feel it? The weather is getting warmer. If youíre
tackling household spring-cleaning, be sure not to
ignore your car. After all, most likely, the winter has
left it resembling an environmental hazard.
resist the temptation to just do a quick wash with some
dish detergent. With a little effort, and a couple
hours, you can professionally detail your ride and leave
it looking good for the next few months. Consider it the
equivalent of gaining a buff beach body.
not difficult; hereís how itís done.
cleaning the inside of the vehicle, youíll need time
for it to dry before washing the exterior.
accumulated debris from the map pockets, glove box,
cracks, crevices, the center console and trunk.
down the instrument panel with a mild cleaner. Remember
that virus you had over the winter? Your car does. So,
itís a good idea to use a disinfectant for door
handles, the steering wheel and dashboard buttons with a
soft, damp cloth; tackle climate control vents and panel
seams with cotton swabs.
upholstered areas and carpets, including headliner and
the rear parcel shelf. Be sure to reach under the seats.
And donít forget about the trunk.
Shampoo the carpet and floor mats with a scrub brush.
the seats. Upholstery cleaner or a steam cleaner will do
for cloth seats. For leather seats, use a mild leather
cleaner or saddle soap, followed by a leather
conditioner. This prevents the leather from drying out
the glass. Spray window cleaner on your towel so mist
doesnít fall on your clean dashboard. Follow with a
second towel to avoid streaks.
7. Grab a
cold beverage and check your social media feed while the
interior dries. Youíre about to tackle your
multiple sponges for this job, one for each cleaner. If
you drop it, get a clean one; small bits of debris from
a dropped rag can scratch paint.
your car thoroughly with gently flowing warm water to
loosen dirt. Avoid using high pressure or hot water,
which can damage paint.
the car from the top down, using a car washing liquid
and a natural sponge. Donít use household cleaners,
which can harm modern finishes.
the sponge lengthwise across the car. Rinse thoroughly,
starting at the top and working your way down.
4. Use a
bug and tar remover to clean stubborn dirt from bumpers.
clean brake dust from wheels using a wheel cleaner
designed for your type of wheel, be it chrome, aluminum
or painted. Rinse. But be careful: cleaning a hot wheel
rim can stain or etch the wheel.
the hose into the underside of the wheel well to remove
dirt or debris. Wash the door jambs and the channel
around the trunk and sunroof.
the car using a chamois or soft terry towel in a back
and forth motion. Remember to dry the door jambs,
sunroof and trunk channels.
the car, then wax. This yields the best results. Polish
is slightly abrasive and removes fine scratches and adds
luster to the finish, while waxing protects the paint.
Never rub in circles; it can create swirl marks in the
paint. Instead, use a back-and-forth motion. If your car
is older consider using a more abrasive cleaner wax. If
your car is newer, use a less abrasive glaze wax.
a silicone spray to your carís weather-stripping in
the door jambs to prevent air and water leaks.
on tire shine products to give a finishing touch to your