Top 10 DIY Car Detailing Techniques

The Top 10 Car Detailing Techniques For The DIY Enthusiast

car detailing tips

Most of us own a vehicle that needs a deep cleaning periodically, this can be done by you or you can hire a professional to do the job. If you are a DIY type of person you will enjoy this top 10 list of the best car detailing tips from the professionals at Chase Detailing in Oklahoma. We caught up with Nicholas Chase to discuss how everyday people can get world-class results like the professionals.

1. Tools Of The Trade

Like anything else, you will need to invest in the tools needed to get the results you want. Here is an itemized list of some basic tools to have ready before you begin detailing your car. Here are the top 10 tools we suggest the DIY car detailer purchases and has available in the garage for car detailing.

• 5 Gallon Bucket
Microfiber Cloth
• Soap
Wheel Brush
Rim Cleaner
Tire Cleaner
• Towels For Drying
Glass Cleaner
Shop-Vac or Portable Hand Vacuum
• Electric Buffer

These items will help you get started. If you don’t have these items and need to purchase them then visit your local Home Depot. If you need to borrow them instead you can ask a family member or neighbor.

2. Wash Your Car Out Of The Sun

I see people in my neighborhood on sunny days washing and waxing their cars, unfortunately, this is less than ideal. The hot sun can evaporate the water quickly and leave your car with undesirable spots. If possible, wash your car in the morning before the sun starts shining on it. If that’s not possible, aim for the evenings once the sun goes down. If you have a carport or covered area that you can use during the day then use that while you have natural daylight. Also, wait for the body of the vehicle to cool down, if that car has been sitting in direct sunlight and is hot to the touch then let it cool before applying soap and water.

car detailing3. Use Multiple Buckets

You wouldn’t wash your clothes with dirty water, why wash your car with it? By having multiple buckets you can soap your rags, wash the vehicle, then rinse the rag in a separate bucket of warm water. Rinse and repeat. This is especially important when the car is dirty, or if you are washing the rims, wheels, or bumper areas that are often times exposed to dirt and grease.

4. Clean From The Top Down

Seems obvious to some, and not so obvious to others. Cleaning your car from the top down is the best way to ensure that you don’t have to clean the same surface area twice. After that, you should give detailed attention to your trim by treating it with a restoration product before moving on to waxing and polishing your car. The chemicals in the wax can stain the plastic trim, so it is advised that plastic gets treated before the waxing begins to avoid this.

5. Use A Microfibre Cloth

Dish rags, sponges, and bath towels have been the go-to wash rag of choice for decades. Switching to a microfibre cloth has many benefits when it comes to washing and detailing your car. Microfibre clothes help to prevent unwanted scratching to the surface of the car and are more efficient for detailing. It is also advised that you wash your microfibre cloth separate from your regular clothes to prevent the cloth from absorbing unwanted lint and particles.

6. Wax Your Car With A Buffer

The days of manually waxing your car should be long behind you. Electric buffers are available at your local hardware store and should be used when waxing your car. Make sure you read the instructions properly and learn how to use it before letting loose on your car’s surface. You start at the back of the vehicle at the bottom towards the bumper to start. This will allow you the opportunity to get familiar with the tool on a surface area that isn’t easily visible. This way, if you make a mistake it will go unnoticed. Make sure you don’t attempt to remove previous wax coats with an electric buffer, the surface area can suffer from streaks and swirls that will become noticeable on the car’s hood.

car polisher

7. Clean The Windows With Care

One thing that separates the DIY detailer with a professional car detailer is how they treat the windows. When you get into a professionally detailed car and look out the windows it’s so clear that you can easily think the windows are rolled down. The DIY detailer might not get those same results. So how do you do it? Here are my top 5 tips for detailing your car windows.

 

• Use newspaper to clean the glass. There is less streaking that occurs from a newspaper.
• Dry the outside vertically and the inside horizontally, if there are streaks going in either direction you will then be able to tell if they are on the inside or the outside.
• Roll your windows down half way and clean the tops and sides of the windows.
• Use a quality window cleaning solution.
• Don’t be afraid to use a new razor on surface substances that won’t wash out. You can carefully remove grime and things like sap, egg, gum, and grime from the window with a flat razor if it doesn’t come off with some elbow grease. If your windows are tinted I would refrain from using a razor, especially on the interior window. This little tool can cause serious damage if not used properly, so use caution before diving in.

 

8. Brush Your Interior Before Vacuuming

You can use a brush on your seats, carpets, and in hard to reach places. A brush does a great job of loosening up unwanted debris and draws it to the surface by moving the carpet fibers in a way that pushes the nestled dirt to the surface of the floor. Once the dirt has surfaced you can use a vacuum to draw the dirt off the floor. Depending on the power of the vacuum you are using, you may also pull additional debris from underneath the carpet.

9.Polishing Your Car To Get That Finished Look

If you will be detailing your car on a regular basis then investing in a polisher will be a great idea. A dual action polisher can be used to get the most desired results possible. These polishers are perfect for working out scuffs and surface scratches. If buying one isn’t in your budget you can always revert to renting one or borrowing one from a friend or neighbor.

10. Hire A Professional Car Detailing Company

It’s easy to get caught up in the appeal of DIY everything. Everywhere we look we have the opportunity to just do things ourselves. But honestly, what’s your time worth to you? Unless it’s something you really enjoy doing, just pay someone to detail your car. After I bought my new ride a few years back, I detailed it every month by hand. Well, that got old pretty quick. Four months into owning my new car, I stopped the Saturday morning detail efforts and hired a mobile detailer. They have been detailing my car now for years and I’ll probably never do it myself again. Just saying.