Here are a few tips for keeping your vehicle looking new without causing damage to the paint or delicate interior surfaces if you choose to treat your car yourself or in between expert treatments.
Use car wash soap to clean.
A thorough hand wash is the most acceptable way to clean your car. Unfortunately, that is only true if everything is done correctly, which most drivers fail to do. What appears to be a straightforward procedure, washing your automobile, may inflict a lot of damage to the paint if done incorrectly.
If you’re cleaning your car in the driveway, avoid using dish soap because it might harm the paint, and scrape off wax coatings designed to protect it. Instead, use a professional car wash soap developed explicitly for the pollutants which build up upon a car and will not damage the paint finish.
Use a multiple bucket method to clean your vehicle. The soap solution is in the first bucket. The second bucket will be used for the wash mitt, and finally, the third bucket can clean the wheels.
Get rid of the tar.
You might discover toxins on your automobile that soap cannot remove. Different vehicle wash chemicals are required to clear various impurities, so a professional auto detailing service is beneficial. Some of the water-soluble contaminants will be cleaned off using car wash soap. Others will need a wax-and-grease remover that is petroleum-based.
Another chemical is used to remove the bug remnants. Another is used to remove hard water spots. Rail dust (small pieces of steel dust that stick to your paint and cause rust-colored stains) and other surface impurities must be removed mechanically with a clay bar or machine buffing.
You’ll need to apply the correct cleaner, remove the contaminants, and possibly re-wash the damaged areas after cleaning your car with soap and water and discovering further impurities.
Begin at the top and work your way down
Apart from using the wrong chemicals to clean a car, individuals also mistakenly clean the portions that appear the worst or pick random parts of the automobile. An auto detailing expert recognizes the significance of starting at the top and working down. Taking advantage of gravity by utilizing a top-down method, contaminants will not be reintroduced to previously cleansed surfaces.
Start by rinsing the entire vehicle, including the roof, windows, hood, and trunk. Start washing the top with a sudsy mitt. Then repeat the process. Wash one side of the glass before rinsing it. To keep the soap from drying on the surface, continue washing and rinsing top-down in small areas. Also, do not attempt this in direct sunlight. Work in the shade if possible.
Make sure the latches and hinges are lubricated.
The hood latch is a maintenance item that many drivers overlook until their hood doesn’t open. Regularly keep the latch clean and lubricated with 3 in 1 oil or another protectant. The trunk latch is the same. Put some oil on your door hinges, then open and close the door to help get it worked into the hinge.
Retouch the paint chips if necessary
Finding lots of white spots on your glossy black hood is aggravating. Of course, paint chips can appear on any car, regardless of color. Small craters appear where the topcoat has chipped off, showing the undercoats beneath due to rocks in the road pelting your paint as you drive. Fortunately, automakers employ primers that are exceptionally long-lasting and usually stay put. You’ll want to “touch up” those chips if you’re going to prevent your panels from corrosion.
You can usually find a hue that is a close match at a dealership or an auto parts store. However, there are a few unavoidable facts to be aware of first.
First, a touch-up will never be as good as a professional paint job. You won’t be able to slap some paint on a surface and expect it to look new. The best you can hope from a brush-touched spot is a color close to the original color where the white divot used to be and the satisfaction of knowing you prevented corrosion. If you want a faultless paint job, be prepared to invest a lot of money.
The fact that the surface will be rough is another inevitable truth. It’ll almost certainly protrude a little. A skilled painter would smooth down a paint chip’s jagged edges. As a result, the repair area is many times larger than the original chip. After that, they apply a sandable primer. The region is block sanded flat.
Try tossing out the small brush that comes with the touch-up paint container. Instead, use a sharp artist’s brush and keep within the lines. When the paint dries, it will be less evident if you keep it within the boundaries of the chip. Use a product with a clear coat over it for maximum protection.
Seal the surface with wax or sealer
It’s easy to severely scratch the high-tech clearcoat finish by washing it incorrectly and waxing it incorrectly. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t polish your automobile; you absolutely should. However, keep the following in mind:
Start with a clean vehicle. When you apply wax to a car with a layer of dust on it, the dust (ground up rocks) will go into the clearcoat, dulling the paint and wearing away the sheen.
It’s good to work in the garage or the shade. Waxing an automobile in direct sunlight is never a smart idea.
Wax should not be allowed to seep into jambs, cracks, moldings, or other locations. If you have to remove the wax from all crevices due to improper application, the job could take several hours. Any matte black plastic features should be wax-free, such as moldings, mirrors, and trim.
Using a clean microfiber towel and long strokes that flow with the automobile rather than against or across it, remove the dirt. Long strokes with a microfiber tower prevent “swirl markings,” making the job look streaky. Sealant is created in a lab, whereas wax is a naturally occurring chemical. Both are excellent choices. It’s preferable to start with a coat of sealer and then finish with a couple of layers of wax.
Take good care of your carpets and upholstery.
When it comes to the interior, experts disagree on where to begin. As with the outside, some start at the top. Others recommend cleaning the carpeting first, then treating the dash and electronic displays. The carpet and upholstery will need to be cleaned.
Remove the dirt from the carpeting with a shop vac and clean the dirt away using a dry scrub brush. Because vehicle carpets can contain a lot of dirt, cleaning it might take time. An air compressor gun might help loosen up the dirt if you have one. Just make sure to use your safety glasses while doing so. Pay special attention to the cracks and regions beneath the seats.
Use a carpet and upholstery shampoo to remove stains from carpets and upholstery. A small amount of shampoo, followed by a coat of clean water from a spray bottle, should be sprayed on. The water aids in the moistening of the surface. Scrub the shampoo into the carpet with a scrub brush, then soak up the excess moisture with a clean, dry rag or towel. To clean upholstery stains, use a microfiber towel rather than a scrub brush; a scrub brush is too rough for fabric. The headliner should be cleaned with utmost caution because it is so delicate.
Purchase a brush set
A competent detailer has a tool for every job and a chemical for every type of contamination on a vehicle. Brushes are an essential part of an auto detailer’s toolkit, and they should also be in your car care kit. One brush is used to clean the holes in your aluminum wheels, while another is used to clean the wheel wells, engine bay, or possibly the rubber on the tires outside the car. You’ll need a scrub brush to clean the carpeting on the interior. A toothbrush will be required to clean the nooks and crevices around the doorknobs and dash screens. You may easily clean out the vents with a 1″ paintbrush. For best results, use a can of pressurized air or a vacuum.
You’ll also need a fine-tipped artist’s paintbrush if you wish to touch up the paint.
Wipe the glass clean like a pro
The last item on the automobile care cleaning checklist is the glass. This is typically the number one customer complaint when done incorrectly. And, as simple as the work may appear, completing it right is challenging.
To begin, clean the windows with an automotive glass cleaner. Ammonia is commonly found in household glass cleaning products, which can cause foggy windows and streaking. It’s also been known to cause issues with window tinting.
Try not to wash with sponges or cotton towels, which might be too harsh for automobile surfaces, use a microfiber towel instead. Save the glass for last. Do it in the shade if possible.
To avoid overspray on painted (waxed) surfaces, spray the cleaner on the cloth first, rather than directly on the surface of your vehicle. Roll your windows down a little when washing the door glass to get the top edge, which often has a film of scum stuck to it.
Now, if any of these procedures makes you feel like it’s more trouble than it’s worth, or if you’re not sure you can handle them and would benefit from the assistance of someone with more knowledge and expertise, by all means, contact us today at Magichandsauto.com. We can assist you with a wide range of auto detailing and tinting services for your vehicles, home, or business requirements.