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The Ultimate Guide to Detailing A Car

Car detailing is all about performing a “detailed” cleaning procedure for your car. Sure, the process can seem daunting at first. But when you know exactly where to start, things start to get easier. Here’s a quick guide to help you kickstart your very own car detailing adventure:

The Process  

1. Get the Supplies Ready

Before the cleaning process unfolds, make sure you move your car to a spacious area and double-check if all car doors are shut. This step helps ensure none of your sensitive car equipment like the stereo unit, car wifi or interior lining gets damaged. Here’s how you can go about gathering the cleaning supplies:

  • Grab two buckets: one to hold the soapy cleaning solution and the other to rinse the dirt off your microfiber cleaning fabrics.
  • Gather several microfiber cloths and a minimum of 3 wash mitts.
  • For the wheels, you’ll need a gentle scrubbing brush.
  • You can use your regular garden hose with a sprayer wand to spray the car.

2. Start with Spraying your Car

Spraying the car is a critical step to ensure you drive all the dirt and debris away before you start the scrubbing process. Go from top to bottom and spray the entire vehicle in one session. In case your tires and wheels have accumulated “heaps of dirt”, it’s best to spray on the lower portion first to prevent the dirt from reaching the freshly rinsed spots.

  1. Work on the Wheels and Tires

Without a doubt, wheels and tires are the dirtiest parts of a vehicle, thanks to countless contaminants on the road. Start by spraying the wheel cleaner on the wheels, let it sit for the recommended time period, and rinse it off. Next, use a brush or a wheel sponge soaked in automobile soap to scrub the car surfaces in a circular motion. Once the soap does its magic, it’s time to hose everything off with water. 

4. Use the Two-Buckets Trick

Fill bucket 1 with car shampoo and bucket 2 with clean water to rinse off the dirt after every scrub. Then,

  • Use a sudsy sponge to coat the entire vehicle with soapy water.
  • Start scrubbing the car, one section at a time. Make sure you begin at the roof and gradually work your way down.
  • Your rinse bucket (bucket 2) will reflect how dirty your car is. If the water in this bucket becomes very cloudy due to grime, make sure you replace it with clean water.
  • After you scrub one portion of the car panel, use the hose to rinse it clean and proceed to the other portion.
  • Once the first round of scrubbing and rinsing is complete, you’ll be able to determine which spots need additional cleaning. Make sure you scrub those areas further to remove the more stubborn stains.
  • Now, it’s time to start scrubbing round 2. Rinse both the buckets and refill them with soap and water and start re-scrubbing the car from top to bottom one more time and rinse it when the task is complete. This step ensures you don’t leave out any dirty spots. 

5. Time to Dry the Car!

The drying process is all about deploying a thorough wipe-down using a microfiber towel. Unfortunately, however, it still leaves behind streaks and watermarks. To get these off, it’s essential to… 

6. Use A Clay Bar or Detailing Mitts

For this step, you can either use a clay bar or detailing mitts.

  • Use a lubricant or detailing spray to ensure the clay bar slides smoothly across the surface.
  • Target small areas at a time, deploy the lubricant spray, and move the clay bar in a cross-hatch motion. This helps extract any microscopic contaminants from the surface.
  • Take a microfiber cloth and wipe the portion you just worked on with the clay bar.
  • Repeat this step for the entire surface of the car.

7. Add the Finishing Touches

Your car is now fully clean. Great. But to make your vehicle “good as new”, it’s a great idea to buff your car’s paintwork. For this, you can make use of a powered buffer. Keep in mind that using the buffer on one area for a long time may damage the car’s coat.

 Steer Clear of these Mistakes

To ensure you detail your car in a smooth manner (and without any damages), here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Washing the car under direct sunlight.
  2. Using the wrong fabrics (only microfiber cloths and wash mitts can ensure you don’t leave any permanent scratches on the car).
  3. Using just one bucket for both applying the soap and rinsing.
  4. Using dish soap or regular household products for cleaning.
  5. Not cleaning the wheels and tires first. 

From car detailing to installing a dash cam for your vehicle’s safety – a lot goes into taking care of your car, especially if you are a limo service company. But cleaning and maintaining your car routinely can ensure it remains protected from damage and works smoothly in the long run!

This article was written by Jonathan Bloom from Miami Limo

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