Keeping your car clean is an integral part of vehicle maintenance and detailing is the way to really clean the exterior of your car. Detailing your car’s exterior means more than taking it to a car wash. To properly detail your car, you need to use the right tools and follow the right process.
Why you should keep your car clean
Detailing your car’s exterior gives it a shine that can make it look newer even if it has years of road trips on its odometer. However, looking prettier is only one reason to detail your car.
Regular washing can help prevent cosmetic damage to your car, as accumulated dust and dirt can affect the car’s paintwork over time. A thorough wash can help keep your car’s paint in pristine condition. In the long run, this can help you maintain the value of your car. A vehicle with nicer paint, fewer scratches and less rust will be more appealing to potential buyers when it comes time to sell.
Clean cars are also safer cars. Every driver knows the importance of the occasional windshield wiper while at the gas station, and it pays to consider cleaning the rest of the vehicle’s exterior as well. You will also clean the windows and side mirrors while detailing the exterior of your car. This will provide a clearer picture of your surroundings.
Here are the materials needed to detail your car
For a full detail job, you’ll need the right tools and supplies, and Erie Insurance outlines what you’ll need. To begin, you will need two buckets filled with water, which will be used throughout the detailing process. It is better to have two instead of one so that one has clean water while the other is used for soap.
Next, you’ll need tools to sand every part of your car’s exterior. Use a microfiber wash mitt when scrubbing most of your car’s body. This will prevent scratching the paint. For wax, use a foam application pad. Microfiber towels can be used for drying and other tasks throughout the process. Finally, you’ll want a clay bar, which you’ll use after cleaning the car but before waxing.
A fine detail requires a lot of cleaning supplies. When choosing soap, make sure it is intended for car washing. These soaps are gentle on paint and wax so they won’t harm your vehicle’s appearance. You will need to purchase separate wheel cleaner and window cleaner for your wheels and windows.
How to clean the exterior of your car
First, rinse your car with water to clean off dirt, which helps prevent scratches. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to move on to the car wheels. Unless your wheels are dirty, you can spray your wheel cleaner and then rinse it off when you’re done.
Once you’ve finished the wheels, it’s time to wash the body, so use the soapy, microfiber wash mitts to scrub the car from top to bottom. Be sure to rinse each part with clean water after washing. Finally, clean your windows with the glass cleaner.
When the car has been washed and rinsed thoroughly, dry it with a microfiber towel. Thorough washing helps prevent water stains.
You’re not done yet though, as waxing helps prevent scratches and keeps the car looking sharp. Before waxing, use the clay bar and a thorough solution to prep the car for wax. Then use your application pad to wax the exterior of your car.
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