hard to get into the vents using traditional cleaning techniques. A toothbrush, makeup brush, paintbrush, or anything similarly sized can be perfect for this maintenance operation.
Properly Detailing Your Vehicle in A Cost-Effective Way
Clean out vents, manage leather, use non-smoke sprays, chamois the paint, apply a ceramic coating, wash with the two-bucket method weekly, shampoo carpets twice a month, eliminate squeaks with WD-40, and use window/seat covers.
Detailing your vehicle preserves it longer, and you don’t have to spend $100 at a professional detailer every week to do so. These are just a few tips you can apply in a DIY way to keep your vehicle looking excellent—more exist, and as you clean, you may even discover a few novel techniques.